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How to find a writer - and what to pay



8:04 am on Jan 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I need to boost a site up with some content and would like to hire a writer. If I could offload some writing for a bit, I could work on other things to help move a project along.

I like to write, but it takes me a long time and I have to be in the mood. Anything I publish is usually 800-1000 words, some are more, but nothing gets published under 800 words. I like my writing to have an enthusiastic tone about the subject, and would hope the writer might be as well.

One article I have in mind would need to relate a couple of ideas together (like two history fun facts), with light research, then I would later fit that in with my subject.

I could value an article like that up towards $100 if it was engaging, but I'm not sure what my return would be on the content at the moment, so cost savings plays a role.

I've read mention of $5 for 500 words. I think that screams iffy quality, but somewhere between that and $50 sounds better, depending on how the writer grooves with my ideas over a few articles. Good communication with the writer is important, even if I only buy a couple of articles.

I'm I off mark? How would I solicit someone cool like that?



1:58 pm on Jan 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There are lots of places you can go to find professional writers, but not at those rates. That's not to say you won't have your arm bitten off when you put the work on offer. And undoubtedly you'll find people of a good enough quality, even at just US$100 per 1,000 words, but they won't be professional, full-time writers.

Many webmasters here swear that India offers the best source of cheap writers, and that the CPM of $10 is about right. As you say though, it screams 'iffy quality'. The other favoured source seems to be college students, specifically those studying English. Sites like eLance and Rentacoder always get mentioned as useful places to find content writers.

What about via your own site? Have you considered advertising to your own visitors?



4:21 am on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your reply!

I'm going to start looking around. I believe in paying people for their work just as I would like to be paid a decent wage for my time. I found a couple of places that where mentioned here, with prices in the $20 range for 500 words, and it was pretty dry reading to say the least. My writing skills are pretty bad, but still better then what I have found on the cheap.

I just can't lay out much budget for a site that may not return. Similar to the scenario I face developing application quality sites for the price of a template. Maybe it has to start with me by laying out some cash?

If I solicit visitors, what would make them want to write for me when they could potentially make much more with their own competing site?


8:58 am on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If I solicit visitors, what would make them want to write for me when they could potentially make much more with their own competing site?

Vanity - nearly everyone wants to be a writer: seeing their own name published alongside an article is a powerful draw for people, and backlinks, of course. :-)

If visitors have knowledge or experience of whatever your site may be about then they are the perfect people to write about it. They can offer unique user or sector perspectives that professional writers can find hard to grasp. That depends on the nature of your site, of course.



5:18 pm on Jan 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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With writing, to do it well you need to be emotionally invested. Some of the best writing on our site comes from forum posts where the user is passionate about the topic.

Good, professional writers can take most topics, find an angle and make it interesting with their own spin. But good, professional writers are very hard to find. I know plenty of folks who write elegant, intricate posts for their blogs, but won't consider writing for someone else. These right-brained creatures frustrate the bejezus out of us logical, results-driven types, who hire it out to India where we know it will at least get done.


7:10 pm on Jan 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

But good, professional writers are very hard to find.

No they're not. All you have to do is look, and be prepared to pay professional fees.


7:21 pm on Jan 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I understand your point musicarl. I code from a problem solving perspective, but I also have an active right brain. Getting the grammer correct is not enough for me to post an article. I had a little revelation the other day and started an article for another site. 900 words in and I've just barely got my feet wet in illustrating my point.

And Syzygy, if pro writers up to my expectations are really that expensive, maybe I have it backwards. Maybe I need to hire coders instead and learn better writing skills, or hire either writers/coders depending on what area I can concentrate on the most at the moment.

It's a problem when I like to design page layouts and graphics, and code sometimes complex solutions, and write content. The problem being nothing gets done.


8:17 pm on Jan 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Maybe you do have it backwards, Cascade! :-)


9:24 pm on Jan 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, you might consider taking more of an executive role. Let the coders code and the writers write, and you take care of giving direction and editing. You'll get a lot more done that way.


1:11 am on Jan 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Today, this week, there's a good chance that you can get a good, seasoned Web writer to do a 400-600 word article for $50-$100. If significant research is required, you may pay more. You can even get a decent writer for $15-$50. Good writers who take lower pay are generally starting out on the Web, wanting to get a foot in the door.

Professional writers who do write-for-hire work for others do not generally care about exposure. They care about money. Those hired writers on the Web who care about exposure, making a "name" for themselves, and sharing their ideas are either starry-eyed amateurs with somewhat mystical ideas about writing or just saying it to preserve their dignity. Pro writers tend to have little dignity. ;)

Freelancers' rates are currently in flux as there is a huge shift going on in the market. The old rule that you get what you pay for no longer applies. Sometimes you pay peanuts and get quality. Sometimes you pay gold and get rather moldy peanuts.

