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Lack of English Writers on DP?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by TREYC, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. ETA

    ETA Notable Member

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    #21
    ETA, Jun 22, 2014 IP
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    SEMrush
  2. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #22
    To be honest, I don't really understand why quality writers want to write articles at all. Even in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, etc, 500 word article writing is rarely paid at a decent wage. Yes, there are exceptions, but you're much better off writing different types of copy.

    In fact, I'd go so far as to say that you're better off writing articles for yourself for free, and using your own articles to drive traffic and promote your own services, products and ideas.

    However, I have noticed that lately, this forums seems to be very light, at least in the copywriting section. This is the first new topic in quite a while. Maybe CoriGear was right?

    Perhaps those of us native English speaking writers should band together and create our own forums wherein people looking for us can come and interact.

    One of the problems with indian writers, for example, is that there is such a disparity between their economy and those of native English countries. For them, $3 is decent pay. Indians often have a very strong work ethic and will put in many hours at what they're doing.

    The real difficulty, and I've been asked to do this, is when they want to outsource to us. They want to pay seasoned native English speaking copywriters $1 per 100 words, and I for one wouldn't do that.

    Perhaps this forum no longer has value, at least in sfiding work. I've not found any here, although I haven't tried very hard. I find the value for me comes in interacting with other writers.
     
    SCookAAM, Jun 23, 2014 IP
  3. Joseph_F

    Joseph_F Active Member

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    #23
    Blame the buyers as much as the providers.

    Some native English people (and I don't mean to sound elitist here) aren't educated to the point where they can tell the difference between perfect and imperfect grammar. Sometimes they don't know what good sentence construction is, nor do they I suspect, even care that much. Hell, some people don't even know the difference between a verb and a noun! Therefore it stands to reason that they will get caught out by sellers of substandard material.

    What I've noticed on these forums in my short time here is that content buyers are starting to expect content at prices that people simply cannot make a living from, and eventually the bubble WILL burst. Google is getting smarter and knows the difference between well written and poorly written content. Eventually, even the native English speakers with lower levels of language skills will start to cotton on and the non-native speakers will start to find it harder. It makes me wonder though. Do they have the same problem in non-English countries, with non-natives writing poorly constructed Sumatran, or horribly translated Catalan in those countries respectively?

    My living is partially dependent for the time-being on writing articles, and it does admittedly grate on my nerves a bit when I see ANYBODY, not just non-natives charging rock bottom prices and receiving rave reviews for what is basically, well, sub-standard work. Although I guess if buyers know they are purchasing crap (contradicting my earlier point about under-educated buyers), then reviewing it as "the most awesome crap I've ever bought" shouldn't really be surprising to the rest of the forums.
     
    Joseph_F, Jun 23, 2014 IP
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  4. Joseph_F

    Joseph_F Active Member

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    #24
    I love the idea of a forum for writers of high quality English articles and would definitely be interested in collaborating on such a project. Let me know.
     
    Joseph_F, Jun 23, 2014 IP
  5. Black Bird

    Black Bird Banned

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    #25
    What is funny? By mistake I was sending you apple fruit sample, I was apologizing for this from you, now why you are making fun of me :eek:
     
    Black Bird, Jun 23, 2014 IP
  6. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #26
    I would encourage you to welcome writers from everywhere irrespective of their nationality and mother tongue. I agree that native English speakers or people raised in English-speaking countries have an edge on others, but it would not be appropriate to nail down that only they can write good English or that non-natives can't. Not saying you do so, but I see this to be a rife notion here and it's pretty evident from the number of gigs in Content Creation saying 'looking ONLY for native English writers'.

    The criteria for selection IMHO should be how well a person can write on any given subject, his/her ability to construct grammatically correct sentences, fluency with and command of the language in question. Rigorous tests should be carried out that will thoroughly assess a prospect's linguistic capabilities and writing skills. This way, it'll be ensured that only quality and serious writers are a part of the job board. I believe sites like Cloudcrowd, iWriter etc. follow this pattern. As far as DP's concerned, I earnestly wish we have something like it soon. (The quality scorer in article marketplace is an appreciable step in this direction. It's surely gonna help weed the crap out.)

