Article Brokering Sites
When we speak about article brokering, we're speaking about trading in articles or in selling our service to write articles. For example, we could write an article about anything we like, and then try and sell it. Alternatively, someone might ask for articles on a particular theme, and we can provide our services to write those articles to order. Working in this way you will generally be paid for a fixed amount be expected to give up all rights to the work in return. It's very much a short-term game.
Textbroker (US only)
Textbroker is a US-based site specialising in connecting companies that require written content with authors that can provide it. They support writers with a range of abilities through a five-star rating system. The lowest quality they deal in is two-star content, which is described as 'legible' and has a standard rate of 0.7 cents per word. The three star and four star content is described as 'good' and 'excellent', which pays 1.0 and 1.4 cents per word respectively. The highest rating of five stars pays a much higher rate of 5.0 cents per word, but there are probably not many requests for this level of quality.
On making an application you will be asked to write a trial article; this will be assessed and used to give you an initial star rating. Your rating dictates the work you can complete; for example, a three star writer cannot submit an article for a four star request. Th rate of pay you receive is based on the request you fulfil, rather than your rating. For example, if a four star writer submits an an article for a two star request, the writer is paid the two star rate even if it is a much higher quality. There is also the option of employers directly commissioning writers to do work, for instance if they like the work of a particular writer. When working this way you can negotiate your own rate of pay.
Textbroker is currently only open to US residents and requires tax information to be submitted. As such I can't personally explore their system or relate any direct experiences. There are some mixed opinions on the net but none of it is too damming and generally positive; the biggest complaint seems to be the low rate of pay.
Words of Worth (UK)
Words of Worth is a UK-based site that is also open to writers from other English speaking countries. It is slightly different to the average site in that instead of dealing with individual articles, it matches writers with contracts to provide streams of work. The sort of work assigned may involve providing regular article and news updates for corporate blogs, but they also apparently deal with a large variety of writing assignments. Having a consistent stream of work is a big bonus but it does come with a downside: you also have an obligation to live up to your side of the contract and continue to provide the required amount of completed work. If at some point you wish to quit you are obliged to give them 30 days notice. It is hard to find independent reports but the few I've found all seem to regard it as a positive organisation to work for but stress the fact that it is very important that you are able to keep up with the work.
The application procedure is pretty simple. The first step is to fill out a basic application online with your basic information and a brief description of yourself and your areas of expertise. Within a week you will receive a trial assignment asking you to write an article for a particular site. This may involve sourcing a recent piece of relevant news and rewriting it for the target site. You will then hear back in a few days as to whether they are going to include you or not. I have just been through the application and it seemed very clear and straightforward at every stage, but unfortunately once accepted there is currently a five or six month queue of writers waiting for contracts. There is however always a chance of something coming up that specifically matches your profile.
Constant content is a site that specialises as the middleman between authors and SEO operators requiring content. There's two options of obtaining work. Firstly, you can choose to write about whatever you like and upload it into their system for sale. You can set your own price (or allow offers on it) and can choose from 3 different sale options:
- Usage: Basically just allows the buyer to reprint the article as is on their own site. You can sell usage rights an unlimited number of times.
- Unique: Similar to usage but the buyer is the only one allowed to reprint the article. The article is then removed from the site.
- Full Rights: The buyer gains all rights relating to the article. He can publish, modify and even resell the article in any way he wishes.
The second way to get work is to answer requests for specific articles. If you don't mind writing about someone else's choice of subject this will get a return on your work faster, as there's no guarantee how long your articles could be waiting for a buyer. The going rate seems to be around $20 for full rights to a 500 word article. Constant content uses PayPal and direct bank transfers for amounts over $500 (though you can always use PayPal if preferred). Payments are processed every month in the first week of the month.