Update: One of my gripes has been remedied by Brad Callen, so I wanted to share that with you. My main issue with being a buyer was that my content failed copyscape. So Brad apparently went in and fixed that! Here’s what he said – I admire anyone who fixes problems with their product because it shows they care:
The Copyscape check is fully in place now. There should not be any instances where an article doesn’t pass Copyscape. Here is a screenshot of what happens if someone tries submitting an article that is found elsewhere on the internet:
http://screencast.com/t/TFaL4DIT (note, the text in the screenshot was just text we copied and pasted from Wikipedia I believe, except for the beginning which I edited already)
You’ll notice that the copied text is highlighted yellow, as well as the red error message at the top of the page.
Hi everyone! I started thinking about something. I have been talking about iWriter and my opinion about the site’s worth (or not) without going onto the site myself as a user. I have taken YOUR experiences and babbled about it. That’s NEVER how I do things in the past, so why start now?
I went undercover with one person knowing what I was doing – Paula Seymour. I did it under my maiden name and signed up Sunday, January 8th. I wanted to use the site from both sides – as a writer and a client.
I’m going to journal my experience here and not publish it yet until I’m finished. Signing up is very easy. Scrolling down I’m seeing articles I wouldn’t want to write about – Minecraft (although my son would love that), mortgages, bar stools.
I see that clients don’t list right either. I saw a listing under relationships for an article on gifts to buy for college students. An article on discount lodging under Internet businesses. Some are just too short. One article title said “I need 2 quality articles” under Business. The specifics only said “planning.” Is that all you have to go on to write?
Update: Brad said that I’m wrong (I am). We’re able to click Special Instructions and see the project details. I explained to him that the gray button looked inactive to me. It was paired next to a bright green Write Article button, so I thought it meant it was inactive. gray looks dead to me. Good to know you can see details.
I have to say that brad STILL maintained a sweet disposition even after reading this. How does he DO that? Anyway, he said he wanted me to ask questions – but a real review is the same way YOU would experience it, and you wouldn’t be PMing Brad back and forth to get all your questions answered. He IS working on a feedback reply system for the ratings – I like that.
Thought I found one on social media, etc. His approval rate? 0%! He’s rejected all 8 articles he got. Okay here’s another guy – he has a zero approval rate too but only 2 rejections. He needs a 500 word article on internet marketing, social media marketing, online marketing, work at home, seo, and pay per click. I can do this quick and it should get approved. Let’s give it a try.
Okay I clicked to accept it. You don’t get the specifics of what they want UNTIL you accept it. That’s no good! What happens if you don’t like what they say but then you’ve already accepted it?
Oh no! He’s asking for H2 and H3 tags – can you put that into the system? I have no clue! Oh damn he ALSO wants an image in there! See there was nothing about images and tags in the listing. What a mess. Also have to ensure certain keywords are used once every 200 CHARACTERS. No way, Canceled the project. All that work for $2.43?
What happens when you cancel? No clue. Does that count against me? Back to the forum to search again and this time I’m searching for 300 word articles. LOL I see Chris Deals on there – tempted to write for you, Chris but what if you rejected me? I’d be all shamed.
Update: Brad said it just goes back in the queue and doesn’t count against you. Good to know.
Okay I find a big one on credit score stuff. I know this topic okay so I’m going to do a 300 word credit score chart article. No big specifics except to use it three times in the article. THIS is a good seller. S/he has a five star rating. I now know that as a CLIENT, I won’t be like the first person with too many specs, but more like the second person – easygoing. Delivered in 9 minutes. But $1.62 for 9 minutes? Ick! I make more doing my own stuff.
I find another one that’s in business and says Marketing Plans. Oh no. I get an error and it says, “Error: New writers are permitted to write 1 article every 40 minutes. After you have received 5 requester reviews this limitation will be lifted automatically and you may write as many as you wish. Thank you for writing with iWriter.”
Wow. Okay that will be a much slower start. Sigh.
I must say that the clients get the option to create a favorites list. The writers ALSO need a favorites AND an AVOID list. Playing around I notice the sorting is much better – choose from word counts AND topic categories to search for projects (as a writer) rather than scroll an entire list.
