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How is pricing determined for writing articles?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by DiscussNow, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. #1
    Hello all, I am new to both the forum and this type of work.

    I have always excelled at writing, both in school and in free time and I am very intruiged at this opportunity. I am posting here as I am curious as to How pricing is determined for articles, and if there is not a set rate what is the average price?

    I am extremely sorry if this is not the appropriate sub-forum, but I could not find another article related forum.
    SEMrush
    Thank you!
     
    DiscussNow, Jul 29, 2007 IP
    SEMrush
  2. DiscussNow

    DiscussNow Peon

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    #2
    I just noticed a similar thread, so this thread can be deleted. Sorry for the trouble!
     
    DiscussNow, Jul 29, 2007 IP
  3. anthonyn

    anthonyn Well-Known Member

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    #3
    Normally, an article is charged on the basis of number of words. For example: You can be paid $4 for a 400 word article content. But there are also some shameless people who want to buy your 400 word article content for $1. They need cheap labour.
     
    anthonyn, Aug 3, 2007 IP
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  4. WriteResults

    WriteResults Peon

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    #4
    Hi to all,
    My pricing for SEO articles is based on how many I can write in an hour, (up to a certain number of words), and from that I work out an acceptable hourly rate and divide by the number of articles to find the $/article.

    But by the 100 word is a much easier way!
     
    WriteResults, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  5. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #5
    It's a good strategy in general, but I want to point something out to those considering trying it:

    Don't forget that to set your pricing model this way, you also have to ensure that you

    A) Base it on "billable hours" and not total hours worked (if you're doing the appropriate admin and marketing work, that should be a bit more than half), and

    B) Remember that a pricing model like this means you're assuming that all of your billable hours will be filled with client work (at the regular rate).

    It's a good model in a general sense. Just make sure you're prepared for the marketing side. I'd also suggest adding a small "buffer" to allow for sale periods, comped pieces or rewrites if they're needed occasionally, etc.
     
    jhmattern, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  6. WriteResults

    WriteResults Peon

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    #6
    Good points.

    I generally use this method for basic stuff like SEO articles for other people. Ive done so many of those I know exactly how many I can do in an hour (and in my sleep!)

    But on the whole, it can get complicated. I tend to use a TimeTracker software, so I click on it everytime Im working on a project.

    Ive just moved out of my attic and into an office - so now I feel more like I have a 'proper job' - so marketing/pricing and all the other grown up stuff that goes with running a writing business is something that Im having to look at more fully.

    As a point of interest, what would an 'average' fee be for a basic SEO article, around 400 words?

    Christine
     
    WriteResults, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  7. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #7
    I price my work in M&Ms.

    :)
     
    marketjunction, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  8. WriteResults

    WriteResults Peon

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    #8
    Sounds like a plan....Im so fed up with the $/£ exchange rate :)
     
    WriteResults, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  9. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #9
    That would depend on who's writing it... a generic content writer, an SEO professional, a professional copywriter, a hobby writer, a niche specialist, where the writer lives, etc.

    You'd probably be able to find some poor shlub on a site like GetaFreelancer who would be happy to do it for $1.00 (I've seen people bid even significantly less per piece in places like that). You could also pay several hundred dollars depending on the writer. It depends on what kind of quality and credibility the client is willing to pay for.
     
    jhmattern, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  10. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #10
    For a SEO article, which means an article designed to get SE traffic and move it elsewhere, I'd pay up to 2 cents per word on average. I may do 3-4 cents per word if I'm feeling pretty.

    Paying anything more tends to be overkill. All you're doing is trying to pull traffic of Google, MSN and Yahoo and get it through AdSense, Amazon and other Aff progs.

    For a 400-word SEO article, I'd pay $8-$10 typically. But usually I only buy 300-word SEO articles.

    And obviously, if I want to build my visitor base and have a nice site, I don't buy/create SEO articles. :)
     
    marketjunction, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  11. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #11
    I think that might be a bit limited to say an SEO article is only for the search engines. In many cases the clients expect it not only be able to draw search engine traffic, but also be written for readers. There's not such a clear cut line between SEO articles and other articles... people more and more naturally expect quality articles for the Web to already be ready to attract search engine traffic.

    If we're talking only about crap articles not worthy of being read, only for the purpose of cramming keywords for SEO purposes, I'd probably agree with you.
     
    jhmattern, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  12. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #12
    It's not limiting at all. That's what SEO articles mean. You're welcome to change the meaning if you like.

    Keep in mind. There's a difference between making a page/article/etc more SE friendly and writing an SEO article/page/etc. One is designed for readers and to get a little more "juice" with the engines. The latter is designed to pull traffic from the SEs and move people.

    SEO article and SE-friendly are not the same thing.

