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Why I Joined Textbroker, But Decided Not to Write

Updated on April 1, 2013
Is it really worth it to write for pennies?
Is it really worth it to write for pennies? | Source

I admit it, I all but skipped the most basic step. I didn't thoroughly research the content site Textbroker.com before I applied. I read an encouraging article from someone who writes for the site, got all goosebumpy, and after only a bit of investigating, signed right up. Sometimes desperation makes a person barge in before conducting the stakeout. And sometimes, you just don't know until you give something a chance and decide it's not for you.

I was accepted as a writer at Textbroker, even given a four-star rating - five stars being the highest you can get - after submitting my first writing sample. I am sure this site has helped many a newbie freelance writer get her feet on solid ground, maybe even led to respectable, decent paying work. I'm sure it's an important service for businesses who need press releases, blog postings and the like at a ridiculously cheap rate.

But I can't stomach it. Here's why:

I've been ruined by my present occupation of news reporter. I simply cannot in good conscience write copy endorsing a product or service I know nothing about, or try to manipulate people to purchase something or visit a website, and this is largely what is requested on Textbroker and many sites like it.

One job required the writer-for-hire to visit various blogs and post comments, somehow subtly luring the reader to the poster's website. Ugh. Maybe most folks are savvy enough not to be fooled by this sort of thing nowadays, and hey, we're all responsible for ourselves and all. But there's something about this kind of thing that really makes me feel icky.

Another client wanted a press release that utilized certain key words multiple times throughout. The press release should, to paraphrase so as not to give away the identity of the client, establish the client as the best game in town, and include an informative and interesting description of a specific product, a picture of which the writer could view online, you know, for research. But that's not all - had I accepted this assignment, I had to agree that the client could use his name or pseudonym on my work. The good news is, the assignment was one of Textbroker's highest paying - at between $4.90 and $7.70.

So I'd be selling the services of a company I've never heard of, promoting a product I've never used, I wouldn't even get credit for my work and I'd get paid maybe enough to buy a pack of toilet paper? Call me highfalutin, but I'm insulted.

I don't think my work is the best out there. I know it's not. But I'm better than that. Reporters don't get paid nearly what folks think they do. Most of us make less than guy who helps you find the doorknobs at Home Depot, with a few notable exceptions. (Matt Lauer, call me!)

So I'm not saying I expect to get a month's living expenses for writing one press release. But again, that price range - $4.90 to $7.70 - is on the high end of the scale. There are assignments that pay little more than $2.

I know Textbroker isn't an agency for professional writers. But sites like it are driving down the price for all writers and would-be writers, making our very valuable services look rather worthless. I don't know if good writers are selling their skills and their bylines on these sites, but I'm willing to bet some are, and that's bad news. If clients become accustomed to obtaining professional work for the price of a value meal, then good writers simply won't be able to make a living. There are lots of sites like Textbroker, and more and more, companies will be turning to the writers on these sites to provide marketing and other services. Why not, for such a bargain? If they keep getting decent quality - meaning if people like me and you stay up way past our bedtimes to churn out nine articles so we can make $20 - they'll keep right on using these sites, and the writing community will suffer.

But if the quality they get isn't up to par, assuming quality writing still matters, and I really hope it does, then they'll seek help elsewhere, and be willing to pay a reasonable amount for it. I'm not saying don't write for Textbroker or one of it's cousins. I'm just saying value yourself and your skills. Are you really getting needed exposure and establishing yourself in the freelance writing world, or are you selling yourself short, writing copy that really doesn't matter? With the advent of SEO writing, blogs, social media, the rules are changing. People are just as apt to get their news from the comments section underneath a news story as from the story itself. (In fact, The New York Times recently conducted a study showing that such comments greatly influence readers' interpretations of news stories.) Bookstores, even newspapers, as we know them, are going the way of the dinosaur. I hope that writing that is valuable and valued isn't next.

© 2013 Crystal Tatum

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    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 10 months ago from Tennessee

      Hi, Crystal. I'm trying to get back into writing here at HubPages and checking with some folks I followed before to see who is around and still writing. Just wondering where your writing career is taking you now. You had some very good articles here on Hubpages. I plan to check out your poetry.

