I ranted a few weeks ago about companies that want to pay writers $5 a blog post. In a perfect world, this would change. But I know it never will.

A former client reached out to me about some copywriting. I’ve raised my rates (significantly) since the last time we worked together, and he was shocked by this. I took the opportunity to explain that I’d come to realize that I was devaluing my company’s worth, and that I raised my rates to reflect both the quality and time we put into our writing.

He sent me an article his Indian team had put together and asked if it was that different compared to what I’d write. Uh, yea. And I proceeded to explain what the writer did wrong (stuffed keywords into every line) and why  that tactic no longer worked (people want content that’s valuable, not just copy that leads them to a site through too many keywords).

We parted amicably, but I was proud that I stood up for the quality and value I provide.

Do you do the same?

Or do you take on projects or clients that deep down you know you shouldn’t, maybe because they pay too little, or because you’re not really comfortable working with them? Do you feel strapped for cash, which makes you drop your price lower and lower, until you have to work 80 hours a week just to pay your bills?

Stop doing that.

I know it’s hard to listen to someone else saying that, but trust me, I’ve been you. And as soon as I let go and trusted that if I charged more, I’d still have clients, guess what? I have more clients, and better clients who understand my worth.

Photo: Flickr user EricaJoy. Creative Commons 2.0.