    BTW, no offense meant. I really like your idea of creating a forum of native English speaking writers. But as I see it, if the enterprise is limited only to natives, you will lose out on a lot of worthy writers while they too will be deprived of a good opportunity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
    Content Maestro, Jun 23, 2014 IP
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  7. Joseph_F

    Joseph_F Active Member

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    #27
    I would agree with most of what you said, for example stringent language testing etc. However, the benefits of having only native English content providers are evident. This is not a racism issue, nor is it xenophobic (that's aimed at anyone reading this post). One benefit is that an under-educated community are much more easily sold on the idea of having only "Jeremy Smythe" and "Humphrey Pickwick" of Cambridge write their articles, than for example Rajesh Ramamurthi who graduated in English literature summa cum laude at the University of Ceylon. Its a matter of perception. People believe that English people speak and therefore write the best English, like other people believe that Indian people speak the best Indian. Having only English people write English articles is a good USP and should not be seen as anything other than that.

    Another benefit is for example understanding how an idiom or a phrasal verb fits into a context. I have taught English as a second language, and people from other countries get phrasal verbs wrong all the time, which is perfectly natural. But imagine someone writing "get it up" instead of "pick it up". However innocent the mistake, it WILL look unprofessional. Context is a skill mastered only by immersing yourself in the target culture's language in every way possible and with no offence meant at all here, people from Spain, Turkey, India, even AMERICA don't understand all our idioms and of course vice-versa. I would not expect to write in Hebrew, just because I can speak it. It's a terribly arrogant and often (business wise) fatal thing to do.

    One famous example of this was one Herr Oettinger of Bavaria(I think he's a politician of some sort, without resorting to Google). He went on national TV to talk about some issue or other and was taking questions from the press. In response to a question he didn't understand he said "I understand just train station". To the linguist's ear this is a blatant translation of the German colloquialism "Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof", which, when translated correctly means "I didn't understand any of that". Obviously though, most of the gathered media were NOT linguists and just stared at him rather blankly, as if to say "What on earth did you just say?"

    Its just one example, but this kind of direct translation happens all the time and really can affect the quality of an article in a very negative manner.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
    Joseph_F, Jun 23, 2014 IP
  8. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #28
    You mak
    e a good point, Maestro, and I did not mean that to sound snobbish.

    However, Joseph's point is also right on. The reality is that unless you've been emersed in a culture, you will not know the subtleties of that culture's idiomatic speech. And, the fact is, copywriting is about the psychology of the audience and connecting with them on an emotional level. The best copy is not always the best textbook English (if it's meant for English speakers), it's often using the correct colloquial English to persuade.

    The truth is, that if you're marketing to Americans, Australians, or people from England, for example, you need to understand thow they think and act.

    Just as I wouldn't profess to fully understand the culture and psychology of India, I wouldn't expect them to understand native English culture as well. Some do, of course, and that's awesome.

    But I guess part of my point was that it'd be nice if native English writers could have a place to try and market and earn by working for native-English speaking clients. And not get bombarded by non-eng. speaking people who don't have a grasp of the economics involved and want top quality for #$3 an hour. Not that these folks mean anything offensive, I think for the most part they just don't quite understand.

    But, I don't know, maybe it's a dum idea. There are already so many job sites out there, I've even written an eBook on how to make money on sites like ODesk and eLance and how to attract direct clients. I don't know that we need another one.

    Although who knows? Maybe something where only native English speaking writers and others who speak it as a second language but who are very good can actually apply would be valuable to clients seeking that kind of thing.

    I have no cdubt that many people searching for writers get loaded with bids from those who can't do the job, and that could be annoying.

    Again, no offense intended to anyone. I shudder to think of what I might do trying to work in India or China.:)
     
    SCookAAM, Jun 23, 2014 IP
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  9. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #29
    Why shouldn't American, British, Aussie, Chinese, Russian, French, German or any other native population have a writer's forum dedicated to those who are native speakers from those countries? It has nothing to do with anything other than bringing people with a similar skill set and a common history together to exchange ideas.

    I really don't get all this koom-bah-ya, we are the world, everyone's invited stuff. Professional societies have existed for centuries. They've always had restrictions on membership based on skill set, location and numerous other conditions.

    Sure the web is a global marketplace but that doesn't mean that every online marketplace has to be open to everyone.
     
    YMC, Jun 23, 2014 IP
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  10. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #30
    I never said all writers' forums should be made cosmopolitan or that every platform under the sun should be available globally. I am all for the idea that an exclusive and distinct market should be maintained for native content sellers because there will always be buyers looking specifically for that kind of workforce.

    The reason I suggested @SCookAAM to invite writers from all countries is I reckon that certain spreads that exist between native and non-native speakers (like those pointed out by @Joseph_F above) can be effectively bridged over by practice and industry which I think any serious copywriter and earnest learner of a language would willingly do and not find so difficult.

