At one time, it was easy to go out into the marketplace and find good writers. Not just good writers mind you, but professional writers who made their living constructing and composing sentences and paragraphs that served a purpose.
Those who needed good writers would find their work in publications or through writer’s organizations and hire a proven commodity. What those employers got were real writers, professional writers, who knew their craft and honed it over years of dedication.
Then came the Internet, and with the Internet came service marketplaces. These service marketplaces would bring service providers, such as writers, editors, programmers and graphic artists together with the buyers of those services. It looked like the Internet had achieved yet another noble purpose.
It can be said, with some accuracy, that the Internet has created untold numbers of opportunities for people in a variety of professions. Artists have found a broader market for their artwork, small businesses have been able to highlight their products to millions of potential customers and those with a political opinion can reach more readers with a blog than was possible in the past.
With all of the good that the Internet has been able to achieve through its ability to connect people, it has also had a downside. In the old days, a buyer of services knew more about the service provider they were hiring based on the work that person had performed for others. It was also more important, and a very real prerequisite, that the service provider was skilled in their trade since their reputation was what brought them new customers.
The marketplace for service providers has changed with the advent of the Internet. No longer are service providers required to be skilled at their craft. For a few dollars, they can hang a shingle out on the Internet and make any number of claims. This ability to turn a hobby into a profession, and hawk ones assumed expertise, has been a thorn in the side of real professionals who find themselves competing with weekend hobbyists hell-bent on getting a piece of the pie.
Please read below about my terms before placing bids
* $2.00 per article Max
* Minimum 400 words per article
* No plagiarism
* No grammatical errors
Few markets have seen more of an impact resulting from this metamorphosis than the writers market. Professional or commercial full-time writers deliver a product that is unique and polished. Real writers hone their craft over years of varied writing assignments and challenges. These professional writers had initially welcomed the opportunities realized through the Internet; but then it changed.
Over the past couple of years, the number of licensed real estate agents dropped by approximately one million. That’s an enormous number of people getting out of the business.
What happened in real-estate in recent years was caused by a housing market that went from normal to hot to cold. When it was hot, tens of thousands of people got real-estate licensed and jumped in with both feet. They were not real-estate professionals, but they saw the opportunity to make a buck and they took it. A steep drop-off in the real estate market shed these opportunists and the pros were left behind.
The Internet marketplaces for writers are chock full of new writers who are opportunists. They have found a new opportunity, created by the Internet, and they have jumped on-board to capitalize on the potential it presents. Their presence though, has had an adverse effect on the very marketplace they have joined. A large preponderance of writers, fighting for the same buyer’s dollars, has reduced the compensation for writing to an all-time low.
Professional full-time writers are now mulling over projects with budgets of two or five dollars an article. Some buyers now believe that professionally written copy that would be a thousand dollar project can be had for a hundred dollars.
These projects still find takers on the provider side because the weekend writers are presented on a par with the experienced writers. Buyers have lost any ability to create a distinction between the two classes. The buyers, supported by the service marketplaces, throw their money and projects at the inexperienced writers, focused only on lowball bids.
What is the result of this process of novice writers churning out buyers copy? The buyers get their copy or content delivered to them and then put it to work for whatever purpose it is meant to serve. And then, weeks or months later, they realize that it doesn’t work. Much like buying a cheap imitation watch, the movement stops after a short time, and the cheap timepiece has to be replaced. The old axiom, you get what you pay for, has never been truer.
Buyers, in this scenario, end up paying twice. If they haven’t learned their lesson by the second time, they end up paying three times. When all is said and done, they could have received exactly what they needed the first time, and saved time and aggravation, by just paying the cost of a professional.
The same goes for editing. Professional editors have a trained eye that has been nurtured by years of experience. A plethora of amateurs, entering the market, has distorted the precision required of this craft. Buyers are surprised, after paying a weekend editor, when someone brings a mistake to their attention later on. What did they pay for? Buying quality and experience in the first place is the high-road less traveled.
A shake-up is needed in the writer’s marketplace. How it will happen is anybody’s guess. In real estate, the market collapse in home sales forced the amateurs out. In a well dispersed virtual market, like the writer’s marketplace, there is no opportunity for buyers to collectively raise the bar and start hiring the pros again. As long as the part-time writers are willing to bid on projects for a few dollars, the vicious cycle of cheap projects and poor writing will continue.
What is the real result of a writer’s market full of inexperienced, pseudo-writers? The professionals are left with fewer projects and less income. They are also more likely to have to ‘clean-up’ after the shabby writers. The effect on buyers is that they lose confidence in the writers they hire on-line, or have to pay more than once to get their project done right. It costs everyone in the pocketbook and the market loses some of its previous professionalism.
The message for buyers; pay the price for experience and professionalism. If you had to have delicate heart surgery, you would not go to a first-year medical student. You would seek out a heart surgeon who has performed the procedure several times with good results.
This all gets back to the Internet again. Companies, of all sizes, are relying on the Internet for sales and revenues. The power of the Internet, as a marketing tool, is nothing short of extraordinary. Now, like never before, writing is relied upon to to carry out a mission. Good content can sell; bad content just takes up space. Don’t make the mistake of saving a few dollars to hire a weekend amateur. In the end; it costs you dearly.
Questions for a buyer in a service marketplace. Three incredulous writers ask the buyer to clarify their project
(read from the bottom up)
Same question as below.
Posted on September 13, 2008 17:06:02 EST
Same question as last pro because 250 descriptions @ $250 total is only a dollar per entry or .005 per word (not even a penny). Thanks!
Posted on September 13, 2008 16:10:45 EST
For the sake of clarity… you want 250 descriptions of about 200(min) to 250 words for a budget of $250?
Posted on September 13, 2008 13:42:47 EST