5 Ways to Pollute the Web with Crappy Content
Go for the lowest bid every time.
Contrary to popular belief, posting a job on a crowdsourcing site is not one of the seven deadly sins. It can be an effective way for fledgling business owners to get the content they need at a price they can afford. However, if you are new to the scene, be forewarned. Taking the lowest bid doesn’t always save you money. Buying the cheapest of anything can get you burned. When I moved into my first apartment, I bought an entire set of steak knives for $9.99 at a big box store. Blinded by my thrifty pride, I didn’t see that whole plastic-handle-meting-in-the-dishwasher thing coming.
Ignore writing samples.
A great copywriter will never be insulted if you ask her to pony up the proof. In fact, she will be glad to show you her past work. If you don’t take the time to read her samples, you risk a few things. First, you may unwittingly hire someone who doesn’t fluently write in English. The freelance economy is global. Second, you may not find a writer whose tone, style, or niche matches your company. Finally, neglecting to read samples puts you at risk of hiring a writer with bad self-editing skills. Checking for big blunders in a copywriter’s samples can save you hours of haggling—or worse, tedious editing—after the deal is done.
Place an ad for a re-writer or spinner.
Article spinners will help you generate a lot of content, it’s true. I’ve seen ads placed and awarded for as little as $1 per 500 words. But article spinners create web content that can actually harm your business. It’s not worth the damage to your reputation or your search ranking.
Skip the reference check.
Another good way to get shoddy copy is to find a writer without recommendations, industry connections, or testimonials. With sites like LinkedIn, checking out a provider’s reputation only takes a couple of clicks. Do it.
Hire someone who will do anything you want.
I know you’ve been taught that the customer is always right, but the main reason we outsource work is to defer to an actual expert. Advising you on best practices is part of the job description for a copywriter. There are some things a copywriting professional won’t do, and it’s not necessarily because she’s an arrogant egomaniac. She probably just cares about your reputation as well as her own.