Motivation Beyond Money

Here at All Freelance Writing, we all abide to a strict no-getting-screwed policy. I like this policy. We also have an enjoy-your-freelance-writing-business policy, and I like this policy, too. I bring these policies up because I'm talking about doing freelance work when little to no money is involved.

I'll agree with the following rules Jenn has beat into our brains (lovingly) throughout this blog:

  • a member of your target market should be able to pay your rates
  • free work that will help your career should advance your exposure, expertise, and platform (if you must do it) and it shouldn't be considered part of your billable hours but part of your marketing time

Now, what about those love projects? Jenn doesn't pay a crappy sum to her bloggers, but I know that most everyone who writes for Jenn on All Freelance Writing charges others more, often much more for their time. It could easily be eliminated from the scam category with the above two rules. I love writing for Jenn, and I have no doubt in my mind that I'd be doing it no matter what the cost, so I'm not complaining. I'm just illustrating the fact that sometimes, we freelance for the love of the freelance writing work.

I recently took up a gig that I know I will spend a lot of time on that does not pay. I took the gig without hesitation because I knew it was something I was excited about working on. No pay. Lots of time. Lots of motivation beyond money.

Sometimes, you've got to fill up the fuel tank next to the money tank. I'm not saying depressions in your business should send you off to write on whatever whimsical fancies you possess. I am saying that you should pay attention to what keeps you going, and focus on it.

I'm making a lot of changes to my freelance business, now, in light of so many things changing for me. If it wasn't for this latest gig, I wouldn't have been able to pinpoint some things I need to change. Epiphanies and growth are way better than revenue, to me at least.

Do you freelance for motivation beyond money?

Profile image for Jessie Ann Fitzgerald
Jessie Fitzgerald writes about health and nutrition, especially for direct B2C sales nutritional supplement companies.

5 thoughts on “Motivation Beyond Money”

  1. I do freelance for motivation beyond money. I’m apart of the WM freelance network. I was writing for the freelance writing blog but have switched to the pet blog. I have a lot to share with readers since I volunteer for the Arizona Humane Society, have two cats, and often will write about traveling with pets.

  2. Great Post!

    I’m often not motivated by money – I volunteer on everything – student council, donate my hair – 3 times thus far, with at risk youth, etc.

    I do, however, have to make a living somehow, but I feel my moral surrounding money make me not a greedy person. However, there is nothing wrong with writer’s getting paid fair market value for their work. Writing is cumbersome and requires a lot of hard work. I think the value of writing in my community is greatly appreciated – I am thankful for that.

    Thank you for the though provoking post!
    Rebecca L. Hotz

  3. Hi Jessie, I sometimes do bits on a side for no money too. I don’t count them as my professional activities and write them off as fun (which they usually are – writing articles for friends or family or looking after my churches website for instance).

    What I disagree with though is when freelancers deliberately take on free jobs thinking that they will land them more work. In 99.99999999999% percent they won’t.

    Oh, by the way, since it’s my first comment here – good to meet you (and the others at allfreelancewriting. Your doing a lovely work on this blog, well done!


  4. I was originally going to reply here and say that no, I don’t offer any of my services for free.

    But when I started thinking about it, I actually offer quite a lot for free.

    As an example, one of my small business clients is having a bit of a rough time at the minute and things aren’t panning out as they expected financially. It’s just a blip in their plan and nothing that won’t pass, but I’ve said I’ll wave my consultation fee for a few weeks and see how it goes.

    Now I don’t devote hours and hours to this client, but in theory, the time I do spend could be utilized else where for a paying gig.

    Looking at motivation beyond money in a general sense, it isn’t the money that I work for – although I’m not saying it isn’t a massive factor because it is – but it’s the freedom that it gives me. Simple as.

  5. Writing can be a great therapeutic tool. I lost a brother last year due to complications of Diabetes. A few months later, I wrote a short piece about him for a local drive raising money for the cause. It was free, but I was still rewarded with a means of dealing with my grief, if that makes sense.

    I’m also working on a free piece that I want to pitch to an MS publication. I’m not sure what direction I want to go with that, but I wanted to show that finding something meaningful to do with your life can sometimes be a great motivator to get through some of the toughest days.

    In cases like these, I have no problem writing for free, because in the end I still get something out of it that’s just as valuable as getting paid.


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