You may remember a post I did a while ago about a site called Textbroker. In a nutshell, Textbroker is a site that connects freelance writers that are willing to work for pennies (literally) with clients that need content. The clients outline their needs, the writers write and the site handles the transfer of funds.
Seems simple enough, and you can write in your spare time, making money from home over the internet. Sounds great, right?
After using Textbroker for a couple of months, I can tell you what’s wrong with the system (aside from the absurdly low pay): the reviewers.
You see, with Textbroker, every time you write an article, it goes into a review queue. The folks at Textbroker review your article and give you a “rating”. The average of your most current ratings determines your rating on the site and in turn, how much you get paid per word.
I’m a professional writer. I know what my strengths are, and I know what my weaknesses are. I should be at a 4 or 5-star level. When I first signed on, I was rated at 4 stars. From what I understand, NOBODY starts at 5 stars. You have to request that and submit 10 articles to open orders to be considered. No big deal.
I did my 10 articles and I waited. I just got a slew of emails from Textbroker today. Each and every single article that I wrote and submitted was rated at 3 stars, many of which had no explanation attached. The ones that did have an explanation were at times just wrong (telling me to include commas where there shouldn’t be any, poor grammar because the 5-word keyword phrases the clients requested didn’t make any sense, etc.). Now, I can see if 1 or 2 articles were rated at 3 stars, but for them ALL to be rated at 3 stars and for them ALL to be rated in less than 5 minutes is really pushing it. There’s no way someone could have read all 10 articles in 5 minutes, let alone edited them and rated them fairly.
I have a theory that Textbroker simply alternates you between 3 and 4 stars in order to keep you from reaching 5-star status, which has a realistic (though still low) pay scale. At the 3-star pay level, it’s not worth me even logging into the site. I can see how someone who’s inexperienced might still think that it’s an okay deal and that something is better than nothing. Not me. I’m turning work away. I can afford to be picky at this point and working for the ridiculously low pay of a 3-star writer on some 2-bit site run by fools is not on my agenda.
So, if anyone accidentally signed up for Textbroker after reading my last review – I’m sorry. Cash out and leave now. Those idiots don’t deserve to build a reputation on the backs of starving writers.