Beginner Freelance Writer's Guide to Essays.ph
Essays.ph is a website where Filipino freelance writers can find work. My account is still active since I signed up over five years ago. You might be interested in joining the website or you want to jumpstart your freelance writing career. I'll discuss here some tips and answer some questions that you might have.
What is Essays.ph?
Essays.ph is a website where Filipino freelance writers can find writing assignments. It is essentially a content mill that churns out a lot of articles (mostly for SEO purposes), e-books and other texts that clients might require. And because it is a content mill, the emphasis is on the quantity of outputs and not necessarily on the quality. It follows the model of hiring a lot of freelancers to generate a lot of content at minimal costs. So, the pay is not very good, but it also means that anyone with acceptable writing skills can get an assignment. As such, it is popular among students and stay-at-home parents. Diligent writers who have Essays.ph as their primary source of income is rare. It's not for everyone, but it's also not risky to join just to try it out.
So, it's legit?
Yes, it is! There is a number of forum threads and articles on the web that also answer this question. Essays.ph is not a scam website. It is run by real people, and they have a real office in Makati, and you can even get a certificate of employment from them like a real employee. They also seem to have a permanent listing on Jobstreet, so you know that it's a legitimate business.
They have active forums on the website where you can interact with other real freelance writers, albeit virtually. I think that many members sign in just to read and contribute to the forums without taking any assignments because they simply enjoy being part of the community. The company also sometimes has events where you can meet the core team and other writers in person.
Also, they have never missed a payment. Once they have approved an assignment, the amount is added to your balance on the website. When you request to have your funds withdrawn, they immediately transfer it to your nominated payment processor (bank deposit or money transfer). It could take a minimum of 1 day before you see the amount reflected in your account. The following are their primary payment methods, so you must have accounts in the following:
- BPI bank deposit
- Unionbank deposit
- G-cash and Smart Padala
- LBC remittance
If you don't have accounts in any of those, they also have a longer list of banks that process their payments. I've only used BPI, and the transfers are quick. The team is on a rotating shift, so there is always someone handling different aspects of the business including the payments. The whole amount indicated as the pay for the assignment is what gets credited to you, except if you incur fees for LBC remittances or withdrawing below the 1000-peso limit.
Can you make real money on Essays.ph? Are the assignments hard?
It depends. I've accepted articles and e-books that are enjoyable to write, especially about topics that are interesting to me.
Just as an example, this could be the type of assignments up for grabs on the website at a given time:
- Cloud computing (set of 2 articles of 500 words each for ₱180)
- Vintage coin collecting (1 article of 1000 words for ₱120)
- Children's fairytales (set 4 stories of 500 words each for ₱250)
(These are not actual assignments on the website right now. I came up with similar sample assignments here just to illustrate the variety and pricing available for beginner members. Also, I don't want to give away possibly confidential client information by posting real assignments here.)
I did notice that as I 'levelled up' the variety and pay got better. It is definitely more enjoyable to write a young adult gothic horror novel than to write 6 articles on foreign stock market investments.
Nonetheless, the rates are definitely depressing, and more so for rookies. Getting paid ₱120 for writing a well-researched 1000-word article is abysmal. On another freelance writing website, I earn at least ₱1,000 for a simple 300-word blog article. I could get ₱10,000 for a more complex 2000-word essay and get paid for revisions. So, know what you're worth and keep that in mind when writing for any content mill. I may not be the most amazing writer ever, but I know that writing a good article for 4 hours should get me more than ₱120.
Yet, I'm still a member of Essays.ph because 1) I'm ranked higher and I could get assignments that have a larger payout (not necessarily higher word to peso ratio, but a bigger total per assignment), and 2) it's the least stressful freelancing website I've tried.
Admittedly, I have turned in sub-par outputs that I haven't proofread with facts from unverified sources. That's definitely something I cannot do with other clients, but given the pay and the 24-deadlines, there really is not much motivation to give my best.
Thankfully, Essays.ph editors are quite lenient. They have rejected some articles I submitted, but those are the ones that I misinterpreted the instructions on. The instructions for some assignments can be quite confusing, especially for newbies. The team is also quite nice, and so long as you're also nice, they can allow deadline extensions or excuses to slide.
Take note that revisions are not paid. A client could ask for a revision or a complete rewrite of an assignment that was approved by the editors and already paid. I find this an odd policy, but some content mills do pay for revisions while others pay only after the client's approval. So, Essays.ph falls in the middle.
Given the array of assignments, Essays.ph is also good training ground for budding writers. You can start building your portfolio here and move on to other better paying writing jobs. It also allows you to get used to how content mills work.
I'm all right with all this. How do I get started?
Just register on the site and follow the application process to be accepted as a writer. They'll ask for an e-mail address and a writing sample. Years back when I first joined, it took a while for me to get my acceptance e-mail. But, they've already revamped the website and maybe they process applications faster now. Good luck!
Let me know in the comments if you have any burning questions (about Essays.ph or otherwise) that you want me to answer!