Feature
Post

Category
Strategy


Paying for Content: Worth It?

The days, quality content is a must to the success of any site. Content has always been essential to a great website. But, it’s how we get our daily content that has changed.

Introducing: Contents Writer

Before, you couldn’t get away with having the title as a “Content Writer” unless you wrote for a newspaper or magazine. Now, you can be a “professional content writer”, and even earn money doing it. How you ask? and Why? We find ourselves sitting here asking the same question.

Paying for Content

It makes sense that, like everything else, you should be able to pay to get certain things done. In many cases, a busy webmaster doesn’t always have the time or effort to put together daily content updates, and they need someone to take care of it for them. That’s where today’s hired content writers come up. They will write original articles for your site, for a fee per article, week, etc.

This can become a savior for the webmaster, who can worry less about content, and focus on other site management and maintainence.

But at the same time, what does this mean for the user?

The Truth Behind Paid-For-Content

Don’t get me wrong, paid for content contributors can be great, but it depends on the type of site and type of content you have. In Devlounge’s case, I made the decision not to go with paid content.

A few things paid content seems to lack.

  • Real Meaningful Posts – No matter how well the writer is, and how much they know the subject they’re covering, in the end they are writing for commission, not for the benefit of the visitors.
  • Caring About the Community – When you have a group of editors willing to contribute freely, you get a more connected feel between your regular site visitors and your staff. There are follow-up posts, tips, comments from the autor, follow-up discussion, and you know the author was in it to help the community, not to help themselves.

    The same seems to be true for buying out posts and forum members on a forum. This idea emerged a few years ago, and has taking off, with companies and such offering members and posts to your forums, to boast your site traffic and community members. But, are you really gaining anything? No. In situations like that, the members you are receiving really don’t have interest in your site / forums, otherwise they would have joined on their own.

    Solutions

    The best solution – write your own content.
    Have original articles written by yourself and a home-grown group of staff dedicated to contributing good, quality entries and supporting the site and it’s visitors.

    Your Turn – Voice Your Opinion

    What do you think about Content Writers for hire? Good idea or bad? We want to hear from you. Discuss below, and we will post a follow-up article in the near future.


    1. By Carolyn posted on May 14, 2006 at 5:51 pm
      Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

      You used the word “website” in your post. Were you specifically referring to blogs, or are you including, say, a non-blog website with 500 recipes or 500 articles about cars? You also used the word “webmaster” and said the webmaster might not have time to write content. Most non-blog websites are probably put together by web designers or webmasters who do none of the writing. Defining your terms might be helpful for the purpose of the discussion, which I think could be an interesting one. You have some great questions.

    2. By aj posted on May 15, 2006 at 6:33 am
      Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

      In terms of the word “website”, I am referring to both blogs and regular sites. As for webmaster, I was referring to anyone maintaining their own site and it’s content. Like you said, most of the time sites are put together by designers, and managed by some or a group of people, who may either be writing all their own content or getting it from other sources. Like I said, content writers have there place, as in your example of a recipe site, because it helps build up a heavy index of content fairly quickly.

    3. By Johan posted on June 3, 2006 at 3:55 am
      Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

      I have seen a lot of websites (with articles, tutorials related to webdesign/webdevelopment) that show ads on their sites. The owner of the website will see website traffic increase, and see intrested people wanting to advertise on the website – since the target public (read webdesigners, webdevelopers, etc) come and read articles. The “free” content writers usually do not participate in the profit coming from the website’s ads.

    4. By Carson posted on August 14, 2006 at 11:01 pm
      Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

      Well, I didn’t stumble across this post until three months after it hit Devlounge, so I will be brief. I am a freelance content writer and copywriter. I think you make some valid arguments. However, I don’t believe paid writing is inherently meaningless or heartless–you just need to find the right writer. Additionally, I think there are other benefits from using a pro that will often outweigh the benefits of keeping content a do-it-yourself project. A more detailed response appears at

      http://content-writer.blogspot.com/2006/08/am-i-better-than-you-paid-content_14.html

      Carson
      CONTENT DONE BETTER

    5. Trackback