Professional Writing and Editing

January 11, 2010

A Ghostwriter’s Fee

What do ghostwriters charge? How much does it cost to hire a copywriter?

Well, the answers to those questions varies as much as the different skills, education, and experience a writer brings to the project.

Regardless of the answer, suffice it to say that writers deserve to be paid a fair and honest wage. They work, just like other people do, but often are asked to work for ridiculously low rates that would set them up for financial suicide. 

Guru.com is a site where employers can find freelance writers. Today, a project was posted seeking an article writer at the going rate of $1.25 per 300 word article. Wow! That’s .004 per word. Several years ago, inexperienced junior copywriters were being paid .08 per word, and I’m sure it’s higher now.

At the rate of $1.25 per 300 words, an employer should consider themselves lucky to get someone who can read, let alone write. I guess a writer could compile 300 words quickly, if there were no guidelines, no research, and if they were already an expert on the subject matter. But let’s face it, if the writer is an expert, they’d most certainly demand a much higher wage. This was the criteria posted for the job:

We would like for you to be able to write 8-10+ of these articles each day of the week (Mon-Fri). Our budget for these types of articles is $1.25 each, which can usually be written within a few minutes time.

We require someone who is fluent in English (first language preferred), has excellent grammar skills and can provide us with articles which require no/minimal editing.

All of your work submitted to us must be original – we use Copyscape and Google to check all submissions.

You must also agree that none of your work submitted to us will be used by you or anyone else in any way. You may not post it on a blog or in any other media.

So, providing original copy, using excellent grammar and delivering a perfect article which requires little or no editing can earn a writer as much as $7.50 per hour (if the writer can complete six such articles in one hour.)

Good writers are worth a fair wage. They also have to dedicate a chunk of time to finding work. Like any other job, it doesn’t knock on their door every morning. Every time they apply for a writing job, it’s like applying for any other job. A writer must compose a personalized cover letter and resume which addresses that project and answer any and all questions to the employer’s satisfaction. And that’s before the writer even begins to put letters to paper.

Alicia Dunams talks about ghostwriter rates in her article at http://ezinearticles.com/?id=2750989. Anyone interested in hiring a ghost or copywriter should read her article.  My rates are below those mentioned, yet they are competitive enough to attract some at the lower end of the pay scale.

If you’re in need of a quality, ethical writer, give them a little respect. They deserve to earn a living, and as any business entepreneur can tell you, they also deserve to make a profit, even if it’s a small one.

If you can’t afford to pay a respectful wage for a talent and skill (yes, writing is a talent and a skill), then write your own copy and hire the best-quality editor or proofreader you can afford to clean and polish your message.

And, if you’re like many I’ve talked to, you’ll appreciate the contribution a professional writer can bring to your message, company,  or book. Good ones are worth their fee.

Patti McKenna

January 8, 2010

Why Businesses Need Professional Writers

It happens at least once a week. I read mail, email, or something as simple as product instructions and cringe at the errors which were allowed to go to print. My experience proves that it is true that customers forget what they read within a day (sometimes within an hour), but they don’t forget the errors contained in it.

Do you want your company’s literature to portray you in a negative light? The answer is obvious – of course you don’t.

Yet, businesses do it every day. Yesterday, I was reading instructions contained in an ink cartridge refill kit and found a major mistake. One little word was all it took for me to think of the manufacturer as a fly-by-night organization that didn’t care about its image. Here is the wording used by NCR in their step-by-step instructions for filling an ink cartridge.

1.  Push the injector tool into the bottom of the injector to make a whole.

Whole. Ouch. The proper word in this instruction is hole. It’s a simple error and one that is easily found and corrected, but a spellchecker won’t help.

One of the worst sets of instructions I’ve ever read was so bad that it was rendered useless. The illustrations were the only thing that saved us from repacking the product and returning it to the store. Obviously written by someone who couldn’t claim English as their native language, it was incoherent at best.

The negative impact of poor grammar and spelling is felt even more when the correspondence is an introduction to the company, product or service. Sales letters, emails, and websites are first impressions. They should be attractive, clean, and professional. One error is a sign of weakness, neglect, or oversight that companies today can ill afford.

The result of improper grammar, spelling, or even poorly written copy is a negative image in the customer’s eye. After all, if a business will cut corners and curb costs in the delivery of good, quality correspondence when speaking to or attracting customers, one must wonder what else they are willing to sacrifice in the quality of their product or service.

Those in the competitive world of business should do themselves a favor and invest in a professional writer, editor, or proofreader whose job is to make sure the printed word makes a favorable and lasting impression.

To inquire about my rates for ghostwriting, copywriting, editing, or proofreading, please contact me at PcMcKenna6@aol.com .  I will be happy to provide you with a quote and suggestions on improving your image and your message.

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