Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Guide to Making a Living Writing for Textbroker: Strategies to Make $1,000 or More

If you are a freelance writer, you have probably heard of Textbroker. Textbroker is a website offering freelance writers the opportunity to select writing jobs from a variety of clients, on a variety of topics, for which they are paid per word at an established rate. It is an attractive system for those who need regular writing income. There are numerous articles on Associated Content discussing what Textbroker is and how it works. I’ll refer you to one of the best on the topic here so you can read up on the site if you need more information. This article will focus on something other than just the basics of the site.

I have been writing for Textbroker since December, and to date it has made me the most money of any of the sites I write for. In fact, in the last two weeks, I’ve managed to make over $1,000. If I decide to keep writing at my present rate, making a full-time living from Textbroker alone is definitely possible for me. And it can be possible for you, too, if you want it to be.

Textbroker has a rating system by which it ranks the quality of its authors’ work. If you are at a level 2, you earn 0.7 per word. If you are at level 3, you earn 1.0 cents per word, and if you are at level 4, you earn 1.4 cents per word. I am writing this article from the perspective of someone who has attained level 4 status and is consistently given excellent ratings on her work. If your Textbroker rating is level 3 or lower I’m not sure it’s possible to make a living with them. If you don’t have that much in the way of living expenses, it might be, but I can’t say for sure. For the purposes of this article, I am going to assume you too have reached level 4 and are interested in learning how to make a living writing for Textbroker. My tips are below.

Be prepared to work hard. This might seem like obvious advice, but I repeat it here because it’s true. Most articles at level 4 pay between $4 and $9, depending on the word count needed. If you want to make a living on Textbroker, you will have to turn these articles around fast so that you can write several per day. This means, obviously, that you can’t be leisurely about your assignments.

Don’t just stick with what you know. This advice may sound contrary to what you’ve heard for years about how to be successful at writing. However, if you just stick with what you know you’ll probably end up writing very little for Textbroker. Granted, there are some interesting categories on the site that would appeal to many people, such as arts and crafts, horoscopes, humor, movies and music. These categories have orders occasionally, but they are few and far between, and they usually get scooped up very quickly. By far the categories with the most orders tend to be those dealing with business, technology, finances, marketing, and the automotive industry. I’ve seen many people become frustrated with this site because they feel as though they don’t know enough about any of the order topics to write about them. This is not a good attitude to take. I’m not an expert on any of these topics, either; in fact, probably the only category with which I can write with any semblance of authority is the health category, and that’s only because I am very interested in health and alternative medicine and do a lot of research in this field for my own personal knowledge, not because I have any medical training. There is no way I would have made over $1,000 in the past two weeks on Textbroker if I had just written about what I knew.

Select orders dealing with topics for which you wouldn’t mind doing research. Dovetailing from my previous point, you don’t have to just write about things you already know on Textbroker. However, if research is required, most of your orders should be dealing with topics for which you wouldn’t mind doing this research. One of the categories I frequently check is health, because I know it’s likely I’ll find something I will enjoy doing research on. Another category I write orders for frequently is law, because I find the subject matter interesting, even if I’m not an expert on it. However, I remember the first article I selected from the automotive category, in which I had to research diesel cars. That article took me forever to write, because I don’t find cars all that exciting, and the research was very tedious. Now I am more careful about what I select, knowing this.

Balance your research time with your writing. It is important that you not spend hours researching an article. This is the mistake I made when I first started. Because I wasn’t sure what was expected of me and I wanted the client to be satisfied, I was very meticulous in my research and it took me about four hours to write a 500 word article! If you’re trying to make a living with this site, obviously that amount of time spent is unacceptable. I have a rule regarding time spent researching. If research for an article is taking me longer than half an hour, I usually send the order back, unless I’m being paid more than $10 for it. For me it isn’t worth investing more than half an hour of research time into an article for which I may only be paid $4 or $5. Bear in mind that you may be surprised at the orders that take you the most time. If an order is asking you to summarize Amazon reviews for a series of related products, it is likely to take you a while, because you will have to go to each individual product’s page and read a number of reviews. Although such research may be “easy”, because you know exactly where to go to find your information, it might not be the best use of your time.

Don’t select orders from overly persnickety clients. I have seen a plethora of orders with long, detailed lists of instructions for authors to abide by under threat of rejection of their work. Notwithstanding the fact that I don’t think such an adversarial tone is necessary when placing orders with the Textbroker system, it’s generally a turn-off for me, because invariably these articles will only net the author $3 or $4. Granted, because Textbroker takes thirty percent right off the top, the client is actually paying more than what the rate listed next to the article is. However, it doesn’t make sense, from an author’s perspective, to select these low-paying orders from clients if you’re going to have to spend a lot of time worrying about whether you’ve followed all of their detailed instructions. Yes, a few instructions are fine and not a reason to refrain from selecting otherwise worthwhile projects. Some clients may require that you cite a few sources or use a certain keyword a few times, or that you write only in third person, for example. But if a client is telling you that you are not allowed to use the words “is” or “because” in an article (yes, I really did see this once), you’ll spend way too much time trying to craft your sentences to avoid violating their ludicrous guidelines. It’s too much stress, and not worth it.

Inquire about Direct Orders. When clients give you excellent ratings, send them a message thanking them and telling them you would like to write for them in the future. I learned this from the Textbroker blog. I was on Textbroker for months before I learned that this is the main way to get Direct Orders from clients, and when I did, Direct Orders began coming in for me. Direct Orders are great to get because you aren’t in competition with the other Textbroker writers to scoop them up, and you can up your rate per word if you would like so you earn a little more per article. The potential for Direct Orders is one of the great benefits of Textbroker for aspiring writers, because it helps them initiate relationships with clients that may end up being profitable for them for years.

Textbroker is a wonderful system for people who want to get a taste of what it is like to be a web writer or a copywriter. It is also, if you work smart, a way to make a reliable income. If you follow these tips and dive right in, you can create your very own Textbroker success story.

Personal experience.

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