Small Potatoes, Peanuts, Pumpkin Seeds…


No, I’m not making a grocery list. 🙂 These are just some of the terms that get bandied about when writers and other artists discuss pay.

Pumpkin seeds – not worth mentioning (but I’m going to). These are the gigs that pay $4 for a blog post — and the “client” is convinced he’s paying a “great rate!”.

Peanuts – You’re getting more than pumpkin seeds, but you’re still eating a whole lotta rice and robbing Peter to pay Paul — and Peter’s getting pissed.  Clients in the $5 – $7 range. They *know* they aren’t paying enough, but refuse to acknowledge that. They also tend to want a ridiculous amount of work, for, well, peanuts.

Small Potatoes — So, you actually get to eat meat once a week, Peter isn’t nearly as banged up (but he’s still pissed), but you’d still like to make more. These clients pay $8 – $10 for a blog post and are often apologetic that it isn’t more. You usually work with these clients, because although the pay is low, you have a feeling that as they progress, they just might take you with them.

Meat and Potatoes – You’re eating whole meals, sometimes more than once a day. Peter and Paul still look at you warily, but you’re cool with each other. $11 -$15 per post/article. These guys are on the verge of going big — you’ll work with them just to say you were a part of it and in the hopes they will take you with them.

Surf n Turf -You’re living the good life! You’ve got clients who recognize your value, and you FINALLY get paid what you’re worth. $16 – $20 a post/article. They realize that good work costs money. They’re demanding, but as long as you deliver, they will provide. This is as close to a dream gig as your going to get in 2012…for now.

(For my vegetarian friends out there — substitute three extra trips to Trader Joes or Whole Foods, or whatever expensive organic foods you love.)

Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve got a mixed bag — I’ve got some Peanuts, potatoes, meat and a surf n turf or two. But it took a lot of work to get the meat and the lobster. And I had to bite the bullet and quote meat and lobster rates.

Cuz, that’s the thing — if you don’t ask for lobster, you won’t get lobster. If you don’t profess your love of lobster, you won’t get offered lobster.

And at the first opportunity, toss the pumpkin seeds in the trash. You don’t need the salt anyway!

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