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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 04:33 AM
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Jwinter, that's exactly my point.

And Liza, I get your point, but then the people ordering a basic cake are expecting the basics, and you still make the product worth the price, you don't cut corners by leaving out an ingredient. I grew up in a household where my mom was a "Wilton professional" having gone through their school, so I often helped her out with the smaller tasks. No matter what cake she was making, she always put the same effort into it and cake prices reflected the hours she spent on it.

What I find with editing is there are writers out there who will skip double-checking their work, make grammar mistakes, etc. When I point them out, 80% of the time the response is "You're not paying high enough to make it worthwhile to double-check or to take the time to make sure grammar/spelling is correct. You're the editor, that's your job." It's those people who I'm targeting. If the job isn't paying enough to do that, why accept the work? Those are the same people I would never recommend to another client looking for writers, so their half-effort attitude ends up hurting them.
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 06:52 AM
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Sounds like we might all be agreeing with each other but coming at the issue from different perspectives.

Keeping with the cake analogy, it sounds like Ann is saying if someone is buying a sheet cake, you don't skip the eggs (I.e. use bad grammar) just because it is a sheet cake. I agree with that. However, at sheet cake prices, you don't get all the extras (I.e. in-depth research and polishing) that would come with a higher-priced product.
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by maryalene View Post
Sounds like we might all be agreeing with each other but coming at the issue from different perspectives.

Keeping with the cake analogy, it sounds like Ann is saying if someone is buying a sheet cake, you don't skip the eggs (I.e. use bad grammar) just because it is a sheet cake. I agree with that. However, at sheet cake prices, you don't get all the extras (I.e. in-depth research and polishing) that would come with a higher-priced product.
Exactly.

And linking it back to the original TB topic where the OP was frustrated with the email saying quality (4-5 star) is mattering to clients. If you're not willing to do what they're asking for the price we all know they pay, why work for them? I know many writers who will complain about their pay on a regular basis and then work 40 hours a week for them. I've never been able to make sense of that. If their pay really makes you that unhappy, why not go out on your own and get private clients, market yourself on TB to get direct orders at the rate you're happy to accept, or start your own money-making site? I used TB as a launching point and was easily able to break away from them. Now I'll take direct orders at the rate I want, and those who ask me to lower it are always told a polite "no thanks."
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 07:37 PM
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I wasn't bothered a bit. I just deleted it and went back to writing for my regular clients. I haven't messed with textbrokers in years - and I only signed up once to try it out from simply curiosity. I encourage everyone to move on from content mills. They are never worth it.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 10:27 PM
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This may sound odd, but I don't consider TB a content mill.

To me, a mill churns out the same stuff whether anyone wants it or not. Mill content is just the glue that holds ads together. No one ordered this thin gruel of how-tos and generic articles; it's just there to snag page views. From the writers who roll their eyes at yet another article on belly fat to the readers who get annoyed at seeing four pages of useless links before finding a meaningful .gov or .edu page, no one wants mill content.

That's what Panda was designed to kill. It's doing a pretty good job of that.

Bid sites, sale sites like Constant Content and brokerages like TB are different. They rely on clients who need specific, custom-written content. Someone wants this stuff, and as the massive shift from low-level articles to higher-paying level 4 and 5 assignments at TB proves, they're willing to pay for it.

Clients are trying to escape the wrath of the Panda, and the best way to do that is to order custom writing from a bid site, through a broker or directly from a writer. It's fantastic news for us and terrible news for mills.

That's kind of tangential to the original topic, so to bring it back to where it was, AnnG and MaryAlene, I think you're right -- we're all agreeing that it's worth baking that cake well no matter how fancy it is.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old 10-19-2012, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by anng View Post
But I do commonly see their/they're/there, its/it's, a/an, then/than, site/sight, and assisted/assistant misused on a regular basis. Verb/subject agreement is another. And then those who will have he/she/they that vs. he/she/they who. Those are errors that writers really shouldn't be making. Commas I'm not as picky over.
That's because automated spell-checkers can't spell and certainly don't know the grammatical difference between their//they're/there, et al. And school curricula are content to allow and even encourage students to rely on a software's spell checking (in)capability. So they graduate "writers" who think spelling and grammar are unimportant - or someone else's job.

Look at the bright side: in another ten years, those who know these magical skills will be in high demand because the younger generation will only know how to write "txt spk".

Then again, in another generation, our writing ability, then our language could be lost irrevocably if education doesn't get on the ball.

