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What's The Fair Rate For A 500+ Words Article?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by hnicolassuero, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. MissLisaS

    MissLisaS Peon

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    #21
    You will get what you pay for when it comes to paying for articles. If you spend $1 for an article, you will probably end up having to re-write the article anyway because $1 an article won't provide a native English speaker with enough money to earn a living. I believe that those who create good content should receive adequate compensation for their work. Your content is the most powerful and valuable tool you have in your business. If you aren't willing to invest in your content, then you are willing to throw your reputation and sales away. Honestly, is spending $10 on 500 words worth it if that content is great content and eventually leads to several sales? Is it really worth purchasing cheap content at $1 if no one ever buys because it is crap?
    SEMrush
     
    MissLisaS, Jan 4, 2014 IP
    SEMrush
  2. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #22
    I think one of the biggest problems with writing is that those who don't do it for a living may not really understand how much skill is involved. After all, anyone can "write" something. So therefore, many people don't think it's that hard and therefore not worth much money.

    As I have stated before, it's not just knowing what to write, it's knowing how to write it effectively. As stated often, and most recently by MissLisaS, your content is often what generates the income. Be it text, videos scripts or even an audio stream.

    There is a concept called The Law of Attraction. In this case, if you don't feel your content is worth more than $1, then why should your customer? When something is valuable to you, what it offers will be valuable to others. Millions of examples of this can be stated.

    Just a thought :)
     
    SCookAAM, Jan 4, 2014 IP
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  3. Conran

    Conran Active Member

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    #23
    I agree, there is a common perception that the text on a site is just filling space and generating traffic, when in reality a good writer does far more than that.
    A good writer does more than just type something. They consider the audience, they consider use of correct language, they solidify the message and promote the positives over any negatives.

    Writing content to sell something is far more complex than just describing what the thing you're selling is, or does.

    I've said it before, but I feel it's worth saying again - content is going to be there for as long as you need it. Paying $20 for an article that will be on a site for years to come, generating traffic and sales for as long as you need it, is not a high price to pay. If I write a product description for an eCommerce site and charge $3 for it, they'll likely make that money back with one sale of that item.

    It's unreasonable for clients to demand to pay $1 for content that will plausibly bring them potentially thousands of $'s over the course of a few months.
     
    Conran, Jan 4, 2014 IP
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  4. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #24
    Quite right, everything that was said.

    When I write content, especially for sales, I put myself in the mind of the reader. I know, for example, that you never ask anyone to do anything without giving them a good reason.

    So if I'm a potential customer, what are you offering? I know you have a product with specs, that's obvious, but why you? why your product? What's in it for me?

    That's how I write. And that takes skill and experience.

    it's worth the money. As stated, $20 or so for an article or a page of content is nothing compared to what it can potentially bring.

    The real question is: how do we educate these clients to understand this? why is it we should pay through the nose for their product or service and yet they want to pay nothing for ours? Or at least a good deal of them :)
     
    SCookAAM, Jan 4, 2014 IP
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  5. Conran

    Conran Active Member

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    #25
    Aside from writing articles about it and hammering the point home on our own sites (and social media), I just wait for them to see their traffic falling or discover that the $1 article they bought from someone in India is stolen from another site.

    We've have had numerous potential clients come to us for a quote, then they say $5 is too high for daily blogging, or $3 is too much for a product description, so they go and hire a cheap writer stealing and spinning text instead. Three months later they come back to us and ask if the quote is still valid because the cheap writer they hired destroyed their traffic and reduced their sales by 200%.

    Then, instead of having only new content to create on their site, we have more work to do rewriting all the poor content they paid some con artist for.

    We could have charged them more than we quoted initially and they still would have saved money and not had to pay twice for it to be done properly.

    You really can't do a lot to convince people that the quality of on-site text is vital, if they see a cheap option they'll likely take it and learn on their own.
     
    Conran, Jan 4, 2014 IP
  6. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #26
    Well, this is all true. It's like I said above, the good ones know the true wvaue. You just have to weed through the cheapies.

    Cheap people will always be cheap people, unless they learn their lesson. Profitable companies know what paying for quality means and always will.
     
    SCookAAM, Jan 4, 2014 IP
  7. hnicolassuero

    hnicolassuero Well-Known Member

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    #27
    Everybody should know that cheap investment in web content brings poor result.
     
    hnicolassuero, Jan 4, 2014 IP
  8. TIEro

    TIEro Active Member

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    #28
    That's the only answer that matters.

    As people have already said, there's a big difference between generating words and writing content. Unfortunately, finding clients who understand that 500 words takes time and effort is not easy.

    In my opinion, this means there are two choices for clients: (a) they can pay the rate you ask, based on how much time it takes you to research and produce a high-quality article or (b) they can pay the rate they want and you'll spend that amount of time on it.

