06 Aug 11 4:56 pm
I can understand your frustration, and there have been some good ansewers already. One thing that I would mention is the price you mentioned. If you are spending $30/article and getting crap you are being ripped off. most decent articles should cost you about $10-15/ article, which should be decent articles. If you are going through a site like Elance or Odesk, you should refuse to accept any article that doesn't meet your standards.
Also, if you are spending hours of research and writing for simple articles, you are probably over thinking the issue too much. Or else, you really don't know the niche well enough to be building a site in the niche.
You should be able to research each article in about an hour to an hour and a half. spending more time than that on it is usually because you don't know your topic well enough to be working in that niche anyway.
Video game niches are really tough. they constantly are changing, and if you aren't in the game, you probably shouldn't be trying to tell people that this guide is good for them.
Along with your example of buying a lawnmower without a lawn, If you don't have a lawn, how can you tell someone honestly that this is the best lawnmower for them? Why should anyone trust your advice if you don't ever USE a lawnmower? you can't, which means you are lying to people, which will lose trust with your readers. Trust once lost is hard (almost impossible) to get back.
if you don't play the game yourself, you really need to spend the money to hire a writer that does. I would find someone that you can build a long term relationship with, and that can help keep your content up to date with the latest changes in the game.
it will cost you more money to do that, but it will pay for itself with the sales you will get. People in the gaming niches are extremely observant, and most of the time, they can tell if you are blowing smoke, or if you really know the game.