Once again, I feel duty-bound to point out unreasonable expectations in ghostwriting.

Take a look at the above solicitation for ghostwriting. This is a screenshot from Fiverr, a popular freelance platform catering to low-bid vendors and buyers with all-too-often unreasonable expectations.

To summarize this particular buyer wants to hire a writer who will research a specific topic, produce five articles of at least 900 words each (totaling a minimum 4,500 words), optimize the article for SEO, and source at least three images (15 total) for each article. Of course, the buyer wants original content, so give him points for rejecting plagiarism. The deadline for delivery is three days (72 hours) from hire. Fiverr begins a timed countdown from the moment the buy accepts a vendor’s bid and the project begins, so that deadline is no joke.

The average writer needs three hours and 20 minutes to produce 1,000 words of polished content. That works out to about 15 hours of work, not counting the time needed to conduct research, source images, and optimize the content for SEO.

This buy posted a budget of $7 for the order of all five articles. The result: the average writer will earn a maximum of 46¢ per hour or 1/10 of a cent ($0.001) per word. The wage the vendor receives will be further reduced by the platform’s 20% commission. I don’t care where you are; that’s an exploitive wage.

Unfortunately, as I’ve remarked upon before, such buyer requests aren’t unusual. They’re all too common and they undervalue the time and skill required to produce quality content. What amazes me is that, despite the buyer stating that the budget is not negotiable, 36 vendors submitted bids for that gig.

I can only imagine that a good many of those vendors will use artificial intelligence to write the requested articles. AI requires little to no effort on the part of the writer, because the writer doesn’t actually write anything. The vendor can quickly generate five articles on a particular topic and deliver banal content that isn’t wholly plagiarized. AI writers include Rytr, Jasper AI, Writesonic, Simplified, ContentBot, Copy AI, AI Writer, Copysmith, Sassbook AI, Unlimited AI, AI Article Writer, and Anyword. As you can see, we don’t lack for AI writing options. Many of them have free trials and some free subscriptions. Most will also incorporate SEO into the content.

A writer who uses AI isn’t writing and can net a quick few dollars for a cheapskate client who cares little or nothing for quality.

It pains me to recognize computer-generated content as a competitor, much less as a viable option for potential clients to acquire the content they need for their blogs, brochures, and social media posts. AI may have come a long way over the past decade, but it still has a long way to go.

If you want cheap content, push a button. If you want good content, hire a human.