At the end of Week Four we have a total of 38 hours invested for 2010 dollars. That comes to a grand total of 52.9 dollars per hour, or rounded up to 53 USD per hour. I could have put in the additional 2 hours and likely pulled out another 100 dollars or so, but I passed 2k USD before I reached 40 hours of invested time, which means I exceeded the overall goal of the experiment, which was 50 dollars an hour for the everyday, average Joe who can just walk in and write about anything at content sites.
Bearing in mind that my results are nowhere conclusive, it is however proof of how lucrative writing for third party content brokers can be, so long as you understand how to write such content.
There was no exploitation occurring. No one forced me to work slave hours for slave wages. I never once approached the federal minimum wage according to the United States. I put in a couple hours here and there, with the overall goal of showing people that you can easily walk in with a couple hours a night, no cold calling or querying required, and make an easy 2k a month.
500 a week. 2k a month. 24k a year. All for a total investment of 2 hours a day.
How much do you make in your 40 hour a week job at your regular job? If you are a freelancer, how much time do you spend on the phone, e-mailing clients, and trying to drum up work? How much time do you waste commuting to an office?
If you paid attention to Week 3, you will see a lot of hard numbers presented, according to the Department of Labor, the government’s Census site, and the Social Security website. 50 dollars an hour is upper management wages. In fact, it’s more money than the average branch manager makes for Bank of America, according to CareerBliss’ stats.
Some freelance writers will tout their 70-80k a year paychecks as if they are bragging rights. They aren’t, at least not beyond the first glance. Most of those freelancers are working far more hours than they ever care to put down on paper. They spend time cold calling, e-mailing, querying, interviewing, researching, marketing, and performing administrative tasks. When you get right down to it, most of the individuals making 70-80k a year as freelance writers are putting in 50-60 (and beyond) hour work weeks. They will try and make claims like “I made 500 dollars for a 500 word article, and it only took me 20 minutes to write it”, but what they fail to mention is the amount of time, research, phone calls, interviews, and other “behind the scenes” work that went into crafting that 500 dollar article. They might have written it in 20 minutes, but in most cases that 500 word article worth 500 dollars was either based upon 10+ years of experience in a given field, or based upon several hours worth of research, interviewing, and compiling the necessary information.
That’s not to say their way of doing things is wrong. 70-80 grand is still 70-80 grand, and if you can make that kind of wage working a 40 hour work week, you aren’t doing too bad by anyone’s standards. But the thing of it is, if you look at the amount of time put in to arrive at that 80k a year and break it down into an hourly format, you get a nice round average of 40 dollars an hour, assuming a 40 hour work week for 50 weeks a year.
The point of this experiment was not to discredit the viability of traditional freelance methods, but to prove that writing for third party brokers is not low paying, demeaning, oppressive, or in any way, shape, or form anywhere remotely close to slave wages or minimum wage. If you want to sit down for 8 hours a day and pound out content for a website like Demand Studios, you could. And you could be damn profitable at it if you have enough niches to reliably write at a decent pace.
If you can write 3 articles an hour at Demand Studios, you can make 45 dollars an hour. That’s not that difficult, as long as you are a reliable typist and have 3-4 niches in which you can write without having to do a lot of research.
The point is, while content writing might not be as brag-worthy as getting an article published in the New York Times or some other high-profile website or magazine, it pays just as well for those individuals who know how to write the type of content required by these third party content brokers.
Success by its very definition is whatever a person wants it to be. While some freelancers would have you believe that if you aren’t making 80k a year you are a failure, that’s not necessarily true. If you are someone who is working a traditional 9-5 job for 20 bucks an hour and 2 weeks paid vacation a year, you could easily be making double that by simply writing about your hobbies at places like Demand Studios. Or, if you are a freelancer who is struggling to find clients amidst the bidding wars that go on at places like Elance where you are being asked to write 600 word articles for a measly 1 dollar, you should seriously consider places like Demand Studios, Bright Hub, and other sites that pay 10-15 dollars for those 400-500 word hobby articles that you could write about in your spare time.
Imagine making 50-60k a year working 20-25 hour work weeks. Totally feasible. I do it. So do many others. It’s not a fantasy. Content writing for third party brokers is not some back-breaking, labor-intensive job like many of the elite freelancers would have you believe. The fact of the matter is you can make just as much money writing for content sites as you can writing for traditional clients, and you don’t have to deal with the headaches and hassles of administrative duties.
It’s just another option in a very large world of global opportunities.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this writing experiment and understand that my results are by no means conclusive. They are just one writer’s example of how lucrative content writing can be, if you apply yourself, and if the right conditions are met. If you paid attention to the entire writing experiment, you will see my rates of pay ranged from 40 dollars an hour using lower paying sites, to 75+ dollars an hour using Demand Studios. It all depends on the type of content, the knowledge you have, and how concisely you write.
Stay tuned for round 2, coming later in 2010 when I will be specifically focusing only on writing for Demand Studios, and no one else.
Happy writing, and good luck!
8 blog posts @ 500 words each, 8 dollars each. Research included, 1.5 hours writing time.
3 x 300 word posts for 30 dollars, 30 minutes.
2 hours, 70 dollars
Repeat of Day 16, plus 1 Demand Studios article that took about 10 minutes.
2 hours, 85 dollars
6 articles @ 500 words @ 12 bucks apiece. Rewrite pieces for a web design company updating its services page. Took a whopping 1.5 hours. 72 dollars
3 x 300 x 30 for 30. 30 dollars
2 hours, 100 dollars
X6 articles @ 300 words each, 1 hour, 60 dollars
5 Demand Studios articles, 1 hour, 75 dollars
It should be noted that only 4 of the articles were accepted. I was requested to do a rewrite on the 5th, but I declined to rewrite the article given the fact that I did not agree with the CE’s interpretation of the title in question. This was my first rejection out of 39 articles written so far.
4 Demand Studios articles, 45 minutes for 60 dollars.