You want to outsource content, but can't afford to pay for top tier writers? Well, that's pretty much the reason sites like Textbroker and iWriter exist. They're platforms to hire freelance writers to create content on pretty much any topic you can think of, for any budget.
If you're in the online or affiliate marketing world, you've probably heard tons of mixed things about iWriter and Textbroker. Some people think they're the worst thing ever created, while others have built six figure businesses using content ordered from them.
So I thought it would be fun to do a head to head comparison. I'm going to compare the order process, pricing, project management features, and even show you writing samples from both.
Just to clarify, this is a comparison from the hiring side. I've never written for iWriter or Textbroker, so can't really give any insight there. But if you're looking to outsource content, you'll definitely want to keep reading.
Ordering From Content Mills
Sites like Textbroker and iWriter are kind of like advanced content mills. A content mill is a company that hires tons of freelance writers to crank out mass amounts of content.
Content mills have historically had a negative reputation. The phrase was used to talk about companies that were producing mass content solely for the purpose of ranking in search engines.
Quantity took priority over quality most of the time, and the writers were super underpaid because the mills were selling their services for next to nothing. They were almost like sweatshops for writers.
Luckily, content mills have evolved a little bit over the years. You can still get content for ridiculously low prices, but you also have options to choose different quality levels based on your budget.
Textbroker and iWriter are the evolution of content mills in my opinion. They've been trying to shift their image away from "places to get cheap content" to legit platforms that a business wouldn't be embarrassed to admit they use.
You're not going to find a bunch of super well-known writers on these sites. But that's not why people use iWriter and Textbroker. The benefit of content mills is the ability to get content quickly, and within your budget.
Now that you have an idea of what these sites are, let's take a look at what they offer.
Since a bulk of your time in both platforms will be spent ordering content, let's take a look at what that process looks like on each one.
Ordering Content From Textbroker
Textbroker was the first content mill I ever used. They made a lot of changes in 2016 to help elevate the platform and change the perception of their brand. The changes have also made it easier to use, particularly for businesses looking to scale their content production.
One of the biggest changes they made was to the ordering process. There are three ways to order:
- OpenOrder: Your order gets submitted to a pool of writers at the quality level you choose.
- DirectOrder: Your order only gets shown to one of your preferred writers.
- TeamOrder: Your order is shown to a team of writers you put together.
After you choose your order type, you're taken to a screen with some templates. These are templates that TextBroker provides, and any templates you created on your own.
Textbroker gets a point here because templates make ordering a lot easier.
The templates give you a good starting point if you're not sure what to tell the writer. You can also choose to not use a template at all and write your own order details.
Here's a look at the order screen.
One cool thing about Textbroker's ordering process is the ability to organize your orders into project folders. I like to make a project folder for every site I'm ordering content for. But you could also make project folders for specific campaigns, or anything else you want.
Textbroker gives you a ton of different categories to choose from. Whether you need content about health/fitness, law, self improvement or anything in between, they have someone willing to write it for you.
You also have SEO options. I never use this though because I feel like it makes the writer write unnaturally in order to fit in keywords.
But if you want to use that feature, it's available.
You can set keyword densities and choose whether or not it's ok for the writer to include different versions of your keywords. For instance, if your keyword was "freelance writing service" they could also use variations like freelance writing services.
From what I understand, once you set the SEO details, the author won't be able to submit the order unless the keyword density is met. But like I said, I just keep this off and let the author write naturally.
Then you just have to fill out a content brief with the details of your order. If you chose a template, this part will be pre-filled like the screenshot below. You just have to fill in the blanks.
Once you're done, you'll see how much your content will cost and you can place your order. Once your order is completed, you'll get a notification to review it. If you're satisfied you can accept it and you're good to go. If you don't like the content, you can request revisions.
If the content is horrible and you don't want it, you're required to give the author a chance to rewrite it before cancelling. And if you do cancel, you have to give your reasoning and Textbroker reviews it.
Ordering Content From iWriter
The process of ordering content from iWriter is quicker than Textbroker, but that's mainly because they don't have as many features.
All you have to do is choose "Get Content" on your home screen, then you're taken to the order form.
