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Why is it always "CHEAP ARTICLE WRITER"

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by phyza, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #221
    There are not "very few" selected webmasters looking for (and willing to pay very well for) higher quality content. I can also guarantee that in the long run, you will NOT make more charging just a few dollars per article. Why. Ummm, like you said, do the math!

    Let's say I charge $100 per 500 word article (I actually charge more). Let's be generous and say the "cheap" writer charges $5 instead of the $2-3 you mentioned. For them to earn what I earn for a single article, they have to write 20. I don't write just one article per week. On a very slow week, I might write 10. For them to earn even that much, they'd have to write 200 articles. Hmmm. 10 articles, or 200? You'd have to be insane to willingly choose to write 200 articles if your level of skill combined with basic marketing ability would allow you to earn the same writing ten. Long after those writers have maxed out their billable hours, I could still take on another 10-20 articles that week if I wanted to (but why would I want to - I charge higher rates to not only earn more but to enjoy a certain quality of life where I'm not forced to work endless hours).
    SEMrush
    So no, people wouldn't be "facing the reality" by listening to you. There's a reason those lower end writers are constantly scrounging for work on forums and freelance sites. They're not earning enough, as opposed to the countless professionals charging quite a lot more who are. Bad advice like yours is precisely why so many new writers come to me and others crying later, begging for advice to get out the crap pay cycles because they believed people like you who told them it was the right way to go. Fortunately though, since we're earning a good living with those higher rates and not write-write-writing until we drop for a few dollars, at least we still have the time to help them. What "sucks" is that people who shouldn't be giving advice about succeeding in freelancing continually do just that.
     
    jhmattern, Jun 17, 2009 IP
    SEMrush
  2. spycraft

    spycraft Member

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    #222
    If you can sell a 500 word article for $100 or more then you definitely shouldn't follow my advice. I was referring to those who try to sell their articles for $20 max.

    Maybe I shouldn't be giving any advice at all since I couldn't even entertain the idea that people in this industry might be willing to pay that much for an article. Then again, could you be referring to buyers outside of this industry? I used to work for a financial institution and we would pay that kind of money for business documents...

    I have complemented you on your writing in the past, and I'll do it once again. You could even argue that it would insulting to ask for such quality for $5 or $10. Nevertheless, I am sure you will agree with the fact that most of the writers in this forum cannot offer that. I was merely trying to offer my advice to those - which I believe represent the majority in DP.
     
    spycraft, Jun 17, 2009 IP
  3. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #223
    I work predominantly with small online business owners, SEO and IM firms, and webmasters. It's the same industry you see represented here at DP, and $100 is on the low end of what I charge. So yes, this industry can pay well. When I write for larger companies on corporate communication projects, like the financial institution situation you mention, I actually earn significantly more than $100 per page / article. For a feature (that they may want ghostwritten for a trade publication) for example, the starting rate I charge is around $500. There are always buyers.

    It's a mistake to try to judge the "majority" of a community like DP. That's because all you can see to make that judgment is the work advertised publicly. A LOT of business happens behind-the-scenes here and in other communities on the Web. Keep in mind that "active" members who post regularly don't represent all members - quite a few of my clients here have never posted. They solely use the account to conduct business via PM when they see someone they want to hire.

    Even at $20 per article though, it would make no sense to start charging $2. They would be doing 10 times the work for the same amount of pay (the research involved in a $20 article isn't much different than that of a $2 article - they're both on the extreme low end of writer pay scales). I know I and others here have said it before, but if you want to succeed at freelancing, you never work harder. You work smarter. That means earning as much as possible for investing as little time as possible. Charging more may mean there are less gigs available to you, but you need fewer gigs to earn the same amount (plus you're left with more free time to create your own informational products, monetize your own blog, or start building a network with a different and even higher-paying market). Those who charge $5 or less per article often stay at those rates for one reason--they're so busy working as an article mill to make ends meet that there isn't time left to pursue better markets.
     
    jhmattern, Jun 17, 2009 IP
  4. cd928

    cd928 Peon

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    #224
    Right on.

    Let's not even talk about figures here, although I know why Jenn posted them. The thing is that if you can earn more money by doing less work, you'd be crazy not to do that, right?

     
    cd928, Jun 17, 2009 IP
  5. ajgraves

    ajgraves Banned

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    #225
    As a well known poker article writer within the poker affiliate scene, i know what you are saying here.