    So if you want to earn $20 an hour and it takes you 30 minutes to research/write 500 words, it's $10 a pop. If the client wants to pay $5, they get 15 minutes' work and less quality or fewer words. Simple enough.

    Of course, nothing in the universe is powerful enough to prevent the eternal stream of clients who think they can get quality for $1 - and who whine endlessly about the crap they get for their money!
     
    TIEro, Jan 4, 2014 IP
  9. AdamSocial

    AdamSocial Member

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    #29
    Right now, I'm charging $5/500 words on Fiverr.

    I'm a recent NYU graduate with a master's degree in creative writing.

    That's how much I want to avoid working for "the man." I'm using Fiverr to build my portfolio, then I'll move on to something where I can make considerably more.
     
    AdamSocial, Jan 4, 2014 IP
  10. Conran

    Conran Active Member

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    #30
    You are significantly underpricing your work. A person with such a notable qualification can charge significantly more.
    While you or I might understand that paper qualifications mean nothing in the physical world, the weight attributed to such in society is considerable.

    I understand the motivation and agree with the plan, but I think you should step up your game and charge more right from the start, while building a brand for yourself in the process.

    Just my opinion, of course.
     
    Conran, Jan 4, 2014 IP
  11. TIEro

    TIEro Active Member

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    #31
    Bad idea, IMHO, unless you're doing it under a pen name that you won't use later. The only thing working for low prices does is tell people that your price is low. I totally understand the "will write for food" approach (been there, done that) but if all you need is a portfolio, write guest posts for well-known sites and businesses, for pay or for free. There aren't many companies who will turn down an informative, well-written piece of content that costs them nothing more than a byline.

    Of course, if it's more than a portfolio exercise (and believe me, people will NOT be impressed by "here's a bunch of stuff I wrote for random clients on Fiverr"), then my advice may be as much use as a chocolate flamethrower. :D
     
    TIEro, Jan 4, 2014 IP
  12. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #32
    I agree. It only takes a handful of projects to form a good portfolio foundation. and when, on an ODesk profile, for example, you can claim that credential, it'll attract better clients.

    Additionally, on your own website, etc. And do not be afraid to actively contact potential clients.

    Napoleon Hill, in his book, "The Law of Success" said that one good way to build clients is to find a business, re-write a iece of their advertising and then submit it to them with your contact information. A free gift, if you will. if the quality is good, you may find that these companies come back and want paid work.

    In today's world of the internet, this is easier than ever.

    And I think, although I'm not sure, that fiver has a reputation for being a bargain basement anyway. Why not shake the tree of your personal and educational contacts and see if you can't do a handful of projects for them, even for free.

    in my opinion, doing 5 good jobs for quality clients for free will go so much further than 50 jobs done for cheapies.
     
    SCookAAM, Jan 4, 2014 IP
  13. AdamSocial

    AdamSocial Member

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    #33
    You're all correct in your assessments. The unfortunate truth is that while looking for work, I have to keep myself fed. The $500-$1,000 I earn on Fiverr (doing something that I love) keeps myself and my cat from eating Ramen noodles each month.

    Lots of good ideas, too. Thank you.
     
    AdamSocial, Jan 4, 2014 IP
  14. The Content Bloke

    The Content Bloke Peon

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    #34
    It's like asking how much is a fair price to pay for a car. It all depends on the quality of the particular car. The price you pay for an old VW Beetle is going to be a lot less than that for a gleaming new Mercedes.

    The problem is that because places like Elance deal mainly in the VW Beetle end of the market, so to speak, people think that's what they should pay for every article.
     
    The Content Bloke, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  15. TIEro

    TIEro Active Member

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    #35
    That's a good analogy. And don't forget that most of those car buyers don't know what's involved in their production, either, so they expect a Mercedes for the price of a Skoda... and when they don't get it, they complain.
     
    TIEro, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  16. Crimebuster_of_the_Sea

    Crimebuster_of_the_Sea Well-Known Member

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    #36
    I think it's important to look at the "type" of writing that you are doing. If a client is purely after SEO content that is going to be placed on an article directory with the sole aim of it being to have a link directing back to their website, most won't care less about the quality. After all, no-one is going to read the article, it is the link that they are interested in. A non-native English speaker can easily drum up this kind of content for a low rate and clients on the whole are happy with it because it does what they need it to do. If you're constantly applying for SEO writing jobs, you're going to constantly be disappointed because there are hundreds of thousands of "writers" who will do this for peanuts.

    If you think your work deserves more then you need to branch out. Look into blogs, web content, press releases, guest posts, white papers etc. This type of work is much more specialised and clients do care about the quality. You will find some great ones who are willing to pay for quality because they care about their website and their business.

