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Current Market Rates For Writers

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by Senobia, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Jimmy Russel

    Jimmy Russel Greenhorn

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    #41
    Oh dear god...

    Ok, I feel the need to chime in here because the amount of people who are cheapskates is overwhelming. There is no "market rate" in the world of Freelancing essentially. I refuse to work with and avoid .01c per word writers at all costs.

    They're some of the pickiest clients on the planet, they're never happy with work and most of the time will want revisions, they're trying to grow an empire of quality content out of nothing and they usually have the most strict requirements. I only charge .03c per word and even that's low for professional quality.

    The majority of you would drop your jaw if you knew what true professionals charged. $50-250/article is more along those lines.

    So what's the big friggin difference?
    SEMrush
    When you pay $1-$5 per article, here's what you get: A sloppy and rushed article just to fill a page. The majority of people here are under the false presumption that Google doesn't care if content is cheap or rushed. There are certain pre-filters set in place to determine just how important a page is based on the quality. The "bounce" rate comes to mind on that one. Basically, you get someone who just rushes out content just to get it done.

    For a true NATIVE English writer to live off of $5/article, they would have to write at least 20 articles every single day. The average person (I've found takes 30 minutes to one hour) to write a 500 word article. That means they're earning anywhere from $5/$10 per hour. Think about what they're earning as an hourly rate before hiring them and you can get a good idea of how much they're going to care.

    What you get for a $50 article:

    You'll get a well researched, several sources cited article that is top notch quality with a grammar check, a Copyscape premium check and the works.

    I know most of you still think you'll some day hit it big by hiring cheap writers to do content for you, but trust me when I say it's far more profitable to get one $20 article than to hire someone to do 5 articles for $20. If you disagree with me, well, the best of luck to you and your business.
     
    Jimmy Russel, Jan 9, 2013 IP
    SEMrush
  2. 5/1 Generator

    5/1 Generator Member

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    #42
    I'm a purchaser of content myself. I've been dealing with various freelance writers of various stripes recently, and what I look for is someone who knows how to write to the price.

    I love being able to tell a freelancer to write a $100 article and put in the appropriate amount of effort involved such that the finished product reflects $100 worth of effort, as opposed to $20 to $30 worth of effort. I find myself turning away writers who try to get the job by offering to do more for less. I want someone who truly understands the difference between quality and quantity.

    My ideal--being able to get what I pay for. I assign work to writers who understand that, and I do my best to keep them wanting to do more for me.

    (Caveat--the few times I've purchased writing on DP, it's been for circumstances where I don't give a rat's ass about quality! I don't go to McDonald's expecting haute cuisine.)
     
    5/1 Generator, Jan 9, 2013 IP
    thefizboshow likes this.
  3. averyz

    averyz Well-Known Member

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    #43
    Most biography writers spend years most times dozens of years researching subjects. Competent Civil War writers spend decades visiting battle fields(in the seasons and dates of battles), museums, old corners of libraries, visiting relatives, etc. Thousands and Thousands of hours of research..
    These are the people that get paid $50-$200 to write an article. Big difference between someone who spends a few hours on google spinning wiki articles.

    I think the only points you proved is you cannot write about elk hunting, many subjects take much more then a few hours of research to write a competent article and an article of this grade falls into the $1-$5 range or refuse to accept and ask for refund.
    Who is going to read a elk hunting article? Usually a seasoned outdoors man and they will read right thought your fake descriptions and low grade filler.
    This is probably why “Outdoor Writers” are seasoned outdoors men not internet “researchers”. Experts do research and add it on to years and decades or experience and knowledge.

    Most reputable hollow point ammo articles are based on someone buying a half a dozen brands of bullets and shooting them into material then collecting them, taking pics, and discussing how they expand and penetrate. Along with some testimonials and experiences from moose hunters. This is the difference between a reputable article and low grade manual spun filler.
     
    averyz, Jan 9, 2013 IP
  4. PassGoSEO

    PassGoSEO Member

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    #44
    No doubt you're right Averyz. Although I can't help thinking you're now just arguing for the sake of arguing. After all, I had no idea that all writing could only be read by the specific audience it was targeted at. Well now I know. I'll stop reading anything except for stuff conforming to my own narrow interests immediately.

    Oh, sh*t. I just read your post about hollow point ammo. F*ck. Will the 'Web Police' be coming for me now???

    Oh b*gger! I just glimpsed a page about men's moisturisers. Arrrg.

    :D
     
    PassGoSEO, Jan 9, 2013 IP
  5. TextServices

    TextServices Active Member

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    #45
    Yes... the forum is filled with buyers offering really low rates for whatever reason(s). Some of these people expect a lot while offering little to get it. Some of you spend time trying to educate these people and somehow change their mind so they somehow become the client who will understand the value in good copy and shell out the money for it. Why bother? These people will always be here or all over the net for that matter. If you don't like what is being offered and think these people are cheap fools, skip them and move on. Who cares if their site(s) get nailed by Google? It's thinning of the herd. Just makes more room for those of us who know how to write well and can produce high quality content, which in turn, produces a high quality site. I don't know about any of you guys, but I don't just write for clients. I have my own sites that I write for that have grown to become an additional source of income. If you don't have your own sites, you should IMHO.

