Yep, I would definitely think so judging from the rates I see at freelance online job boards these past weeks.
Previously, I have no idea what were the rates charged by freelance writers, especially on the net and in other countries. That is until I saw those low rates at the boards.
Imagine my shock to see rates as low as $1 to $2 for a 600 word article. That is even less than 1 cent per word. I mean, sure, it is relatively easy for us writers to come up with 600 word articles but to get paid only a buck for putting our talent to use? I don't know, it just does not seem right!
A 600-word article often takes at least 30 minutes to complete and by complete, I mean to write, edit and polished till it is ready for print. That does not even take into account the research that has to be done before the article can be written.
Okay, lets say on average, the process of researching and producing an informative yet creative article takes about 1 hour. The rate is $1 which means the hourly rate is $1. Isn't that a bit too low for even minimum wage?
Even at best effort, a speedy writer can research and complete an article within 30 minutes, that would mean, the writer is being paid a $2 per hour rate.
Writing is not only a skill. It is an art, an expression of self, a way to paint a better picture and most of all, a professional trait. So, why the low rates? Sure, sure, I've been told this is what is called the open market system where the market price is often controlled by the demand and supply, etc.
Still, I find it extremely ridiculous to be paid pittance for our creativity. Can you imagine an artist selling his paintings for $1 or $2?
Just like painters, our written work are our masterpieces. Our work should not be traded as if it is worth nothing more than pocket change.