Seven Signs of an Unprofessional Buyer on iWriter
Writing for iWriter is great...
When you join iWriter as a writer, you write only the articles you choose and you know up front how much you'll get for each one. Though the fact that writers can jump right into writing articles is actually one of the perks of writing for this site, the lack of a screening process means you can be submitted to some pretty unprofessional buyers. Writing for these buyers wastes your time and energy. It can also do some pretty ugly things to your writer rating. This is especially an issue when you're trying to make the leap from standard writer to premium or elite and gain access to higher paying articles. In my experience, though it has been short, I have discovered seven ways to spot an unprofessional buyer. Remember these and you'll have a better experience writing articles on iWriter.
The Seven Signs of an Unprofessional Buyer on iWriter
1 Low Approval Ratings
Since there is no screening process to admit new writers, it makes sense that a buyer would reject the articles that aren't up to par. Because of this, an approval rating of 70 or 80 percent isn't as terrible as it sounds. It just means the buyer expects good quality work. If you can provide that, you probably don't have anything to worry about. However, if a buyer has anything lower that 50 percent, there's a really good chance you'll be wasting your time by writing the article. For every point that the approval rating drops, your chances of getting paid decrease.
2 Negative Reviews
Positive reviews can tell you that the buyer approves and pays quickly. It can even tell you if the buyer is likely to tip.
However, the review system on iWriter favors the buyer.
When you log into iWriter and you have recently sold an article, you will receive a notification. Clicking on the notification link takes you to a list of the articles you have written along with the status of each article. While there are ratings on this page, they are not your own. The only rating shown for an article is the rating of the buyer. You are then prompted by a little green button to leave feedback for the buyer. Most writers see the five stars, assume they are for them and rate the buyer accordingly. However, it's entirely possible that the buyer left a negative rating on your article that can have do serious harm to your rating as a writer. Before leaving feedback, check your ratings (by clicking on the stars next to your name on the iWriter home page) and make sure the buyer didn't leave you an unnecessarily negative review. I'm not suggesting that you should trash a buyer's rating simply because they left you less than five stars. But if the buyer marked you anything lower than four stars without an explanation, they certainly don't deserve a five star review from you.
3 Unreasonable Demands
One of the best things about iWriter is that it allows you to write short articles and be paid quickly. When you choose to writer an article, you are taken to a 'write article' page. This page includes the instructions for the job, a two part form (title and article) to write or paste the article into, and a timer. This timer gives you three hours for a 500 word article and 6 hours for a 1000 word article. This is more than enough time, especially when you're writing a 500 word article for under three dollars. In order to get paid anything close to what you deserve for your time, you should only take articles that you feel you could write with a minimum amount of research. If you need to do more than check out a website or two, the article probably isn't worth your time. If the article looks like a lot of work, you're better off skipping it and writing something else.
4 Vague Instructions
You can't give the buyer the article they expect if you don't know what they want. If you read the article instructions and still don't really know what they want, don't waste your time guessing. Just move on and work with a buyer who is responsible enough to tell you what they need.
5 SEO Crazy Requests
One of my first articles on iWriter was for a client wanting a 300 word article absolutely stuffed with keywords. I wrote it because it looked like it would be quick and easy. Writing it quickly was easy, but writing it well was impossible. When I did the math, they wanted their 300 word article to be about 20 percent keywords. Also, the keywords were all a variation of the original keyword. I had to use the same basic phrase in every sentence. I hated every second of it because I knew that the buyer was using keyword stuffing to try to gain an advantage in google search, a practice that actually lowers your rating by the search engine's qualifications. But it was late, I was tired, and I didn't feel like searching the board to get one last article in. So I gave them what they asked for.
Of course, when they received the article, they weren't entirely happy with it. They gave me four out of five stars, which isn't terrible, but it still lowered my rating quite a bit. As I've mentioned, this was one of my first articles. I don't know whether the buyer expected me to write a gem of an article with 20 percent keyword phrases or if they just didn't do the math. Either way, the work was unrewarding and it didn't do my rating any good. In the end, it wasn't worth the three dollars I earned. If a buyer seems to want a keyword used a ridiculous number of times, it's probably better to pass.
6 Article Descriptions That Don't Match the Word Count
The buyer wants a 500 word article about the top twenty dog breeds and what makes them different from one another or a 1000 word article detailing the top 50 celebrities and what they are famous for. In these cases, the articles would run much longer than their word count, causing you to do a lot of work for very little pay. If the buyer wants an extremely in depth article or an article that ranges over too many topics or specifics to be covered with the given word count, skip it and move on to something else or contact the buyer about altering the article details (if you really, really want to write it). There's no way you can write an article within the word count that they will be happy with unless something is changed, you'll just be wasting your time.
7 Poor Writing
Beware of article requests that look as if they were written by someone in middle school. While there are a number of great buyers out there who don't speak English very well, an article request riddled with run on sentences, poor grammar, or contradictions can be a warning sign of a bad buyer. If the request reads like it was written by a teenager, it's probably best to avoid it.
Use Your Own Judgment
While these are all good things to watch out for, they are only guidelines and there are exceptions to all of them. In the end, a buyer can have poor ratings, uncertain instructions, and a sentence fragment or two and still end up being a great buyer. Don't be afraid to take the occasional risk, but don't spend too much time on a project you might not get paid for. When in doubt, ask. iWriter allows writers to contact buyers regarding requested articles. If you think you could write an article with a little more clarification, don't be afraid to ask for it. There is always the chance that they'll give you the information you need allowing you to write a great article, earn a five star review, and even become the client's go-to writer on the subject. Just remember, if they seem unprofessional, there's a very good chance that they are.
Want to know more about freelancing? Check out my blog at http://www.brinnablaine.blogspot.com/