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Freelance Writing: Quality vs. Quantity

Which is better in the world of freelancing, quality, or quantity? They both have value; however, depending on the freelance writer’s preference for the work environment, one may suit his or her writing style better than the other. To answer this question, this article will consider the different types of writing that these two states indicate, and break the article down further into the pros and cons of each.

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Quality writing tends to be of an academic variety such as theses, dissertations, or thesis proposals. Other types of quality writing may include in-depth business proposals such as RFPs, backgrounders, business plans, or product descriptions. Certain types of the article also fall into this category, those types of articles that are scientific or technically based, advanced health or fitness writing, and writing about business topics such as personal finance, investing or stocks.

Quantity writing tends to be driven more by short articles and blog entries. This type of writing leans toward pop business and lifestyle topics. It is typified by the light web-based articles found online and may include blog work such as celebrity articles, fashion and beauty tips, and health and wellness advice.


The main pro of quality writing is that it is quality writing. These types of jobs test the freelance writer on all types of levels – his or her ability to research, write coherently, use appropriate vocabulary and create a piece of writing that imparts value and knowledge to the reader. These types of jobs also help the freelance writer become a better writer; they boost the levels of his or her writing skills, and often teach him or her about topics that he or she would otherwise not be exposed to understand.

Quality writing also tends to be more lucrative. These types of jobs will typically pay more and often lead to repeat business if the freelance writer does a good job on the first order. Also, the types of customers that fire freelance writers for quality writing tend to be a little more reliable and trustworthy since they typically occupy the upper echelon of academia and the business world.

One of the main pros of quantity writing is that it can be written quickly. Quantity writing tends to be delivered quickly and it has a short shelf life. The content, especially online, grows stale very quickly, which means that it needs to be endlessly generated, repurposed, and updated. This reality of the speed by which the online world changes leads to a constant, secure, and steady source of income for freelance writers who specialize in quantity work.

Another pro of quantity work is that it is relatively easy to create. Quantity work typically follows a template or formula, and the style does not often vary, so once the freelance writer learns the style guidelines, quantity writing becomes exceedingly easy to create and re-create.

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Quality writing tends to be extremely labor-intensive. It requires a large amount of research, a lot of rewriting, and an inordinate amount of time spent organizing vast tracts of text into a coherent and logical flow. Quality writing demands that the freelance writer is up to date with all of the latest developments in whatever industry he or she is writing about and be able to locate sources to back up whatever he or she writes. If the work is academic, this means that the freelance writer must be up to date with all of the most recent theories that pertain to the subject matter, particularly because this type of works includes reviews of the literature.

Quality writing also exacts higher standards. The customers who hire freelance writers to create quality writing are rigorous and they have high expectations. Often, a lot of these customers are writers themselves and they will therefore expect the freelance writer to wow them. What this means to the freelance writer is that customers who hire for quantity work tend to be much more involved in the work, demand much more contact with the freelance writer while the work is being created, and typically will take a hands-on approach to the work.

This is particularly true of academic customers, who will have master’s and doctoral degrees riding on the strength of the material that the freelance writer submits and will therefore be extremely involved in the creation of the work and have exacting standards that they expect the freelance writer to uphold.

Another significant con of quality writing is that the level of competition to attain these types of writing jobs can be murderous. There is no shortage of talented freelance writers, and they all would prefer to be paid more, thus the competition for quantity writing is very stiff.

The main con of quantity writing is that it does not often pay well. Since quantity writing is so easy to create, most customers do not view it as taxing work for freelance writers, thus it is received very little pay.

Another con of quantity work is that many people will do this type of work for free. Writers who are not professional, hobbyists, or those trying to break into the business all become competition for this type of work, and no customer will pay a freelance writer for this kind of quantity work when he or she can find a writer who will do a passable job for no money at all.

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