Don’t let cheap outsourcing ruin your blog or social media program.


Are you this hard up for work in a recession? Reviewer needed. “Hands on” experience required. And it’s lousy pay too. But you’ll get lots of “exposure” in millions of spam messages.

This wasn’t the actual job listing, but I was floored when I perused Freelancer.com and saw ads for writers offering $1 an article to write about penis enhancement. (Presumably to enhance those annoying spam messages.)

Learning to write well isn’t trivial. I spent five years in journalism school in order to learn how to write a great headline. During this time, we spent a year learning and memorizing the Associated Press Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style. I did internships at major national magazines and then worked for eight years in that field. Then I made a transition into marketing and public relations, a profession I have practiced at the highest levels for 20 years.

It is astonishing to me, after a lifetime of dedication to this profession, that my job has been outsourced to people who barely read or write English, simply because they will work for $1 an article.

In the 1980s, a professional writer was paid $1 a word to write articles. A poorly paid article writing job might fetch $300 or $500, and it you were paid well, you might earn $3000. A fair wage considering it could take all month to write a well researched piece.

You get what you pay for.  Cheap, typo-laden writing makes your website the equivalent of a cheap suit or a business card printed “free” at Vistaprint.

If you can’t afford to hire a quality writer, consider a barter or trade arrangement with a professional, trading your services or merchandise for their talents. Or keep your website or newsletter extremely simple.

In the new era of social media, we are creating our own media, and writing our own stories. If that’s not your skill, consider delegating it to someone who specializes in communicating with words and who understands the regional culture of your market and customer.

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