Textbroker is a middleman site that connects clients, looking for content, with writers. If you’ve written for “content mills” before, than chances are you’ve heard of Textbroker. They’re one of the bigger names in the industry.
Unlike survey sites, content mills can make you some decent money, but can they make you enough? Is Textbroker a legitimate opportunity? This Textbroker review answers that question and much more! Read on!
Note: This Textbroker review is from the author’s perspective, not from the client’s side.
This review has been a long time in coming. Frankly, I’m shocked it has taken me so long to circle back around. If you know anything about me, you know that my first shot at making money online was with freelance writing.
When I started, I didn’t have any experience with freelancing or working online. Somewhere along the line I discovered “content mills.” Content mills are essentially brokers that find available writing assignments and present them to writers. Textbroker (TB) was one of the content mills that I stumbled upon, and it quickly became my favorite.
I want to point out the fact that I no longer write for Textbroker. I will elaborate on my reasoning further in the review. Just note, this is a fair and accurate assessment of the program.
The Registration Process
Currently TB only hires US citizens. This is in accordance with IRS tax laws. You will need to send in a copy of your ID to prove that you are a US citizen. A lot of people are concerned over sending in their ID, but you are allowed to block out your license number.
No license number = No identity theft. (Trust me, I’m a mathlete.)
Beyond that, it is a simple process to become an author for TB. You will fill out your basic information, and once that is complete, you will be asked to submit a writing sample between 120 and 250 words. This writing sample is based on a prompt that will be provided to you. This will be your first encounter with the TB text entry box.
As you can see, this is a very simple tool. In fact, the simplicity of this tool is one of the biggest complaints lobbied against TB. There are far worse content mills with far better text entry tools. You should write your articles in a word tool that has a spelling and grammar checker, then paste them into this box (this method makes a big difference when you don’t have time to edit as you write).
Take your time with your writing sample, because it can make or break your experience with TB. Your sample will be given a rating of 2-5 stars based on the quality of the content. You will receive your rating within a few days.
Once you’ve received your initial rating, you can write 5 articles and then you will be blocked from doing anymore. These articles will be rated and your overall rating is a mean average of the results. You can then begin taking assignments, that are at your star level, from the open-order pool.
The Rating System and the Open-Order Pool
You want your writing sample to receive a good rating.
Your star rating is going to directly impact how much money you can make. You can only accept assignments that are at, or below, your level. If you are a 4-star author, you can take any assignment from the pool that is requesting a 4 or below, but you cannot take a 5-star assignment.
Beyond the availability of assignments, your star rating also impacts your rate of pay. The different ratings are broken down as follows:
- 2-stars – This is considered average. You will be paid 0.7 cents per word.
- 3-stars – This content is GOOD quality. 3-star authors receive 1.0 cents per word.
- 4-stars – This is EXCELLENT content. 1.4 cents per word.
- 5-stars – Authors at this level are considered professional writers. Unlike the other levels, you will need to pass an extremely difficult proofreading test in order to become a 5-star author. At this level you are paid 5 cents per word.
I know that these pay rates look abysmal, but honestly, at least in my experience, they are comparable to other content mills (if not a little better).
You are not limited to the assignments that are in the open-order pool. Clients can send you direct-orders if they like your work, and you can also join teams.
The Payment Process
I really like TB’s payment system. The minimum amount for payout is $10. Payouts are sent every Friday, so make sure to request your payout by Thursday night.
You are paid each time a client accepts an article that you have written for them. If they do not accept within 3 days, you will be paid for your work.
If you are a 4-star author that takes a 2-star assignment, you will be paid at the 2-star level.
Quality Control (The Review Process)
The number one complaint I’ve seen is regarding TB reviews on assignments. Every 5 articles that you complete will be rated by TB staff. Each article will receive a star rating, and the average rating for these will be your new rating. You can upgrade from a 3-star author to a 4-star author if and when the overall quality of your articles improves.
Alternatively, you can be demoted if the quality of your work suffers. This enrages some members, because they can have one “off day” and be demoted from a rating they’ve held down for years.
Honestly, I like this system. It ensures that only quality content is being produced.
There are some content mills that charge their authors a monthly fee just to view available assignments. THAT is a scam. You should never have to pay someone for the right to work for them. TB has a much better platform. It is completely free to register as an author, because TB makes their money on the client’s end.
The publishers (clients) pay the authors for their desired content, and TB collects a tiny cut on each sale. To keep their clients happy (and coming back for more), they have to consistently deliver quality content.
The Reason I Quit Writing for Content Mills
Because I am a big fan of the Oxford Comma…. (If you get that reference, we can be friends!)
I learned a lot during my time at the mills. I knew that I was writing content for other people’s benefit, but I really had no idea how they were using this content.
One day (a day that changed the course of my destiny) I accepted an assignment asking for a summary of Affiliate Marketing. I had no idea what affiliate marketing was, but I knew all about it by the time I was done with that assignment.
At Textbroker I was working for pennies. All of the content that I wrote was making the people implementing it far more money than it was making me. I’d make around $10 per article, and that was it. As an affiliate marketer, an article of the same length will continue to pay me (in passive income) indefinitely.
There are plenty of ways for writers to make money. Content mills have a way of crushing your creativity (they don’t like “fluff”). This didn’t work well for me. I’m more of a creative writer than a technical writer.
Content Mills are a good place to get your feet wet. Gain a little experience with freelancing, improve your writing, and get out! Stop making other people money, and start writing for yourself.
The Final Word…
Textbroker is 100% legitimate. At times, they give off a “big brother” vibe. You aren’t allowed to talk about other programs or websites within the forums (shout out to the Water Cooler gang!) and they monitor messages between clients and authors. Aside from that, I never had a tremendous problem with them.
My biggest problem was the lack of money I was making. I solved this problem by becoming an affiliate marketer. I never would have been as successful as I am, without the free education and experience I acquired through Textbroker.
If you are interested in doing what I do for a living, you are going to need to find an educational community to teach you the ropes. I really enjoyed the community over at Textbroker.
I was distracted by the forums on a daily basis.
When I was researching affiliate marketing, I found the perfect learning resource and a fantastic community to boot! Check out my #1 recommendation for more information.
Do you have any personal experience with Textbroker? Do you feel I’ve left anything out? All questions and comments are welcomed below!