Frustrations of being a Writer

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I am a writer, and I know there are lots of them on this forum. I started this thread just to ask all of you, what has been your biggest frustration when it comes to writing?

Many writers have the habit of dedicating all their talent to writing for others, and invest only a little of it in building their own business. I've heard that happen with plenty of writers, and all of them regret it.

However, my prime vexation is when clients limit your creativity. Many a times clients come to you asking for new style of writing, something not available on the web. They want new words, new style, new usage, and new caliber. And when the writer actually delivers the requirement, the client responds by saying "the phrasing is unusual." :rolleyes: All you're left to do is go back to the article, and make it usual. Although the client isn't disappointed, what I feel sad about is the fact that clients don't want to take chances with novelty.

As a result, I write differently for myself and my clients. When I'm writing for myself, I can delve into the sea of words, and bring up pearls; but that is not possible when you write for others.

What is your primary dislike when you offer your writing services?
#frustrations #writer
  • Profile picture of the author Ashera
    Great post, but would do better here: The Copywriting Forum
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    • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
      Originally Posted by Ashera View Post

      Great post, but would do better here: The Copywriting Forum
      Well, that depends on what type of writing they are talking about. If they are talking about copywriting, it would go there. If they were talking about writing articles, novels, or anything that is not copywriting, they are in the right place.

      For me it is being severely undervalued by certain people. I usually just ignore those people, but it does get on my nerves.

      For example... earlier today someone asked what I normally charge to write a simple article and I said $0.04 per word. They laughed me off and asked how I ever planned to compete with the people who will write 500 words for $3. I simply said, "I'm not trying to compete with them, I'm providing high quality content for marketers that understand what quality can do for their sites."
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      • Profile picture of the author Cajun Copy
        Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

        For me it is being severely undervalued by certain people. I usually just ignore those people, but it does get on my nerves.

        For example... earlier today someone asked what I normally charge to write a simple article and I said $0.04 per word. They laughed me off and asked how I ever planned to compete with the people who will write 500 words for $3. I simply said, "I'm not trying to compete with them, I'm providing high quality content for marketers that understand what quality can do for their sites."
        Amanda,
        You're right on the money that most people don't understand the value of a good writer to their businesses. The good thing about setting high rates (if you've got the chops and can prove it) is that you weed out a lot of "bad clients" when they see they can't afford you.

        Once you decide what you're worth and only deal with clients who can afford your services, you may have less work. But you'll enjoy it more and probably make more as a result.

        Then again, you probably already know this
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  • Profile picture of the author acs111
    I work for a content marketing company and although were doing really well profit wise, i'm definitely aware that some of our content is compromised by clients wanting to spend less and get more.
    Most of the problem comes from the fact that the client can outsource the articles to some of the emerging markets for a third of the price. For a starter company its a no brainer.
    Im hoping that a Google update will out bad content so clients can see its worth spending money on
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Thorsett
    The one thing that infuriates me more than anything else about writing for online clients is that they view writing as an expense to be minimized, rather than an investment to be exploited.

    It takes money to make money, and so many marketers are blind to this fact. They want the riches that have been promised them by the push-button-solution marketers, and they aren't willing to invest in either themselves or their own success.

    Granted, there does exist a small subset of people who recognize quality writing and are willing to pay for it, but I just wish they weren't an endangered species.
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    • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
      Originally Posted by Michael Thorsett View Post

      The one thing that infuriates me more than anything else about writing for online clients is that they view writing as an expense to be minimized, rather than an investment to be exploited.
      There is another side to the coin though. In the past, I have paid what I thought were quality, native English writers $.04 per word and given them a lot of business too - often 10 x 5K word books for example - only to be delivered what I can only call utter rubbish!

      Will
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      • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
        Originally Posted by Will Edwards View Post

        There is another side to the coin though. In the past, I have paid what I thought were quality, native English writers $.04 per word and given them a lot of business too - often 10 x 5K word books for example - only to be delivered what I can only call utter rubbish!

        Will
        Ya, you do have to be careful... there are many people out there that will charge $0.04 cents a word only to outsource your content to writers that charge less than a quarter of that. That is why test jobs are so important when hiring writers.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Will Edwards View Post

        There is another side to the coin though. In the past, I have paid what I thought were quality, native English writers $.04 per word and given them a lot of business too - often 10 x 5K word books for example - only to be delivered what I can only call utter rubbish!

        Will

        This is more the measure of the integrity of the writer you hired, than the price you paid to have the work done.
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      • Profile picture of the author WriterWahm
        Originally Posted by Will Edwards View Post

        There is another side to the coin though. In the past, I have paid what I thought were quality, native English writers $.04 per word and given them a lot of business too - often 10 x 5K word books for example - only to be delivered what I can only call utter rubbish!

