Posted January 23, 2013 3:00 pm by with 4 comments

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Warning: I’m about to get on my soapbox on behalf of freelance writers everywhere.

Get a load of this:

According to a survey by BusinessBolts, 74% of marketers use content marketing to increase traffic and promote their brand.

Marketers reported seeing massive benefits from content marketing, the biggest benefits coming in the form of increasing their traffic.

Great news for freelancers, until you get to this:

content creation cost

Seriously? The overwhelming majority of companies, companies who say that content is king when it comes to marketing, aren’t willing to pay more than $100 a month to make it happen!?!

That makes me mad and sad.

The majority of marketers said they are currently doing their own content creation but would like to outsource it. What’s stopping them? They say they don’t know how to find quality writers. Here’s how. Pay a decent wage and you’ll get what you pay for.

But not, because the third most asked question in regard to content marketing was “how can I write content quickly and easily?”

It’s crazy. If they didn’t believe in the benefits of good content, then I could see them balking at putting out money to get it done, but obviously it works and they know it.

Written content is the most popular type of promotional content by a wide margin. (Blurry graphic, sorry, but the data is important so. . . )

content marketing options

BusinessBolts broke the numbers down to hone in on what successful companies do.

  • Of those who reported revenues above $10,000 a month, videos were used by 53% and audio/podcasts were used by 13%.
  • Of the respondents as a whole, 41% used email newsletters while those earning $10,000 a month and above reported use of email newsletters at 56%.

Ipso facto, more high quality content, particularly video and newsletters, equals more company revenue.

I know it’s not quite that simple, but I do think there’s a real correlation between quality content and revenue. Informative articles are great for SEO which means more traffic to your site. Email newsletters remind customers to return on a regular basis. Videos and social media content are quick bites that can be easily shared, drawing in new customers.

So, what’s the going rate for good content?

content marketing cost per wordI don’t even know what to make of this chart. But let’s see what the big boys pay.

Of the respondents with revenues at $10,000 a month or above, only 3% said they paid under $15 per 1,000 word article. More spent $26 and above with 11% spending between $26 and $50 and 9% spending more than $50.

God bless ’em, the over $10,000 club understands the value of a good writer.

Times are tough. I get it. But you have to invest in your business if you want to succeed. If you’re a good writer and you have the time, by all means, create your own content. If you’re not and you’re too busy, then hire a writer and pay them at the level you’d expect to be paid. If they do their job right, the content will pay for itself in added revenue.

Want to know more? Download the full report from right here. It’s free to you, but hopefully, they paid someone good money to write it.

  • Cynthia, you stay right up there on that soapbox! Good content doesn’t grow on trees, despite what some of the article farms would have one believe. Content carefully crafted with the needs of the end user/customer in mind, that helps solve their problems and issues is worth money…especially if it helps gain leads and inquiries about one’s products and services.

  • I applied as a freelance writer on three sites that supply content to companies (big companies included) and each of them turned out to be nothing more than content mills paying as little as (are you ready for this) .07 cents (read that as less than a penny) per word. So, let’s see…a 1,000 word article nets the writer a whopping $7.00! Can that be right?

    I’m fortunate to have a few writing gigs right now that pay better, so I can’t complain. But, on the whole, freelancing isn’t a profession that’s going to get anyone a two-week vacation to Europe! (Yea, that’s on my bucket list.) (And sorry for using all these parentheses.)

    To make my point and yours even stronger, check out this slide presentation from Velocity Partners:

  • Google is definitely trying to fix this with the new Authorship integration… so content writers everywhere should keep their fingers crossed:

  • It is the same problem in the entire freelancing industry, unfortunately. I started my career as a full-time translator. 10 years ago, you could get a decent rate, but now, it’s been lowered by almost half.

    I think there is a serious lack of education in both parties. Because at the end of the day, if freelancers did not accept to be paid that low, clients would end up having to make do with what they have.