Getting paid the first time is one of the most exciting milestone in a new career. Just like in any other field, getting paid is a right of passage. The big surprise in writing for the Internet is the speed and the virtual location. The big difference between traditional jobs and Internet content is simply the difference between traditional jobs and current ones. Gone are office politics and a yelling boss (remember Dilbert?) Also gone are the days of abstract assignments with moving deadlines. Internet writing and publishing is fast and the results are immediate. Also, the seemingly infinite access to people means finding assignments quickly. People are still adjusting to the changes, so don’t assume everyone will react to you the same way.
How Much Can I Earn?
Professional bloggers working at a traditional marketing and communication jobs earn standard marketing or technical writing salaries. Instead of me comparing salaries in New York, Tokyo or Tel Aviv look at current salaries relevant to your search (in the US Payscale and Indeed are good starting points). A quick search shows anywhere from $50K to $80K in New York marketing categories. There is an entry for “digital marketing writer” I assume this is someone with some SEO or HTML and other interment publishing skills. As an internet skilled writer and editor you are not limited to the world of traditional marketing or publication. The Internet writing needs covers almost every business sector and every geographic location. Also notice how English content writing is in demand, but many languages around the world are catching up and some are in more demand than English.
The pro-blogger revolution (Darren Rowse) also driven by affiliate marketing and other digital content direct marketing schemes are another way to go. For the last fifteen years bloggers as publishers. Together with a product to sell, writers-publishers have changed the way some products are sold. Some bloggers-writers earn commissions equivalent to a full time job. Personally I know two who have been able to shift into this work style. Tim Ferriss’ “”The Four Hour Work Week” when published became the unofficial work and lifestyle manual to the internet (i.e. blogger) work trend. While most traditional marketers and corporate writers are not convinced, the reality of a full time writing and publishing for marketing is with us.
Freelance writing and publishing is an internet hidden secret. Essentially the digital revolution is driven by writing and publishing. Freelance writers’ salaries range from the average corporate writer to professional writers commanding high salaries (i.e. physician, scientist, financial analyst). Salaries for professional writers in some fields come close to their average salary in their profession. A pharmaceutical company with physician or pharmacist writing on product use (regulation, specifications, treatments) are now demanding salaries equivalent to their clinical co-workers. It’s hard to advice new writers on one business sector in a specific location. Your sector knowledge and the needs now is a better method to find a good fit. It’s not easy to identify a specific company type likely to need freelance writers (size, product or service type, traditional or technology based). That said, the need for content is continuously growing and changing. One way to take advantage of this situation is to network with people in your geographic area. Also networking with people in professional social media sites beyond LinkedIn and Facebook (Stack Overflow, Google+, Element14). People in the business will give you an idea on payment rates, good companies to approach and specific work detail that fits your needs.
NEXT >> Getting to know a specialty or a market segment (the real professional writer at work)