How much is a 500 word article really worth?

by 100 comments
I feel like I've been beating my head against a wall lately, trying to make a living writing quality content for people all over the world.

It's not that the competition is fierce or there is a lack of work by any means, there is such a wild swing in pricing.

I see services offered as low as $1 or $2 for 500 words. I've bought a couple just to see what they look like and Jeeesus Christ, they are terrible. I mean ostentatious grammar mistakes, mixed up verbs and just a horrible level of piss poor content. I can't imagine any intelligent online marketer that would put that on their page.

Then you move up to the $5 for 500 words game, and the quality gets a little better but IMHO to write a good article it takes research, writing, formatting, editing, proofreading, proofreading, proofreading (I wrote that 3x on purpose) then finally submission to the client.

So what is worth to you, the website owner that wants valuable, quality, unique content?

And what is it worth to you, the writer that slaves in front of her laptop to passionately create an awesome article?

Please share your thoughts.....
#main internet marketing discussion forum #500 #article #word #worth
  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    Hi Griffin,

    Unfortunately, your observations are one hundred percent correct. Most website owners are simply unwilling to pay more than $1 per 100 words, from what I have seen.

    Do you really expect people to write properly worded 500 word articles for $1? I would never, and I doubt most other people would, anywhere in the world.

    If you are lucky, you can find website owners who actually care about the quality of content. They might be willing to pay a little bit more. But as for earning a good income online via writing, you must be able to write quick (and be able to compromise on the quality slightly).
  • Profile picture of the author SumikoW
    Great question: Time is money. If you have time and you can write good quality and no money then do it yourself. If you don't have time and you have money and can't write good content pay someone to do it for you.

    It's a process of finding a good writer. Not so much as it is the price, just like anything you can pay alot for bad quality as you can spend the same amount for good quality...try Article it, good resource, been around for years.
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    So what is worth to you, the website owner that wants valuable, quality, unique content?

    And what is it worth to you, the writer that slaves in front of her laptop to passionately create an awesome article?
    You are asking the wrong questions. There is no "right price" as different buyers need articles for differing purposes. How hard you "slave away" is not the buyer's problem.

    You don't need to compete with $1, $2 and $5 writers unless you choose to (and why would you?). There's plenty of buyers in that price range - but also many buyers in higher price ranges.

    The "500 words" is an IM length that many site owners want - and usually want cheaply. Top buyers today are asking for 800+ words. Truth is - they are also much better to work with than low end buyers. They know what they want, they recognize quality when they see it - and they are willing to pay for it.

    The only person who sets your pay you. Position yourself to attract better buyers.

  • Profile picture of the author TiffLee
    Go read this post from John Coutts:

    Then read it again. And then again.

    If you want to find high-paying customers, there may be no better outline to follow.
  • Profile picture of the author laurenceh

    I feel like I've been beating my head against a wall lately, trying to make a living writing quality content for people all over the world.
    I urge you to grab yourself a tea/coffee, a note pad and pen, and read the following thread whilst taking notes furiously!

    I'd also strongly suggest you download the free report Dr Mani kindly offered.

    It's full of gold, and should steer you from the murky waters of $5 article writing!

    In regards to how much an article is worth?

    It depends on how the buyer is going to use it. If it's SEO Keyword stuffed fodder they want, probably not very much.

    A marketer who knows how much revenue a well crafted article can bring them, sometimes $100's
  • Profile picture of the author TopClass
    There exists different markets, the $1 articles are for those people who are looking for only backlinks while the hire $10 market is for those who really want quality content.
    There is no point in slogging it out by writing quality content for peanuts.
    There are lots of people out there who are really looking for quality content, you just need to find them.
  • Profile picture of the author cjbmeb14
    As you have probably seen I offer an article writing service.

    I am in the area 500 words for $5 and yes; I would love to charge more, but that is impossible! People just will not pay more or can't.

