Saturday, September 24, 2011

Updates on WriterAccess, CloudCrowd, Textbroker, Demand Studios, and Helium

I recently signed up for a trio of new (to me) sites.  I've been active on WriterAccess and CloudCrowd for a little less than two months, and I've been at Textbroker for a few weeks.


I've settled in here, writing mostly for two clients with ongoing assignments -- one marketing copy for a catalog, the other news items for law-firm blogs. It's working out very well for me -- it's one of my favorite sites now -- though people who have come in at a lower level (the site assigns "levels" to all writers, which determine the pay rates and the projects they can work on) say they are having trouble finding things to do.  (More info)


My second month here is going much better than my first.  I'm doing mostly editing now, with some writing here and there. My score has climbed, I'm getting a bigger choice of assignments, and I'm probably making (roughly) about $10 to $15 per hour.  Best of all, I love to edit.  It relaxes me, and is a great change of pace from writing. (More info | My referral link)


Textbroker is similar to WriterAccess (or perhaps I should say WriterAccess is similar to Textbroker, since Textbroker has been around a lot longer) -- but it pays less. It's a double whammy for me because (1) each level on TB pays less than the equivalent level on WA, and (2) I came in on a lower level -- a 3 -- on TB than I did on WA -- a 4..

Here's a comparison of the pay rates, in cents per word, by level (the WriterAccess pay rates are minimums and often go higher):

If you are looking at this post in the future, you can find current pay rates here: Textbroker pay rates and WriterAccess pay rates.

It's not worth it to me to be writing for one cent per word, but I'm doing some stuff there in the hopes that I might soon be promoted to a higher level.

Also, Textbroker has two advantages: (1) They have a lot of work.  There is always something available.  (2) The work is easy, and the standards, especially compared to sites like Demand Studios, are low. Also, as a Textbroker writer helpfully pointed out to me, if you click on the client number in a job order, you will see what percentage of articles the client sends back for rewrites, and what percentage it rejects.  It's shocking to see how many clients never reject or even ask for rewrites on anything -- which makes writing there totally stress-free.

The downside is that some of the assignments are pointless exercises in keyword stuffing.  This is not a place to practice doing your best work.

In the last few weeks, Textbroker also started a new program, which has "team orders" and "casting calls" -- concepts perhaps borrowed from WriterAccess' "love lists" and "casting calls" -- which enable you to apply directly to specific clients to be put on preferred lists for assignments -- and the clients can pay above your usual rate.  (More info)

Demand Studios

Are the glory days of the $25 eHow Money articles over?  At this moment, as we speak, there are no $25 Money titles available at all. Whether they will come back is anyone's guess, as DS tends to be very secretive about things like this.

Meanwhile, there are lots of new $16 titles for Home & Garden, so I guess I need to try to get in touch with my inner decorator.

I've been doing less at DS this month -- feeling burnt out on the research needed for the finance articles, while they were available. (More info)


Helium has a new Community Manager, and perhaps because of that, there has been a flurry of new activity around the site, with a lot of pulse-taking of members' opinions.  My take is that they are going to continue along the road towards becoming more of a "fun" site that offers contest prizes rather than consistent or reliable payments. Outside of Content Source (Helium's new name for Marketplace, which is by application or invitation only), the site may be of little use for writers who rely on content writing for income. Still, when reading entries in the "tell us what you think of us" contest, I was struck by how strongly some of the site's active members/volunteers felt that Helium provided them with an online writing home.  (More info)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CEO of Yahoo was fired

Carol Bartz, former Yahoo CEO
Yahoo's board of directors unexpectedly fired the Yahoo CEO today, in the hopes that shaking things up at the top would reverse the company's poor performance.

The Wall Street Journal is saying that Yahoo is also "open to selling itself to the right bidder."

So the big fish (Yahoo) that swallowed the smaller fish (Associated Content) might itself be gobbled up by an even bigger fish.

And the writers?  Fish food, I guess.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wikio Experts closing

Photo by Steve Snodgrass
I signed up but hadn't yet gotten around to writing for Wikio Experts, a multi-lingual content site based in France. Now they are closing down their article site and morphing into a paid-for-blogging platform.

They sent out this email today:
Dear Users,

We launched Wikio Experts as a venture earlier this year, and it has been a great learning experience for ourselves and our online community. We’ve published thousands of excellent articles and have grown a fantastic community of talented writers.

We are now setting our sites [sic] on a new, flexible and improved service; closer to your needs, and more advanced than Wikio Experts. We will be closing Wikio Experts and creating a new service alongside our blogging platform Overblog, which already provides an online publishing service for thousands of writers across Europe. We’re aiming to launch this new product towards the end of September this year, and we’ll provide you with everything you need to get started beforehand.

(more after the jump)

This new product will allow you to publish your articles on OverBlog, even if you don’t have a blog. It’ll replace, which will be discontinued and its content moved across. The revamped service will offer exciting new features, better suiting your needs.

The development of this service is dependent upon the collaboration of all parties involved. As you will be more involved in your work, from start to finish, you have everything to gain from us through a new revenue sharing remuneration model. Furthermore, in keeping with this shift toward a more autonomous service, we will allow you to choose the topics and titles you want to write about; rather than us determining these for you.

We believe this is the way to ensure our future successes together as publishers and as writers.

We hope you continue your journey with us to help shape the future of digital media together.

We will reveal more soon. A new and exciting adventure begins!

Best wishes,
Team Wikio Experts
The "new revenue sharing remuneration model" is likely to be revenue-share only.  In any case, it doesn't sound like this "new and exciting adventure" will be my cup of tea.  I've already had one disastrous experience with a blogging network (cough, Even if this one is well-run, I'd rather do my blogging on my own and keep total ownership and control.