Why Won’t Anyone Pay You to Write? | LET’S GET PUBLISHED

You can’t expect to get a paid writing job while you’re still in college or when you’re a recent graduate. You don’t have the experience you need.


Writing as an adult is rough. Finding a way to write and make a living, preferably at the same time, is not an easy thing to do.

You might be wondering why no one will pay you for your services already. You’re a great writer! You have an English degree! YOU HAVE A LOT TO OFFER!

Of course you do. But there are a few things you might be missing.

You’re still in college or recently graduated

It amazes me how many college students and recent graduates believe they are entitled to paid internships and freelance work. When I send out PR materials about our internship application process, some professors even refuse to pass along the information to their students because our opportunities are unpaid.

When you are still in college or have yet to work in any part of the publishing or media industry, you do not have the experience to get paid to write. It’s nothing personal. But you don’t. It took me a year out of college before I was offered a paid writing job (technically a year and a half after I got my BA in English). You need more experience.

You’re not ready to start freelance writing

Every freelance writing position will ask you for writing samples. Your resume doesn’t matter; if you don’t have writing samples, you are not ready to start freelancing. You need to bulk up your portfolio before you start actively looking for paid work.

To do this, you’re going to have to write for free. A lot. It’s a rite of passage, in a way. You need to have a lot of writing samples and a variety of writing samples. Until I started writing articles that didn’t focus just on health or writing, no one really cared about all the work I’d done. You need to be able to show you can be a versatile writer.

Here are some tips on getting free writing gigs.

You’re expecting too much

Even if you’ve been out of school for awhile and feel like you have a lot of writing experience and writing samples to show off, there’s still another way you can completely crush your chances of getting paid for your work.

If you’re asking for too much money, you won’t get any.

Beginning writers should never ask for more than $0.02 or $0.03 per word. Literally the day after I lowered my starting rate on Upwork, I started getting invitations to interview for work. Multiple. People are not going to want to pay you very much at first. Honestly … deal with it! It’s better than nothing. You will work your way up to better pay with more experience.

You already know being a writer isn’t going to make you rich or famous. And it definitely never will if you don’t take a few minutes to be honest with yourself.

These things take time. Be patient, write a lot, drink a lot of coffee and hang in there.

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.