        Will

        That is what I call 'the fallacy of the native writer'
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan Curtis
          Originally Posted by WriterWahm View Post

          That is what I call 'the fallacy of the native writer'
          Joseph Conrad, author of Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim, was not a native English speaker.

          He was born into a Polish speaking family and was not fluent in English until his twenties. And yet he is an acknowledged master of literature and is considered by many to be the finest writer of prose in the English language.

          So no, English does not need to be your native tongue. But you do need to know how to write.
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  • Profile picture of the author im4noobs
    The common frustration encountered by most of the writer will be undervalued because of other cheap writers whom offering content writing services for a very low rate... Anyhow if you market your writing services at the right way you will succeed in getting good clients whom are willing to pay for your quality....
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  • Profile picture of the author Cali16
    Originally Posted by Ali Anwar View Post

    They want new words, new style, new usage, and new caliber. And when the writer actually delivers the requirement, the client responds by saying "the phrasing is unusual." :rolleyes: All you're left to do is go back to the article, and make it usual.
    It sounds to me like you need to work on your communcation with your clients. Either you're not really understanding what it is they want (and thus need to ask for more clarification), or you are not communicating to them, up front, your concerns (or intentions) with regards to what it is they are asking you to do. Either way, the onus is on you to make sure you are both on the same page before you start writing - unless you want to keep doing rewrites.
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    • Profile picture of the author ejunkie
      Originally Posted by Cali16 View Post

      It sounds to me like you need to work on your communcation with your clients. Either you're not really understanding what it is they want (and thus need to ask for more clarification), or you are not communicating to them, up front, your concerns (or intentions) with regards to what it is they are asking you to do. Either way, the onus is on you to make sure you are both on the same page before you start writing - unless you want to keep doing rewrites.
      I would second that.

      Sometimes many clients follow their own format or template for different items such as articles, blog posts, new releases. In those cases, as a writer give them what they want.

      In copywriting for different products & services you might want to do 'new' things and you might find clients appreciating that.

      You must also understand what you can do with which type of content. Even doing 'new' things should fit in with the overall objective of the content that you are writing.

      Just my thoughts.
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  • I tell people up front I charge $1 per word. That chases away the riffraff who want everything for as cheap as possible. Certainly, many types of writing (product descriptions, basic information and the like) can be commoditized and auctioned off to the lowest bidder. NASA works like that.

    However, mission critical writing that informs, works hard and strays into the area of copywriting (i.e. motivates the reader to take action) is worth a lot more. Add in SEO elements (<HEAD> and <BODY> tags, subject lines for articles and blog posts) and you can't depend upon the less-than-a-penny-per-word writer to deliver more readers who actually take the next step in your sales process.

    I recently posted this on my Facebook Page:
    If you know me, you know why I do what I do (and why I charge what I charge for it). If you don't know me, you might think you can't afford me.

    No problem. It's your business. Feel free to treat writing, business planning, content creation with SEO value and info-product creation as a commodity. Then, when you fall on your ass for the umpteenth time, consider what you've been missing.
    YMMV

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    • Profile picture of the author Miss Bee
      Being undervalued is a major issue. But people in the UK and US simply can't compete with Indians on price, especially if they are offering a quality service.

      As a writer you are not a charity! Why do some people expect something for nothing? Would they offer to pay a plumber $5 per hour? Of course not, that's ridiculous. Besides, the plumber would immediately tell them where to stick their job.

      Mind you, I'm new to freelancing. I'm in the process of trying to find clients that will actually pay prices that are acceptable to a UK resident.
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Thorsett
        Originally Posted by Miss Bee View Post

        Being undervalued is a major issue. But people in the UK and US simply can't compete with Indians on price, especially if they are offering a quality service.
        Never compete on price.

        Never.
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        • Profile picture of the author Miss Bee
          Originally Posted by Michael Thorsett View Post

          Never compete on price.

          Never.
          Thanks for the advice, I have also heard this from others.

          Would you say that you need to market yourself more if you are aiming to deliver a higher quality product?

          There's no shortage of people who want loads of content for a few $'s. How do you find and connect with people who understand the value of good quality, interesting, relevant and unique content though?
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          • Hi Miss Bee,

            Originally Posted by Miss Bee View Post

            There's no shortage of people who want loads of content for a few $'s. How do you find and connect with people who understand the value of good quality, interesting, relevant and unique content though?
            Try cold contacting corporations operating in industries where you have specialized expertise in. Focus on those with newly launched products. Zone in further on those that rely more on online marketing campaign results, over offline marketing results. Zone in further on those that operate in industries where it's difficult to find competent writers with specialized expertise in relevant subject areas. EXAMPLE: North American and European software development corporations, with newly launched products extensively marketed online...

            That's what I did when I started in 2005. I didn't stop there, however. I formulated and sent business proposals to my corporate clients who liked what I've been doing for them so much, it'd be difficult for them to turn down my custom proposals. What did I propose?

