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What's The Difference Between a $5 Article And A $50 Article

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by coreygeer, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. #1
    After a slightly lengthy discussion this morning on Skype where this guy desperately wanted me to write for .75c per 100 words, he finally asked the question I wanted him to ask.

    WARNING: This will be a long one, there is no (Too Long Didn't Read) version of this.

    He stopped arguing and said this: (Copied word for word)
    "who cares if i want a quality writer at my pricing whats different between a writer who takes writes fr 75 cnets and 50 dollars per article can you answer?"

    Good Question!

    So what exactly is the difference between an article that costs you $5 and an article that will cost you $50? Well, while I don't have a vast amount of experience writing for clients that are willing to pay those prices, I will fill in from my experience, my knowledge of SEO and marketing in general.

    1) Ambition/Work Ethic
    Some clients are under the impression that the $5 writers will have the hardest work ethic because they need the money the most, they're the ones constantly chasing after new clients and struggling to make ends meet off writing, so it only makes sense that they would have the highest work ethic right?

    Wrong! You see, not everyone "enjoys" writing but I know there's many of us that do enjoy writing and we just happen to make a living off of it. When we're being guided by a slave driver to write for pennies, how much effort and energy can we honestly put into an article? How much ambition or motivation can we honestly put into an article that's basically going to allow us to buy a week's worth of Ramen Noodles or one meal for a night? Not only that, but the majority of people want "FRESH" "INNOVATIVE" and "UNIQUE" content, all for the price of $5.

    Let's imagine that it takes someone 30 minutes to properly research a topic, so that they know exactly what they're talking about and not just writing in an Alien language. It's probably going to take them 15 to 30 minutes just to write the article, format it, proofread and make the necessary corrections to the article as well. Let's face it, some of us that are fast writers tend to miss a spot or two and proof reading is necessary.

    However, who can honestly take the time to do all of that when you're being paid a lousy $5 and more like $4.50 after PayPal takes their shares? So while this may seem like a "golden" opportunity to recruit hungry/struggling writers at the end of their rope, you're more than likely going to find people who are taking your job out of necessity and more than likely aren't writing on topics they're familiar with.

    Well, people who "NEED" these jobs should work harder right? You're right to an extent, but after a while, the mental exhaustion of being a slave labor for pennies builds up on you and the chase for jobs is extremely exhausting, especially when you're expected to perform miracles.

    2) Google Will Hate/Love You
    I've tried to explain this to so many different people that I've stopped trying to explain it in general.

    One of the main differences will be through Google and some of these changes aren't as obvious as others.

    First of all, if you didn't know, Google likes to look at a little something called the bounce rate. This means, if people are coming to your website, they don't like what they're reading, they hate the layout or for any other reason don't want to stay on your website very long, click off and never return... well... you just got a bounce. The higher the bounce rate is, the more Google knows that people obviously don't find your website very engaging or interesting. Yes, this does go into consideration when ranking your website.

    When people stumble upon your website and the content looks like this:
    "I has you make money today. First you has need website with ads! place ads on site and make moneys!"

    I can't tell you how frustrated I become when something is unreadable in English. I personally click off of the site if it looks like it was obviously written by someone that doesn't speak English as their native language. I'm not going to try to translate what they're saying and there's plenty of websites out there on the subject that are constructed better. While that's just from my point of view, try to imagine the point of view of your visitors.

    What will THEY see when they visit your website? Will they see an article that was scrambled together by a penny writer who obviously didn't give two craps about what they were writing? Will visitors on your website see an article that was well constructed and insightful with plenty of engaging information? The choice is up to you.

    From an SEO stand point, here's my biggest issue with clients that focus on SEO so hard. STOP FOCUSING ON SEO SO HARD!

    It amazes me that so many people still try to hit some magical "keyword density" or try to force their way onto the search engine. Was there a place and time that you could do this? Absolutely. Is that time now? No, no it's not.

    What you SHOULD be focusing on is the content! Your SEO isn't going to keep the readers coming back for more, your content will!

