You Get What You Pay For: The Truth About Low-Cost Content

Too many times have I seen a business owner in search of web copy fall prey to low-cost content. Of course, there is a certain appeal when you find out you can pay $10 or even $5 for 500 words of content. To the budget-strapped business owner, low-cost web copy is a money saver. Although, it might seem like you are saving money with low-cost content, what does it cost your brand and reputation?

A Risky Gamble

Low-cost content gamble

As you might expect, many clients are quick to jump on a low-ball content offer. I cannot tell you how many times I had a client come to me asking me to fix the low-cost blogs or articles they purchased. When you invest in low-priced web copy, you will find that it is similar to gambling away your hard-earned money in a casino.

Your business is your road to success. You can invest in that success, or you can take a gamble and hope for the best. That is not to say you will come up empty-handed when you buy cheap content. The person writing the material will deliver it to you, and at first glance, it might look okay. However, a closer inspection might reveal issues that can harm your reputation.

How Much Does It Really Cost?

If you search how much you should pay for content, you will find different answers. For the most part, you will find vague responses rather than anything concrete. Fortunately, Clearvoice provided a solid answer based on a survey given to freelance content writers. Because of the data collected by Clearvoice, it is possible for you to determine how much you should invest in quality content.

For starters, it is essential that you understand the varying levels of experience among the freelance writing community. Experience falls into the following four segments:

  • Beginner: 0 to 3 years
  • Intermediate: 3 to 7 years
  • Professional: 7 to 15 years
  • Expert: 15 or more years

Among the four categories of experience, you will find writers that offer low-cost content. However, you might think twice about paying for low-priced web copy if you knew who was writing it for you.

Differences in Experience

Beginners dominate the freelance content community in comparison to other experience levels. According to Clearvoice, 28% of the content community consists of writers with just 0 to 3 years of experience. Intermediate writers account for 25.5% of the community, as do professional writers. Experts are among the smallest at only 21%.

I am not saying a beginner can’t provide you with great work. However, it would help if you looked at the rates each writer charges based on experience. Based on the data collected by the Clearvoice survey, you can see that beginners often offer low-cost content and experts cost the most.

Understanding Experience Level Rates

Rates commonly charged are as follows:

  • $0.01-0.10 (per word) – More than 30% of beginners and over 10% of intermediate writers charge this rate.
  • $0.11-0.25 (per word) – Less than 30% of beginners and just over 20% of intermediate writers charge this rate.
  • $0.0.50 (per word) – Nearly 20% of professional writers and just under 10% of expert writers charge this rate.
  • $0.51-0.75 (per word) – Almost 20% of professional writers and over 20% of expert writers charge this rate.
  • $1.00 or more (per word) – Over 20% of professional writers and over 60% of expert writers charge this rate.

The lower rates in comparison to the higher ones seem attractive. Why not save money on your content? It’s not like it’s that big of a deal. It’s just going to help fill space, right? Wrong.

When you consider how much a content writer is going to cost, industry experts suggest looking beyond the word count. Instead, look at the results, the effort, the quality, and the dedication the writer offers. The problem with low-cost content is that it hurts both writers and clients. Understanding how it hurts can help you understand why paying a fair rate for web copy makes sense.

The Low-Cost Problem

According to the data shown above, rates can fluctuate between $0.01 per word to $1.00 or more per word. Obviously, the lowest rate is going to save you the most money. Or is it? At just $0.01 per word, a writer would only make $5 for 500 words of content. A writer would have to churn out at least two 500-word blogs per hour to make $10 or more.

When writers have to work furiously to pay bills and put money on the table, they often sacrifice quality. A writer that charges $0.50 per word or more, however, has more flexibility. They usually put that flexibility to good use. Rather than churning out content, they take the time to research, find your voice, and bring that voice to life.

Professional Content Offers a Return on Your Investment

Expert and even professional writers understand that content is more than just words. They know that they must write copy that offers a decent ROI (return on investment). In other words, if you pay $250 or more for a 500-word blog, it may seem like a lot. However, that content should be able to convert site visitors into customers.

In other words, that blog you paid $250 or more for should generate hundreds or even thousands more than what you paid. Content that a writer takes time to create and nurture is the only content that can and will do that for you. Therefore, it is best to think about the success of your company and how much you’re willing to invest to make sure your business flourishes. In other words, invest in success rather than take a risk on low-cost content.

If you are ready to see your business succeed and bring your brand and voice to life, I invite you to contact Contentfully Creative today.


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