I’ve been thinking about outsourcing my online tasks recently. The extra time I’d gain can be better used for other online work so the first thing I wanted to do is to find someone to help write good content for my blog. One service called iWriter caught my attention, mainly due to its affordability. But, is the platform worth it?
Since the hiring process comes in stages, this review will be written over several days and I’ll keep you guys updated periodically on the outcome if I do continue using the service. Meanwhile, let’s see how it works.
iWriter at a Glance
iWriter is basically a service provider that connects freelance writers with people who are looking to create custom content for;
- Rewriting articles
- Blog posts
- Press releases
- eBooks/Kindle eBooks
Unlike the Fiverr marketplace that offers most services for $5, there are generally four types of writing qualities to choose from and within each, the price would differ according to the number of words requested. Here’s a snapshot of what to expect for Article-type of orders.
Nowadays, most of my article-length stands at 1,500+ words, which I think is a good volume for indexing and ranking, so I am basically looking within that range. As you can see, the difference between 1,000 and 1,500 words is about $10 which is quite a big jump.
Since I am new to all this and don’t really know what type of quality work that I’ll be getting, I thought to just go ahead with the 1000 words order first. At best, I’ll get a decent article that can be added onto and at worst, I wouldn’t waste that much money. Yeah, I am a low-risk taker 🙂
Now, for the next step.
How to Order a Content?
Before you can place an order, you need to inject funds (minimum $10) into your account and this can be done through PayPal. In fact, it’s the only way to set up a PayPal account if you haven’t already got one. The process is pretty straightforward and the moment a credit card is linked, the money will be transferred to iWriter and any future payment will be deducted from there.
The next step is to look for writers and the first thing I thought of is to select those with higher ratings. These individuals can be found on the dashboard or you can also search manually using the filters. I did the latter, thinking that it was the way to search for ‘Standard’ article writers. So I picked one who seems to be an English native and has earned a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
In the order request form, there are a few things to fill out in order to provide the freelance writer on how to go about producing the article. These would include, among others;
- The targeted keywords for the article.
- The word count and the level of writing.
- The purpose of the article.
- The audience’s demographics that you are targeting.
- The tone of the writing.
- What you want to be included OR excluded within the content.
It’s quite interesting going through these details because certain things never crossed my mind before like the targeted age group or whether I want the content to have a casual or formal-like tone. Such information carries a lot of weight in terms of my expectation and I hope that anyone who’s getting paid to write this request, will take the task seriously.
Several hours into submitting my order, someone was already working on it.
When I woke up the next morning, the article was in and I had 3 days to review it before deciding whether to reject, request a rewrite or approve of the content. The quality, in my opinion, was just mediocre, but the writer did include the important points. So after leaving a short review, I went on to approve the work.
Following that, I did a plagiarism check just to make sure it’s not duplicate content. iWriter did mention that they have all the content screened before passing to the clients, but I just want to be careful in case there’s a risk for the Google penalty.
The result came back to be 100% unique, so that was a relief. After the first request, I went on to order a few more articles and here’s what I think about the service in general.
1 – Firstly, I like the fact that it has got a secured payment transaction through PayPal. Not having to reveal my credit card information and exposed to any form of online scams is the main reason I use this service in the first place.
2 – Secondly, I think the article customization detail is a good way to ‘tell’ the writer what you expect out of their writing. This is something to take full advantage of so that there’s no misunderstanding between the two parties.
3 – From ordering to reviewing, it actually takes less than 24 hours for a writer to respond so that’s pretty fast. Mind you, the order was actually sent out on Christmas night, but this wasn’t done on purpose. I was simply aligning with my blogging schedule, so it was nice to see some hard-working folks at work during the holiday season.
4 – Lastly, iWriter comes with an affiliate program that offers 50% in commission. If you find that it helps with your content creation, you can recommend it to others and earn some extra money on the side.
Even though it was my first experience hiring a writer, right of the bat, there were a few obvious things that I didn’t like.
1 – There’s a minimum allocation for a writer to set up a proper profile that mentions about their credibility and experience. There is just a profile image section, whereby many don’t even utilize it. So when choosing for a writer, you are basically relying on the rating stars and a one-liner comment from the previous customers. This is a very risky and time-consuming method to select for good writers because there’s no way to know who you’ll be dealing with.
2 – As such, the quality of work that you’d get is very random. A 4 to 5-star rating writer might produce content that is mediocre (like what I get) and a 3-star rating writer might give you something unexpectedly well (rare, but not impossible). Of course, you can always request for a rewrite, but for such a low fee, I doubt anyone would want to spend on that extra time fixing other people’s content.
So, Is iWriter Worth Your Time?
I find that most writers on this platform are amateurs. They don’t tend to research on the subject matter and don’t really check for grammar mistakes either, so when they produce this type of work, you still need to fix things on your end. It’s almost like you are editing their work.
For general topics, this isn’t so bad because if you have a decent amount of experience in content creation, tweaking it should come very naturally. Such articles can actually act as templates that can quickly expand to more words and ideas. So, instead of spending 4 hours starting from scratch, you might be able to publish an article within 2 hours for a very small fee. That isn’t too bad, right?
However, for heavier topics like how-to guides or product reviews, I wouldn’t use iWriters because this type of content shouldn’t be compromised. Whether you are looking for more leads or improving sales, these consumer-intent-based articles will directly affect your online conversions so never pass this type of important task to someone that you don’t know.
If you are particular about content quality, then you should use a more professional platform like Upwork to grow your online business. The writers there charge a higher fee though, so if you have the budget, why not?
In any case, if you are not ready to do outsourcing, perhaps you might want to look into improving your writing skills instead. There are many places to learn this, but before signing up for any expensive courses, why don’t you watch this video entitled “Amplifying Your Writing Efficiency” from my recommended blogging platform?
In this one-hour training, you’ll be learning how to;
- Research and write using free online tools
- Manage outsource writing (very relevant to this review)
- Create a writing template for search ranking
- And much more…
So there you have it, my honest review on iWriter and I hope it has been insightful. If you have something to ask or share, please do not hesitate to leave your comment below. Hope to see you at the training soon!