There’s a huge difference between good articles and good keyword articles. They really aren’t the same thing. If you can understand the differences, then you’ll understand why many internet marketers and webmasters expect writers to work so cheaply.
Keyword Density: More Important than Quality?
I had a client who didn’t really care what I wrote. Keyword density was his top-priority. He didn’t tell me this beforehand, and I had never written a keyword article. I spent hours polishing the articles until they were as close to perfect as possible. The client said the articles were professional and well-written, but didn’t contain enough keywords.
I explained that to add more keywords would ruin the articles. After all, the articles had to make sense and be enjoyable to read. The client didn’t agree. He placed additional keywords where he thought they belonged. I was horrified, and thought the articles were terrible. But the client was pleased. Turns out we had two completely different ideas about what made a good article.
To most writers, articles should be of high-quality. Think of articles like those in consumer magazines or on websites like Salon. Good-quality articles require researching, writing, editing, rewriting, and proofreading. It can take days, or even weeks, to complete articles of this quality. So when writers are asked to provide original, well-researched 500-word articles for $4, most think the request is insane.
On the other hand, internet marketers and webmasters usually don’t judge articles by the same standards. Keyword articles are designed for search engine placement. Many keyword articles are truly terrible, and not fit to be read by anyone. But they’re also not created to win writing awards or critical acclaim.
Keyword Articles Are Often Quickies
Some writers who specialize in keyword articles say they need 30 minutes or less to complete a piece. I’ve never been that fast, but plenty of writers are. If an article takes little time to complete, then it’s really no big deal to set a low price. It’s also a question of what can be done with the articles.
A keyword article that sells for $8, and is resold 20 times at the same rate, makes a $168 profit. Not too bad for 30 minutes worth of work. The resale value of the article makes the $8 worth the time and effort. However, when a client requests exclusive rights to original content, they should pay a much higher fee. The article can’t be resold, so a fair price is necessary.
I hope this article has shed some light on the differences between keyword articles and general articles. As a professional writer, it disturbs me to see bad writing skills encouraged. But, I also realize that not all writing is created equal. Some articles are worth .25 cents per word, while others are worth .01 cents per word. Everything depends on the complexity of the article, the writer’s skill, and the type of writing desired.