1 How to Make It ("Make It") as a Writer | The Billfold

How to Make It (“Make It”) as a Writer

In case you’ve ever wondered how writing for money works, it works like this: Sometimes you have to write about your breasts on the Internet for websites that are not your own. It’s the only way! (It’s the only way.) (I do mention how much I paid for a bra though, so: relevant to our interests.) (Marginally.)


8 Comments / Post A Comment

MuffyStJohn (#280)

So the lesson is, sometimes people who are “living their dreams” doing things like writing have to do crap they don’t want to do for money, just like us sad sacks sitting in cubicles?

Creative people: they’re just like us!

Genghis Khat (#584)

I like it Logan. But now that you’re a pro writer, I hope you’re just going braless. It can be portland all the time in your apartment!

Titania (#489)

Good for you! Fun story (although, ouch, that sounds painful, it shouldn’t hurt your back–you can get fitted again somewhere else if it hurts!) and good to see that you’re freelancing! Increasing your income is definitely as important as cutting your spending, and it’s equally hard/important to do.

AnnieNilsson (#406)

Awesome! Good job getting money! Since we’re all about transparency here, can you tell us how much they paid, and how you you ended up writing about breasts? Did they ask you to or did you pitch that to them or what? Seems relevant to this site’s interests…

HELLO. GREAT QUESTIONS. I wrote about my breasts because I knew the kinds of essays they were looking for (things you want to click on!) so I pitched the breast thing. Plus I just like talking about my breasts. Breasts breasts breasts. For payment: I wish I could tell you what I got paid, but I’m not going to, because: I’d like to be able to write more for Buzzfeed, and while I doubt they’d beat me up if I posted what they paid me, it certainly wouldn’t endear me to them. Plus: I signed a thing.

I will say that what they paid me was more than fair and it didn’t even occur to me to try to negotiate it. Transparency gets a bit weird when other companies are involved. When a company is paying you, that info is just as much theirs as it is yours (maybe moreso, actually?) especially if you’ve signed things. We also haven’t entirely disclosed the money situation for this here website, partly because it barely exists, but also because it’s wrapped up in lawyer-y things and contract-speak, and again, the amount of money we get paid is also confidential to the people who are paying it and not entirely ours to post all over the Internet.

That said, I talk about it in my life with my friends, and I think you should talk about what you get paid in your life with your friends (and they should tell you, too). It’s the publishing of it that’s tricky.

I’m going to add on to this that while technicallyyyyy, yes, “we shouldn’t talk about what we make because the company actually owns that information and it’s confidential,” I break this rule all the time and I think you just have to use your judgment. I’ve disclosed all my past salaries in print at some point or another (I’ll do a work history one day and compile them all together—gripping reading, that), usually after the fact. I think it’s also okay to be like, “I’m a freelance writer and I make between this and this per article.” It’s just sort the very specific I WORK AT THIS COMPANY AND I MAKE THIS MONEY that can be tricky, especially when that other company is an Internet company!

AnnieNilsson (#406)

@Logan Sachon That’s actually really interesting, I had no idea that was how it worked. I guess I always thought people didn’t talk about how much they earned from stuff because it was just some sort of social faux pas or whatever.
This site makes me learn things.
I will say that I would love to see a post about the daily hustle of a freelance writer, in case you know any :)

Markham (#1,862)


Disclosing income is tricky I think.

For my day job the only person I ever told was when I had a live-in girlfriend, and we split our bills based on our respective % of our total income. Otherwise I don’t tell people, ever. I think it’s just personal and rude.


Mind you I’ve only had a tiny # of paid writing gigs. But I don’t disclose because A) sometimes you sign things B) I think it’s personal.

So even if I left out the company name, I wouldn’t disclose.

But that’s my personal preference.

I think the reasons for not disclosing are varied and personal.

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