October 23rd, 2008 by Bob Bly
On one of his web sites, Internet marketer Abel Cheng sells a guide to do-it-yourself content creation.
To make the sale, he compares the cost of his product ($17) with the cost of hiring a professional writer.
He says (I kid you not) that the going rate to hire a professional ghostwriter to write a 500-word article is $5.
Not $500 or even $50. But $5. That comes to a penny a word.
The going rate for writing freelance magazine articles used to be a dollar a word, give or take 50 cents.
Now, says Mr. Cheng, a writer is worth a penny a word.
The frightening thing is, Mr. Cheng is right.
I’ve bid out writing jobs for CTC Publishing, my online publishing company, on the Internet — and it’s shocking how little writers will charge to create content.
My question is: who out there is writing articles for a penny a word — and why?
Let’s say it takes you 2 hours to write that article. Your hourly rate is $2.50. Less than half what you’d make wearing a paper hat and asking people, “Do you want fries with that?”
Has freelance writing truly become a commodity?
Or is Mr. Cheng just scraping the bottom of a very deep barrel?
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