2 hours and 53 minutes later …
My article got approved. I see a four star rating. Oops. LOL! I was supposed to use the keyword phrase 3 times in the body, which I DID however…I screwed up and instead of using the entire phrase “What’s my credit score chart?” on the last one I forgot to add the word “chart” so he dinged me.
One thing I don’t like is that there’s no way for the writer to reply to the feedback. I’d like to explain that I did include the phrase but just left off the last word. Oh well.
Okay taking on another one about web design. Approval rate 63% for this buyer. He says he wants a creative approach. I wrote it – 300 words with a 3% density but the tool on iWriter shows a 14% density! Huh? That’s not what the Live Keyword Analysis tool shows. Hmm Oh well. Let’s see what happens.
It got approved and I got 5 stars. But still under $4 sitting in my account. Not worth it to me but I can see someone who can’t get projects wanting to use this sort of platform. You don’t have to GET chosen, you choose them. Still, the problem I see is that too many have high rejection percentages, too many projects want WAY too much for the money (images, alt tags? header tags? No thanks). There’s no way to reply to feedback you were given except to go leave it on your client’s page but that doesn’t help YOU whenever someone is looking at your ratings. I much prefer Elance to see both sides at once.
iWriter as a Buyer
Okay time to request an article! Hmm what do I want an article about? Maybe I’ll do some for my website hosting site. I’m putting everything at default – even the price – and I will leave it open to everyone and tip if the article is good. Praying some non English speaker doesn’t pick the article.
Okay when I try posting it, it tells me I don’t have funds available – but I do in PayPal. Do I need to fund iWriter? Ah yes there’s an Add money link there! So someone else had said if the buyer has no funds, the writer is screwed – looks like that’s not the case. They can’t post unless they have funds in there. Writers should be protected then. That’s GOOD!
Okay I put $10 in and posted the project. Let’s see what happens!
I got my article back from a 4 and a half star rated writer. Now look at THIS shit. I’m pissed. She delivers on time, right? I am able to read it, but not copy and paste it. I see that iWriter has a little blurb ensuring me that the content has been copyscaped for me. It reads well! It’s 537 words, so the payment would be $3. She has one spelling error but I’m not persnickety.
I approve the article and tip her $5 on top of that – and see that iWriter CHARGES me a $0.95 fee to tip her! What a crock. Anyway, I agree to it. THEN I download the article and just because a nagging feeling is in me, I open copyscape MYSELF and use my paid account to run her content through.
FORTY SIX FREAKING PERCENT is copied! VERBATIM!! Look at this crap: Plagiarized
Now not only am I steaming because I just got ripped off TWICE – once by username Anne Daniels (Anita McDaniels) who wrote the shit, but AGAIN by iWriter for promising me they ran it through Copyscape, but I had to leave her feedback right when I approved and paid – so I can’t even go in and alter it to show she’s a damn thief!
Here’s what I just messaged to Anne:
thanks for ripping me off with plagiarized content! Just ran it through copyscape. And I even tipped you too. Nice ethics!
Anyway, I suggest as a buyer you run that crap through your OWN copyscape. Not that it’ll do much good by the point you’ve paid for it, but at least you won’t unknowingly be using other people’s content.
So now I’m no longer talking out of my ass. I went undercover using a pen name and I got both sides. Not impressed either way. Too bad because this COULD be a decent platform.
All I had asked for was this (verbatim – this was my job listing):
Just use the exact phrase about twice in the article – most important to me is conversational tone, as if you own the blog and are recommending Hostgator yourself. Use the word “I” freely if you want. (ie: I don’t like this about Bluehost” for example). I like truth and opinion, so feel free to be opinionated, funny, sarcastic – whatever.
Is that too freaking hard for you? No. You had freedom to write in your own way and you still ripped someone else off. And Brad, um what’s with promising copyscape? That’s a bunch of bull because 46%? I don’t think it’s gonna miss that. And she’s your almost 5 star person? A content thief? No thanks.
So as a buyer? NO THANKS! I want my account emptied and returned pronto. As a worker? If you’re desperate to supplement, go for it – but NEVER EVER let yourself get so comfy there that you lose site of the ability to make REAL money upwards of $20. It’s very easy to get invested in ONE site where you have built up a star rating and ignore other better paying opportunities because it means starting from ground zero again.