When I first started writing for money, I Googled “freelance writing” and the first option on the list was a bidding site. Although I picked up a very nice client, I also landed two very hairy ones who duped me out of my money and the articles I wrote for them.
I was struggling to increase my rate and I was also scared, very very scared. I decided to expand my search to other writing sites and came across content mills. The very first one I applied for, accepted me and before I knew it, I was making some pretty decent money. By decent, I mean more than the $2-per-500-word paycheck I was earning at the bidding site. This content mill was none other than iWriter.
To get to the decent wage, however, I needed to work through the ranks which means I started off with that dismal rate of $1.25.
The steady flow of articles on iWriter provided that safety net I felt I needed. Or so I thought. I quickly worked my way up the ladder at iWriter which led to better-paying jobs. I felt secure and I was eager to get my writing done for the day. The steady flow of income allowed me and my family to survive and I felt like I was contributing to the household.
One evening, as I was finishing up a private hire request for a client, I got locked out of my account. I tried to log back in but couldn’t. My account was blocked. A few weeks before I spent a whole week writing an e-book for a client which he approved with a 5-star rating. This is the rating:
So when I got the message that this very same e-book was refunded, I was shattered! I had just over $60 in my iWriter account which was retained, I assume to “cover their losses”. I asked for details and Amanda informed me that the e-book was of low quality. If there is anything that shatters a writer, it’s getting news like that! The e-mails went back and forth and to this day, I still don’t know what this client was unhappy with. I do need to add that the e-book was eventually auto-approved and then was approved again by the client (a system anomaly) and I believe the refund happened because of a system glitch. Do you think any of them would fess up to it?
At that moment I felt like my whole world was caving in. I had no other source of income and we had bills to pay. What I didn’t know, was that this blow from iWriter was the start of great things! It forced me to think of my writing differently and also led me to some amazing opportunities. Any writer that is stuck in iWriter should know that there are amazing clients out there. There is no reason to get stuck in this mill!
The Upside of iWriter
When I started out, all the writing sites wanted me to “pay this much” in order for me to learn the secrets of their online success. I did not want to pitch to clients anymore because it didn’t feel safe. After all, I’d just been through two scam artists who made me feel like I was the worst judge of character.
Some of their positive attributes:
- They pay on time – most of the time – and the writer has the option of the payment frequency. Weekly, biweekly, and monthly options are available.
- The pay increases with your rating.
- Writers move up the ranks as their rating increases. There is Basic, Premium, Elite, and Elite Plus.
- Those in the higher-ranking levels can pick jobs in the lower ranks.
- Clients can choose their favorite writers and also allocate work to those writers directly.
- The affiliate program allows you to earn commission on successful referrals.
- A simple and easy-to-use platform.
- Their commission is quite low compared to other sites.
The Downside of iWriter
There is a resounding wail of displeasure that resounds in writing forums everywhere of the amount of article theft that takes place on iWriter. Also, the grievance process is placating but not effective. Clients are not penalized for their theft and they simply reapply under other names.
There is also the risk that the client doesn’t pay for the article as they have the choice to tip the writers which will affect the balance. The system is also not foolproof, as the client can manipulate the requests when they decline the article, to make it seem as if the article is written about something they never requested, which the technical team at iWriter will dispute.
Getting banned from the site is also purely one-sided and the customer is always right. Bear in mind there are thousands of fresh writers to replace you.
The drawbacks of iWriter include:
- You are just a number. Writers are on the short end of a stick when there is a dispute.
- In the years I wrote for iWriter, I’ve only ever dealt with one support person called Amanda, which leads me to believe she’s the only one there.
- Shut your mouth if you want to remain as a writer on their platform! By making waves and following the DMCA process, you will be worked out of the system.
- Once a client has accepted an article or e-book, they can still go back and change their mind.
- Once you start working outside the content mills, you realize just how low the pay at iWriter is.
- When you get hooked on the constant supply of work – in the lower rungs only mind you! – you find it very hard to break out of that mill cycle.
- The low payment of writers creates a bad market for every freelancer, as clients now expect good quality article and still pay a pittance. In fact, their catch phrase for clients is to have their article written for as little as $1.25!
- Once you hit that Submit button, the work belongs to iWriter. Good luck getting paid if the article is used outside their platform and the client has no funds in their account.
- Many writers have lost A LOT of money through their fast track program. Don’t get duped!
- When your account is blocked/frozen/closed, they retain any funds in there.
- There are formatting issues on the site that make the articles appear unprofessional when it gets to the client. This could result in low ratings or rejections.
- The rating system is more for the client than the writer.
Should You Write for iWriter?
I would never recommend that anyone writes for iWriter. My personal experience, as well as those of writers within my writing communities, are far more negative than positive. If you value your time and your work, you will steer clear from sites like these.
Not every content mill is bad, but this one is right at the bottom of the lot. Sure, there are some great clients on there, but this site should never become your bread and butter. Invest some time and energy and look for something decent. There are great sites out there that provide amazing clients and job opportunities.
If I had to rate iWriter at all, it would be a dismal 1/10
The only reason iWriter gets a point, is the ease of payment. When you write for a site like this one, you need to bear in mind that the owner of the site, Brad Callen, is a marketing expert. This means that the site is created to churn cash, that is all! There is no protection for writers and once you start creating waves, you will see the drop in your orders.
There are no editors to sift through the articles before they go out to the client, which means there are no fair means of mediation. As long as there are customers that pay their fees, this mass content wheel will churn out articles faster than you can say “minimum wage”. The sad part about sites like iWriter is that there are writers who will take the nonsense and the low pay.
These writers need to realize that when things go South, they will need to scramble for other income. Sites like these will cause writers to burn out and will only allow them to survive, never thrive. You are, after all, only one of 614,104 writers. Replacing you will be easy. Trust your gut, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!