Worst Bosses Gallery

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Writer Watch: Content Sites Rundown..the Best, Worst and Confusing


Hellgirl is only here to help!
I know there are many who may not remember me from the original Writer Watch page that started on the eHow network.  I moved it to the original Work in Hell site where I had a monthly account of freelance clients from hell in full detail.

While this year has had more returning clients, I still used content sites to fill in the slow periods.  And I also wanted that eHow experience where I could rely on a monthly residual but this process has been a little slow.

In other words, following the advice of having several streams of income is not always easy.  Especially when some companies demand many words (VERY well thought out ones, at that) for little pay.

Now before you assume I'm some slob who wants something for nothing, here are my credentials -

  • Business Admin/Marketing major at Santa Monica College who's set to transfer to a 4-yr institution in the Fall
  • Freelance Writer since 2006 (and yes, I was published by a legitimate magazine the same year w/byline)
  • Small business owner
  • Owner of three blogs to date, one received ongoing sponsorship opportunities
  • Worked in accounting/admin support for more than 20 years before striking out on my own
Okay, here are some to consider.  All of these are personal accounts based on actual communication and other transactions.  If you are the owner or disagree, I will happily forward a transcript (yes, I keep 90% of my email) of what transpired.  This is also the reason I am not supplying links to these sites.

GOOD

Article Document - there are two ways to make money.  One is to submit articles that are paid by the view (which they suggest using this as a tool to promote your own brand).  Once you have built up enough credentials, you can take upfront pay article, which are a little bit better than places like Content Authority and TextBroker.

InteractMedia/Zerys - I've been with them a few years and they have always been fair.  For the most part, my pay is timely except for a client or two that has a lot of jobs posted (sometimes, this is in the hundreds) who cannot proof every submission in a timely fashion.  So the writer has to wait.  And wait some more until they create a ticket which eventually expedites the approval/pay process.

eCopywriters - For some time, these people paid nicely but word is that the Google Algorithm change of 2011 had them scrambling for clients.  The down side is that established writers like me had to re-test and in some cases, be placed at the bottom of the call list.  The up side is that they came to their senses in 2012 and I got my old ranking back.  For some time, things have been slow but I'm not holding my breath.

BAD

Like I stated, I have documents to back up my claims.  While there are some companies that work better for some than others, these are actual events that have taken place in 2012.

iWriter - these people should be outlawed.  For one, they pay the lowest rates, period.  And with a $25 payout, it can take forever.  Not recommended for the full-time freelancer.  Also, clients can make a writer's life very difficult.  The reason being is that they can give them most vague instructions and if you are not a mind reader, your work can be rejected with no chance of revising it.  I even had a client post my rejected work for all to see.

Freelance-Writers.net - They request a 500-word sample, which I feel is too much.  While they have no problem rejecting people *waves hand*, it is the way they go about it that's strange.  In their correspondence, I got a long list of reasons are given for why I MAY not be the right fit for their company, followed by them stating that I am forever deactivated from the system.  IMO, this is a bit overboard and I wouldn't be surprised if they put a little spit shine on the submissions and sold them repeatedly.

Article Marketing - They ALSO want a long sample.  Antony is worse because you are restricted to a list of titles that require research.  Even after choosing the one that would require the least amount work, Antony said my writing was good but other data and research were not up to par.  Though he promises to not use your rejected content, I'm pretty sure that he has sold my "sample" at least once by now.

Writer Access - I was with them for a while until they too, were affected by the Google Algorithm.  Their many tests and other assessments pretty much took me out of the equation and I did have a slight problem getting the $7 USD balance they owed me after giving me the final heave-ho.

Ozio Media - They are not bad but they are strange.  I would rather receive a rejection or invite to re-apply than the back-and-forth that I went through.  After applying, they ask for a submission based on marketing psychology (don't remember the exact term they used) but I sent a landing page that a client did not pay for.  They comment that it is not what they were looking for and if I have something else.  My reply was that this was the closest match.  They repeat the ? several times and after a while, I stopped responding until they contacted me with an offer.  In the offer, another person gave my work harsh criticism but made an offer of $3/100 words.  Not the worst but here's where it gets tricky.

After filling out all the necessary docs, they assign me a project manager.  Now, according to all advertisements, I'm to expect weekly work.  This was not the case.  They contacted me about once every other week and the turnaround time was less than 24 hours.  By the time they got the ball rolling, my other clients were more steady.  So in my replies, I would tell them that I could not do this.  They would always want to know the exact reason.  Once they caught me at a better time but I would need an extra 12 hours.  However, by the time they confirmed this, not only had the original due date passed but the extension as well.  This pattern repeated itself often and eventually I stopped responding.  So I wouldn't say bad but unrealistic since all of these jobs had research, style guide and paid less than $12.

