Venturing into the world of website content writing is a little like stepping into an old west town. We're on the edge of explored advertising territory here, and there isn't too much regulation or standardization. Content writing rates can vary wildly from source to source, so if you're looking to make the most of your Internet marketing budget, you need someone to give you the lay of the land.
Even just a few years ago, hiring freelance writers to create content was a fairly expensive proposition. You could often be looking at a hundred dollars or more for a single article. However, because of the inbound marketing boom, content writing rates have crashed in many areas, often as low as a cent or less per word.
However, this comes with a caveat, one which you need to remember in the current content writing market:
You Generally Get What You Pay For With Website Content Writing Rates
While no one seems to be tracking the exact numbers, many beginning freelance writers are now getting their start by charging extremely low rates to try to build business. If you're having work done by someone who's taking less than a cent per word, well, either they're desperate or else they're using tricks to cut corners.
That's not to say, of course, that all new writers are worth avoiding, but there's going to be more chaff to sort through to find the wheat. This is especially true in content writing because many of the people who take these super-low rates often use "spinning" software to automatically rewrite existing articles.
If you're looking for cheap content writing rates, the best way to prevent yourself from being ripped off is to use a service that specializes in such content.
Use a Reputable Broker
There are any number of well-known and fairly reputable brokerage services that act as intermediaries between yourself and the writers. Writers first have to sign up with them - including some writing tests - and then can browse available jobs posted to a open board. Most of these also allow you to directly send jobs to the writers.
This is advantageous for you for multiple reasons:
The writer has already been vetted by the website and usually has a quality rating assigned to them. This makes it easier to pick a writer that matches your budget.
These websites handle payment through their own system, which protects both you and the writer.
They also have resources available to help if you believe you've been sold content which was plagiarized or "spun" from existing content.
Posting jobs to a job board allows you to try out multiple writers before settling on one.
Some of the best websites in this vein include Odesk, Textbroker, and Zerys. There are, however, dozens out there. If you're interested in going this route, do your research beforehand before you commit. Many of them are totally above-board, but others are "content farms" which don't care much about the quality of their writers or even about plagiarism.
Consider a Larger Investment
For small businesses just looking to get their feet wet in Internet marketing, hiring a freelancer through a broker is probably your best option for keeping your content writing rates down. However, if you have larger needs, don't forget that hiring a full Internet marketing service is also an option.
While certainly more expensive, these services provide far more than writers. They can consult with you on your web marketing strategies, help you discover keywords, and produce a wide range of content besides simple articles. The "you get what you pay for" principle generally applies here as well. You will rarely get content of the same quality from a freelancer.
However you do it, now is the perfect time to invest in some content writing to give you business a boost.
What sources have you used to meet new writers?