How My Lowest-Paid Writing Job Got Me 5 Opportunities

The best thing I ever did for my writing career was stick with a low-paid gig.

Zulie Rane


AI generated image. a young white boy, maybe six years old, is in his bedroom. he stares at a jar with a little money in it. there is a label on the jar with illegible text.
Source: Discord bot. Prompt: 6 year old remebering [sic] what mother said about saving money — Upscaled by @Risuro (fast). Kind of a weird-looking kid but this is pretty much how I feel when I’m thinking about low-paid gigs lol.

I am a big proponent of writers getting paid what they’re worth. I do not advocate for platforms that require you to pay money to access jobs, nor do I encourage new writers to “write for exposure.”

Writing is hard. You deserve to be paid for it. End of story.

That all being said, I’ve been writing for a PR company for about a year now. They are by far my lowest-paying client — they pay me roughly half of what my next-lowest-paying client pays me per article, and other clients go well above that.

So why do I stick with them? I reflected on this for a while and came up with five reasons. I wanted to share them in the hopes of helping you figure out when it makes sense to stay with low-paying clients, and when you should go to greener pastures.

1. Get paid to expand your experience

I get paid to create ghostwritten thought leadership for industries like aviation, B2B SaaS, fintech, AI, health tech, martech, many other kinds of tech, etc. That means I get paid to get experience writing in all those fields.

What they pay is very much on the low end of my salary, but the alternative would be writing these articles myself and posting them to my website, where they’d earn very little if anything and confuse my blog’s purpose.

Furthermore, I’ve written other types of content that I didn’t originally have experience in, like pitches, press releases, awards submissions, leadership bios, and website copy. This has allowed me to expand my experience beyond blog posts, thought leadership, and SEO to other services.

Outcome: I have gotten at least two direct clients that I know of due to that expanded experience.

2. Reps

I have written upwards of one hundred articles for this company, averaging around two per week. None of my other clients have the capacity to give me that kind of work, in that range, at that scale.

Doing the reps has helped me improve my craft. It takes me roughly 15% less time to write an…