How To Make A Killing With Article Writing - Probably...

by John Coutts 44 replies
I've been watching the ever-decreasing "standard" price paid to article writers with interest over the past few years.

There was a time when $10 was a reasonable price to be paid for a 500 word article. It wasn't considered a particularly high price - just reasonable for a good quality article.

That "standard" slowly declined until $5 became the common price paid for a good article of 500 words, and that situation held for a time too.

Now it's sliding rapidly...

The other day I saw an advert posted by a mental retard who wanted, "500 word articles written in perfect English with perfect spelling and perfect grammer for $1 each."

Apart from his confusion with what presumably was meant to be grammar, this person is expecting quite a lot for a mere pittance. Unfortunately, he'll probably get it too. I was lamenting the sad state of affairs, when suddenly I saw a wonderful opportunity!

It's been said that if you are the first to latch on to a popular new trend and successfully monetize it, you can make a killing. Well, I think I may be the first to see how things in the article writing world are heading...

It isn't that big a jump to see that when a "standard" drops from $10 to $1 in just a few years it's unlikely to stop. Why should it? It's my guess that the trend, now in motion and gathering momentum, will keep going down and continue into the negative. That's why I am poised and ready!

By this time next month I will be successfully advertising for article writers to pay ME $1 for an article of 500 words. Yes, they will do the writing (in perfect English with perfect spelling and perfect grammar, or even grammer - I don't care!), and they will pay me $1 a time.

As I will be the first to go with this trend, I will be able to decrease the price of articles even deeper into the negative almost at will. I expect to be able to ask for $5 an article in a few month's time, and I could order 1,000 a day and live very, very comfortably indeed!

By this time next year I think it's possible to be commanding $10 to $15 an article, and having all the article writers lining up to pay me that rate too!

So you see, although it looks like article writing has reached an all-time low for the writers, it hasn't really. Just switch to become an article outsourcer when the "standard" article price hits negative values, as it's bound to do at the rate it's going, and cash in!

Of course, when this trend eventually goes too far into the negative, it will probably swing back to the positive. At that point I will switch from being an article outsourcer and start actually writing articles again and get $15 - maybe $25 an article. I won't make as much money, but I will feel valued once more, and that's something rarely found these days.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #article #article writing #articles #killing #make #writing
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  • Profile picture of the author sparrow
    Interesting concept

    As with anything the pendulum swings to the extremes in the beginning

    As part of a free market this evens out over time.

    Good luck

    Ed
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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      Originally Posted by sparrow View Post

      Interesting concept

      As with anything the pendulum swings to the extremes in the beginning

      As part of a free market this evens out over time.

      Good luck

      Ed
      Things have got so silly, pricing wise, that I felt I had to make light of the situation. Of course, if writers are only getting $1 an article now, they won't have any money to pay me with when (if) articles become negative priced! :-)

      John.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dave
        5 x 250 word Articles/Blog Posts @ $8 = $40
        5 x 500 word Articles @ $16 = $80


        Dang it John... I saw your original prices and was about to jump on it... but you raised the price before I could click the button! Looks like I should have been faster!
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        • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
          You get what you pay for.

          Check out The Phantom Writers. You may think their a little pricey, but just look at their articles and the success most of them have.

          AL
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          • Profile picture of the author Chris Monty
            Just like anything else...the world revolves around supply and demand.
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            • Profile picture of the author CDawson
              Banned
              I understand where your coming from. I have recently switched over to writting my own articles. If you take the time and write articles you will overtime learn how to write professionaly and how keywords can effect your article PR. My advice would be to start writting your own articles, not only does it save money but you will always be rest assured that your article is unique and YOURS only.

              Good luck to all of you!
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  • Profile picture of the author CSwrite
    John,

    You've said a mouthful. It's nearly impossible to survive without having to do twice the amount of work just to get the same amount of money.

    I had someone offer me $30 an article and I nearly fell over. So, maybe things are starting to turn around and once again, quality content will be king, not just content.

    Cary
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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      Originally Posted by CSwrite View Post

      John,
      I had someone offer me $30 an article and I nearly fell over. So, maybe things are starting to turn around and once again, quality content will be king, not just content.

      Cary
      Sure hope you're right! $30 and article is a lot closer to what a good article is worth. I hope you get many such offers!

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author Easy Cash
        This is true to any market.

        The old saying 'YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR' can sum up every market.

        Just think - how do you differentiate yourself from your competition?

