Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
When I began my career as a freelance writer, the first system I came across was Textbroker.com. And if it wasn’t for my experiences using Textbroker, I wouldn’t be where I am today. However, just like all content mills, it does take a certain type of personality to succeed.
Today, I’ll go over my experiences of using Textbroker since 2012 and what you can do to get the most out of your own.
To be honest, I’m kind of surprised I haven’t written a review of Textbroker yet. After all, it’s the platform I used most before finding private clients. Not to mention how much money I’ve made on the platform.
What is Textbroker.com?
Textbroker is a web-based system that connects writers to clients. Based on a per-word rate, writers will create content for those clients on various topics. The more you can write, the more money you can make.
This is known commonly as a content mill. The primary purpose is to write as many articles as you can while providing a certain level of quality.
The identities of both the client and the writer are kept anonymous. Obviously, this is to help Textbroker keep writers and clients on the system so the company can make money.
You have three different types of content pools: Open, Direct, and Team Orders.
- Open Orders
These are articles clients will place into the open pool that any writer within a certain “Star” rating can access.
- Direct Orders
With Direct Orders, clients will specifically send work to you. These are ideal because you can set your own per-word rate.
- Team Orders
Teams are where clients or Textbroker managers will dump a lot of similar work for a team of writers.
I’ve made more money with Direct and Team Orders than from the Open pool. Mostly, this is because clients and managers loved my professionalism and productivity.
Out of all the content mills and platforms I’ve tried in the past, I’ve made far more money on Textbroker than any other. However, not everyone will have the same experience.
What Can You Expect from Textbroker?
So, there are a lot of pros and cons when dealing with content mills. But out of the many systems I’ve tried, Textbroker has offered the best experience in my situation.
I’m not saying it is the absolute best for everyone. All I can do is tell you how it has worked for me since 2012.
Textbroker is a Content Mill
First of all, Textbroker is a “content mill.” These systems specialize in helping clients get as much content as possible without spending a lot of money. As such, they often pay writers much less than if you were to get a private client.
This means in order to make serious money, you have to write A LOT of articles to make it worthwhile. Still, I was able to quit my job at the school district to write full-time using Textbroker and several other content mills at the same time.
Uses Star Ratings to Guage Quality and Available Jobs
Textbroker uses a star-rating system to determine access to certain types of content. For example, a 3-star writer can’t access the 4-star writing pool.
The editors will rank your writing ability based on the most recent 5 articles you’ve completed. This is all based on your understanding of AP Style English, in most cases.
Even if a client absolutely loves your work and gives you a tip, editors can still rank your article at a 3-star level.
Fluctuations in Workflow Are Very Common
It’s quite common for the amount of work to have peaks and valleys. One day, there will be thousands of available jobs in the Open pool. Then there will be absolutely nothing the next.
This is primarily why I was using several content mills at the same time. I tried to keep myself busy throughout the day.
On the upside, I belonged to so many teams and had so many Direct Order clients, that eventually I was writing for Textbroker every day, full-time. But it took a couple of years to get to that point.
Dealing with a Diverse Clientele on Textbroker
One of the benefits of using Textbroker is that you’ll experience a wide variety of clientele. This is exceptionally helpful before you start looking for private clients because it helps you learn how to adapt and deal with a myriad of personalities.
I find it better to experience these interactions when you’re anonymous as poor experiences won’t hurt your professional reputation. Well, at least outside of Textbroker.
A Variety of Topics to Choose From
There are quite a few niches you can choose from in Textbroker. Back in my prime, I wrote articles on everything from animals to travel. This means you can focus on your primary niche should you want.
The problem with niching down, though, is that you’ll cut the amount of work you’ll be able to write.
There’s nothing wrong with focusing purely on something like “Technology.” But what if there are 2,000 orders available in “Business” and nothing available for the Technology niche? This is why I decided to be a generalist writer on content mills.
Note: Textbroker only shows available categories that currently have jobs posted.
Editors Often Help You Become Better Writers
There’s no doubt that the editors can be a bit of a pain to deal with, especially when your star rating is on the line. However, most will help you become a better writer by leaving notes on the articles you submit.
These notes will usually have tips breaking down how you could structure things better. In my experience, it was my comma usage that kept me from hitting 4-stars sooner than I did.
Setting Prices for Direct Orders
Although the price per word is pretty low for the Open pool of orders, you can set Direct Orders to pretty much anything you want in Textbroker. Depending on the quality of work you produce, a lot of clients will happily pay the price.
You can also set prices for specific Direct clients. For instance, my price was $0.025 per word by default for Direct Orders. Then, I had one client in particular that I set at $0.039 because of the additional work I had to perform, such as more research and other elements.
Now, $0.014 may not sound like a lot. But it’s the difference between a 1000-word order bringing in $25 or $39 for the hour of work.
Making a Lot of Money on Teams
As I said before, a large portion of the money I’ve made on Textbroker was because of Teams. You can apply to join as many as you’d like. Nonetheless, when you get on some incredibly active and easy teams to write for, you can quickly make a lot of money.
The downside, though, is that some of these teams are one-and-done. This means they only drop the bulk work once and that’s it. Then again, I’ve been on teams where the work was pretty steady at dropping thousands of articles once per month.