      Glad you decided against Textbroker, but I think it does provide some needed income for some people. There was a time in my life when I might have tried it. Beats working at Hardee's.

    • profile image

      Luis 2 years ago

      Wow! So much stuff to look out for. I'm doing an evaluation to see if this would be a viable option for me to pursue, but it looks quite grim out there.

      From what I read before getting here, pay's either peanuts that eventually get diced, or manipulating others to visit sites you wouldn't even visit to see if your content actually appeared on there at all.

      I agree that everyone in the writer's craft needs to help in changing the financial aspect of the game. But, as with ethics, when we operate with consideration to our professional pride, in our discipline, our stomachs will eventually growl loud enough to make us swallow that pride, which doesn't feed us either, I presume.

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Thanks for the insight. These are good things to know and to take into account.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading stuff4kids!

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      "So I'd be selling the services of a company I've never heard of, promoting a product I've never used, I wouldn't even get credit for my work and I'd get paid maybe enough to buy a pack of toilet paper?"

      Yep. That pretty much sums up why I won't go anywhere near these places. I'm lucky - I don't need money that desperately - and I have my pride, you know.

      Well said, Crystal! :D

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading PegCole. It was not the right choice for me.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Interesting to know about the other sites that host writers. I write for a couple of different sites but still enjoy HubPages the most. Other sites have their appeal but this Textbroker doesn't seem to be the place of dreams. Thanks for the scoop.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 3 years ago from USA

      I joined them and made some money, but you're right, it is shameful how little each article pays, and that doesn't even cover the time it takes to find an article you know enough about to write. I haven't done anything with them lately, although sometimes when you need a fast buck, it does come in handy.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Rebecca. I admit I didn't stick around long enough to learn the key to success there, but I have heard it is lucrative for some/

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Why I Joined Textbroker, But Decided Not to Write interesting hub an dwell informed. I have not tried this site and don't want to go any further than what i enjoy best right now HP, thanks for sharing your experience

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have worked for Textbroker. The key is climbing up the food chain with the direct orders and such. But you make some valid points. I am not going to do weird work for them like seo. Its interesting to see some of those assignments. Most of them have ridiculous requirements for the pay. This was a good article, and I enjoyed reading all the comments.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for commenting Deborah. I'm glad to hear that you can make decent money on Textbroker.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      I still write for Textbroker on occasion, but at this point I pretty much limit it to legal blogs that are done on team order basis and pay at a much higher rate than the direct order pool. If I'm diligent about it, I can make about $22/hour doing them, which isn't great but okay if I don't have other work to do. The problem is the writing is so mind-numbing that it's hard to be diligent. I find myself more often than not surfing the web when I should be writing.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Laura, I have not tried any of those other sites, so I really can't offer an opinion. Sorry. Maybe you could pose that question in a forum on here and some other writers could help.

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 4 years ago from Aurora

      There certainly are many sites. I am wondering what is your opinion of: examiner.com, DemandMedia (eHow, etc) and the more hubpages like diggit, etc.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks teaches!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I admire your ethical work standards. It is our character that is at stake when we do things against our beliefs. I am of the same mindset, content writing for the sake of money is not worth the effort (and against my ethical standards).

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I did the same thing! I signed up, got the 4 star rating, and then couldn't bring myself to write for them. I'd rather spend my time looking for higher paying gigs--or even working on my website or something like that to further my career. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Oh, good idea, Pamela. I can see how that would be better.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I have also written for Textbroker. The only good think is if you get hooked up with a good client and just write direct orders that are good topics. They pay better and you avoid the trashy other choices.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by seanorjohn. I hope I saved you some trouble. Not everyone may share my opinion, and I certainly don't want to dissuade anyone from trying it out for themselves.

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 4 years ago

      Thanks for the info on textbroker. I was just about going to register until I read your hub. Voted up

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Wow, thanks TheKatsMeow!!!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      You're welcome las81071! Other people may have a different experience, but this is mine.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Tom. I agree with you. I don't think sites like this are going away, but I can't justify wasting time on one.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks FlourishAway!!!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks so much The Writers Social!! I appreciate your comments.

