Recently, New York Observer ran a doom and gloom piece about the lack of freelance magazine writers. They’re all blogging. Doree Shafrir reports that it’s a harsh world out there:
For most established but not well-known writers, $2 per word at a major magazine is standard, though usually negotiable. So even if a fledgling magazine writer were to write one 1,500-word feature a month for a national magazine–which would in itself be a difficult feat to pull off–he or she would be pulling in $36,000 a year before taxes. That’s also assuming that none of the stories were killed or held and that everyone paid on time.
Now, I don’t write one 1,500 feature a month. I write six or seven or eight stories a month, ranging from 300 to 2,000 words (and, ahem, I don’t always get $2 a word). Even when I was a fledgling–which, I guess, I still am–I was writing more than 1,500 words a month. That meant pitching a helluva lot more stories than I actually landed. And yes, at first, with smaller magazines, hounding people to pay me. But selling 1,500 words a month? More than do-able for a new freelancer.
Jessica Wakeman, with a day job at the HuffPo, believes in web only.
Jay Busbee says no one reads magazines anyway.
Debbi Mack has our favorite Dr. Johnson witticism as her tagline.
And Daily Intelligencer points out that blogging is a stepping stone to greater things, as Ms. Shafrir knows all too well.
It only matters because the stakes are so small.