Blogging – page-rank versus quality

Who would have thought that writing every day would be such tasking work?

Not just opening up the lap-top and hoping that a topic of interest will transmigrate from brain via fingers to blog-post.  If it were simply the case of plain, creative writing, the problem would be how to staunch the flow, not unplugging the dam.

No, I’m talking about writing for the same niche, day-in, day-out and keeping it fresh. Since I’ve been writing for Golf, dating.org.uk, I’ve come to realise how challenging it can be to report ‘news’ in the sense of ‘look what’s new in our neck-of-the-woods’ articles, regularly.

Time is, as ever, an issue; application, subsequently, suffer. My issue is that there are hundreds of blogs in the niche (and many others) pumping out re-hashed ‘how-to-perfect-your-golf-swing’ guidelines and ‘ten-top-tips-for-golfing-UK’ articles.

Although the posts to which I refer can hardly be considered ‘news’, and in a very real sense, many can neither be considered English, due to their population with all the right SEO tactics and keywords (used however inappropriately), they shine in page-rank statistics, even in this post-Penguin world.

These are so obviously ‘spun’ articles: great swathes of transcript simply copied from a legitimate writer’s work, dumped into a spinner and then churned out by the freelance mills as ‘articles’. This practise really ought to be addressed by the digital copyright companies and the creators of the software that allows ‘writers’ to re-hash what was probably an informative artle in the first instance, charged with intent.

In an attempt not to be dragged down to that level, I’m constantly trying to find ways of picking through the headlines or reading between other lines that allow me to craft posts, which:

  • don’t drive readers away as soon as they open the article by adding an opinion (or at least a human voice),
  • maintain integrity to the post/language and look at each one from a different angle, and
  • draw potential golfers to the site to provide quality, comprehensible information that resolves an issue that they may have but scarce appears online in intelligible transcript.

The task is not helped by online freelancer agencies who permit their clients’ jobs to be posted categorically stating the need for ‘spun’ material.  It is obvious that they are not intended for reading, only to confuse the spiders that crawl the web-pages looking for ‘content’ that isn’t plagiarised.  Since Penguin slapped a few arses, there has been, at least, a drop off in the number of ‘BMR (build my rank) job requests, where clients want 150-300 word articles in volume and are willing to pay only $0.50/article and no more.

Okay, the pay is so poor a genuine writer would not envisage bidding for the project, but that surely raises another point: what protection do freelance writers get with relation to minimum pay?

There must be a minimum rate per 100 words for original content set, across the globe!  Or at least factored in by the freelance agencies in relation to the country from which the writer operates.  That way, a client can decide to pay low wages for crap content or pay a liveable Western World wage for quality content.

The fact that some writers work for peanuts depreciates the market for other, more talented, writers; employers get used to paying a below-value price and almost take it as an insult when you suggest a rate of $4/100 words.  If a client isn’t prepared to pay $20 for a 500-word article, they neither have interest in their audience nor developing trust with writers for the long term.

No, something needs to be done – urgently!

If you agree, share this article if you know someone with whom it may hold sway.

There are countless other writers who feel the same but with how large some of these online freelance agencies have become (I’ll not name them – actually, yes I will – freelancer.com & Odesk.com – but I won’t give them the satisfaction of unnecessary links) that they are unwilling to voice their opinion for fear of being struck off.  I know this fear is real for sure as the oDesk group on LinkedIn has tried to cut me off three times for voicing an opinion about the state of the market, without any comments made directly at them.

Thanks in advance, Zebedeerox.

oDesk Certified Management Skills Manager oDesk Certified Online Article and Blog Writer

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