        This comes down to;

        - Your company reputation
        - Your logo - company name - perception
        - What sort of service you give - Fast response, slow response
        - You ability to generate relationships with your Clients and maintain these relationships
        - Your efficiences in how you get the work done.

        Your contacts and ability to use others in the same field as you to generate income for you AND make a profit from them is the key to a successful business. i.e Be the middle man.
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        • Profile picture of the author cashcow
          LOL!

          I always wondered why articles were so cheap. I typically get $10 an article, but I rarely write for anyone else because it just seems like putting the effort into my own websites or PLR will be more profitable in the long run.

          Lee
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          • Profile picture of the author EndGame
            I am totally giving up on my freelancing and article writing business. Somee of my customers were very understanding and grateful for my prices, but some demanded quite a lot for next to nothing in pay.

            It was my own fault, I had my prices low so as to be able to compete with other article writers as best I could, but it was when I had people wanting 500 word articles thoroughly researched, and well written for 5 dollars or less I started to wonder. Especially when they offered no guidance on where to begin the research. I could spend hours working on a couple of articles in one niche for 10 dollars. Again, it is totally my fault and thats why I am getting out whilst I can.

            The situation described by the OP in this thread really annoys me when some jackass rocks up on the board and expects a piece written by Shakespeare and researched by Einstein for a couple of dollars every 500 words.
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            • Profile picture of the author Carlsbadd
              Originally Posted by EndGame View Post


              The situation described by the OP in this thread really annoys me when some jackass rocks up on the board and expects a piece written by Shakespeare and researched by Einstein for a couple of dollars every 500 words.

              Well said,

              If you are or become a good writer then you should spend the time writing for yourself anyway.

              With all the outsourcing this is one area where a good english writer should have an advantage
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      • Profile picture of the author CSwrite
        Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

        Sure hope you're right! $30 and article is a lot closer to what a good article is worth. I hope you get many such offers!

        John
        Thanks, John! You too - things have to get better eventually.

        Endgame - totally understand where you are coming from. But hang in there, and don't give up. Quality always rises to the top and there are actually quite a few places to get decent pay. PM me if you need some better paying work and I'll see what I can pass along to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author JoseArmando
      John that was a good one

      I think I'll scale your concept and earn hundreds of thousands in the next few months.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave
    John - I had to laugh! So true!
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  • Profile picture of the author Chaiwriter
    This is funny, but it'd be a lot of funnier if it wasn't so close to being true.

    I feel your pain... I really do.

    Luckily, some people still realize that a crappy 500 word article will make nothing (so they lose money - even if its only $4) while a well-written article could make them loads of cash (even if they paid $30).

    Good luck,

    Chai
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Dominic
      You get what you pay for.
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    • Profile picture of the author Art Turner
      Sorry John, EZA already beat you to it...some writers are paying $97 to send them articles.






      Art
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    • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
      I don't write many articles these days. I get other people to write
      them for me.

      What you guys need to think about is marketing.

      Why on earth are you competing on price?

      Why do I see so many people writing pathetic WSO copy?

      You may be great writers but the vast majority of you are
      not great at selling yourselves or your talents.

      Stop competing on price!

      Find your unique selling point.. what makes you stand out
      from the crowd?

      What benefits are you offering your customers?

      I select writers because they can persuade me that they have
      something to offer.. a certain writing style, a quality standard.

      Stop whining about prices and get marketing!

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author Khemal
        John's right and I agree with him. Any SOFTWARE program can "write" without any spelling mistakes and using "perfect" english. But is that what you expect from a writer?
        Well that's not what "I" expect. I expect a writer to be able to not just write but to write COMPELLING pieces that actually do more than just string a few words into a sentence.

        I'm no writer, obviously, but what I AM is a potential customer. And as one, when I read WSO's and adverts by "professional" writers I look at the Ad it self and see if it was written well enough. The Ad is your best testimonial and if you can't get that right, what good is your work? If you can't write an ad to differenciate yourself from the rest in a unique manner, then why should I hire you? It's the same for an SEO expert. Don't tell me you're an SEO expert when you can't get your own website to show up on page one for competitive keywords! hehe...that's one that always results in some fun "excuses". Anyway, getting back to the point...

        Cheapest is not always the best option and yes you get what you paid for. But if you show me that your writing can get me RESULTS, and positive ones at that, then you'll get my money even if you're twice as expensive as the other.

        Just my $0.02 for the day.
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        • Profile picture of the author Karen Keyes
          You want to keep the big picture in mind too, not just think in terms of how much you should charge for an article. Work it out - how much money do you want to make per hour? How long does it take you to research and write a 500 word article? Let's say I can research and write two 500 word articles in an hour - is $10 an hour all that I'm worth?

