Are words that are worth reading worth a cent, five cents or twenty cents? Was the last thing you read online worth the time to read it? Readers and writers, think before you click and ask yourself if you are perpetuating the down-spiraling of content quality. How much is your time worth?
Need for Content and Jobs Feed Content Farms
You may be surprised at writers’ rates and how little companies are willing to pay them. With the constant need for new content and updates—the race for top search engine results and page visits—you would think the writing industry would be lucrative. Wages vary widely depending on expertise or experience of the writer, the quality of the work sought and the speed of the individual who completes the task. However, with the demand for original material, the least paid, least experienced writers are paid pennies to churn out low quality content. You get what you pay for.
Fees are usually paid per project, hour or word. It is not always writers’ choice by which of these systems they are paid, especially for new, unestablished writers; however, they can choose which assignments they deem profitable. This can often mean the compensation is not necessarily monetary. When building their career, many writers take on projects that offer experience or prestige even if they do not make much profit for the time spent. Companies take advantage of opportunities to save a buck, many of them earning the title content farms. Given the abundance of people who accept this shameful pay for their time, the way they devour writing jobs, and the slop they often dish up, let’s call them content pigs.
Eating Up Poor Content
When it comes down to it, isn’t the goal to create content for readers (to attract/educate/keep/convert the visitor)? How much time and stock do you want to put into reading something that took a writer (and I use the word loosely here) a few minutes to write? There are no standards necessary for these content churners to be considered writers and the companies who pay them know the lack of quality in the work they get for the amount they pay.
The real stinkers are the people who will accept the pay. From ads offering one cent a word to five dollars a blog, there is no mystery to the poor quality of online content. How is this even worth the time to find the job, much less complete the work? Yet, there’s always someone else willing to do work for a sum writers’ consider insulting—sending the jobs overseas since nonnative English speakers from all over the world are accepting these jobs for the American dollar rate which translates to more profit for them, and in many cases, less quality for the reader.
It’s not just the nonnative writers that muddy the waters. College, or even high school students, and other inexperienced or untalented writers take the miserly scraps offered, lowering the standard of writing, the demand for quality work, and the pay companies are willing to dole out.
Refuse to Consume or Create the Rubbish
Readers establish the demand for content, so demand quality. Let companies know you appreciate those who pay for professionally written content—visit and share their pages, follow them and like them. Encourage companies to employ writers to create your content and quit stinking up the internet. Let writers know you value their craft and help them demand more. Tell them your time is worth it.