This is where you can input all the details for your order. Iwriter doesn't have templates like Textbroker, but you can load up a previous order to auto-fill information. Then you just have to swap out the details.
You can have four types of content written through iWriter:
- Article rewrites
- Kindle books
Their website shows you can do press releases too, but it's not an option on the order form, so I'm not sure if that's still available.
Textbroker gives you a lot more freedom with the type of content you want. For instance, you could get social media posts, press releases or any other type of written content, but iWriter limits you to just the four options.
Another downside to iWriter is the way word count works. With Textbroker, you can specify exactly how many words you need written. But iWriter has set numbers.
What if I just want a 1500 word article? Or a 2500 word one. The lack of flexibility here is kind of a bummer. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it'd be nice to have.
Next, you can choose which writers will see your order. Similar to Textbroker, iWriter has multiple levels of writers you can submit your order to. The lower the quality level you choose, the higher your risk of getting a garbage article back.
You can also choose specific authors to submit your order to. When you get a writer that does good work, I highly suggest saving them to your Favorites list. That way you can give them first dibs at new orders, instead of leaving it to chance.
One good thing about iWriter is the ability to choose the tone of your article. They have three options:
- Friendly: A casual style of writing, similar to what you see on blogs like mine.
- Professional: More formal, kind of what you'd expect on a site like WebMD.
- Other: Anything that doesn't quite fit a casual or formal tone. This could be good if you're looking for a very specific tone in the article. Just write out the details in the special instructions box.
After you finish up all your settings, submit your project and wait to receive your order. When you receive your order, you can accept, ask for edits or refuse the article completely.
As someone that orders content for multiple websites, the ability to manage everything is really important to me. Textbroker is the clear winner in this department.
Like I mentioned earlier, Textbroker allows you to organize your orders into separate projects. So I can have different folders for all my websites.
With iWriter, all your orders are grouped together. There really aren't any project management features to speak of.
When you're ordering an article every now and then, this isn't a huge deal. But if you're ordering multiple articles for multiple sites, then having a way to organize all your incoming orders is a huge help.
This one is a toss up. It really depends on what's important to you. I like the simplicity of iWriter's ordering process. It takes less than a minute to put together an order. But at the same time, it can be a little too simplistic.
Textbroker gives you so much more freedom on the settings you choose. I mentioned the word count issue, but iWriter is also doesn't have templates, custom teams, recurring orders and other features Textbrokers has that make it super convenient to scale content outsourcing.
But the one upside I've seen with iWriter is the speed of delivery. My iWriter orders tend to come in much quicker than Textbroker. I've gotten orders completed within an hour of submitting the details.
Plus, iWriter gives you the ability to refuse articles instantly. If you don't like the content, you don't have to pay for it. Textbroker also allows you to decline articles but the process takes longer.
But still, Textbroker has to get the win in this category because of all the great features they have that you don't get with iWriter.
Ok, so this is probably the most important thing for most of you. This is difficult to compare because it really depends on the writer you get.
I'll warn you in advance, sites like iWriter and Textbroker have a lot of writers from countries where English isn't their first language. So you will probably get a few articles back that have grammatical issues or sometimes don't make any sense at all. It's part of the risk you take with content mills.
The biggest benefit iWriter has over Textbroker when it comes to quality however, is a public rating system. You can review the author after you receive an article back, and it affects their overall score. So writers have more motivation to no submit crappy content. You can review authors on Textbroker, but that rating is only seen by you and the author. They're not public. This is a HUGE downside to Textbroker for me.
Without a public review system, there's little to no quality control. If someone is continuously getting medicore or bad reviews on Textbroker, they can still accept your orders. With iWriter, you set the average rating level of writers you're willing to accept.
Textbroker determines author ratings in-house. According to their website, this is their process.
Our experienced team of editors first evaluates your signup article and rates your content from 2 to 5 stars. Each article is analyzed, and one will be selected for rating and detailed feedback. Star levels are determined by the rating of that article. Authors who have been recently demoted are then prioritized for a quicker rating. We rate all content based on spelling, grammar, punctuation, structure, style, readability, order compliance and other factors.