    • TheKatsMeow profile image

      TheKatsMeow 4 years ago from Canada

      Very good points, textbroker does not interest me either. Thank you for sharing. I voted up and shared it :)

    • las81071 profile image

      las81071 4 years ago

      very interesting. THank you for the info . I will take your advice and skip going there all together. Thanks for the heads up on not wasting my time.

    • Tom Schumacher profile image

      Tom Schumacher 4 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Nice hub! You raise a valid argument and I applaud your courage for sharing. Unfortunately, however, as the world grows in population, and yet even more people look to the Internet to find ways to make money, it seems more likely than not that companies like Textbroker will continue to flourish. Voted up and shared!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      I agree 100%. Ain't nobody got time for Textbroker. I'm not going to devalue my skills, education, creativity, my craft for such low wages. Sorry. Thank you for writing this. Voted up and more, plus shared.

    • The Writers Socia profile image

      Thomas E. Ortiz 4 years ago from Henderson, NV

      I have to tell you that I feel the pain of most of the writers posting comments. I personally experienced a lot of sites like text broker when I first began writing. As a very inexperienced writer I tried everything to make money and nothing worked. I finally realized I needed to just create something for myself and I did. When you first start writing online it all sounds so easy, but when you start doing things that are questionable, just for money, that’s when you just have to say enough is enough. I will never write about a product I know nothing about, it's all about character. Great article!!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by phdast7!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks kashmir56!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Excellent Hub. Important information that all serious writers need to be aware of. And thanks for calling a spade a spade. :)

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      I agree Barbara Kay. It's really difficult to sell a product you've never used, and ethically questionable. Thanks for stopping by!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great article and i agree with everything in your article. I to had applied at texbrokers and to was giving a four star rating. I never wrote there because of almost the same reasons, and i am glad i passed on that.

      Vote up and more !

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      I signed-up for Textbroker too. Then when I saw what kind of writing was available, I never did anything more. Like you I just can't write about products I never used and say how wonderful they are.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Kathryn. I think thoroughly researching such sites is the best bet!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you Suzie HQ!!!!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      This is a very interesting thing to read. I have heard of sites like these, and had thought about joining one or more, for a few extra bucks. Now I feel I have learned more information about it, which will definitely help me decide.

      The comments from this article are also very interesting, since a few people spoke up about the Textbroker site, as well as about a couple of other sites that sound interesting. But I will put research into them before I sign up.

      It's actually not only the low pay that bothers me most, it's that many of the assignments require endorsement of products or sites. I don't like endorsing any one or thing that I don't really believe in. But I would imagine you have an idea of the projects before committing to them?

      Thanks again, and also thanks to those who have submitted such thoughtful comments.

      Thanks for giving us a heads up.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Crystal,

      Great article here! Loved hearing your experience with this site which I have not ventured towards (and will not be now thanks to you and these comments). I believe 100% with your views on it and I could see how professional writers as yourself would find it outrageous and agree completely!! Great job my friend, love your style of writing and how you communicate through it. Voted up, useful, interesting!! Shared!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      I hear you Stella!

    • StellaSee profile image

      StellaSee 4 years ago from California

      Hey Crystal, I also signed up for Textbroker but I've never written for anyone. I tried to once, the article was about promoting some olive oil product that I've never heard about. I wrote it and submitted it, but I received a notice saying to edit some of the content before they'll take it. At that point I gave up on it because I felt like it wasn't worth my effort when I know someone else is going to take the credit for something I wrote. I feel like for me, it's more important to get acknowledged for what I write rather than just get paid. (And that's why I'm still a broke writer ahaha)

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks shanmarie! I have heard good things about constantcontent.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 4 years ago

      I signed up for that site as well as a few others. I don't like it either! There are sites that pay better and with assignments that will even credit you as author, though many web content seekers just want ghost writers rather for content purposes rather than editorialists. You might enjoy something like constant-content.com, a site in which you write what you want, set your own prices, and sell it. The drawback there, is that the website takes a kinda big chunk of what you earn by selling a piece. However, at least you know that you get credit for writing what you sell if that is the only way you wish to allow rights to be bought.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Great input, pettacom! Thanks.

