Good quality content is synonymous with blog traffic; the more you create them, the more visitors you get. Theoretically anyway. In reality, it can be challenging for a variety of reasons. That’s when freelance service comes handy, but do they actually deliver? In this PeoplePerHour review, you’ll be getting an inside look of the workflow process I went through, what to (AND not to) expect, and most importantly, is it worthwhile to hire for your blog. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details.
Why did I decide to Hire?
My blog has been generating a small stream of passive income since 2016 and now that I’ve accumulated a fair bit of revenue, I thought it would be a wise move to invest in a team of writers, just like any bloggers would.
This could give me a break from content creation and allow me to focus on other marketing aspects that can propel my online business further. It would also be interesting to add ‘new voices’ to my blog and see how others project their opinions on topics within the same niche as mine.
So I researched some sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Hubstaff Talent. And after weighing the pros and cons, I settled for PeoplePerHour (PPH) because it has a fairly good track record, there are plenty of writers to choose from and the fee selection are reasonable. So I signed up for an account (which is free) and began searching.
Just so you know, PPH also provides for other services like graphic designs, video marketing, virtual assistant, and such. The rates are determined by the type of task, whether it’s an Offer (fee for an overall project) or Hourlies (fee paid hourly to accomplish the project). If you like the results, you may also engage with these freelancers for the long term.
An Overview of My PPH Experience
I used PPH between July 2019 to February 2020 and during this period, I’ve engaged with 8 writers and spent about $300 in content outsourcing. All my orders are ‘Offers’ (not Hourlies) which took a few days (a minimum of 2 to 3 days) to deliver.
My writers were selected based on the following criteria I instinctively believe will increase my chances of working with reliable individuals.
- Have the experience and knowledge writing for topics related to my niche – make money online.
- Have reasonable offer rates between $15 to $25 per project.
- Garnered positive reviews and good ratings from previous customers.
- Able to meet project datelines.
- Able to provide references for previous articles, upon request.
The first thing I did when placing orders was to prepare a draft containing the following information;
- My targeted keywords for that particular topic.
- The number of words for the overall article.
- Subtopics and key points to cover (note; In most cases, I didn’t request introductions or summaries because I wanted to retain my style in capturing the readers’ attention and leading them to affiliate marketing training offers towards the end.)
- Specific phrases to mention; these are used as anchor texts for internal and external links.
- Format of the article in terms of font size, alignment, etc. I was trying to reduce editing time.
Once the fee is deposited, a communication thread is automatically created to submit the draft and to initiate discussions with the writers. Any updates on the orders were then notified through email or the PPH mobile app.
So, after ordering nearly 20 articles from 8 different writers, was it a success or a flop? Is it worth hiring writers from PPH? Here are my personal thoughts.
What I Like About PPH Writers
Let’s start with the good things first.
- Most writers are quick to respond and usually accept the assignments within hours of reading the drafts. And from the look of it, they seemed to understand pretty well what I wanted.
- Some will provide revisions and also references as to where their ideas came from. It goes to show they had done some research before writing and that’s an important trait of a good writer.
- I didn’t receive any plagiarized work – at least not yet – from any of them. I think it’s very unprofessional to steal other people’s work and make it look like theirs. I would be in trouble with Google if that kind of content is published on my blog.
- In terms of payment, I like the fact that fees are kept in the escrow. It gives me full control to release the funds only AFTER I’ve received the work AND am satisfied with the results. There were two cases where I had to cancel the orders and PPH refunded me promptly without any hassle.
Two Disappointing Aspects about PPH Writers
At the rate I was paying, I knew I shouldn’t expect any stellar-type of content, but still, two major outcomes bothered me…
- Despite my effort in providing an elaborate draft, some writers failed to follow the instructions, which resulted in more editing work on my end. I use the Grammarly app to screen my writings so I could tell when there are errors in the articles. On some, Grammarly would expose up to 20+ errors that need to be fixed.
- As a matter of fact, I can overlook things like grammar and formatting mistakes because they are easily fixable but bigger problems like redundancy and wordiness; those can be very frustrating to tackle. It almost felt like the content was intentionally inflated just to fulfill the word requirement but didn’t serve any purposeful value.
The opposite also happened; some subtopics were so briefly written that they displayed a lack of knowledge and research. In such cases, I had to spend additional effort in ‘polishing’ the content to make it more readable from the readers’ perspective. Hmm…I thought outsourcing was supposed to make me more productive, not the other way round.
- Another problem I encountered was work punctuality. While all the writers were quick to accept the assignments, not all will deliver on time. Three delivered promptly, three requested to extend the project time, one delivered slightly later than expected without giving any reasons, and one accepted but rejected 1 week later because he was on a vacation (what?!).
One of the reasons for outsourcing content creation was to be able to publish more articles ON TIME but when writers gave excuses like “I’m sick” or “I have a tight schedule” – what should you do? Well, I believed in giving everyone a fair chance, except for those who were on holidays of course- so I said okay and waited.
And what did I get? Yes, you guessed it right; more thinking and editing work on my end.
So, What Did I Learn from My PPH Hiring Experience?
