When discussing the pros, cons, advantages, and disadvantages of iWriter, as a content outsourcing platform, it is important to understand the dynamics of the platform itself. While my next article installment in this series will go into detail regarding how the site actually operates and how you can tactically leverage the inherent functionality of the site to make more money, for this article it is important to understand that there are essentially two sides, perspectives, or groups of people who will utilize the website. In a supply and demand-type system, these two sides of the platform are:
- The Article Requester or Content Buyer (The website says "For Businesses" below...)
- The Article Writer or Content Provider
Because of the dual faceted composition of the iWriter platform, there are essentially two basic fundamental ways to make money from it: by either writing content yourself, or by having content written for you and later using that content to realize some kind of marketing gain through the provision of affiliate links or the display of Google Adsense ads. Whether you wrote an article yourself, or your outsourced the content creation, there are many things you can actually do with your completed product:
- Post it to your own blog.
- Post it to a Web 2.0 revenue sharing website platform, like InfoBarrel.
- Post it to an article submission directory, such as EzineArticles, GoArticles, or Article Alley.
- Seek out and achieve content syndication.
- (Do you do something different with your articles, than those items that were already mentioned? Mention them down in the comment's section, please....)
Though this exhaustive series of articles is related directly to tips, tricks, tactics and strategies that you can apply to succeeding (i.e. making more money) on InfoBarrel itself, many of the listed approaches and methods, by their very nature, will never be limited to application on InfoBarrel alone.
Back to iWriter....
Knowing this structure of the iWriter website, a thorough and comprehensive review of iWriter will require nothing short than consideration of both sides of the platform.
Following below, I will cover pros, cons, disadvantages, and advantages of using iWriter from both perspectives mentioned above: as an article requester or content buyer and as an article writer or content provider. In complete transparency, however, I have never actually used iWriter as an article writer. While I have toyed with the idea of trying more for research sake, at the time of this writing, I have never used that side of iWriter. Since my intent is to keep this article published for a very long time, it is likely that I will try this side of iWrite some time in the future.
Here are some pros and cons to outsourcing content to a freelance writer, as an article requester or content buyer, through iWriter:
Pros or Advantages to Outsourcing Article Writing and Content Creation:
The Good: For Article Buyers or Requesters
1) You Can Set Your Own Price. Because I have found iWriter to be my personal favorite place to outsource article writing, this “pro” relates more to the use of that platform. One reason I love it so much is because literally, at the lowest end, you can get an article written for as low as $1.25. In fairness, iWriter isn’t the only online platform that allows you to set your own price, however, it is one that I have grown to prefer amongst a plethora of similar business models. Though you can purchase an article for as low as $1.25 a piece, I would never recommend that as, as you will see later, iWriter is structured in such a way as to allow a writer access to different pools of quality writers dependent upon an escalating payment scale that is based on 3 factors that I’ll mention later (please, see my next article installment in this series, for a pricing chart of how pricing is impacted by these 3 factors).
2) It is Very Easy to Join. On a website like iWriter, one would think that there would be some complex screening process involved for both buyers and writers. After a website re-design, iWriter became incredibly simple to sign up and register for. Dependent on how quickly you can type in the following information will determine just how quickly you can register/sign-up and begin posting your content projects for the website's global reach of freelance writers to begin tackling. It is this very ease of signing up that, I believe, has attracted quite a substantial amount of members in recent months. Below, you can see a screen capture of what the sign-up page looks like, for content buyers or article requesters.
3) There is a VERY Fast Turn-Around Time. Again, this “pro” relates specifically to my experience on iWriter. This one is riddled with a lot of “it depends” though, as the turn-around time is really directly related to the guidance and requirements you convey from the onset of a project. It may generally take a longer time frame for a 2,000 word article to be written, versus a 500 word article, and any research that you require, of course, will impact the turn-around time. For me, though, a 1,000 word article, submitted to a premium pool tier of writers, has either been returned completed the same day or the next following day.
