I already know what my autobiography will be called: I, Writer. After all, I’ve been writing most of my life (let’s just leave out the exact number of years), and now, I’m even ghost writing for others. I’ve seldom outsourced so there has not been much of a need for research in this area. But when one of my visitors asked me for my opinion on iWriter, I just felt compelled to perform the necessary due diligence and write this iWriter review.
This post should galvanize a lot of interest because iWriter must rank among the top 5 most frequently suggested freelance content writing services. In forums, like the WarriorForum and Digital Point, folks vehemently argue about the merits and negatives of the iWriter experience – both from a provider and user standpoint.
For the purposes of this review, I will examine this content generator from a buyer’s perspective, with a particular emphasis on iWriter’s quality, bang-for-buck, and ease of use.
Should you become an iWriter customer? Let’s dig deep, past the smoke and mirrors.
- 1 iWriter’s Premise
- 1.1 Where Are the Cream of the Crop Writers? – A Smorgasbord for Users
The marketplace thrives when supply meets demand. Take a hungry, starving crowd, craving blog sustenance and nourishment (i.e., compelling content) and then have thousands upon thousands of writers at the helm, waiting to provide the desperately-sought prose.
Better yet, have customers detail their exact specifications, and then indicate the type of writing expertise the author should possess.
Now, of course, customers want to get the most talented, proficient writers available, but may not wish to pay for the privilege. So much depends on what the content will be used for. Is it meant to stir visitors into a frenzy on a money site, or is it merely fodder for much less important satellite sites?
Therefore, the ball is in a given customer’s court. He/she decides on the skill level of the writer: Basic, Premium, Elite, and Elite Plus. Predictably, the price rises as the writer’s skill set elevates. As usual, quality and price go hand in hand.
Ideally, a perfect union and symbiotic relationship is formed between writer and consumer. The former looks for reliable customers who appreciate the writer’s efforts. The latter seeks a top-quality content provider who offers services at a bargain rate. (Even the relatively expensive Elite or Elite Plus writer may be deemed a Godsend if the content is considered stellar and the expected return on investment is a healthy one.)
Where Are the Cream of the Crop Writers? – A Smorgasbord for Users
I’m privy to the scuttlebutt about iWriter. While they have legions of fans, they also have a sizeable disillusioned client base.
The complaints primarily center on the quality of the writing, or lack thereof. Indeed, some of the work lacks any degree of research, insight, or passion. It’s as if the writers just want to fulfill the assignment in name only, collect the money, and go on their merry way.
Other users contend that plagiarism is a growing problem with the site, although iWriter purportedly checks for duplicate content on the Internet. Sadly, there are some fraudsters who sign up multiple accounts with iWriter, and either copy online articles or parts of articles, or spin articles that are not very readable. Founder, Brad Cullen, and team, do their best to thwart this would-be thievery by banning such accounts.
But users also have power to defend against this type of illicit business activity: They can reject any given article and get their money back. The policies of iWriter seem liberal-minded and consumer-friendly, and folks can even receive credit after payment has been issued, if, for instance, they notice that the article has been plagiarized or seems similar to other articles.
Here is another eye-opening maneuver that users can implement: Only hire writers in the Premium, Elite, or Elite Plus group. The chances of receiving poor copy or copied copy are much less when you interact with the more talented writing pool. You can drown if you opt to save money and take your chances among the sea of Basic or ‘All Writers.’
I don’t mean to cast a negative light on those ‘Basic Writers’ who may just be starting out on the site. There is still a tremendous amount of literary might among this category. But again, there are too many folks on this lower rung who just want to turn a profit by writing a phantom article.
Remember, the cream rises to the top so look for those stars.
Here is a brief description of iWriter’s star rating, where the top number of stars is 5.
Basic – Everyone and theirgrandmother has access to your article request
Premium – Writers who have earned at least 4.1 stars can see your request.
Elite – Writers who have earned at least 4.6 stars can see your request.
Elite Plus– This select pool of writers have earned at least 4.85 stars
Elite Plus may be beyond the scope of your budget, or beyond your interest in spending an inordinate sum of money on content. (I will soon outline all the relevant pricing.) Big businesses and successful firms may opt for Elite Plus outsource writers to ensure their quality is top-notch, and can be used as-is, without editing.