            For me to screen, hire, train and manage more tech content writers for them. At this point, we had yet to register our company, though we officially registered our business in 2006. I signed up all 3 of them, was given a workable prep period and advance payments, and everything's history. Ah yes, we helped two of them with their online product marketing campaigns, from 2005 to 2009, and the result was:

            • In 2007, their carrier product became the world's best selling Microsoft Windows System Registry software cleaner, of all time...

            • In 2008, one website of our other corporate client was voted as one of the top 100 tech content sites, of all time...

            Once we had those things in our portfolio: More business went our way, from colleagues of our corporate clients and their executives. Oh, I think it's about time to mention this:

            I did these things and continue to do so, with my eyes closed, because I've been totally blind, permanently, since 2003, and there's no use opening them, anyway...
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        • Profile picture of the author sinhahumayun
          Originally Posted by Michael Thorsett View Post

          Never compete on price.

          Never.
          I completely agree, however, given the market is completely wide open and it is not always easy to produce remarkable content, "Price" is something that one can't just ignore. To maintain a steady flow of earning through content marketing, one has to compete on the basis of price. Its not fair, but it is the way it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Content Traders
    Originally Posted by Ali Anwar View Post

    I am a writer, and I know there are lots of them on this forum. I started this thread just to ask all of you, what has been your biggest frustration when it comes to writing?

    Many writers have the habit of dedicating all their talent to writing for others, and invest only a little of it in building their own business. I've heard that happen with plenty of writers, and all of them regret it.

    However, my prime vexation is when clients limit your creativity. Many a times clients come to you asking for new style of writing, something not available on the web. They want new words, new style, new usage, and new caliber. And when the writer actually delivers the requirement, the client responds by saying "the phrasing is unusual." :rolleyes: All you're left to do is go back to the article, and make it usual. Although the client isn't disappointed, what I feel sad about is the fact that clients don't want to take chances with novelty.

    As a result, I write differently for myself and my clients. When I'm writing for myself, I can delve into the sea of words, and bring up pearls; but that is not possible when you write for others.

    What is your primary dislike when you offer your writing services?
    I started from writing, I have been making an average $3000 per month from elance by writing medical research writing but when I entered IM, I totally collapsed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Thorsett
    If you are excellent at what you do, and can provide quality beyond that of what others are providing, you will never have to compete on price.

    If you are not excellent at what you do, perhaps you should keep searching and find that thing that you do that you can do better than anyone else.

    Miss Bee: You are right, it takes smart, savvy marketing to find clients that are willing to pay above market prices. The first ingredient is the self-confidence that you can provide a better product than anyone else. The second ingredient is networking. If you hang out with quality writers online, odds are that you will get some overflow referrals from time to time. Contact me on Skype if you'd like to talk about networking in regard to writing.




    Originally Posted by Michael Thorsett View Post

    Never compete on price.

    Never.
    Originally Posted by sinhahumayun View Post

    I completely agree
    Originally Posted by sinhahumayun View Post

    To maintain a steady flow of earning through content marketing, one has to compete on the basis of price. Its not fair, but it is the way it is.
    I don't think the bolded word means what you think it means.
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    • Profile picture of the author Miss Bee
      Originally Posted by Michael Thorsett View Post

      If you are excellent at what you do, and can provide quality beyond that of what others are providing, you will never have to compete on price.

      If you are not excellent at what you do, perhaps you should keep searching and find that thing that you do that you can do better than anyone else.

      Miss Bee: You are right, it takes smart, savvy marketing to find clients that are willing to pay above market prices. The first ingredient is the self-confidence that you can provide a better product than anyone else. The second ingredient is networking. If you hang out with quality writers online, odds are that you will get some overflow referrals from time to time. Contact me on Skype if you'd like to talk about networking in regard to writing.
      You see, I know for a fact that people do pay for content. In a previous job I wrote all of the important web content and copy. The kind of things that the cheap seo article writers couldn't be trusted with.

      Now it's a question of working out how to apply this experience to freelancing.

      Thanks for your kind offer, I will take you up on that! I would thank you and others on this thread, but I've not worked out how to do that yet.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
        Miss Bee, the thanks button will appear on the bottom right of posts after you hit a minimum number of posts. I believe that's still five, so you'll be able to thank people soon.

        Welcome to the forum and feel free to add me on Skype. I may be able to help you with some ideas for your freelance writing business.
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        • Profile picture of the author Miss Bee
          Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

          Miss Bee, the thanks button will appear on the bottom right of posts after you hit a minimum number of posts. I believe that's still five, so you'll be able to thank people soon.

          Welcome to the forum and feel free to add me on Skype. I may be able to help you with some ideas for your freelance writing business.
          Thanks for letting me know about the button, your warm welcome and the offer of adding you to my Skype contacts. I'm going to take you up on your kind offer. Hopefully at some point in the future I'll be offering advice to others!