4) There are Many Writers Ready, Willing, and Waiting to Write for You! My experience with iWriter, thusfar, has reflected a fairly substantial and sizable pool of writers who are ready and waiting to begin a new posted projected immediately. Generally, within minutes (sometimes even seconds) of me posting a project, I have had a writer 'claim' my project and begin working on it almost immediately. When operating a site like iWriter, it is ultimately up to the owners to drive quality users to both the writer, as well as, the buyer side of the platform. Judging by the near instantaneous response by writers vying for a single project, my impression is that the writer side of the house, on iWriter, is much more prevalent than the buyer side. It would seem that, for every article written, that there are at least 10-20 writers ready to pounce on it so that they can claim the extra available work presented to them.
5) It is VERY Cheap to Buy an Article. I was never a big fan of the word "cheap". Just by using that word, it seems to convey a compromised sense of worth and value. I concede that "cheap" isn't always a good thing. When strictly looking at price alone, not only can a buyer or requester actually set their own price on an escalating scale, but the lowest end of that scale seeps down very low: in fact, you will find that the lowest tiered price for an article, on iWriter, assuming the minimum quality and length standards, will be $1.25! For the purpose of a one-time test of the platform to strictly see how it works, this may not be a bad deal, however, again, I wouldn't recommend entering into buying articles or content for THAT price point. Later, in this InfoBarrel article series, I will talk about what I feel is the optimum price point on iWriter, and how that relates to a higher standard of quality.
6) You Can Reject Poor Quality Articles. Now, welcome a serious crux that, when expanded upon, has really become a very difficult challenge for an online platform, like iWriter, to navigate day-in and day-out. For any supply-and-demand sided business model platform, like iWriter, there is a perpetual balancing act that must be done to accommodate the needs and requirements of buyers, as well as, those who actually produce the content (i.e. the article writers). How does one go about making a system like this as fair as possible for everyone involved? On iWriter, this is a key point where buyers have inherently been given a lot of power to essentially set the virtual destiny of many online writers. Even after the investment of hours, or days, of writing an article, a buyer is more than welcome to simply reject an article that they deem as poor quality. Though they are also provided with the option of having an article re-written, some do jump straight towards rejecting an article. As you can see, if you ever have intent to purchase articles through iWriter, you can see that this system weighs fairly heavily in favor of the buyer.
7) You Can Secure the High Quality Writers You Come Across. Though high quality writers can be hard to come by--dependent upon price point, of course--iWriter does allow for a "favorit-ing" function so that article buyers or requesters can essentially keep and secure the high quality talent that they stumble across when outsourcing their various job. Did you find a writer that met and exceeded all your standards and expectations? Was the writer capable of producing a final product that took into account your guidance and instructions perfectly? These writers can be very valuable, and, for that reason, this iWriter function is extremely valuable in itself. There is a great evidence that finding these writers, early on, can lead to a significant cost savings over time. In future article installments in this series, I will detail several tactics and strategies that an article buyer or requester can apply on the FRONTEND of the process in order to greatly increase their odds of finding and securing high quality writers as quickly as possible. Again, doing these things will save you ALOT of time, energy, and money in both the long and short term.
Cons or Disadvantages to Outsourcing Article Writing and Content Creation:
The Bad: For Article Buyers or Requesters
1) Finding Quality Writers Can Be a Perpetual Struggle. While iWriter has proven to be a tremendous virtual opportunity for those all over the globe to find work, a perpetual guarantee is that there will be a plethora of poor quality writers dispersed throughout the writer userbase. When entering iWriter as a buyer or requester, a lower price point is generally a breeding ground for lower quality content. While you may occasionally luck out and strike gold by finding a writer who is able to produce high quality content, at a very low price, it is likely that this arrangement will only endure as long as it takes that writer to further establish themselves on the platform. Though you may luck out and find a writer that is more motivated by the love of writing as an endearing art form, rather than the long-term monetary benefits, that likely won't be the case is 99.9% of situations. The truth of the matter is that people are generally, and primarily, attracted to, and motivated by, money, on a website like iWriter.