    Why spend time jumping into posts made by clients that you don't want anyway? What's the point? From the outside looking in, some of you are not doing yourselves any favors by posting telling these people they are basically cheap fools who are going to get horrible content and they are ultimately wasting their money. So what? It's not your money they are spending. You are not making any money from their sites, so who cares? If Google decides to bitch slap them - oh well. Makes room for the rest of us to move up in the rankings.

    I've spent many years as a freelance writer building a business up. Sometimes the money is good. Sometimes it isn't. But, I built multiple sources of income over the years, so when one area slumps a bit, another fills in the gaps. I understand completely the frustrations that come into play when you see a forum or any number of writing resources become flooded with people offering really low rates, many with high expectations. It's just part of the market and those people are here to stay. Ignore them and focus on another revenue stream. There are quality clients out there who will pay what a writer is worth without batting an eye. Sometimes, you just have to have a little patience.
     
    TextServices, Jan 9, 2013 IP
  6. ragamsky

    ragamsky Active Member

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    #46
    +1

    I like to read read your comment..
     
    ragamsky, Jan 9, 2013 IP
  7. PassGoSEO

    PassGoSEO Member

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    #47
    +1

    Jumping into BST threads can also get you banned - the Mods don't like it, and fair enough. As TextServices says, if idiots want to pay $1, let them. They aren't going to magically find another $49 for an article if you managed to 'wish' all the cheapo writers into non-existence...
     
    PassGoSEO, Jan 10, 2013 IP
  8. Jimmy Russel

    Jimmy Russel Greenhorn

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    #48


    VERY MUCH so this... these people need to be grouped up with other like minded individuals. I would rather keep them out of my business and away from me, rather than trying to convince them that they're never going to make any money with cheap content. Think like a successful businessman. Successful people like hanging out with other successful people and not because of the reason you think they do.

    They like hanging out with those people because they're like minded, not because they're rich.

    You can spend a million years trying to get the cheap client to pay you upfront, raise your pay and stop buying cheap quality content, but they never will. They will always be here looking for a rock star writer for essentially pennies. Let them stay here and let them continue to try to raise a successful business out of that. It lets the people who know what they're worth know who to avoid and who to target.
     
    Jimmy Russel, Jan 10, 2013 IP
  9. PassGoSEO

    PassGoSEO Member

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    #49
    Agree, Jimmy, although I would say that perhaps the reason people get so riled about it is that they think all these '$1 = 10,000 words' writers (I use the word writer in the broadest possible sense, of course :D ) are basically helping to foster unrealistic expectations in the minds of new entrants. So, new potential purchasers of content see all these ads for 0.000001 cent per word material, and assume that's the going rate.

    It may be true - this kind of activity may cause expectation gaps - who knows.
     
    PassGoSEO, Jan 10, 2013 IP
  10. averyz

    averyz Well-Known Member

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    #50
    Well, I hate to see you limit yourself, but if you are just writing for search engines who cares.? You still get a 1/100 chance they will click that ad.:cool:
     
    averyz, Jan 10, 2013 IP
  11. PassGoSEO

    PassGoSEO Member

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    #51
    OK Aves, let's try and look at this rationally. The audience for an article consists of

    1. People who have a strong interest in that field
    2. People who have a medium interest in that field
    3. People who have a mild interest in that field
    4. People who have a temporary interest in that field
    5. People who have no interest in that field, but are reading it for one or more of a number of reasons. For example, the topic may have gone viral, and there's a buzz, so they're having a look-see. Perhaps their boss told them to read up on moose hunting. Maybe the kids came home from school asking about hollow point ammo.
    6. Search engines.

    You appear to be saying that only people who fall into groups 1 -3 are somehow 'allowed' to write articles on a topic. I'm sure I'm misunderstanding your 'argument', because surely you can't believe that???
     
    PassGoSEO, Jan 11, 2013 IP
  12. averyz

    averyz Well-Known Member

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    #52
    Anyone can read an article but who will? I guess it depends on the website and your target audience. Are you working on a MFA site, a site that will be sold for $40 in the BTS section or an established website with a reputation and loyal readers with bookmarks?

    All I am saying is.. --Only a decent reputable website is going to pay a decent wage for articles and they will probably expect a decent reputable article.--

    Does a reputable website want to hire a writer to write about a subject they have no clue about? Probably not. That would be your $1-$5 filler article.