THEY'RE OK....BUT

Pure Content - I worked with them several years ago when I was getting my feet wet.  They paid me in a timely manner and contacted me a few times but had to re-apply in 2011.  About midway through 2012, I got a lot of work but there was a problem with my first invoice.  They had a real estate client (which I have no knowledge of) who had a large job.  Unlike my business articles, all of these had been rejected.  Chris even took the time to reject one right before I was scheduled to be paid for it.  My question for him (which remains unanswered to this day) is why were these articles constantly re-assigned to me if it was evident that my work was not up to par.  So around the same time, they assign a large project with a little more freedom and less structure.  I complete it but do not get paid until a month after I was due.  Prior payments were timely but I actually contacted the BBB in New York and made a final plea to the payroll person before this took place.

CloudCrowd/Helium/Content Authority - too much time, not enough money

Experts 1-2-3 - While they can be used to help build a brand, their upfront pay opportunities are miscellaneous topics.  Though this makes for unique content, this is not recommended for the full-timer.

Prodigal Inc. - When going through old emails, I couldn't even find a working link for them.  This was a CL contact that had me a little blinded.  The address was in Palos Verdes, CA so I figured there was some money to go around.  Well, there are some parts of PV that are not ritzy and the website left a lot to be desired.  Selva is nice but this site is not worth anyone's time or energy.

MYAMS/London Brokers - The thing I like about them is that they pay twice a week.  Also, once you get the hang (and mood) of doing re-writes, you can make some fast change.  My beef with them is that their "system" has glitches.  For instance, you can write a article with one set of keywords but in their correspondence, they will tell you to correct an article with a different set of keywords.  The same goes for directives.  There are a lot of SEO articles that may or may not tell you to use the city name.  Really confusing so you have to watch them.  And maybe use them as a tertiary source of income.

THE JURY IS STILL OUT

Okay, now I'm getting tired.  There are some like Green Light where I have been approved but they often don't have work.  I submitted to Content Blvd (another L.A. County company in the high-rent district) but they did not reject or pay and that was a month ago.  MyTypist.net has little work.  I've noticed a little spike in my Adsense account since joining Experts Column.  However, login problems and the fact that some of the articles are badly written are good reasons to not want a long-term relationship.

So you probably saw a typo or grammatical error as I still tend to make mistakes, even after proofing the final submission.  However, I consider myself a decent writer and it has paid Los Angeles rent for the past few yrs. now.

Time to rest these fingers!

7 comments:

  1. I need a cup of tea before it starts coming back to me ...! OMG 2012 IS GONE pheeeeeeeeeeeew!

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  2. Thanks for sharing...I also have a list of writing (etc.) sites that I've either written for (and been paid) or have yet to try out. Check it out at: http://w1z11-earnmoneyonline.blogspot.com/

    Keep writing!

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  3. I don't know what road I would have taken with freelance writing if it hadn't been for writers like you that have gone through so much to find this information. A big thank you from me.

    I'm also glad that someone else also gets a couple of typos even when proofreading. I've been through an article twice and still never clocked on that I had written 'their' instead of 'there' and so on! Very annoying!

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  4. Thanks Helen! And let people know that us writers should not be taken for granted. I had to end an assignment that had a 7-page style sheet and it paid pennies. Stay tuned for more!

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  5. Have you tried writing for yahoo contributor/voices? If so, what did you think of it and where would you place it on your above list?

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    Replies
    1. Hey AG, I actually go back to the early days of Associated Content/Yahoo Contributor Network. They will always hold a special place in my heart because they published me before I got into blogging.

      I didn't mention them because I felt the majority of viewers out there know.

      My opinion today...a very good source to buy a monthly cup of coffee *LOL* Seriously, they are so saturated now that I don't consider them as much but to be honest, I need to step up my social marketing game when it come to byline articles.

      Before my last laptop called it quits, I used the AddThis toolbar and it sent my articles to social sites and directories with a simple click and maybe a keyword-dense summary.

      My plate is pretty full with classes and private clients so I need to take a day to market my articles better so that I can buy several cups of coffee from residuals.

      Thanks and have a good one!

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    2. Thanks for following up. Do you still have a profile on there? If so, can you share the link? I'm still new to writing and also got my start with YCN last year. As far as websites that offer residual payments would you say they're the best option?

      I'm currently averaging around $14/month in residuals and haven't submitted an article since October last year. Here's a link to my profile:
      http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/1570872/abraham_guerrero.html

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