Friday 01 August, 2014

Buying Online Content – How Much Does It Cost?

If you’re starting a marketing campaign where you need a ton of content and don’t want to write it yourself, you’re probably wondering how much it costs. If you’ve done some research on the market, you’re probably pretty confused. You can find written content at nearly any price range.

I could give up on writing this article and say, ‘You get what you pay for,’ but that would be cheap of me and it’s not always true. The truth is that at each price point, you get a certain type of content. The challenge is to figure out what’s appropriate for your needs. I’ll start with the cheapest content first.

PLR – The Same Content as Everybody Else

A number of marketers sell PLR content. PLR stands for ‘private label rights’ and these are bulk content packages they sell over and over again. In other words, you’re buying the same content other marketers have bought. Some PLR sellers sell limited runs of content so that it doesn’t get bought by too many people, but you’re always getting duplicate content.

The idea is that you buy the content and then rewrite it or repurpose it so that it’s not the same as everybody else’s, but I’m not sure how many marketers actually take the time to do this. PLR content can cost as little as a dollar per article but quality is often dodgy and it has to be rewritten.

The ‘Bottom of the Barrel’

You can buy articles for under $10 but it’s of negligible quality. In the past, marketers bought cheapo articles to use for article directory marketing, posting them on directories like Ezine. These days, this strategy isn’t very useful and I would never use articles this cheap on something as important as your blog. At this price range, the quality is not so good and there could be English grammar mistakes.

Reasonable but Nothing Earth-Shattering

You can buy content in the $10 to $20 range that’s alright. In my experience, it’s nothing terribly original, but it can be helpful to your readers and effective in your content strategy. If you’re really lucky, you can find someone who is new at content writing and doesn’t know that they’re selling themselves short (but of course, those folks don’t always stick around long when they realize they could be getting more).

The Cadillac of Web Content

At over $20, you can start finding content that’s really unique and quite high-quality. At this price range, you’re starting to get into the low end of what regular writers (not ghostwriters) make writing blogs. At this price range you can find content that you’re proud to put on your blog and that will actively engage your readers.

Copywriting and Other Cleverness

Copywriting tends to cost a bit more than other types of writing on a per-word basis. The reason is that a copywriter does a great deal of research on the market and products before they get started. Actually, they spend the bulk of their time researching and tweaking the wording so that it’s as effective as possible.

Copywriting is appropriate to use on sales pages or marketing materials where you’re going for the hard sell. It’s worth the money because, if well-written, good copywriting pushes the reader’s emotional buttons and gets them to buy. Use copywriting when it’s really critical to make the sale.

High-Grade Content You Could Sell a Magazine

Really good content goes for $0.25 a word and up. Do a little math here and you’ll see that this is some pretty high-priced writing. This is the low end of the rate writers get for magazine articles, so the quality is very good. You can use articles like this for offline publishing and not just online content. A long, well-written article of this quality can get results for you for a long time.

As I said before, I’m not saying you should go all out and spend your money to get ‘the best.’ It’s more a matter of deciding what kind of content you need so that you can figure out how much you should pay for it.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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