"I Need a Writer" VS. "Where are the Customers?"

by 31 comments
OK, I'll admit it, I've been talking to some writers in the past few days. I see all these threads complaining about not being able to find good writers. I also hear writers complaining about not having enough work. Hmmmm... What's the deal? Where's the disconnect? Is it that the writers want to get $30/article and the customers want to pay $3/article? Maybe. Or is it the fact that one can get a PLR pack of 10 articles for $3? Or is it the fact that everyone thinks they can write so why should they pay a writer? Maybe I'm gonna regret this, but WHAT DO YOU THINK? I'll go get some popcorn.

#internet marketing #i need a writer #where are the customers
  • Profile picture of the author Ben Roy
    I think it's the first thing you mentioned. People posting that they want writers, but want to pay $5/article or $3/article or something silly. I pretty much gave up on trying to write for other people because it seemed like no one was looking for quality articles at reasonable rates ($10-$15).

    Doesn't seem like PLR would be interfering much - there should still be a large market for original content.
  • Profile picture of the author smisen
    I think part of it is that there are some pretty terrible writers out there, and a lot of people have been disappointed in the results they've received from so-called "writers". That makes it hard to trust other offers from article writers.

    And you're right, there are a lot of people who want top quality content at $3/article...
    • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
      Maybe writers aren't providing good enough content? Business is fine "write" here !
    • Profile picture of the author nursewriter
      For me it's having trouble finding clients that will pay a decent price for an article. I cannot write for $5 an article and make it worth my time.

      What the client doesn't understand is that the lower the price they are willing to pay... the poorer the quality because a writer working for peanuts is going to have to write a lot more articles to make a living. Therefore the research will be spotty... if at all and the articles will suffer.

      I cannot find anyone willing to pay a decent price for an article so I don't do a whole lot of article writing anymore. Instead I am writing for myself.

    • Profile picture of the author zephyrwriting
      I'd like to think that I am, at very least, a pretty decent writer. However, I constantly seem to come up against a brick wall in terms of prices. While it is easy for me to find work that amounts to 5$ or so per article, even pushing it up to $7 to $10 appears to cause many potential clients to balk.

      Sometimes I get lucky, and find a client that engages me with work enough to last weeks once he or she sees my initial delivery (and is impressed enough by it, I think). Still, searching for new clients seems to be increasingly difficult.

  • Profile picture of the author CSwrite
    TomG - I feel your pain here. It's so frustrating when the only work you can find won't even pay the bills. I've been blessed enough to pick up some great paying jobs here and from twitter (Thanks Dana_W) so I'm booked solid at the moment, but with this kind of work you just never know.

    I wonder what would happen to people with "real" jobs if they went into work tomorrow and were suddenly told that their $20/hr salary was suddenly dropped down to $3/hr - for anyone that ever wants to know what it's like to be a freelance writer, that pretty much sums it up.

    • Profile picture of the author Rob D
      Not sure this answers the question - just a few random observations.

      Here's the problem I have. In New Zealand the minimum wage is $12/hour. Plus employees get like 4 weeks paid holiday so the real minimum wage is about $13.50/hour. Now I consider the worst employee you could possibly hire - he is rude, incompetent, sometimes doesn't even show up, causes damage and loss of information and then goes out and spends his wage at the pub and badmouths his boss all night. You still have to pay that idiot $13.50 for an hours work.

      Now, I figure that I am at least twice as good as that guy, so if I work for less than $27(which is about $20 US) per hour I am selling myself short and might as well go flip burgers. But assume I'm only as good as him - that means I need my $13.50 per hour. I have to assume an article will take me an hour. Sometimes I will be familiar with a niche and the research will take less time, but other times it's something completely new and I need to research everything from scratch. So - while I can write anywhere between one and five articles per hour - I have to assume for pricing it's only going to be one.

      I think the problem here is that some authors take pride in what they hand over, while others just want to ensure it passes copyscape. There is a big difference between people who use the BUM rewrite method(line by line rewrite of someone elses articles) and someone who goes and gets out library books, interviews experts or at least compares notes from more than one website.

      The other thing that you need to factor into your calculations if you are writing for a fulltime living is that clients don't usually pop out of nowhere - you do need to spend a little time chasing leads and that too has to be factored into your prices. Also, whenever you provide a service you are only earning when you are providing the service, so you have to basically factor time-off into your rates as well.

      However, having said all that - if you provide good quality stuff clients keep coming back, and clients who keep coming back are the ones who are going to be a little more understanding about your scheduel because they know how it works. They know if you have 50 articles in a queue and they dump a 15 article assignment on you that needs to be finished tomorrow that they either pay to jump the queue or they get their articles later. They know that if they are only going to pay peanuts their writer will have to seriously rush the articles out to make it worth their while and the quality will drop, and most of all they know that the writer is trying to make a living to, and if they find one who is reliable then they need to look after them.

      **looks up at his rantings above**

  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    Yeah, go to Twitter, fellow frustrated writers, there are offline people there who tend to pay a lot better for writing than internet marketers.

    Pick a rate and stick with it. I charge five cents a word. I have had people ask me to go lower, and I politely declined.

    Be prepared to provide some writing samples which show that you can provide good quality writing. Always get paid 50 percent up front. Don't write free samples to "prove you can write". That's what your writing samples are for. Eat your vegetables. That is all I can think of right now.
    • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
      People think it's easy to write, it seems like it is, so it's hard to justify high prices for a lot of people.
    • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
      Tommy I have been watching the market for some time now, and there are problems on both sides.

