Beginning freelance writers often get discouraged and give up after their first few months, because the money simply doesn't come in as quickly as they were expecting. Many take the leap into self-employment without even knowing where to start. Online freelance writers will turn to sites like Textbroker.com, expecting these freelance websites and content mills to be the answer to their problems.
But what happens? They realize that making a lot of money online as a freelance writer is difficult! At times it seems impossible. The money trickles in so slowly during those first few months, and many writers give up and look for other opportunities.
Below are Textbroker tips from 12 freelance writers who have earned decent money on Textbroker.com (and other freelancing sites like Textbroker). Put some of their tips to work to improve your Textbroker earnings.
1. Comfort Zone: Write About Topics You're Not Familiar With
Freelance writer Chris Cehlarik doesn't know a single thing about fashion, but she researches and writes article after article about purses, shoes, and designer clothing. Why? Because that's the kind of thing she has to do to make a decent amount of money writing for Textbroker clients. You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and take on assignments that seem overwhelming at first.
As she points out, the client will often give a URL to another site where you can find all the info you need to write the article. And even when no "sample article" is provided, most Textbroker clients aren't very demanding about the level of detail and research that you put into the assignment, so merely browsing through 2 or 3 articles on the client's keyword will often provide all the info you need to make the client happy.
If you want to make money on Textbroker, you have to stretch yourself and take on writing assignments that are beyond your current knowledge base.
2. Niche: Focus On Topics You Feel Confident Writing About
On the one hand, new Textbroker authors often need to boldly take on writing assignments for which they have no previous knowledge if they want to make more money. But part-time freelancer Gabriel Howell points out that a lack of self-confidence is often an issue for the beginner. So taking the time to find topics you are already knowledgeable about will allow you to write those first few articles with confidence and skill. That may be all you need to get over that initial hump and start making money on Textbroker.
3. Speed: Write Articles Quickly To Earn More Money
Every Textbroker author eventually comes to the realization that the only way they will ever make a decent income on there is to write articles quickly. Blogger and freelancer Julie DeNeen breaks each assignment down into chunks - writing the title, intro and conclusion first, then fleshing the body out until her word count and content requirements are met.
This method allows her to complete 2-3 500-word articles per hour, and that's the kind of speed required to make writing on Textbroker worthwhile.
4. Quality: Write Better Articles And Improve Your Skills
While focusing on volume and writing speed is most often recognized as the path to higher Textbroker earnings, HubPages author SOKCGOLD makes the case that focusing on quality can offer even more advantages.
His suggested method to making more money on Textbroker is to focus on advancing to the next TB skill level - that should become your #1 priority. The advantages to this approach become clear when considering the pay increase from the 4-star level to the 5-star level. A 4-star author earns $7 for a 500-word article, but that same article would earn a 5-star author $25!
In your quest to improve writing speed and volume, be sure to also spend time improving your writing and editing skills. The difference in income can be substantial.
5. Humility: Eagerly Accept And Act On TB Editors' Feedback
Fitness fanatic and ebook author Damien Darby highlights a benefit of Textbroker.com that is practically unheard of in the online freelance writing world: TB editors actually critique your writing and offer specific, detailed suggestions for improvement. Not only do they offer this free service, but the site also maintains a blog in which writing tips are offered freely. He recommends that Textbroker authors take advantage of this feedback to improve their writing ability.
6. Managed Clients: Take Open Orders From The TB Priority Assignments Forum
5-star Textbroker author RA Marshall made over $1,100 last month (September 2012) by writing for TB's managed clients. Managed clients are basically big spenders who provide tons of work for Textbroker writers, and TB even has teams that focus on these clients.
Marshall recommends that one of the best ways to get invited onto one of these TB-managed teams is to hit the Priority Assignments Forum regularly and pick up the Open Orders that the editors list there. Doing so is a great way to get into the TB staff's good graces and land yourself a steady stream of Team Orders for these managed clients.
7. Client Instructions: Don't Waste Time On Low-Paying, High-Maintenance Clients
HubPages writer paxwill describes a phenomenon that nearly every Textbroker author - newbie and veteran - is familiar with: you click on an Open Order to see what the client wants, and the instructions are so long, complicated, and demanding that it will take you longer to read the instructions than it will take to actually write the article. Sometimes the client wants you to read even more instructions on their website too!
