How much would YOU pay for content?

38 replies
Hey forum.

Every website needs content right? It need some sort of focus, something meaty, something of value to give to its audience and potential customers/subscribers.

Good content can be the decider in whether people take a look at your site and come back again and again for what you have to say, or leave and tell all of their friends just how much it sucks.

So, put simply, content has big value.

What I'm interested in is how much do YOU invest in your content?

As a copywriter/content writer, I'm extremely interested in what the general consensus to this question is, since it obviously has direct links to my work.

Now, my prices are considered quite high, but that price is reflected in my work and the quality of it. I think of content as an investment, the same as is copywriting. You put some money in, you get a lot of money out.

Though, that depends on the writer you hire, of course.

So do tell. What are you willing to pay, and what are your good/bad experiences with writers? What would you expect from your ideal writer?


Answer one of these questions, or answer them all. I'm interested in getting YOUR opinions (since some of you are my clients! ) and seeing where others go wrong, and where I can avoid some mistakes.

On top of that, I'm interested on finding out what you consider expensive/cheap.


Thanks in advance for your contributions,


Ben.
#content #pay
  • Profile picture of the author yoangov
    Depends on the website and what exactly I need the content for.

    Usually I like to hire experts who are native speakers. Most of the time their rates are quite high, but it's definitely worth it.

    On the other hand, most people prefer to pay something like $0,60/100 words for their content then they come crying because their site god penalized.

    Cheers,
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by CharismaticMannequin View Post

    On top of that, I'm interested on finding out what you consider expensive/cheap.
    My clients changed dramatically as my rates went up.

    1.5 cents per word - "Write me fifty articles around this one keyword phrase."

    3 cents per word - "Write me ten articles around this list of ten keyword phrases."

    5 cents per word - "Write me a short report about this subject following this outline."

    10 cents per word - "Write me a short report about this subject."

    Recently, I had someone contact me to do some writing for him. I don't really take clients any more, so normally I would have just said no, but since it was a former client and he was absolutely certain he had to get these articles from me, I quoted him my most recent 10 cents a word rate. He responded that last time - January of this year - I had only charged him 5 cents a word. When I told him my rates had gone up in the past year, he never replied.

    Basically, as your rates go up, your client base is replaced by other people. So what people respond in this thread is really not going to have a lot of bearing on what people will pay for your work - while a shocking number of people will complain that $10 for a 500 word article is too much, I had quite a nice workload through the Warrior Forum at 10 cents a word.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Basically, as your rates go up, your client base is replaced by other people. So what people respond in this thread is really not going to have a lot of bearing on what people will pay for your work - while a shocking number of people will complain that $10 for a 500 word article is too much, I had quite a nice workload through the Warrior Forum at 10 cents a word.
      That is very true. When I charged $5 per 500 words I had fussy, demanding clients, and constant hassle. Once you get over the $25 per 500 words barrier, clients become much more reasonable and much more appreciative and understanding, and just much more pleasant all round. I know which end of the spectrum I prefer being at.

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  • Heh.

    Annie, I'm not looking to charge more; that wasn't what I was asking at all. I was asking your personal views on what you would be willing to pay a writer for your site.

    Thanks anyway.

    CDarklock,

    I charge roughly 5 cents a word as it stands, so I do less writing as such, and am able to spend more time on quality, as you state. It's like you said, instead of writing 50 articles around one thing, I write very few articles on it, enhancing them and filling them with information.

    My blog is an example of this. I don't input any keywords or try to enhance it; I just write my thoughts out, and hope someone finds value in it. If not, well..I can always go back and read it!

    Meh.


    Ben.
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    I think John gave the most solid answer...It should depend on expected ROI. That is exactly why people paid CDarkLock 10 cents a word, and you 5 cents a word...they expect to get more back than they paid.

    If you were creating an Adsense blog which you had estimated your keywords could earn $100/month how much would you pay for 5000 words of content?

