This is the first in my series of online marketing tool reviews. I'm going to be looking at the paid content writing service, iWriter. It's worth noting here that I do not have any affiliation with the iWriter team and all of the opinions that I make are my own.
What is iWriter?
iWriter is an all-encompassing content writing service that has a huge community of writers and publishers alike. As a publisher, you can get articles written, new webpage content, product descriptions, eBooks, article rewrites - pretty much anything you like. As a content writer you can select from a wide range of projects that publishers have created and earn up to $15 per post - not bad.
The Features and Benefits of iWriter
Quality of Content
The quality of the articles that you get from iWriter can be quite inconsistent at times; having said that, you do get the option to only offer your project to writers with a specific level of feedback - which I've found makes a big difference.
If you're looking for small snippets of information for things like product descriptions or reviews, iWriter can often provide some great content. I've had full 1,000 word articles written about a small niche topic using the service that were fantastic as well. The big advantage to using iWriter over many other content writing services is that you are able to read the full article before deciding to pay for it. This means that if you ask a writer to produce some content and you're not happy with the end product, you don't need to pay anything - a great feature.
Here's an example of an article that I recently ordered using a 'Premium' writer - I simply gave them the brief that I wanted an article talking about good ways to increase your Facebook following - here is a snippet of a few paragraphs (this was delivered within 2 hours):
Value for Money
The big pull for many content marketers or website owners to use iWriter will be the value for money that you get. As I mentioned above, you only pay for articles that you're happy with so this helps you avoid wasting money on second-rate content. Secondly, the actual cost to have content written is extremely low, even with the 'Elite' writers. Here's a breakdown of some of the costs:
- 500 word article - $3.00 (basic writer), $5.50 (premium writer), $10.00 (elite writer).
- 2,000 word article - $14.00 (basic writer), $30.00 (premium writer), $40.00 (elite writer).
- 500 word article re-write - $4.67 (premium writer), $8.50 (elite writer).
- 20 page (7,000 word) eBook - $160.00 (premium writer), $210.00 (elite writer).
- 100 page (35,000 word) eBook - $790.00 (premium writer), $1050.00 (elite writer).
As you can see, those prices are pretty awesome - especially the eBook related one where you can get a 20 page eBook written around a topic of your choice for just $160; that's not bad at all.
For me, the delivery time is the biggest advantage of using this service. I mainly use iWriter when I need a piece of content written ASAP. In general, you will usually receive a finished 500 word article within 3 hours. For longer articles you will need to wait slightly longer but the longest I've waited was about 6 hours - on that occasion it was worth the wait.
Ease of Use
The iWriter interface is pretty simple to use and once you've watched the tutorial video (that lasts around 2 minutes), you should be good to go. My only qualm with the system is the 'keyword(s)' field when you submit a new article request. This is a required field and it also determines how many articles you need for each project, for example; if you have requested some articles related to health and fitness, you will then have to type one keyword/phrases per line for each article that you want (i.e. if you want three health and fitness articles then you need to type 3 keywords/phrases). This can, in my opinion, confuse writers sometimes and you will find that with the 'Basic' writers in particular, they will plug your 'keyword' loads of times into the article - not ideal from a readability point of view.
This isn't the end of the world though, and I often just state within the project 'DO NOT SPAM WITH MY KEYWORD' just to be safe!
Is this is completely scalable content solution? No. Well, not on its own anyway. Due to the lack of consistency from the writers within iWriter it can mean that using this as a sole replacement for in-house content writers could be quite problematic. Personally, I think that iWriter is fantastic for smaller snippets of content and have actually populated the majority of an e-commerce website in the past using writers from iWriter.com to create unique product descriptions.
The longer you spend with iWriter, the greater the potential for scaling it becomes. The reason for this is that you can build up a list of favoured writers that understand the writing style and topic that you want your content to have. This does take a fair amount of time though.
Overall, I really like iWriter. It has more value for money than many of the content writing services that I've used in the past and the response time that you get is amazing.
The downsides are really the inconsistency that you get with the quality of the content. This can often over-shadow the quick delivery times because you're having to request re-writes of the articles fairly frequently. On top of this there are some issues with scalability.
My advice would be that if you're looking for a content supplement rather than a full solution then iWriter is definitely for you. If you're looking to replace your in-house content team then I don't think that this will suit your needs.
Try Out iWriter Yourself
Well, you've read my thoughts on the service, why not try it out for yourself and let me know what you thought of it. If you've already used the service then let me know what you think and also what where you found it works best by leaving a comment below...