Instead, when you post a project, you will find that writers are in varying stages of their pursuit of a higher level of authority which, essentially relates to a higher level of price they can command for their work. Fortunately, as mentioned earlier in this article, you can definitely use iWriter's "favorite" function in order to keep and secure writers long into the forseeable future. With your list of favorited writers, and positive past experiences, you can essentially cut through the noise and directly hire, or provide work to, that specific writer in the future.
In the below image, you can see my ever-growing list of favorite writers. As I post more and more article writing projects, the iWriter system inherently allows me to identify, keep, and secure the high quality writers that have performed well, to my specific instructions, standards, guidance, and expectations. This list can be seen when you click on your user profile, inside iWriter. As you can see, you have free reign and flexibility to add and delete whatever writers you choose to, whenever you choose to.
2) You May FEEL Like You are Ripping People Off. Whenever discussion about outsourcing article writing or content creation is had, raging debate typically ensues over what many perceive as being low pay or compensation. This debate really is multi-faceted, with opinions varying tremendously, dependent upon factors like culture, location, etc. In my time writing online, some of the fiercest forum threads I have encountered relate specifically to this topic. The perpetual internal dilemma I have personally faced relates to how I can maximize my quality return, while paying as little as possible, while also not treating people inhumanely or unjustly. Some will, and have, argued that writers don't HAVE to work for low wages. Further, there it is virtually impossible to even identify what a low wage REALLY is, especially in a global context where people perceive value and wage differently. While paying $5 an article may be insulting to some, to other, it may be an opportunity to earn a daily wage in one sitting. As mentioned before, I would highly encourage the selective usage of iWriter's "TIP" function, as it really gives an article buyer or content requester the opportunity to demonstrate further appreciation based on the quality of work delivered, as well as, how well that writer adhered to your specific project instructions and guidelines.
Further down in this article installment, when I discuss the pros, cons, advantages and disadvantages of using iWriter, from a writer perspective, I will discuss the differences in payment across all three tiered pools of writers: basic (standard), premium, and elite!
(More Coming Soon....)
As a solid nugget of advice here, I would urge anyone attempting to use iWriter to do so with at least some reservation and hesitancy. Though this platform allows you to be separated from people through the vast expanse of a degree of anonymity behind cyberspace, there really are real human people operating on the writer side. The fact that you don’t actually know someone, beyond their screename and reviews (if they have any), can make it very easy to penalize them for fairly minor quality issues. You will find content providers of all sorts no matter where you look online. Some are honest. Some are not. Some have your best interest, as a buyer, in mind. Some don’t. Some will toil hours to write you a perfect piece of content to the best of your liking, and in accordance with your strict guidance and expectations. Some will accept a project, and knowingly spin a heap of garbage only to deliver it in a fairly unreasonably fast amount of time.
Later in this article installment series I will talk about some specific strategies and tactics you can apply to help you ensure at least a reasonable quality of content returned to you.
- Tips, Tricks, Tactics, Strategies, Tools, Resources, and Lessons Learned from New and Veteran InfoBarrel Writers.....and, How Can I Use Them to Make More Money on InfoBarrel in 2013-2014 and Beyond? - Part 1
- Tips, Tricks, Tactics, Strategies, Tools, Resources, and Lessons Learned from New and Veteran InfoBarrel Writers.....and, How Can I Use Them to Make More Money on InfoBarrel in 2013-2014 and Beyond? - Part 2
- Tips, Tricks, Tactics, Strategies, Tools, Resources, and Lessons Learned from New and Veteran InfoBarrel Writers.....and, How Can I Use Them to Make More Money on InfoBarrel in 2013-2014 and Beyond? - Part 3
- Tips, Tricks, Tactics, Strategies, Tools, Resources, and Lessons Learned from New and Veteran InfoBarrel Writers.....and, How Can I Use Them to Make More Money on InfoBarrel in 2013-2014 and Beyond? - Part 5
- Tips, Tricks, Tactics, Strategies, Tools, Resources, and Lessons Learned from New and Veteran InfoBarrel Writers.....and, How Can I Use Them to Make More Money on InfoBarrel in 2013-2014 and Beyond? - Part 6