I was scrolling through freelance writing jobs on LinkedIn yesterday and I came across one that struck a nerve with me. Not because of the company or content topics, but the compensation…$5 for 400 words?! Are you kidding me??? That’s not even minimum wage. I know compensation in freelance work is a tricky subject, especially when it comes to writing. Per word rates and flat fees vary but even $0.01 per word (what the rate in the job post breaks down to) is appallingly low by most standards.Quality content, especially when research is involved, takes time. The sad thing is this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this happen before. The only people I can see accepting this pay rate is people from other countries. Now, there’s nothing wrong with hiring people from overseas but don’t be surprised if there are grammatical errors, plagiarism, and bad/outdated SEO practices like keyword stuffing.
I understand that if you’re a startup or small business, it might be hard to justify paying an experienced freelance writer at a higher rate than somebody who’s cheap. Really, I get it. But you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it in the end. Cutting corners on your content (whether it’s for your website, videos, or sales collateral) may benefit you in the short term, but it won’t lead to more sales in the future and it could even damage your brand’s image.
I think Kristina Halvorson, CEO and founder of Brain Traffic, sums it up best: “Better content means better business.”