engine - 11:50 am on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)
Everybody (generalizing) has different overheads, even if you're in the same town. The rate someone charges to write a piece can and will vary considerably, so there is no set rule.
One person's view of the value of $20 is a lot different from another, yet it's still $20. That's the same on the buying side as well as the selling side.
No doubt, a fully researched article will take longer to compile, and if it's well written, too, it'll be a much more interesting piece. The extra time involved should cost more. If it doesn't, i'd be higly suspect that it wasn't fully researched.
I know some people that just want copy for their web pages. They don't want to pay anything for it, either. How are their web pages likely to stand out? The short answer is they won't.
On the other hand, I know some that will pay top $$ and their websites are compelling, original and captivate readers.
It's always worth considering what you want from a site. Is it a MFA, is it a scraper, is it a 'destination' rich in interesting and educational?
Either end of the market is fine and each site will have its place.