Since I’ve been doing ecommerce and internet marketing (for almost 10 years now) one thing I’ve always struggled with is producing quality content. Not because I can’t write well, but because I don’t have the time and outsourcing content can be difficult. I’ve tried a lot of services and ideas over the years. Everything from the traditional TextBroker to hiring people off Craigslist. No matter what I tried, it almost always seemed like I had to spend too much time writing instructions so it’d be accurate and proof reading. Probably the most frustrating of all though, is hiring what should be an American writer only to read the content and realize it was written by someone in India. I don’t know why, but they just don’t give up – people must accept it or something.
Ultimately though, I don’t want to talk about my failures at getting content, instead I want to talk about the one service (with some tweaking) that has been able to delivery quality content on the cheap: iWriter. At first glance iWriter looks like just about every other text/content broker exchange out there, and to some degree it is, but there’s a way to get quality content from it. I’ve ordered 100s of articles via iWriter, through this time I’ve developed a pretty good method to pull quality content on the cheap. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, a 1000 word article of well written, native English, researched content costs about $10. Normally content of this quality would cost anywhere from $20 to $30 for 1000 words.
How do you do it?
First, go to iWriter and make yourself a free account. Spent a few minutes to understand how it works. I’ll briefly explain the process but am not going to get to detailed since it’s pretty self explanatory. Ultimately what you do is create a project (job) listing via simple form, (screen shot below) which then gets released to the marketplace for a writer to pickup the job. How you fill out the form is what’s ultimately going to make of break your success on iWriter, so that’s what we’re going to focus on. If you made an account and listed a job without any technique and exceptions of quality content you’d most likely be rather disappointed. If you’ve read other reviews of iWriter and they speak poorly of the service, chances are this is why. Like most services, there are people simply looking to take advantage of you. There are also a lot of foreign writers here, which may be ok, but if you want native English you can’t just post publicly without a strategy.
So what’s the secret?
There’s a few, but assuming you’re just starting out the most important is proper use of the Article Purpose and Special Instructions field. Article Purpose should be as you’re hopefully thinking, the purpose of the article, but be clear and detailed, it’s important the writer understands what you want the article to accomplish, not just what it’s about.
Here’s an example of a poor purpose: “I need an article about lions.”
That basically means the writer can write about anything under the sun, who knows what you’re going to get. I’ve tried being this generic and trust me, you will NOT be happy nor be able to understand how the writer came up with what they did.
Here’s a better example: “I need an article about lions. I’d like it to talk about what lions are (compared to other larges cats), where they generally live, what they eat, how long they live and any interesting facts.”
While that took little more time to write, we now have a good idea of what to expect.
While the purpose may seem obvious, what to put in the special instructions isn’t. I tested a lot of variations of different message to prevent bad content, and what I found to be most effective was the following: “Article must be written by native English speaker with proper punctuation and grammar. I do not want to have to proof read and correct – any problems will be asked to be revised or rejected. Articles written by non-native English speaker will be rejected (it is very easy to tell) so please don’t waste either of our time.”
I put a lot of focus on native English because I can’t stand money content that reads poorly. Trust is a huge conversion factor, so if you’re selling to Americans or someone that speaks native English you need to write their language correctly, period. Something else to note you may not know which is key, is that you can reject or request a re-write of your article on iWriter. This means if you’re not happy, you don’t pay (reject) or have the writer make changes(re-write). I think what helped the most was letting the potential writers know they’re wasting their time and won’t get paid if it’s crap, so only decent writers will pickup my jobs.
That’s really it, I think everything else on the form is self explanatory. As you can see from my screen shot, a 1000 word article at the premium level is $10.50. Fortunately there are plenty of premium writers that write well, so while you can try elite it’s rarely needed.
Make it even easier, build a relationship!
Once you’ve requested a few articles (I’d say try around 5 from different writers first) you can actually favorite a writer and assign future jobs to them. This is another key feature of iWriter that’s made my life easier. Not only did I take the time to find writer I liked, but I spent the time messaging them to help them understand how I liked things done. Eventually you should be able to get to a point where they need very little instruction from you. There is one very important step here though if you’re going to use a favorite writer – be sure to add special instructions stating: “This article is for a specific writer only, if that is not you message me before you begin for further instruction.”. You have to do this because iWriter will only hold a reservation for 2 to 10 days (you pick) then it goes to anyone. I tried a lot of message here, including stating the article will be rejected but for whatever reason the message me one worked the best. Not only that, but if they write a good message you may have a potential new writer to use!
Ultimately pretty simple but it works well! If you use these techniques you should be getting quality content from iWriter in no time and eventually have preferred writers that know what you want. Think of all the time you’ll save!
Some other iWriter Benefits:
Speed – not using a favorite writer I’ve had articles turned around in under an hour. If you really don’t care about quality and don’t use my method above, this is pretty standard.
Simplicity – It’s a simple marketplace to use with a very straight forward interface. Getting setup and requesting your first article should take under 5 minutes.
Messaging (communication) – Instant messaging is build in so you can easily communication with writers. It’s also private so no worry about spam.
Quality / Price – you need to use the method I outlined above, but if you do you’ll be getting great content cheap.
Ability to reject / require re-write – only pay for what you approve.
Favorite Writer – find someone you like and assign future jobs to them.
That about sums it up – I hope you give iWriter a try and enjoy the same success I had!