How to Sell More Articles

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How to Sell More Articles

Postby Constant on Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:54 pm

A Note: The stats in this article are compiled by taking averages over the total life of an author's account (which can be as many as five years). This means that there are statistical outliers that may impact the real world average experience of writers. Obviously quality, topical decisions and a little luck can lead to differing individual results, but we are hoping to provide you some insights in to the texture and trends of article purchasing on the site. This is only the first in a series of articles outlining our findings.

One of the many things that we try to do here at Constant-Content is make our authors better, not only as writers, but as marketers of their own work. It can be an arduous task to become an online writer. Any information we can present you with helps make the process more efficient, thus we have compiled statistics about the process of selling writing on Constant-Content, coming up with some suggestions to help you work smarter and more effectively.

We evaluated the writers who have lots of articles and few sales, as well as the writers who have a greater article-to-sale ratio. Below are some of the most salient findings.

Qualities of Lowest sales/doc Ratio Authors
- Prohibitive pricing (too high)
- Very focused articles with limited market appeal
- Time sensitive articles that become irrelevant quickly
- Not offering enough fullrights articles (reprinting too many on other sites)
- Only selling usage rights (almost the same as above, but thought I would really hammer this one home)

Qualities of Highest sales/doc Ratio Authors
- Large catalogue of attractively priced articles
- Wide variety of popular topics
- Tons of fullrights articles priced in the $15 - $30 range
- Focused topic in a high value market (It can be good to focus on niche subjects, but if you do this, make sure that niche topic is a popular one.)

Pricing your articles is one of the most important aspects we saw that distinguished successful writers from the less successful. Making sure that in an internet age your articles reflect the need for customers to be able to stay in a budget while getting the advantage of having dynamic copy on their site, can increase your volume and make up for lower prices. This is not to say that writers should be selling themselves short, and we can all help prevent price undercutting by consistent pricing, but it is important to not price articles well above the norm. Somewhere between the 6 - 9 cents a word is a good place to start, with exigent circumstances moving it upwards from there.

And if you are worried about your own budget, we decided to add a little financial reassurance to the mix. Each submission that you have accepted to the site represents roughly $20, and each license sold represents $30. This is no joke! It can be good money, there just is a bit of lag time in first submission to consistent pay cheques. You have to create a critical mass which once it gets moving is impossible to stop. Without beating this horse dead, it is important to remember that these dollar amounts are only averages; they occur over years and are to help you think about some goals. By understanding the relationship between documents submitted and licenses sold, knowing the average dollar value of the two can help you decide on the increase in total size of your catalog year to year, and your average return.

stats article1-1.png
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As an introduction to the next article we have included the Total Earnings over Time relationsip. It is also important to remember that a critical mass of articles is reached in conjunction with time on the site, which we will address in more detail. As you can see in the graph below is that the longer you are on the site the more articles you will sell, and the more your newer articles will sell because of some 'stickiness' that your presence on the site will have. So remember that once you start building a catalog, you will need to be patient and let them have some time to gain momentum.

stats article1-2.png
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"You have to write to sell." You are in control of your destiny, more than you once perhaps thought! And of all the writers registered on the site only 10% of them have written anything, so there isn't as much competition as you would think. Get busy writing, and don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have questions or need advice**.

**pssst.... but don't ask "how can I sell more?"
Constant
 
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby libby on Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:15 pm

Thank you Constant.

I appreciate the info, especially suggesting the asking price of approximately 6-9 cents. Deciding on prices was more difficult than writing/editing!

You may want to consider revisiting C-C's pricing guidelines on the submission page. The least asking price suggested for Usage is 9 cents/wd and the least for Full Rights is 13 cents/wd.

I had viewed the work/pricing of other authors and priced my first couple based on that. But then I started using the guidelines, then went lower than the lowest suggested (being new and unproven). Now I'm going to revisit my prices and will probably lower some.