That said, you can more readily find your ‘go-to writer’ in the Premium and Elite categories. Imagine getting a well-written article 24 hours after you send the request – just ready to be posted on your site, and perhaps monetized.
I’m Strapped for Money – Can I Find a Useful Needle in the Basic Haystack?
Who doesn’t want to get a bargain? I just mentioned that high-quality content is only a click away when you request a writer from the Premium, Elite, or Elite Plus categories.
Does this mean you’ll get a dud when you opt for a 3-star Basic writer? Not necessarily – especially if you follow the advice of Chris Lee, a successful marketer. He asserts that you have to instruct a Basic writer to write an article that is not written for the search engines. In other words, the article should be written naturally without much focus on how many times a certain keyword phrase is used.
Quality suffers when these writers have to use a given keyword or phrase X percentage of times. Take off the reins, allow these writers to have full access to the King’s English, and the prose will turn out much better. Instead of indicating keywords in the box that iWriter provides, it may be best to just write the title of the piece.
Let the writing candidate know that you just want him/her to write in a free-flowing, natural way, injecting some personality into the material.
Chris also recommends that you ask the writer to use several sources, and note them. You should also caution the writer that the output will be thoroughly checked for plagiarism.
In this way, you can land a big whale of a good writer in the big pool of basic fish.
An added note: Even if you have indicated that you’re only willing to pay ‘Basic pricing,’ even Premier, Elite, and Elite plus writers will see your request. It’s still possible that a writer in one of these categories will take the job at a lower fee just to build up even more credibility and star power.
Let’s Talk Doe – How Much Does iWriter Cost?
Yes, after scanning the price list, I see that you can get articles as cheap as $1.25. You can also get articles as expensive as $130 – but that would not be a very good marketing angle. Still, iWriting seems very competitive and fair-minded, with the potential of getting a bargain if you use the secrets that I shared above.
Here are iWriter’s Prices:
|Article length of 150 words|
|Article length of 300 words|
|Article length of 400 words|
|Article length of 500 words|
|Article length of 700 words|
|Article length of 1,000 words|
|Article length of 2,000 words|
Please note that these represent the minimum amount each article will cost. You can set your own customized pricing.
Obviously, the higher you’re willing to pay (keep an eye on your budget!), the more likelihood that you’ll reel in a quality writer.
Time to Outsource – Getting Started on iWriter
Ready, set, go – it’s time to test the content generation waters. Here is a step-by-step depiction on how to start receiving content from iWriter members:
1) Sign up for iWriter – a process that should take minutes. You’ll decide on a unique username and password.
2) Add money from your PayPal account to your iWriter account. This should be lickity split, too.
3) Fill out a very intuitive form with the following parameters:
a) Project type – You’ll typically have articles that will be written on your behalf. However, these other options exist: have articles re-written or have a Kindle or e-book written.
b) Project description – You’ll provide a brief overview of your project.
c) Category – There are about 40 categories to choose from. You’ll select the one that best fits.
d) Article length – You’ll specify how long the article should be. As you can see from the pricing chart above, there are 7 options: 150 words, 300, 400, 500, 700, 1000, and 2,000.
e) Language – Alright, so the writer may not have to use the King’s English. There are other language options, including French, German, and Spanish.
f) Submit to – What category are you submitting the request to? Are you looking for Basic, Premier, Elite, or Elite Plus writers?
g) Price per article – Consult the chart above for the minimum pricing per article. While the form does not show that volume discounts are offered for multiple articles, consult iWriter for possible custom pricing for very large orders.
h) Keywords – These are the words you wish to be optimized in an article for search engine ranking purposes. (You may not wish to target any keywords)
i) Total project cost – If you opt for several articles, just multiply the cost of one article times the total number of requested articles.
j) Writing style – The tone can be noted as friendly, professional, or other.
k) Article purpose – Let the prospective writer know your expectations and conceptions about the article. You can write, for instance, that the material will be used for your money site, and that it should be in-depth, yet easy to understand, and relevant to the topic (no tangents to be used as filler). It should be informative and entertaining, where the audience wants to read more.
