What the heck are they thinking? Is this the most Insane Quote for an outsorced article?

36 replies
Yesterday I posted a request for a writer that would focus on a local niche. Reviews of a certain area of town and the things there are to do in the area. I received a reply from one writer asking me for the details of what I am looking for and I replied with some details asking for a quote.

The quote is for 300 - 400 word articles for a website and one to two articles per week. This chick quoted me $75.00 per article like it was nothing!!!!

Is she out of her mind or am I a cheap SOB? I have been getting articles for $5 that are not that great but $15 - $20 gets me some great articles. What do you think? Should I be willing to pay this? It's not like she will be writing a 5000 word sales page...

How can I find someone with local knowledge that can write for less than this... After 10 pages I will have spent $750.00.
#cheap #mind #sob
  • Profile picture of the author Will_Surren
    Originally Posted by Traffic-Bug View Post

    May be you might want to check if the article you are about to farm out to her is worth the spending of $75 per article. If $75 could make a best articles 'bestest' then you can convince yourself 'you get what you pay for'. But if the best article quality is available for say less than $10 then there is no point in paying $75.
    I read some of her work on her website and I don't think it is any better than the $15-$25 articles. Here is my problem though.... She lives in the area that I am targeting for the reviews.. Therefore, she has the knowledge that I am looking for already with no research. I don't think I can find anyone in another state or country that could do a review on a local area of town. I cant pay $75 at this time though...
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
    She's a writer, she can charge whatever she wants really, it's your job to do the shopping for the best rate. There are people who'd charge 3x that or more, and people who'd only charge $1
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    To tell you the truth, this is a slightly above the average price in the 'offline' world of writing. Corporate companies will use them for their writings.

    So it's fair. But I think small-timers would not be able to afford it so that's why we have the more 'budget' writers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
      As stated previously, she can charge whatever she wants to charge. I'm wondering if you've made her a counter offer. It can't hurt is this is who you want to use.

      If you want to use someone else you can post ads in the local arts paper, on college campuses etc.

      Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author samstephens
    I'm not an article writer, but I'm guessing it's pretty similar to offering any service:

    The service provider has put a value on her time, and if she can pull that kind of money, she's obviously worth it to certain clients. She may be turning out publication quality work.

    If you don't need her skill level, you could probably find someone cheaper - maybe a uni or college student doing a course related to writing?

    cheers
    Sam
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    It's not insane. Many corporations pay over $1,000 for a 400 word article, and yes I can tell you which freelance companies who charge that. Before any asks, no we don't charge that

    Why is $75 insane, how many offliners charge an offline company between $1,000 and $2,000 for a simple wordpress blog and 10 articles. Do the maths here.

    If you think it is too high, why not write them yourself unless you believe your time is worth more.

    Or why can't someone outside of the area write them for you?
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Ask her if she'll do it for $25. All she can do is say no. Which leaves you right where you are now anyway. You'll either get her for what you consider a more reasonable rate, or you'll be looking elsewhere. You are no worse off either way, and maybe better off.

    I don't believe you're going to get an article that is so much better for $75 than for $25 that it warrants meeting her price. She may get that from others, but you have the advantage of having other options. You can probably easily find a good writer right here at WF who'll take your order for a lot less than $75 and produce something as good as (maybe better than) her product.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Taylor
    I agree, it's probably about right. You're not just getting a 400 word article like you would get for publishing on Ezine Articles or for an Adsense website. You're paying for her specialized knowledge and research. The article is secondary in this equation, even though that's the end product.

    Consider how much return on each article you stand to get. Will you profit at least $75 for each article you get from her? If so, then it may be a good buy for you. If you don't think you can squeeze $75 out of each one, then you should try to find someone else.
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  • Profile picture of the author tj
    Originally Posted by Will_Surren View Post

    ....
    Is she out of her mind or am I a cheap SOB? I have been getting articles for $5 that are not that great but $15 - $20 gets me some great articles. What do you think? Should I be willing to pay this? It's not like she will be writing a 5000 word sales page...
    If you can do it better .... write the article yourself. Otherwise find out if the area has a college / university - there you can find also students who should have the local knowledge and can write. I am sure you can price that writing job accordingly your needs.