Thank heavens for home schoolers!
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 10-20-2012, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by luckystarzz View Post
That's because automated spell-checkers can't spell and certainly don't know the grammatical difference between their//they're/there, et al. And school curricula are content to allow and even encourage students to rely on a software's spell checking (in)capability. So they graduate "writers" who think spelling and grammar are unimportant - or someone else's job.

Look at the bright side: in another ten years, those who know these magical skills will be in high demand because the younger generation will only know how to write "txt spk".

Then again, in another generation, our writing ability, then our language could be lost irrevocably if education doesn't get on the ball.

Thank heavens for home schoolers!
While I agree with you on schools needing to step up their game, these articles were not just from younger writers. I had older writers (mid-30s and up) turning in articles with these mistakes.
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 10-22-2012, 09:00 AM
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It's great to see so many replies. My issue is that I cannot afford to eat and pay the bills on what they pay. The writing assignments are involved enough that I cannot afford to find other work while working for them.

The content mills have put downward pricing pressure on writing, my full-time profession. It is just another site trying to get away without paying minimum wage (employees) or allowing us to negotiate our wages (contract). The other issue is that when someone is hired contract, they should be paid more because they are covering expenses such as overhead, Internet, electricity, equipment, their own health insurance.

Nowhere in the contract does the individual get to establish their own rules or negotiate. That is a huge issue.

Piece work and piece rates are crap, sure. I get that lots of you have had the good fortune to work up to better pay there. Yet, when you are forced to start over again, when they go out of business, you too will be forced to start over at rates that are unsatisfying and self defeating.

I have been writing and editing for years. I'm just giving you fair warning about what's to come for you too. Enjoy the ride, because I'm done with this crud.
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old 10-22-2012, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by chubb76 View Post
Piece work and piece rates are crap, sure. I get that lots of you have had the good fortune to work up to better pay there. Yet, when you are forced to start over again, when they go out of business, you too will be forced to start over at rates that are unsatisfying and self defeating.

I have been writing and editing for years. I'm just giving you fair warning about what's to come for you too. Enjoy the ride, because I'm done with this crud.
I think the real issue is relying too heavily on one site. That is never a good idea, whether that site is paying a penny per word or a dollar per word. You don't have to "start over" if you take away the experience and then go find your own clients through continuous marketing efforts. I have learned this the hard way (over and over again).

I also wouldn't call it "good fortune" that some writers have worked their up with this company. They had to WORK for their higher rankings. Obviously it can be done. I would say that trying a bit harder and taking the pay cut for a few articles while you increase your ranking would make a lot more sense financially than continuing to half try with lower level articles and being stuck there.

Yes, I was one of the "better pay = better work" advocates, but I also said that basic grammar and research are the bare minimum of what should be offered. And even I will try just a bit harder to prove myself to client with the power to become more profitable in the future. I didn't start out making $30-$50 an hour (on average). I worked my *** off doing crap work, and I tried my hardest until I had the samples and experience to move up.

If Textbroker's lower paying articles aren't worth it, and you aren't willing to try really hard for a few articles to work up to their better paying ones, then why write for them? Move on to other clients and charge what you want.
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  #70 (permalink)  
Old 10-22-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chubb76 View Post
It's great to see so many replies. My issue is that I cannot afford to eat and pay the bills on what they pay. The writing assignments are involved enough that I cannot afford to find other work while working for them.

The content mills have put downward pricing pressure on writing, my full-time profession. It is just another site trying to get away without paying minimum wage (employees) or allowing us to negotiate our wages (contract). The other issue is that when someone is hired contract, they should be paid more because they are covering expenses such as overhead, Internet, electricity, equipment, their own health insurance.

Nowhere in the contract does the individual get to establish their own rules or negotiate. That is a huge issue.

Piece work and piece rates are crap, sure. I get that lots of you have had the good fortune to work up to better pay there. Yet, when you are forced to start over again, when they go out of business, you too will be forced to start over at rates that are unsatisfying and self defeating.

I have been writing and editing for years. I'm just giving you fair warning about what's to come for you too. Enjoy the ride, because I'm done with this crud.
I think that very, very few of us, if any of us, rely solely on Textbroker. There really wouldn't be an issue with "starting over" should they ever go out of business.

I know that you mentioned in your OP that you're just getting back into the writing game...but believe me, we've had discussions about content mill pay many times on this forum. Most people weren't offended by Textbroker's email for the very reason that we all knew to branch out long ago.

Last edited by AG1976; 10-22-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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