While people who receive compensation to create Wikipedia articles can be neutral when writing on a topic, editors who know that an article is paid for cannot be neutral when reviewing the same topic.
So you or your company have realized that there is misinformation on Wikipedia that you want to get corrected. You go to the site and correct the information, only to find out that you did something wrong. Either your edit was reverted as you did not format or cite it correctly, an editor yelled at you and accused you of vandalism (despite your intent being to correct facts and not vandalize), or you simply cannot figure out how to make the edit that you want. This is often the point when the idea of paying someone to write a Wikipedia article or make edits to an existing article comes to your mind.
I have been editing for quite a few years now. I often write articles for various websites, explaining why people and companies pay to have their Wikipedia articles written as opposed to doing the job themselves. Many of my articles enrage Wikipedia editors who edit for free as I found a way to make money off something that they volunteer to do. What they fail to understand is that they create the environment for me to be able to run a Wikipedia writing service. So, many of my articles are met with comments from editors who try to dissuade people from paying someone to write a Wikipedia article. There is quite a bit of information that editors have put out there, causing confusion as to the rules surrounding professional Wikipedia editing. So, in the interest of all those that look at paying someone to write a Wikipedia article, here are the facts that you need to know.
Who are paid editors?
Although you will read articles about Wikimedia Foundation employees who have accepted compensation to edit articles, it needs to be set straight from the beginning that Wikimedia Foundation employees are NOT paid to edit Wikipedia. Paid editors are not employees of Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation. They are freelance writers who make a living from creating written content to post on the internet.
Now I always like to point out the difference between a paid Wikipedia editor and a professional Wikipedia editor. This is important if you are seeking help with Wikipedia content. A paid editor is a freelancer who will post anything to Wikipedia for an agreed upon price. This means that you can contact them on Elance or Freelancer and pay a specific fee for them to post the Wikipedia article that you have written.
A professional Wikipedia writer is the opposite. They will NOT simply post anything to Wikipedia. In addition to hiring them to create a Wikipedia article, they will advise you along the way of Wikipedia best practices and guidelines. They will inform you if your article is too promotional and will also refuse to create any page that does not meet notability guidelines. So, if you are looking to pay someone to post an article that is likely to get deleted a short time down the road, then a paid editor is who you want. If paying someone to write a Wikipedia article that stands the test of time is what you want, then a professional editor is who you want. They will create an article that is formatted and referenced properly, as well as wording your article in a manner that is non-promotional and more to encyclopedic form.
Is it against Wikipedia policy to pay for Wikipedia edits?
Paid advocacy basically means being paid to promote something on Wikipedia. Paid advocacy violates conflict of interest guidelines as a paid editor is writing the story from the article subject’s point of view as opposed to something more neutral like the news coverage of the subject. As professional Wikipedia editors do not advocate, their edits do not violate this guideline. The only part of the guideline that must be followed is disclosing in some way that people are paying someone to write a Wikipedia article. This can be done on the talk page of the article or on the editor’s talk or user page. As for me, I will never disclose that I was paid to create an article as doing so will compromise my client’s articles. While people who receive compensation to create Wikipedia articles can be neutral when writing on a topic, editors who know that an article is paid for cannot be neutral when reviewing the same topic. As such, disclosing clients is something I choose not to do.
Summing it all up: