How much do you pay for content?

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#1
I have been working on hiring writers for the first time and am having trouble deciding on who to go with.

Do you just go with a more expensive writer for all content? Or do you use them for the more money material, and use someone cheaper for the filler posts?

I would prefer if all content was higher quality, but find it dumb to pay extra for simple posts like "Recipe roundup" types.
 
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#2
Hey @JordanS

It can be a difficult task to find someone who is both cheap and good quality.

When starting out it is important to test several writers and choose the best out of that bunch.

It took me a good few months to find the ideal writer for my sites, but it was definitely worth testing out writers to ensure that they were a good fit!

I currently use Upwork to find my writers.

Hope this helps!
 
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#3
I've written full-time in my industry for close to a decade. Here are a few miscellaneous pieces of advice:

  • Try out a handful of different writers and to see what you like the best based on the price range you're interested in.
  • More expensive often means better, but sometimes it just means more expensive.
  • You should expect to pay a whole lot more for sales copy because that's a different skill set than other types of content producing.
  • Having one writer that you're a good fit with and who can turn over some volume is better than having five that you can't rely on.
  • Organize your assignments to your writer in some way that's easy to use with clear deadlines. A shared spreadsheet, Trello board or similar online is along the lines of what I'm talking about here.
  • Expect to hear a lot of weird/random/unlikely excuses about deadlines not being reached. A lot of people's grandma will "suddenly die" (which actually caught me some flak a few years ago when my grandma really did die because it's such a common excuse).
  • Have an idea of what you want in terms of formatting and communicate that ahead of time (ie: HTML tags, Word document, plain text, use of headers, whatever).
That's probably enough to give you something to mull over. Good luck.
 

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#4
If you're just starting, it is absolutely essential to work with a writer directly at first. It will end up being cheaper for you and you will be able to have a great degree of control.

Writers in the $.01 to $.025 range will generally be awful. But, there's always the needle in the haystack.

At the $.025 to $.06 price range, you'll still need to be diligent about weeding through the poor writers, but you'll have good options here. The key is to know exactly what you're looking for from the writer(s) and to interview appropriately.

At $.05+ per word, you're entering into the professional freelance writer and subject matter expert territory. You'll find a lot of quality writers here easier. However, be aware of writers who jack their rates up without anything to back it up. A lot of writers think that they can charge a lot of money simply because they're "experienced."

At the end of the day, dealing with writers directly is a process of putting out advertisements, interviewing a lot of people, testing the ones that appeal to you, and keeping the writers that produced test assignments that met your expectations.