Being Realistic About Freelance Writing Costs

Outsourcing to freelance writers who speak English as a second or third language in non-English speaking countries is a widespread practice. The costs are meager with pay rates as little as a fifth of a cent (USD) per word. Like many low price options, this practice carries hidden costs and may negatively impact your business.

Quality concerns are a common complaint with cheap freelance writing

Freelance writers that are not very fluent in English will produce a poor quality copy. They will fail to understand the difference between similar words and have no familiarity with turns of phrase well-known to native English speakers. Quality freelance writers will have a firm grasp of the English language and the idioms commonly used by speakers. However, not all foreign outsource workers have a poor grasp of English.

Let price be your guide, to a certain degree. There is truth in the old saying about getting what you pay for. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Freelance writers have to make a living and pay bills like anyone else. If you are paying a substandard wage, you can expect inferior workers with poor results.

Forums and email groups are filled with complaints from webmasters about the quality of outsourced writing. The amount of time it takes to correct the work and make it even passably acceptable can be a severe burden. In the end, the time and frustration cost far more than you would have saved through the low pay rates.

Your “original” content may not be as original as you thought

Many low priced, so-called freelance writers do not write the content that they provide. They commonly use software tools called article spinners. Article spinners attempt to fool plagiarism checks and search engines by replacing synonyms in an existing article to create “new” content. As search engines and detection tools become more sophisticated, this technique will become less and less effective.

Also, there are serious ethical and legal questions with utilizing article spinners. When you outsource to low cost, foreign freelance writers, you may be receiving content that violates copyright laws and ordinary writers’ ethics. Replacing synonyms is not sufficient to declare an article a new piece of work, legally or ethically. The original copyright holder will have the standing to file copyright claims, and DCMA takes down requests, exposing you to troublesome and potentially expensive legal difficulties.

If you want quality, native English writing, you have to pay for it

Consider that even a briefly researched and very quickly written 500-word article will take about an hour to put together if any attention is paid to accuracy and quality. That kind of work rate requires experienced freelance writers that are well-practiced in their craft. Even one to two cents a word seems low when you realize that it only amounts to $5 to $10 an hour for an article that requires just a little research and can be written in a …