Would you buy articles for your website or blog from this moron?

(Sorry emu, I’m sure you’re not really a moron.)

When I consider the hard work, study and experience most professional writers put into what they produce for their clients, it makes me spit fur and feathers when I see our “noble profession” trivialized and prostituted by idiots like this.

Fresh into my inbox this morning came the following email – copied verbatim except for my having deleted the name and contact details – inviting me to apply to work for this esteemed organization
which, we assume, sells articles to clients for their blogs and websites.


We have many writing project in our hands

For that purpose we are recruiting writers for health, medical, Travel and technical niche.

who should be able to write informative article.

We pay our writer a standard price $4 for 500 words.

Payment will be done only thorugh Paypal only.

If you are looking to work independatly and want to increase your writing ability.

Please reply me on below Id


Put Subject Heading Article Writer

Thanks & regards

Sales and Marketing

Generous, too, isn’t s/he? Four bucks for 500 words really will buy some high quality, well researched, effectively written articles for his/her clients.

I don’t think I will be sending in my CV this time…

Now, write your own – excellent – articles:

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

“English to English: the A to Z of British-American translations”…more than 2,000 business and social terms from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand





  1. It’s people like him paying out awful fees such as that that make it hard for the rest of us to justify our costs for ghost blogging or article writing.

    Makes me sick.

    I’d love to see some of the articles he ends up with and his reject rate.

  2. The ‘high quality’ written request along with the insulting paltry fee makes me want to retch. Suggest Suze you send s/he your book on English writing and faux-pas.

  3. We need our clients to go through the experience of buying this sh*t to appreciate good writing. When my coaching clients bring it up, I make them use the source and buy an article. Then I make them publish the article (if the’re lucky it’s not with their name attached) and then we look at the traffic and conversions. They soon come around to the right way of thinking but they have to experience the “joy” of a cheap article to understand fully what they are getting.

    Yeah I know, not your traditional method of blog coaching 😉

  4. That’s a brilliant idea, Sarah. They can’t argue with that – especially if they’ve learned the hard way. Shame they couldn’t believe you in the first place and use common sense!

  5. Sarah has an excellent point, there. In fact, when I was working one-on-one with clients and writing copy for them, occasionally I’d get some wag come along and say, in effect, “I’m looking at 3 other copywriters so make your price count”.

    I’d ALWAYS send them packing, telling them to come back, maybe, when they found the other guys were crap.

    The point is you will always get a certain subset of potential clients who buy on price. If you deal with them, then you’re making a rod for your own back. Price cutting is a always self-inflicted wound.

    Moreover, because these price-buyers are out there there will always be this horrible little underground of cheap content-providers — and they, too, have to find their content writers somewhere.

    You’ll never regret having high fees and sticking to your guns, because it’s better to be not-working and happy than to be working like a loon for peanuts.

    • It’s a hard thing to do, Jon, especially in hard financial times, but you’re right: if you’re producing a high quality product you must stick to your guns because once you drop your prices that’s very, very hard to recover from.

  6. I find it hard to understand why any writer would accept such an insulting amount to write in the first place, but even harder to understand why anyone would buy the results? However bad at writing articles you are, you’d be hard pushed to write ones worse than these – especially in a field you are familiar with. I’d either write them myself, or if I really was a bad writer or had no time I would pay someone decent to write it for me. Business reputation is far too important for writing such as this to make a complete mockery of. You do get what you pay for. There are some things you can save money on, but something as important as this has to be right, or you may as well give up now.

    • Unfortunately Jane, much of this sort of stuff originates from other countries which – although they may do business in English – do not have English as their native language. Because their economies are different, 4 dollars for 500 words might seem a reasonable fee, especially to a poor student who has learned English as a second language. So you get someone whose English isn’t all that good writing the articles – but because many of the businesses hiring their services also are not native English speakers, they don’t realize that the quality of English in the articles is poor. It becomes a vicious circle. The “middle-men” pay the writers peanuts and pocket the money from the clients before the clients realize that their published articles are garbage despite their being stuffed full of keywords, and on it goes. Now, it’s none of my business to criticize what these cultures do in their own countries, but when they try to get business from markets like the UK and the USA with such awful article marketing not only does it make them look like the morons they are – but also it insults the intelligence of native English speakers.

  7. If you deal with a client who buys on price you’re making yourself a commodity and, as such, will be open to him/ her waltzing off with next “best” deal that comes along… and so will the schmuck who takes him or her on…

    Yes, it can be hard to say “No thanks” but it’s the same with any service, especially where your skill is what you’re selling and I agree with Jon.

    • You’re absolutely right, Linda, but the goalposts are in very different places in some other countries/cultures. See what I’ve just replied to Jane’s comment…

  8. I see what you mean, Suze:

    “when they try to get business from markets like the UK and the USA with such awful article marketing not only does it make them look like the morons they are …”

    Trouble is, they’re obviously operating at the blissful unconsciously incompetent level.. 😉

  9. Good post, Suze with very familiar contents. I’ve been invited to work for similar amounts on several occasions. I was at a marketing seminar the other day and one of the speakers recommended a site called the $5 site where apparently you can get any marketing done for $5 -blog post, ppt presentation, design… When I queried the quality of the work, she replied that the main point was that it only costs $5.
    Obviously we can’t compete against this, but I’m quite optimistic that Google new search ‘powers’ will eventually mean that only decent copy drives worthwhile traffic.

    • It makes you want to cry, doesn’t it, Joanna? I can only imagine that these $5 enthusiasts regard articles and blog posts as consumables rather like business cards or paper clips.

      As you say, the changes in search brought about by Hummingbird, especially, are going a long way towards eliminating this articles-by-the-yard culture and obliging serious internet business users to get grownups to write for them. After years of link farms, article spinning, etc., it’s about time…!

      Great to see you here and do come back soon.