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  • Writer's pictureSusan Carr

Driving backward on Mars

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

The birds have been showing up after I put out the peanuts and as soon as Bertrand begins eating breakfast. So if he wants to be the only one eating the peanuts, he may need to start thinking about how to do things differently.

The Husband shared a NASA article with me about the Curiosity Rover on Mars. It's older information, but it opened my eyes to the need to adjust when something isn't quite working. I'm not even going to attempt to paraphrase what the problem was or what NASA was able to do to solve it. I may be a space nerd, but I make no claim to have any idea what they're talking about; all I understand is that Curiosity now moves differently and in a backward direction.

Editing vs Writing

I love editing. I enjoy reading what others have composed. Many of the editing projects I've worked on over the past five months have taught me about subjects of which I had no previous knowledge.

But, I've noticed many clients prefer not to pay a valid rate for editing. At least not on the freelance platforms. While typing this blog, I just received an invitation to bid for an editing project, a large work of fiction for a boutique publisher. I sent the client my proposal, but I wonder if I'll hear anything back because my flat rate is close to $1000.

Working on freelancer platforms, you have to consider the ENORMOUS fees they charge.

So, I have to increase my bids to account for those fees to make an hourly wage equal to my experience and skills. It's an odd system to me -- I do ALL THE WORK, sometimes really hard work, depending on the quality of writing, and they get 20% off the top of whatever I earn. Hmph.

There are the occasional gigs where a writer (especially a budding entrepreneur with a vision to share with their target market) is very willing to pay for quality editing services -- which is what I provide.

These are the best clients to work with.

And so, I have decided to operate differently and provide a new service: content writing.

For about a year, I wrote content articles for a parenting website, Genes2Teens. I loved this work, as I was able to engage with parents raising teens and college-bound students (my favorite age group).

I also experienced a lot of cathartic healing as I connected with single parents, those going through a divorce, dealing with infidelity, and caring for their aging parents while still raising their kids.

This job was just a side hustle, nothing that would have provided me with substantial enough income to quit my day job. But once I started freelancing, I learned a lot about my skills and how they best suit me.

Writing may be a niche for me, more so than editing.

When I write blog content for a company, I take it very seriously. I learn as much as possible about the brand, conduct online research, and tailor the content to their specific needs.

I am in an SEO certification course with Hubspot Academy and also learning how to build trust in a company or show how an individual can solve a client's problem through writing engaging content.

I just submitted an invoice for over $350 for providing six blog posts to one company. Each blog took me about an hour to write. You do the math.

Curiosity driving backward on Mars has worked for NASA. So, I will learn from their solution and work differently to earn what I'm worth.

Bertrand may want to revisit how he handles his morning routine, lest the birds beat him to the peanut bowl.

If you're trying to figure out what you should be charging as a freelancer, determine if you should do anything different with the service(s) you provide. You may find that what you are currently doing is causing you to work more, yet you're earning less.

I found this neat infographic to help determine what a freelancer should charge. If you think you need to start doing things differently, maybe it will be a help,

And I just had to share this little bit of "me." After all, java.

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