For All The Writers who can’t pay the rent this month

Hello, is this the plumber? I’ve got a new bathroom to plumb in, should only take you a day or so. I can’t pay you, but I will give you a chocolate eclair in return. Only you have to tell everyone how great my bathroom is. I might mention you on twitter saying thank you, but don’t hold your breath.”

Plummer slams down the phone while shouting bastard.

But how about this?

Hello, is that Mr/Mrs freelance writer? I’ve got an product that I can’t be arsed topay promote myself. I can’t pay you, but I can send you some crappy products to keep. I might retweet you when you put your review on twitter.

Freelance writer is pathetically grateful for the sunscreen/new foundation/cake that they can’t afford to buy themselves and thanks the company profusley.

Who do you think writes the content that you read on the internet while you are sat on the loo? The magazine articles? Newspaper stories? Website content? The same old advice on how to not get divorced or how to feed your baby? Television and radio programmes?


Most of whom are getting paid next to nothing for the privilege of calling themselves a writer. When you say you write for a living, you get looked at in a strange way – people usually assume you are lazy and unemployed.

Writers always want to write that book or that sitcom, but rarely have the time because ew are too busy churning out pointless copy for a penny a word just to pay the rent.

One of the biggest copywriting agencies in the UK (who I can’t name as I will be take to court) make their money by telling clients that they have some of the best copy writers in the UK who will write blog posts and advert for their site.

For a 350 word blog post (on anything from legal matters to gym memberships) they will charge the client £40.

Then they will pay the writer 1p per word.

For that, the client can come back to you limitless times asking for changes and alterations (the briefs they give you are poor written and as clear as mud sometimes) so writing those 350 words can take you hours.

All for £3.50.

And if you dare complain, you get laughed at, because writing isn’t a real job. Even though it is, even though without writers toiling away for free or for a penny a word, what would you read.

Not everyone can write. Every one thinks they could do it, but telling a story, or writing informative and entertaining content in 350, 400 or 1000 words exactly takes skill, which is why to cheapen it to a penny a word, or an article in exchange for shampoo does writers no justice what so ever.




  1. Brilliant post. It is always fun to see companies thinking they can get away with anything. So they try to tell you that it should be payment enough have the honour and a privilege to work with, think of the exposure it will get you!

    For someone like me with a very small readership and a very eclectic writing style that might something I’d consider but not for someone who is well established. #tribalchat

    Liked by 1 person

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