    Timo
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Will_Surren
      I have sent her an email asking if she could go for $25 and also asked if she knows anyone in the area in college that may be up for this project. Waiting for her reply... I am surprised by the responses I have received here. I thought the price was outrageous. I guess I am learning a little about local marketing... LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author Freeman77
    I've paid $70 for two 500 word articles -- I needed someone with a Master's degree and specialized knowledge. I've also been paid quite a bit to do some technical writing, but I have a Master's degree myself and some technical knowledge.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    I think the problem here is that you're taking her quote personally.

    She probably gets paid her rate all the time and doesn't have much experience with people expecting to pay a few dollars for her time.

    If she's charging for her time and thinks it'll take 2 hours to research and write the article, then her hourly rate of $37.5 dollars comes to $75 - simple. (it could 3 hours or more at a lower rate but you get the idea).

    Why should her time be worth less just because you want to pay less?

    I've been paid thousands of dollars to write one article. I didn't ask for that, I was asked if I would write it and offered the amount to do it.

    So when I hear someone is charging $75, I'm thinking they're still hitting the low end of the market. When I hear people complain about that - I'm thinking that the value of peoples time and expertise seems to be ignored by many IMers.

    The reason it usually happens is (IMHO) that often, IMers value other peoples time at the same rate they value their own.

    So if you would feel that charging someone else $75 to write them an article is too much - of course you're likely to feel the same when they charge you that.

    In reality, this isn't about you - they're just charging their normal rate. Some people will be happy to pay it. If you're not - just use someone else.

    IMers looking for 'content' have a warped sense of value and you just can't expect 'normal' people who value their time and knowledge to drop their rates just because IMers don't value it.

    So in answer to your question - No, that's certainly not the most insane quote for an outsourced article - nowhere near.

    Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Sounds to me like she's used to working offline. I can't believe how LOW people will both write for and pay online. People that allow themselves to get ripped are making less for researching, writing, and proofing their work than you can make for proofreading alone - and less than for a professional edit.

    Since the whole world has decided they are qualified writers, the field has gone to hell in a hand basket. People are offering and getting less for writing than they did back in the mid 80's now. They are also selling crap that I would have flunked a Jr High School student for sticking together and passing it off as writing. The only writing I do online any more is for friends and for myself. I recently sold offline material for 600 bucks and probably would have been offered 50 - 100 for the same thing online. It's a crock.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark McClure
      Hey Will,

      As far as being a cheap SOB ;-).... your best guesstimate of what each local article may be worth to you over the time that the info remains relevant is a key factor here. Does this info 'age' much in 12 months or so?

      An ad on CL may indeed pull in writers hungry for cash.

      Also, Elance has hordes of writers lamenting the lack of well paying jobs (anything in 20 $ and upwards per 500 words makes a lot of folks happy there haha!).

      Good luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Since the whole world has decided they are qualified writers, the field has gone to hell in a hand basket.
        It also works the other way. The influx of people thinking they can write for money can help those with better skills and experience who charge more. Hire a bad writer a few times and you'll be happy to pay a higher price for good original copy.

        The greatest resistance to price in writing is in the IM area where site owners and bloggers are looking for cheap content.

        I have been getting articles for $5 that are not that great but $15 - $20 gets me some great articles.
        Then why not hire one of those writers to do these articles? You don't have to live in an area to write about it.

        kay
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    • Profile picture of the author tomw
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      Since the whole world has decided they are qualified writers, the field has gone to hell in a hand basket. People are offering and getting less for writing than they did back in the mid 80's now. They are also selling crap that I would have flunked a Jr High School student for sticking together and passing it off as writing. It's a crock.
      This is such a great statement...so true and not exclusively applicable to copywriting.

      You talk a lot of sense, Sal and not just in this post.

      Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author teamind
    I'm a local niche website builder, too, and understand the challenges you face.

    I'm with Jeremy on posting on Craigslist, first (if your market area is an option on CL).

    If no good replies on CL, try the local university's English/Writing department. Ask an instructor to offer it up as a "project" or "mini internship". In exchange, you pay the student $10-$25 per article and offer a testimonial/recommendation that the student can use for future job searches, etc. (True content expertise is always worth more.)

    I'm assuming these "10" articles will be used to set the stage/tone for the whole site. So, here's a way (that I just learned late last night!) that you can generate even MORE expert content for FREE - to build on top of your BASE:

    1) Find complementary local businesses and bloggers with popular websites (and a decent enough PR for their site) who are likely to be experts in an area for which you want content. Do your due diligence to make sure the company is reputable.
    2) Contact a handful of these businesses and ask if you can interview them (or if they would like to write an article) that will be featured on your site. Let them know that they can make a plug for their business at the end of the interview/article, plus you'll feature a link to their website (which is why you want them to already have some PR on their site). (Note: Some folks won't respond. Some will.)
    3) If you phone interview, post the recording, AND transcribe the call (SEO the transcript while still keeping it recognizable to the interviewee, and post on your website). Send the link to the interview to the interviewee.
    4) Do NOT ask for a link in return. However, if you do a GREAT job on featuring this on your site, and your site is interesting to them, many will want to spread the word about their interview with you and will spread your link to their network.
    5) You can also use this as Content 2.0 and turn it into a You Tube video (with a Powerpoint presentation), etc.
    6) If you get enough interviews of "locals", you can post an interviews tab on your page. And, if you ever get to interview someone famous, the interview link can be posted on Wikipedia's existing page for that person!

    It's a strategy I'm definitely going to try in my market as I want true local market expertise on my site.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,
    Kelly
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  • Profile picture of the author LegitBlogger
    I am sure they are used to writing for big corporations/magazines/etc
    that pay them that much per article. I once wrote for a magazine and
    got far more than that per article, so I can understand where she's
    coming from. But of course - online and these days, you can get a
    very good article written for much less.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by Will_Surren View Post

      I read some of her work on her website and I don't think it is any better than the $15-$25 articles. Here is my problem though.... She lives in the area that I am targeting for the reviews.. Therefore, she has the knowledge that I am looking for already with no research. I don't think I can find anyone in another state or country that could do a review on a local area of town. I cant pay $75 at this time though...
      Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

      This would be one project that would get thrown up on craigslist lol

      Seriously, put it on craigslist and watch all the college students come streaming in willing to write for beer money
      I agree - put an ad out in the "gigs" section, have someone send you a small sample of their writing, and let them know it could lead to some ongoing work for the right applicant.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        $75 for a 300-400 word article is not completely out of line. I think the most I've paid for an article was $200. I think that was for around 1,000 words or so. Not sure.

        A long time ago, I used to work with a local writer, until her writing landed her a full-time job at a big company and then she didn't have the need or time to freelance anymore.

        I tried looking for other local writers, but their prices were so outrageously high that it wasn't worthwhile. I don't remember the exact price, but I think it was probably close to your $75 bid.

        Here's the thing, though. That $200 article writer I had do an article for me was a $200 article writer. These $75 article writers were $25 article writers.

        So, they may get their clients to pay $75 an article, but their work isn't worth $75 an article.

        I had an out-of-state writer that was willing to make the necessary phone calls (long distance) to do the necessary research and still undercut the $75 article askers by a wide margin.

        I would argue that what you're looking for is not highly specialized information. You just need someone that is familiar with the area. Technically, it's specialized, but it's not like rocket science or anything on that order. You just need someone that is in or near the area.

        I would do as others suggested, and look for local college kids that want some extra money. Alternatively, depending on the types of events you're talking about, you might be able to find a retiree that enjoys writing and will do it for extra money too.