From this experience, it’s pretty clear that not all writers are created equal. Out of the 8 people I worked with, I would probably stick with two individuals moving forward. They aren’t perfect but at least they get my point, 80% of the time anyways.
If you’re planning to hire freelance writers from PPH, here are my advice to you;
(1) View the writer’s profile with a pinch of salt. Don’t be too hopeful with positive ratings and level of experience because no matter how good they’ve delivered for other customers before, it doesn’t necessarily make them the ideal writer for your content. This is something you would find out after the fact.
(2) Writers with stronger English commands tend to get the nuance better than those who aren’t. This skill can be subtly detected through their profile description, previous works, and the way they communicate with you. So seek to engage with these types of writers because trust me, it will save you more time from having to do all the editing.
(3) It’s true you get what you pay for, but from my experience, writers who charge more don’t necessarily deliver better quality articles either. They were the ones with wordy content, adding to your workload. Again, this is something you need to try in order to find out.
(4) If you look at the industry standards, PPH Offers don’t always provide the highest project rates for writers so there’s a good chance they will not prioritize your assignment. I think most delays I faced were because they needed to complete higher paid projects before attending to mine – it’s just my speculation though.
(5) Whenever possible, ask for at least one revision if you find something that needs to be corrected within the article. This allows the writers to paraphrase using different ideas, words, and expressions; all of which may produce more relatable and readable content.
(6) Always establish clear communication with the writers from the beginning. Let them know what kind of blog you have, what are your main offers, and who are the targeted audience so they can get a better idea of what type of articles you’re expecting. Yes, it might not turn out the way you wanted but still, communication is key to getting a good job done.
My current rating for PPH freelance writers stands at 60/100, but that rating may change for the better when I get the chance to experiment with more professional writers, at a higher pay rate of course. I believe there are many good writers out there; you just need some time and a bigger budget to connect with them.
With this, I’ve come to the end of my PeoplePerHour review. I hope you’ve found my experience to be insightful. If you’ve any questions to ask, tips to offer, or your own experience to share about hiring content writers, I would love to hear about them in the comment section below. Meanwhile, do check out my recommended training platform for more ways to earn money with your content. Join for free and I’ll personally show you what’s inside.
Juma John Jongu says
This is good to know, I personally don’t feel comfortable hiring anyone to work on my site. I imagine the individual has to be skillful, competent, and possess the intellect in carrying out the assignments delegated to them. You can’t just pick a random person from a freelancing site. But you have some good tips here and I will keep them in mind when I’m ready to get one.
I have been searching for copywriters too and I went as far as thoroughly studying Fiverr. That is how far I got, as I did not find any candidates who could write for my niche in HR or psychiatrists. Anyway, an interesting review on People Per Hour, which I did not know existed.
You have very clearly indicated all that can go wrong and thus underlined my feelings about using these services. I wonder how they take in writers and what criteria they use for qualifying them?
Given the fact that you so clearly outlined what you want from them, I can imagine you are a bit disappointed about the outcome. Instead of alleviating your workload, they increased it. Two writers out of eight you could continue with is only 25% adequacy, which is rather low. For me, it is a clear warning sign to be very careful if I would ever decide to hire external writers.
Ya, it’s not easy to get a reliable writer at a lower pay rate. You will have to endure plenty of trial and errors to find the right one. It was a good experience nevertheless; thought me a lot about the diversity of outsourcing in terms of writing skills and content ideas. It’s something that will help me make better decisions for my blog in the future.
Thank you for such a great review. I have just started with my own online website, with the goal of monetizing my site through affiliate marketing. I am slowly learning that content is everything and I feel like my speed of posting up articles is going more slowly than I would like.
I am not making any revenue now and it will probably take a few more months before I do, but this is an idea that I wanted to consider, to help me with juggling my site and a full-time job. I appreciate your honest review and will definitely consider all your suggestions before going with PPH.
Hi Cynthia, it makes sense to only outsource when you have the budget to do so. You don’t always get good writers so some of the money spent will give you the experience rather than the final product itself.
What an insightful review. Firstly, I want to commend your managerial skill of delegating jobs to others. When you introduce or delegates responsibility to others in business, there is a high advantage of success, especially when you select them base on their capability and intellect. I’m going to pick some of these tips on how to select freelance writers should I engage with one in the future.
Hi Cathy, thank you for providing such a detailed and honest review regarding PeoplePerHour. I have just started a blog, so I was considering for the future to have freelance writers to assist since researching and writing content can be quite time-consuming!
I will definitely consider using them in the future, but like you said I guess it takes time to search and find the right writer for my style of content.
Larry Morando says
I can sure relate to your experiences. I’ve hired writers a few times and have been very disappointed. The end product looked like the sentences were grabbed from a swipe file. Just like your writers, they had wordy sentences and boring content with statements that were too obvious that no new knowledge was imparted.
I ended up writing the articles myself with much better results. One of the writers was somewhat punctual and the other just ignored me and I had to be assigned another writer. The old adage “you get what you pay for…” certainly applies to ghostwriters here. If you want some really good articles, then you need to pay big bucks for it.
Thanks for sharing your experience with me Larry. Looks like I’m not the only one facing the dilemma.