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, and 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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What's up ladies and dudes! Great to finally meet you, and I hope you enjoyed this post. My name is Nathaniell and I'm the owner of One More Cup of Coffee. I started my first online business in 2010 promoting computer software and now I help newbies start their own businesses. Sign up for my #1 recommended training course and learn how to start your business for FREE!
Textbroker really isn’t as legit as it seems. I am working on an article that is going to expose some of the shady side of Textbroker. I’ve read from others on the forums and even some of my own experience. I’m expecting to have it done on the 18th
I am someone who has been at Textbroker for 10 years as a 3 star writer and I can say that as a content mill, you’re right. You are not going to get rich. However, I myself have gotten to the point where I can make a full-time income. One thing you probably didn’t know about and I have heard on the forums is that some of the clients who request tons of revisions are actually taking your work and using it anyway. So they are actually getting two articles for one. However, this is only some of the clients.
I’ve heard plenty of other stories about sketchy revisions and I myself have gotten some, but I had never had a rejection because I don’t really do revisions unless I trust the client. Another thing that I have noticed is that some people say on the forums that the ratings are rather subjective depending on the editor who reviews your work. That is one thing that I say is a weakness. I work for another site called Hirewriters and their rates are way lower than Textbroker. On top of that, the last time I worked there, you were only allowed to have 10 pending articles, unless they were projects you were specifically chosen for. However, the ratings you got are based on how the clients rate you. Therefore, clients might be missing out on some writers they may actually like at Textbroker because of the editors speaking for them.
Otherwise, when it comes to these types of sites, Textbroker is the best of the best that I got to experience. I don’t know of any other sites that pay higher than Textbroker, but they probably are the ones that I couldn’t get in. As far as Iwriter, forget it.
With Textbroker, even a three star writer can make a full time income if he just puts out a ton of articles on topics he knows about and joins the right teams. My most recent earning was around $15-20 an hour, and I would work more than the typical 40 hour week. I do remember to take a little time off to avoid burning out. But I am working on something else so that I don’t have to rely on Textbroker. And I’m trying to find the better paying places.
And of course my writing ain’t up to scratch either but let me cop out here.
1. I’m writing a comment,
2. I’m not paid for this comment
3. I had a long day and I’m tired. This is my leisure time.
To add. It’s not just two articles, but two or more. See what I mean about my writing not being up to scratch?
Hello Nathaniel. I have been following your website off and on for about 4 years. I am in the process of building an affiliate amazon website. Yes it took me ages to figure out which niche I would select, When Amazon changed their commission structure, I ditched the niche I had selected and went back to the drawing board. I am persistent and yes a bit too slow; but I am getting there. Funny you should have this review on Textbroker, since I just finished my sample writing and sending it in to Textbroker shortly. I do need some small cash income to keep me going til the affiliate site income kicks in. So I believe Textbroker will work for me as a novice writer(i think I am pretty decent at writing). My impression of Textbroker pretty much coincides with your review. Hey I can switch at anytime to a better content mill, if there is one ,once I get some experience and confidence. Upwork seems like alot of work in the beginning just to land a job so Textbroker could be a confidence builder where one can get started right away. I realize TextBroker might be a venue where a job buys you a Big Mac and a coke. Then again, maybe some of the vets there just crank out multiple 300 word jobs in 15 minutes for each gig with experience and got it all figured out. Enjoyed your review and the comical response from a worker at TB.
That’s a plan I can get behind Daniel! Get the jobs you can get, and build up from there. Start your UpWork profile now, and build it in the background while you’re doing consistent jobs at Textbroker. Then, you won’t be so desperate for jobs on UpWork, and can just pick up a couple here and there as they become available.
I work at Textbroker, and while you make good points here, I can see why the platform didn’t work for you.
First, your article is riddled with errors. Proofreading is clearly not your strong point.
Second, your list of per-word pricing reflects what clients pay and not what writers receive on each level. This is misleading and defeats the purpose of your review.
Third, many people make a decent living at Textbroker. I’ve been there for eight years and learned which clients are easy to work for and which clients to avoid. I also have several direct-order clients who keep me very busy while paying my rates. If you put in the effort, you’ll get reward back.
This was badly written and lacking facts. Try harder next time.
Response from Nathaniell, owner of One More Cup:
1. I guess my editing isn’t up to scratch either. LOL. Keep in mind though, the tone of this article is very casual, so when I start a sentence with “But”, I don’t count that as a grammar error. This isn’t the Wallstreet Journal, Bucko.
2. Which part of the article are you talking about? I said “a designation that defines how much a client pays per word”. Perhaps your reading comprehension isn’t your strong point. Burn. Also, that doesn’t help your next point about writers making a full time income. If a client is paying 2.4 cents for “very good quality”, what’s the writer making? Which country are you from?
3. The pay is pretty low for people in the US unless you are writing for the five star category. I can verify this, because I paid for articles on Textbroker. They were good articles, for a really low price. However, thanks for verifying that people make a full time living here, including yourself! I’m sure direct-order really helps.
Thank you for the direct, but fair comment! My article was aimed at new writers trying to land gigs, and this was my personal experience.