Introduction to Textbroker
This was a no-nonsense, functional site. Although Textbroker would certainly not be used to sell fashion products (i.e. the website is lacking in any modern design elements), it will provide some work to writers who want to turn around a quick buck.
I did get work from Textbroker, which was not too difficult and plentiful. This was a surprise, since most sites I've joined so far seemed like landing jobs was quite difficult. The downside was that the work I did land, didn’t pay much. Textbroker is a pretty good example of why it’s tough to be a freelance writer.
Getting Started with Textbroker
To get started as a writer, they needed a lot. This included phone number, address, a list of my expertise, Paypal email address. Not sure why they needed all that, but I am sure it’s too much information for some to provide. It took me between five and ten minutes to get to the next page.
I had to write a 250-word test piece in order to qualify for Textbroker gigs. I did this and was then told to wait about five days for them to sort my skills and place me in the right category of writers. Also, upon acceptance I should have a “selfie-style” picture of me holding a valid form of identification. At this point, they have a lot of private information. In fact, this is information I would give for a full-time job, not a freelancing gig.
But, I went along with it.
How TextBroker works
During the time it took to analyze my writing, I looked around Textbroker.
Most work comes in through Textbroker’s OpenOrder queue, in which content requesters place orders for writing work. There is also a DirectOrder category where a client can select a writer based on information provided in a biography. The writer can charge whatever they want in this area.
Writers can choose from thousands of orders put in place by clients according to information on a page for prospective writers. That page also says Textbroker’s experienced team of editors “regularly rate your articles” and provide feedback to help refine a writer’s product. Though I didn't actually get that deep into Textbroker to experience this aspect of the platform, it does sound like an interesting way to improve your craft and eventually get higher paying gigs.
In the beginning, a writer is labeled either two, three, four, or five stars – a designation that defines how much a client pays per word. It works as follows:
- Two-star writers — 1.3 cents per word. The site says these articles could contain “spelling, grammatical and punctuation mistakes.”
- Three-start writers — 1.8 cents per word. These articles are “quick order” and considered of average quality.
- Four-start writers – 2.4 cents per word. These articles are “very good quality” and among the “most popular.”
- Five-star writers – 7.2 cents per word. The site says articles are of professional quality and “ready to use.”
OK, that seems fair enough. However, these prices didn’t excite me.
Accepted to Textbroker
Two weeks later, I was accepted as a three-start writer with Textbroker. Perhaps this was because I'm new, but as a native English speaker with experience writing online, I was surprised land in the middle tier, earning less than 2 cents per word.
Regardless, I wrote my biography, which includes plugging in a picture and providing six tabs worth of information aimed at end users of the site. Is it too much information? Maybe. I mean who is going to read three samples of work to choose a writer for a $3 article? It seems like a lot of work to end up in a minimum wage position, but there are plenty of people who go through the motions, and it's just part of the process of “paying your dues” to get jobs.
I’m not surprised by the thoroughness at this point, and perhaps this reflects a satisfied client base, then, in turn, a steady stream of jobs available.
On the OpenOrder jobs listing page, I chose projects listed in orange under the three-star designation. Some topics I could write about include animals, automobiles, business, diet, and about ten others. I am not an expert on many of them but if Textbroker thinks I can write about it, why not?
I wrote four pieces for Textbroker clients, which is much more than I can say regarding my recent experience with Constant Content. Normally I just test an article for these reviews then split, but since they only transfer money to writers $10 and higher, I wanted to try to get the minimum payout. It took an entire four jobs to reach the benchmark of ten dollars. Here’s what I found as I wrote for Textbroker:
- There was plenty of work for three-star writers.
- Projects were not difficult, but had restrictions. For instance, you couldn’t use a full quote if you were writing about an individual. A bot of some sort would detect the words written elsewhere and the article would be returned back to you.
- Fewer articles were available for writers of with higher star ratings, although the site said four-star articles were the most popular.