          Also thanks Marx Vergel Melencio. That is an interesting approach and an inspiring story. You sound as though you are a very confident person to contact people directly like that.
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          • Hi Miss Bee,

            Originally Posted by Miss Bee View Post

            Also thanks Marx Vergel Melencio. That is an interesting approach and an inspiring story. You sound as though you are a very confident person to contact people directly like that.
            The confidence still comes from my specialized expertise. I'm totally blind. I sold a dozen pounds of weed every three days when I was 17, and I was never ever suspected of doing so. Up to this day, I can assemble computers by myself. I can repair computer hardware issues by myself. I can install, optimize and repair software problems by myself. I can develop custom Wordpress themes by myself. I can program .NET/PHP/Java/JavaScript/AJAX applications by myself. I can formulate offline and online marketing campaigns by myself. I can screen, hire, train and manage people, even those with disabilities, on my own, for them to implement these offline and online marketing campaigns. I can run my life and achieve my dreams with my eyes closed, by myself. I can become extremely violent, without looking intimidating at the very least. Just exactly how many blind people do you personally know, who at least tries to do any of these things?

            Specialize. Work harder and smarter on yourself, rather than on your job. If you work on your job, you have a living. If you work on yourself, you have a fortune. Become valuable in the marketplace. It's just up, down, or sideways, from any reference point. Communicate your value as long-term transformational value in the eyes of your customers, then deliver. Make them realize that the benefits for them of what's inside the box is finite, and that the benefits for them outside it is infinite, and that the person who owns the box is more valuable than others who don't own it...
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            • Profile picture of the author erichammer
              You probably want to remove that bit about weed. I'm no lawyer, but that could potentially be prosecutable as an admission of guilt, even several years later.
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              • Originally Posted by erichammer View Post

                You probably want to remove that bit about weed. I'm no lawyer, but that could potentially be prosecutable as an admission of guilt, even several years later.
                Statute of limitations, Eric. Anyway, I was a gardener back then. A gardener. Weed, grass, they all mean the same thing to me, even today. I think that's enough to exonerate me. If I ever did something wrong, I repent, will do charity work and live among the blessed, and that's a promise, with a refund guarantee...
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            • Profile picture of the author Miss Bee
              Originally Posted by Marx Vergel Melencio View Post

              Hi Miss Bee,



              The confidence still comes from my specialized expertise. I'm totally blind. I sold a dozen pounds of weed every three days when I was 17, and I was never ever suspected of doing so. Up to this day, I can assemble computers by myself. I can repair computer hardware issues by myself. I can install, optimize and repair software problems by myself. I can develop custom Wordpress themes by myself. I can program .NET/PHP/Java/JavaScript/AJAX applications by myself. I can formulate offline and online marketing campaigns by myself. I can screen, hire, train and manage people, even those with disabilities, on my own, for them to implement these offline and online marketing campaigns. I can run my life and achieve my dreams with my eyes closed, by myself. I can become extremely violent, without looking intimidating at the very least. Just exactly how many blind people do you personally know, who at least tries to do any of these things?

              Specialize. Work harder and smarter on yourself, rather than on your job. If you work on your job, you have a living. If you work on yourself, you have a fortune. Become valuable in the marketplace. It's just up, down, or sideways, from any reference point. Communicate your value as long-term transformational value in the eyes of your customers, then deliver. Make them realize that the benefits for them of what's inside the box is finite, and that the benefits for them outside it is infinite, and that the person who owns the box is more valuable than others who don't own it...
              You're clearly a very honest person too!

              To be honest I'm not sure what my area of expertise is exactly, I think being creative is more my speciality. I am also a qualified graphic designer, and I've just started to create info graphics for people too. Becoming a writer was accidental. Most people who are reasonably academic and creative can probably write to a publishable standard anyway.

              I have already broken the $5 an article barrier, and have had repeat orders. The mission is now getting more orders and more clients.

              My long term goal is to become a proper copywriter and to become a seasoned creator of info graphics. Personal development also plays a huge part in that. The goal is to study NLP and to undertake an MA looking at semiotics in marketing and advertising. That will cost a pretty penny though, so first I need to earn lots of money!
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      • Profile picture of the author Cajun Copy
        Originally Posted by Miss Bee View Post

        You see, I know for a fact that people do pay for content. In a previous job I wrote all of the important web content and copy. The kind of things that the cheap seo article writers couldn't be trusted with.

        Now it's a question of working out how to apply this experience to freelancing.

        Thanks for your kind offer, I will take you up on that! I would thank you and others on this thread, but I've not worked out how to do that yet.
        Miss Bee,
        It sounds like you could parlay your previous commercial writing experience into writing business copy. Might be a natural fit. Check out "The Well-Fed Writer" by Peter Bowerman for some info you might find useful. Best of luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
    Good topic, the value of the written word is that it can communicate and open up opportunities, Value is often something that is subjective, in the past, it really did not matter as much, because you could slap just about anything up on a website and it did well.

    You could even just copy paste stuff and it did well, but those days have changed.

    With Google and its ever changing 4th dimensional analysis which changes so often that just about everyone is frustrated with the system, if you think about it like a giant sifter that attempts to separate the good stuff from the bad stuff then that is how a search engine should work.

    But what is good and what is bad, is there an in between, layer where content can be improved, perhaps there is.

    The main point here is that quality is a good thing, unique is good, to really obtain the maximum value from content it not only has to be of a good quality and a unique nature but also it must tell a story, it must develop a relationship with the reader.

    I personally believe that in the near future that these three things will become even more important as large search engines continue to develop methods of valuing content. Right now there are people out there that are trying to game the system they use short cuts, that only work until the next time Google changes its systems.

    Eventually if your caught playing those games, your going to be in a bad position, how does that relate to writing, at some point in the future those people who waste their time trying to game the system will finally realize that they need professional help in more than one way, they may try to game you, but if you have conditioned your business and developed your writing skills, you will realize that those kinds of clients are not worth your time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chloe Emerson
    My primary dislike when offering my services - some people are satisfied with trash and nonsensical stuffs.

    Quantity vs. quality? Smart folks go for the quality, greedy folks go for the cheap. I would rather work for smart than greedy any day of the week.

    ~Never be so desperate that you sell yourself and your skills short.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheInternet
      I know I don't want to be someone who works for pennies per word. If your copy is good enough to demand good pay, then you can make copy that convinces people of that fact.

      Anyone who's not convinced wasn't going to be convinced. Focus on the target audience of people who value good writing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    I'd say my biggest frustration as a writer comes when I finish a piece, go "man, I like this", and then give it away to someone else.
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  • Profile picture of the author erichammer
    It seems many of you are complaining about super low pay. I agree. Many clients expect to get things written for next to nothing. However, as Alexa Smith always says -- the bottom feeding clients are not worth competing for because there are always going to be people who under-price themselves in order to attract them.

    Personally, I have given up on doing the low cost writing and yes, I've had numerous people tell me I'm too expensive for them. However, I've also found that I don't need nearly as many clients and I can focus on providing better quality material to those clients who understand that quality writing is worth something.

    Of course, if you can't write proper English, then you are only worth a penny a word or even less and so you shouldn't be complaining. However, for those who do know how to write, there is no reason to charge so little.

    My standard pricing starts at 7 cents per word for blog posts and 15 cents per word for articles (articles include original research and at least one professional interview while blog posts are just that -- blog posts. They offer an opinion based on existing knowledge and information but do not offer original interviews). The crazy thing is, I'm busier now than I was when I used to charge 1-2 cents per word a few years back.

    Eric

    P.S. For those who are ready to take the plunge, I highly suggest looking into doing copywriting instead of content writing. Copy writing means using words to sell products whereas content writing means writing the fodder which gets fed to the search engines. The big difference is that copywriters get paid thousands of dollars for the same amount of words that a content writer gets paid $10 for. Of course, a copywriter requires vastly different skills from those of a content writer, which is why the prices are so much higher.
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Machine
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author TheInternet
      Originally Posted by Warrior Machine View Post

      Some times its difficult both to hire or get hired than to just say. Instead of having quality, writers from our area don't get enough job or paid only because of not being native English speaker.
      That seems like a copout. I'm sure there are more than a few people living in India and other outsourcing-heavy countries making good pay because they really put the effort in to improve their English and copywriting skills.
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    • Profile picture of the author WF99
      Originally Posted by Warrior Machine View Post

      Some times its difficult both to hire or get hired than to just say. Instead of having quality, writers from our area don't get enough job or paid only because of not being native English speaker.
      Ya i think difference in language is a big fact .
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Warrior Machine View Post

      Some times its difficult both to hire or get hired than to just say. Instead of having quality, writers from our area don't get enough job or paid only because of not being native English speaker.

      Unfortunately, I can tell that you are NOT a native English speaker.

      I know that in India, most of your countrymen speak British English as a matter of upbringing, and most of your neighbors write in British English.

      The problem is that I can see from your two sentences here that you don't even have a solid grasp of "quality writing" from even the British English perspective.

      You write as well as any person who speaks English as a second language, but not as well as someone who uses English as a first language.

      I am not saying that to be mean or arrogant. I am saying that as a person who frequently hires writers to create content for me.

      There are plenty of folks in your country who have learned to write in a style that is considered "good quality" in the United States. With those folks, you cannot even tell that they don't live in the U.S.

      That is an advantage to anyone who wants to sell writing services in the United States. To have Americans hire you, you must write as if you actually live here.

      You should have the capability to be able to do that "some day", but you do not yet have that ability.

      As a result, you would be much better off to sell writing services to folks in your country, or to dig deep in your soul to learn how to write like an American would write.

      That is something you cannot fake. You either can or you cannot. And if you cannot, then you will be hard-pressed to find writing jobs where your employers are American.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    My biggest frustration was not having enough time to write articles that I was interested in. Often I loft my passion for writing due to writing for others. Once I set up my own site I found I could channel my time and energies into this!
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  • Profile picture of the author nmb
    I am a content writer and the bottom line is that you get what you pay for. If you want cheap rubbish, which has just been bashed by Google, then there are thousands out there who will do it for you. Quality content takes longer and as one poster said - it is an investment not an opportunity to pay buttons.
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  • Profile picture of the author ketset
    erichammer posted a very good point there, I have been writing in my own language for many years and started at around $3 for 500 words but as the work got bigger and better I was able to command much higher prices.

    I notice (at erichammer) you would charge based on your price per word - $35/500 words. do you get a lot of work for that price?
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    • Profile picture of the author erichammer
      Originally Posted by ketset View Post

      erichammer posted a very good point there, I have been writing in my own language for many years and started at around $3 for 500 words but as the work got bigger and better I was able to command much higher prices.

      I notice (at erichammer) you would charge based on your price per word - $35/500 words. do you get a lot of work for that price?
      Like I said, I'm actually very busy and pretty much at capacity for what I can handle right now. Oh, and I don't even advertise the $35 blog posts. I just advertise article writing for $75. If people ask me, I tell them about the cheaper option. I also have cheaper options still for those who provide steady work, though nothing approaching the $5 for 500 word folks. I won't come anywhere near those kinds of jobs anymore.

      However, I do want to emphasize: you do have to be able to offer quality for the money. Looking through this thread, several people complain of not getting much money for their writing, but they show they're not worth much because they don't write proper English.

      If English is not your native language, take the time to learn how to do it correctly or just look for jobs in your own language, but don't complain when you get offered five bucks for writing junk. Oh, and if English is your native language and your writing skills just aren't worth much, then I suggest you take the time to read some quality articles and take the time to learn to use English more effectively.
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      Get the conversions you need and deserve with my professional, viral writing services.

      Free SEO included at no additional charge!
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  • Profile picture of the author peterb1234
    I completely agree with being undervalued.

    I am new and trying to establish a reputation.

    I have completed some review articles and everyone was happy.

    I have now advertised at what I consider a very cheap service, to hopefully get people to give me a try.These will then become repeat customers at a fair price to "me" the writer and "them" the customer.

    But I am still getting requests for 500 word articles for $5. Completely unique and fully researched.

    This can take 2hrs per article, for $5. I don't think so.
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by peterb1234 View Post

      I completely agree with being undervalued.

      I am new and trying to establish a reputation.

      I have completed some review articles and everyone was happy.

      I have now advertised at what I consider a very cheap service, to hopefully get people to give me a try.These will then become repeat customers at a fair price to "me" the writer and "them" the customer.

      But I am still getting requests for 500 word articles for $5. Completely unique and fully researched.

      This can take 2hrs per article, for $5. I don't think so.
      Get used to saying no. It will happen with frequency.

      I've had people offer me a few hundred bucks for a whole ebook. Okay, sure. If I'm going to write 20 pages - why would I not just sell that myself instead? At $15 bucks a copy, I only have to sell 14 copies to max that price of $10 per page I was just offered. A smart writer may just take that low offer that was probably already researched a bit for demand, write their own manual, and cut the person offering to pay peanuts right out of their own market.
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      Sal
      When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
      Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author ketset
    Yeh that's really helpful thanks and I totally agree with the way you price your articles. In my own language I have moved away from the $5 articles and am really focusing on English to see if there would be an opportunity there at some point in the future...

    Thanks for the information though, you have been really helpful on some of your posts!
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  • Profile picture of the author mhaddyness
    I agree that being undervalued is one of the biggest frustrations of being a writer. To think that writers play a HUGE part in content creation. And some clients tend to overlook the fact that without a good content, their sites are considered useless.
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    • Profile picture of the author deejones
      I don’t want to write for cheap because it won’t allow me to do my best work. And that matters to me.

      I love writing. Always have. Fiction, nonfiction, you name it. I’ve even been known to write essays for fun. I can spend hours researching, writing and revising a single, 500 word article, and enjoy every minute of it. But I can’t afford to do that for five bucks a pop.

      Getting better paying clients doesn’t just mean getting paid more. It also means I can take my time, and produce content I’m actually proud of.

      The good news is that more IMers want to stop relying on Google. For that, they’ll need content people actually want to read. Content so awesome it’ll go viral and attract a flood of new traffic to their sites. And, barring the occasional fluke, they won’t find that kind of writing for a penny a word.
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      • Profile picture of the author Miss Bee
        Originally Posted by deejones View Post

        I don't want to write for cheap because it won't allow me to do my best work. And that matters to me.

