Freelancer: My experiences with freelance site WriterAccess

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Hello there and welcome.

The last time I spoke with many of you, I gave you some history about myself and how long I've been at this, so in case you missed that article here on Hubpages, you can find it right here. There are many people who start out earning a living as freelancers writing for many of what we affectionately call "Content Mills" which basically are websites that are facilitators for writers and clients.

For those of you unfamiliar with what these sites are, it's pretty simple actually. A freelance site such as WriterAccess provides freelancers with an opportunity to write content for customers seeking articles and other types of written content for an inexpensive price.

In order to write for one of these sites, you create an account, and then you're required to take a written test. The test is just writing an article on a random topic that the site selects with a certain word count requirement. You submit the article and wait for a review from one of the site's editors.

They grade the article and provide you with a rating or classification based on several factors, and then you are able to take written work from your classification downward. In my case for WriterAccess I am a four star writer, that's one level below a professional (and no, I am not comparing myself to a Journalist who has a bachelor's degree in journalism) as far as writing expertise.

I have written for several sites in the year plus that I've been a part of the freelance writers world, and yes I have written and continue to do work (thou not so often at the moment for Textbroker) but of all the sites that I get work from I have to say that the best one for the moment at least has been WriterAccess, and I highly recommend it to those of you trying to find work, or just starting out in this field.

Let me tell you of my experiences with WriterAccess both good and not so good.

The Bad

I'm going to start out with the bad, because for me there really has not been a whole bunch of bad to speak of. The only bad about WriterAccess for a writer trying to really establish their own business is not having the ability to speak directly with clients except through their panel interface...and even that m,ay not be such a terrible thing.

Last month, through Writers Access, I finally landed my first "Professional Writing" gig, and I know many of you are saying to yourselves, what the heck is he talking about! He's already got a year under his belt as a freelance writer, and another five years plus as a professional business blogger!

But you have to understand that there are perceptions that many experienced writers write assignments for "Commercial Client" accounts think about people like us, who write for content mills, and in some cases I have to agree with those assertions, but I'll leave that for a different discussion.

In trying to work with this client on a more professional level, I broke a cardinal rule with Writers Access (and every other freelance site) and that's having direct communication with the client outside of their panel interface.

I won't go into the full details, but in the end I'll just say, I did get paid for work I provided this client, but the client and myself were none to happy with one another...client cancelled the job and did not want to pay for the work I'd already turned in but in this instance I was protected by WriterAccess and was paid for three pages of copy.

The only other thing that's bad about Writers Access is they only pay you once per month, so budget wisely.

The Good

There is a lot of good about working for Writer's Access, and I'll just make a list just to point a few of these things out:

  • Steady regular work through "Love Lists"
  • Casting Calls
  • Idea pitches
  • Idea contests
  • Responsive editing staff

Casting Calls is probably one of WriterAccess's best features. Casting calls are where clients have project (either ongoing or just one shot's that can turn into more) are posted for a certain length of time, and if you think you've got the right stuff to satisfy a client's specific project's requirements, then you make your pitch. If the client feels you a good fit, they add you to their "Love List" of writers that they work with on a regular basis.

The other thing that I like about WriterAccess is the responsiveness of their editors. When I've had questions or issues or things that I wanted to bounce off of them, the responses have been 24 hours or less-usually less in my case anyway, and that's impressive to me.

I should point out that doing work for Writers Access is still not writing for a major publication or for a large corporate client and may times your basically ghostwriting for someone else who takes the credit for what you've done, but ghostwriting is also becoming a whole industry unto itself where many writers are earning a decent income writing for other people.

So if you haven't tried WriterAccess yet, give them a chance, I think you'll really enjoy the work and in many cases it's a steady gig...but I do want to caution you that it's also competitive and like so many other professions everyone is trying to make a buck, so you have to be on your toes and check the site often for available writing jobs.

(I actually have been using the wrong name for WriterAccess and had to edit this hub's title, and just a bit of the copy to correct my mistakes in the company's name.)

Lew Newmark is the be all and know all of KeyWords Media, an online company offering several types of writing services.


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Comments 26 comments

golfcart34 profile image

golfcart34 4 years ago from Vermont

Thank you for your great article! I was just laid off from my job of five years at a bank and I've decided that this would be a great time to maybe try a career change an shift over into writing as opposed to banking (I love writing whereas banking really isn't my thing). My biggest challenge thus far is not really having anything for paid work to showcase as most of what I have written was done when I was still going to college. We'll see where this takes me but I do appreciate these articles describing the experiences people have been having at these various websites.


animekid profile image

animekid 4 years ago from Upstate NY Author

Hi there.

I'm glad that you found the article useful. I know what it's like to start over again, so if you need a few more sites, just contact me and I provide you with a list. Also there's a group on Linkedin called Freelance Writers Working For Internet Content Mills. Check that group out and see if it's to your liking.


Casey Strouse profile image

Casey Strouse 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I've made a decent amount of money on various marketplaces rewriting content for SEO companies. It's not glamorous but it does pay the bills.


animekid profile image

animekid 4 years ago from Upstate NY Author

Hi Casey.