Reviews and Specifics of Textbroker
Online reviews of Textbroker were not glowing, at least from a writer’s standpoint. Some of the angrier reviews complained about writer ratings, the amount paid for an article, research demands, and the need for rewrites. More moderate views complained about similar items but say things are not all that bad, except for the pay.
The site did have a lot of positive reviews, but they were mostly from clients looking for content. They were happy with the same issues that caused writer consternation – cheap prices and writers who would comply with client demands. This is a common theme with many content farms, including places like iWriter.
Textbroker is aimed at buyers of content. The website claims to teach clients all they need to know about content management while providing a stable of thousands of writers to get their content needs developed and at different price points.
The site has numerous articles and videos on its “Expert Center.” It’s robust with a lot of knowledge for businesses that may be questioning the need for content on their web sites. And, of course, the obvious conclusion is that you’ll need Textbroker services. The knowledge Textbroker details is actually thorough and convincing. I think their strategy is successful given their numerous clients.
Note from Nathaniell: I'll be testing Textbroker from the client side as well. I'll update with a link here when it's finished.
Getting Paid at Textbroker
Textbroker pays via Paypal and the site requested a W-9. I printed on out, signed it, and emailed a picture to the appropriate address.
Textbroker did pay in a timely manner. There were a three thresholds to meet before I could get paid, the first being that items I wrote needed to be OK’d. The second was that I needed $10 or more in my account before any transaction could take place. And, there was the W-9.
Once these were met, I went to a “Pay Out” sub tab under the “Account” tab. Pay requested by Thursday is transferred the next day via the PayPal account already on file.
And, good to their word, the pay was deposited in my PayPal account.
Pros and Cons of Textbroker
- The site has OK design and the functionality works well.
- Selected writers must have a meaningful U.S.-based writing skills, though the site does not require English speaker only.
- Jobs are plentiful, so there is always something to do.
- Textbroker is a good place for new freelance writers to get started.
- The “Expert Center” lives up to its name with a lot of good information for writers and people seeking content.
- There is ample instructions – from keywords to information gathering guides – on each project, which is helpful.
- The pay is pretty low, around a penny or two a word.
- You can run into problems clients that want rewrite after rewrite. That was the problem with a lot of people reviewing the site, but thankfully not me.
- The site does require a lot of personal information.
Would I Recommend Textbroker?
I agree with a reviewer of this site. “I use (Textbroker) as a backup only, when times are tough,” they said.
The pay for this site hovers around a penny a word, so you are not going to get rich. In fact, it takes one hundred 300-word articles to make enough money to cover an average car payment. Accomplishing this century mark takes more than 40 hours and that’s assuming none of the content is sent back for rewrite.
I guess it could be done, if you can write well and be quick about it. In addition, there appears to be enough work in the pipeline to hit the 100-project goal. However, you are basically being a cog in the content machine. Nothing you write has a byline nor do you receive much in the way of compensation or. What's worse, as I concluded, is that there isn't much satisfaction in the work.
You will not be saving the world at Textbroker. At best, you get to learn and write about interesting topics.
So, despite the site’s eagerness to have you improve and move up the rankings, there’s little reward in the end for your efforts.
Textbroker is pretty bad for freelance writing as a whole. Low prices mean it would take a freelancer a lot of time just to make it out of poverty, if that. Textbroker is a good example of why it’s hard to be a freelance writer. It’s not necessarily Textbroker’s fault. Clients to the site demand low prices and they have to acquiesce in order to stay in business. But, at the same time, a penny a word Really?
I would recommend this site for writers just entering the freelance writing profession. It’s a good place to get experience dealing with things like stamina. You can write ‘til you drop, so testing your skills at writing a lot is possible. In addition, there are editors there that provide feedback and tips for improving your craft. That can be both good and bad, though I can’t make an opinion since I didn’t receive such feedback.
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