I have been writing for Textbroker since 8/21/11, and decided to write a Textbroker review based on my own personal experience writing for Textbroker. Prior to applying at Textbroker, I had very little experience with freelance writing sites. Years ago, I edited an article for someone on Elance, and that about summed up my online writing experience. A friend of mine was making a living freelance writing so I asked him where to start. His reply was Textbroker and The Content Authority, so I applied to both on 8/20/11.
For those of you in a hurry, here is the bottom line: Textbroker is one of the best freelance writing sites for both beginners looking to get established and for experts looking to pad their income. Keep reading for a detailed Textbroker review of signing up, writing, ratings and payments.
Textbroker Review: Registration
Since many people have questions about applying, I will begin my Textbroker review there. The registration process is very straightforward and easy to fill out. The only section to pay particular attention to is “Expertise”. Not only should you check the subjects you are very knowledgeable about, but also the topics you have an interest in writing about. These are used to help clients find you when they search for writers. Most of your work will be through the Open Order system, but filling this out can help increase your visibility. Don’t take too much time on it though – you can go back and change your areas of expertise later.
Textbroker Review: The Writing Sample
Since I have already completed registration, I can’t see the section where you complete your writing sample, but this is the most critical part of your application. Your Textbroker writing sample needs to be unique, and it needs to be your best work. Your entire career at TB hinges on how well you pull this off. No pressure, huh? I highly recommend writing it, letting it sit overnight, then re-reading it to be sure it contains no errors. If you don’t write in Microsoft Word, paste it in there anyway and run a grammar check. Textbroker assigns ratings based on your skill with spelling and grammar, so if you make errors you will be started out at a lower paying tier. It may help to read their rating FAQ to see what they expect for each writing level.
If you are concerned about your writing ability or just want to make sure you have the best chance at a high rating, brush up on AP writing style guidelines, because that is the style Textbroker uses. Soon after I began writing for Textbroker, I bought The Associated Press Stylebook on Amazon and have kept it within arm’s reach while writing ever since.
Textbroker Review: Writing for Textbroker
I was pleasantly surprised when my application was reviewed and approved with one day – a Sunday no less. I was started at a level 3, which is where most writers begin their Textbroker careers. According to the FAQ, you must write five articles for them and then wait for a manual review before continuing. The hardest part about this is the lack of articles available for level 2 and 3 writers. I wrote one article per day on 8/21, 8/22, and 8/23. Much to my astonishment, those three articles were rated and I was bumped up to level 4. I didn’t have to wait for the additional two to be rated, either. Kudos to Textbroker for being so speedy!
After you complete your five articles, be sure to send Textbroker support a nicely worded email telling them you are waiting for review. This appears to be a very effective way of getting reviewed quickly so you can get to work.
Since I began writing for Textbroker, I have completed 188 assignments ranging from 100 words to 7,000. I have been completely happy with the service, the ease of use and the respect TB has for their writers. Unlike what I would expect, TB frequently sides with writers when there is a disagreement between a writer and a client. Textbroker staff makes sure clients follow the rules and seems to really care about supporting their writers.
Textbroker Review: Ratings
After my initial three ratings, my articles did not get reviewed again until 10/19. I was completely happy with that since I was already level 4 and had failed the proofreading test (how’s that to make a writer feel dumb?) so the only direction I could go was down. When the emails about ratings started coming in, boy was I on pins and needles! As of today, all but 69 have been rated or marked with “N” (TB assigns “N” to articles too small to rate, such as 100-word blurbs).
One thing I dislike about the Textbroker rating system, and probably the only negative aspect of my Textbroker review, is that only the most recent five ratings count toward your writing level. This means you can be demoted by having a single bad day. While I get that this is supposed to be a way to evaluate your current writing skills, I really think all ratings should be taken into consideration. What this means for you, the prospective Textbroker writer, is that every single article should be given your best effort. It should, anyway, but the Textbroker rating system helps give you a little extra incentive to be good.
Textbroker Review: Pay
At lower levels, the pay is dismal, but not much different from other freelance writing sites. At level 4 it begins to be worth it to write for Textbroker, and level 5 is the icing on the cake we all hunger for. Textbroker payment is as follows:
- Level 2: .7 cents per word, or $3.50 for 500 words
- Level 3: 1 cent per word, or $5 for 500 words
- Level 4: 1.4 cents per word, or $7 for 500 words
- Level 5: 5 cents per word, or $25 for 500 words
How quickly you can write and research will have a profound impact on your ability to make good money with Textbroker – or any freelance writing site for that matter – especially at the lower levels. If I am in the groove, I can write a 250-word blog post in about seven minutes, which comes out to $30/hour at level 4. If you can consistently write that quickly, a level 2 can still make $15/hour, which is a good wage for most parts of the country. Here where I live, $15/hour is a very liveable wage.
Textbroker Review: Payment
When I first began writing for Textbroker, they were paying two times per month. In September, they switched to weekly payments. I sure love that Friday paycheck! In my personal experience, as with other Textbroker reviews I have seen online, one thing you can always count on with Textbroker is timely payment. Payments are made by PayPal and are usually in the morning. The tricky thing to remember about TB is that you must manually request payment each week. This must be done by midnight Thursday to count for the payout on Friday. If you don’t request it on time, you will not be paid until the next week.
Textbroker Review: General Working Conditions
I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of working for Textbroker. Open orders are easy to acquire, and at level 4 there is usually plenty of work to be had. I enjoy the blacklist feature to hide clients who have a mile-long list of directions or come across too negative in their instructions. Direct orders and team orders add a little variety and make finding work easier if you put the effort into getting clients in those areas. Even though I am getting busy enough to not need to look for work, I consider Textbroker to be one of my daily required stops on the ‘net. I want to continue doing open orders and attracting more direct order clients so I have a good Plan B if I lose work in other areas.
There is a reason Textbroker is one of the successful freelance writing sites. They work hard to keep both clients and writers happy, and they have a system that just plain works. I am so fortunately to be a part of TB and will keep it as an egg in my basket for a long time to come.