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WRITERS: If you don't want the harsh truth, don't read this.

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by marketjunction, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. #1
    Our little forum here seems to be a mix of writers.

    1. There's the writer charging 1-2 cents per word who is happy to do it and has no goals of raising rates.

    2. There's the writer charging 1-2 cents per word who is expecting to raise rates and make more money in the future.

    3. There's the mid-level writer who does a lot of SEO work and "lite" writing. This writer might charge 5-10 cents per word.

    4. Lastly, there's the pro writer who can/does write for large companies and does other "pro level" work.

    What I'm about to say goes out to those who fall into category #2 and partially into #3. Those in #1 can leave, because you don't care about making more money with your writing. You're happy and that's all that matters. And those in #4 are well above any of this crap, so read for amusement if you desire.

    Listen.

    If all you can do is write "high-quality articles" for smaller webmasters, you're income is capped already. The market isn't going to magically get better tomorrow. All you can do is work more. Lovely.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but from today forward, you'll be working harder for less money as the months pass.

    As someone who has purchased a lot of content from writers who charge about a penny a pop, I can tell you that over the last 4 years the quality has gotten much, much better.

    Four years ago, I was limited to hiring just people in India. No offense to you guys, but English is a tough language to learn and we can usually tell in seconds when someone isn't a native English speaker.

    Anyway, about one year ago I started finding writers located in the US and UK here and there. A couple years back I was surprised to find one. What made this significant is that some of the people I was finding had either a writing background or some experience.

    Today, I have a list of several writers in the US who charge about one cent per word. It's pretty comical too. Instead of the guys from India and China taking jobs from those in the US and UK, it's the other way around.

    Tomorrow will be filled with more people from the US and UK jumping into the content producing arena for the "average" webmaster (online biz owner or whatever you want to call them). Lately, I've found English teachers, people with writing-based degrees and retirees throwing their hats into ring----all at yummy rates.

    See the progression here?

    Yes, there are still tons of writers here, there and everywhere that suck beyond belief. However, there are far more "acceptable" writers today than there were four years ago.

    Think about it.

    The rate is staying the same while the quality is going up. And here's the icing on the cake (mmmmm capitalism): once a specific quality level is established and saturated with suppliers, the price will come down.

    If you're in group #2, you can either accept it and join group #1 or you can dedicate yourself to becoming a member of group #4. Of course, you could always find something else to do.

    For those in group #3, if you can't make that jump to group #4, expect to see your income decline (unless you work more) as we move forward. It might not be as pronounced at first, and it might take a couple more years, but it will happen.

    Well?

    Think I'm 100% wrong? Partially right?

    Sound off.
     
    marketjunction, Aug 28, 2008 IP
    latoya likes this.
  2. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #2
    I'd say you're partially right on the webmaster client base, but not completely. My clients are pretty well-balanced these days between webmasters / online entrepreneurs with "small" sites or businesses and the larger corporate clients (with some artists and non-profits thrown in occasionally). They all pay within the same ranges - I have webmasters paying $.30+ per word right alongside the "big boys."

    The key is finding ones who are "well-funded" moreso than "large companies" - and of course, ones who understand the value of quality writing and what it can bring to the table as opposed to ones who can't see beyond the cost.
     
    jhmattern, Aug 28, 2008 IP
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  3. lightless

    lightless Notable Member

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    #3
    Then there are among others

    5] Writers who don't care what group they are in
    6] Writers that write to produce capital for their entrepreneurial and online ventures

    Pro doesn't necessarily mean that you write for big companies though. As you may know, there are some rich webmasters out there and an expert writer can earn the income he wants through them [If he can find them or be found by them, that is].
     
    lightless, Aug 28, 2008 IP
  4. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #4
    And if a good writer (not even awesome good) can market, then he or she can make more money than any freelance writer of any level.

    :)
     
    marketjunction, Aug 28, 2008 IP
  5. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #5
    Yes, but you failed the test. Are you in group 1 or 2? No. You're probably upper group 3 or 4 (you tell me, I don't know).

    And therefore, what I said doesn't apply to you and thus, your experiences (or mine as a writer) don't matter. :)
     
    marketjunction, Aug 28, 2008 IP
  6. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #6
    Sweetie, your "big company" reference was in relation to group 4, hence the "correction". :p
     
    jhmattern, Aug 28, 2008 IP
  7. chant

    chant Peon

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    #7
    Don't forget the category of writer that is making enough money from their self-produced content that they don't need to sell to any group, nor do they need to hire a hodge-podge assortment of cheap 1-2 cent writers to write the content that they repackage and sell for a higher rate. Those writers may be self-employed in a variety of businesses, from writing exclusively for a single publication to running their own content rich website.

    And then, above that group, there are the writers that write the letters for the Penthouse forum. :)
     
    chant, Aug 28, 2008 IP
  8. elfsites

    elfsites Peon

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    #8
    I'm not exactly sure what the point is. People who don't have "big clients" usually isn't because they don't want to get more money, it's because they haven't been picked by them yet. So if you write and need clients, and all you find is low-mid paying jobs, what other choice is there?
     
    elfsites, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  9. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #9
    It's never a matter of being "picked by them." It's a matter of knowing how to market yourself effectively to them based on their needs. It's no one's fault but the writer's if they can't land the kind of clients they want.
     
    jhmattern, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  10. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #10
    Yeah, I don't know what the point is anymore either.