    I recommend anyone with a passion for writing to make a change. Stop bitching on forums about clients - no-one wants to employ someone who is probably going to moan about them in public at a later date (Corey) - not only does it make you look unprofessional but you're also probably losing clients because of it. Instead, when you don't have any writing work to do - do something that is going to improve your career. Start a blog that you can direct potential clients to when they want to see samples of your work; start a website that embodies everything that you as a writer stand for and promote it; market yourself to companies that may be looking for a copywriter; follow influential people on Twiiter or join groups on LinkedIn and make yourself known in the industry; search for work in more than one place.

    I have been freelancing for over three years now and I earn enough to do it full time. It is possible but you need to realise that there is more to writing than crappy SEO content. If you have the passion for writing, and the skills to write flawlessly, you can find jobs that pay top dollar. Trust me!
     
    Crimebuster_of_the_Sea, Jan 6, 2014 IP
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  17. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #37
    I would agree with everything that was said above. When I, for example, engage in SEO writing, it's not necessarily to write an article for ezine for somebody. It's more the website content, blog, etc.

    I would, however, state that just puking out content onto an article directory with a link is not sufficient. if the content is shit, the search engines will not pay it much heed. Anyone who is going to publish articles should at least write them for search engines and human readers. Good articles get yndicated and therefore, more links get created.

    But trying to hired for this... yes, not worth the time. Write articles for yourself for free, don't bother trying to get work.

    As stated above, whitepapers, business plans, advertising materials, presentations, scripts, website content, PR's, etc etc are much more valuable.

    Making a living at anything takes work. Not just the work you do on the clock. As a writer, an entrepreneur, you also have to work to get new clients and promote yourself. Be aggressive, be proactive and spend a little money on advertising, if you need to.
     
    SCookAAM, Jan 6, 2014 IP
  18. Conran

    Conran Active Member

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    #38
    I couldn't agree more. While we have numerous clients who only require one blog post every other day, we have a few larger clients who now come to us for everything. One of our biggest clients originally came to us to start a daily blog in the hopes of driving traffic to their membership site, and the results were so good they came back to ask us first when they needed something different. There are several things we never considered offering before, which are now part of our standard service list for those clients. We'll soon be branching out into social media management and including a promotion/PR aspect to the services we provide.

    Think out of the box, consider what other services you could provide that others are not able to offer. If you think of ways to make yourself and your services more valuable to them, once you have a few large clients on your side you'll likely find that you're the first person they go to when they need something more.

    Again I agree. Who wants to work with a negative writer with a "can't do" attitude?
    Writing is a creative business, and creative people are generally interesting, loud, colorful and passionate. You will certainly catch more clients while expressing humor and passion for what you do rather than bitching about something that everyone deals with from time to time. Everyone has "difficult" clients, but you are providing a service to them in exchange for payment - the customer is always right.

    I mentioned before that someone in this business for the long-haul needs a brand, a site, a presentation of their business and their work. So I also agree that in down-time a site should be being built to highlight this. Every serious writer in this business should have a website with a contact page. There really is no excuse not to have this, it costs peanuts a month to manage and is the primary location for your existing and potential clients.

    Would you rather buy fruit from the scruffy guy standing at the side of the road, yelling at passing cars and pedestrians about what he has and how cheap it all is, or walk into the clean and sparkly shop front displaying the products they have in their window, and perhaps pay a little more? When you compare the two I think the answer is obvious.

    By not having a brand and a site, you are not giving potential clients what they need. You have an opportunity to promote what you do directly to them with articles and posts showing your skills, dedication and your attitude to your content, once you have that you can give up on chasing small-fry around the internet and let people who really value the service come to you.

    No surprise that I agree once again. I've also been writing for others for almost four years, and was earning a full-time income within the first six months. It can most certainly be done, it's just a matter of being professional, providing more than expected, become their trusted partner and make a name for yourself in the business.
     
    Conran, Jan 6, 2014 IP
  19. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #39
    This has been a great thread.

    So much good advice has been posted here, and I hope many people get a great deal from it.

    I'd just like to add what was said above:

    With every job you do, no matter how large or small, you are planting a seed. That's not to say do a $1 job. But even a $50 project to write 2 web pages for someone can lead to something else, either directly or indirectly.

    Remember the law of increasing returns. When you do a jgod job, your client will come back to you, and as stated above, they'll begin to come back for more and more. people are like that. When they find someone they trust, they cling on tight. We're all like that.

    So focus on doing the best work you can do, build a brand and worry about the positives.
     
    SCookAAM, Jan 6, 2014 IP
  20. TIEro

    TIEro Active Member

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    #40
    If a client asks you to do that, you should probably inform them that article directories aren't intended for that use. They'd probably appreciate you avoiding them wasting time, money and effort on doing something for entirely the wrong reasons.

    I'll also add another thumbs up for all the advice here. Two parting thoughts: first, the only place profit comes before work is in the dictionary; second, just because people write for $1 or less per 500-word article doesn't mean you have to compete in the same market.
     
    TIEro, Jan 6, 2014 IP