    Now, how willing do you think your $5 writer is going to be to construct a well written article compared to someone you're paying $50? Put yourself in the shoes of a writer and tell me how much time you'd honestly spend on an article that you're essentially being paid $4.50 for.

    People who continuously buy these crap paid articles have search engine rankings that continue to drop and their first line of defense is that they like to blame Google. Google is working as intended, you're the one at fault and it's your fault your rankings are dropping. Sorry, there's no conspiracy here, if your rankings are dropping, you're doing something wrong or people just simply aren't interested in the content you're putting out.

    3) Professional
    With a $5 writer, you get someone who is desperate for work and probably really could care less about your order.

    Why? From my experience, those $5 clients usually don't have the cash to purchase bulk work or future orders, so once they order one or two articles, they're usually gone. The best part, they usually give up internet marketing altogether once they find out their sites aren't building up an empire of cash flow like they thought they would be. Who knew that $10 worth of content a site didn't bring in $100,000 a year?

    A $5 writer NEEDS your work and will more than likely say anything to get the job, even if they've never written something in your field before.

    A $50 writer doesn't need you work, more than likely already has clients who use them today and will tell you straight up if your proposal fits their style or not. You get upfront and honest professionalism rather than a $5 writer telling you whatever you want to hear.

    4) Samples
    This one just absolutely baffles me, because so many people think "samples" really mean anything.

    "Corey, samples determine that person's style of writing".

    I hate hearing this... A "WRITER" can adapt to any style of writing you need them to. Especially since the majority of people want low budget writers who can churn something out in a matter of minutes, a low budget writer can adapt to any style of writing.

    Samples from low budget writers who are willing to write for $5 an article are usually taken from a website, copied and have had words switched around or something of that particular nature.

    Samples from professional writers who do charge $50 per article usually have testimonials via a portfolio on their website rather than "samples." However, a lot of writers don't have samples because some clients know that "samples" can be taken from anywhere. It's really hard to prove the legitimacy of samples because once an article is put online, scrapers and bots will distribute it to spam blogs across the internet.

    FREE SAMPLES?!

    The number of times I've had people ask me to write them samples with absolutely no compensation upfront is amazing.

    While you might be able to con a low budget $5 writer into writing free samples for you with no hope of future work, you're going to be laughed at by a serious and professional writer who knows what their talent is worth.

    The Bottom Line:
    If you want an article that is loved by Google because the article is loved by your readers, then stop hiring cheap writers.
    If you want writers who respond, don't go MIA, have the energy and motivation to actually complete your work, stop hiring cheap writers.
    If you want content that's well formatted with images (if required), bullet points, sub-headings and is readable, stop hiring cheap writers.
    If you want content that was actually researched, thought out, well constructed and content that wasn't just re-written from an existing article, stop hiring cheap writers.

    but.. but... Corey.. I don't have the money to hire expensive writers!

    Then write it yourself or suffer the consequences of those cheap writers and reek the results of low budget content down the road with no results to show for it.

    Seriously, it's far better to have a $50 article written rather than 10 random articles about non-sense.

    Even worse, you have people who want SALES PAGES for the price of an article. It's absolutely disgusting to see people who want slave writers to write them up a six-figure sales page for the price of $5-$10.

    Copywriting is an entirely separate issue and if you can't afford decent content writers, you have no business even attempting to hire a Copywriter. Content writing and Copywriting are completely separate fields and you're looking at a hell of a more hefty bill than $50 if you're looking for a style that converts as well as Frank Kern or Bring The Fresh.

    Some of the people out there in the content section make me sick man. It amazes me how many people want US Native English writers, want miracles performed but don't want to pay a minimum hourly wage for Christ's sake. You'd make more money as a waiter than writing for forum clients, so if you're one of those low end writers struggling to make it and struggling to find enough work to survive... here's my advice.

    I recently took a break from the slave-grind, upped my prices and I advise you to do the same. I'm Native English, I know that I can deliver compelling content and I'm not going to be one of those slaves that are pushed around for pennies.