    Oh well, moving on.
     
    marketjunction, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  11. chucky00

    chucky00 Banned

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    #11
    you spent some time and thoughts on this article...you should sell it:)
    now..you say english is hard to learn...big mistake...i've learned english since i was in the 1st grade...like 23 years ago...anyway try and learn swedish, finnish or chinese....or even german.
    US native speakers...hmm...heard some of them speaking like they where in the ghetto or something like that...not all of course...UK speakers...i prefer the US ones really.
    nowadays people are trying to make money and i don't think they care that they work for bill gates or for you...pride is something very expensive you know..
    now as for the Indian guys (i'm from europe don't worry) you should put yourself in their shoes...why do you think they do almost all the jobs so cheap? i've seen on Oprah a mother earned 10 cents daily for carrying baggages from people...if i earn about 2000-3000 euros every month in Europe that doesn't mean it's the same thing in India or other countries.
    And about the misspellings that's why most editors like Word or Ad. Acrobat offers the spell checking...it's not so hard to push a button right?
    If someone pays 1$ for a 500 word article and gets a really bad one than be sure that he will never go for this deal again...i've been tricked by indian people several times but i've got some really good deals from some of them as well...nobody is perfect.
    These people shouldn't be happy earning 1$ or 2$ but if that money at the end of the day gives them tomorrow meal, then believe me i would be happy too. Here you go:
    India's estimated population to be 1,129,866,154, in July 2007. It's a rough market. I've lowered my web design rates on some freelance websites because there are people who can do maybe or maybe not the same thing for less less less money. My Conclusion: One should get a real job..like i did. instead of freelancing i'm a hired web designer...pretty cool right?
    no hard feelings.
     
    chucky00, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  12. IC_IC

    IC_IC Peon

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    #12
    You are not getting quality original writing by a native English speaker for anywhere near 1-5 cents a word, period!
     
    IC_IC, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  13. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #13
    Thought I just said I did.

    But fine, I'm wrong.

    Please define "quality."
     
    marketjunction, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  14. kentuckyslone

    kentuckyslone Well-Known Member

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    #14
    I have to say that you are wrong on that. I have a few select writers who do excellent work for those rates. Yes, they are native English speakers.

    I have also hired writers from outher countries who work within those rates. Many didnt do very well, but there are some who do a fantastic job.

    Also, there is a writing service I use - http://www.textbroker.com - their writers work well within that price range and are US residents. Some of the articles I have received are average or above average, but most of them are REALLY good.

    Sorry to say this but your opinion is contradicted by the facts :)
     
    kentuckyslone, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  15. DPobserver

    DPobserver Banned

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    #15
    chucky00, why people should work for only meal anyway ? even if they are indians, lot of things are not cheap at all in india, why you compare person who carry baggage with professional writer ? are you for real, lol ?

    moral of story - don't settle for webmaster market 100%, go to others for 90%. If these people can only realise that working with websites themselfs will make them fortune.... but oh...ok, that people should be anyway:) someone needs to make big money afterall:)
     
    DPobserver, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  16. chucky00

    chucky00 Banned

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    #16
    the context was figurative anyway...
     
    chucky00, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  17. neena123

    neena123 Peon

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    #17
    Lol.. you thrive in controversies don't you marketjunction. But your post does reflect the scenario of today, despite all the hue and cry about the Indian writers charging less, I have seen enough threads by native english speakers charging around 1 cent a word and sometimes even less. At DP it is a buyers market and not a very highly paying one either, its a fact we all need to accept and it has nothing to do with the cost of living anywhere. The yummy higher paying gigs of $50 for 500 words are available to people who've been here for dog's years and know the so called 'underground' pretty well. If you do not get a great paying gig, it doesn't mean that you aren't a good writer, its more of the sign of times. With the internet expanding and more people jumping on the writing bandwagon everyday it is getting fiercely competitive. I'm glad you pointed it out so succinctly marketjunction, a post like this was definitely required.
     
    neena123, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  18. sandarr

    sandarr Active Member

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    #18
    Correct me if I am wrong but it seems that many people think that DP is the only place to find work and there are only good paying clients in the underground for select writers. There are many other places to find writing work on the Internet and off.

    Another thing is writing on every topic, I would think that it is difficult for clients that pay well to believe that this writer would serve their needs effectively....but I really don't know about that. I can write on any topic but I also know I do not do justice to ones I do not know with out a lot of research, like I can for ones that I write on a regular basis.
     
    sandarr, Aug 29, 2008 IP
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  19. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #19
    sandarr, I don't think any of us operating on DP mostly in the underground markets think DP is an exclusive resource. I don't know a single one who isn't smart enough to get a LOT of work elsewhere, and even those of us who network with each other here take it off DP pretty often. Just wanted to clarify that so when we're talking about that side of things no one thinks this is the only place we operate (that's why we say to network, build a site / portfolio, etc. elsewhere as well). :)

    And you're right. Many high-paying clients dish out the bigger money for specialists for their expertise; not general writing ability - that might be in a certain niche, or a certain style (like writing sales copy).
     
    jhmattern, Aug 29, 2008 IP
  20. sandarr

    sandarr Active Member

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    #20
    Sorry JHMattern, I did not make my thoughts clear was referring to the posts that seem to believe that higher paying clients are exclusive to certain writers. That is why I question if these writers wanting a higher price per word look other places besides DP, rather than write for prices that are lower than what they would like.
     
    sandarr, Aug 29, 2008 IP