Honestly, when I got into this, I wasn't looking for glamor, I wanted to earn some case to pay the bills. That still holds tru even a full year later, but now I'd like to get a few regular clients not associated with these freelance sites and that's my main objective for 2012


Daggz profile image

Daggz 4 years ago from KE

The problem is that some sites look down on some writers especially those outside the US. Even those located outside the US.

By the way, i've realized that i can earn more as an editor using these freelance sites especially the no-bid ones. i just get clients, post the jobs to writers edit the final content and generally enjoy output that i could only dream of writing on my own


animekid profile image

animekid 4 years ago from Upstate NY Author

Hi Daggz.

Actually I find that to happen more with other more experienced writers than the sites themselves, although I am going to be posting about Textbroker, and finally giving them the boot soon. Sometimes I think that these sites are living in the stone age, with editors who are more concerned with the grammar and punctuation instead of the actual content that's written.


golfcart34 profile image

golfcart34 4 years ago from Vermont

I recently got accepted to write for Writers Access and as I was sitting there taking the writer test I began to wonder if some of the grammar questions were up to the personal interpretation of the person making the quiz. Punctuation and grammar can be updated after something is written, but getting quality content on paper should be the main focus starting out.


animekid profile image

animekid 4 years ago from Upstate NY Author

Hey there golfcart34

I couldn't agree with you more. usually the issues I have with Writers Access have more to do with meeting a client's specified requirements, as with most people I sometimes miss the mark on occasion...but not often mind you. :)


Ross Anziano profile image

Ross Anziano 4 years ago from West Deptford, NJ

I have done Associated Content, eHow, and a couple others...I may give this a try. Pretty rockin' hub.


Novel Treasure profile image

Novel Treasure 4 years ago from US

I use this site as well. It is okay. The thing I don't like about the site is when that it allows companies to pay for product reviews. Because of my technical writing background I get orders for product reviews and its for companies who want me to write a positive review for their product without ever even having used it. I decline those tasks because I just don't agree with that practice. But other than that it is failry simple to use.


OanaBoteanu 3 years ago

Very good hub. I am looking for new sites to work on and I'll make sure to give Writer Access a try. Thank you for sharing your experience.


animekid profile image

animekid 3 years ago from Upstate NY Author

Good Morning.

Thanks for the comment, and I'm happy to help out with my experiences.

Like most sites, you'll have to put your time in over there, but Writer Access is my favorite site to write content for, and I just reached level four as a writer there.

I'll be starting a podcast sometime next month on freelancing using the "Freelancer" moniker. I'll be announcing it by the end of this month.


creativegenius profile image

creativegenius 3 years ago from United States

I like WriterAccess because the staff is responsive and professional. The sign up process is also quick. Although I don't find as many writing gigs in my niche, I still manage to pick up an occasional gig here and there.


animekid profile image

animekid 3 years ago from Upstate NY Author

I haven't really gotten a lot of writing assignments in my niche either, so I had to improvise and learn the requirements for writing on other subjects. Had a long run recently with a marketing company, mostly writing articles about class action suits, lawsuits and side effects of certain drugs and implant devices.


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 3 years ago from Michigan

Thanks for the Hub. Based on what you have said, and what I have experienced, WriterAccess sounds very promising.


angelaswanlund profile image

angelaswanlund 3 years ago from Lamar, Arkansas

The test seemed a bit over the top to me for the type of offers they have in my niche. I also share the notion with another commenter that some of those answers are subject to "house style" if not the discretion of the person who wrote the Q/A.

There were at least 3 questions that asked something along the lines of: All of these example sentences are grammatically correct, but of these choices, which is the most well written?

Then, of course, the "simplicity" questions where you're asked to narrow a sentence down to only essential words to convey the same meaning as sentences enhanced with adverbs and adjectives. One that threw me is the following:

The winding twisty road opened to a long straight stretch that ended abruptly.

Obviously, it's fine to cut either winding or twisty, and either long or straight - but ended (to me) has a totally different meaning than ended abruptly. Ended could mean the road changed road numbers and became something else. Ended abruptly (to me) means dead end.


Rebecca Savastio profile image

Rebecca Savastio 3 years ago

Thanks for this hub! I applied at Writer Access two months ago, never heard anything from them, then logged in last week and found out I had moved past the "first round" and was supposed to take the (pretty difficult and long) test. I also had to provide a ton more samples. I agree with the others commenting that some of the test questions are subject to interpretation. I ended up scoring what looked to be above average according to the little chart they provide at the end, but it was not easy! So I guess now I wait some more to see if I get accepted and if so, at which star level. I also write for Textbroker, Constant Content, Patch and have been accepted at Scripted (they never have any jobs available.) I also have been accepted and placed into a "professional journalist" group with Contently, however, they also never have any jobs available. It's frustrating to feel the thrill of getting hired but then not having any work available :( Anyway, I'm new to Hub pages and have only published one hub so far, but I look forward to interacting with other writers and to becoming more familiar with the site. I really hope to get accepted at Writer Access and get some more assignments soon!


animekid profile image

animekid 3 years ago from Upstate NY Author

Hi Rebecca. :)

Hope that all is going well with you and Writer Access. I've done work for Textbroker, but let them finally go along with Constant Content, and quite frankly a few others. After a while you get tired of writing for peanuts. Unfortunately the work at Writer Access (at least for me anyway) has slowed a bit and I may have to just start looking at their "Casting Calls" for some new writing work. Of course I still stay busy with three of my own blogs and the occasional hubs that I still write here so I've gotten to the point where I pick and choose what I want to write rather than what I have to.

