Need Advice From Fellow Writers: To Spin or Not to Spin?

47 replies
I need advice from all the fellow writers out there. I'm a freelance writer and I find myself completing all sorts of projects for all sorts of clients (e-books, e-reports, PRs, articles, catalogs, web copy, etc.). But lately I'm getting more and more orders for spun content.

I use the Best Spinner to spin my articles. It's a great program that's easy to use and it makes spinning quick. That would be great except that I hate spinning articles.

Spinning articles makes me feel cheap, even if I'm getting paid well for it. I think that offering spun content is just adding to all the crap online. Not that my spins are crap. The Best Spinner makes it easy to rewrite sentences another way so that it sounds natural. My spins are of great quality, but I just hate doing it. I want to tell the client no, but I'm a word-whore, unfortunately. It's hard to say no when the client's dangling money in front of me. So I do offer spun content, but I don't like doing it.

I'm thinking of taking it off the table completely. Writers, what do you think?

On one hand, Spinning helps me improve my skills as a writer. It's a great exercise for finding just the right way to say something. But I find that it takes way too much time for the payoff and I just plain don't like doing it.

Writers, what are your thoughts? Do you offer spun content? Why or why not?
#advice #fellow #spin #writers
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    As a writer, I am arrogant about the writing craft and as such, I am often offended by those who think a computer can do what I do.
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  • Profile picture of the author whaldorf
    I hate article spinning for the same general reasons you outlined in your original post, particularly the fact that there's enough junk content on the web. Spinner technology seems to have come a long way over the last few years, but I rarely come across content that has been processed by software that reads naturally.

    On the other hand, if you're being offered ca$h for spun content and you feel that the quality of what your offering is okay, where's the problem?

    Each to their own!
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  • Profile picture of the author bnwebm
    I've tried several content spinners, never on content for a client however, only for my own research. I've found the spinners take far too long to use and i'm a faster "human-spinner" than any program. I also think there is an inherent risk in using spun content. Not for a plagarism slap, but for something probably related to algorithms that can or will be able to identify content that says the same thing in an uncannily similar way. I won't take that risk, not for myself and not for my clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Content King
      Originally Posted by bnwebm View Post

      I've tried several content spinners, never on content for a client however, only for my own research. I've found the spinners take far too long to use and i'm a faster "human-spinner" than any program. I also think there is an inherent risk in using spun content. Not for a plagarism slap, but for something probably related to algorithms that can or will be able to identify content that says the same thing in an uncannily similar way. I won't take that risk, not for myself and not for my clients.
      The Best Spinner is useful only in that it allows me to format the spun article easily. I can just tab from sentence to sentence instead of having to manually insert the formatting. But I agree, it takes way too long.

      I see what Amym is saying, too, about how it shouldn't be an issue if the content sounds original, but I just don't like doing it. Thanks for all your input, everyone. I'm still on the fence, though. I may take it off of my services list completely. I wonder if clients will bounce completely if I stop offering spins.

      I only have a low percentage of clients order spun content, but it takes up enough of my time to matter, hence this post. Thanks, everyone!
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        As a writer, I am mighty proud about the writing craft, and consequently, I am mightily offended by those who believe a computer can spin as I do.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          As a writer, I'm decidedly appreciative of the skills of writing; as a result, I'm seriously vexed by people imagining that a mechanised process can spin as I do.
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          • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            As a writer, I'm decidedly appreciative of the skills of writing; as a result, I'm seriously vexed by people imagining that a mechanised process can spin as I do.
            Amen to that, sheesh.

            It doesn't do any good to try to tell people that spun articles suck in a thousand different ways so I won't bother.
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            • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
              Spinning articles makes me feel cheap, even if I'm getting paid well for it. I think that offering spun content is just adding to all the crap online.
              There is your answer: It's not worth getting rich by a method that makes you feel cheap.

              You're asking us because you are 90% convinced of this feeling and want closure with another 10%.

              Your inner voice is important to listen to. It's wiser than your rational self.

              Sincerely,
              Marcia Yudkin
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          • Profile picture of the author The Content King
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            As a writer, I'm decidedly appreciative of the skills of writing; as a result, I'm seriously vexed by people imagining that a mechanised process can spin as I do.
            I see what you did there.


            Thanks, everyone. @Marcia, that is great advice. Thank you!