    • Desmith3 profile image

      Dwayne Smith 4 years ago from Tallapoosa, GA.

      Textbroker = Grammar Nazis

    • profile image

      pettacom 4 years ago

      I tend to agree Crystal, coming from the other direction. I've been a professional book writer for almost 30 years, (you'd be surprised if you looked me up on amazon) and I'm sure I'm not the only professional who's done back alley work at Textbroker. I dip in to stay limber between books and, less heroically, when I'm procrastinating the real work and looking for a few hours of distraction.

      I specialize in travel writing on TB, something quite different from my book writing, and really enjoy the research and the clients. I do not enjoy Textbroker's staff or their treatment of writers. One of the things I feel most strongly about is that they offer a fake writing experience to people who want to be writers. TB is NOT writing. It's not even copy writing. It's bare bones camouflage to sell something. Textbroker's editors aren't editors. They're not copy editors. They are grammarians. Their primary rating concern is whether writers conform to the AP style guide. They aren't concerned with the personality writers put into the work or the quality of research.

      I feel bad when I see young writers lose confidence after working hard because they've gotten a low rating for a typo or a misplaced comma. I don't know about the newspaper business, but in publishing no editor in their right mind would make the writer responsible for copy editing or proofreading their own work. They're different skills and it's hard to proof something you wrote an hour ago.

      In addition to Crystal's good advice, here's mine. Use Textbroker to get into the writing habit and pick up some creds, but if you want to be a writer, get away from it as soon as possible and take the next step. Pick the kind of writing you want to do -- books, magazine articles, journalism, etc., they're all very different skills -- and get into that field, even on a low level. If you want to write books, learn how to write a book proposal, do one, and find an agent. These are the people that will help you shape your skills. Or sign on with a book packager. I came to NY after college with no credits and got my first jobs by reading the NY Times Sunday want ads and getting my response in the mail before 10,000 other writers. I know that's changed now, but the Internet is evolving in quality, and it's the "real"writing gigs you want, even if you have to do a few things for free. You'll end up with published samples and start building a case for yourself -- publishers get approached by so many flashy wannabes that, believe it or not, one of their key concerns is whether or not you'll finish your book, and whether they can count on you for more books after that!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      That is a problem with a weekly newspaper! It's more history at that point!

    • Desmith3 profile image

      Dwayne Smith 4 years ago from Tallapoosa, GA.

      @Crystal Tatum

      You're welcome. I see that you are a small town newspaper reporter in Georgia. My town of Tallapoosa, GA is so small, we only get a paper once a week! Needless to say, all the news is not "news" by then, we have to rely on Facebook :)

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading and commenting Desmith3.

    • Desmith3 profile image

      Dwayne Smith 4 years ago from Tallapoosa, GA.

      In March of 2003 there were 608 million internet users, which was 9.7% of world population. In March of 2013, that number has grown to 2.749 billion, or 38.8% of world population. The entire market for web content has grown with the web. The market is not finite, so the growth of one segment does not consume another segment, there is simply much more market. My point is simply that there is plenty of work at all levels, just like there are more people eating, so there are more McDonald's and there are also more 4-star restaurants. The glass is not half empty, it is completely full; half water, half air.

    • DrivingPeace profile image

      Greg Weber 4 years ago from Montana

      Desmith3,

      The grill cooks at McDonald's do not lower the wage of a four-star chef, but they do drive a lot of two-star restaurants out of business.

      Sticking with the food analogy, everyone needs to eat, and a lot of people will eat at restaurants. Eating fulfills a daily, utilitarian need that usually does not require the best food or the services of an excellent chef. Middle of the road eating is good enough for most people most of the time.

      Content writing is a lot like eating since it's necessary for publishers to fill up their content space with SOMETHING on a daily basis. And that content generally doesn't have to be great. Like a McDonald's hamburger, it just has to be good enough for people to consume. Beyond that, it should be cheap and reliably manufactured.

