My Experience with Online Freelance Writing Site Textbroker

Textbroker can get frustrating with its writing style requirements.
Textbroker can get frustrating with its writing style requirements. | Source

Textbroker pays well but demands much

Textbroker Pros:

High paying site that offers up to 5 cents/word

Lots of client orders

Potential for getting editing and Direct Order gigs

Textbroker Cons:

Fewer 5-star assignments than 4-, 3- and 2-star assignments

Strict AP (Associated Press) format adherence discourages writers

Editors seem unusually concerned about comma usage and will "dock" a completed assignment just for overuse of commas

What is Textbroker?

Textbroker is an online witing site that pays writers to write freelance articles for clients. The signup process is rather straighforward: you simply submit your personal information, provide a few writing samples, and in a few days time, you are (usually) accepted to Textbroker. Based on the quality of your writing, you are assigned a star rating of 2 to 4 stars. At 2 stars, you make 0.7 cents per word. At 3 stars, you make 1 cent per word. At 4 stars, you make 1.4 cents per word. You may then start accepting writing assignments, known as Open Orders, from Textbroker clients that fit into your writer star rating. On occasion, a client that likes your writing style may submit a Direct Order to you, which is seen only by you.

The real price hike comes when you have written 10 or more 4 star (or higher) quality articles for clients. At that point, you may write directly to Textbroker and petition that they raise your status to 5 stars. Once this happens, you earn 5 cents per word. It took me about 2 months to achieve 5 star status, with one month devoted to producing the required 10 articles of 4 star quality or better, and another month to have Textbroker review my credentials and boost my star rating.

Why I Like Textbroker

What is also nice about Textbroker is that you can set client-specific rates that go higher than 5 cents per word. This is useful if you have a client who is unusually demanding or who requires that you do significant research about the topic before writing an article on it. Textbroker also pays promptly and frequently; authors are paid at the end of every week. Authors choose when they wish to be paid by clicking on a "pay out" link that connects to their Paypal account.

Ideally, you should try to complete Open Orders for repeat clients and then offer to work with them exclusively via Textbroker's Direct Order system. This gives you more of a say in your payment scale and in the assignment deadlines. However, as you continue to write for Textbroker, clients will contact you on their own with special writing requests. These Direct Orders are great because no one can work on them but you.

In the past year, Textbroker has also offered editing jobs to writers if they could pass an editing test. These editors then get to proofread the content of other writers for grammatical correctness. Th editors are paid for their editing services, which is a great way to earn some income outside of simply writing content.

Why I Don't Like Textbroker

What is not so nice about Textbroker is that the site offers plenty of 2, 3, and 4 star assignments (called orders) but fewer 5 star assignments. Should a 5-star assignment show up on the board, it is quickly snapped up. And, unlike other online freelance writing sites, Textbroker does not notify authors of new posted assignments. This is an issue if you are busy doing other things and cannot be logging into Textbroker all the time. More recently, Textbroker has gained additional clients and so the 5 star assignments have become more numerous.

Another issue with Textbroker is that the site is limited to accepting text-only work. While I did once edit a picture-containing file for a client and then submit it through Textbroker (via the site's customer service e-mail system), the process was a bit involved and required several e-mails to Textbroker's staff members. I also had to negotiate my project payment in advance and account for Textbroker's 25% commission rate in my correspondence with the client.

Recently, Textbroker has started cracking down on writers, and especially 5-star writers, who do not adhere to the AP format writing that is required of any content submitted to the site. I have personally been warned to improve my writing style, especially the use of my commas, so that my writing is AP style compatible. Otherwise, I risk losing that 5-star status. These repeated warnings have discouraged me from submitting content for at least three months now.

While I do understand most of the rules regarding AP style writing, those rules are revised every year. Furthermore, there are quite a few rules regarding proper AP style; sitting down and looking all of them up would result in my missing out on a writing deadline. As a result, I've decided to put my Textbroker submissions on hiatus until I become more confident in my AP style submissions.

Summary

In conclusion, although there are other good freelance writing sites out there, Textbroker remains one of my preferred sites due to its quality clients and steady rate of Open Orders and Direct Orders. What I don't appreciate about Textbroker is its strict adherence to AP style writing, which has made me hesitant about writing for the site.

More by this Author


Comments 17 comments

Oscortega profile image

Oscortega 4 years ago from California

Interesting reading. But I'm left with the question-what is AP style of writing?


Chaval profile image

Chaval 4 years ago from UK

Agree, it must be annoying having to consult a style guide when you are writing articles paying those rates. Speed is of the essence in that situation.


Brupie profile image

Brupie 4 years ago

Oscotega, the AP style refers to the Associated Press style manual.

I've written for Textbroker on and off for a few years, but have also found the editing rigid. The main problem I've found with Textbroker is that I don't write fast enough (400 - 500 words an hour depending on the topic). I would like to write more often, but unless an article is on a topic I am interested in, substantial and at least four stars, I have a hard time commiting to a payout that works out to be less than a few dollars per hour.