    If a writer for a reputable website gets caught faking facts and putting false info in articles it diminishes the reputation of the site. Usually a reputation that took years to build and makes the company valuable.
    A fake elk hunter is going to get busted by your “1-3” readers most of which probably make up the bulk of subscribers and loyal readers. This is not valuable and this is a big reason why "general writers" on DP make poor wages and they work on MFA sites.
     
    averyz, Jan 11, 2013 IP
  13. PassGoSEO

    PassGoSEO Member

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    #53

    Ah! Get you! Couldn't agree more.

    As for your first question, who will read it, it depends on a lot of factors. Obviously diehard fans will pass good stuff around, but the bulk of most site's traffic comes from organic listings in the engines, even nowadays. And that means the article must rank. It's been tough for a while for expensive material to outshine the cheap crap but those days are coming to an end. It's getting almost impossible now for crap to pass Google anymore, and that is something we all must applaud, very loudly (although not so loudly that we startle the moose, of course).
     
    PassGoSEO, Jan 11, 2013 IP
  14. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #54
    I'm not so sure quality is outranking quantity just yet. It seems to be newer mediocre content may be gaining ground on older quality content. At least that seems to be the case with a number of my content sites. It's definitely a step in the right direction. At least we've moved up to mediocre being the standard. lol
     
    YMC, Jan 11, 2013 IP
  15. MarTh-

    MarTh- Well-Known Member

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    #55
    There are really 2 separate markets with writing and copywriting. First is the online global market, competitive prices influence this a lot. And yes a common rate for this is $0.01-0.02/word for general writing and maybe $0.03-$0.10/word for copywriting - technical copywriting. For some sites like constant-content.com and other premium quality sites rates will be even higher than that.

    The second market would be domestic, local and new content. This is your local newspaper writer or reporter, magazine writers and copywriters in the city. Some of these writers will research for 10 hours+ to create a single article for their respective magazine or newspaper. It's not uncommon for them to be paid $0.50-$2.00+/word but it may take way longer to create this.
     
    MarTh-, Jan 11, 2013 IP
  16. averyz

    averyz Well-Known Member

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    #56
    Not sure where you get these newspaper rates. The newspapers where I live are gong bankrupt and they get collage students to write for free or pay min wage, the articles are full of mistakes and unchecked facts. It is the same all a crossed the U.S. newspapers are an outdated dieing business model.

    edit- or they copy paste AP news blurbs
     
    averyz, Jan 12, 2013 IP
  17. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #57
    I suspect he wasn't talking about news writers but about copywriters. The big time players don't get paid by the word, they get paid a flat rate plus a percentage of the sales they generate. Some of the big names won't even pick up their pencils for less than $10,000.
     
    YMC, Jan 12, 2013 IP
  18. averyz

    averyz Well-Known Member

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    #58
    The news papers in large cities NY, LA, Seattle are know for keeping top writers I am sure they get paid decent but these big papers are also going bankrupt so might not be a well paying job for long.

    "Some of the big names won't even pick up their pencils for less than $10,000." Yeah, like Bernie Madoff.

    Some people get paid 10k to dive a race car for 2hours and some get 20k for scratching a lotto ticket but that is pretty far from reality for 99.99999 percent of the population.
     
    averyz, Jan 12, 2013 IP
  19. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #59
    Bernie Madoff was a copywriter too? :p

    OK, I admit I misread the other post. But, I have no doubt that there are some in the newspaper world who are making more than all of us combined. Newspapers are dying because they have forgotten that old mantra "just the facts" and instead now want to push their political agenda in everything they do. Besides the spin, many of them aren't even getting the facts right. Sure the web is hurting most of them but there are other papers who have been smart about the web and are doing quite well both online and off.

    As to the pencil comment, I was referring to Bob Bly, Alan Forrest Smith and others like them. Then there's the Madison Avenue firms that make the flyers that litter the Sunday newspapers. Did you know that the folks who come up with all those new drug names are often paid $40,000 or more for each name? (the 40K number was from a book I found about naming companies and is at least 10 years old, they probably make even more than that now) Top 1% in the industry? sure. Do you think when he was earning his chemical engineering degree, Bob Bly thought he would become one of the most-well known copywriters in the world?

    I guess the point of this thread and others like it is that writers, even those from less-expensive places to live, should get paid what their product is worth. And, what an online writer is worth is not based on geography but on their ability to craft pieces that successfully play the search engine game and generate sales.
     
    YMC, Jan 12, 2013 IP
  20. PassGoSEO

    PassGoSEO Member

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    #60
    You make some very good points there YMC. The death of newspapers is pretty much assured now. It's simply a fact that a better delivery mechanism has arrived, and they can't seem to monetize it (The UK FT tries to 'paywall' the online stuff but apparently it isn't working. The 'Guardian' is having to sell off the 'family silver' to keep trading...).

    The reason they can't monetize it is probably because they didn't jump fast enough - people have now got used to the equation 'Web = Free' and de-trenching that mindset will likely be rather difficult...
     
    PassGoSEO, Jan 12, 2013 IP