How Filipino Content Writers Contribute Negatively To The Online World
Being a Filipino, I know that I don’t need to look far from home to find skilled people. I have interviewed close to fifty Filipino content writers by now, but only two left a harrowing impression.
I was amazed and at the same time saddened by what I have learned, what mentality most Filipino content writers have. I am lucky, I skipped that dark and scary street of the online world.
What’s the deal with Filipino content writers, how do they contribute negatively to the online world?
There’s only one way to find out!
Milking Filipino Writers
You see, it’s not just Filipino writers who are doing it wrong. Every beginner fall in this trap set by greedy employers: cheap labor. And when the person you are interviewing would settle for $1 for every 300 words written, you will know that King Content is dead.
I asked him, “how much would you ask for this job?”
“$1 for 300 words for the first few months, then an increase would be nice,” was his answer.
What? In the Philippines, $300 monthly salary is already slightly above the average. For people who have just begun writing online, and if by ill luck they land on these $1 traps, they will need to write 4,500 words a day or 90,000 words in a month (for a five-day work week) just to earn $300. In case you’re not aware, a standard novel is composed of around 80,000 words. This is the worst of the worst. If you will labor 8 hours a day fleshing out 4,500 words on a single niche, or multiple topics, then you’re doing it wrong. You’ll be contributing negatively to the current state of our trade.
Relevant Video: Harlan Ellison’s Rant – Pay the Writer
You can disagree with me, by all means, but at least keep it to yourself until you finish reading this post. If you’re one of those employers, you can bend over and sodomize yourself.
To compare, native English speakers charge around 6 cents per words. That’s $5,400 monthly for 90,000 words. And you won’t even notice the difference, whether it’s a native who wrote the post or not. And Filipinos are only given $0.00333 per word.
Exhibit #1 – Milking Filipino Writers
The following images were taken from an online job listing. This is exactly what I was talking about.
Exhibit #2 – Milking Filipino Writers
What a gem, I found something even worse (actually the worst posting I’ve seen). And you’ll probably not inclined to believe that there will be people to apply for this job…that’s where you’re wrong. I’m not saying that it’s the job hunter’s fault for this kind of treatment, but when everyone decides to pay low wages…what choice is left for us?
Problem With Filipino Content Writers
- $200-$300 looks like a huge amount already, which is NOT. Researching and thinking and writing for someone else deserves more than $300!
- Working eight hours a day is normal…actually, scratch that. It’s 9 hours a day, with one hour break.
- Generally, Filipinos have good English skills, but they’re not utilizing it well.
With these three points, quite a lot of employers have seen another resource to exploit. Cheap labor, sacrificing employee, and perfect skills.
But the real problem is not with the employers, it’s with the writers.
Once upon a time, a lonely 20-year-old decided to change his life, as long as he can do it inside his room. He browsed far and wide and found a job posting, “Looking for Blog Writers!” It was 1998, and the popularity of blogs was skyrocketing. It was time to cash on this new craze, of course.
Our hero AIM’d the job poster and soon the two began to talk. During that time, 1 USD was around 55 Philippine Peso, and being too trustful, meek, and inexperienced, our hero decided that $250 was a good starting point.
A month later his blog was booming. “Oh, wow!” the westerner exclaimed, “for only $250 I get this great writer to write for me? I need to tell my friends!”
And so it began, the endless loop of cheap labor. Those who dare break the tradition were not considered, and those who were willing to take $250 were the only ones hired.
Over a decade later it still happens.
The Problem With This
Listen up, you are literally renting your brains to these people. Is your brain only worth $250 monthly? Or $1 per 300 words?
Writing is hard, especially for non-fiction since you’ll need to have a prior knowledge of the subject or research it. Your research, your words. You’re putting words in the correct order for other people. They are renting your brain.
First mistake of our hero was he was too down-to-earth. This is closer to the truth than you’d imagine. We might now know who set this trend of cheap labor in the Philippines, but I can assure you that this is most likely what happened.
Quality Is Dead
At 1stwebdesigner, we’ve decided that in order to get quality content we need to pay people better. Our current rate is $150 for a high-quality article/tutorial. We don’t care about word count. If it’s a great article, you get $150. We don’t believe in paying cheap.
Ask yourself, will you trust a website that got its content from $300 per month writers? Writing is an art! Do you think they will spend all of their energies perfecting their writing? Some would even drop to the level of spinning articles, changing wordings and sentence structure, just to get by. Do you like that?
Unfortunately, the web is full of these blogs whose purpose is not to educate, but to earn money. And they will stop at nothing just to get a regular flow of published material. It doesn’t matter if they’re great, good enough is the new perfect.
It irks me. Filipinos deserve better. A lot of foreign nationals study English in the Philippines. They send their children here to learn how to speak and write in English.
I will not rent my brain for $300.
I guess the whole point of this post is to tell you to…
ASK FOR MORE!
Because if you don’t, you’re contributing negatively to this industry by propagating low-quality articles while telling the whole world that it’s okay to be underpaid!