            Oh, and no problem, WebRank. I figured you didn't mean ill by it, but I just wanted to set things straight in case anyone wanted to use my services in the future. Always have to think of the marketing.

            By the way, I love a forum where you can post a question and a couple hours later later have tons of great responses. You guys are awesome.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebRank1
    Let me tell you, Google servers are intelligent enough to recognize grammar patterns and other patterns in your spun content.
    They will consider it duped content no matter how you spin it. It is the sentence structure and other patterns that give you away.
    You'd be hustling your clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Content King
      Originally Posted by WebRank1 View Post

      Let me tell you, Google servers are intelligent enough to recognize grammar patterns and other patterns in your spun content.
      They will consider it duped content no matter how you spin it. It is the sentence structure and other patterns that give you away.
      You'd be hustling your clients.
      I'm not hustling anyone if they ask for it. What they do with the content I provide is their business. I provide them with quality writing, spun or otherwise, and thus I feel I've provided an honest service. I don't agree with spinning and offering spun content, but money talks, you know?
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      • Profile picture of the author WebRank1
        Originally Posted by The Content King View Post

        I'm not hustling anyone if they ask for it. What they do with the content I provide is their business. I provide them with quality writing, spun or otherwise, and thus I feel I've provided an honest service. I don't agree with spinning and offering spun content, but money talks, you know?
        Ah I am sorry I missed that part of your OP. Sure if the client asked for it heck, why not. Go for it buddy.
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      • Profile picture of the author boomerang6
        By using a spinner don't you run the risk of harming your reputation as a content provider? Your other customers might think you spin their work. I think you would increase confidence by a policy of no spun content.
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        • Profile picture of the author The Content King
          Originally Posted by boomerang6 View Post

          By using a spinner don't you run the risk of harming your reputation as a content provider? Your other customers might think you spin their work. I think you would increase confidence by a policy of no spun content.
          That's a valid point. But if my clients only knew how much I hated spinning, they'd rest easy, believe me!

          My clients know I'm honest and professional and I don't advertise spins on my services list. I only accommodate if they ask for it. And I only spin the content I provide. In other words, I'll offer a spun article as an accompaniment to an original article.

          That being said, you just provided me with the final justification I needed to stop spinning entirely. I certainly don't want to hurt the reputation. But really it's just because I despise doing it and I feel like a cheap word whore when I'm doing it. But reputation is part of it. :p
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by WebRank1 View Post

      Let me tell you, Google servers are intelligent enough to recognize grammar patterns and other patterns in your spun content.
      They will consider it duped content no matter how you spin it. It is the sentence structure and other patterns that give you away.
      You'd be hustling your clients.

      Actually with a good understanding of how Google uses things like ngrams and text vectors, you can really mess them up...Not to mention if you know how to influence the "theme" of the output so the pages have different themes.

      Ngrams - These are basically strings of text with the "n" representing how long the text string is...A 13gram would be a string of text 13 characters long.

      Text vector - Simplified, it's a "chart" the shows the relationship of the various Ngrams.

      The more ngrams and text vectors you can break up, the harder it is for Google to detect doops.

      Some of the ways to do this is to add sentences, remove others, make 2 word phrases into 5 word phrases, shorten sentences, lengthen others, etc.

      I think the differences in opinion on whether it's worth it or not depend on your perspective...If you are a writer or niche marketer, then spinning probably takes too much time for the ROI spinning will give. But if you are heavy into empire building for SEO purposes, then spinning content (if done correctly) can be a big asset.
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      • Profile picture of the author WebRank1
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        Actually with a good understanding of how Google uses things like ngrams and text vectors, you can really mess them up...Not to mention if you know how to influence the "theme" of the output so the pages have different themes.

        Ngrams - These are basically strings of text with the "n" representing how long the text string is...A 13gram would be a string of text 13 characters long.

        Text vector - Simplified, it's a "chart" the shows the relationship of the various Ngrams.

        The more ngrams and text vectors you can break up, the harder it is for Google to detect doops.

        Some of the ways to do this is to add sentences, remove others, make 2 word phrases into 5 word phrases, shorten sentences, lengthen others, etc.