          It's crazy how low article writing has become, which is why I only write and sell PLR or use on my own sites now as well. I'm sure it was Bev who put this math in clear terms in another post. Something like this...

          You can write 10 articles and sell them to one person for let's say, $100 (if you can GET $10 an article that is).

          OR

          You can write 10 articles and sell 30 copies to 30 people for $10 per person, and make $300.

          Her numbers in her example were more realistic but you get the point. But there's an upside and downside to everything. When you shift gears to create PLR products, now YOU have to figure out what your customers would be interested in, otherwise you might not ever sell your articles. With ghostwriting, at least you KNOW the person who hired you wants articles on that specific topic.

          And I strive to do what John talks about. My view is, don't just throw up your wso with the same old "Here's 10 articles on babies... ". SELL the articles.. sell the NICHE. Market to those not only already in the niche, but make it attractive to people to JOIN the niche and use your articles as a launch pad (example). Do some niche research and include that with your articles. Write up 5 autoresponder messages and add those in. Do something to stand out. Offer to pay the buyer for any spelling or grammar mistakes found.

          A little rambling there, but just some ideas on what you can do. And Khemal makes a great point - people view your WSO/salespage etc as their first impression of you (when you're selling a service, your writing etc). If the first impression is LOW because you have crap copy, or spelling and grammar mistakes, why would they buy your articles? Even if you have perfect grammar, if your copy is dry and boring and lacking utter passion, do you think people reading that might also think your articles lack the same? Not that you need to over hype your copy (and I'm not saying I'm qualified in copywriting to give solid advice), but this is how I approach things and it's been working well for me.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
        Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

        I don't write many articles these days. I get other people to write
        them for me.

        What you guys need to think about is marketing.

        Why on earth are you competing on price?

        Why do I see so many people writing pathetic WSO copy?

        You may be great writers but the vast majority of you are
        not great at selling yourselves or your talents.

        Stop competing on price!

        Find your unique selling point.. what makes you stand out
        from the crowd?

        What benefits are you offering your customers?

        I select writers because they can persuade me that they have
        something to offer.. a certain writing style, a quality standard.

        Stop whining about prices and get marketing!

        John
        It was just a bit of lighthearted fun... Of course you are right though, and it is down to marketing.

        John.
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        • Thanks buddy, made me laugh

          I tried to start writing articles for people and quickly realized what you're saying... and that was 6 months ago... way worse now huh?

          I just focus on expanding my skillset and kept an offline job. zero stress, more impact down the road when I'll make a real killing from calculated moves...
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      • Profile picture of the author Greg Cooksley
        Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

        I don't write many articles these days.
        I get other people to write
        them for me.

        What you guys need to think about is marketing.

        Why on earth are you competing on price?

        Why do I see so many people writing pathetic WSO copy?

        You may be great writers but the vast majority of you are
        not great at selling yourselves or your talents.

        Stop competing on price!

        Find your unique selling point.. what makes you stand
        out
        from the crowd?

        What benefits are you offering your customers?

        I select writers because they can persuade me that they have
        something to offer.. a certain writing style, a quality standard.

        Stop whining about prices and get marketing!

        John

        Hey John,

        You are absolutely RIGHT.....

        I've been selling for over 25 years....and have done plenty of
        selling/marketing courses. I also make it my business to buy
        books on selling every year to keep sharp.....

        Now, if you don't take away anything else but this:

        Anytime you start to compete on price, you are dead in
        the water!!!!


        - You have to differentiate yourself from any competitors out
        there.
        - You have to find, as John says, what your USP is
        - Get people to have confidence in you
        - establish yourself as an expert
        - seperate yourself from the competition
        - build your image

        Ultimately, it's about the value that you are perceived to deliver,
        it's about relationships with your clients!!!!!

        IT"S NOT ABOUT THE PRICE!!!!

        Capiche...

        Go to Amazon and buy "the little red book of selling" by Jeffrey
        Gitomer

        Learn something about selling/marketing and then sell yourself!!!!!

        Regards

        Greg
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        • Profile picture of the author macchiavelli
          You can get very cheap articles if you just know where to look.
          I have failed countless times with outsourcing so I try and stay away from it but sometimes you come across a good freelancer who can help you tremendously with your business.

