Blogging & Freelancing

Do You Know Your Worth As A Freelancer?

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To all the bloggers, writers, web developers, graphic designers, translators, etc out there making it on your own: Do you know your worth as a freelancer? It’s an answer that I found out the hard way.

Along with this Baby Kaiju blog and my Instagram, I also write content for English language websites about Japan.  I try to keep a balance between my day job and moming. But, I am reluctant to take on more work out of insecurity. I rarely pursue projects, but if an editor emails me, I happily accept. It’s in case a fever or sudden Kaiju illness prevents me from completing a project on time.

I accepted an offer in June to write for a popular Japan website… but the project was immediately terminated before my articles could even be published!

Ouch.

And, I felt awful, not just because of the sudden dismissal. But because I initially wanted to turn down the offer after I realized I was to do more than writing.

There was a set price per article. In addition, I had to go onto CMS to format each piece. Up until now, I simply used WordPress or submitted drafts via Word file or Google Documents. I struggled horribly with CMS. I knew that this writing opportunity wasn’t worth it after factoring the time used writing and messing around with formatting.

So, I wrote to my editor:

“Thinking about future articles and time constraints, I’d like to reconsider my monthly submission of 4-5 articles until I can figure out how to use the interface.”

Yet, instead of staying true to myself, I pressed on. I figured that if I learned CMS quickly, it would all be “worth” it.

The result?

This email:

“Teni,
[T]he checkers of the English department got back to me and they’re not entirely happy with either of the two articles you wrote for us. Long story short, the articles were far too sparse in terms of content and the images still weren’t sourced properly and came from websites that did not have the right copyright. They were also unhappy that your own blog contained plenty of information on the subject matter at hand, but the article you actually made for us paled significantly in comparison.

I understand that I previously said the articles were alright, so part of the blame lies on me, but the reality of the matter is that neither of the articles match the standards that we set on our articles, and as such we would like to end our working relationship here…”

The kicker?

The cosmetics article that I submitted, I originally intended to post here on Baby Kaiju!

Had I just stuck with my initial feeling and said, “ I’m not being fairly compensated for what is expected” I probably never would have been dismissed in such a way.

So, the moral of the story is to know your worth as a freelancer and stay true to yourself.

On the other hand…

Learning my true worth as a freelancer is a lesson I learned the hard way. Yet, it’s a valuable one as it has given me the confidence to write full-time —but on my own terms.

This month I’m on vacation, and I’ll finally be getting around to those “blog changes” that I keep hinting at.

One change will explore my career, or more accurately, the beginnings of what I plan to make my new career.

And, since my blog contains “plenty of information on the subject matter at hand” (Japanese cosmetics), this dismissal has inspired me to get back to my gyaru roots.

No, I won’t be going blond (or maybe I will???).  But, what I mean is that I’ll be expanding my love Japanese cosmetics and fashion on this blog.  

Time for a little humblebrag:
Search for “Japanese makeup” and an article that I co-wrote for Japan Objects comes up: 25 Helpful Japanese Beauty Products You’ll Want to Buy Now.

Search for “buying makeup in Japan” and this tiny blog post, Where To Buy Makeup In Japan  is the first result on Google, followed by 25 Helpful Japanese Beauty Products You’ll Want to Buy Now.

For far too long. I’ve neglected to see my own value, even after collaborating directly with Japanese beauty brands on Instagram. But not anymore.
I’m counting down the months and days until I can take this gig full-time.

And I mean it.

Prepare for the August 2019 relaunch of Baby Kaiju, which will be rebranded as “The Wagamama Diaries — Lifestyle & Motherhood In Tokyo.”

I know my worth as a freelancer now. And, to all the bloggers, writers, web developers, graphic designers, translators, etc out there making it on your own: Do you know your worth as a freelancer?

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