This is because of vast changes to the market. Print writers are falling out of demand, while the demand for Web writers is increasing. But it's not a seamless process. New writers, bemused by the breadth of opportunity, are flooding the online market while old writers, scratching their heads at the lack of print pickings, are trickling in, then doing horrified turnabouts as they realize they need to take pay cuts if they want work. The resultant hodgepodge of personnel, some new, some old, combined with all the webfolk wanting to hire writers but having no idea how to value Web writing, means that rates vary wildly.

So you've got professional freelancers accustomed to pricing themselves for the print market taking work at lowered rates, partly because of necessity but also because they realize the work is so readily available that they needn't spend hours, weeks or months researching markets, pitching, waiting for payment, networking, etc. Part of the reason a decently written article could cost thousands of dollars was that writers put in thousands of dollars worth of work doing all these things.

New write-for-hire writers - those who weren't freelancers before coming online - vary wildly in quality. About half can't write even passably well and most of the rest are not very good. Some are, though. The problem is, many good writers eventually realize that there's more opportunity in writing for themselves, but may mix WFH work with their own projects for cash.

Your best bet for getting the best value are professional writers who have just come online and feel they need to build an online portfolio.

And just an aside, in case it comes up: You may want to avoid the odd practice that's cropped up lately of offering writers commissions for large numbers of articles paid at lower rates. Good writers won't go for it, since work is so easy to get, and writing a hundred articles for one client takes no less time than a hundred articles for a hundred clients.


7:10 am on Jan 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Oh, and you can find content writers at:

Textbroker (specify the 5 star writers, who cost 5 cents per word, for the best quality)

oDesk & eLance (pay more attention to writing samples than feedback scores, as new writers are coming on all the time)

You can also look at content sites like Constant Content or even HubPages, and if you see content you like, often the writer is more than willing to be contacted for freelance work.


3:06 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Quality and Price are directly proportional. you can make use of the webmaster forums to get the right guy with great price.


5:41 pm on Mar 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The best way for hiring writers is to put up your requirements on a job search engine, this way you'll get professional and serious people, and you can pay them depending on the number of articles per day or based on the word count.


6:48 am on Mar 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Congratulations, Lapizuli.

Freelancers' rates are currently in flux as there is a huge shift going on in the market. The old rule that "you get what you pay for" no longer applies. Sometimes you pay peanuts and get quality. Sometimes you pay gold and get rather moldy peanuts.

That tired old cliche always made me cringe. A bit like fingernails on a chalkboard. But your twist has hit the target dead center.

BTW, I have bought my share of both. :)


4:24 am on Apr 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The old rule that you get what you pay for no longer applies.

Invest time on Guru and Elance etc to find what you need. The great recession got many pros out there looking for a [side] job.


5:07 pm on Jun 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Freelancer, Odesk, Elance, they have good freelancers.


6:04 am on Jun 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

you can find a writer by ads.but the most important is to choose the one
you like


6:58 am on Jun 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

some ways how i get quality articles...

1. I have a standard email template with which i reply to evey link request i get (basically it says, if you manage an on topic quality article you get a link within that text for free, you might be surprised, i got a nose job article that has been referenced now several times in science papers lol)
gives me about 2 to 3 quality articles per year

2. Amazon - searching the "new releases" section, contacting publisher and authors relevant to your niche, try to make interview, best works for me is to do then that book review by another author in that field, especially when it is known that they either like each other very much or hate each other..
gives me about 4 to 6 quality articles per year

3. incentives my forum members to make quality posts
gives me about 8 to 10 quality articles per year

4. created student scholarship award (you guessed right, best online essay relevant to my niche wins)
gives me about 10 to 15 quality articles per year

5. contact professionals that have not much in common with your niche; but there is almost always an angle how to make it work for both ways and it is unique, (for example; recently a video/photography expert wrote an article for us on how to make the best photos/videos for my particular niche`s need for free)
gives me about 1 to 2 quality articles per year

6. I give away books/DVD`s for reviews
gives me about 10 to 15 quality article per year

7. I make interviews with relevant people
gives me about 3 to 5 quality articles per year

In the end its about what`s in for the author; will he release shortly a book, chances are he will be willing to write for you, can that expert tap into a new niche he hasn`t even thought about it? Sometimes the chance to boost someones ego by letting his name standing next to his article on your site might be already enough.

Yes it does cost time and creativity, but people that genuinly want to write about a topic and are passionate and knowledgable are always much better then some one that does just write some text because all thats in for him are a few dollars....



7:04 am on Jun 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Outsourcing is a business that trust is the first requirement. Business won't grow if you haven't trusted the company that you're working with. This business has it pros and cons, you just need to find the right company, ask for samples and client references so you can decide. There are lots of outsourcing providers who pretend to be the best, that's why you need to be careful and look for the reputable ones.

