The online article writing business is booming. There are thousands of writers on dozens of websites who offer a viable option to outsource content writing to, but with so much choice, which ones are actually worth considering?
More and more, content is king of search, marketing, and all things Internet. If you can't write your own content, it's essential that you hire writers that are good enough quality to actually benefit your site. Just like bad back-links, bad writers and crappy content can seriously hamper your ranking ability.
By the end of this article, you'll have a much clearer idea of where to look to fulfill your writing needs, and you'll know what sort of writer your budget and standards requires.
Fiverr is the king of budget outsourcing. Whatever small jobs you need, you can find plenty of them there for $5. Article writing is one of the more popular “gigs”, and there are plenty of writers.
Fiverr's strength is also its weakness though. There are so many people looking for work there, that they tend to undercut each other and offer longer articles for five bucks. While this is good, it means that plenty of bad writers have jumped on the bandwagon and occupy the marketplace; it can be incredibly time consuming to sift through them.
The best writers are often inundated with work and fully booked, while other writers are clueless about modern article marketing and tend to stuff too many keywords into articles. This may have worked in 2006, but not now.
I've never hired a writer from Fiverr more than once, because I just couldn't find content that I felt comfortable putting on my website, but if you've got time on your side, it can be a great resource.
Where iWriter differs from Fiverr is that you can choose what quality of writer you want, and pay accordingly. 4 and 5 star writers are the best, and you can also add writers to your favorites list as you find them. This means that over time, you can build up a list of writers that you like, and only send futur work to them.
This still means that when you first get started you have to spend a while finding your favored writers, but at least you can exert some quality control while you do so.
Additionally, you don't have direct control over who writes your content. You fill out your titles, keywords, and instructions, give a list of favorite writers (if you've got one) and hit the send button. It can be hit and miss whether or not you end up with something satisfactory.
My first batch of articles from iWriter were a mixed bunch. I requested 4-star writers, and left clear instructions to only use the keywords in the title and opening paragraph. Two of my three writers ignored that, and used the keyword up to five or six times in a 400 word article. This is a rediculous amount and resulted in some very unnatural sounding sentences.
The third writer on the other hand was very good and I used him again the next time around.
Another plus of iWriter is that if you don't like the article, you can request a free re-write.
If time isn't an issue to you, iWriter can be a great option, although always remember that you get what you pay for. $5.50 for an article is highly unlikely to produce much more than “filler” content.
At the end of the day, truly talented writers deserve a higher fee, so even if you do find one or two, they won't stick around for long.
Despite all this, iWriter is the place I recommend you start your search if you're on a very tight budget.
If you can spend a little more, keep reading.
3.) oDesk, eLance, Craigslist, etc.
I'll place all of these sites in one section, as they are pretty much the same deal. These are freelance job listings sites where you can list your content writing requirements and writers can contact you and “bid” for the job. Additionally you can trawl through the list of writers and contact any whose profile stands out to you.
Pricing isn't set, so you can find more premium writers here, and expect to pay a higher fee as well. It all depends on you. Great articles can cost you anywhere from $30 to $75 a pop.
I've never really enjoyed using these sites because they require too much time and interaction. I'd rather just see some work samples and judge for myself.
Another issue I have with these sites in particular is that many writers put a lot of effort into their work on the first one or two articles to try and secure your trust, then suddenly the quality declines (especially after you place a big order). This is because they are outsourcing your work to cheaper places, like Fiverr, and passing it off as their own.
The Internet is full of tricksters.
4.) Word of mouth, asking around, being sneaky.
I hired my first ever premium writer by asking a friend if HIS writer could recommend anyone. I figured that she would be in some writing circles and would have some friends looking for work.
In the end I actually hired her instead (I got permission from my friend), which worked out great. She was much more expensive than Fiverr writers, I paid about $50 an article, but her quality was incredible and she knew all about content marketing. My traffic and sales on that site increased as a result.
As well as doing this, some people actually steal writers from other sites. I'd never do this, but if someone was underpaid, what's to stop you offering them more?
5.) Our Content Writing Service.
At Human Proof Designs we now offer our SEO content writing service. If you want higher quality articles, without paying high fees, we'll be the service you want to use.
We use high quality writers who understand SEO and write excellent and user-friendly content. Your audience will love it, and Google will too. All articles are at least 400 words long.
Why are we so confident you'll love our service? Because we've been where you are before and know exactly your situation: You don't want low quality writers, but you might not necessarily have the budget to pay $75 per article.
Whatever your choice, always remember that your content represents everything to do with your business. If you cut corners or choose cheap options, that will directly reflect in your online success (or lack of it).