Textbroker offers a legit way to make money online by writing. It is owned by Textbroker International, LLC which is headquartered in Nevada. There is also an office in Germany. The company operates a U.S. website and a UK website. Textbroker provides businesses and individuals with unique written content.
The company refers to its writers as “authors”. Registration is free for authors and Textbroker doesn’t charge their authors any fees. They accept only United States residents as authors (at the www.textbroker.com – the United States site, that is). English speakers in countries outside of the United States may be eligible to write for Textbroker UK. This article is derived from my experience in working with Textbroker US.
Textbroker registration requirements
After registering with the website, authors are required to submit proof of residency. You can submit a copy of a government issued driver’s license or I.D. You are allowed to obliterate the I.D number. They are interested in verifying your address, your birth date and the expiration date of the I.D.
Textbroker rating system
A writing sample is required from prospective authors. They give the authors a short list of topics to write about for the sample submission. An editor will review and rate the sample and notify authors by e-mail within a few days. The author is assigned a rating based on the writing sample and this also determines how much authors are paid for their submissions. Textbroker’s rating system is a scale of 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest rating. Their star rating and pay scale is as follows:
|Rating||Pay Per Word|
|5 star||5.0 cents|
|4 star||1.4 cents|
|3 star||1.0 cents|
|2 star||0.7 cents|
|1 star||You can’t write for them|
Most authors start out at either a 3 star or 4 star rating. The 5 and 4 star authors are paid more money and they are offered more opportunities to write through Textbroker. There are opportunities available for level 2 authors on rare occasions. 1 star rated authors aren’t permitted to write for Textbroker.
You don’t need to be a professional writer in order to be accepted. You need to have a very strong command of the English language, with a firm grasp on Standard English grammar and spelling in order to pass muster. It seems that they prefer native speakers of English.
How does Textbroker work?
The type of writing assignments available through Textbroker are considered “work-for-hire”. The writers on Textbroker basically work as ghost writers on behalf of Textbroker’s clients. This means that the client retains the copyrights to any work produced. Textbroker is also granted rights to reproduce, edit, or rework any content submitted through their website. The content that writers produce must be good quality and original. Textbroker doesn’t tolerate plagiarism.
Clients request writing on a specific topic. Most of the time, the client will detail exactly what the requirements are for a writing assignment (word count, for example). The client generally provides the title and instructions for the article that they want written. Some clients will specify that certain keywords are used for an article, a specified number of times. There are normally deadlines for writing assignments.
Authors can find assignments by clicking on the “Assignments” tab, and then on the “Show Orders” tab. The Open Orders are organized according to the categories that they fall under (e.g., business, fashion, technology, etc.).
The types of requests made by clients are usually for content meant to be published on the web. However, the client has the right to use the content as he please. Rarely, I see assignments which entail creating spreadsheets or press releases. I presume that most of the assignments are articles for blogs, newsletters, or websites.
The client has 72 hours to accept, reject an article, or ask for revisions. If the client takes no action within this time frame, then the article is automatically accepted after 72 hours.
When a client accepts an article that an author submits, a payment is deposited into the author’s account. It’s a process that takes a few days. If an article is rejected, the author is offered an opportunity to revise the article and resubmit it.
How and when does Textbroker Pay?
Textbroker pays authors every week on Fridays by PayPal. Authors can request payout, provided that there is enough money in their Textbroker account. The payout threshold is really low at only $10. As long as payout requests are made by Thursday, 11:59 p.m. PST, the money is sent to the PayPal account by the end of the business day on Friday of the same week.
I must point out that Textbroker requires their authors to fill out and submit W-9 tax forms before they will make any payments. Authors are considered independent contractors, rather than employees. Authors must also remember to pay taxes on their earnings. Textbroker does not withhold taxes from payments.
What are some of the pros of writing for Textbroker?
No experience is required. Anyone can write for Textbroker, provided that their writing skills meet Textbroker’s standards and the writer has a strong command of the English language. Most of the assignments that I saw in Open Orders are fairly short at 500 words or less.
Writers can work for Textbroker as much or as little as they like. You can work from anywhere that there is a computer and internet access. The website is usually up and running 24/7.
The writers are paid weekly. You don’t need to wait a month or more for your money, like you would need to on other websites. I haven’t done much writing for Textbroker, but I have earned enough to make at least one cash out. They are a legitimate company since I was able to cash out my earnings with no problems. The earnings were sent to my PayPal account very quickly. PayPal didn’t deduct any fees from the money deposited, either.
The established writers earn more money by joining writing teams and through Direct Orders. Basically, some clients make requests for Direct Orders from a writer if they really like the writer’s work. With Direct Orders, the writer sets the price per word that he or she wants to be paid. I have visited a few forums wherein some writers brag that they made good money over the years writing for Textbroker.
What are some of the cons of writing for Textbroker?
Textbroker US does not allow writers who reside outside of the United States to write for them.
The pay is very low compared to other freelance writing platforms. Being that the pay per word is so low, slower and deliberate writers (like myself) may have some difficulty maximizing their time and profits writing for Textbroker. You could spend two to three hours researching and writing on a topic and get paid a few measly dollars for your time.
Many of the topics listed in the assignments tab are not interesting. Writers are allowed to claim and work on one assignment at a time.
Unless you are a 4 or 5 star writer, there aren’t very many writing jobs available. At the present I am a 3 star writer. I’d like to continue writing there to increase my star rating. The editors do a new Quality Assessment rating on their authors every so often. So, there is still the possibility for a rating upgrade.
Another problem here, is that the writing assignments available have dwindled. I check in a few times per week and seldom find anything worth working on since joining.
Since it is all work-for-hire and the writer doesn’t retain any copyright ownership in the work once the work is submitted, accepted by the client, and paid for. The copyright ownership is transferred over to the client that requested it and the work can’t be reproduced by the writer. Therefore, the writer has no opportunity to earn residual earnings from the work produced.
One of the chief complaints that I hear in some forums, is that the editors are very picky, especially when it comes to comma usage. Writers can get downgraded for grammar which does not meet their standards. This is understandable, since the objective is to provide high quality content for the clients.
Writers are rated on the first five articles that are submitted through Textbroker. The account is then placed on a temporary hold until after the articles are rated. During that hold, writers aren’t allowed to accept any new writing assignments or to submit any new articles through Textbroker. The editors will determine whether to raise the writer’s star rating, leave it the same or lower it.
Textbroker does not allow clients and writers to form outside business relationships. All communications must be done through their internal messaging system.
Final thoughts about Textbroker
Textbroker is a good place to start for people who are newcomers to freelance writing. It sort of trains newbies to keep up with deadlines and meet client expectations.
Textbroker is good for people who have a natural knack for writing, but no formal training. If you are a fast writer, you will find that most of the writing assignments are quick and easy to draft and knock out.
I am not certain that this is a place where you can rely on a steady stream of work in the future. There is no harm in using it as a place to learn and gain experience. I highly suggest that once you’ve built up your confidence and improved your writing skills, that you move on to higher paying writing jobs. They are out there.