        $75 is not outrageous for an article per se. But, as an article buyer, you need to get $75 (or more) worth of value for $75. For what you're asking, I tend to think that you wouldn't be getting $75 worth of value there.

        For what it sounds like you're looking for, you might be able to get some college kids to write it up for you and, if their writing is not up to par, hire someone else to edit and polish it. And, doing that, you may be able to still come well under $75 per 300-400 words.
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  • Profile picture of the author Platinum Matt
    People that ask for $75+ an article typically either:

    A, don't have a CLUE.

    B, Think you have an established current readership - like a newspaper or magazine.

    Try asking for somebody to write WEB content for you... And explain, this isn't going in some local newspaper, it's for my small web site.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by Platinum Matt View Post

      People that ask for $75+ an article typically either:

      A, don't have a CLUE.
      The same could be said of $5-$10 article writers.
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  • Profile picture of the author saraward
    Banned
    that is alot - i used to write article for people and charge $30 and $14 for 20. I didnt know anyone charged that much its usually webdesigners that hike it up not article writers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Internet marketers need to get off their computers and take a drive out
      into the real world because the penny ante mentality that is rampant online
      is giving everybody the wrong idea of what things are REALLY like.

      Try to get an offline company that specializes in writing content to write
      you a 400 word article for $75. They'll probably either laugh in your face or,
      if they remain professional, tell you that you'll have to look elsewhere.

      I stopped freelancing for this very reason.

      Why bother spending 4 hours of my time writing an article that will pay me
      $40 when I can use that same 4 hours and create a limited edition product
      that will generate me $3,000?

      I hope you find somebody who can do the work you need done for the
      price you can afford to pay.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Internet marketers need to get off their computers and take a drive out
        into the real world because the penny ante mentality that is rampant online
        is giving everybody the wrong idea of what things are REALLY like.
        What about the ones that don't think twice about dropping $1000 or more for a sales letter, but balk at $10 for an article?
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

          What about the ones that don't think twice about dropping $1000 or more for a sales letter, but balk at $10 for an article?
          Dan, that's something I don't understand altogether.

          If I had to guess, they see more perceived "value" in the sales letter because
          it is directly related to making the sale.

          What they don't get is that a great article with a killer resource box can
          get a whole lot more people TO that sales letter.

          Oh well, it ain't my problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author DAS_Matt
    Given what you are using it for and what not i would say that is well overpriced and there are options to do it cheaper that others have pointed out on the thread.
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    • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
      Steve -

      I agree. Look I love cheap labor as much as the next guy but when I quote a fee that is my price. If I told you $75 and you can back at me at $25 I'd either tell you no or not even bother with a response.

      You want special knowledge of an area and she has it. She wins.

      You want it cheap - do it yourself
      You want it right - hire her.
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  • Profile picture of the author A. Green
    I think it does depend on how you'll be using it. If it's nothing more than search engine fodder, then you may as well have a $5 writer do it because the quality of the writing doesn't matter so much.

    If this is for an off-line business' site and you think their customers will read it and get an idea of the caliber of the company based on these articles, then $75 is worth it for *above average* material. Of course, you already said you can find her level of writing people who charge only $25/article, so in that case, you may as well go with someone cheap. That or find a $75+ writer who really is worth the money.

    It's also possible that the writer expects to do real research--make phone calls, conduct interviews--in order to generate fresh material and not just a re-hash of some stuff she found online.
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  • Profile picture of the author yves
    I am still relatively new to IM in the scheme of things and I still think it's funny that some people call themselves writers when clearly they are so not.

    That being said, if they manage to write for a living, then I suppose they are in their "writes" (sorry) to call themselves a writer. The problem is weeding out the wheat from the chaff. It's all very well to say off-line journalists and writers get £x,xxxx amount of money for writing a 300 word piece but this isn't offline so it is different and nobody needs a degree in journalism or writing or whatever and have so many years experience that you would normally need to demand a high hourly rate off-line.

    Fair enough if you have the cash to fork out to the first writer that comes along whose words are pure gold, however not all of us are that fortunate.