    1) Get a website
    2) Up your prices (yes, you'll end up telling a lot of people to screw off, but it's for the best)
    3) Get a secondary job or write for other freelancing sites as supplemental income while you build up clients

    I mean really, it's the only way to let these clients learn for themselves because they come here, they see that others are charging .50c to 1.00 per 100 words and they think, "HEY, I want an all-star writer for that price too!"

    Trust me, there are people out there that realize what value is worth and they realize that Google's going to beat that ass for $5 content that no one can read.

    Examples Of Winner Clients:

    Let's just take a look at a couple examples shall we.

    I actually replied to this one: It's called "Jailbreak Niche Writers". A client is seeking people to write 4 250 news pieces a day on brand spanking new news for $1.3 per news piece. Fantastic, this one requires research, well thought out construction and an immense amount of time devotion.
    https://forums.digitalpoint.com/threads/jailbreak-niche-writers.2671403/

    This client is seeking writers to write on "Facebook Smileys/Emoticons" and the articles will be 400/500 words. He seems to be paying $5 per article. Off the top of my head, I can't think of much when it comes to "Facebook Smileys" and this one would require a lot of brainstorming/research.
    https://forums.digitalpoint.com/thr...miley-website-5-article-400-500-word.2671092/

    DING DING DING! We have a winner!
    https://forums.digitalpoint.com/thr...ent-writers-fast-tat-fix-monthly-pay.2668579/

    This kind gentleman is looking for someone to write 5 articles a day for $300 a month fixed monthly pay. Of course, you won't be paid until the month is up and I remember actually talking to this person. Also, another poster in there claimed to write content (as they needed the work) and was never paid for the work done.

    $10 a day for 5 articles? Dreams really do come true... *teary eyed*

    These are just a few examples of what low budget writers put up with on a daily basis when we interact with clients. Expecting $5 writers to have any kind of passion, ambition or will to live after dealing with these people over the course of a lengthy period of time is just not going to happen.

    Anyways, I know this is long and was typed out fast, but I just wanted to rant a little bit after getting that question on Skype (what's the difference).

    So I will include a TOO LONG DIDN'T READ response after all.

    What's the difference between a $5 and a $50 article?
    The future and well being of your website.
    coreygeer, Jul 30, 2013 IP
  2. mian.owais211

    mian.owais211 Active Member

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    #2
    A great and interesting conversation there
    Thank you for the share!
    mian.owais211, Jul 30, 2013 IP
  3. browntwn

    browntwn Prominent Member

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    #3
    Blah, blah, blah....

    QUALITY.

    If the quality of the writing is not better, then there is no difference. You can't just assume someone charging $50 will give you better results than someone charging you $5, but it is a pretty good indication.
    browntwn, Jul 30, 2013 IP
    MichaelAaronTaylor likes this.
  4. coreygeer

    coreygeer Well-Known Member

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    #4
    It's a general indicator of what you can expect.

    Business in general is a risk. Whether you're hiring someone to work in a public office or hiring someone to do work online. You can conducts all the interviews you want, go through all their samples or "references" you want, you're never going to know if they're worth the money until you hire them.

    How much they charge usually is a decent indicator, because those slave-driven people usually just put "will work for whatever" or put "na" on the pay rate section of applications.

    I'm glad that the "blah, blah, blah...." was added though.. because while it does boil down to one word, most people don't understand WHY it boils down to quality though.
    coreygeer, Jul 30, 2013 IP
  5. crazyblogger

    crazyblogger Active Member

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    #5
    Want native writer pay $50, want non native writer pay $5 or even less.
    Want good article for landing page pay $50, want to scare your potential buyer pay $5.
    Want good article on money site pay $50, want crappy content for article directories for SEO purpose pay $5.
    crazyblogger, Jul 30, 2013 IP
  6. alinasandor

    alinasandor Active Member

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    #6
    These are all great points, Cory. You get what you pay for, though, there is the off chance of getting a great writer for $5 and a crappy one for $50. That is so rare that it almost isn't worth mentioning, I know. I don't know how many times I've had a client ask me, "Why should I pay you that rate when I can get someone to write my article for $1?" I've tried making the same argument that you did, but it always falls on deaf ears. You can't reason with cheapos that have no concept of proper web content.
    alinasandor, Jul 30, 2013 IP
  7. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #7
    Thank you, Cori, for posting this. it has long been a frustration of mine. And interestinly, this question can be taken to an even greater extreme, "What's the difference between the $5 guy and Stephen King?"