    Even at Caliban's top rate that is a $500 investment which you could make back in 5 months. Not a bad ROI if the earnings keep rolling in. $700 profit in the first year, $1200 next year...

    That is exactly why John's answer is ideal...it should be defined by ROI, not $/word.
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    • Profile picture of the author bitriot
      Originally Posted by Barry Unruh View Post

      I think John gave the most solid answer...It should depend on expected ROI. That is exactly why people paid CDarkLock 10 cents a word, and you 5 cents a word...they expect to get more back than they paid.

      If you were creating an Adsense blog which you had estimated your keywords could earn $100/month how much would you pay for 5000 words of content?

      Even at Caliban's top rate that is a $500 investment which you could make back in 5 months. Not a bad ROI if the earnings keep rolling in. $700 profit in the first year, $1200 next year...

      That is exactly why John's answer is ideal...it should be defined by ROI, not $/word.
      Part of my increased willingness to pay big money for content is a hedge against future penalties by google. I am not sophisticated enough to turn this hedge into any sort of ROI figure but I have to believe that good content is the only path forward.
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  • Glad to see some people get it. There is still hope


    Ben.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikelDonel
    I Pay 5$ For 500 Words On Fiverr.com
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    • Profile picture of the author SeoSarah
      Depends on what I need. If I need really good quality content, I'm willing to pay up to $10 for 500 words. I think $10 for 500 words is a fair reward. Some might argue, but that's my opinion. An professional writer is in all probability be able to write 500 words pretty fast. If he can finish only 3 500 words articles per hour, that's a hourly rate of $30. Not too shabby if you ask me.
      But sometimes I just need decent quality content, so I'm trying to get it as cheap as possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author donkey097
    I would usually spend about $5 per article that is well written. I have tried many that charge $2 but the content is just not very good and the grammer much worse. I think $5 is a fine price if your delivering good quality content, because after all that's what Google is after.

    Most people i know are willing to pay that little extra because its worth it in the long run
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    • Profile picture of the author spen
      Originally Posted by donkey097 View Post

      I would usually spend about $5 per article that is well written. I have tried many that charge $2 but the content is just not very good and the grammer much worse. I think $5 is a fine price if your delivering good quality content, because after all that's what Google is after.

      Most people i know are willing to pay that little extra because its worth it in the long run
      How many words per article?
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidTT
    I never pay for anyone to write anything (sales page etc) besides articles. For articles tho I pay 7$ for a 400+ word.
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  • Profile picture of the author Taffle
    Man it just really depends. I think instead of pitching a price, you should pitch your niche.

    You can't compete with Philippians who can crank out mediocre English for nickels.

    Create value by positioning your content writing services. Can you write medical or legal-sensitive copy? B2B or B2C-specific web copy with precise keyword density?

    It's a tough market, but keep on runnin!
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  • Profile picture of the author Carol_A
    CDarklock: I pay more than your quoted prices, but these articles include graphics.

    I certainly value quality.

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    • Profile picture of the author packerfan
      You're asking all the wrong questions for all the wrong reasons.

      Who cares what I pay for content? What should matter to you is YOUR business model.

      If you want to charge $.25/word then come up with USP, find a market, and get to work.

      There are people that $1 for a 500 word article and $100,000 for high quality sales copy. What does that matter?
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  • Packer,

    I have that already started and sorted. I know where I'm directing myself; that's not what I'm here for.

    I'm here to get a better understanding of people, potential clients, and what people actually want and value. I asked those questions because I wanted answers to them, not because I was shying away from another part of my business.

    Even if the information turns out to be irrelevant, it's still just a curiosity of mine anyhow.

    Ben.
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    All depends on the site. For sites/articles that generate a high return per keyword, I'll pay up to $75 for a 600 to 1000 word article. I'm not too fussy about length as long as the articles are thorough and well-researched.