        I think the differences in opinion on whether it's worth it or not depend on your perspective...If you are a writer or niche marketer, then spinning probably takes too much time for the ROI spinning will give. But if you are heavy into empire building for SEO purposes, then spinning content (if done correctly) can be a big asset.
        Exactly thank you. I didn't want to go into the details but thanks for bringing this up.
        Just because content is spun doesn't make it unique. Not even close.
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanSupplee
    Spinning your articles is so freakin over rated and I am really sick and tired of hearing people talk about it and even using it as a option. A spun article = a good article gone bad if you ask be. Spend 5 -10 min and rewrite a few paragraphs or a new article its going to fair so much better then some junk spun article.
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  • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
    Originally Posted by The Content King View Post

    On one hand, Spinning helps me improve my skills as a writer. It's a great exercise for finding just the right way to say something.
    You can find just the right words by using a dictionary/thesaurus, and develop your phrasing skills by reading other people's articles (on the same or a related topic, perhaps), too. In doing that you're less likely to succumb to the temptation to replace every word or sentence in your article with something more "articulate", overly pompous, very unidiomatic and awkward, and possibly somewhat "surplus to requirements" ... which is obviously one of the causes of automatically and manually spun articles being such a displeasure to read.

    Originally Posted by The Content King View Post

    Writers, what are your thoughts? Do you offer spun content? Why or why not?
    As someone who writes (only for himself) but doesn't consider himself a writer (I don't particularly get off on it, nor is it my strong point ), I am not offended by the people who choose to spin articles. Surely what's more important is how they read, however. And from that perspective, I (just like most people, I expect) can smell a spun article a mile off, and don't enjoy reading them. Even those who have no idea of what spinning is can recognise awkward prose when they see it, and it's not particularly effective at endearing the reader to the author/publisher.
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    Sounds like you're wrestling with your conscience. Maybe look at it
    as a simple business decision.

    If you need to eat from the contribution your spinning services make
    to your income, then do what you need to do so you can eat. But
    you can always phase it out by getting more work that does not involve
    spinning.

    There's plenty of writing work out there. Really no need to agonize over
    it.


    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author TheUserName
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    Don't click on them... spam. Already reported.

    I clicked on them before... the first was a funny pic. The second
    was porn.

    Only click if you're interested...


    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author wallytr1
    If you are getting plenty of clients who want your hand-crafted original articles, why are you stooping to spinning articles, which you dislike and makes you feel cheap by your own admission. I take such pride in the articles I write for my membership site I won't even outsource the content to be written by others.
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    • Profile picture of the author klein risley
      unique content will be always a king . That will never change. don't forget people search the internet for information, not to be sold.

      google will protect the quality of the search results at all costs. their ads revenue are based on that...
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by klein risley View Post

        unique content will be always a king . That will never change. don't forget people search the internet for information, not to be sold.

        google will protect the quality of the search results at all costs. their ads revenue are based on that...

        Spun content is unique...

        And I like to read content that others think worthy of syndication...

        So much for "unique content will be always a king."
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        • Profile picture of the author WebRank1
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post

          Spun content is unique...

          And I like to read content that others think worthy of syndication...

          So much for "unique content will be always a king."
          Spun content is not unique content by definition. Not even close.
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          • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
            Originally Posted by WebRank1 View Post

            Spun content is not unique content by definition. Not even close.
            In my opinion ...

            Original content refers to the substance of a piece of content being original/new/unique. If I do some exhaustive research and write a new article that makes a fresh point that no other articles out there have yet made, that is original content. If the content is "hot off the press", and hasn't been used/published anywhere before, then it is also unique; whereas ...

            Unique content refers to the way in which the information within a piece of content is worded and/or presented to the reader. I can spin or otherwise rewrite a piece of existing content and the result will be unique but unoriginal.

            In short, "original"/"unoriginal" refers to the substance of the content, whereas "unique"/"non-unique" refers only to how it is presented/written.


            These are more or less the definitions I subscribe to, anyway - and from what I've seen, this is the case for many other people, too.
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            • Profile picture of the author WebRank1
              Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

              In my opinion ...

              Original content refers to the substance of a piece of content being original/new/unique. If I do some exhaustive research and write a new article that makes a fresh point that no other articles out there have yet made, that is original content. If the content is "hot off the press", and hasn't been used/published anywhere before, then it is also unique; whereas ...