I suggest to hire a Staff leasing company instead of a freelancer. because leased staff are permanent workers of a company and are easy to reach in case you need them. Freelancers do not have employers so they do as they please and sometimes cannot be contacted for various reasons.


8:19 pm on Jul 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Writing - especially for SEO - is a unique art, so you need to find someone who's dedicated to it.

There are lots of people out there who will tell you that you can get content cheaply, even for $1 or $2. However, you do get what you pay for, so you'll have to deal with spelling/grammar issues. You'll also probably have to rewrite a bunch of it.

When you outsource your writing, your paying for a few things:

- The time it takes to do proper research (don't believe the people who say they can write anything off the top of their head!)
- Professional content that's a good reflection on you and your business
- The expertise of the writer; someone who can make your content compelling and better than your competition's


4:47 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

As an SEO---I can that if you are in hurry to find a writer for the content of your site, you must find the one who is dedicated in writing, the one that loves doing SEO, the one can provides you a good article. How you can test if she or he did a good in writing by giving an on the spot exam.....

[edited by: tedster at 12:43 am (utc) on Jul 13, 2010]
[edit reason] removed signature URL [/edit]


5:03 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

well i have a friend who is a professional writer and freelances for national newspapers such as the sunday times and the guardian.

i offered him work and it is my understanding that he helped me out by charging a daily rate of 250 (rather than a word rate), for that i got properly researched and written articles of whatever length i wanted, of course if the subject is new to him then you don't get much for a day's work! however i'm extremely pleased with the results and quite honestly i feel it lifts the site above its competitors by having decent quality articles.

i think this "how much do you have to pay question" is all about niche and your aims, if you are just churning out MFA sites then probably the less you pay the better, as you want people to clcik your ads i guess rather than actually find the article useful.

if you are trying to build a website that is a true destination then paying for quality is money well spent.


3:12 pm on Jul 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I have been working in the freelance writing industry for quite some time now. Over the years, I have noticed that prospective clients prefer to mention the rate that they want to pay - very often they expect high quality work at $1 - $2 (500 words). This is just not possible.


8:15 pm on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm always amazed by the people who think that they can get quality content for a couple of bucks. After all, the content you're publishing (both on-site and off) is a direct reflection of you and your business. Why would you trust that to a $1 writer?

Your content is what sets you apart from your competitors. If it's good, people will respect you and will be more likely to become a loyal customer. If your content is bad, it makes you look less credible and gives visitors a reason to leave. I've seen plenty of content that webmasters should be downright ashamed of and embarrassed by.

For anyone who's serious about building a successful online business, quality content is a must. And, yes, if you want quality, you're going to have to pay more.


11:50 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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you should pay well and to LOOK. professional writers are not easy to find. create themes in forums and you will find him (or her :D)


12:54 am on Aug 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I've been writing articles in my niche for the last two years and charge $100.00 per 200- 300 word for research pieces. Pay any less and what you get is plagiarized stuff scraped from all over the net...


8:21 am on Aug 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

first and foremost, you need to chalk out details of the required content. For example; what market (US, Europe, Asia etc?) are you going to target with your content? Search engine optimized content? Targeting affiliate marketing or anything else for that matter..

Top of the line content writers do charge somewhere around $#*$! per few hundred words, whereas anything less then that (as mentioned by someone earlier) would most definitely be picked up from other sites and rewritten in different words and of course will degrade quality.


4:06 am on Aug 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have written most of my own content, but when I need specialized articles [stuff of which I know little ;)] I try to engage freelance writers.

Early on I discovered that freelancers appreciate direction, framework and outlines. They are not able to read my mind, after all. I usually suggest article titles but leave that open to creativity.

Seldom citing a word limit, I usually say, "Tightly written, as long as it needs to be, and not word more."

I usually end up paying $.03 - .05/word. Sometimes when contracting a suite of articles, I will buy a block of words, maybe 5,000. That lets a good writer balance article lengths "as long or short as it needs to be".


5:59 pm on Aug 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

We are using a writer out of Phillipines that is doing a great job at 3 articles a day averaging 500-600 words an article. The articles are of above average and good. Agree with old_expat on the his comment as we do the foot work and give them links to content to read and write about as well as the subject matter for the 3 articles a day costing 1500.00 a month.
This is about 75 articles a month that are added to our sites or 20-25 per article. They have holidays as well so there are some months when he doesn't meet the 15 articles a week.


8:12 pm on Aug 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I posted in the supporters forum on how I get 5000 pages of professionally written content for $400:

And ergophobe posted in that thread another similiar idea on how to get tons of well written content, dirt cheap. Not the 'researched and written by someone who doesn't know the language or the subject, for $5 a page' stuff either.
This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44

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