    Whether you like King or not, it's been established that he's a best "selling" author. As said, you get what you pay for. But, as also said, cheapies will always be cheapies. And they'll get cheap results. I love writing, and I find that I do my best work when I feel I'm being valued. That's either getting $50 for an article, and mine tend to go well over 500, or writing for my own blog / website for free.

    Writing is a highly honed skill, like any artform or craft and deserves to be rewarded as such.
    SCookAAM, Jul 31, 2013 IP
  8. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #8
    I have stopped looking for work on here as I cannot afford to work at these crazy prices. I like the fact that you mention paypal fees reducing the end amount and for me it is even worse. Being in the UK I lose a further 1 third due to currency conversion rates so a $5 job is actually only £3 for me which doesn't cover lunch for my kids for a day! I am currently in negotiations with a potential client to whom I quoted $0.10 per word and I have had a positive response, I am just waiting for confirmation and job details. It's not in the bag yet but I am feeling optimistic. I have had no complaints about my work and I have had some repeat orders, these haven't always paid great but they do pay better than most on here.
    When I first started out I was taking any job, mainly to benefit my 'reputation' but quickly realized that I was falling into the trap and actually making it harder for fellow writers to make a decent living. I made a vow to not take any more work at these prices and have actually found it quite easy to stick to this.
    If I have no paying work then I write for my own sites, which I enjoy doing. This keeps me occupied and my mind sharp and focused.
    Emma Pollard, Jul 31, 2013 IP
  9. Senobia

    Senobia Well-Known Member

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    #9
    The difference between a $5 article and a $50 article the is buyer's perception.

    It doesn't matter if you're a retired staff writer for every major publication in print and have been paid no less than $20 per word your entire career. If your buyer is cheap and doesn't appreciate quality, there won't ever be a difference in what you get for those two prices.
    Senobia, Aug 2, 2013 IP
  10. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #10
    @Senobia, I disagree. There is a difference in what the client will get for the different prices and that difference is quality. If someone is trying to make any sort of living from writing then $5 job is not going to cut it unless they finish that job in much less time. Do the maths, being paid $50 per article means you can spend more time on it than if you have to make that $50 from $5 articles, which means a compromise on quality. This makes perfect sense to me.
    Emma Pollard, Aug 3, 2013 IP
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  11. TextServices

    TextServices Active Member

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    #11
    The reality of it is, price doesn't indicate or guarantee the quality of the finished product. A lot of people aren't writers and they certainly aren't in it to earn a living from it, even at the higher pricerange.
    TextServices, Aug 3, 2013 IP
  12. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #12
    @Textservices, I know there will be times that the quality isn't always where it should be with the higher priced writers but generally this is the case IMO. there are times when some of the cheaper writers are just starting out and will take any job going (been there, done that) even if the price isn't good but the fact remains that most decent writers are not able to earn a decent living writing good quality content for $5, not unless they can work 24/7. Most people who start their own business do so to get away from the low paid long hour jobs they once had, not to have to work long into the night just to scrape by.
    Emma Pollard, Aug 3, 2013 IP
  13. Jeremy Francis

    Jeremy Francis Active Member

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    #13
    Interesting read! Though there are many people who don't have the same opinions on this. But yes, the $5 articles serve a dual purpose. If the client has no idea of the market, he may think that he's getting good content for cheap & on the other hand, the writer is getting his pay of $4.5 per article.
    It may increase the bounce rate of the site, but if the client is blind to the after effects of poorly written content, then it's his loss. But, both sides are getting what they want. :p

    There are a LOT of writers that write in bulk for as low as $1 per 500 words(even lower). This is totally degrading the community of online writers & it decreases their chances of demanding for higher rates. I also feel that the 'rate' for an article depends on the country from where the writer is. Yes, I've had that experience. Since i'm from India, people have never offered me high rates, same goes to people from the Philippines.