              Unique content refers to the way in which the information within a piece of content is worded and/or presented to the reader. I can spin or otherwise rewrite a piece of existing content and the result will be unique but unoriginal.

              In short, "original"/"unoriginal" refers to the substance of the content, whereas "unique"/"non-unique" refers only to how it is presented/written.


              These are more or less the definitions I subscribe to, anyway - and from what I've seen, this is the case for many other people, too.
              Thanks for clearing that up, there is a big difference between the two indeed.
              However, if you spin words or sentences that does not make the content unique to Google. Only when you rearrange whole paragraphs will Google consider it unique content. The content does not even need to be original in this case.
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              • Profile picture of the author lioncirth
                I think it depends on "how" you spin. I also offer freelance services and get a lot of requests to provide spin-able content, I however will not use an automated service.

                It takes time and work but I will create spin-able articles manually, they are at paragraph, sentence and phrase level to ensure that they are unique and good quality. I personally believe a lot of spammy people have given spinning a bad name with automating it, if you provide manual, good quality documents then it just continues to provide good quality.

                I know some people will disagree with me and that's fine, everyone is entitled to their own thoughts on the subject. Please remember though, just because I write and provide spin-able content does not mean it is not as good quality as any other article.
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        • Profile picture of the author celente
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post

          Spun content is unique...

          And I like to read content that others think worthy of syndication...

          So much for "unique content will be always a king."
          ppffft

          most the spun crap I see these days could have been written by my 3 year old neice.

          I mean seriously.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    I personally don't like spun articles but others do. I don't think it's a matter of listening to your conscience when you aren't giving your clients anything that they aren't asking for. If they are asking for spun articles then that's what they get.

    However, if you really don't like spun articles and don't like doing them then don't do them. If you enjoy doing them then keep doing them for those customers that request them.

    Spinning articles can be quite time consuming though so if you do it make sure you are charging enough to make it worthwhile
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  • Profile picture of the author cryst
    Be genuine dear!!!
    It's human nature, to earn more and work less... or i should say... to earn without any sort of work!!
    But my opinion to you is, if you write contents by your own, you are sharpening your own skills better!! Don't spun your articles.. coz Google has lots of algo.. to sort out such spun stuff!! You don't want your clients to suffer for what you do!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Grid
    With so much knowledge content around the world has been created , i don't feel the need to spun the article.I have tried it and yes it feels cheap.If you spun the article it means you are too lazy to research on topic and do all the hassle . But trust me the feeling you get by writing original article is different like success.
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  • Profile picture of the author sam770
    Well, spun content is a form of auto rewrite content
    This is NOT a good idea, not just because its unethical but also because you will pay for that in the long run
    We wrote an article just about that: http://loyalwriter.com/Using-re-write-Program-for-an-SEO-Article.htm
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgiaB
    You can use spun content as guidance, then edit the text manually. That's because you want to offer quality content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claire Sharp
    It doesn't matter if the article is spinned or written by human. As long as it is readable and understandable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nickolie0990
    If you spin the entire sentence, say around 3-5 times and then spin individual keywords within the spun sentences. It will always produces 1,000s of human readable and unique content.

    The only draw back is, it must be done by a human and it will take some time to rewrite each sentence in a article 3-5 times. That's how I spin my article content.
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  • Profile picture of the author bertyounger
    I consider it a necessary evil in order to play the game as per the rules set forth by Lord Google.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by bertyounger View Post

      I consider it a necessary evil in order to play the game as per the rules set forth by Lord Google.
      Lord Google told you to spin? The conniving, two-faced, scheming little ....

      The forum seems to be full of other people he specifically told not to spin.
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  • Profile picture of the author AshleyBolivar
    Originally Posted by The Content King View Post

    I need advice from all the fellow writers out there. I'm a freelance writer and I find myself completing all sorts of projects for all sorts of clients (e-books, e-reports, PRs, articles, catalogs, web copy, etc.). But lately I'm getting more and more orders for spun content.

    I use the Best Spinner to spin my articles. It's a great program that's easy to use and it makes spinning quick. That would be great except that I hate spinning articles.

    Spinning articles makes me feel cheap, even if I'm getting paid well for it. I think that offering spun content is just adding to all the crap online. Not that my spins are crap. The Best Spinner makes it easy to rewrite sentences another way so that it sounds natural. My spins are of great quality, but I just hate doing it. I want to tell the client no, but I'm a word-whore, unfortunately. It's hard to say no when the client's dangling money in front of me. So I do offer spun content, but I don't like doing it.