    We see writers offering writing services for $1 or $2 for 500 words. However, to charge this, for us is not worth the time, and we could not afford to do it.
  • Profile picture of the author celente
    I think the price is irrelevant.

    Its about getting the right results.

    Would you pay $50 for an article that goes viral and puts in 1000 extra subscribers or makes you $500 in sales.

    I think the answers are clear there.
  • Profile picture of the author perfectlovehere
    I guess it would depend on a lot of factors like how much traffic you could generate, how popular the topic is, and if the funnel is setup properly etc.
  • Profile picture of the author Sandi Valentine
    I regularly write SEO content for $1-2 per 100 words. However, I write quickly and accurately, and I find that I can still make an excellent hourly rate doing so.

    On the other hand, if someone wants feature style content that's of magazine quality, with multiple journal articles cited, etc., I charge more per article.

    In order to make a living as a writer I've had to adapt and provide various levels of quality for various prices. It's served me well.
  • Profile picture of the author Jimmy586
  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    Its worth how much people are willing to pay. The key is to not try and compete with those $5 writers.

    I charge $20 for a 500 word article and that will likely be going up soon because I still get more clients than I can handle sometimes and I don't even advertise my service often.

    You just need to be able to establish yourself as a great writer and show samples of your work. Build up a portfolio of testimonials and samples.
  • Profile picture of the author Promocodeinn
    Quality writing needs time as well as knowledge therefore, i think that cost of article should depend upon the topic you are writing for and what quality a writer can provide in his material.
  • Profile picture of the author aushaun
    Quality produces better results at the end of the day - if someone's paying the absolute minimal for shoddy work, this (ideally) should be outperformed by the higher quality content.

    If someone's only willing to pay $1 per 500 words, you probably wouldn't want to be working for them in the first place.
  • Profile picture of the author CreativeFlair
    'How much is a 500 word article really worth?'

    However much it makes the owner.

    I currently charge £27 (around $42.60) per 500 words, and I'm about to put my prices up again because I have more work than I want to do.

    As someone already said, it's about the positioning. And if you have a record of working with good companies and writing great stuff, you can charge more.
  • Profile picture of the author sidcandid
    It depends on the person who is ordering the articles. Some people will just not pay more than $1 per 100 words, but some people will not compromise on quality and will pay more for their articles.

    I also think as an article writer you should know your worth. You should not price yourself too cheap just to get work. Getting quality work from high paying clients is worth your time and effort rather than getting tons of work from clients who don't pay you well.
  • Profile picture of the author solado
    I know how you feel OP.

    I just started writing as well and the 500 word articles for under $3 I just cant compete with in terms of pricing, My content will be much better and researched but many people still seem to like the $1 wonders.
  • Profile picture of the author HarrieB
    when it comes to writers from asian countries like india, pakistan as well as philippines, there are a large number of people/freelancers who write good quality content and since the standard of living is not so high, they tend to write a article upto 500 words for $2-3!!
    So, just keep on writing and increasing your knowledge about different niches, so that if you get a project, the client doesnt has to look anywhere else but you!!
  • Profile picture of the author bulldogzg
    Perfectly written article on the topic is worth a lot - like 10$ per 100 words IMO. It can get your visitors to stay longer, share your site/link on social networking sites, make them come back for more and think of your site like an authority one!

    On the other hand poorly written content can make them (and me when looking for info) make avoid that site for good.

    So hard to put a price on that
  • Profile picture of the author lukemosse
    I agree with the policy of charging what you're happy to work for, even if it means you have to look harder for work. I run a teaching business and I see lots of teachers start up who charge very low rates. All it means is that it's not worthwhile for them to teach those people so they put little effort in, and also the person they are teaching treats them with less respect because of their pricing. So their numbers never rise because they have to devote more time to other activities which will pay the bills. I'm fully booked now and I'm sure if I put my prices up it wouldn't affect my student numbers.

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