    But, what do I know.
     
    marketjunction, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  13. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #13
    It's not a matter of changing the meaning. That's just a bit antiquated in my opinion... looking at it narrowly. The term is used rather often in both types of articles you're talking about, everywhere from webmaster job postings to major content networks training their writers. It's pretty much interchangeable these days where people often expect both. It's not just about being "SE-friendly" with networks and such targeting readers. It's about top rankings and not just a "little more juice", which at least imo means it's an SEO piece. I'd argue articles to "move" people along are copy as opposed to content anyway, which is what the poster was asking about. :p

    And I think I'm just in an argumentative mood, because I'm wired about going away for a few days. Sorry. lol I need a nap. :D
     
    jhmattern, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  14. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #14
    So would calling a car a truck be not "looking at it narrowly?"

    And since we're in the mood to argue, how about this: an article is content, just like an apple is a piece of fruit. Content is a broad term that encapsulates many things--obviously. Saying "articles are for this" and "content is for that" doesn't make sense.

    I think you have misunderstood the word "move" for the word "motivate." I wasn't talking about motivating people, which is why I said move.

    Let me be clearer (I hope).

    Move means that you want to get people from Google, et al to your page. At that point you want to "move" them through an exit channel. That exit channel could be Ad Sense, Amazon, link trade, or whatever.

    In other words, you're not building anything. You're in essence a traffic broker.

    Take a look at the site selling forum here. The place is overloaded with "traffic broker" type sites.
     
    marketjunction, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  15. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #15
    I really don't think the car analogy is the same thing. I'm talking about something extremely common. I doubt you could say a lot of people call a car a truck. Perhaps a more limited definition was perfectly adequate for a while. But it's a changing landscape, with changing expectations in content, and changing definitions on a broad scale certainly are sensible.

    That's precisely what I thought you meant by "move." It's really not different than "motivation" in SEO-only articles though. Their purpose is to draw traffic and then move it through ads or some other monetization outlet. Just because it doesn't motivate in a more traditional form doesn't mean it doesn't motivate. It just motivates by demonstrating that it has no real value to the reader, essentially encouraging them to leave through the nearest route (the ads if they're placed well).

    I'd say "content" has to be educational, informative, or entertaining in some way... some value of its own (whether that's an article, image, video, audio files, etc. doesn't matter). And I'm not alone on that. Look up the definition if it strikes your fancy, and in multiple sources you'll see a recurring theme of "substance," which I'd easily argue most SEO-only articles lack. In the case of SEO articles as you're using the term, I wouldn't consider that content at all. It has no value to the person viewing it, reading it, listening to it, etc. It's primary objective is to motivate them to take a certain action. That doesn't have to be blatant.
     
    jhmattern, Aug 4, 2007 IP
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  16. RoyalSeo

    RoyalSeo Peon

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    #16

    You two really in a mode of debate.

    jhmattern, you need a nap!:D
     
    RoyalSeo, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  17. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #17
    LOL.

    So is this SEO-article clipping content or not?

    "Weddings are fun. Wedding can be fun. Sometimes people have fun at Weddings"

    And who gets to define the meaning of "substance?" Hmmm?

    How about we start with this definition:

    "that which has mass and occupies space"

    or this one

    "the stuff of which an object consists"

    So, if I write "asdkfjaslkdfsdjflkjsjdfjkfsdj" and put it on a Web site, it's content. You can try to disclaim it all you want, but it's content.

    Proceed.
     
    marketjunction, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  18. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #18
    Come on now.... I know you're smart enough to pull a definition from context. ;) But on that note, and as fun as it's been, I need some shut eye before taking off for a few days. So someone else will have to join in as long as you're feeling feisty about Web content in the meantime. ;)
     
    jhmattern, Aug 4, 2007 IP
  19. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #19
    Yeah, honestly, I don't care.

    And the TRUE answer to the OP is that the marketplace decides the price (in a free market anyway). You start by asking for a price. If the market won't bear it, you revise your offer. Simple stuff.

    To figure out an average price, you must first identify what specific market you are competing in--skill level, writing type, project type, etc.
     
    marketjunction, Aug 5, 2007 IP
  20. WriteResults

    WriteResults Peon

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    #20
    Yeah but....do I ask for peanut or chocolate M&M's :rolleyes:

    Ive enjoyed reading the debate. My personal opinion is that the market is being swamped by people who are willing to work for peanuts (back to M&Ms!), and this drives the price down for the rest of us. Ive also found that by keeping a consistanlty high standard of writing (whether it be content or copy - Im going to have to get the fowlers english guide out for that one), I can at least, expect a moderate return for my hours.

    Thanks guys - really enjoyed the debate :)

    Christine
     
    WriteResults, Aug 5, 2007 IP