Avoid Living In A Fantasy Land | Internetly Vol. 21
On the dark side of being a digital nomad, why people don't create, and the ballpark prices for content writing.
Turns out tropical hurricane Henri was kind of a dud.
Thinking the storm was going to slam into NYC, we brought patio furniture back inside and stocked up on carbs and canned foods. But after some torrential downpour, Henri said “nvm” and vanished.
Other than this weather-related false alarm, exciting things are ruffling. I’m booking trips that make me feel excited until I look at deep dips in my bank account. You win some, you lose some.
I’m heading off to Costa Rica for the month of November with my old college roommate, Reena. She’s the embodiment of the pivot from corporate America to entrepreneurship. She went from working in a drab office to providing reiki healing, birth chart readings, and tarot reading services.
I have no idea what any of these things are, but Reena is one of the most radiant and exuberant people you’ll ever come across. So I’ll have whatever she’s having.
This month in Costa Rica is how I’ll first dip my toes in the digital nomad lifestyle. It’ll illuminate if I’m fully ready to leave everything behind in NYC and leap into the unknown.
Ironically, I stumbled upon one of Mark Manson’s old articles, “The Dark Side of Being a Digital Nomad” right after booking CR. I perused through the article when this line stood out:
“Instead of an addiction to status and possessions, we are addicted to experience and novelty. And the end result is the same. Our relationships, our connections to what’s real, sometimes suffer. And for the first time in three years of non-stop travel, I quietly wish for a home.”
The digital nomad lifestyle is glamorized, touted as being a one-way ticket to paradise. But what we trade for this remote, globetrotting lifestyle is significant.
The connections we make abroad are shallow, incapable of being deepened through the longevity of time. Our sense of community suffers as we don’t set roots in any one place.
Maybe it’s a price you’re willing to pay. Maybe it’s not.
But there’s only one way to find out: to get on that plane and try.
🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator
This Week: Don’t Be “That” Person
People who don’t create live in a fantasyland, and judging a creator’s work makes them feel better about this fact. In this made-up world, the non-creator doesn’t make anything because it allows them to cling to their “what ifs.”
For example, let’s say someone's dream is to write a book. But they never write, because they “don’t have the time” or “(insert whatever excuse here).” These excuses allow people to live out scenarios where “if things were different” they would have produced a best-selling novel.
In reality, the non-creator is terrified of actually publishing the book and getting no recognition. The book fails, gets terrible reviews, or doesn't sell. Regardless, the outcome is the same: their dream is crushed. And many times, people opt for the “what ifs” as it’s a lot less anxiety-inducing than realizing your lifelong dream might dissipate.
This is no way to live life.
Live out your life in real-time, rather than playing imaginary scenarios in a loop.
People make excuses to create anything because they don’t want to face the fear of their dreams being crushed. 💭
🥒 Content Diet
This is my favorite article that I’ve found this year. And it’s from 2012, so that says something.
If you are in need of some tough love to actually get off your ass and do something meaningful, then this is the article for you. In this breakdown, you understand why it’s not enough to be “a good person,” a “good listener,” a “good friend” for the world to care about you.
Sounds nihilistic, doesn’t it?
Before you twist things, understand there is a powerful message behind this.
The article argues that what matters is you offer something the world needs. You have to produce something that can benefit others.
At its core, the article proposes that this is the reason why most people are unhappy: because they don’t do anything.
So, create something that you can call your own. Carve out a sense of ownership. The world is watching and needs you. And if you can’t deliver, then step aside.
Don’t just sit there. Create something the world needs so you can find a sense of purpose and happiness. ☀️
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: Rough Pricing Guidelines
Content writing prices vary. A lot.
When I was first starting off my freelance writing career, I had to google, “How much do I charge for an article?” to even get an inkling of WTF was going on.
Now with almost a year in my belt, I have a better understanding of how pricing works. I’ll share some of my baselines rates, and hopefully, this can help you in case you’re also pursuing a freelance writing career.
The lowest prices you can get paid will be found on Fiverr or Upwork. If you start there, you’re looking at $5 to $50 an article.
This is low and I wouldn’t recommend it in the slightest. When you fight for one position, oftentimes the lowest bidder wins. Don’t walk into this game - it’s a losing battle.
When I first started writing, my prices began at $250 an article. I would bundle this up into an article a week for 3 months, totaling a retainer of $3,000.
For $250 an article, clients will be expecting quality. If you still feel shaky about your writing capabilities, I’d suggest you practice writing on Quora.
From there, you can bump up your prices.
In my case, my prices include up to three revision rounds, an interview, one touchpoint, communication throughout the week, and idea generation. I classify short-form articles as under 1,000 words, while long-form articles 1,000+.
I’ve seen short-form articles go anywhere from $100 - $500. Long-form articles from $500 to $1,000.
This really depends on the industry you’re writing for. A SaaS or fintech client will pay much more than a trucking or pet store client.
And again, this is only my reference point. I’m sure some other experts make way more. The sky’s the limit!
Short-form articles cost up to $100 - $500 while long-form articles cost $500 - $1,000. 💰
That’s it, folks.
Transparency time. I scrambled to write this newsletter this morning. I’m catching up on client work and have to pack before my flight to Paris tonight, but was determined to send this thing out.
I told myself I’d keep Internetly going for at least one year to see what happens.
31 editions to go.
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Have a beautiful week,