      It's true that you can't buy a Tiffany's lamp at Wal-Mart, but 99% of shoppers don't want a Tiffany's lamp. They want a cheap lamp that gets the job done. That's what most publishers want too - cheap content that fills space and makes people want to buy stuff.

      So, no, the creme da la creme of writers aren't losing money because of places like Textbroker, it's just that 99% of the publishing market doesn't want the best writers anyway. It wants "good enough" writers to fill empty space quickly and cheaply, and like Wal-Mart, Textbroker and its ilk fit that bill admirably. The problem is it pulls wages down for most content writers the same way Wal-Mart pulls down prices for lamp manufacturers.

    • Desmith3 profile image

      Dwayne Smith 4 years ago from Tallapoosa, GA.

      The Wal-Mart of online writing is a very apt description of Textbroker. But in reality, does Wal-Mart drive down the prices at Tiffany's? No. Can anyone go to Wal-Mart and buy a cheap lamp? Yes. Can one buy a Tiffany lamp at Wal-Mart? No. Textbroker serves a niche, and for a new writer with no degree or experience, it is a paying way to learn. I started there, polished my skills and became confident, and now explore more lucrative options. It is there if one needs the income and experience, but to think that they are driving down the price of professional freelance writing is ridiculous. Does a grill cook at McDonalds's lower the wage of a four-star chef?

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by rose the planner!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Love it. The Wal-Marts of online writing. Glad you are paying your shills a decent rate!

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Great hub! Textbroker sounds pretty pathetic! Thanks for the warning.

    • DrivingPeace profile image

      Greg Weber 4 years ago from Montana

      Places like Textbroker, eLance, and Fiverr are quickly becoming the Wal-Marts of online writing, where the sheer backlog of talented and semi-talented writers has driven the price of a 500 word blog post down to $3. I don't blame you for not wanting to become a shill for products you've never heard of for a whole $5 per press release. Gross! I pay my shills at LEAST $6 per press release 'cuz I'm fly like that...

    • Sunny River profile image

      Sunny River 4 years ago from A Place Without A Name which resides somewhere between Fantasy and Belief, just north of Reality

      Crystal, I love having visitors! :) Everyone is welcome.

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 4 years ago from Minnesota

      The key to making any respectable money there is either getting to level 5 or joining as many teams as possible. When I've got plenty of team orders, I can easily make $25 an hour. I hit quite a dry spell with them lately and couldn't bring myself to do very many level 4 orders at 1.4 cents a word. I would rather work on my own stuff that work for that.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Sunny River, I absolutely love the description of your place of residence! Can I visit? Thanks for reading and I think there are a lot of us who have had a similar experience.

    • Sunny River profile image

      Sunny River 4 years ago from A Place Without A Name which resides somewhere between Fantasy and Belief, just north of Reality

      I agree entirely. I looked into Textbroker and I couldn't believe how little I'd be paid. I could get more than that waiting tables in a night. I was very disappointed because the only reason I looked into the site was because of another article I saw here on hubpages. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      I agree, @ the chronicler. I don't think there will be a reduction in the demand for SEO writing any time soon, but it's distressing how little it pays.

    • profile image

      thechronicler 4 years ago

      @Crystal Tatum

      "I'm just concerned that they will soon drive down prices to the point that they'll never go up and it will be near impossible to make a living as a freelance writer."

      Yes, that really worries me as well. I wonder what the future will be like for writers with the talent and the true dedication to the craft. Will the pittance-paying content sites keep their hold, or will they eventually fizzle out? I think one of the only ways to keep it possible for writers to make decent livings is for us to only accept work that pays what we are worth.

      @bravewarrior. That's hilarious about the "moderate to severe plaque psoriasis." On the few occasions I watch regular TV, I'm too busy lunging for the remote and the mute button when those moronic commercials come on, so I didn't make the SEO connection until now!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
      Author

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Ha! That's funny. I'm just glad I bailed before I started writing. I realized early enough that it wasn't for me, so really, no time wasted.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent article! I, too signed up for Textbroker (I don't remember what rating they assigned me) and have never written word one for them. After going thru the $3/500 word article SEO crap elsewhere, I'm much more selective and honor my work more than that.