Am looking forward to your future information.
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby Lysis on Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:21 pm

Thank you for this! I'm a biochem student, so I lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvve graphs. LOL

For me, I think my last couple of sales have been from a guy who is following my articles, so I attribute this with time and production. Also, $.06-$.09 per word is reasonable for web content when you don't need to do any marketing. I usually price at $.10 per word, but I've done as low as $.05 a word. I won't mention my embarrassing moments as a n00b on bidding sites. LOL
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby cindylanecc on Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:03 pm

Thank you for the info. It's both informative and encouraging. I've been unsure about how much to ask for my writing, so the pricing guidelines were especially helpful.

Cindy
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby misstamla on Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:00 am

Thanks for all the info; very useful stuff!
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby Antonia on Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:45 am

LOVE the graphs. All this info is really encouraging and helpful, and it makes me inspired to build up my portfolio. It's fun thinking that each accepted article represents $20 on some level. I've been following the C-C pricing guidelines, but I too am wondering if they're a little high.
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby canywriter on Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:44 am

Thanks CC for the hints!
I agree with Hayley, pricing is the tough part for me too! This is really useful, as also the template for the excel sheet suggested by Celeste in another thread.

I'm really encouraged by the sales I've had this month - thanks, CC!

Canywriter
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby libby on Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:41 am

libby said
"You may want to consider revisiting C-C's pricing guidelines on the submission page. The least asking price suggested for Usage is 9 cents/wd and the least for Full Rights is 13 cents/wd."

I said this previously. Don't know where my math was on the 9 cents thing. Sorry.

Not being around here long, I understood the 6-9 to refer to Usage-Full. I now think you meant 6-9 for Usage, then up as appropriate and according to license.

Despite my slow learning curve, I still appreciate the advice.
libby
 
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby J. A. Young on Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:41 pm

Having a large catalog was the only thing that kept me in the game last year. A new baby, a new day job, and a toddler necessarily forced me to put my freelance work on the back burner for a while. Nevertheless, stuff seemed to sell--not always much--but every month. I usually go by CCs pricing recommendations, but some articles require more labor-intensive research and take more time to write. I tend to price these accordingly. I just try to be fair. After so many articles, you get a feel for their intrinsic value. Just my two cents. I love the graphs too!

JA
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby Celeste Stewart on Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:47 pm

There's JA! Haven't seen you for a while. Hope you're well.

While we'd all love to sell each piece right away, it sure is nice having sales come in after the fact. To me, these late sales feel like a pure bonus because if an article doesn't sell the same month I write it, I just move on and start writing more articles. This month, I sold a bunch of articles that I wrote in earlier months. I imagine some of the articles that I wrote this month will be future sales in months to come. Submit when you can and build a nice catalog of evergreen articles. Keep on writing. . .
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby Constant on Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:42 am

The key with pricing is to make sure you are getting what you feel you are worth. So if we are suggesting that articles within the 30 - 40 dollar for fullrights range are the most salable, then make sure the time you spend is commensurate. Its sometimes better to adjust the time spent and not the price.
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby thepaintguru on Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:33 am

Is it even worth it to price a full rights article at $30? Most of the articles I write are in the 500-800 word range, and the typical prices for them are much higher. Is it just that these typical prices aren't up to date with the current market, or am I still fine using them?
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby Constant on Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:55 am

It sure is worth it if a 300-500 word article only takes an hour or so to write. If it takes longer then make sure that you price it higher so that a per hour rate that you are comfortable with is achieved.
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby JTILLMAN9693 on Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:20 pm

Hello:

I was wondering if a writer decided to submit an article along the lines of something currently happening in the news (local or national), is it possible that the content within the article can become outdated before the reviewing process is complete? Thanks in advance for any and all replies to this inquiry - jtillman9693
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Re: How to Sell More Articles

Postby Ed on Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:30 pm

Yes, there is the risk of that. There is greater potential for a sale if the topic is on something that won't become dated too quickly.

Thanks,
Ed
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