The problem here is they're basing their rating off a single sample. A public review system would make things a lot better because it forces writers to deliver quality writing on a consistent basis.
In order to give you an idea of the quality of each, I placed two orders on iWriter and two on Textbroker. I wanted to compare iWriter's premium quality to Textbroker's three star quality. And iWriter's Elite quality to Textbroker's four star quality.
Since their pricing system is a little different, I set my iWriter price to match Textbroker's, so it's a fairer comparison. Plus I used the exact same order details for each order.
I didn't request any edits or edit them at all myself. These are the exact articles I got back.
Iwriter premium article ($9)
6 STRAIGHTFORWARD STEPS TO GETTING YOUR BLOGS A TOP SEO RANKING
Now that you know what search engine optimization(SEO) is and why you need it, the next and the most crucial part that determines whether your blogs survives to witness their first birthday is, SEO tips for bloggers to improve the visibility of your blogs by the search engines.
Alas, you can have a series of mind-blowing blogs only to have a handful of visitors reading your blogs. Thankfully the simple SEO tips for bloggers below will certainly give your blogs a recognition by search engines like Google. Certainly, these tips will increase traffic on your page. Trust me you will be overwhelmed.
Have eye-catching titles
The title of your blog makes the first impression to the readers, and it determines whether they continue reading or they just click exit and move on to the next competitor. Note, there are millions of blogs on the internet and all have the same objective to have more fans. Therefore, be sure to have a striking title because the title carries a lot not only to readers but also to search engines.
Create relevant content
Now, that you have created an elevator pitch in the title, what do you do next? You need to know that people out there are not interested in letters but the content of your blogs, the more relevant the content, the more the readers you have.
Readers have varying interesting in blogs. While some go for eye-opening blogs, others prefer jaw-dropping blogs; either way, content is the backbone of your blogs. Understand what your audience want, prepare it for them, and you are ending towards the first page of the search engines.
Search engines use keywords to rank your blogs. This is a very basic concept that certainly you know if you really are a blogger. But did you know that the position of your keyword plays a key role in search engine optimization (SEO)? You need to know that when a keyword is used in the title, it bears more weight than three keywords used in the content.
Therefore, use the word or the phrase you want the search engines to use to rank you anywhere in your blog as long as it fits naturally and doesn’t affect the flow of ideas.
Getting linked to other websites is one of the most effective ways of increasing traffic on your blog page. While being linked is the hardest thing to get it is the simplest thing to achieve as well. The trick is simple and straightforward, have the right content, and other bloggers will get interested and link you up or have poor content, and you have no friend.
Besides, you can decide to link your blogs to your other blogs or contact other bloggers to link you up if you are confident enough with your blogs. This will certainly boost your SEO ranking.
Well-designed page counts
Search engines don’t have much time to contemplate your complicated page whereas there are straightforward and attractive pages out there. To give your blogs a better position in SEO ranking you need to have an interesting page that is easy to navigate.
Present to search engines for ranking
After you have done all the SEO stuff above, you need to make sure that they have an outlet. Search engines will not know unless you have submitted your blogs for them to recognize. You, therefore, need to research on different ways of presenting your blogs for SEO ranking.
Getting your blogs a top SEO ranking is simple, go ahead and do it!
TEXTBROKER THREE STAR ARTICLE ($9.35)
SEO Tips for Bloggers
If you are a blogger that is concerned about visibility, (SEO) or search engine optimization is something you should look into. People who have blogs that are search engine optimized naturally and organically attract traffic. For example, a person that does not have a blog like this will need to promote their blog on their own opposed to a blog that is properly optimized showing up on the top of search results. Some assume that just because they have a website or a blog that theirs will automatically be visible whenever people do searches. This is a misconception that could be causing many bloggers followers. Search engines like Google, Bing, and more give seniority to bloggers and website owners that create content that is (SEO) friendly. This means that content is written in a way that the search engines notice and reward. In other words search engines reward this type of content with visibility. Now that we know what (SEO) is let's take a look at things a blogger can do to optimize their blog.