      SEO writing sucks. You can't present an intelligently written article when you have a keyword density of 6-8 and the keyword phrases don't even make sense in everyday conversation! You're supposed to be talking one on one right?

      Even the TV commercials are starting to show SEO bs. The one that comes to mind is a commercial for a drug for "moderate to severe placque psorisis". They actually use that phrase thoughout the spot! Who the hell talks like that? Excuse me Jane, but I couldn't help but notice your moderate to severe placque psorisis. Gimme a break! What makes more sense is, "what's that shit on your skin? Is it contagious?"

      Ha ha. Just sayin........

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Peggy. I'll be sticking with HubPages for sure!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I have never written for any other site other than HubPages and found this enlightening. Like you, I would have a problem touting products that I had never actually used. Thanks for writing this piece. Voting it useful and interesting.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by, MarleneB

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I agree with you about the fact that many of these type of companies lure writers in, use their talent and then pay pittance for good work. Thank you for sharing your experience with Textbroker. Your warning is heeded! :)

    • Marketing Merit profile image

      C L Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @MJennifer No probs...glad to be of assistance!

    • MJennifer profile image

      Marcy J. Miller 4 years ago from Arizona

      Oh darn, @MarketingMerit, I have totally humiliated myself now! I thought I was pretty savvy on the UK spellings but never knew "aluminium" was correct -- even my auto-correct dislikes it. Thanks for pointing it out -- that will be one of today's "things learned."

    • Marketing Merit profile image

      C L Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @MJennifer

      "Aluminium" is a correctly spelt word in the English dictionary. Americans spell it as "aluminum" I believe.

      I'm guessing your client was targeting the UK market where people would search for "aluminium" windows.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Totally agree, MJennifer!

    • MJennifer profile image

      Marcy J. Miller 4 years ago from Arizona

      You've echoed my own experience, although you gave Textbrokers a much better try than I did. I, too, was initially excited, and happily got that 4-star rating on my first try. My first assignments were promptly accepted, and I was eager to earn a few dollars more. However, I found that most of the client descriptions were nearly unintelligible, or so vague I had no clue as to how to approach the work at hand. How do you possibly write a 400 word piece in which "aluminium" windows must be mentioned 12 times, and that stipulates to write EXACTLY as directed, while knowing that "aluminium" is incorrect? I would much rather produce content that is rewarding in other ways -- higher quality, more artistically fulfilling, or more monetarily productive -- than to spend the time doing such drudgery. If I'm going to prostitute myself creatively, I'd prefer to have more fun at it!

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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by Nell!

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      Lisa Kroulik 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Was it London Brokers, by any chance? They were the first one I ever tried and the article spinning sounds familiar. The pay was awful!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      So true crystal, I haven't tried Textbroker, but I did try another site very similar to this one. It made me so mad, and some of the writers spelling was terrible. I gave up after about two weeks, the worse thing was that I had to write the same thing three times, just juggle it about a bit! I don't think anybody could spin it that well, great read and thanks for the info, nell

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      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      @marketing merit I'm looking forward to reading your hub too! There's so much out there that it can be a bit overwhelming at times.

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I am working with Create Space right now. I will come back to read your article once you have finished it.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      I'd love to read your hub! I'm always interested to find out how folks are self-launching their careers, or side careers. Please do post the link!

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      C L Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @nybride710 - Yes, KDP is Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing. A lot of the Kindle Books typically sell for $0.99 so I would use it more as a promotional method. You can self publish using the likes of CreateSpace but I have only ever sold digital downloads.

      I understand entirely what you mean about needing immediate payment, but the sooner you begin building up a portfolio of products, the sooner the money starts trickling in.

      I personally don't offer any coaching because everything you need to know is available free of charge. It's more a case of knowing where to look and what to do. Please keep reading though...

      @ Crystal Tatum - Great hub by the way! There's so much hype about being able to earn millions on the internet while you sleep that it's refreshing to read an article that tells it as it really is.

