My Experience with Online Freelance Writing Site Textbroker
Textbroker pays well but demands much
High paying site that offers up to 5 cents/word
Lots of client orders
Potential for getting editing and Direct Order gigs
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.
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.
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