Getting Paid to Write for Textbroker: A Review on Why it Isn't for Me
Who wouldn't want to get paid to write?
Right this very moment, you are reading an article whose motives are mostly financial. Yes, I will admit that a portion (very large) of the reason my writing has taken up residence at HubPages is so that I can eventually experience the joy of many cash infusions into my bank account. You might notice, however, that I'm referring to all of this happening at a future date: Such is the risk of working for residual income.
If only there was a way to get paid upfront for my words. Sure, I could put myself out there and advertise my rather unproven talent. Or, as I've discovered recently, I could apply to a content mill and be the one who chooses the offers that I will craft and manipulate. Quite a few brokerages of copy control the market for online content outsourcing today, but I chose Textbroker because of its reputation for recruiting and cultivating new writers.
Pursuing Textbroker with words
Textbroker, in one sentence, is this: An online marketplace where clients post article requirements that are completed by a pool of registered authors. Not caring an iota about paying someone to churn out content, instead my eyes locked on to the following statement at Textbroker's website:
Is writing your hobby, passion or profession? No matter if you're just starting out or are an experienced professional, at Textbroker, you earn cash for each word you write. We take care of everything else for you.
Yes, yes, YES! Not only does Textbroker accept complete unknowns of dubious skill, but it removes the promotional theatrics from the equation and pays by the word to boot. Without needing further prompting, I found the author application form and submitted a compelling, absolutely award-worthy sample piece on the technical description of an Amazon Kindle. Actually, I may have embellished a bit of that last sentence, but no matter -- Textbroker accepted me 24 hours later as a level 3 writer!
My first date with Textbroker
As it turns out, being labeled as a level 3 writer doesn't mean much beyond how many writing opportunities are available for me to choose. In fact, a quick perusal of the internet (which never lies) informs me that nearly every writer starts as level 3. Thankfully, my standards aren't high and I happily jumped into the order pool to find my first job.
I should mention that Textbroker's interface is, in a word, simple. Once you find the menu option for showing the job orders, you can immediately begin browsing the opportunities that are displayed in a nifty chart by category and star rating. Since I started at level 3, my options were limited to the 2 and 3 star articles. Feeling a bit nervous on my first time out, I chose a 2 star job asking for a 300-350 word opinion piece on an automotive news article. After a grueling 20 minutes of work, I submitted my text through the interface and awaited my verdict.
For the most part, the work order process works like this:
- You find a job in the pool, which you have 10 minutes to accept or it returns to the pool
- Each star rating has its own paid rate per word
- Each job has a minimum word requirement and possibly other requirements set by the client
- Once you accept the job, you must complete the assignment by the deadline or it returns to the pool
- After you submit the article, the client has 3 days to either accept it or return it to you to rewrite
- Once accepted by the client, you are paid by Textbroker
- Eventually, an editor from Textbroker will assign a rating to your article and may leave a comment on what you could do to improve your writing
Payment Per Word
Payment Per 500 Words
2 stars: legible
3 stars: good quality
4 stars: excellent quality
5 stars: professional quality
Losing interest in Textbroker
With bated breath, I counted the minutes leading up to whether or not my client would accept my work. Actually, I gave up counting after an hour or so. Nearly two days later, I logged in to learn that I had earned my first $2.05. For the mathematically impaired, that means I wrote 293 words at a rate of $0.007 per word. Chump change, for sure, but encouraging all the same. Looking for more thrills, I returned to Textbroker over and over again for more experiences. I even improved my standing to level 4!
In time, unfortunately, my interest in Textbroker began to wane. I can pinpoint the problem to exactly one issue: Subject matter. Freelancing isn't about what I want, and I accept that in exchange for the privilege of being compensated upfront in cash. The jobs available at Textbroker, however, tend to err considerably towards the mundane.
You would think, considering how many categories there are to choose from, that I would be able to find something that can get my creative juices flowing. On the contrary, of the hundreds of jobs available in the pool at most hours of the day, I waste more time looking for something to write about than actually writing.
For example, should I write a $4.50 call-to-action promotional piece for "C Frame Hydraulic Press" that specifically states "no fluff" in its 500 required words? Or how about a "well researched article" on the intriguingly-titled "Mathematical Materials Used As Therapeutic Tools" for a whopping $6.00? True, I'm making a point by selecting particularly outrageous job requests, but I assure you that many of the postings are of this variety.
Sorry Textbroker, we're going to have to part ways
As of this writing, I've given up writing for Textbroker. Not for any fault of its own, though. Unlike many of the "get paid online" scams that circulate the web, Textbroker is exactly how it represents itself. The interface is excellent, it is rare to find a shortage of available jobs, and the payouts are sent twice a month (with a minimum payout requirement of only $10.00). To top everything off, a motivated writer could potentially make over $1000 per month if they can figure out a method for churning out material.
I think that if my income situation was dire, my opinion would be different. While I am always interested in finding ways to bring in more cash, I'm not exactly one step away from financial ruin. If I wasn't employed full-time and was tied to my home due to kids or some sort of disability, I think Textbroker would make an excellent income replacement.
If you write well enough to qualify for level 4 work (which only took me two weeks to reach), you should be able to knock out 10-15 500 word articles in an eight hour workday and make around $100. Pass the rather difficult proofreading test and you might qualify for level 5 work, which pays 5 cents per word! Best of all, impress enough of your clients and you could begin receiving "direct order" work that allows you to control the pay rate. This is honest-to-goodness legitimate full-time work -- if you can find the willpower to keep up with it.