Recently there has been a quiet trend on the Internet that is eating away at the web like a super virus. I’m talking about $5 article writing and auto blogging.
Five dollar articles are exactly what they sound like. Writers create informational articles on any topic for just $5. I’ve even seen 3 for $5.
Auto blogging uses software to grab articles off the Net, then add them to a website — all based around a specific subject.
“This all sounds amazing!” you say. “How could there be anything wrong with dirt cheap articles and website building software that puts up hundreds of websites with the click of a button?”
The problem is sites using $5 articles and auto blogging software are usually LAME. They are boring, often unintelligible, and are rapidly filling the Internet with useless junk.
I’ll immediately get hate email from folks who have bought into the hype. But I’m not buying. This trend is deadly.
1) The case for $5 articles: It takes about an hour for a professional writer to create a 500 word article — the standard length for websites. Writing a $5 article means you earn $5 per hour. And that’s only if you can have articles jobs backed up for days.
Most writers have college degrees. Not all of them, but certainly most. How many college educated folks do you know who get up every morning excited to make 5 bucks per hour.
Writing is also very hard mental work. Writers burn out after two to three months of feverish writing. They get where they can’t stand to see a keyboard. I know about this personally as I used run an office full of pro writers.
That’s why article writers in the past have charged at least $25 to $30 to create an article. Those who are really good and have lots of experience charge considerably more. You get what you pay for.
So how might $5 articles be inferior?
* Many writing shops use software to revise old existing articles. You get an old article with a few words changed.
* Someone writing for a few bucks an hour is going to write faster and faster to try to get their hourly wage up. This leads to what I call “writing in a circle” where a writer takes an idea and quickly says the same thing many times. It’s the most boring writing ever and sounds like this:
Every home needs chairs. Large homes need lots of chairs and small homes can get by with fewer chairs. Chairs cause comfort and are needed as an everyday accoutrement to life. Chairs come in many forms. Some are made of metal. Most of their structure is constructed of metal. Even the seat can be metal. The legs are made of metal and metal-like products. This metal can be strong, filled with ingredients that give the metal strength.
Can you imagine a customer sticking around to read this stuff?
* Many Third World countries teach English in schools and English is used in their business communities. In those countries earning a few dollars an hour is very good money. The only problem is THEIR English doesn’t sound like OUR English. Your article may sound overly formal, use the wrong words, fail to excite an American reader, and seem like odd, substandard writing.
Of course, MOST of the sites that use $5 articles are only interested in search engine traffic. They could care less if their articles are actually interesting.
And THAT is where the real problem begins. Not only is the Net getting filled with uninteresting, unhelpful junk — dirt cheap articles fail to engage readers. Prospects don’t read your article, feel you know what you are talking about, then BUY from you or the links on your page.
You’ll be far better off to pay a little more and get well-written, interesting articles. Your search engine traffic will be excited by what they read and will become enthusiastic customers.
2) The case for auto blogging: The TYPICAL auto blog uses articles stolen from article directories. Software will grab articles on a specialized topic and place them on a website.
I say stolen because MOST remove the author’s name and link to their website. This violates an article directory’s terms of service and is a direct violation of copyright law (copyright law seems to be very much misunderstood around the Net. Check Nolo.com for lawyer explanations.)
Auto blogging software tries to get around this problem by changing every fourth word in an article, replacing the word with a synonym. This is an old trick for avoiding copyright infringement. The problem is computers are terrible at finding good synonyms. A great article is turned into a joke.
Recently I found some of my writing on an auto blog. A few paragraphs I wrote 12 years ago were surrounded by more copy written by a computer. Here’s what the computer wrote:
“The goodness of these stories is don’t allow in your active entity subscribe to in the means of your craving to pick up supplemental letter-paper money or despite that minimize a not bad living online.”
I’m not saying NEVER use $5 articles and auto blogging software. There are folks who get very involved and make sure their content is first class.
But they are in the minority. Be very careful using these very cheap and tempting strategies. Otherwise your site will look like nobody intelligent is home.