    I tend to refrain from offering my services as 'Cheap' due to the number of new writers that try to make their mark into the markets that they are trying to cover.

    End of the day, you can either have a cheap (money) writer or a quality writer.

    You will 99.9% of the time fail to find someone who is offering the two together.
     
    ajgraves, Jun 17, 2009 IP
  6. Going Green

    Going Green Active Member

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    #226
    How about really good very professional and well read cheap article writer?
     
    Going Green, Jun 20, 2009 IP
  7. nontemplates

    nontemplates Peon

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    #227

    ummm. In my considerable experience I have yet to see any "professional" in any industry that works for or below minimum wage. That level of cheap is inconsistent with very well defined cultural norms applying to the word.

    I don't say that as a writer. I'm not presently in that line of work although I have a background in it. I lurk every now and again in this area for two reasons. I am baffled by the prices I see offered here (I like everyone else have a fascination with roadside accidents) and I occasionally want to see if things have improved.

    I have two words to describe never ever wanting to pay for quality.

    Small Time.

    Who really believes their site will ever be anything but a small time player online when they are paying people who will work for 1 cent a word? DP members have an over emphasis on SEO so all they care about is SERPs and keyword stuffing. However there is not a single industry that does not rely primarily on return visits. At some point you have to give people a reason to return and that my friends is not primarily SEO related. I don't care what business you are in. It could even be nothing more than a shop. Sooner of later customers will evaluate your products based on content even if its just good advertising copy.
     
    nontemplates, Jun 20, 2009 IP
  8. omshanti

    omshanti Well-Known Member

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    #228
    Jennifer,

    You are from the United States, aren't you?

    I think that's why you get access to the corporate marketplace in America straight away. However, I do believe excellence pays off irrespective of where you are from. But often we think it's a block which I'm sure it isn't to find the kind of offers you get especially when we aren't living in the US.

    What if the writer is from India and still can deliver absolutely fantastic sales copy, web content, articles, press releases and so on? We cry because we aren't able to connect with people wanting only those from the US. What can we do when we aren't from the US and still want to get value for our work?

    I have the ebook you are selling "Web Writers Guide". I even got it printed spending another $8.00 and have a hard copy now apart from the ebook version.

    Why? because I think you've a strong foundation. But with that foundation you also have access to Corporate America!!!!!!

    I don't have access to Corporate America which is why most of here are crying.

    And yes, you work for delivering quality. There are most writers here who focus on delivering in quantity. That's what sucks most about them. Because they work like a machine and you work like a human being.

    They choose to be called "powerless". You choose to be called "powerful".

    That's all the difference. But hey, My question is how do I tap the market in America sitting right here in Mumbai?

    I got the skills. I got the passion. I want access to the market. As simple as that. I want to work for quality. I want self-esteem. I want time for myself. I want to enjoy life. I've a blog (though I got to re-write the copy).

    You guys are fantastic. How can someone prove they are good enough to Corporate America sitting right here in Mumbai?
     
    omshanti, Oct 7, 2009 IP
  9. Sneakyheathen

    Sneakyheathen Active Member

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    #229
    Don't say you're from Mumbai. And if you have to, save it until the end of your copy, presentation, phone call, whatever, when the client is already begging to work with you.

    Region doesn't (or rather, shouldn't) matter. These "native speaking" writers probably aren't all that native...and I know plenty of classmates who can't write for a penny. :D But they're still cool people.

    Honestly I get requests for services from people all the time and the first thing they want to know - what is my rate?

    A prospective asked for a 40-page ebook and at my current rate, the charge is $300. That's the lowest amount I can charge based on the requirements and how much I charge per word. That rate didn't even take into account the research, the compiling, the proof reading and editing, etc.

    Many in forum marketplaces in general just don't understand the value of the content they're purchasing. I read somewhere that a copyblogger.com post is like, $100 in and of itself. The guy wrote it for free, but with the amount of money he makes, thats his content worth.

    $1 articles aren't even worth the $1. And if they are, that writer is working way too hard for such a small return.

    It's all about value. What does the content do for the client? How will it make them money. Some don't understand that, they just want to fill their sites with "unique" content...

    It makes me cry.
     
    Sneakyheathen, Oct 7, 2009 IP
  10. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #230
    It has absolutely nothing to do with being in the States. A) None of my clients ever ask me where I'm from -- the portfolio and referrals speak for themselves. And B) Most of my clients are not US clients -- they're from all over Europe, Australia, and even places like India. Only two or three of my contracts are currently with US-based companies.

