NOTICE: Due to decrease of Internet quality, I am forced to post with zero pictures. Within 7 days I am fixing this problem and will again be posting more regular, fun picture posts!
There are many writers, especially those who are just starting out, who are exercising and increasing their ability to write (and earning something by it), by using pay-to-write websites. On these websites, you earn money for your writing, either per keyword clicked, via links that you establish within the body of your article, or per article.
There are many, many pay-to-write websites. They have become a wide-range phenomenon in the last few years. eLance led way to more creative, fun website such as Squidoo, ODesk, and others. There are so many these days, it is hard to know which one is best. Plus, when you do a search for the best ones, there is a such a variety of answers, that is really hard to take that first step and actually join a pay-to-write website.
I do not think that writing for these websites is shameful. For nonfiction writers, it gives a variety of topics to interest writers with various specialities, and for fiction writers, it can be a way to earn money before your name is out there in the world. There is nothing wrong with earning a little extra! For those who are currently stuck with unlikeable day jobs, having a few minutes a day to write and earn something from your personal passion and joy can feel like a godsend.
It was for these reasons, and more, that I set out to find which pay-to-write websites fit me. I say which fit me because, the real answer to finding which pay-to-write website is “best” is to find the one that suits you. There really is no “best”, no one that pays more, or acts more fair, or gets your name out there more. Each website varies in its policies, pay, and in how it credits you with cash – per link, per keyword, per article, etc.
At first I started on the fun website Squidoo. At first it was great! I really enjoyed the colors, the fun monster icons representing activities, and the quest challenges to rack up more points. Linking to articles was easy and fun, and the website was very easy to use.
However, after time, I felt a little betrayed by Squidoo. Each article had to fit into a little box of whatever Squidoo decided was a “finished article”, and one part of the deal was that you always had to go back and update your old articles. For someone who wanted to rack up more articles, this becomes a nuisance. Additionally, the Squidoo rules for what made an article an article (or “lens” as they call it) got weirder and narrower. When a couple articles that I had worked very hard on got pulled off for “not being articles” and I could not get them back on, I quit.
Whatever you do, don’t join Examiner! I joined them. For Examiner, you have to pick your local area and are only allowed to write in 1 category. That was fine, but when I decided to leave the website, they wouldn’t let me. There is no way to cancel your account, or take your articles off Examiner. Just Google it. You’ll see.
The two pay-to-write websites that I’ve found to work for me are WriterAccess and TextBroker. TextBroker is a simple website; you answer a few questions, give some writing samples, and they give you a skill/quality rating between 1-5. From then on, you can write articles from whatever level you are at. TextBroker provides you with a list of current orders that clients need picked up, and you have 10 minutes to click on an order and decide to write it, before it goes back into the pool. There is also the option of joining a group, i.e. International Travel, and writing articles as part of a team of writers on your given topic.
The look of TextBroker leaves something to be desired. Fonts can be difficult to read and the basic homepage isn’t all that attractive, but it does have a businesslike feel to it. Articles can range from $1.00 – $10.00; if you’re part of a group, or are at a higher level, you can earn $20.00 and more per article. (Did I say this was a full-scale business? No. It’s a good way to earn some money on the side. It doesn’t go a long way, but it’s nice to have). Furthermore, articles are short, ranging from 100 – 500 words. Sometimes the clients’ descriptions for what they desire in an article is too vague; fortunately, TextBroker gives you the option to rate the instructions. Unfortunately, vague descriptions mean some jobs aren’t worth taking, so there’s less job rate for you.
WriterAccess is a more difficult website to join, but the quality is higher. First of all, each writer is made to undergo a long test answering several questions on grammar, genre, literature, and other literary topics. You are only allowed to join once you pass the test. So, you know that the quality of clients and your fellow writers on the site is going to be higher than most. Again, you are given a quality rating between 1-5. Most of the orders are “content orders”, quick 200-500 word jobs that can range from $3.50 – $10.00, sometimes more. There are also solo orders, and Casting Call jobs, which pay higher, starting at $10.00. If you get on a client’s Love List, you have more potential to earn more and be queried individually for articles by clients, rather than having to seek clients/jobs out.
Writer’s Access has a great format and look to it. It’s a bit too green for me sometimes, but the dashboard is simple, easy, and flowing. Client instructions are easy to read and the rules are spelled out plainly. The way the clients describe what they want is always easy to understand, and you can ask for help or an extension, if needed.
Overall, I’d give TextBroker a 7/10, and WriterAcess a 9/10.
To lay it down in short, here’s a summary:
TextBroker 100-500k $1.50 – $10.00 pay, depending on skill # and order type
WriterAccess 200 – 1000k $3.50 – $10.00+ pay, depending on skill # and order type
That’s textbroker dot com and writer access dot com if you ever want to check them out. If you have any questions to ask me about pay-to-write websites, ask away!
Over and out,