      You have people who say they want good/great writers but they also say they can't afford to pay more than a couple of $'s. But, their standards are not what a good/great writer has. I have read some articles which are terrible and people are thinking they are the best thing since sliced bread.

      You also have people who claim to be good writers but couldn't write if their lives depended on it.

      From talking to a number of writers here, it seems that PLR articles are fairly dead on the WSO at the moment. This happens, but the market will turn as it has done in the past. People want to make money online, but content is one area that a lot of people won't put their money into. There are exceptions to the rule but that is being general.

      There is a lot of misinformation being given to people who come as to how they should set up their website and business. And the problem is when people follow that advice they find it harder and harder to get top paying clients.

      There are plenty around, but not always warriors. I have had people coming to my site and paying my prices without any comments about how high they are. They are given a flat fee, and the normal comment is that is cheap. I increased my prices, and still got the same thing. I wrote a book charging $0.10 per word and again it was that is quite cheap.

      You also have some people who see the higher prices charged who want to suddenly get into that range, but they are not ready to make the jump.

      There are too many problems to put here, but basically you have two different markets. Those who think they want good/great writers but only want a decent writer and will pay less than $8 per article. Moving from that market takes work and knowing what the outside market is looking for.

      You then have the market who want good/great writers who will pay top money for the work, because they know what sort of return they will get from it.

      Example, I had a non-warrior ask me to write a few articles for them in their niche. I quoted them the price, $30 per article and within a few days of receiving them, they came back for 20 more at the same price. They used the articles exclusively on EZA.

      Also, you have warriors who want to make good money writing but they miss all the opportunities that are around for them to do that. They think PLR article packages which go in stages as to how well they sell. They think about exclusive but the income from that can be low if done incorrectly, but there are other ways that you can make money as a writer.

      You can sell cheap and make big dollars.
      You can sell high priced good quality articles, reports and books to a market who are willing to pay for them.
      You can have 1 client who will earn you 5 figures if you work hard for them.

      As I say I have been digging deep and watching the market for over 2 years now. I have used my experience of ghostwriting for a well known publishing house to see how they do things, compared to how online writers work. I have been watching the search engines and seeing how they are responding to our websites. I have been talking to many writers who are facing the same problems as you are talking.

      But, and this is the real killer, I have surveyed my list, the majority of whom are not warriors, and everyone has given me the same answer. When I pass it on to others, they argue and say but I am doing that because, yet they are not getting the higher paid jobs. They refuse to make changes to their site, because they argue that they are doing it right, yet they are not getting the higher paid people.

      I could go on, but I think you see the point. Get it wrong and you will struggle to increase your prices, get it right and you can charge whatever you feel your time is worth.

      And it goes without saying, the higher the prices, the more work you need to put into researching your topic.

    • Profile picture of the author Alice Seba
      Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

      Pick a rate and stick with it. I charge five cents a word. I have had people ask me to go lower, and I politely declined.
      Wow...and that is still cheap for quality writing.

      It really bothers me that people don't see the value of finding someone really good, paying them well and getting great service and loyalty in return. :-(


      EDIT: I don't say this because I own a ghostwriting service. It's a very small portion of my business as our writers/researchers/proofreaders get the lion's share of the profits. I say this from experience in outsourcing, whether it's a writer, a VA or a programmer. I am happy to pay people a good chunk of change if I know I can continue to count on them for great work.
  • Profile picture of the author BeyondThePen
    I find some clients willing to pay my rates, esp in the niches of real estate, credit and lending due to my expertise. But for the most part? I am leaning toward writing for myself and selling my own informational products.
  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
    i both write, and use writers so this is my view from both sides..

    Price yourself where you should be and the work comes in
    I charge the top of the range,and can pick and choose my clients
    There will always be bargain basement writers,and there will alsoalways be people who can't tell the difference between good and bad, and will pay for anything as long as it's got a couple of capital letters, a few key words and the odd full stop.
    Best thing to do? Put your head down and write, be the best you can be, and don't make excuses for charging what you need to charge

    There are good cheap writers to be found still- but I count $1o dollars as a cheap find- and will often pay more depending on the niche, and how well written I need the article. I pay what I think is fair and I generally pay more than what they originally asked for.
  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
    Bev, don't get me started on the PLR thing. Sheesh, I got hammered into the ground trying that out I have found that there are more writers than assignments when you are looking at adsense fodder. When I go and setup a customer's network and server, I get $75-$150/hour. I started the IM voyage because solving the most hairy computer problems people throw at you day in and day out is depressing at best. My observation about writing is this: I write for myself and make several times more than if I write for someone else. Period.

    • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
      Originally Posted by tommygadget View Post

      I write for myself and make several times more than if I write for someone else. Period.

      Through promoting products or just the sheer enjoyment it brings ?
  • Profile picture of the author Shannon Tani
    Hmmm....anal itch. There's a niche I hadn't considered.
    The gears are a-turning now!

    • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
      Originally Posted by Shannon Tani View Post

      Hmmm....anal itch. There's a niche I hadn't considered.
      The gears are a-turning now!

      Yes, I threw that one in because I knew it would irritate some people Get it? HAHAHEEHEEHOO!! Eesssh, now I know why my WSO went into the crapper! HAHAAA! Oh boy, I'm killing myself. I'll be here until Saturday folks, just don't trip over the coffee can.

  • Profile picture of the author TianYan
    I think there is a huge of demand for good writers.
    Notice I say "good".

    Hence, the disconnect would be at the quality of written
    work or the marketing for good writers. Either way, both
    would result in no value delivered to meet the demand.

    Be Well,
    - Tian Yan

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