Are "Bulk Article Writing" Jobs Really Worth The Effort?

Freelance job portals are brimming with openings like “We need 15 articles in a day on different topics. $ 1/article. Constant flow of work. Long term project. Blah.Blah and some more Blah”. Projects like these may seem alluring to beginners or to those who are desperately seeking some kind of work- nothing wrong in it, I must add- but are they really worthwhile in terms of time, effort and money? Writers from developing countries like ours are always preferred because our rates are way cheaper that those of western or “native” English writers.


I have had a couple of stints with “bulk article writing” assignments when I was starting off as a professional writer but I soon realized that there was no real “writing” involved in these. All I needed to do was gather some information on a particular topic or keyword and rephrase the information into easily readable points. The articles did not have to be well-structured, informative or entertaining- they just needed to have a couple of damned keywords planted in practically every sentence. Needless to say, they were soul-draining. There was no room to play around with words, exercise creative faculties or even frame a grammatically gratifying sentence. Despite that, I hung on to the project for a while because I needed to have a few feathers in my cap (if at all you can call it a feather). Just to make some more sense out of it, let me let you how this stuff works. There are people out there (in India and abroad) who own like hundreds of websites. The webmasters (yes, that’s what they are called) catch hold of the cheapest bidder amongst us web-slaves and get us to churn “key-word rich” articles to drive traffic to their websites. Atrocious English, errant sentence structure, plagiarism, spelling mistakes are all acceptable as long as you dish out 15-20 articles in a day! Can a writer actually deliver that without compromising on quality?

Since these are ghost writing projects, i.e. the actual writer’s name thankfully appears nowhere in the byline, people can actually get away with a lot without harming their career prospects. Here, I must add that SEO writing for credible companies (not individuals) can actually be quite rewarding and gratifying since these companies require a certain level of writing expertise, a command over the language and original, high quality content. Sure, the keyword planting exists but you still have scope for some creativity. Also, the pay rates are decent (if not great) and you can always cite yourself as a freelance employee of the company in your resume.

As far as my advice goes, newbie writers should steer clear of individual employers who seem to be hunting for cheap manpower. Realize your worth and don’t sell your skills and talent for peanuts! Moreover, when you engage yourself with low-paying, soul-sapping work, you end up with lesser time to look for and work on better projects. Also, projects of this kind do nothing for personal and professional growth- you will eventually find yourself losing touch with your creative side and of course, the big money will never flow in. Always assess the worth of a project with respect to the following:

• Skills and expertise required
• Time v/s money involved
• How will the experience look on your portfolio or resume?
• How credible is the employer?
• Can this kind of money support your lifestyle? If so, for how long?
• Do you write for extra pocket money or for a living?

Follow your gut feeling and you will never end up feeling exploited or underpaid. There is a lot of dignified work waiting out there!

5 comments:

  1. I visit this site and acquainted with this.This site publish most useful and valuable article.I read this post and find lot of things.I am really happy for reading and knowing this post.

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  2. Hmmm...you have mentioned these webmasters accepts even bad copies with plagiarism issues. But i have come across employers (which i call A-grade exploiters), who not just expects a writer to write 10-15 articles a day but also want a quality, error-free, and original copies for maximum Rs 75. One website even went ahead and published a so-called-interview with their alleged top-contributor, who manages to write 50 good quality, plagiarism-free (mind you, 400-500 words) articles, in a day and earned big time with them. How can anyone write 50 articles (25,000 words) a day? Maximum 3 articles can be written in a day without compromising on their quality and without wasting life.

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  3. this is a really nice article and a real eye-opener. i am currently working for someone who has a team of writers. she pays me rs 50 for a 450-500 words article. as said by anonymous above, i can write about 3-4 reasonable quality articles in a day.

    she keeps urging me to write more but i normally refuse to budge as it becomes really stressful to write so fast and without much of an understanding of the topics. the topics are so varied and sometimes they are way out of my league but i somehow complete the job honestly.

    she says that other writers in her team write about 20 articles a day and that she herself writes 40! an article in 15-20 minutes! i told her that she really is a super-woman.

    i personally cannot follow this path and in spite of her insistence i write only about 4-5 articles for her. i keep achieving some balance between rephrasing other articles available online and adding some unique flavor. but it still is not satisfying and they sometimes need to write many articles on a single topic. so writing on the same topic/keywords in different way also becomes quite a difficult job. but i am doing it anyway at present and as shuchi has advised here, i am trying to find better opportunities to utilize my skills in a more dignified way.

    thanks for all the valuable information.

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