    I don't market myself locally in any way. All of marketing is done online and it targets a global audience. You can do that from any country just as easily as I can do that from the US. It all comes down to the same things -- your marketing ability and your network.

    So forget about Corporate America. Hell, I think I've only bothered with two clients ever that would be considered a part of Corporate America in my writing career (and even PR career). The money is in the small and online business market if you're focusing on Web-based writing. Less hoops to jump through and more willingness to grow and expand online -- that's what you need to look for. Or heck, forget about the U.S. altogether. You don't need U.S. clients to make big money. Non-English speaking countries are excellent places to find writing work, as small business owners there are often trying to tap an English-speaking demographic on the Web and they need competent writers to help them do that.

    It sounds like you've got such a narrow focus of the kind of client you want that you're unintentionally leaving out the ones that are both available and really willing to pay for decent work.

    Also, I'd suggest rethinking your signature here and making some site changes.

    1. The emphasis is on a DP thread and not your own site (which you need to be optimizing to attract clients). That's fine if it's for a temporary sale or something, but don't let that be permanent. Threads will never look as professional as the site -- ideally, link to your site and include the sale details right in the signature instead.

    2. The website itself shouldn't be referred to as your blog. Even if a blog is a part of it, you've got a sales pitch on the homepage. It's doing the job of a professional site, but that's lost on potential visitors who see your sig link. When we see "blog" we don't assume we're going to learn more about your services.

    3. On your website, the text in your green box is all capitalized. I'd suggest fixing that. Capitalizing every word doesn't do anything positive for emphasis -- it just makes it look like you can't write for the Web, which is precisely the service you're trying to sell.

    4. I'd also suggest cutting back on the large red text. Rather than it being used for emphasis as it should be, it becomes over-powering -- for me that first block of it can't even be read without scrolling -- single blocks should be viewable on a single page.

    5. Your price ranges might be throwing some clients off. 3 cents per word up to 2 dollars per word is a huge range, and it really doesn't give the potential client any idea as to what their own project will actually cost them.

    6. You have a portfolio link there but no portfolio pieces in it yet. Either get them added quickly or remove the link. When people click that they expect to see samples right away -- not to be told to email you if they want to see what you can do. That just takes more time out of their day, and the people paying good money for writing are too busy to do it themselves, and they're also too busy to manually contact every potential writer just for samples. They'll go to someone else instead.

    Hope that helps.
     
    jhmattern, Oct 7, 2009 IP
  11. bumba1988

    bumba1988 Active Member

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    #231
    I am a writer and I believe quality matters much more in comparison with its price.Ultimately,you should know what to write and how to write it properly.
     
    bumba1988, Oct 7, 2009 IP
  12. omshanti

    omshanti Well-Known Member

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    #232
    Fantastic! Awesome Post Jen!

    I'd that block in my mind that a person living in native America will be hired quickly rather than a person living in India!

    However that really isn't the whole truth.

    The truth is excellence pays for itself.

    However I did get so many clients but I refused to work for FREE for any of my clients as you'd mentioned somewhere on the threads that a writer must not work for FREE.

    I want to build my samples and portfolio. What would be the best way to get started for writing sales letters?

    Holy cow! I got one live affiliate landing page which converts at 2.5%. Thus, I've got one sample.

    Implementing all that you're saying.

    Thanks a ton.
     
    omshanti, Oct 8, 2009 IP
  13. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #233
    It sounds like you already know how to create samples -- create a few more affiliate landing pages with your custom sales letters and track conversions as examples to show potential clients. :)
     
    jhmattern, Oct 8, 2009 IP
  14. omshanti

    omshanti Well-Known Member

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    #234
    I changed my signature as you mentioned. I am changing my rate card.

    Can I have an upper limit? or how do you go about doing that?

    I will change the green box right away - I'll make it in "sentence case".

    I'll add my sample affiliate sales page and article sample links there on my portfolio page.

    Regarding point 4: do I need to cut back the size of the text? did not get Jen what you meant by "single blocks should be viewable on a single page."

    I think as I am going to do some affiliate marketing myself, I'll create affiliate landing pages myself and then show them as samples to prospective clients. That way I get samples and can show results as well to prospective clients while getting repeat business from clients requiring sales copy. I think if you say it's a great idea Jen, I will go ahead and do just that! What do you think?