    No offense meant. Each person will have his/her own views regarding the matter and I respect all of them. Differences are bound to be there.:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
    Content Maestro, Jun 24, 2014 IP
  11. TREYC

    TREYC Active Member

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    #31
    Hahahah, this is great!
     
    TREYC, Jun 24, 2014 IP
  12. ETA

    ETA Notable Member

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    #32
    Haha - that image deserves its own thread!
     
    ETA, Jun 24, 2014 IP
  13. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #33
    Well if that story is believed to be true, the fruit apple is in a humorous way connected with how tech giant Apple got its name. It goes that Steve Jobs wanted to file a name for his upcoming corp. He thought about it for hours but could not find one that appealed. Finally, he looked at the apple (fruit) he was eating and decided that if Steve Wozniak (co-founder) or he himself was not able to come up with something until a certain deadline, he would name his corp as 'Apple'. The moment arrived and passed but Jobs and Wozniak were still not able to figure out anything. So as decided, they named their corp 'Apple'.;)
     
    Content Maestro, Jun 24, 2014 IP
  14. ETA

    ETA Notable Member

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    #34
    Yes but the guy who PM'd clearly did not understand I wanted content related to tech and not fruit!
     
    ETA, Jun 24, 2014 IP
  15. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #35
    Yep, I know that. Just kiddin!;)
     
    Content Maestro, Jun 24, 2014 IP
  16. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #36
    While this is obviously a good thing (for both writers and readers) will there then be a number of small businesses going bust? I guess if they are doing other things right (Social Media etc) then they should be ok. I always worry for the small fish in big ponds!!
     
    Emma Pollard, Jun 26, 2014 IP
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  17. H0stZealot

    H0stZealot Active Member

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    #37
    I got your point, Emma and I fully agree with it. The question discused here, however, seems to be like this: how to protect potential content buyers from buing crap, produced by unskilled writers? Any offer for content gets filled with low-quality samples at once and potential customer drops the idea for good. And upon receiveng your PM - from a really skilled writer - they delete it without reading, along with a ton of other PM's from Indian writers.

    As for the idea of creating a separate forum for Indian writers - that would be great, but impossible. Because the only visitors of said forum would be indian writers, not content buyers. And in a day all the crowd would return here to DP, becasue they need to earn money.

    As far as I see this, the simplest way might be an admin action. Access to content section of the forum should be given after gaining 3 likes AND passing the school-grade exam at least (university-grade exam recommended, but many buyers would not be able to pass it, I fear).

    Such simple act of mercy would cut off Indian writers with low skill (who only waste their and other people's time offering their services). And these guys would have to either hone their skills ( a very beneficial choice) or go away. And amount of low-quality content would be reduced to zero.

    All said above is only my opinion, no offense intended.
     
    H0stZealot, Jun 26, 2014 IP
  18. Conran

    Conran Active Member

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    #38
    What people also need to consider is that if you lower your prices to match poor quality writers in India, you are also aligning yourself with that standard in the eyes of potential clients who would be willing to pay a fair price for a great service.

    It's also important to know that many of these cheaper "writers" don't actually write, they steal. You wouldn't believe how many clients come to us with the same story; they hired a writer because they were more "affordable", they loaded up their site with that supplied cheap content, a month later their organic traffic completely collapsed. They then spent another $100 on having an "SEO guru" investigate. They did a basic check on all that lovely on-page content and found it had been copied from ten other sites, and 5 of those probably bought the same rubbish from the same writer and then saw their site go from page 1 in Google to page 50.

    These companies and individuals usually either dump their site entirely, or pay us to go through their content and rewrite everything from scratch. It's not cheap, but it would have been far cheaper for them if they'd just chosen a reputable writer and paid a reasonable rate in the first place.
     
    Conran, Jun 26, 2014 IP
  19. H0stZealot

    H0stZealot Active Member

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    #39
    Your words are music to my ears, I was going to say the same actually :) If you buy cheap low-quality content, prepare to be considered a company, offering cheap, low-quality services. Reputation is always at stake, and saving $2 on content to lose $500 on orders later is by far not the best decision one can make.
     
    H0stZealot, Jun 26, 2014 IP
  20. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #40
    That's the thing I've never understood. A company could have spent hundreds of thousands or even millions building their business but then put crap on their website and think it will help them sell their product/service. My favorite is the company who makes Sea-World size aquariums...they have had an article on their site for years that was lifted from somewhere online that talked about Victorian-era home aquariums. Think Shamu sized tanks vs having a few goldfish. Utterly ridiculous. Would make me question hiring them but I guess I'm just weird that way.
     
    YMC, Jun 26, 2014 IP