An Upwork Client Asks “Why is it so hard to get quality content?”

An Upwork client’s project description this week carries the headline: “Why is it so hard to get quality content?” Here’s the rest of the project description:

Less than 30 hrs/week
Duration: More than 6 months

Seeking Expert Level Writer

I am willing to pay higher rates for the most experienced freelancers

So many writers, so little quality…. I’m still on my never ending quest for a quality writer. I own two companies and need good and consistent blog content for both. I also have a number of articles I want written in the technology and medical space. If you look at my Upwork profile you will see I am legit, with more than 25,000 hours paid out. I am a dream client, reasonable budget and never ending supply of work. Burnt out with flakey people and crap content. Help.


My response:



OK, I’ll take the bait and even spend some connects to give you a leg up as far as the answer to the question you posed in your headline.


I’m attaching “Copywriting Rates-Typical” which I gleaned from the Internet after an extensive search-and-cross-check of different professional writing places during the height of the Great Recession in 2012. (The prices have likely gone up since then.)


The average rate you’ve paid to date is $16.00/hour. You simply can’t get professional/expert-grade writing for what you’d pay an entry level administrative assistant or, in some places, a little above minimum wage (in places like Seattle and New York) for people who take food orders and ask, “Do you want fries with that?”


Professionals (like me) have sent decades honing the copy/content-writing craft. Then we spend hours upon hours, day after day, looking for clients who are willing to pay what our expertise is worth (here on Upwork and other freelance portals).


Then Upwork takes 20% of whatever we get whenever the project is under $500 (10% thereafter). They charge us membership fees, too.


So, as you can see, it’s a losing proposition for professional writers to work for $16/hour, or $50/hour, or even $75/hour here when you factor in the time it takes to find clients willing to pay what we’re worth and topics we’re eager and competent to tackle.


Here’s a look at my credentials and a template I adapt carefully to submit bids on projects (I don’t tackle medical or technology topics, so I’m NOT applying: I’m just sharing so you can see what kind of info to ask for from other candidates. If they can’t document their chops, and if they don’t have tons of testimonials, they’re probably not a good bet. Ask for samples!)




I have been writing/editing/enhancing (copy and content) for Scholastic Books ( for three years. The company is thrilled with me.


TOP-RATED provider in the copy writing/editing category here at Upwork In May 2015 and January 2016


I won “Best of” writing awards at Thumbtack for satisfying all of my clients. I received an earlier copy writing award, too (“Elance Premier Provider”).


Author of seven books (three bestsellers in their niche categories when they debuted at Amazon in 2001, 2011 and 2012). Most recent title “DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal, A Harvest of Memories from the Fan Who Knew Him Best” can be found at Amazon and at (at YBP, you can read excerpts and reviews of all of my books).


I ghostwrote a book for an entrepreneur and edited and enhanced two other recent manuscripts (Sugar Kills! and The Big Ten, the latter about the relevancy of the Ten Commandments in today’s world). Both are available at


If you’re familiar with business coach John Assaraf (bestselling author and business coach) I served as editor and copy-enhancer on some of his projects (informational products and marketing pieces) in 2014 and 2015. One of the pieces I edited/enhanced for him converted at 33 to 36%, depending on whether the long or shorter version was sent, according to his marketing manager.


(Please Note: I do not guarantee insane conversion rates like these. John has carefully targeted his audience and has raving fans because he delivers what he says he does, every time…which is how he gets followers that buy into almost everything he offers. And he uses social media extensively. Conversion rates like his take time to develop and sustain.)


Visit for examples of my copy writing chops. I wrote the copy on the site and in all of the pieces in the portfolio.


I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience. Thanks for the opportunity!



Weaving Word into Wealth–YOURS!–by Turning Your Browsers into Buyers


P.S. Please Note: Most Upwork providers with high ratings are newcomers. By contrast, I have a long-established history in the writing category here. (I get most of my work these days off Upwork, which is why the number of projects I’ve accepted here appear anemic.)


P.P.S. I am recently semi-retired as a copywriter and have reduced my rates from those shown in the attached so I can serve small businesses.


P.P.P.S. If chosen, I will ask you to change this to a fixed price/escrow agreement so you’ll know exactly what the work will cost you. Beware of hourly providers! Slowpokes can cost you an arm and a leg. Fixed price/escrow keeps you safe!


Why Evergreen Copy Costs More:


Evergreen copy (books, website copy, brochures, video scripts, blog posts, etc.) comes at a higher price than temporary copy because it pays for itself hour after hour, day after day, week after week 24/7/365 for years at a time.


Analogy: It only takes 45 minutes to produce a car on an assembly line, but they cost tens of thousands of dollars because their VALUE is far greater than the time it takes to produce them. Same with evergreen copy!