SEO Tips for Bloggers
Create Great Content
Creating great content is one of the best things a blogger can do to gain traffic. If you're a blogger and your content is dull, boring, and maybe not well edited, people will know. People know quality and would not revisit a blog that is not interesting let alone share the blog with anyone. Your content represents you so try adding new blog post and at the end of each post add a link back to one of your other post. This will allow people to actually visit your blog much longer. Maybe there is another post that you could bring to their attention that they may be interested in.
Use Original Content
One of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make is visiting another blog or searching the engines and copying topics that they want to blog about. Some go so far as to copy and paste other people's content and others share the same information without putting their own twist on it. I can't stress enough the times that I've done searches on topics only to see at least three websites or blogs with the exact same content. If I noticed it, I am sure the search engines noticed it too. This is an easy way to get penalized by engines without even knowing. Plus this looks very bad in the eyes of people that figure out that content is copied.
Blog About Topics People Are Already Searching
It's true some topics are being searched more than others. There are just some things that people are more interested in than others. Try visiting Google and search certain topics in the search area to see what's coming up in the search results the most. You may need to change the way you word the title or topic but play around with this a bit. Using (SEO) tips will help bloggers gain visibility and traffic.
Iwriter Elite Article ($12)
Effective SEO Tips For Bloggers
Having a blog alone does not guarantee success and immediate increase in online traffic. Given the thousands of blogs, there is at the moment, the competition to make it on top of the landing pages becomes even more challenging. For this reason, business owners who use blogging as part of their marketing strategy usually would rather ask the services of offshore BPO staffs that have keen knowledge on blogging as a search engine optimization technique.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a popular service being offered by most business process outsourcing companies. It refers to the process of improving website visibility on various search engines and eventually generating more traffic to a website. SEO is an effective online marketing strategy and is now being used by many online businesses.
The best part of blogging is that it is not limited to being part of an online marketing strategy. Blogs can be created and maintained by practically anyone else who have access to the internet.
If you are a blogger, here are some SEO tips that are guaranteed to help improve rankings of your blog on search engines. The following effective and actionable tips for bloggers that can fully help them improve their SEO.
1. Choosing the Keyword.
Carefully choose your keywords and make sure you place these keywords strategically within your site. To further expound, keywords are word phrases that internet users use when searching for a particular product, service or information. To fully maximize the use of keywords to your advantage, see to it that your chosen keywords are also placed in the Metadata information of your site. Keywords should be visible in Meta tags and title of your page, within the page content and on its URL. Be careful not to over-use keywords and avoid unnecessary repetitions of such keywords to prevent keyword stuffing.
2. Develop a sitemap for your blog.
A sitemap is a page that features links to all the pages of your site. It helps search engine spiders browse your site more conveniently and also allow internet users to navigate your site more easily.
3. Create links.
Ensure that your page contains links not just to your homepage but the other pages of your site as well. Aside from creating links to the pages of your blog, you can also create links through outbound linking. This is a simple way of encouraging others to link back to your site. Another way to create links is to add useful, relevant and intelligent comments on other blogs as well as posting comments on online forums and adding your links for the other internet users to see. Be careful to avoid spamming, though. Otherwise, your efforts would end up useless. You can also look for fellow bloggers who are interested in exchanging links.
4. Regular blogging
Regularly add new, original and relevant content to your blog. Adding new and interesting contents not only help improve rankings on a search engine, but also encourage repeat visits.
5. Use social bookmarking widgets.
Bookmarking widgets allow web visitors to share pages on social networking sites they regularly use and allow you to gain more traffic and back links to your site.
By using the above tips wisely as a blogger, you will eventually land your blogs higher in SEO.
Textbroker Four Star Article ($12.35)
5 SEO Tips for Bloggers
Do you want to get more traffic for your blog? SEO is the single-most important factor when it comes to obtaining organic search traffic. While the subject can seem complex, you don’t need to be an SEO expert to get your blog ranking higher in the search results. Following a few simple tips can dramatically improve your site’s numbers.
1. Research Keywords
You aren’t going to have much luck ranking high in the search results without choosing the right keywords for your blog posts. One of the best ways to get more traffic is choosing long-tail keywords with less competition. Let’s say that you have a blog about home improvement ideas. It’s going to be difficult to achieve a high ranking if your keywords are “home improvement projects.” Instead, try something more specific, such as “home improvement projects for under $100.”