Again good luck to you, and remember that in the end it's all a matter of keeping an eye on what's available and doing searches for the sort of writing assignments that you're looking to write.

Lew N


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Great review! I have been writing for WA for about a year now. It was slow going in the beginning, but I will have to say I have been pleased with work from repeat clients and the pay gets better and better. Good luck y'all.


animekid profile image

animekid 3 years ago from Upstate NY Author

Hi Rebecca.

Glad that you enjoy writing for Writer Access and good luck to you as well. :)

Lew


Gina 2 years ago

I work for an agency that goes through Writer Access that outsources content writing when we are overwhelmed with work and need to meet deadlines. We've paid anywhere from $25 to $56 depending on the level of the writer and, of course, Writer Access's fee.

Believe me, folks. There is a HUGE demand for quality content. Google's tightening the reigns on SEO, so those nickel and dime articles aren't going to cut it any longer. Companies want lengthy articles that appeal to their customer base and best brands and represent them.

"How to blahdee-blahdee-blah" articles have been done to death. Come up with some really original thought provoking stuff. That's the stuff that's eyecatching. Think: can it be shared on Facebook / social media. Some agencies have social media specialist that can target a certain demographic.


animekid profile image

animekid 2 years ago from Upstate NY Author

Hi Gina.

Without a doubt Google has changed the way content should be written. No more articles that are full of so many keyword and keyword phrases that a 300 word article is almost unintelligible.

A lot of companies are discovering the advantages to having a well executed content marketing plan that includes content that's targeted to a specific demographic as well as taking advantage of platforms like Facebook and Twitter where they can actually interact with their customers in real time.

I'm glad that you mentioned what your agency pays for some of the work you procure through Writer Access because honestly even there you get what you pay for.

Since I started writing content four years ago, I've seen an influx of writers flood the marketplace offering their services at prices that may seem attractive, but the quality of their work has left much to be desired by many of their disappointed clients.

I will say that for me personally I haven't taken as much work as of late from Writer Access, and what work I have taken has been more short 200 word blog posts.

I have to admit that those can be challenging because even at that word count I strive to write something that connects with the audience that I'm writing to for the client.

Not always easy to do, and more often than not I wind up going over that word count to deliver what I feel is a quality piece for the client.

Well Gina I want to thank you for leaving your comment here, and I hope that you continue to use Writer Access for your outsourcing needs.

Lew


Shanna 12 months ago

Hello. I found you from my researching about Writer Access we are a marketing/design firm and I am in search of good writers. If you are wanting some freelance work I would love to send you more information about what we do and our clients needs. My email shannam@waterstdesign.com

Thanks.


animekid profile image

animekid 12 months ago from Upstate NY Author

Hi Shanna.

It's been quite a while since I've added anything to this hub about Writer Access, much less seen any new comments here by anyone.

I'll be sending you an email shortly.

Thanks

Lew


Kevin Casey 10 months ago

I started off writing for Textbroker (UK) late in 2013, and made $29 AUD for 6 articles. Gave up on that sort of money and then wrote for Constant Content for a little while. Did better than most, earning about $1800 for the first two months, writing about 16 hours a week. Soon gave up on them because of their inconsistent 'editors', numerous site glitches, poor per-word rates for requests and inability to answer their writer's emails in a timely manner (if at all).

Best thing I ever did for my writing career was ditch writing sites altogether and create my own writer website. Then I pitched my services directly (or through Linkedin) to clients. Soon I had as many quality clients as I could handle and was making $5000-$8000 a month on a steady basis without jumping through the test/registration/bidding/crowded-at-the-bottom hoops of content sites. These days I write 8 months a year and travel the other 4 (I'm heading to Argentina in a couple months to try 5 weeks of the digital nomad lifestyle).

6 months after ditching writing sites altogether, I was refusing any work that was for less than .25 cents a word. If I didn't like to travel so much, I'd be on 6 figures a year and then some. Moral of the story: stop writing for content mills and go out and grab your own quality (high-paying) business clients. That's where the real money is.


animekid profile image

animekid 10 months ago from Upstate NY Author

Hi Kevin!

Good for you! I was really excited when I read your comment. I'd be interested in knowing the type of writing you do, your word count for an average article and if you have a specific niche that you specialize in.

$5000-$8000 a month is nothing to sneeze at.

The whole idea is for the beginner to cut his or her teeth on one of those sites and then have enough confidence in their abilities to do what you've done.

Again good for you and what you've accomplished and a very much deserved congratulations.

P.S. would you mind sharing your website's address here?

Okay Kevin I found your site (at least I think this is your site) and from what I've seen you offer a variety of services, and you've been doing this for 20 years plus now...personally I assumed you were a novice.

Stupid me! :)

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