    Because you are going to be needing articles for the foreseeable future, I wouldn't take the first offer your get, especially if it's outwith your budget. Like others have said shop around and you might just get a very good writer who is wiling to take on your project and who will more than be able to give you a good return for your money.

    You don't have to live in an area to write about it.

    Hope you get something to suit

    Yves.
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  • Profile picture of the author Will_Surren
    As for the response from the writer, She did reply to my email asking if she can write for $25 and her answer was no but she was very kind. I told her that I would keep her in mind in the future when my budget would allow.

    I have definitely learned a great deal through this experience. Not only have I learned how much to expect to pay for great content but I have also had my eyes opened to the way I was viewing other peoples time and experience. I did find this writer through craigslist but only because someone sent her the post. She has a history of working for large companies online and off. Outsourced content has become a norm for me and I just had no understanding of what this service is really worth.

    Andy, You always have a way of saying things that really catches my attention. You are correct Sir, I do not value my writing skills at $75 per article and yes that is why I was looking for someone else to write for me. The community that I am wanting written about is only 20 minutes from my home. I can get plenty of information by going through the area taking notes. However, I am not a talented writer like what I am looking for.

    As far as having this outsourced and not a local person writing. It would be very hard as this is a brand new community and there is very little if any information online.

    I am going to take the advice given here and try to get a college student in the area to write for me.

    Thank you all for your feedback and if you know anyone in Jacksonville Florida that writes for prices in my budget range, please send them my way....
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    • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
      Originally Posted by Will_Surren View Post

      Thank you all for your feedback and if you know anyone in Jacksonville Florida that writes for prices in my budget range, please send them my way....
      Hey I'm in Jacksonville all of next week - but I know you won't pay my rates

      Good luck with your content. It's always interesting when these topics come up, especially as I'm often on both sides of this fence looking to outsource and also doing work for other companies, so I'm always surprised how many IMers don't realise what some people get paid for something they want to pay a few dollars for.

      But that's what makes this forum so great - you're always having your eyes and mind opened.

      Andy
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      nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    My minimum charge for articles is 10 cents per word. When I write an article I have a couple of goals in mind. First, I want the reader to click on the resource box where they find a review or sales page. If that happens I've more than earned my money.

    Many of my clients tell me that my articles produce some of the highest conversions they've seen. (a conversion in this context is leading the reader to the client's review, landing page or whatever) I primarily use the story format to achieve this.

    My second goal is to incorporate the proper keywords for SEO. I never sweat this because if you know the topic and the target market the keywords naturally fall into place.

    My final comment isn't directed at you because I don't know you. You mentioned that you get decent articles for $5 and great ones for $15. That may be so. But it's my experience that many marketers can't tell the difference between a good article and a TV Guide movie description. I see evidence of this time and again when I research a topic. More and more lately I've noticed that EZA is loaded with absolute crap, crap rich in just the right keywords, but crap just the same. Again, that comment is not directed to you. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author BKenn01
    Wow Globalization has hit article writing...... Seriously though Will_Surren, I will give you kudos for not giving her grief or attempting to belittle her. I sell on ebay (for now) and I am not the cheapest nor do I want to be in my category. Nothing chaps me more than a person commenting on my pricing. It really is as simple as if you dont agree with the price, dont buy.

    Here is my disclaimer. I am a total newbie to IM, but not to the world of business. The rule of thumb in business is about ROI. If that $75 article is going to be a continuous source of traffic which leads to long term revenue, isnt it worth it?

    I am just learning the whole article marketing game, but what I have seen just here in the warrior forum are lots of ads for content, etc and the author of the post is using broken English or poor grammer and charging prices that make me think does this person work for peanuts. Dont get me wrong, I suck at grammer and spelling. But I am not writing articles for a living.

    Having said all that, I cant imagine I would pay $75 for an article unless I was sure the writers skills delivered.
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    • Profile picture of the author Will_Surren
      Thank you all for your comments and tips on this matter. I did learn a great deal from this experience...
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