Q&A: Getting Paid while Living Abroad

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Question: I wrote an article for an overseas publication that will pay about $30. We do not have PayPal in my country. What are my options for payment, considering that a bank transfer may cost $30-$40? Will the magazine cover the cost?

~ A Sister in Islam

Can you answer this question? Please post your advice below.

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Amel is an experienced freelance writer, editor, and Arabic to English translator. She started the Muslim Writers Club as a means of sharing useful information about the art (and business) of writing.
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1 Comment

  1. As-salamu Alaykum, and Eid Mubarak!

    The answer to your question depends on the policies of the specific magazine you are dealing with. Some magazines do pay the costs of transfer fees, while others do not. Some magazines will split these fees 50-50 with their writers or make some other arrangement. This is something you should ask about and agree upon before writing for a particular magazine or publication.

    Another idea is to write several more articles for the same magazine and then wait until the amount of payment is enough to justify the transfer fee. For example, if you make $180 for six articles, the impact of a $40 transfer fee will be less. Of course, this depends on your relationship with the magazine, if they are interested in having you write for them again, your trust in them, how long you would end up waiting for payment, etc.

    If they value your writing services, they may also be willing to increase the amount of your payment if you explain that it is not economically viable for you to work for rates that are too low, and especially if you are losing money in the process.

    The bottom line is: Negotiation and Open Communication.

    And if they are not able or willing to accommodate your needs, seek out higher paying markets, such as the ones listed in my e-books for writers, including this one listing 131+ freelance markets paying 20 to 30 cents per word.

    Other than that, look into money transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. These have fees, too, but you may find they are less than a regular bank transfer. You may also have luck with Payoneer, which I have used successfully with certain types of clients (please note that the Payoneer link is an affiliate link that allows us both to earn $25 if certain conditions are met).

    Write back, and let us know how it goes, insha’Allah. I’d love to hear how others are getting paid abroad, especially if PayPal is not an option in your part of the world.

    Amel – MWC Admin

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