    I'm thinking of taking it off the table completely. Writers, what do you think?

    On one hand, Spinning helps me improve my skills as a writer. It's a great exercise for finding just the right way to say something. But I find that it takes way too much time for the payoff and I just plain don't like doing it.

    Writers, what are your thoughts? Do you offer spun content? Why or why not?
    It all depends on several things. First do you feel that you are charging enough to write new fresh content every time?

    Is it cost effective for you and how would you then scale out your business?

    Doing it all from scratch is great, but you only have so many hours in a day that you can do it on your own and it limits your income.
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    • Profile picture of the author bnwebm
      I have never found spun content anything but a waste of my time, as I write much faster than I can spin with a program. Also, I don't agree that writing from scratch limits your income, if you are also writing for your own sites and syndicating the work.

      Originally Posted by AshleyBolivar View Post


      Is it cost effective for you and how would you then scale out your business?

      Doing it all from scratch is great, but you only have so many hours in a day that you can do it on your own and it limits your income.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Content King
      Originally Posted by AshleyBolivar View Post

      It all depends on several things. First do you feel that you are charging enough to write new fresh content every time?

      Is it cost effective for you and how would you then scale out your business?

      Doing it all from scratch is great, but you only have so many hours in a day that you can do it on your own and it limits your income.
      This is the main concern. By the time I'm finished with one article, I could have written two or three original ones that offer unique content. It's asinine.

      Today I told my first client that I'm no longer offering spinning services. I didn't hear back, but I'm currently working on his project. I told him, "After this, no more," in so many words.

      But he loves my work so I know he'll be back. Maybe I can convince him that spinning is the wrong way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ralph Moore
    Originally Posted by The Content King View Post


    I need advice from all the fellow writers out there.

    ...That would be great except that I hate spinning articles.

    ...Spinning articles makes me feel cheap...

    ...I think that offering spun content is just adding to all the crap online.

    ...My spins are of great quality, but I just hate doing it.

    ...I want to tell the client no

    ...So I do offer spun content, but I don't like doing it.

    ...I'm thinking of taking it off the table completely.

    ...I find that it takes way too much time for the payoff...

    ...I just plain don't like doing it.
    (There... Edit Complete - I think you answered your own question.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian Varnava
    As someone who respects himself as a writer, here's my take on spinning:

    If you must spin, then don't do it with software. You can use software as a starting point, but you must meticulously go through every single word & sentence with a fine-tooth comb to make sure it makes absolute sense no matter which way it is 'spun' and does not deteriorate the quality of the written piece.

    I do spin here and there, but the way I spin is probably not the way 99% of the population spins. I don't even use software anymore if I do spin, I do it by hand, word by word, using my brain and a thesaurus.

    However, I've found that if I manually spin a 1000+ word article with the quality standards that I have, it turns out great, but, it leaves my head spinning as well.

    I also find that if I'm going to spend that much time manually spinning an article, I might as well rewrite a whole bunch from scratch.

    Of course, why go through all that when you can simply click the "auto-synonym" button in The Best Spinner or any other variety of software available and fill the Internet with senseless junk. :rolleyes: :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriter1205
    The Best Spinner is actually better than the other softwares. If you want the money, do it. If someone is ready to pay for spun articles, there is nothing wrong in providing them. It is possible to articles of reasonable quality by spinning. It is your wish after all.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    So here's my take on this.

    Writing an original article is worth a lot more than people are willing to pay.

    Spinning that article is worth a lot less than people are willing to pay.

    So offering article spinning is a great way to get clients to pay you what they should have been paying in the first place.

    You won't pay me five cents a word? Okay. How about two cents a word plus three more spun versions of the article at half-price and a fifth spun article for free?

    "Oooh, five times the articles!"

    Two cents a word + one cent a word times three + "free" = five cents a word. So here's an article worth that five cents a word, just like I offered you in the first place, and four more that aren't worth squat. Dick.

    That said, I honestly just plain didn't want those clients, so when people didn't want to pay my rates I just said "oh well" and sent them on their merry way.

    But I find it very, very amusing that people are buffing up their SERVICES with bonuses and freebies now.
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