August 12, 2013

Top 3 Reasons Why Some Writers Are More Expensive Than Others

It’s a very common story; you put an ad out looking for freelance writers, and the quotes from your project range from a few cents per word to hundreds of dollars. Maybe it might make sense if you are talking about a rush job, but the length of time writers will give for the prices they quote range wildly, with some of the highest bids requiring the longest delivery times.

Are all writers crazy, or are they just bad at math?

hiring a writer can be expensive

Writers can be expensive if you don’t know what to look for.

The fact of the matter is that while some writers may be over-quoting you, the real problem is that they just aren’t good at explaining why the work they do is not only worth the money, but the time they are investing as well. At the end of the day though, if you are price-hunting for writers, than your project is doomed to a mountain of expensive headaches before its even begun.

Problem 1: Stop Letting Writers Tell You How To Run Your Business

The number one mistake most companies make when pricing a project, is to try and figure out the cost of the project by pricing bids. This is just plain backwards, and you would never use this strategy when purchasing anything else. For example, if you were looking to buy a car, would you simply look for the cheapest price you could find on Craigslist? If your answer is yes… then you should probably realize you aren’t going to be walking away with a Corvette for $25 dollars unless its missing a few pieces.

Just like purchasing a car, you need to figure out first what the project is worth to you, in order to figure out your budget. Need a book written for a marketing campaign? Well, if you’re hunting for writers to put the book together, do you at least have an idea how much you plan on making from the distribution of the book? If the answer is no, how can you determine what sort of budget you have to work with when hiring a writer? If a project is only going to bring in a few thousand dollars, then obviously you need to keep your costs low, but using a book to market a product or service has the potential to bring in millions. If that’s the case, you likely can afford some of the best writers around, and with that kind of money on the line, you don’t want to settle for an English teacher looking for extra vacation money.

Problem 2: All Writers Are Not Created Equal

This brings up a very important point, some writers are better than others. This is more than just the obvious though; some writers are better for your project than others, even if all the writers you find are equally skilled and experienced.

While it may seem like all writers should be more or less equal, its important to remember that writers are often more than just experts on the use of language, they are also experts on a given subject, and a given style of communication. In another post I’ll go over the many types of writers that exist, but for now, keep in mind that there are technical writers good at explaining how things work and how to get things accomplished, marketing/copywriters that are experts at persuasive writing, and journalistic writers that are great at disseminating interesting information in a useful way.

Keep in mind, just like you have specialists in the medical, automotive, or legal fields, you also have specialists amongst writers. You wouldn’t hire a plumber to fix your car, and you wouldn’t hire a marketing writer to explain how to put together an Ikea closet. While specialists may cost a bit more, they also typically get the project you want done quicker and better than someone who might be cheaper, mainly because they’ve never had experience with the sort of work you need done. Combine that with the fact that some writers do a better job of selling than they do of writing, and its small wonder that when you think you are being overcharged for professional work, you are actually being undercharged by nonprofessionals.

Problem 3: You Are Paying For Grammar, Not Style

Many people have the mistaken impression that all writers are masters of the English language. While it is true that a skilled writer is familiar with the basic rules of grammar, the truth is that their command of the English language has less to do with grammar, and more to do with style.

Think about it.

Which would you rather read:

  1. A grammatically correct yet bland article
  2. An interesting or funny article with a few grammar/spelling errors

Unless you hate yourself, the funny/interesting article is likely the preferred choice. That is not to say that grammar and spelling aren’t important, they absolutely are. However, what makes an article worth reading is the STYLE or VOICE of the writer. Spelling and grammar rules exist to make reading easy, but the reason why people care about content is why and how it is written. People read to be entertained or informed… they don’t read in the hopes of finding grammatical errors.

That is why you don’t find many English teachers writing articles for the New York Times, and why college professors dream of writing a book which makes it to the best seller’s list. At the end of the day, you can always hire an editor to fix grammar and spelling errors, but is the talent of a great writer to create engaging content in the first place.

Hiring writers is easy…

That’s the truth, hiring writers is incredibly easy, but hiring the best writer for your project, that’s a bit more complicated. However, if you keep your eyes out for these 3 problems, you’ll find that it becomes much easier to pair your project with the best and most affordable writer for the job.

Of course, you can always let WordsRWeapons do the hard work for you. Our writers are all specialists at what they do, and you pay us to make sure that all of your projects get done fast and affordably. Why take the risk of hiring a writer yourself when you can have over 15 years of writing experience hire the perfect writer for you? We take care of everything, not just the writers, but the editors too. That way when your project is finished on time and within budget, you also know that both grammar and style have had an experienced eye look over them.

To find out how WordsRWeapons can hire the perfect writer for your needs, schedule a free consultation today so that we can arrive at a customized solution!



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