There is a distinct difference in the types of questions newbies ask versus those who are more experienced. On forums, I constantly see people new to IM asking about article marketing. I think people see the appeal of article marketing because it costs nothing to get started. You can write your own articles, submit them for free, get backlinks, and make money.

The typical questions I see are:

  1. How much it costs to hire an article writer to write an article for my site?
  2. Is this a fair price for a 500 word article?
  3. Where should I find freelance article writers?

Those are fine for “starter questions”, but there is a bigger question to ask.

Specifically, you should be asking yourself if article marketing is a hobby or a business. If it is a real business, then you should be investing in having somebody do it for you on a full time basis. You should consider hiring at least one full-time writer to work on content creation for your website. Here is a brief list of all the “things” you can get a full-time writer to do for you, without having to pay by the word:

  • Write feature stories for your blog
  • Write helpful articles to submit to directories, for traffic and backlinks
  • Learn to do keyword research for your niche, to optimize article titles and copy
  • Follow other related blogs via RSS feed in order to come up with story ideas
  • Join some related forums and drop helpful comments along with links to your blog posts, to get backlinks and traffic
  • Create free reports that you can use as list-building material

Hiring a full time writer is NOT that expensive.

Well, it doesn’t have to be. Sure, you can hire an American writer. I don’t know what minimum wage is in the USA, but in Canada it equates to about $20k per year. Say you have to pay $15/hour for a young but “decent” American writer. That’s $30k per year. Certainly not “hobby” money in most people’s books!

Instead, consider the Philippines. They all speak English and they do their schooling in English. Books are in English. TV and Radio is in English. Signs on the street are in English. They are familiar with American expressions. You have to dig a bit to find great writers, because most of them will have small quirks about their writing that make it less than perfect (at least in my experience). But there are excellent people out there with great writing skills. They are smart, hardworking, and willing to learn.

There are two options, really. The first option is to hire someone who is lower cost, but where the work needs to be edited slightly. For $300/month you can certainly hire a full time writer with good research skills, and decent writing, but it won’t be perfect. You’ll either edit it yourself, or you’ll hire a native speaker part time to do the editing.

The second option is to hire someone who is able to write in perfect English. Generally you’ll spend perhaps $450+ for this per month, but the work will not require any editing. As you expand, what you can do is have at least ONE full time writer who you consider to be a “perfect” English writer and use him to do your editing or your “less than perfect” writers.

Also, in terms of editing, I would not bother doing much editing to articles that you submit to article directories, or forum comments. Just allow a decent writer to post them unedited. If, on the other hand, you are putting the content on your website then you should have it properly edited. You need to project a very strong image on your site.

Freelance versus Full Time

When you hire a freelance worker you have to realize that this worker is not only working for you. You are not taking on that person’s full time working hours. You are not benefiting from the learning that this person does in your niche market over the long run. But if article writing is a hobby for your website, then you can get along well with this.

When you hire a full time writer you get to teach them what you want, and you get to benefit from their expertise as it develops within your niche market(s).

Say you were going to be happy paying $0.02 per word at Textbroker. A 500 word article would cost you $10. It would be well written by an American. As a comparison, you could probably have several such articles written by a full time writer in the Philippines (say 4 articles per day, because they do take some research time). If your Filipino writer was making $450 per month this is $20 per day. Your articles are now costing you $5 instead of $10, and as the writer becomes more familiar with your topics he or she will get stronger.

The economics of hiring a full time writer seem obvious to me. How about you?

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