I) Special instructions – You can provide even more details about your wishes and expectations, pertaining to the project. Do you want the writer to use frequent headings and sub-headings, for example? Should bullet points be included? Does the writer have to use a keyword phrase a certain percentage of time, or should he/she ignore optimization factors. (My guess, and this is only conjecture on my part, is that you’ll have more writers at your disposal when you waive optimization requirements.)
Other iWriter Secrets
By simply exercising common sense and assuming the role of educated consumer, you’ll likely find that iWriter can provide you with the type of high quality content that you desire.
Here are just a couple of ways to optimally benefit from the system:
1) Try not to go to either extreme, as one who will blindly accept faulty articles, or as someone who will reject an article for the slightest, minuscule mistake.
2) Know that you can find great value in the basic category, but be very open to spending more when the material is of utmost importance.
3) You will inevitably find your ideal writer(s). Place each name in a ‘Favorite’s list’ and submit all new projects to that list.
4) Try to connect with your prospective writer from the get-go – Yes, you can say you’re very demanding, but you can also mention that you’re very complimentary when you receive quality work, and that you have no qualms providing a 5-star rating when the author merits it.
5) If applicable, indicate that you’re looking to establish a potentially long-term relationship with a writer. This should interest folks who desire consistent work from a ‘boss’ who may appreciate their skill.
6) Always check the completed article for plagiarism to be absolutely certain it’s original. Copyscape is just one recommended plagiarism checker.
7) Add your own finishing touches and alterations, if necessary. Yes, you’re paying for the service, and theoretically, you should not have to do any editing, but make changes if it will improve the quality of the piece.
8) Think twice about using spun content. While you have the option to spin versions with the article you receive, I suggest refraining from the practice. Logic and readability suffer in the process.
Are There Any Extras?
There are value added services available here, outlined as follows:
a) You can download articles in spin tag ready format. In this way, you can generate multiple articles on the same subject, avoiding any duplicate content penalty. Exercise caution and common sense if you plan to spin these articles. If you’re a pro-spinning advocate, only post them to third party sites, such as article directories.
b) You can upload articles directly onto your blog – One click posting is readily available. You’ll see the option in your Articles Completed section.
iWriting Alternatives– While I wholeheartedly endorse iWriter and believe it can offer tremendous bang for the buck, you may consider some competitors:
Constant Content – Freelancers can produce custom articles. Buyers can also purchase pre-written essays.
Text Broker – This is a premium writing service that is typically higher-priced than its competitors. Some contend that it’s worth the extra expense.
WriterAccess – Using an iWriter-like star system (ratings are as high as 6 stars here), articles can easily be obtained at a price that fluctuates, depending on the author’s star category.
Crowd Content – A new player in the curated content field, this service is gaining momentum because of the apparent high quality work it offers its clients. Pricing can be steep, however, from 2.2 cents to 12 cents a word, dependent on the star level (1-4) of the author. You can also opt for standard projects, such as blog entries, website content, e-books, and press releases, or use them for special formats, such as Facebook posts or Twitter tweets.
Prominent Offers Affiliate Network Team – We have partnered with a reputable and reliable company that offers a bulk of 10 articles for $199. Each article is 1,000 words and can be readily used on money sites as they’re authored by adept, English-speaking writers.
Other sites, such as Fiverr, Upwork, Elance, and Freelancer – Here, you have to perform your own due diligence and contract with a writer that you deem best, with one eye on quality and the other on budget. Examine the rating and reviews of all prospective writers.
iWriter Review – Final Determination
If time is money, then iWriter should save you a bundle. Here, it’s very possible to get quality content at an extremely reasonable cost.
By fulfilling your role as an enlightened, educated iWriter consumer, implementing the suggestions listed above, you can conceivably outsource all your content writing just from using this source.
Will there be hiccups along the way? It’s very possible if you happen to connect with a writer who simply does not value the art of writing, or does not possess the skills of a wordsmith. But you need not accept any given article, and you’ll eventually pave the way to receive more polished material. Better yet, you’ll soon join forces with a superior author – someone who can weave words into gold.
The turnaround time can be lightning quick, and you may just capture lightning in a bottle your first experience. There are gifted authors among the iWriter crowd, and hopefully, you’ll be able to separate the wheat from the chaff, and connect with one.