    I love you! When I get successful, I'll help others like me here around. I think this has been an amazing experience and I'm simply loving it. :)
     
    omshanti, Oct 9, 2009 IP
  15. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #235
    You can have upper limits, but when you make the range too broad you're going to confuse potential clients. I'd say think about what your average rate is. Maybe publish that number instead of a range. Or if you really want to publish more of a range, say that rates are "starting at ... and vary with the scope of the project." At least then when people contact you about their project they be worried that you'll come back with a $2.00 per word quote they can't afford for basic content (like your previous rates mentioned) when you really would charge $.03-.05 per word.

    I don't think you need to cut back the size of the text. I just think it needs some layout / formatting work. You have a group of large red lines of text in there. They're basically treated as a section of the sales letter rather than independent lines. Therefore it would be better if someone didn't have to scroll to read that first line down to that last line (just like you wouldn't want them to have to scroll because a single paragraph won't fit on a single screen). You might be emphasizing too much text where some should be cut down. If not, then decreasing the size a little bit might be the better way to solve the problem.

    Don't make your business decisions just because I say they're a good idea. lol Think them out and make the decisions for yourself. My perspective is only one.

    I do think some affiliate marketing would be good for you though, simply because you want to focus on things like sales letter writing. Not only will you get portfolio pieces without having to do cheap work for someone else, but you'll have full access to stats to let you track conversions and you can make some money through the affiliate sales regardless of whether or not the samples lead to later client work.
     
    jhmattern, Oct 9, 2009 IP
  16. omshanti

    omshanti Well-Known Member

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    #236
    hmmm...

    It's true that every individual has their own unique perspective and must make choices for themselves consciously.

    However, If I'd to learn basketball, I'd go learn from Magic Johnson rather than anybody else.

    I think you've a lot more experience than me which is why I'm listening to you. You make perfect sense to me.

    Are you talking about the green box that has text "A Premium Web CopyWriter.... Enjoy!"? Is this what you think I require to change?

    How do you find the signature?

    I'll change the higher range to "may vary from case to case".

    Thanks Jen (Warm hugs) for your thoughts on the affiliate marketing landing page thing. I wasn't just sure whether I could show them as samples to clients but yes indeed I can show them as samples and make money at the same time. Now I got what you are saying. :)

    Awesome Jen! Anyway, the content creation section sucks ! I'd better create affiliate landing page samples by writing for myself and start building a list. I think once I've a list I can regularly ask them if they would like to have a premium web copywriter write them a landing page.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
    omshanti, Oct 9, 2009 IP
  17. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #237
    1. The sig is better than it was before. Only problem is that now you have a link to your email address, but you removed the most important link - the link to your professional site / blog where you're offering the services. ;)

    2. Yes, that's the green box. The capitalization is better, but I'd suggest updating the copy. Sentence fragments can work in marketing copy when used for emphasis, but you seem to have way too many of them. Also, the first sentence doesn't make sense -- "blog who."
     
    jhmattern, Oct 10, 2009 IP
  18. DizGptCash

    DizGptCash Peon

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    #238
    It's hard to get a lot of work here if you offer too high prices. As a writer myself I try to make all my article good quality with a small cost at beginning but if they like my articles I would ask them to pay more because I don't have time to write hundreds of article at $0.50/100 word or so.
     
    DizGptCash, Oct 10, 2009 IP
  19. laurencewins

    laurencewins Peon

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    #239
    "Cheap" is very hard to define, as a few people mention.
    There are people here from all corners of the round planet.

    "Cheap" in one country could be expensive in another.

    Bill Gates could spend $1,000,000 and not even care, whereas some people find it hard to spend $5.

    Currency values are different as well.

    Personally I find it unfair that the general rule is that currencies are measured against the U.S. value. I am in Australia and when I have looked at some things and weigh up whether they are of value, it works out much more expensive for me to make purchases.

    Back to writing. I prefer quality over quantity but I try to offer a mixed blend as I wold rather have some work because I don't have much income either.
     
    laurencewins, Oct 10, 2009 IP
  20. laurencewins

    laurencewins Peon

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    #240
    I forgot to add..... I find it amazing the number of errors in websites. I often send emails advising them of this fact and IF they happen to reply, they don't care at all. They would rather have substandard material for all to see, rather than admit it needs work and fix it.
     
    laurencewins, Oct 10, 2009 IP