Textbroker Uses Payoneer to Get Paid
When I started in 2012, Textbroker was using PayPal to pay its authors. This was great because I already had a PayPal debit card. I was able to go shopping Friday mornings when the system paid me out for the week.
Nowadays, it’s more of a convoluted mess because you have to use Payoneer to get paid.
I can kind of understand the move, as Payoneer now acts as a verification system so Textbroker doesn’t have to do it themselves. This means they can test authors faster instead of spending time verifying the legitimacy of new accounts.
Getting Tips and Bonuses
Recently, Textbroker increased the rates at which authors are paid. But they’ve also included bonuses, milestone rewards, and quarterly rewards. So, now you’re able to make more money by meeting certain productivity requirements.
This is on top of the tips that clients can give you for a job well done, which I’ve made quite a bit of in the past.
How Can You Make More Money Using Textbroker?
Because I had such massive success using Textbroker, this website is full of ways you can get more out of the system. I’ve shared every method I used in the past to quit my full-time job and begin my writing career as a freelancer.
However, here are the things that helped me the most, especially in the beginning:
- Trust in your proofreading abilities: Don’t spend too much time agonizing over quality. The idea of a content mill is to write content as quickly as possible.
- Submit your article and move on: If you want to make more than $100 per day, you need to quickly “churn” out the content.
- Always keep learning: I spent hours learning everything I could about AP Style writing.
- Fill out your Textbroker profile: Textbroker will use data on your profile in search when clients are looking for specifics.
- Always be respectful to clients: Most of my Direct Orders were from clients who loved working with me on a daily basis.
- Don’t be afraid to step outside of your niche: I had no idea I loved writing about travel and business until I tried.
- Never underestimate the value of a good chair: Your comfort plays a key role in being able to sit and type for long periods of time.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can quit your job as soon as you sign up with Textbroker. In fact, there are absolutely 0 orders available for 3 or 4-star writers at the moment of this article.
However, it is possible to bring in a decent amount as long as you’re persistent and keep checking back for available work.
This is mostly why I suggest keeping your regular job until you can consistently bring in enough to support yourself over a three-month period.
How I Made a Career Writing for Content Mills
Since Textbroker’s workflow is so haphazard, how was I able to quit my job and start writing full-time with content mills? Well, the short answer is that I used several of them at the same time.
In the beginning, I would have Textbroker, WriterAccess, and Fiverr open in my browser. Then, I would jump back and forth checking for work on each until I had something to do.
When I wasn’t browser-tab hopping, I spent my downtime researching how to become a better writer and looking for other avenues for freelancing.
The bottom line is that I didn’t waste my day. From the moment I dropped the kids off at school until it was time for dinner, I would spend time practicing, learning, or writing for clients.
It was essentially my 8-to-5 job.
Eventually, I accumulated so many Team and Direct Order clients that I began to write full-time on Textbroker alone. That is until I started looking for private clients, which I’ll go over in a moment.
Instead of viewing the income base on how much I made per word, I focused more on how much I can make in an hour. So, while other experts out there scoff at $0.014 per word, I relished the fact I averaged around $25-$28 per hour towards the end.
That’s how much I would pull in by writing content for Direct clients and Teams.
Do Not Ask Me for Textbroker Accounts!
Perhaps one of the most common questions I get from interested writers is to create and sell them Textbroker accounts so they can write from other countries unsupported by the system.
I’ve even been asked to sell my personal, 4-star account on a couple of occasions.
There are a few reasons why this is not going to happen.
A) I would become liable for taxes at the end of the year because it’s in my name
B) It’s against several policies, and I pride myself on my accomplishments and reputation
C) I don’t believe in people trying to game the system to get a 4-star rating when their quality of writing is substandard
I don’t mind helping people learn how to write better or how to boost their own professional performance. But don’t ask me to create, sell, or write for accounts to get around Textbroker’s policies.
Don’t Be Afraid to Expand to Find Private Clients
I suppose you can kind of tell that I am a bit biased when it comes to Textbroker. It’s true that without the writing platform, I would not be where I am today.
With that being said, you will undoubtedly make more money by finding private clients.
This is why I suggest using Textbroker and other content mills as a time filler while you’re applying to bigger writing jobs or waiting for responses from potential clients.
It’s quick money that offers experience and practice while you’re looking for higher-paying opportunities.
Perhaps one of the best ways to start reaching out to potential clients is through LinkedIn. In fact, that’s how my BIG client found me. LinkedIn is social media but for professionals.
And I can’t tell you the number of inquiries I get from large corporations looking to hire me on a weekly basis.
Fill out your LinkedIn profile as best as you can while making it look professional. Content is King on the Internet, and there are a lot of clients looking for someone who knows what they’re doing as a writer.
Content Mills Do Have Their Benefits
It’s true that content mills really don’t pay a lot in terms of pay-per-word. However, there are several benefits of using content mills a lot of people don’t often consider. For one thing, it’s a great way to practice writing without it having an impact on your name as a professional.
Although I don’t write for content mills much today, they will always have a special place in my history. If it wasn’t for the time spent learning on Textbroker, I wouldn’t have the amazing job I have today.
Success isn’t always about immediate riches.
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