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How much should content really cost?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by Matthew Sayle, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. #1
    I have hired a local girl fresh out of college to write some content for my websites.

    She does a really good job and puts a lot of research into each article.

    She spends about an hour doing research and she can crank out a 1,000 word article in an hour.
    SEMrush
    I told her I would start her off at $2.00/100 words, which is pretty standard.

    The topics are all pretty routine, for example "How to care for tulips".

    This being said, an amazing - high quality and well research 1,000 word article costs me $20.00.

    Sounds pretty fair, right?

    However, when I hand her the money - I feel a bit guilty only paying her essentially $10.00 per hour.

    Here are my questions...


    Is her research/writing time pretty average?

    Is $10.00/hour standard for content writing?

    Would you pay more than $20.00 for a high quality, 1,000 word article?

    As a writer, what do you expect per hour?
     
    Matthew Sayle, Oct 4, 2015 IP
    SEMrush
  2. WLEadmin

    WLEadmin Active Member

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    #2
    First off, it's an impossible question because the writing industry is vast, unregulated and ranges from cheap-ass crappy spun content to incredibly awesome authority posts.

    With that in mind, my responses (which are purely my opinion):

    Is her research/writing time pretty average? It depends on the content. 1,000 words in an hour is very fast, so is perhaps not very high quality - no offense to her, as she may know her subject inside-out and be very creative, which would allow her to produce great content quickly. However, most writers I know produce about half that amount for basic content. At the other end, really good articles can take 6-8 hours to research and write.

    Is $10.00/hour standard for content writing? It depends on the subjects, style, quality, etc. For some people, that's a lot of money; for others that's chicken feed. There are copywriters (i.e. marketing specialists) on here, for instance, who earn $120+ per hour, and there are great writers in cheap countries who make $3 per hour and are very happy with it. (Whether they should be is another discussion entirely!)

    Would you pay more than $20.00 for a high quality, 1,000 word article? Yes.

    As a writer, what do you expect per hour? It depends on the client. I don't write much these days (too busy with WLE), but my two main clients pay ~$25 an hour and ~$60 an hour. The two jobs are very different and the latter pays that much because of the years of experience that go into every piece (and because he knows he won't have to ask for rewrites). I also sell my own work through my own sites at the WLE standard of ~$15 per 500 - but that's hobby writing rather than for clients (and no, I don't get any special treatment :) ).
     
    WLEadmin, Oct 4, 2015 IP
  3. Matthew Sayle

    Matthew Sayle Prominent Member

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    #3
    She is actually very organized, while she is doing her research - she creates bullet points directly into Wordpress.

    Once she has about 200 words worth of bullet points, she adds headers, organizes the content and adds filler text to complete full sentences and paragraphs.

    This is her very first article for me - I am curious what Google thinks.

    I will report back with how quick I hit page one.
     
    Matthew Sayle, Oct 4, 2015 IP
  4. WLEadmin

    WLEadmin Active Member

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    #4
    You may find she overdelivered (and undercharged) to make an impression - which she obviously has - or that she underestimated production time. Or not. :)
     
    WLEadmin, Oct 4, 2015 IP
  5. Matthew Sayle

    Matthew Sayle Prominent Member

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    #5
    You could be right, but I went to her because she said she needed to make some extra cash. She doesn't even know really what content writing is, and would have no idea what to charge. So I offered her $2.00 per 100 words.
     
    Matthew Sayle, Oct 4, 2015 IP
  6. kjh-08

    kjh-08 Active Member

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    #6
    $2 per 100 words is the new low tier. "Usually" anything cheaper than this is a waste of time/money. I see prices as high as $8 per 100 words.
    If she's posting directly to your site and great content then yeah $2 per 100 is very cheap. Let her write a few articles before giving her more if that's what you're thinking of doing. Quality could actually drop after she knows you're going to give her consistent work.
    The most I've personally paid is $3.97 per 100 words and it was copy/paste straight to site without any corrections.
     
    kjh-08, Oct 4, 2015 IP
  7. UnrantAdmin

    UnrantAdmin Greenhorn

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    #7
    content is king.

    $20 for 1,000 words is low end....

    Hire yourself a real professional writer. it will help in the long run
     
    UnrantAdmin, Oct 5, 2015 IP
  8. Matthew Sayle

    Matthew Sayle Prominent Member

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    #8
    I thought you were a noob at growing websites?

    How would you know? :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
    Matthew Sayle, Oct 5, 2015 IP
  9. UnrantAdmin

    UnrantAdmin Greenhorn

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    #9
    I'm a newbie at creating and designing websites, but im familiar with ordering content for said sites.

    Just trying to help brotha...
     
    UnrantAdmin, Oct 5, 2015 IP
  10. Matthew Sayle

    Matthew Sayle Prominent Member

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    #10
    In my experience, building the site is the easiest part.

    Adding content that ranks is hard.

    Help? You told me to hire a professional writer.

    Can you please elaborate - what makes a writer professional?

    Do they wear a suit and tie?

    Maybe drive a fancy car?

