Monday, July 21, 2014

Working for Free: Part Three - Anyone Can Write

At some point their career, most professional writers, no matter what their genre of fiction or area of expertise will meet someone who says, “Well, how hard can it be.” After all, anyone can write, right? That’s like saying that if you know how to swim you can compete in the Olympics or just because you’re able to hold a paintbrush you can create a masterpiece.

It doesn’t work that way, of course. Yet because so many people are able to write, whether it’s a scribbled memo, signing a check, or filling in an application form, some individuals think that they can easily take up writing professionally. This fallacy doesn’t help to persuade people to view writers as having valuable talents.

For example, take online writing for websites, blog postings or social media. Sometimes companies or the graphic design companies that create their websites contact professional writers. This was because they want to have good quality writing on their websites in order to look professional and sell more of their products and services. However, once they realize that writers actually charge a fee for their work services commensurate with their level of expertise, these companies have second thoughts.

The cost of a professional writer simply isn’t in their budget. So they decide to either do the writing themselves or hire people to write for a much smaller fee. The results are usually predictable but at least everyone saved money. Unfortunately, there’s soon the realization that the company website text is littered with errors and looks highly unprofessional. The company is also losing business to a competitor who budgeted for a professional writer when they created their own website. This isn’t always the case, of course, and there are still clients out there who appreciate that quality is rarely cheap. Yet, there are also people who will continue to dismiss the cost of writing and editing pages for a professional website and say to themselves, “Well, how hard can it be?”

No comments: