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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

Hiring a medical student from a top university
To write content for a health/medical site
Automotive site

 10:59 am on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am looking to hire a medical student from a top US university to write some content for a site of mine and was wondering how much I should be looking to pay for articles. They should be well-researched, written in a medical tone (as would be expected of a medical student). Most of the articles will average near 1000 word mark.

I am thinking around $50 per article and if its closer to 2000 words, then $80 to $100.

Most of these articles can be done in 2 hours.

This will be a permanent position until the student graduates by which time he/she will most likely find a proper job. I am looking for 5 to 10 high quality articles each month.

Does anyone know a good place to post a job that will be seen by medical students?


Automotive site

 11:00 am on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I mean each article can be done in 2 hours or so.


 1:35 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

A thousand words in 2 hours? And you want high quality? And you only want to pay 50 lousy bucks? Oh, and from a top U.S. university?

Sorry to be so sarcastic, but I think you're being totally unrealistic.

A thousand words, well-researched, in maybe two or three days, for a rate that at least ends in hundred, if you can find med students with the time to spare.

Automotive site

 8:18 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

One, the writer will already know the topic and the research is minimal because he/she would already know the topic and only has to research 2 or 3 papers and this can be done in a matter of an half hour (all from available online resources). They can then quickly skim through it for analysis in the article they will write. They don't have to do everything in one sitting; they can do half an hour here, half an hour there and then write it up over the next day or two. Assuming they are reasonably fast typists, the entire write up shouldn't take that long. This of course assumes they are quite well-trained in medical writing.

I think $400 to $600 for around 10 hours of work each month is good pay, especially for a student, some of whom would be toiling away at a bar or a store for much less with longer hours anyway.

Automotive site

 8:23 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I also find it funny people criticizing what is quite good pay, saying you can't expect real quality for that. I bet those same people outsource their content to some $5-for-1000-words to some writer in the Philippines.


 5:36 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Since I'm the only one who criticized the "what is quite good pay" in this thread, then you must be talking about me.

I made my living as a writer for quite a long time and I would expect a rate of at least a few hundred dollars for a well-research 1,000 word article. $50 is insulting.

And nobody can research and write 1,000 words in 2 hours unless they just copy and paste.

This of course assumes they are quite well-trained in medical writing.

Med students aren't trained in medical writing, they're in training to become doctors. If you want medical writers you have to find medical wrters. The ones I know who do work for major pharma companies make between $500K and $1000K per year.

Automotive site

 8:48 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

We are talking about students here. I didn't say fully qualified doctors. Even qualified doctors in the first year or two make a take home pay of around $50-60K.

By the way, 2 hours (maybe 3) is time enough to write a 1000 word piece given that the writer will be familiar with the writing style. As I say, 1 hour to to do the research (often times research is already there and doesn't require too much sorting). These are on familiar topics and a trained medical student will be able to quickly pick up on what the paper is concluding. We are not taking about someone doing an extensive research paper from scratch; they are writing on known topics where the studies have already been done. The research is already done and they just need to draw conclusions out of them. Once you have a plan set out and you write regularly, its amazing how quickly you can write and analyze something.

Any time someone mentions in a thread about writers' pay, there is always someone who would quickly denounce it as nothing short of travesty, in order to win browny points. We are talking about $40-$50 an hour here. I would say that is very good pay for any student, irrespective of field they are in.

I have a friend who is a writer for a well known TV company and he makes $30-40 an hour.Don't let the really big earners in any industry skew your thinking that everyone earns the same. Otherwise we would all be millionaires. Just because writers on hit TV shows earn 10s or even hundreds of thousands per episode doesn't mean the rest do (and we know showbusiness/sports are industries where they have a different reality to the rest of us). Even those making the big bucks would have started out small before their show hit the big time.

Automotive site

 9:32 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Also, a writer's pay will be depend on the creativity of the writing. For example, company like Demand Media (owner of sites like eHow, Livestrong) pay their writers around $10-15 for an article. And rightly so. That's type of content that you can find on so many sites and there is very little creativity. If I were to ask someone to write a summary based on existing content, my pay will be no more than $15 for a 300 to 500 word summary. However, for my medical site where differentiation and creative writing is key (because my goal is to make it stand out from other sites with highly valued content) I usually pay $50 for a 1000 word article. My most recent article was a 3500 words which I payed $200 for.

You have to be careful also not to overpay.Sometimes I come across articles in broadsheet newspaper sites and I ask myself, 'did they really pay $150 for this article?'. Then you come across articles where you think the piece deserved $500, if not more.

In saying that, we also have to remember they have huge advertising budgets and we can't match them in what we pay. So please do not compare our rates with those of a News Corporation and what they pay their freelancers.


 11:31 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

We have had good luck finding student writers with Craigslist ads in college towns. College students don't seem to frequent outsourcing sites or even have knowledge of them, but they all hunt Craigslist for PT jobs.


 12:06 pm on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I made my living as a writer for quite a long time and I would expect a rate of at least a few hundred dollars for a well-research 1,000 word article. $50 is insulting.

It probably depends on the topic. However 1000 words sounds more than it really is. If you generate a 1000 word dumm text here you will see that it's only a couple of paragraphs:


When you realize that many students get less than $10 per hour for working at some burger joint, $50 for writing a 1000 word article is not that bad.

Depends though, if you have to start with reasearch from zero or already have expertise in that field.


 5:16 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Automotive Site, you assume that because the student is "familiar" with the area that you don"t have to pay for their expertise. Wrong way to tackle issue. Any student at that level will far more rewarding gigs that will benefit their career than what you offer.

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