    They kinda form an image of people from these countries that 'these people write for less, so let's pay them less'.

    I think that there should be just ONE website where writers can publish unique articles on the site & get ratings & reviews. Then, based on that, you can redirect a client to your profile page & showcase your writing work & when they see the rating points & reviews, they'll be convinced that you're a good/bad writer & will accordingly pay a decent rate. Does this sound feasible?
    Jeremy Francis, Aug 3, 2013 IP
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  14. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #14
    Unfortunately, while there are writers who will work at these rates there is little chance of anyone commanding higher prices, it's a bad case of supply and demand. Take in to account that a lot of clients want to make money (and fast) and there you have a whirlpool of low paid writers and cheaper quality content. I don't mean that cheap writers are not good at what they do, they just can't afford to put in the time to write top quality.
    With cheap clients comes high expectations, excellent English and original content are just the basic requirements (and should be standard practice anyway) but they want this in unrealistic time frames. I had a client back in June (from DP) who ordered 11 articles for a link wheel, I told him that I hadn't done this type of work before and it required some research for the articles themselves. In the time that I was writing them I had a sick child (needed time off) and a day out off which had been booked since Christmas, despite informing the client of this he chased me from day 3 and still hasn't paid for the work which was completed. It was only $20 but I did complete the work, often working late into the night. On the other hand I have a client now who appreciates what I do and that I have a life outside of work, the pay is better although still under my usual rates and he re orders before I finish the work in progress.
    The decent clients are out there, it is just very difficult to find them.
    Emma Pollard, Aug 4, 2013 IP
  15. Article Assassin

    Article Assassin Greenhorn

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    #15
    “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
    - Mark Twain
    Article Assassin, Aug 4, 2013 IP
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  16. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #16
    To the low-end buyer, original and unique simply means that it passes Copyscape. They are looking for filler and nothing more and will never pay professional wages. You're wasting your time with them. Sure, every now and again one of them will finally see that filler doesn't work, but how much time did you waste trying to educate others before you found them?

    Arguments about charging more because you work harder or are more loyal are meaningless, at any price point.

    It's about the value you bring to each client.

    Does your stuff convert? Does it get bookmarked? Will it help turn the site it resides upon into a resource or will it remain yet another site with meaningless drivel?
    YMC, Aug 5, 2013 IP
  17. Senobia

    Senobia Well-Known Member

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    #17
    Disagree all you would like. It doesn't change the fact that the final selling price of something - anything - is directly proportional to its perceived value by the buyer. The more a person values something, the more they are willing to pay for it.
    Senobia, Aug 5, 2013 IP
  18. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #18
    The biggest problem is convincing a client that your content is worth more than they are willing to pay for it, this can only be done by working at sill prices to begin with. The problem then becomes that when you increase your prices they move on to cheaper writers who have to work for that amount to get started, thus creating the vicious circle that so many become trapped in. Of course there will be clients who you can retain and are willing to pay higher prices as they have learned to value your content, but there are still some who just want to make a quick buck and only want to pay peanuts.
    Emma Pollard, Aug 6, 2013 IP
  19. coreygeer

    coreygeer Well-Known Member

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    #19
    Since you took the time to spam this message on every single post I've made, I will take the time to report every single one of them.

    I'm not sure what you're talking about. I've tried to communicate with you via e-mail but you refuse to respond and for some reason all of a sudden now you're spamming DP. Please do not spam this message on DP, spamming is against the rules and you have my e-mail if you wish to communicate.
    coreygeer, Aug 6, 2013 IP
  20. MGwebmaster

    MGwebmaster Active Member

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    #20
    You're impudent liar! You did not answer none of my letters neither via email nor in DP. And now I do not feel sorry for these scarce money that you took from me but I'll ruin your reputation and inform people who you really are!

    MGwebmaster, Aug 6, 2013 IP