Time is money, so think twice before overextending yourself with these clients. At first you may feel frustrated with the other type of clients: the ones who give a keyword and a word count and no other expanation for what they want. But in time you will learn to love those clients. It's the ones with the 500-word instructions who send back your submissions for rewrites over and over. Make it easy on yourself and learn to avoid the divas.
8. Profile: Fill It Out Completely And Professionally
Freelance writer Angela Farrer took forever to finally fill out her extended author profile on her Textbroker account, but once she finally did, things started to get exciting. Soon, the Direct Orders began to trickle in. That trickle turned to a flood (sort of), and now she has a steady flow of Direct Orders and repeat clients to keep her busy.
A professional writer on a professional freelance website needs to have a professional profile, so fill yours out as completely as you can.
9. Direct Orders: Ask For Them
Krisitine Wolfe admonishes Textbroker authors to converse with their Open Order clients, especially those who offer positive feedback and messages. She emphasizes the need to respond promptly and professionally to these clients. Thank them for their feedback and let them know that you are available for Direct Orders.
10. 5-Star Status: Ask For That Too
Freelance consultant K'Lee Banks points out one simple fact that is often overlooked or forgotten by Textbroker authors: in order to advance from level 4 to level 5...you've got to ask! Once you've received at least half a dozen 4-star ratings in a row from the Textbroker editors, ask them to review your account and raise you to 5-star status. There's good money to be made at that pay level.
11. Persistence: Don't Quit Textbroker Too Soon
Well, I'm not exactly a Textbroker pro, but I'm currently earning about $50 per week writing for Textbroker. I actually kind of walked away in frustration after my first month, but I've since been determined to make a comeback on there, and this article is a direct product of that decision. I've been searching out tips for Textbroker success, and I've found quite a few great ideas from TB authors who have gone before. I'm making more money on Textbroker, and I know you can too.
The main lesson I've learned about writing for Textbroker is this: it does get easier. At first you feel frustrated with the clients' ambiguous instructions and the apparent lack of assignments that you feel qualified to write. Then you feel frustrated over the amount of time it takes to research and write those first Open Orders, and for what? Five stinking bucks? It took me all day to make $5?
Then you feel frustrated that it's all ghostwriting, and you'll never see another penny for those articles. These are legitimate reasons to quit and go look for something else to do. But for a beginning freelance writer with no professional background or track record to point to and no high-paying clients, you take what you can get. You pay your dues. You don't quit.
It does get easier. My first 20 articles had me second-guessing my decision to write for Textbroker. But I knew that other freelance writers were making 4-figures per month on that site, and I knew that I could do it too.
And if you're considering giving up (or have already), then you need to know that you can make money on Textbroker too. It does get easier, or to be more precise...you get better at it.
12. Passive Income: Don't Become Too Dependent On Textbroker
Freelance writer Erik Parker made a lot of money on Textbroker before moving on to higher paying clients. One of the many great pieces of advice he offers to up-and-coming authors is to not become too reliant on that Textbroker payout, but to also schedule time every day to work on your own blogs and other writing projects.
It seems counter-intuitive at first: you're a Textbroker writer, and you need to take as many assignments as possible to maximize your payout, so why would you intentionally walk away from TB assignments to work on your blog? Because online freelance writers can't always depend on any one client or income source to always be there, that's why.
You need to have a backup plan.
What would you do if Textbroker went out of business? What would you do if you got demoted to a lower pay-level on Textbroker? What would you do if your computer died, and you couldn't afford a replacement for another month? What would you do if you got sick and couldn't work for a couple of weeks? What would you do if there was a family emergency, and you had to take several weeks or months off to care for a family member?
Every freelance writer should consider dedicating some time to building passive income streams as a backup to their active income from Textbroker or other clients. It just makes sense.
Erik Parker - Advice For Writers: Put Your Own Projects Into Your Schedule By Cycling And Circling (Note: this link is no longer available. Bummer...it was a good read.)
Author: Christopher Desatoff