I agree. But it’s much better than what I had on Upwork prior. The main issue I had was that people didn’t have enough work, even if they paid better. Most gigs were over in a few weeks or months. Then the hunt would begin anew and for me, that’s the most painful part of it. Especially now that Upwork also charges you for the “connects” you need to apply for openings. Then comes the cut. The ~$3600 I now receive land in my bank account fully, no fees or deductions. So it’s better money than if Upwork were in-between.
The work I got right now is frequent too. I write about 1500 to 2000 words a day for about $120. In some cases, I don’t even need to write much as the client has provided templates and stuff they’d like to use. Then it’s just copy & paste. The last 9 to 5 I worked paid me about $10 an hour for 160 hours per month. And then they had their health care deductions and whatnot, leaving me with about $1300 in the end. So I consider my writing career at least better than my last employment job. Though I admit there’s much room for improvement 😅
And as for being cheap: I think 9 out of 10 times someone turned me down was for reasons like “our budget doesn’t allow that” or “sorry, but we decided to give the contract to someone cheaper”.
Few times people tried to offer me work for as little as 20% of my usual fee. Unacceptable.
And one of my largest clients, a game developer, had me and others for translation work. I was their most expensive translator at the time and got a glance at the work my “colleagues” provided for them. Some of it was blatant Google Translation work. I exposed those frauds and got their contracts as well. The company also decided to use me in their ongoing hiring process to determine whether a translator is worth hiring or not.
That was a big moment of pride, I got to admit.
But actually landing a well-paying deal is an exhaustive process. And I’m often too lazy to deal with the obstacles.
Scouting gigs outside of dedicated platforms like Upwork is a lot more difficult. There’s no go-to address for a job.
Then there are people undercutting everywhere. While it’s inspiring to read about someone who gets 20 cents or more per word (that would mean a book translation of 80.000 words would cost $16.000, I do that for about $2.500), I more often see people actively offering their services for 1–2 cent tops.
But if you got any tips to break that cycle effectively, I’m all ears. I wouldn’t mind improving my situation. You should go ahead and write an article about it. And tag me if you do :)
I’m always open to suggestions. But my current income is enough to not starve, so I can kind of take it slowly