When it comes to online marketing, Content is King, right? That’s what they tell us, but the truth is, that despite Google’s Panda update, there is still an unbelievable amount of garbage on the internet. Affiliate Marketing, Work from Home and Get Rich Quick Online schemes have made the internet a haven for junk content.
But someone had to create that junk content, and the explosion of people looking to game the system in terms of SEO created an explosion of “freelance writers.” I put that in quotations marks because in my former life at an SEO company, I worked with plenty of these “freelance writers.” They write for job boards that don’t do any vetting or testing. Some barely write above a sixth grade level. But companies pay them to create articles for the sole purpose of throwing up a new website or slapping up a blog for an affiliate scheme. These pieces have no substance and these writers have no sense of what true, useful, website content is.
Many clients have found me on job boards, as well. I use them to try and reach out to new people, but I find it’s a tough sell. They are so used to paying $5 an article that they balk at my (reasonable!) prices. But I always ask them to read my work next a $5 piece. And they always tell me that they can see a difference.
$5 Article writers come from many places. Many come from overseas. They may have decent English, but I can usually spot a piece written by a non-native speaker. $5 Articles also come from stay at home moms and dads who are trying to carve out a niche for themselves. I think that’s great, but they should take a formal class so that they can get some feedback for their writing and develop real skills that can help them create useful content.. $5 Articles also come from people who haven’t been able to hack it in the writing world because frankly, they just aren’t writers.
The $5 article had its place a few years ago. I’m not so certain that it’s going to continue to have a place in the future. For SEO purposes, search engines are looking at how often stories are shared. And when stories are shared organically, your website will get organic backlinks. The $5 article can be used in an article marketing strategy that takes place off of your company website. But as a person who has dedicated her entire life to words, I beg business owners not to put $5 articles on their websites. If you have a blog, work with a writer who has experience developing content. Look for someone who knows the value of a good headline. Look for someone who has a long term plan, not just someone who will bang out 30 articles a week for $5. Your clients come to your site for a reason. If they see poorly written pieces that don’t bring them any value, they won’t return. Invest wisely.
When it comes to hiring a content writer, you get what you pay for.
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