How Much Do You Think Freelance Writers Are Worth?

10 replies
I'm a full-time freelance writer and have made a good living from it over the years. I've been lucky enough to build up some great regular clients, but I do have to apply to new work occasionally. When I do browse the job postings, I always stumble across ads that are pretty mind-boggling, to say the least.

For example, this morning I came across a posting asking for 20 articles at a "firm budget" of a whopping $9.

So I'm just wondering, what do you guys think writing is worth?

Do you know the difference between good and bad writing? Do you understand the importance of it and how it can impact your website and improve conversions?

Do you have a cutoff rate that you'll never pay more than? Are you looking for high-quality writing, or are you just looking for cheap, grammatically correct keyword drivel to fill up space on a page? Any opinion on the minimum or maximum rate you should pay for a specific type of writing?

Would love to get some opinions on this. Especially since content mills are dying and Google is putting a strong emphasis on quality content that is engaging and shareable.

(Associated Content is dead – and when's the last time you saw About, eHow or HubPages on page one of Google? Think about that one for a minute.)
#freelance #worth #writers
  • Profile picture of the author GeorgeClicxy
    Something tells me "grammatically correct keyword dribble" - is exactly what most of the e-commerece websites are looking for. :/
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    • Profile picture of the author Jennifer Hutson
      Originally Posted by GeorgeClicxy View Post

      Something tells me "grammatically correct keyword dribble" - is exactly what most of the e-commerece websites are looking for. :/
      Many of them are. There's a way to write engaging SEO-optimized content, but many businesses think it's only about the keywords and don't know what good content is worth.

      Originally Posted by PLR Basket View Post

      A big error a lot of writers make in this business is selling themselves cheap. Some people will absolutely REFUSE to pay 5$ dollars for an article assuming that it will be poorly written.
      Unfortunately, these types of clients are in the minority from what I've seen throughout the years. They are definitely out there, though! Building up a good reputation is key. Then you can market yourself to bigger brands who understand the big picture. I've found more of these types of clients outside of freelance sites (referrals, LinkedIn, locally, etc.).
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    • Profile picture of the author writeaway
      Originally Posted by GeorgeClicxy View Post

      Something tells me "grammatically correct keyword dribble" - is exactly what most of the e-commerece websites are looking for. :/
      I think you mean DRIVEL.



      Anyway, the global writing market is very segmented. If a writer wants to charge .01 or .10 or even 1 USD per word, he or she should stick by that price and JUSTIFY that price with matching quality. Also, writers' marketing efforts should match their price level.

      Less than 2 cents per word = forums, micro-outsourcing platforms, and freelance platforms

      More than 2 cents per word =LinkedIN

      Premium rates = Agency outreach
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  • Profile picture of the author PLR Basket
    A big error a lot of writers make in this business is selling themselves cheap. Some people will absolutely REFUSE to pay 5$ dollars for an article assuming that it will be poorly written.

    It's better to market yourself as a premium writer and charge whatever you want for your service. This way, you'll attract better customers (bargain hunters are usually absolute pains in the a$$), and get more return business since cheapos usually end up falling flat on their faces.
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  • Profile picture of the author blitz20
    Me personally I pay $20 or more for an articles and have 10+ made each day. It only makes sense to pay for top writers. The better your content the more people will share or continue to follow you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Some are worth nothing... some are worth thousands of dollars plus a percent of sales.

    Remember Marketing 101: People buying drills don't really want drills... they want holes.

    Same with writing... results are what determines value.
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  • Profile picture of the author kk075
    I fully agree with what's been said here already, and the problem I've found is that most site owners have no idea what they should be buying to begin with.

    For example, I've been looking for a local apprentice for awhile now to handle my overflow, and the person I interviewed this week sent me a sample that was on a B2B tech company's site. You literally couldn't read it though because it was so overly technical, and I had to explain to her that the content was horrible from a consumer standpoint.

    Of course, she said, "But that's what the consumer wanted," and she did right by delivering it, but that page will never make that company any money. Because anyone looking within that niche will see it and think, "Okay...I have no idea what this means." So regardless of what she was paid, it was a bad investment.

    Others are at the opposite end of the spectrum and they just want words on a page, because they don't know that a website's success ultimately hinges on how people react to it. The same goes for email marketing, video marketing and all the other tools as well...the words really matter.

    So to get back to the original question, a solid freelance writer is worth (in my opinion) the return on investment their content provides within the first few days of being live. Because that's what the client should be willing to pay since it's easy money in their pockets from day 3-4 forward. Now, this makes it a little harder to bid on because you probably don't know how well that client can use your content...but it's still your job to try and figure that out since you're the one giving a bid amount.

    As a rule of thumb though, if they seem clueless about how to monetize their site then I try to stay clear. Because they definitely won't be able to recognize your value.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    As a freelance writer you get to decide what you should be paid.

    If you have good reputation and reviews, you could do
    very well by setting a standard for yourself especially when
    your piece is irresistible.

    It's not surprising to see someone asking for 20 articles at $9.
    That's even fair, some people don't ever buy or write articles,
    they believe in scraping and spinning.

    Many more still know the value of good article, you probably
    should double your marketing effort.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jennifer Hutson
      Originally Posted by johnben1444 View Post

      As a freelance writer you get to decide what you should be paid.

      If you have good reputation and reviews, you could do
      very well by setting a standard for yourself especially when
      your piece is irresistible.

      It's not surprising to see someone asking for 20 articles at $9.
      That's even fair, some people don't ever buy or write articles,
      they believe in scraping and spinning.

      Many more still know the value of good article, you probably
      should double your marketing effort.
      Can you explain why you think that $9 for 20 articles is fair?

      My whole point in posting this thread was to really get into the mind of the average marketer and figure out why they feel the way they do about writing prices. Whether it's a lack of industry knowledge or something else.

      Originally Posted by Cyndi Kates View Post

      I find that 'copywriters' often seem to better understand their customer & audiences needs, as well as seo structure, and it may be a completely different product (of writing) then the standard customer is willing to pay for, it does seem that by changing the title from 'freelance writer' to 'copywriter' may be a solution for you.

      I visited a link from here the other day, and viewed a copywriter's landing page, and the cost was in excess of $4 per word and that didn't include royalties or other contractual costs.
      I am a copywriter and do use that title on my personal website and business platforms. I don't have trouble finding work at my rates – I was just curious as to what other people thought was fair, since I see so many writing jobs with ridiculous budgets for the amount of work they're asking for.

      $4 per word is not uncommon at higher levels of copywriting. It's all about ROI.

      If you could afford to pay someone for a $10,000 sales letter that converts at 20% versus a $500 sales letter that converts at 2%, which would you choose?
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  • Profile picture of the author Cyndi Kates
    I find that 'copywriters' often seem to better understand their customer & audiences needs, as well as seo structure, and it may be a completely different product (of writing) then the standard customer is willing to pay for, it does seem that by changing the title from 'freelance writer' to 'copywriter' may be a solution for you.

    I visited a link from here the other day, and viewed a copywriter's landing page, and the cost was in excess of $4 per word and that didn't include royalties or other contractual costs.
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