Commodity vs Speciality Ghostwriters

Olga writes:

Is it true that some people can make a living just by writing articles for some Publishers? If that’s true, I would like to try myself.

Yes, it is true: you can make a nice living working from anyplace on our lovely planet that has Internet access, writing articles for others.

It seems that most ghostwriters go down the path of producing articles very cheaply… like in the $1-$4 USD per article range…then they get burnt out and try to figure out how to make more money with less words.

This is when some of them discover that ‘copywriting’ is where they can make more money per word by an exponential amount vs. cranking content for low price points per article.

Other writers who don’t have the ‘copywriting gene’ will usually pursue producing higher quality content for offline publishers who will pay $25-$100 per article (please don’t ask me to tell you who these people are, but know they exist and you can find them).

It seems that low price point ghostwriters never stick around for the long-term because they get burnt out.

Offline magazine publishers often pay for submissions and I’ve done this myself. Boardwatch magazine paid me $500 an article and it was a nice $6000 a year of play money for each original article that took me about 90 minutes to 2 hours to write & edit. Other opportunities like this exist if you have a specialized expertise to offer in your articles.

Commodity vs. Speciality Brand

The difference between the ghostwriters who get by vs. those who earn a much more comfortable living all comes down to how they market themselves. If you go to elance or rentacoder and start bidding on jobs like everyone else, selling generic articles like most of them do, you’ll find yourself being perceived as a commodity seller where price points make or break the deals.

If you want to elevate yourself, I’d recommend skipping the commodity path and go right into a specialization! Is there an area that you have some real life expertise? Perhaps you like home improvement, or sports or health & fitness areas and could offer to produce only original articles in those categories.

If I was a buyer of articles, I’d pay a premium to those who specialize in the categories that I want articles written because I’d hope that the quality of the content would most likely be higher than your generic drivel that some cheap ghostwriters crank out (if in fact they actually wrote it and didn’t rewrite a PLR article or steal content or use software to autogenerate the content and then do a quick edit job on it).

Transparency Needed

One last piece of advice if you want to try article ghostwriting: Be sure to state upfront what your ethics are and how you work. Spell out what the license rights will be for the content you produce and go into great detail as to how you produce the content.

Hope this helps… :-)


Ed Howes writes:

Do a search on freelance writing and you can fill your Email inbox with Ezine subscriptions, giving tons of info about where the best money is to be found in the trade. The advantage of these Ezine subscriptions is notification of new opportunities, not well known in the marketplace, with a clear competitive advantage for those who begin early, before the hordes.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 9:20 AM


Pamela Beers writes:

Put a simple contract together before writing anything, especially for first time clients. By doing that, both parties know what to expect.

As Chris said, “Skip the commodity path and go right into a specialization.” Job shops such as Elance, denigrate the writing business.

Pick a passion and write about it. Send in query letters to publicatons that match your interests or network to find web designers who need content and you’ll eventually get a chance for $250 & up articles with a continual flow if income. Forget about those $1-$4 gigs; they are a waste of time.

You may want to try calling your local newspaper. they are always looking for a new slant on an old topic. They probably won’t pay you anything, but it’s a good way to get your name out there. New writers usually have to do some pro bono work first before they become recognized as professional writers.

Hope this helps. My best to you in your writing endeavors, Olga.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 9:42 AM


Joe writes:

I’m on the opposite side of this topic.

I’m looking for a writer(s) to create and distribute articles to relevant sites.

I want to inform as many people as possible about my products (business two-way radios and air ambulances). I’d like to do this through well-written articles that are sent out and picked up at legitimate, related sites throughout the web.

I want someone who will write the articles well, AND have them disbursed to the proper places for syndication.

Would you kindly let me know the best place to either find a writer or the best place to submit the articles so that they will be disbursed throughout relevant internet sites?

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 9:55 AM




We have an “ARTICLES WANTED:” section in the forums:

That’s the best place (at least for our site) to post the kind of article jobs you have available.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 9:57 AM


Steve Hill writes:

I have been approached by a number of people to write articles for them.

I always decline as I would rather spend the time promoting my own websites.

Article marketing is something which should be seen as a long term project.

Too many authors start with the right intentions but then either get bored or burnt out.

I hope to be writing article next week and also in ten years time.

I would not say no if I were offered $500 an article however!

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 10:16 AM



Wow! This is fantastic and exactly what I am looking for.

Wonderful info.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 1:18 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

This is a great subject for someone who wants to become a writer. I suppose there are many folks here who might like to become professional type writers amongst the article marketers. Interesting topic.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 5:11 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Hire a Computer to write Fiction?

Computer Program Writes Its Own
Discovery News Jan. 26, 2007

MEXICA, is the first program to
generate original stories based on
computerized representations of
emotions and tensions between…

Comment provided January 30, 2007 at 10:59 PM


Allen Taylor writes:

I’ve been a professional writer for almost 20 years. I’ve been a newspaper editor and now run my own freelance writing service where I manage blogs, write e-books and, yes, articles for others. I manage a crew of about 20 writers who help me do this. We have a lot of clients and some of them are very big clients. It’s not a bad living but you have to work your tail off.

$1-$4 articles make me laugh. I’ve never written for that low a pay. The way I see it, you get what you pay for and that’s just as true in writing services as it is in anything else.

Comment provided February 1, 2007 at 8:39 PM


Pamela Beers writes:

Allen (comment #9), I agree with you 100%, “You get what you pay for.”

Comment provided February 2, 2007 at 7:30 AM


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