          ScriptLance.com Custom Freelance Programming. Outsource web projects to programmers and designers. is a good site to get many cheap freelance writers.
          Just make sure to read reviews.
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          • Profile picture of the author Greg Cooksley
            Originally Posted by macchiavelli View Post

            You can get very cheap articles if
            you just know where to look.
            I have failed countless times with outsourcing so I try and stay
            away from it but sometimes you come across a good freelancer
            who can help you tremendously with your business.

            ScriptLance.com Custom Freelance
            Programming. Outsource web projects to programmers and designers.

            is a good site to get many cheap freelance writers.
            Just make sure to read reviews.
            Hey Macchiavelli,

            I guess that's exactly the opposite to what the OP is talking
            about.....

            Regards

            Greg
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            • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
              Originally Posted by Greg Cooksley View Post

              Hey Macchiavelli,

              I guess that's exactly the opposite to what the OP is talking
              about.....

              Regards

              Greg
              Exactly.

              I'd only go to scriptlance to find outrageous and ridiculous ads to show people how ridiculous some people are.

              I just went and what did I find immediately? 30 articles/blog entries for 20 dollars a month?!?!

              That's not even a dollar per article. Lowest I've seen to date.

              >>>the articles will all be related to modern furniture and i will give you the topics to write on. you will write 1 blog entry everyday.

              the entries should be 300 words or more. you will get $20 per month for 30 articles. one each day should be delivered without delay.

              this is a LONG TERM PROJECT. ONLY BID IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE. <<<
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              • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
                Originally Posted by annoyedgirl View Post

                Exactly.
                30 articles/blog entries for 20 dollars a month?!?!
                That's not even a dollar per article. Lowest I've seen to date.
                Aha! My prediction is coming true.
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                • Profile picture of the author Mac Wheeler
                  Yes there are a lot of people pumping out garbage at $1 per 500 words.

                  Yes there are a lot of people buying articles at $1 per 500 words.

                  There are also a lot of people who have tried $1 per 500 word articles, been burned, and come to their senses.

                  It comes down to suppliers trying to match demand instead of driving the market, I personally won't write an article for less than $12.50 and that's my rock bottom rate to long time clients.

                  A quick, cheap job is never good.
                  A good, cheap job is never quick.
                  A good, quick job is never cheap.

                  I'm quite happy to see all those $1 per 500 word writers out there, because now and then one of their clients says "Enough, no more garbage!" and becomes a real player instead of a bottom feeder.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
                    The value of an article is how much profit it earns, not how much it costs to get written...

                    From a business point of view:
                    A $1 article which earns $5 is a success (not all $1 articles are successful).
                    A $20 article which earns $10 is a failure (not all $20 articles are failures).

                    I would rather pay a lot more for articles and form a close working relationship with the author so we both profit from the articles. Throwing money at hundreds of low cost articles for any money making venture is too hit and miss for my liking...
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                    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
                      Originally Posted by Colin Evans View Post

                      The value of an article is how much profit it earns, not how much it costs to get written...

                      From a business point of view:
                      A $1 article which earns $5 is a success (not all $1 articles are successful).
                      A $20 article which earns $10 is a failure (not all $20 articles are failures).
                      I'd argue that the value of an article is whatever you can get from it. I just secured a contract to supply a large batch of articles at $25 each.

                      Are my articles worth that much? Of course they are, as long as someone is willing to pay it!

                      On the other hand, I could write the exact same articles, and if $3 each was the most I could find someone willing to spend on them, then that is what they would be worth.

                      John.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Ephrils
                        I've been thinking, since I was researching outsourcing articles at sites like eLance, that aricle writers seem to be selling themselves short. They could, and should, be getting way more than $1 or $3 per article. As writers, is that how much they think their writing is worth?

                        I think the article writers need to demand more or find other clients who will, since articles is such a huge part of this business, it's easy to forget what would happen if those people outsourcing suddenly had to write it all themselves.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
                        Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

                        I'd argue that the value of an article is whatever you can get from it. I just secured a contract to supply a large batch of articles at $25 each.

                        Are my articles worth that much? Of course they are, as long as someone is willing to pay it!

                        On the other hand, I could write the exact same articles, and if $3 each was the most I could find someone willing to spend on them, then that is what they would be worth.
                        It is one thing to say your articles are worth it, it's quite another to prove it...

                        I have seen one author charge as much as $1500 for a short email series, but the difference is this author works with you to get the best possible ROI...

                        I have seen another author charge more than $1500 per article, but this author will test different titles and resource boxes to get you the best ROI (he also takes care of the article submission, it's in his interest to make sure it's done properly).