    If you really want to help me, put some thought into your canned responses and stop fishing for likes.
     
    Matthew Sayle, Oct 5, 2015 IP
  11. kjh-08

    kjh-08 Active Member

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    #11
    Price alone doesn't dictate if a writer is good or not. I've seen great writers for $1.50 per 100 words and I've seen bad writers for $3 per 100 words. Ideally you want to see some samples or be referred to one by a trusted source/friend. Don't make a large order first time around, try just one article as a sample to see their quality.
     
    kjh-08, Oct 6, 2015 IP
    Matthew Sayle likes this.
  12. Matthew Sayle

    Matthew Sayle Prominent Member

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    #12
    This is pretty much what I have come to find out. Thanks for sharing :)
     
    Matthew Sayle, Oct 7, 2015 IP
  13. Otto Baynes

    Otto Baynes Greenhorn

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    #13
    $2.00 / 100w is only "standard" for content mills, or the lowest end of the native English-speaking market. No offense but you basically lucked into someone who doesn't know they're good enough to charge more. If she's really that good, once she learns more about the market she's gone.

    All that said, if she's aware she can do better and still agrees just because it's an easy $10/hr and she just needs a little extra to get over the hump or whatever, then all's well and good. Just promise me you won't turn into one of those dudes who goes out feeling entitled to more quality writers for this price then get buttchafed at what we actually charge and get all huffy at us about it :). The market doesn't set itself to one naive recent grad. Most of the freelancers I know aren't greedy but we do need to make enough to make this worth our time vs. getting some braindead 9-5 job that pays better and has benefits.

    A more standard price for a very good general writer who can deliver same-day content when you need it is more like $20-25/hr-ish, if they're based in U.S., Canada or the U.K. And that's for relatively simple jobs that don't require intensive research or polish. If you want content at the level of a print magazine or newspaper feature you're getting into the 50c-$1 per word territory.
     
    Otto Baynes, Oct 7, 2015 IP
  14. ChazB

    ChazB Member

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    #14
    It sounds like you already think you're undervaluing her. When I first starting writing for a living, I charged £12 per 500 word article, which is about $18, and my client was more than happy with that arrangement. When the work became more complex (more research required) and up to 800 words, I charged £15 per article. I arrived at this figure by asking other freelancers what they were charging, measured by how much experience they had, and arrived at a figure.

    This girl may not have known the industry standard when she started but as time goes by, she may decide to take this up long term. The question is, do you want to lose her when she looks for a better offer, or should you ensure you retain her now by upping her payment? It's really up to you at this point.
     
    ChazB, Oct 9, 2015 IP
  15. Matthew Sayle

    Matthew Sayle Prominent Member

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    #15
    Being that I posted her article yesterday and within 8 hours I was on the first page of Google - I would say her rate will surely be increasing!
     
    Matthew Sayle, Oct 9, 2015 IP
  16. Otto Baynes

    Otto Baynes Greenhorn

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    #16
    Good call. Get out in front of it and lock up talent early :)

    Basic rule of thumb is that what you're offering has to work out to at least a living wage for the writer based on where they live, if you're dealing with a full-time professional. Good writers can usually find work for at least that much without a lot of trouble.
     
    Otto Baynes, Oct 10, 2015 IP
  17. mmerlinn

    mmerlinn Well-Known Member

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    #17
    One of the definitions of being a professional is that a professional gets PAID for his work, while the amateur does NOT get paid. Quality is NOT part of the mix. In other words, the professional could be the WORST in the world while the amateur could be the BEST in the world.
     
    mmerlinn, Oct 10, 2015 IP
  18. dscurlock

    dscurlock Notable Member

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    #18
    I have seen that before. I have also seen pages leave first page just as quickly.
    and since we do not know your keywords, you could very well be on first page
    for smack that jar, easy to rank, but overall no traffic...

    but google is google, you maybe on page 1 today, but when google dance
    steps in, then you maybe buried 50-millon pages deep into nowhere...

    No matter how good your content is; If it is not secured with good backlinks,
    then there is no guarantee you will still be on first page 3 months from now...

    someone mentioned that content is king; however that statement alone does not
    mean much if your content does not have good backlinks, otherwise, at some
    point your content will just continue to fall as other content pushes yours down.

    It is great that you found a good writer, but that alone will not guarantee you
    a high rank on google forever, however, not a bad start....
     
    dscurlock, Oct 10, 2015 IP
  19. Matthew Sayle

    Matthew Sayle Prominent Member

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    #19
    Why would I waste my time on keywords like that?

    Seems a little pointless, eh?

    That's actually not true. I have ranked several keywords in 1 - 3 spot for months without a single backlink.

    The few backlinks I may have had were from forums only - which aren't always the highest quality, but will jump you up a couple spots.

    Oh yeah, the aforementioned websites were only a few weeks old as well.
     
    Matthew Sayle, Oct 11, 2015 IP
  20. Gavin77

    Gavin77 Greenhorn

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    #20
    Link us to the article, we could probably tell you the quality of it, as well as drive more traffic to your site
     
    Gavin77, Feb 1, 2016 IP