Cheap Content is Dangerous

Point eight.

treadmill desk

Approximately .8 mph is top racing speed of my “treadmill desk” hack, shown here. (Yes, I’m writing this while on it. Crazy, eh?) I’ve logged plenty of miles and written over 200,000 words on my “treadmill desk”. Work words, by the way: I don’t count the rest.

Never heard of a treadmill desk? Click here for a quick search. You’ll find passionate supporters. Note the “suped up” models cost around $4k, and cheapest manufactured model is about $400. For a mere $40, you can buy a treadmill shelf.

Or… You Can Bust Out the Bungee Cord

Bungee cord from my bike rack + deceased grandfather’s 1996 treadmill from Sears + trusty Mac laptop = $0 treadmill desk.

Any thrifty business owner will agree: why pay more for something when you can get the same results for less?

So, I’m not surprised when I encounter someone who wants great marketing copy or other content for pennies.

Why Pay More for Content?

The fact is: content that’s slapped together like my bungee cord hack is dangerous. Go ahead and dismiss this as the ramblings of a professional writer at your own ruin. The fact remains because cheap content is dangerous to your reputation, your sales, and most critically today: your ability to truly engage with your audience.

Top Reasons Cheap Content is Dangerous


You never get a second chance at a [digital media fill-in-the-____ ]’s first impression. Is it the right one? Quality content creators don’t act in a vacuum. They’re carefully strategizing with a variety of departments to ensure your message is compelling and reaches your intended audience. Screw up here to save a few bucks and you’re really screwing yourself.


Likewise, whether you’re shipping a product or selling a concept to multiple stakeholders, you need communication expertise. Search engine optimization tools are great, but, they act solely to get your traffic to your site: they don’t do the heavy lifting required to convert visitors to buyers. Trust this important task to anyone who can type? Go right ahead – let’s see those sales.


Oh, the siren song of everything from web content to social media: engagement. It all requires content. Your user-generated content can operate all its own, but what of the content you create? Just think about the list of things it must successfully accomplish to produce engagement…voice consistency in grammar/style….search engine friendliness… community leadership…are just a few. Will your cheap hire even consider these?


The maxim “you get what you pay for” directly applies to content and content marketing services. It’s not an overstatement to classify “cheap” content as “dangerous”, because it is just that if you care about reputation, sales, or engagement.

Point taken?

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