    I've been hiring post-graduate students and recent post-graduate grads looking for work to write in their field of study. It's worked quite well and I pay accordingly. The detail and level of research is excellent. They know the field well and are up-to-date with the latest peer-reviewed articles / other primary sources.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I am a writer myself and I smile at some of the replies in here.
    What people are willing to pay varies a LOT.
    Some have the attitude that "you only spend a short time doing it so why should I pay you a lot?"

    I generally say that if they don't think they want to pay what I ask, then find someone who will work for that money. It is not only a matter of how long it takes to write an article. It is the quality of that article as well.

    Anybody can write an article but not everybody can produce good quality, even if they take 3 times as long to write it.

    I have various clients paying different fees because the work is different. I am in a situation where I would rather NOT do the work than do it for a low fee because I feel that is insulting.

    Some say.. work for $3 per hour and yet they would never do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author aaaa33030
    I got a 3000 word ebook written for $30 which seems to be a reasonable price for original content
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  • Profile picture of the author KimboJim
    One of the biggest problems with content pricing is that there are so many writers willing to write for $0.01 per word. If you have the experience and the talent, go up in price. This goes for so many other things as well in life.

    Think of all those Walmart shirts for $2 (I never go to Walmart, but I am assuming they have shirts this cheap). They sure are selling a lot of them, and they are attracting a certain crowd because of their low price.

    However, you can buy a similar shirt from somewhere else for $200. But, the $200 has a great brand name, prestige, some cool distressing and amazing fabric.

    Choose your audience and go after them. There are many people willing to pay $1,000 for a sales letter, but you have to position yourself in that market, and you have to be ready to deliver killer content.

    Now, to answer your question, I don't pay, because I too am primarily a copywriter (among other things).
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  • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
    I put an ad up on Craigslist and got overwhelmed with writers. It go so bad that I had to take the ad down.

    Writers were sending me their resumes, some sent free 500 word articles (in my niche), some offered to write for cheaper pay when I didn't email them back (couldn't replay back to all the writers due to the overwhelming email responses).

    My offer was $3 per 500 word article. It's amazing how many writers there are out there...
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    • Profile picture of the author spen
      Originally Posted by gearmonkey View Post

      I put an ad up on Craigslist and got overwhelmed with writers. It go so bad that I had to take the ad down.

      Writers were sending me their resumes, some sent free 500 word articles (in my niche), some offered to write for cheaper pay when I didn't email them back (couldn't replay back to all the writers due to the overwhelming email responses).

      My offer was $3 per 500 word article. It's amazing how many writers there are out there...
      Is it good?
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      • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
        Originally Posted by spen View Post

        Is it good?
        Heck yeah. Most of the writers who contacted me where college grads from Michigan and Chicago area(s).

        I am currently using 6 writers write now and they've been working with me for over a year. One has been with me for 3 years.
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        • Profile picture of the author spen
          Originally Posted by gearmonkey View Post

          Heck yeah. Most of the writers who contacted me where college grads from Michigan and Chicago area(s).

          I am currently using 6 writers write now and they've been working with me for over a year. One has been with me for 3 years.
          Can you talk about it, Where to find out them?
          thanks
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          • Profile picture of the author packerfan
            Originally Posted by spen View Post

            Can you talk about it, Where to find out them?
            thanks
            Craigslist. Very good spot to find writers. If you live near a large city you can even interview them in person. I find they're more reliable that way.
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        • Profile picture of the author HeySal
          Originally Posted by gearmonkey View Post

          Heck yeah. Most of the writers who contacted me where college grads from Michigan and Chicago area(s).