                        Any author who is prepared to prove their articles are worth the expense will be able to charge many times more than authors who churn out articles just to earn a few bucks.

                        As a customer I would far rather pay more and work with authors who are prepared to help me to get the best possible return from my articles.

                        Authors basically have two choices:

                        Churn out 100 articles for $3 or $5 each and perhaps never see the customers again.

                        Or

                        Write two or three articles for $100+ and know for certain the customer will be back.

                        Actually authors have a third choice...

                        Forget writing for customers and make money from their own articles.
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          • Profile picture of the author CSwrite
            Originally Posted by macchiavelli View Post

            ...is a good site to get many cheap freelance writers. Just make sure to read reviews.
            This really made me think...

            As a freelance writer, would you rather be known as:

            "cheap"

            or

            "damn good and well worth the money"

            It's one thing to take crappy jobs at first to establish yourself, but eventually, if you don't raise your rates and aim higher you are only shooting yourself and everyone else in the foot.

            It's refreshing to see so many people here that appreciate quality - after awhile in this business it's all too easy to get jaded.

            Cary
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            • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
              Many of you are looking at this from a wealthy country viewpoint.

              $1 for an article would be seriously low wages in the US or UK, but in some countries it's still good money.

              Say the person can write an article in an hour. $1 per hour may be way more than jobs pay in their local area. Someone who writes a lot may write them faster.

              I'm not saying $1 per article should be the price, just explaining why some would write for that amount.

              The right price is whatever the buyer and seller agree to.

              Barack Obama has a brother in Africa who lives on $1 per month. I guess he doesn't write as many articles!
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              • Profile picture of the author CSwrite
                Jelasco,

                Agreed - but out of anyone, aren't these the very people who would benefit from being able to make more per article?

                Driving down prices works in the short term, especially for those that may need that $1 per article - but - in the long term, everyone suffers as a result.
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                • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
                  Originally Posted by CSwrite View Post

                  Jelasco,

                  Agreed - but out of anyone, aren't these the very people who would benefit from being able to make more per article?
                  Like I said, I was just explaining why some people would work for what many of us would consider to be very poor wages.

                  If I were in one of those poor countries, I'd rather write articles for $1 each than do manual labor for even less.

                  Maybe those overseas factories could pay their workers better, too.
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              • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
                Originally Posted by Jelasco View Post

                Many of you are looking at this from a wealthy country viewpoint.

                $1 for an article would be seriously low wages in the US or UK, but in some countries it's still good money.

                Say the person can write an article in an hour. $1 per hour may be way more than jobs pay in their local area. Someone who writes a lot may write them faster.

                I'm not saying $1 per article should be the price, just explaining why some would write for that amount.

                The right price is whatever the buyer and seller agree to.

                Barack Obama has a brother in Africa who lives on $1 per month. I guess he doesn't write as many articles!
                If someone pays $1 an article they should expect crappy articles by someone without a good grasp on the English language. But what about when people expect award winning type stuff for peanuts?

                I saw an ad once where someone wanted well researched articles, perfect grammar, and perfect spelling and oh yeah, unique of course, for the princely sum of $2 per 500 words. Are they serious?
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

        What you guys need to think about is marketing.

        Why on earth are you competing on price?

        Why do I see so many people writing pathetic WSO copy?

        You may be great writers but the vast majority of you are
        not great at selling yourselves or your talents.

        Stop competing on price!

        Find your unique selling point.. what makes you stand out
        from the crowd?

        What benefits are you offering your customers?

        John

        Very true.

        When I was working as a professional freelance writer I was never crazy enough
        to consider writing articles for $30 let alone $5 or $10.

        I also quickly worked out that there were plenty of ways to market your writing
        where you got paid $500 to $1,000+ for a page of writing instead of being paid
        a pittance.

        The things I did early on to make multiple thousands of dollars per client...and
        all of these things are basically similar to writing articles in one form or another:

        1. Writing lead generating reports for businesses. Usually 2 pages or less.
        Charge $500 to $1,000+

        2. Write online and offline sales letters for businesses. Usually 5 pages or less.

        Often just one page. Charge $500 to $1,500+

        3. Set up a website for a small business (usually 4-6 pages). You might add
        articles to the website for SEO reasons at an extra $100-$500 a page.

        Full website with sales letter, optin page, thank you page charge $1,500 to $5,000+.


        It's all writing but now instead of being an "article writer" which has no real
        value in the market place you're a marketing expert helping businesses make
        more sales and more profits.

        There's HUGE value in that for business owners and they'll pay you great
        money for it.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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