      I don't think I can honestly explain my business model in a few words. What I will do, is write a hub for you and then, if it's ok with you, I will come back and post the link. There's so much I did wrong and, if I was starting over again, I would certainly do thinks differently.

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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by emilybee! I can see how it would be a better system if you already have background information on a particular topic. It seemed like quite lot of jobs I saw on there were essentially looking for (almost) free marketing, and that's a high dollar skill.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Marketing Merit. It sounds like you've found a much better business model. I'm unfamiliar with the work you describe, but doing the level of work required for Textbroker for about a 1.5 cents a words simply can't be of much benefit, at least not for very long. Especially when you often can't get the byline, and it doesn't continue to generate revenue over time. If I'm going to work for pennies, I'd at least rather do it in a way that builds my portfolio, with my name attached, and in a way that earns passive income!

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 4 years ago

      I agree. There was a time when I wrote a lot for Textbroker. It was fairly easy money. I'd wake early in the morning when lots of jobs were available, and claim ones that I had some background info on. If you can do them quick without much research then the money will amount quick. Last time I checked though (about a year or so) there wasn't many assignments I knew anything about.

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Absolutely. If anyone offers coaching services that could help me take my online writing career in a new direction, please email through Hub Pages.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Wow - well at least it's good to hear there is a way to make a living there, but it sounds like it's not serving your highest good anymore.

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Is KDP Kindle? I am in the process of self-publishing my first book and it will be in both hardcopy and Kindle. I fell into Textbroker because I needed immediate income and building up passive income was taking too long.

    • Marketing Merit profile image

      C L Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I am rather dismayed to discover that competent and talented writers are prepared to work for pennies. It is beyond my comprehension.

      That time would be better invested writing short info products and selling them on your own website and/or Amazon KDP et al. This would be a far more lucrative business model that would repeatedly generate passive income for the same piece of work.

      I personally prefer selling on my own websites as I find you can command a far higher price than on Amazon KDP. I sell the same products over and over for typically between $17 and $47. A much better return on my 'investment' than the likes of Texbroker would ever achieve!

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I worked 6-8 hours a day. I wouldn't touch an open order anymore at level 4 for 1.4 cents a word. The team orders pay higher. Even so, I am so burnt out. I'm living off my savings while I'm finishing up my book.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Totally agree, anndango!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      I agree with you B. Leekley. I take too much time to churn out enough content to generate any substantial earnings. I think I'd feel like I was working in a factory with Textbroker. While I'm still only making pennies per day on HubPages, somehow I don't have the same feeling when I write here. I already have a full-time job where I have to churn out copy. I love HubPages for the freedom it affords me to write when I want, about what I want. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Wow, nybride710, it's very impressive that you made that much money working for Textbroker! I guess I don't know enough about what is available. Most of what I saw paid just a few dollars per article. If that's the case, you must have been working around the clock. It sounds grueling. If it's causing you to hate writing, I'm glad you're pursuing other ventures. Best wishes on your book!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, theluckywriter. I have heard of Constant Content. I think I may have visited there a while back. I'll check out your hub and maybe give it another look. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading carter06!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image
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      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      ChristinS, I am glad to hear you've had no trouble finding clients who are willing to pay a decent wage for good quality work. I'd love to hear about (or read about) your journey to becoming a professional freelance writer:)

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      anndango 4 years ago

      B. Leekley - at least you learned about acidy fish, or fishy acid! But, seriously, good writing takes time and effort. Not that I'm comparing myself in any way to a doctor and what they do, but would a doctor work for $15, or an electrician or teacher? When you read a piece of good writing, it reads effortlessly. The information, thoughts and ideas flow, there are good turns of phrases, it engages the reader. And because it reads effortlessly, people mistakenly think it was easy to write with no effort at all. Sites like Textbroker are sweat shops for writers.

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      Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Thanks for telling why you won't write for Textbrokers. I won't bother writing on that site either. I, too, could not promote a site or product with which I am not familiar. But that aside, I just am not able to write fast enough to make money doing such writing. I tried it a couple of times a year or two ago at another site. Each time it took me two days or more full-time to research, draft, and revise a short piece, for which I got paid $15. I did learn all about how acidity affects fish populations in lakes.