Are You Paying for High Quality Content? (Or the Cheapest Writer You Can Find?)

Laura Ginn

Outsourcing content creation is common. Most smaller businesses don’t have the time or the talent to create SEO content or blogs for their website. They rely on an SEO company to generate content or they pay a freelancer to write blogs. The main aim of the exercise for many small businesses is to pay as little as possible for content. Not surprisingly, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Writing, unlike other skilled professions, is very undervalued. Many businesses assume it’s OK to pay $5 for a 500-word blog post, yet they expect it to be engaging, well-researched, and grammatically perfect. To an experienced writer, this is a tall order. Most copywriters wouldn’t get out of bed for such an amount, let alone write a blog post.

If you base your hiring decisions based purely on who will complete the work for the cheapest price, it’s time to consider what you want.  Do you want to hire someone who will produce 500 words of poorly written rubbish that will be harmful to your site, or would you prefer to hire someone who has the education and experience to produce high-quality, engaging content for a discerning audience?

Time is Valuable

For a freelancer, time is money. It takes a writer a while to research a topic, create an article framework, and skillfully weave in keywords so they don’t stick out like a sore thumb. Most professional writers choose not to work for peanuts, yet many excellent writers are often put in the unfortunate position of needing to take low-paid writing assignments just to pay the bills. There are millions of writers competing for the same pool of work. Many of them don’t speak English as a first language, so their grasp of English is poor. But, they can afford to work for ridiculously low rates, so they often undercut native English writers and many businesses are happy to pay cheap prices… at least when starting out.

You Get What You Pay For

If you are looking to hire, you will soon discover that cheap content providers are ubiquitous. Advertise a job on a site like Upwork or browse for freelancers on Fiverr and you will be inundated with pitches from hungry writers, all eager to work for you. However, unless you are willing to pay a reasonable amount for a writer, don’t expect a quality product.

Poorly written content is harmful to your brand and your bottom line. There are trillions of websites out there, many of them littered with pages upon pages of illiterate content. Sure, they might contain keywords, but no customers stick around long enough to care.

The search engines have also taken strides to ensure they deliver quality results to their users.  It’s no longer good enough to publish poorly written content with a few keywords stuffed in.  If your customers bounce off your site as soon as they land on it, you’ll soon see your ranking in the SERPs suffer.  Now consider that your website is full of informational content that is interesting to read.  Your visitors won’t bounce away from your site, in fact, they may even share what you have to say.  Yes, good content costs more, but it is an investment that is worth making.

Quality Content is Worth the Extra Premium

Businesses are free to pay whatever they like for their content, but it is worth remembering that quality comes at a premium price. Hiring a cheap writer to produce website copy is the equivalent of buying a fake Chanel handbag on eBay. At first glance, it might seem like a real bargain, but when you look closer, you’ll probably wish you had bought the real deal.

From a writer’s perspective, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, but professional writers stick to their guns and refuse to work for less than what they are worth. The only time businesses will find good writers accepting low-paid jobs is when they are first starting out and they need positive testimonials and a portfolio of work to show other clients.

Our advice?  Shop around and don’t jump on board with the first low priced quote you receive – it’s likely you’ll end up needing to either heavily edit the content you receive, or get it redone; both of which cost time and money.