Oscortega profile image

Oscortega 4 years ago from California

I understand, and I agree completely. I often question the quality here at HP because the Hubs come so quickly. It makes more sense that it would take about a month to do the research required to write a quality article. A month is what it usually takes me.


Hally Z. profile image

Hally Z. 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

Oscortega, the AP style is as Brupie mentioned- Associated Press. There are various styles of writing, such as Chicago Manual of Style and American Psychological Association (APA). I am more used to APA style writing, and thus find it hard to switch to AP. Because Textbroker is now threatening me with a demotion to 4-star writer status, I've become hesitant to continue writing for them.


Oscortega profile image

Oscortega 4 years ago from California

Thanks for the break down. It's unfortunate that they've positioned you to question whether you'll continue to write for them or not. But as the saying goes, when one door closes another opens.


Charity 4 years ago

I have never been told by TextBroker that I have to write in AP style and I write for them all the time - in fact, I have maintained a 4-star rating the entire time I've been writing for them.

There is nothing I can find in their FAQ that says you must write in AP style - however, it does say that only "professional" writers are permitted the 5-star rating, so perhaps the 5-star rating are the only ones required to adhere to AP style.

Also, if they are stating you must write in AP style they should be providing a style guide for you to follow, unless they assume that as a professional writer you would already have one.


Hally Z. profile image

Hally Z. 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

As a 5-star writer, I am obligated to write content using AP style. Textbroker never provided me with any style manual, although the site does host a blog that instructs writers on AP style writing through various examples. Of course, single examples are insufficient when you are trying to write entire articles. I have ordered the AP style manual and am currently awaiting its arrival; meanwhile, I have several private clients to write for and so am not overly concerned about AP style writing at the moment. However, for the pay rate that Textbroker uses, it is rather annoying to always be second-guessing yourself while you're writing content on a deadline.


Jobanski profile image

Jobanski 4 years ago

Very interesting. I'll have to check the site out.


Atheist Anthony profile image

Atheist Anthony 4 years ago from Philadelphia

how much do you make on average a month with textbroker?


Brupie profile image

Brupie 4 years ago

Atheist Anthony, your earnings can vary a lot. Like many things, it depends what you put into it. That said, if you can find a topic that you can write confidently about, and articles are always available (e.g. insurance, annuities, product promotions)and you're skilled enough so you don't have to spend a lot of time editing, you can produce a three or four articles a day. Most articles run between $4 - 10 /article so you won't get rich, but its good practice. Remember though, Textbroker will bust you if you make editing mistakes


Jlbowden profile image

Jlbowden 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

Hello Hally:

Thank you for sharing your article about the textbroker site. I currently write for this site and started out at a 3 star level a few months ago. Usually spend more time on HP and other freelance sites, so I do not opt for direct orders at this time. I do find the same problem that you and a few others have and that is they are constantly reminding me about my AP format. The editors like to hammer home the point about using a comma or semicolan quite often. Even though the pay isn't too bad, it can also vary. I tend to stick with the health related article niche. However lately they are also far and few in between. And as you mentioned some of these articles are snatched up before you get a chance to accept them. Also I didn't realize that they sometimes hire for editing services. Something for some to consider in the future who want to take a break from strictly writing. Very well written article about textbroker none the less. Found it very useful and voted up as well. Take care.

Jl


purplmama profile image

purplmama 4 years ago from The Midwest - Northern Illinois

I agree! Thanks for this, Hally. I recently started with TB and boy, are they obsessed with commas and semicolons! I'm very experienced with APA and MLA, so learning AP quickly has been a real challenge. I think that we tend to get certain styles stuck in our heads and it's hard to break style habits. I'd say that MLA is on the opposite end of the spectrum of AP and APA is in the middle. I don't like that they don't give feedback if you fail the proofreading test as well as the fact that you must wait 3 months to retake it!! That really stinks. When I asked them about it, they just told me that the best thing I could do is to "brush up on AP style." Really?.. You think?..

For those of you interested, you can order a $60 software download that edits for AP. It's called Style Guard and you can find it on the AP site.

Thanks, Hally!


Hally Z. profile image

Hally Z. 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

Hey, thanks for letting me know about the Style Guard software! I'm definitely interested. You know, this would be something for MS Word to invest in for its future word processor programs too...a way to edit for AP, MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.


purplmama profile image

purplmama 4 years ago from The Midwest - Northern Illinois

You'd think, right?! Especially with the release of its Windows 8.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 2 years ago

Probably, not, for, me! But, thanks, for, the ,insight!


Jicotea Kinsella profile image

Jicotea Kinsella 21 months ago from Jacksonville, FL

I've been wondering about moving from 4 stars to 5. I couldn't find any info on it anywhere else! Thanks!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working