I think I need a lie-down in a darkened room with the blinds drawn. Is it me, or are there some freelance sites emerging which attract buyers prepared to pay the going rate? I've just been having a squint at Freelancer and knock me down with a cross-eyed duck but buyers are considering paying decent fees for a decent day's work without even flinching. None of this "£1.50 for 500 words" nonsense. Nosirree. Writers there are setting out their stalls with their range of hourly / daily / monthly / project fees and buyers aren't thundering into the hills or whacking all the writers with baseball bats studded with rusty nails.
The formula seems to be this: that you set out your minimum fees in your profile. You value your writing from the word go and you stick to it without being encouraged to bid ludicrously tiny amounts so as to be the lowest bid. Your fee is your bid. The buyers can have a look at your application letter, your profile and your body of work to see the standard at which you write, look at the fee, compare your application with the others who are also quoting their own going rates, and make their own decisions.
Finally, we have a place where providers can be judged on their professional writing skills. It had to come. There had to be a solution to the problem of buyers waving laughably miniscule budgets about and expecting professional writers to jump through hoops. Maybe the whole sordid business was a rite of passage for the concept of the freelance bid site to see what worked and what didn't, although we really could have done without the baseball bats. It comes down to this: pay professional writer fees and you get professional writers. Buyers had to learn the hard way that if you pay peanuts, only a handful of the vast numbers of monkeys on typewriters will write Shakespeare. The rest will groom each other, eat fleas and use article-spinning software.