There are many keyword research tools available online. One free option is the Keyword Planner through Google Adwords.
2. Install an SEO Plugin
An SEO plugin will analyze your blog posts and recommend ways you can adjust them so they’re better suited for high rankings in the search results. Many plugins are available free of charge, so you should definitely install one right away. If you’re using WordPress, Yoast is one of the most popular and effective SEO plugins.
3. Create Long-Form Content
As a general rule, longer content is better when it comes to search rankings. On average, the top 10 results for the typical search are each 2,000 words or more, so make it your goal to create content that is at least that long. Remember that it’s better to have one post that achieves a high ranking than several posts that are all buried in the search results, because most web users won’t look past the first page.
4. Get Backlinks
Backlinks are when another site links to your site, and search engines factor the number of backlinks, particularly backlinks from high-authority sites, into your site’s search ranking. There are several ways that you can obtain backlinks. Writing a guest post for another site is one option, or you can try the skyscraper technique. This is where you find content that has quite a few backlinks and create your own better version of that content. You then contact sites that are linking to the original content and mention that you recently wrote a similar article. Some of those site owners may link to your content instead if it’s clearly superior.
5. Insert Keywords into Your Blog Posts Correctly
For the keywords that chose, insert them into at least one header in your post, the first paragraph of the content and the alt tags of any images you insert into the content. Make sure you insert them naturally, as keyword stuffing doesn’t work anymore. If you installed an SEO plugin, that will help you determine where to insert the keywords to get the best results.
It takes some time to get the hang of SEO. But once you do, you’ll find it much easier to create posts with high rankings that bring your site plenty of traffic.
It's also worth noting that when you're ordering from content mills, don't expect perfection. Particularly if you're not ordering the highest tier pricing they offer. When you're paying less than $20 for a 1,000 word article, you shouldn't expect the best quality.
Unless you have low standards, you probably won't be able to just copy and paste the articles you receive from iWriter or Textbroker and hit publish. They'll need some TLC and editing first.
My advice is to try be extremely detailed with your writing requirements. That way there's less room for error. And once you find good writers on either site, save them to your list of top writers.
Let's talk about pricing. Textbroker's pricing starts at .013 cents per word for the two start quality. But that content is so poor there's no reason to use it. The next level up is three star, which is .018 cents per word.
iWriter starts at as little as .006 cents per word, but their pricing is a bit different. You have the ability to set the actual price you're willing to pay per article.
But for the sake of comparison, here's what the pricing looks like for iWriter versus Textbroker at comparable quality levels. This is a comparison between iWriter's second tier and Textbroker's second tier, which is the lowest tier you should be ordering from either one.
# of Words
So as you can see, iWriter is a lot cheaper. In fact, you could get iWriter's next tier up for almost the same price as Textbroker's second tier.
Textbroker also charges a $0.35 service fee on each order, which I included in my pricing chart above.
It looks like iWriter wins the pricing battle.
Textbroker or iWriter: Which is Better?
It's difficult to say one is better than the other. It really depends on what you're looking for.
Choose iWriter if...
Go with iWriter if you need content quickly or if you're on a budget. You'll have a hard time finding content this cheap anywhere else.
If you don't mind taking time to edit the content, or going through a few duds to get a decent article, iWriter is worth a try.
Choose Textbroker if...
Textbroker is great for online marketers or companies with more advanced content needs. For instance, if you need content for multiple sites or if you're working with teams, Textbroker is a solid option.
Quality control can be an issue, but Textbroker is definitely upping its game to make it a more legit marketplace for content. I wouldn't be suprised if they start reaching the popularity of sites like Upwork or Freelancer.com.
I recommend giving both a try to see which works best for your needs. I've been ordering a lot from iWriter recently to get a ton of content for The Cosmo Project site, so that's my current pick.
The quick ordering process makes it super convenient for me and I don't mind spending a little extra time editing and improving the articles I receive. Whichever one you choose, be patient and like I said, don't expect a home run with every order.
Have you tried iWriter and Textbroker? Let me know which one you prefer in the comments below.