Case Study: Hiring a cheap ghostwriter at $12 per article

I flirted with the idea of hiring a ghostwriter to write articles. As many internet marketers employ writers to boost their productivity, I couldn’t resist trying their prolific source of cheap articles. What if I could save time and effort?

Hiring a Ghostwriter Process

So, I went to, a marketplace for ghostwriters, and posted my project:

“I’m looking for a ghostwriter to write 5 articles of around 500 words or more + short version of the same article of 100 words or less (short version needs to stand alone).”

The full project description contained specifications about the target market, the purpose of the articles, terms and conditions and samples of my writing style to match.

I received 5 proposals ranging from $60 to $600. I chose a $60 proposal not just because of price but because of the ghostwriter’s highest number of repeat clients and feedback score, 4.6 out 5, based on 24 reviews.

The Ghostwriter’s Proposal

Four days after granting the contract, I received the five articles as per the agreement.

Here’s the first paragraph of the article titled ‘Testing: It’s Importance’.

“It is very important to test the new ideas you have for your business, especially when it comes to assessing the market for the new ideas and appropriating price points for the same. There are suitable online testing tools for the effectiveness of your business website, which help to ascertain how successful your service delivery methods over the internet are, as well as help you test new approaches to your market.“

The rest of the article was very much repeating this introduction.

Was the article worth $12?

Yes, if the sole purpose of the article is to be published on article directories?

No, if the purpose of the article is to draw potential clients to your website and get reputable web publishers reproduce your article on their website, blog or email newsletters.

Definitely No, if you want to build an online profile as THE expert in your field.

But, what’s wrong about the quality of this article?

  • Wishy washy: The Ghostwriter is jumping from an idea to another. Is this article about market research, website or internet marketing? This usually happen when people submit their first draft without editing their thoughts. The article reflects an unclear mind who hastily string words together.
  • Nothing new: The Ghostwriter rambles about the obvious. There’s no reason or incentive to read further than this weak introduction.
  • Lack of editing:
    • Wordy: Less is best e.g. ’ideas you have for your business’ can be replaced by ‘business ideas’.
    • Jargon: What does ‘appropriating price points for the same’ means?
    • Redundancy: Why use ‘suitable’ in ‘suitable online testing tools’? Would anyone want to use an unsuitable tool?

Overall, this article would waste busy internet readers’ time and to associate your name with it could only damage your reputation.

Needless to say, I couldn’t put my name to those gibberish articles.


Ghostwriters’ pay is based on word count and many unscrupulous internet ghostwriters are taking advantage of the article marketing frenzy to offer wordy articles.

Nonetheless, there are highly paid professional ghostwriters writing for well-regarded community members and speakers.

Hiring a ghostwriter is pot luck. Will you save time and money? I didn’t but I enjoyed the process that I could share with you.

Posted in article marketing