The Declining Value of Freelance Writers

An undeniable fact of the internet age is that the world is getting smaller. As the world becomes more online, we become more connected, more familiar. We get to see more of the lives of others than ever before, and we can interact with them in unprecedented ways.

In fact, for certain businesses, the nature of the internet demands these new age interactions, or else they’ll fall behind and possibly lose credibility. One of the primary ways that the internet allows businesses to interact with people is with written content – articles, tutorials, social media posts.

This might sound like a good thing for freelance content writers. More demand for content means more work for these writers. A lot of this content can be quite formulaic too and often does not need to be very specialized or deeply detailed, which is great for freelancers to take on. 

At the same time though, there are many aspects of this online content surge that might spell trouble for freelance content writers. Full time writers might seem like a worthwhile investment, but they’re expensive, and AI writing technology is shaking up the sector in a big way. This article discusses the following points that indicate the declining value of freelance writers:

  • There is an ever-decreasing return on investment per piece of content
    • Content is highly specialized
    • Full time writers are expensive
  • The added value of an AI article writer
    • More time and cost efficiency
    • Improve SEO authority
    • Automation features and integrations
    • Use AI to augment writing staff

Return on investment per piece of content is decreasing

As mentioned above, the world is getting smaller as it becomes more and more online. There is less room than ever, financially, for the constant stream of marketing content that SEO principles demand. 

On the one hand, this kind of content does not need to be very complex or in-depth to fulfill its purpose. Most businesses do not need to produce high concept analysis and thought leadership pieces – they need simple, easily digestible content that directs the reader with purpose. 

The flip side is that there is a ton of this kind of content on the internet, and the more content is produced, the less valuable each individual piece of content becomes. In many cases, it simply isn’t a good investment anymore to pay someone market rate to write a blog post.

There are more types of content than ever

There is also an increasingly wide variety of types of content that businesses need to produce. There are different kinds of products to write about, different kinds of platforms to publish content on, and a wide variety of personal tastes to cater to. 

This makes a freelancer that you might find on a marketplace less attractive because their hourly and per article rates are only increasing while the value of each article produced is decreasing. In addition, given the number of types of content to produce, you are either forced to find and manage multiple freelancers or fewer more expensive freelancers who have expertise in multiple areas. Freelancers also must divide their attention among multiple clients at a time, preventing them from fully understanding your brand’s strategy.

Do full time writers solve this problem?

This might make it more desirable to have full-time content writers on your payroll. They don’t have to spread themselves thin working for multiple clients, which increases the quality and depth of their content, and they can put more focus on the niche that they’re working in.

They can attain a deeper understanding of their product and their market, and they can learn the nuances of the different platforms that they publish their content on, playing to each’s strengths.

Full time employee

Unfortunately, this option can be more expensive than many smaller businesses can afford. And besides, as noted above, the content from freelancers is often pretty general and rather formulaic from an SEO perspective. When it comes to SEO content, simple, digestible content is preferred to overly complicated pieces. And often times creating a lot of content to offer deep coverage of many topics is the most important goal of an SEO content strategy. In this case, it could be a waste of time and resources to pay a premium for content that’s filled with depth of detail that’s not really necessary for SEO content. 

Admittedly, this is not always the case. It is often worthwhile – or even necessary – to invest in full-time professionals in the field to produce content that will make your business a thought leader in your industry. 

But if this is not your situation, then you’re likely using freelance or part time writers to work your content production pipeline.

AI writers bring the cost efficiency of freelancers, and the versatility of full-timers

Something to consider instead is to augment – maybe even replace – your freelance writers with an AI writing tool like Article Forge. An AI writer is often a better, more cost-efficient option than hiring full-time writers while also negating the drawbacks of hiring freelancers.

Time is money

The most obvious benefit of an AI writer is that it generates content much faster than a human ever could. With Article Forge, for example, the user just provides a keyword, (possibly a few sub-keywords) sets a desired word count, and in minutes, the AI article writer will produce a full form, natural sounding piece of content. A piece that a human spends hours writing can be produced in a fraction of the time with the help of an AI content generator.

The real strength of article writing AI like Article Forge is covering the SEO aspects of content writing, so the human user can focus on the more substantive aspects like thought leadership pieces. 

Improve SEO authority

A huge advantage to using an AI content writer in this way is its SEO capabilities. If there’s anything AI writing software can do, it’s focus on a keyword or phrase and write content around it. 

It’s also worth noting that AI writers use deep learning methods similar to those used by Google and other search engines to understand content and decide what to display to users. This makes an AI text generator uniquely suited for making SEO-friendly content.

Automate more than just the writing

More sophisticated AI writers like Article Forge also have features and integrations that help streamline and automate your content production pipeline. For example, Article Forge has a built in post scheduler that lets you set it and forget it – just tell it when to post and what to post about.

This can be coupled with Article Forge’s integration with WordPress to fully automate the publishing of your content, straight from Article Forge to your WordPress blog. Another feature of Article Forge is its fully functional REST API.

This allows web developers and DevOps engineers to integrate Article Forge’s content creation ability into their development workflows, and lets them extend Article Forge’s capabilities to endless possibilities. 

Augment your full time staff with an AI writer

All that being said, AI content writers are nowhere near perfect yet, and they come with many drawbacks. Probably the most significant of these drawbacks is their inability to effectively fact check the content they produce. Although Article Forge in particular is making great strides in this area, it’s still a good idea to have a human editor fact checking its output.

It’s also important to realize that an AI writer won’t be able to understand your company’s branding and strategy in the way that humans can. Though it may sound natural, an AI writer will need some help from humans to produce content that fully engages an audience’s interests and expectations. 

Use an AI writer to augment your staff

At the moment, this is the best way to employ AI to write articles – using them to handle the grunt work while humans make the higher-level decisions about content direction.

Unfortunately for freelance copywriters, this is not the kind of work that they are suited for. This work is best performed by marketing and product professionals – people invested in the brand and product they are writing about. 

With the increasing power of AI article writers like Article Forge, this is likely to become the norm. While AI writers cover more and more of the tedious leg work of content writing, there is less and less value that freelance content writers can bring to the table.

FAQ

Why is the value of freelancers decreasing?

  1. The amount of online content is always increasing, and the more content there is, the less valuable each piece of content is.
  2. Different products, different platforms, and different audiences to write for means that content production is becoming increasingly specialized, which makes it more difficult for freelancers to come in and write.
  3. AI writers exist, and they can save time and money and improve SEO authority by automating the writing and/or publishing of content.

So will AI writers fully replace humans?

  • Maybe one day, but for now they still have too many shortcomings. For more complicated content, AI generated writing will need an editorial hand from a human.

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