          I am currently using 6 writers write now and they've been working with me for over a year. One has been with me for 3 years.
          A college grad from Michigan at 3 bucks an article? LMAO. It wasn't U of M grads. Last time I did a report I got 700 bucks for it and I'm a Michigan grad. Of course, there are community colleges there, I guess. If I were you I'd seriously wonder about the credentials of people who take 3 bucks an article and claim to be Michigan college grads.
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  • Profile picture of the author JeanneLynn
    The higher the price, the better the clients. The cheap people are the ones who always whine and nitpick.
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  • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
    I'm still convinced that, in the long run, people would rather a good employer that pays a little low, but who are in touch with their needs and requirements, than a horrible boss that pays high. People have disagreed with me to no end, however, as an entrepreneur attempting to maximize gain AND quality, while minimizing cost (yes, paying as little as possible), I naturally look for those opportunities. By treating people right, and understanding what drives them, yes, I've been able to get huge volumes of high quality content written, for basement level prices (for what you'd 'typically' find would be the market value, based on specifications I have regarding keywords, length of article, etc)

    See this interesting debate:
    low salary with good boss OR high salary with bad boss

    I'm just not convinced that money is the "end all, be all here". Instead, I'll leverage two things to negotiate quantity of articles:

    1) I'll offer a large amount, like $1,000. I'll just see how many articles they'll write for that amount. Knowing that amount is 'set in stone', coupled with the next reason, I've found that I can drive $10 an article down to $6 or $7 for a high quality 500 word article.
    2) While some might have some serious time constraints and sensitive behind WHEN they actually need their articles delivered, I tell a potential writer that I'm willing to give them as long as they want/need to write the content. The only things I require is: 1) They produce at least 3 articles a month and 2) They respond to my emails, and communicate with me on status. Through this, I've been able to develop relationships.

    ....one thing that I do do, though, that I feel is fairly unique. I specifically, pre-plan and, some aren't planned, injections of surprise pay as gifts when the writers aren't expected it. Out of the blue, I'll just Paypal them $30-$50-$100. Interestingly enough, one writer recently just came back, and instead of just accepting it as the gift it was intended to be, essentially demanded that I send him a few more article titles to be written. I didn't expect it, but he was extremely appreciative and did that of his own accord.

    I'd argue that, even if upfront pay is "low", that relationships are the most meaningful thing that will help drive high quality content while ensuring loyalty and production.

    I just think there are many more tools and ethically sound approaches that a wise IM'er can utilize in order to effectively leverage, motivate, and incentive people, by truly knowing and understanding people, what drives them, and how they operate.
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  • Profile picture of the author kret0s
    I like to pay $5-8 per 500 words but willing to pay $10-12 for very good content

    I set myself a budget of around $100 a month to go towards content
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  • Profile picture of the author Bananaprod
    I agree with the previous comments about how expected ROI can dictate the rate at which a client would pay for content. As a writer, I also honestly believe that quality content deserves to be treated equally. So set your rates according to the quality of work you produce.
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  • Profile picture of the author princecapri
    I am a writer, so I find it difficult to outsource article writing. I have done it in past (when I wanted lots of average quality articles written in short duration), and I paid $2 per 100 words. But obviously, as you'd expect, the writer went AWOL after a while, even though he did complete the initial assignment in time. Also, I have different clients that I work for. For some, I charge 4 cents a word and for others, its over 10 cents a word.

    Guess the bottom line is, sorry, I cannot really answer the question to your satisfaction. For me, right now, it wouldn't make sense paying someone 10 cents a word; but since I earn that much, I guess there is a need for decent writers, especially in particular niches.
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  • Profile picture of the author goldenlogos
    I usually pay $3-$5 for a 300 words article, but the main problem I've had are writers keeping a long term relationship, after a while they start missing deadlines.
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  • Profile picture of the author SawyerD
    Hey,

    I personally dont think writing is that difficult. How hard is it to write 1 article a day of 400-600 words?
    Most people dont do it because of laziness, its worth it to do it yourself to save the money.

    If poor english is your problem, then I think the best move is to go to a freelance site and see what bids you can get. These days you dont have to pay much for anything because of all the options on the internet.
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  • Profile picture of the author warrich
    I myself consider that the best way to assess an article and determine the correct pay for it, is only by the high quality and the number of words it contains. Recently many companies are ready to pay maore money for the one who creates articles with perfect quality and content.
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