        I love writing. Always have. Fiction, nonfiction, you name it. I've even been known to write essays for fun. I can spend hours researching, writing and revising a single, 500 word article, and enjoy every minute of it. But I can't afford to do that for five bucks a pop.

        Getting better paying clients doesn't just mean getting paid more. It also means I can take my time, and produce content I'm actually proud of.

        The good news is that more IMers want to stop relying Google. For that, they'll need content people actually want to read. Content so awesome it'll go viral and attract a flood of new traffic to their sites. And, barring the occasional fluke, they won't find that kind of writing for a penny a word.
        You make some really good points. If you really enjoy writing, but are bashing out bulk orders of 500 word articles you will get very bored. There won't be much scope for honing your craft either. That sort of work tends not to be very intellectually stimulating. It is typically pretty low brow stuff too. Probably not the best work for the old portfolio if you want to attract better clients.

        That kind of work doesn't stretch people either. It could get in the way of marketing your services and writing your own blog. People like to see that a writer has their own blog, and that they do personal work. I would imagine that a person who was constantly bashing out boring bulk orders of articles would become jaded and burned out pretty quickly.

        It doesn't allow for much time research either. Personally I enjoy research as much as writing. Also, having interesting things to write about is pretty crucial in my opinion!
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Ali,
          As a result, I write differently for myself and my clients. When I'm writing for myself, I can delve into the sea of words, and bring up pearls; but that is not possible when you write for others.
          One of the BIG reasons I quit writing for other people, lo, these many years gone by.

          If I want to just grind out the info, I can do that. If I want to have fun with the message, I can do that. If I want to say something serious, I don't have some uptight corporate wombat standing over my shoulder waggling a red pencil at me.

          And if there's something nibbling away at my attention, demanding to be written, I can give in to the beast and just do it, without having to explain why I'm "off deadline."

          I love it.

          Miss Bee,
          Being undervalued is a major issue. But people in the UK and US simply can't compete with Indians on price, especially if they are offering a quality service.
          So write for yourself. If you're good, no client will pay you what you can get by using your content intelligently.

          Joe,
          I'd say my biggest frustration as a writer comes when I finish a piece, go "man, I like this", and then give it away to someone else.
          See above.



          Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Mak
    I think the difficult part is to write something that you do not know about, so If you need idea to write your content for a keyword, just get "instant article wizard".

    it will gather all the information for the keyword and you can write the article easily.

    Don't ask me the question because i cant write : )
    Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author Danielle Lynn
    Ali (and other frustrated writers) don't let the internet marketing crowd determine your value.

    There's this strange idea that's been implanted into the average IMer's mind that quality content can be easily bought for $3-$5.

    When they scoff at you for charging the reasonable prices you do, let them.

    Who do you think will be scoffing when they post up endless threads lamenting how they lost $200 ordering that 100 article pack from the worker on elance

    Or if you're not keen on dealing with people who think you'll dance when they flick pennies at you, prospect for clients outside of the IM community.

    When I used to pitch content work offline, I'd close deals at $1+ per word and that's just a low to medium figure.

    And if people don't want to pay your prices?

    Spend your time on your business and let them write their own damn articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author GMT
    I think when buyers demands certain keyword density, because I know that's going to ruin the "quality" article they're hoping for. Also when buyers try to get too cheap it's annoying, only because I take pride in my work and it's very hard for me to write something that's subpar and be ok with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author zelgly2
    Why don't you write for yourself . Like some articles of your choice .start your blog and write. This will make you very happy and if you bring something new in your writing definitely it will be a hit.
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  • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Ali Anwar View Post

    However, my prime vexation is when clients limit your creativity. Many a times clients come to you asking for new style of writing, something not available on the web. They want new words, new style, new usage, and new caliber. And when the writer actually delivers the requirement, the client responds by saying "the phrasing is unusual." :rolleyes: All you're left to do is go back to the article, and make it usual. Although the client isn't disappointed, what I feel sad about is the fact that clients don't want to take chances with novelty.
    Looks like you're ready to test the creative writing market. That's a different beast than the type of writing that's commonly outsourced online, but it's just as prevalent. You just have to know where to look. I suggest starting with The Writer's Market: Online Writing Resource for Writers to Sell Their Work
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
    There is a gentleman named Nick Brighton who has a contrarian view on this. His guide costs money but I think it would be worth your time. Just google him and writing or freelancing or copywriting.

