Hi, I feel I should chime in here, because I've got experience with Elance on the other end, as a service provider. I've been working as a freelance writer for about a year now, and from my end of the industry, Elance prices are much lower than ad agencies and other brick-and-mortar companies expect to pay professional writers. The thing about bidding sites like Elance is that there are more providers than buyers, so the glut of providers encourages massive underbidding. My rates in the non-Elance world are around $50 an hour--which is the low end of the industry. I'm a conscientious professional--any articles I write are meticulously researched, well-worded, completely unique and error free. I'm a fast worker, and it can still take me over an hour to complete a short article, depending on how in-depth the subject matter is. No WAY would I put in that time and effort for $5. If writers are doing that kind of work for you for that price, be VERY careful--the only way they can make money, that I can see, is by churning out tens or hundreds of these quickly and easily by cutting and pasting from other sources. I recommend writing your own stuff and then having a pro look it over and check it for errors instead of paying those rates--it'll keep costs down and you'll still know where your content comes from.
Good luck to all in your endeavors.