Sunday, March 4, 2012

Web Article Writers Get Screwed

Gone are the days when writers are a respected lot.  Publishing houses, the academe, print media and the entertainment business have high regard for them.  Today, with the demand surge in internet article writing to satisfy the never-ending quest for that search-optimized website using keyword-optimized articles, writers are a dime a dozen. 

Students and educated people in their spare time can write.  In fact, many of them have blogs where writing styles are often frowned at by the academe as something below their dignity.  Wonder why won’t even allow its writers to use blogs as their reference sources?  It’s interesting to note that even blogs by professors and noted academicians don’t generally get accepted into the circle of source materials, even if their topics are brilliantly written.

But enough said about that.  The bottomline is that internet article writers who come from these group and not having a journalism or mass com degree, a doctorate or a Pulitzer prize to show for their writing skills occupy the lowest position in the totem pole in the writers club.   

First off, they get screwed by the middlemen who employ them.   These are businessmen who take in writing jobs in bulk and spread to a stable of telecommuting freelance writers. Here in the Philippines there are several with some that are affiliates of larger writing companies based overseas.  Like they say, they are may ways to skin a cat.  And there are many ways for middlemen to screw their writers.

That may be excusable if you’re employed by a writing company in Bratislava or Bangalore, but here in the Philippines where most of the writers are preferred by internet marketers in the US and the UK, you have several local middlemen screwing their own fellow nationals. No wonder why this country will never prosper.  Koreans do not screw their own people.  Here, Filipinos do.

Local internet writers get paid ridiculously low rates like $1.5 for every 500 word article when the going rate from SEO clients and e-marketers are in excess of $5.   That’s a lucrative 300% profit margin.  And if the writer happens to work on an article which the middleman can easily aggregate, the margins are even better. 

The eHow rate is $15 per 400 word article which the middleman pockets while his poor  writer gets paid proportionately less than $1.50.  In the country, this is called “tubong lugaw” to those who understand.  It gets worst when the middleman subcontracts academic research writing where the rates are just as high but can go to 50 pages in one task. Each page is only 300 words doubled spaced with point 12 Times Roman.  The poor writer gets paid for 15,000 words or $45 when the task is paid at $9 per page or $450.  Nice and easy 1,000% profit margin, right?

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