    CT
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    Become a good writer so then when you outsource you're writing you will be able to recognize what good writing is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cajun Copy
    Originally Posted by Ali Anwar View Post

    ...my prime vexation is when clients limit your creativity. Many a times clients come to you asking for new style of writing, something not available on the web. They want new words, new style, new usage, and new caliber. And when the writer actually delivers the requirement, the client responds by saying "the phrasing is unusual." :rolleyes: All you're left to do is go back to the article, and make it usual. Although the client isn't disappointed, what I feel sad about is the fact that clients don't want to take chances with novelty.
    Ali,
    I started ghostwriting full-time four years ago. I quickly learned to separate pleasure writing from business writing. In my mind, when someone hires me, I'm a pen for hire. I'm just putting whatever you want to express into words so you can make money. I'm here to make your vision for this writing assignment come to life, in the way you want it. I may make suggestions, but you're the boss. If it means you get less quality writing, that's your choice.

    I also learned that many writers make $50-100 an hour or more after gaining some experience. Many writers never make more than a few pennies per word, because they think that's all they can make.

    For example, if you can learn to write sales letters well (and trust me, this requires an investment of time and money), you can command more. Why? Because nobody thinks they can write sales copy. So you stand out from the crowd if you establish yourself as a reliable, quality copywriter.

    Bonus: you deal with fewer pretenders that aren't serious about building a successful internet business. Those folks don't understand the value quality web or article writing can add to their business. In fact, most of those people don't have a business at all.

    Think about going to work for your boss - the client. Approach it from his perspective and try not to take criticism of your writing personally. It's for him or her, not for you. Stay focused on how you can help him or her and you'll succeed.
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  • Profile picture of the author semrawut
    price is not worth with the work, Very Tired ><
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  • Profile picture of the author rooze
    When you run a business you have a few different hats to wear. There are some things in my business I love to do, and some which I detest, but it's all part of running a business.

    If writing is your business, then there will naturally be some work which you thoroughly enjoy and other types of work which provides less stimulation for you.

    If you need some added stimulation, create a different outlet, a new channel for your writing. Write books and sell them on Kindle if necessary.
    If you're finding that none of your business projects are giving you any sense of gratification, then you're in the wrong line of business.

    Some things don't need to be so complicated. [Or, some things don't need to be complicated, quite so much]
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  • Profile picture of the author BlackWar
    Banned
    I've read all posts of 1st page of this thread,
    so just want to add one more thing with them that don't give more than 2/3 sample article to your employer.
    If you need to give then must post them on your blog and share your blog's link with them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Miss Bee
      Originally Posted by BlackWar View Post

      I've read all posts of 1st page of this thread,
      so just want to add one more thing with them that don't give more than 2/3 sample article to your employer.
      If you need to give then must post them on your blog and share your blog's link with them.
      Some people really do request samples so they can get freebies, I have met people who have actually done this. They posted jobs and requested samples from a number of writers, et voila! Instant free content for their sites.

      Show them your blog and portfolio by all means, genuine people will offer to pay for a sample article. Maybe agree to a 200 word sample at the very most. If they ask for a free sample article (a whole one), they are probably just looking to get something for nothing.
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  • Profile picture of the author moneywar
    As a writer, this is a good thread to read, a lot of good points. For me the frustration is
    when someone wants something different, but can't seem to put their finger on it. This
    makes the task one of adventure. The thing is adventure sucks when you are having it.
    Oh sure the stories are great and what I bring to the table next time makes me stronger. I
    wish people could be better at stating what they want, that said, because they can't I get
    the writing job. It can defiantly be a catch 22. Just wanted to add my 2 cents - and really,
    good thread here.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cajun Copy
      Originally Posted by moneywar View Post

      As a writer, this is a good thread to read, a lot of good points. For me the frustration is
      when someone wants something different, but can't seem to put their finger on it. This
      makes the task one of adventure. The thing is adventure sucks when you are having it.
      Oh sure the stories are great and what I bring to the table next time makes me stronger. I
      wish people could be better at stating what they want, that said, because they can't I get
      the writing job. It can defiantly be a catch 22. Just wanted to add my 2 cents - and really,
      good thread here.
      I use a simple contract. It spells out what I understand the scope of the project to be. It also states that if the project's details change beyond the scope we discussed, that I am entitled to full payment before proceeding (and that additional costs may be required due to extra work).

      This may sound unnecessary, but one of my first clients asked for a certain type of article. I completed the job, and he told me that my work wasn't really what he had in mind for the project. He wanted me to completely rewrite it (which I did). At the time, I promised revisions until the client was satisfied, so I had no choice.

      He used BOTH the "bad" and the "good" one in his marketing. So he got 2 for the price of 1. Ever since, I stipulate that my fee includes 2 revisions at no extra charge (within the scope of our agreement, which this clearly was not). Marketing to internet marketers is a bit different than marketing sales writing to offline clients, however. You might have to be a little more flexible online, especially when you're getting established.
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  • Profile picture of the author Victoralexon
    Trying to find clients to work with was certainly a source of frustration for me when I started out, but things are certainly starting to improve in that area.
    What is frustrating for me nowadays? I do not know actually, and I suppose that that is a good sign and that I should consider myself lucky.
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