Let’s Talk About The Cost of Quality Web Content

You’ve done your homework and understand that a well-conceived and executed digital content strategy will boost incoming web traffic and, by extension, your profits.

But how much will it cost for quality, effective SEO content writing services?

You’ve heard of writers who only charge one or two cents a word. Is that true? Is it good work? How much should you pay for quality content that will help you reach the top of search engine rankings?

We’re unpacking it all below.

What Does a Web Content Writer Do?

As the name suggests, a web content writer creates landing pages, blog posts, and copy for marketing materials. They also write video scripts and emails to clients.

Depending on the agreement, a web content writer may be responsible for:

  • Developing an advanced content calendar so everyone in the organization can keep up-to-date on the website’s posting schedule, which allows for better outreach marketing coordination. Typically, content writers who provide this service charge a monthly flat fee and a cent-per-word rate.
  • Coming up with ideas for blog posts and pillar content. Expect to pay a bit more per word for this service.
  • Outlining and drafting blog posts, landing pages, and other web content.
  • Editing the piece. When done correctly, writing a coherent article takes a fair amount of time — editing takes even longer. Web content writers are typically responsible for researching, writing, fact-checking, and editing their work. In a traditional newsroom, journalists have research assistants, fact-checkers, and editors to polish their work.

Sometimes, firms opt to edit their content and develop outlines. However, if you assume these responsibilities, remember not to penalize your writer for grammar, spelling, and syntax mistakes.

SEO Content Writing ServicesHow Much Do Web Content Writers Make?

Maybe you’re thinking of getting into the SEO content writing business, or perhaps you’re working on a digital marketing budget. Whichever the case, you’re wondering: How much do web content writers make? What should I expect to pay?

Broadly speaking, writers fall into three content tiers: cheap, mid-tier, and elite. Let’s examine all three.

Cheap Writers

Cheap web content is easy to find. Plenty of people write for one cent a word.

But understand this: When it comes to web content, price and quality go hand in hand. If you only shell out between one and four cents a word, expect a pile of incoherent sentences rife with misspellings, glaring grammar mistakes, and hyper-awkward syntax. Ultimately, it may read like a first grader wrote it.

However, once every total solar eclipse, a solid writer who charges between five and twenty cents a word will fall into your lap. They’re rare gems, so treat them gently if you’re lucky enough to find one.

What should you reasonably expect from content that costs less than five cents a word?

  1. Loads of improper grammar
  2. Stilted language, a major turn-off to potential clients
  3. Awkward sentence construction
  4. Repetition and loads of filler words
  5. No personality

How about content that costs less than $0.30 a word but more than $0.05?

  1. Quality increases proportionally to compensation. For example, someone who commands $0.20 a word will likely be a bit better than another who charges eight cents.
  2. Finding someone good in this price range is possible if you’re patient. The sweet spot for people who value volume over quality is between $0.07 and $0.10 a word. You won’t get bad work in this range, but it likely won’t be outstanding. After all, writers in this range make money by churning out work. There’s little time for editing and polishing.
  3. Writers in this range typically have a firm grasp of the English language — and finding college-educated, native English speakers in this price range is possible.

Tl;dr: You get what you pay for. Paying anything below $0.05 isn’t advisable if you want semi-decent work. Finding a good writer between $0.05 and $0.29 a word is possible, but it may take a while.

Mid-Tier Writers

Mid-tier writers are the best bang for your buck. They typically charge between $0.30 and $0.49 a word. Most are fluent, native English speakers with a solid grasp of grammar and search engine optimization (SEO).

What does that mean? Here’s a list of articles explaining the connection between SEO and content production:

Mid-tier writers know what they’re doing. No, they may not be the second coming of Hunter S. Thompson or Joan Didion, but they’ll create solid web content that works — and by “works,” we mean the content will:

  1. Clearly explain what your business or firm is all about
  2. Craft blog posts about your industry that potential clients will find helpful
  3. Adhere to all search engine rules and regulations
  4. Seamlessly incorporate keywords and other on-page SEO features that make the page attractive to search ranking bots

Tl;dr: Mid-tier writers are usually your best bet in terms of quality and budget. At this price range, you’ll consistently get engaging, effective content. No, it may not be Pulitzer-worthy, but it will be much better than the super cheap stuff.

Elite Writers

Elite writers charge between $0.50 and $3 a word. Depending on their status in the literary world, some may even command $5 or more a word.

If you want award-winning content, turn to this crowd.

They’re the crème de la crème — the top 5% of freelancers. In all cases, people charging this much are never full-time web content writers. Instead, they’re columnists, feature writers, non-fiction authors, or established novelists.
What’s the main difference? Web content writers whip out between 2,000 and 6,000 words a day. Feature writers take one month to work on a single 5,000-word piece.

Tl;dr: If you have a healthy budget, hiring an elite writer may be the way to go for certain pieces. Remember that members of this author class take much longer to complete projects. However, the final product will be polished to perfection.

SEO Content Writing ServicesThe Incredible Importance of Posting Quality Content

We’ve discussed the role of web content writers and how much they make. Now, let’s get into why they’re essential to online promotional work.

  1. Smarter Algorithms: In the old days, when 99% of people accessed the Internet through dial-up modems, search engine algorithms weren’t smart. They were easy to manipulate, and many people did just that. All it took to land at the top of Netscape, AltaVista, and WebCrawler — first-generation, pre-Google search engines — was target keyword repetition. Today’s search algorithms are leagues more intelligent, and they downgrade websites with sub-par content and grammar.
  2. SEO Writing Is Hard: Writing is one of those things we all do in some capacity — but doing it decently is a lot more challenging than most people realize. As digital marketers, we see it all the time: A business decides to write its own blog posts and content. Within months, they’ve only managed to post one article, which isn’t very good and doesn’t conform to acceptable SEO standards.
  3. Consistency Matters: Search algorithms like fresh content and logical linking structures. When you enlist someone to post consistently, it helps your rank.

Digital marketing is a complex, complicated set of dominoes — and the goal is to “place” all the pieces precisely so that when the time comes to set it in motion, everything falls perfectly into place.

Are you interested in learning more about Rounded Digital’s web content writing services? If so, get in touch.