Why Are These Types of Articles So Annoying to Me?

“If it was easy, everyone would do it.” — Arthur Jolly

Ed Newman
3 min readDec 7, 2023


Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Here’s another. “How I Went From Getting Paid $30 Per Article To $1999 Per article.” It’s well written (except for a typo or two), but come on. She identifies all the usual ways writers can make money.

Then she shares about a writer friend who makes a fortune evidently, who is on a retainer to produce copy at this astounding rate:

One of my mentors works with companies who are making over $20 million annually, and charges her retainer clients between $10,000 — $20,000 per month based on the deliverables.

That is plural. This writer apparently has at least two or more clients paying her 10–20K per month. That is a lot of bread.

A company that would pay that much for a freelancer who works part time for them would be better served to have a full-time employee, wouldn’t they? If I had a company making 20 million dollars a year, I probably made it by being wise about how I spend my money. I could hire two full-time writers for the cost of this person with several clients charging me such a hefty price. I know of no ad agencies in existence (for small clients like a 20 million account) that charge that much just as a retainer. That’s for a whole agency staff at your disposal, not just a part time writer.

Here’s another one on how to make $250 an hour as a freelance writer. I know people make that kind of money on an assignment but who is paying you while doing your marketing and sales pitches?

Keep in mind that your taxes are double because in addition to income tax you are also paying social security tax as your own employer. There is no health insurance coverage or 401K, as the person who writes for an employer might get.

But THAT IS NOT WHAT ANNOYS ME. What annoys me is that the advice in this article is contrary to the advice you get from books on journalism like Classroom to Newsroom or by reading Seymour Hersh (Reporter) or David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest). It’s not quantity of copy that gets you recognized, but quality. The same goes for the research. Paraphrase: “Don’t waste precious time over-researching…



Ed Newman

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj