Writer Frequently Asked Questions

WriterAccess Basics

Is this free to apply?

Yes. No fees or obligations exist for writers.

Who can apply?

At the moment, we're only accepting applications from U.S. writers with PayPal accounts.

How does this work for writers?

Writers who are accepted receive an initial star rating of 2, 3, 4 or 5, which is determined by the strength of their profiles, writing samples, and initial application and test score. A writer's level can improve (or decline) as assignments are completed.

Clients can place orders with writers using a pay-per-word order form (using the rates preset by WriterAccess that vary by star level), or using a Premium Order form which provides additional compensation for high-end projects. Writers are required to fulfill the order requirements as given on the order form. Once an order is submitted, the client can either approve the content or request revisions. We urge writers to comply with a minimum of one revision request if the client returns the first submission with comments. When an order is approved, the rights to the content are transferred to the client and the writer is paid for their work.

How does this work for clients?

Clients order content from the writers and provide instructions on each order. Orders can contain links, attachments and required SEO keywords. Clients can submit orders to a single writer or special group of writers if those writers have been added to their “Love List.” Clients only pay for content they approve—which should always meet the specifications and order requirements. Funds are held in escrow, and WriterAccess provides mediation for both writers and clients as part of the service.

Who owns and manages WriterAccess?

WriterAccess is owned and managed by ideaLaunch, a leading content marketing agency founded by Byron White. He also managed a number of companies in the content marketing space including LifeTips.com, WordVision.com and more. Feel free to reach out to Byron and his staff by using Chat, Contact Us, or the Help Desk.

Money Matters

How much will I make?

That depends. Writers are paid on a per-word basis if a client uses the standard order form. The client assigns the order a level, and the payout for writers breaks down like this:

Level 2 orders pay at least 1.4 cents per word
Level 3 orders pay at least 2.8 cents per word
Level 4 orders pay at least 4.2 cents per word
Level 5 orders pay at least 5.6 cents per word
Level 6 orders pay at least 7.0 cents per word

If writers submit more words than the order prescribes, they will not be paid for the additional words. Writers cannot submit less than the minimum words prescribed on an order either.

A client has the ability to adjust the compensation to be higher than our standard pay-per-word rates. Clients can use this for high-end or ongoing projects that require additional research, industry expertise, or other editorial complexities.

If a client uses our crowd order form, the pay is 10% less than our standard pay-per-word rates above. However, the goal of this is to give our new writers more experience so they can build profitable relationships with clients in the long-term.

Except for a small per-order listing fee, all payments (orders, conference calls, bonuses, etc.) are split 70/30, with 70% going to the writer.

How and when do I get paid?

Twice per month. $10 USD is required in your account for payment. PayPal accounts are used for payment. All assignments are tallied up on the 4th and 19th day of the month, for those orders that were submitted by the end of the preceding half-month (allowing previous period's items to be approved by clients). Once tallied, WriterAccess transfers the required funds to PayPal (which may take a few days) and send payments as soon as the balance is available to do so. By the end of this process, writers are typically paid out between the 7th and 9th for those pieces submitted before the end of the previous month, and between the 22nd and 24th for those pieces submitted by the 15th. We say typically, but because we rely on a slow ACH transfer into PayPal, where PayPal quotes 3-5 business days, that transfer may technically finish as late as the 11th and 26th, exclusive of holidays. Sometimes long client approval times or editorial workflow may cause an assignment to not be approved by the time payments are disbursed. Affected orders will be batched into a second payment, and paid before the end of the following pay period's cutoff date.

What if I didn't sign up at WriterAccess using my PayPal email address?

Writers can specify an alternate email address for use with PayPal. If writers don't provide this alternate, the primary is used.

How do taxes work?

At the beginning of each year (before January 31) WriterAccess sends 1099s to all talent who made $600 or more in the previous year. We do not send 1099s to talent who made less than $600 in the previous year. However, we do offer an unofficial 1099 (available through the website on your Payments dashboard) for those who earned less than the $600 minimum.

All About Assignments

Can I pick up assignments immediately?

Once a writer is approved with an initial star rating, they have full access to content orders, idea orders, and Casting Calls. This approval process may take a couple of weeks.

Are writers protected with terms and conditions?

Yes. Writers own the copyright until the client approves the work, at which point copyright transfers to them. The client has deposited sufficient funds to create the order, so writers are guaranteed payment for successful completion of the order. Writers can request assistance for orders where they feel the client may be taking advantage of the revision process.

I'm new and not getting very far. What can I do?

The available assignments pool may seem empty, but that's because the general pool is highly competitive. Orders get picked up as quickly as they're placed. Writers can increase their exposure among clients by becoming more interactive on the site by:

Responding to Casting Calls. Clients use Casting Calls to find the right writers for their projects. Writers can apply to Casting Calls by providing a personalized response detailing their qualifications, interest, and availability. Writers can be added to the client's Love List directly from a Casting Call.

Responding to private messages. Sometimes a client will find writers in a general search because values on a writer's profile match the experience and qualifications required for a project. Clients can send messages to a writer directly to discuss projects. Communication must remain on WriterAccess.

Once writers become more involved in Casting Calls, idea orders and messaging, they increase their exposure on the platform and are assigned more orders. The more successfully completed orders, the more visibility a writer has on WriterAccess.

How do I claim orders on WriterAccess?

Once a writer logs into WriterAccess.com, they have full access to the platform. The Available Orders page posts a list of assignments that are available to be picked up.

An order is claimed by clicking “View” and then “Checkout this Order.” There is a checkout rule which states that a writer has one hour to review the instructions on an order and determine whether or not they can complete it. If the order is unreserved past the one-hour grace period, a penalty may be applied. All order cancellations beyond the grace period are reviewed by WriterAccess.

Writers are expected to only claim assignments they are qualified to complete and are encouraged to reach out to the clients for clarification or open a Help Desk ticket if there is a problem with the order details/instructions.

Writers are also expected to submit the article by the deadline prescribed on the order. Extensions can be requested, but cannot always be honored. Writers submit the content to the client by hitting the “Save and Submit” button at the bottom of the order form.

The content goes through Copyscape verification, and possibly editorial review, before it reaches the client. The status of the order can be seen in the “Pending Approval” folder.

Can I compose texts offline?

Yes, writers can copy and paste text from a word processor into the text box on an order.

How long does the client have to make a decision on my article?

Most clients have 120 hours to approve the work once a writer formally submits the order: by hitting the “Save and Submit” button. Some clients with longstanding relationships have been granted longer approval times, some up to 21 days. Clients can also pay a premium for more approval time, at a cost of 5% of the order for each additional day. This extra cost is split with the writer according to the usual 70/30 breakdown.

The time for client approval is decided at the time the order is created, and the writer can see this value before they reserve the order.

During the approval time, clients have the opportunity to request revisions, at which point they can return the article to the writer with comments on what to revise. When the writer again submits their content for approval the client's approval time is reset.

Can a client request revisions?

Yes. As part of the WriterAccess satisfaction guarantee policy to clients, one round of revisions is required by the client if the order does not meet their expectations and they would like to remove the writer and get a refund for their order. Clients can request revisions for a number of reasons:

  • the writer did not fulfill an instruction/requirement on the order form
  • unsatisfactory quality of content (grammar, punctuation, formatting style/tone, etc.)
  • Copyscape matches
  • SEO/linking requirements

Writers are given a certain amount of time to perform the revision request, but a minimum of 24 hours. Writers are expected to comply with revision requests if they haven't fulfilled the order requirements. WriterAccess encourages writers to notify the Help Desk if they have any questions or concerns about a client abusing revision requests.

Writers are not required to do any revisions, but dropped orders cannot be paid, and will also be automatically reviewed by talent management.

Who owns the content I create for clients?

Only after approval of assignments does the client assume ownership and copyright for the assignment. Writers retain copyright until the client accepts the submission. If the content appears to have been prematurely used, please open a Help Desk ticket and we can rebuff the client, and also be sure that the order is approved without opportunity for revisions.

How can I improve my ranking for higher paid assignments?

Writers can improve their rating by completing orders successfully, receiving positive ratings from clients, responding to Casting Calls, and being added to Love Lists. There is an algorithm in place that calculates the number of successes (against the number of discrepancies) in order to determine the writer's algorithm score. Consistent good work is rewarded with an increase in star level, whereas any discrepancies regarding the quality of work, claiming orders or correspondence will have a negative impact on the star level. This algorithm can automatically move you up to a 4-star writer, but moving up to 5-star and 6-star is done by periodic review by talent management.

How many orders can I check out at a time?

The seasoned writers here at WriterAccess have dubbed our system "garages". Having a 3-car garage means that you can check out 3 orders at a time, etc.

New writers start with a 1-car garage, and can only check out one order at a time. Once the first 10 orders are approved, writers are automatically upgrade to a 3-car garage, and can check out up to three orders at a time. After a writer has 100 approved articles, they can claim up to 4 articles at a time. After 500 articles, they can claim up to 5 articles at a time.

The are a few notable exceptions:

  • A writer can claim an unlimited amount of “solo” orders. These are orders that clients assign only to one writer to work on “solo.”
  • If an order was sent to a group of writers and will expire in under 2 hours it can also be claimed no matter how many orders you already have checked out.
  • Orders that are paused for assistance or pending topic approval count for 1/3rd of a space, rounded down: 2 orders would take up no space at all, but a 3rd paused order would consume a full space.

We have recently introduced the concept of distinct garages for different order types: Crowd, Love List, and Solo. In the past, checking out a lot of Solo orders would prevent a writer from reserving other orders, but now that the Solo garage is counted separately the writer will always be able to reserve up to their full count of Crowd or Love List orders.

Once an order is off to the client for approval the space in cleared out and you can fill it with another order.

How do I communicate with a client?

Clients can initiate communication with writers in several ways.

  1. Via Comment/Message directly in an order.
  2. Via WriterAccess Mail: In the communication area (like an email/message)
  3. Via Conference Call intro: It sends a WriterAccess Mail message as well as a phone number and PIN. Once a Conference Call line is activated, it's up to the writer and client to correspond via message to determine a date/time to call. (The conference call feature costs the client $0.50/minute, and the writer is paid the usual 70% of that for their time.)

Rules and Ratings

How does your Star Rating for writers work?

The WriterAccess freelance writer community is categorized into a five-level rating system. The purpose of this system is two-fold: 1) It allows more experienced writers to have access to complex assignments and earn more money, and 2) It's an easy way for clients to choose the level of quality they desire and pay accordingly. WriterAccess editors perform rigorous screening on applicants' education, writing expertise, knowledge of SEO and social media, and the extent of their online authority. Writers are assigned 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 stars depending on their profile details, industry experience and demonstrated writing proficiency.

2 Star — New writers or professionals in other fields looking to branch out are frequent recipients of this rating. Qualities of this writer include: limitations or lack of experience writing different asset types, exhibits basic word choice and sentence construction, likely imperfect grammar, punctuation or spelling, and some SEO knowledge. WriterAccess assigns a writer this level after review of the writer's profile, writing samples, and work completed on the platform. Nevertheless, 2-Star writers are valued resources that fill an important role at WriterAccess.

3 Star — The majority of applicants fall into this ranking. Profile and writing samples are basic, yet informative. The writer may have previous writing experience. Some 3-star writers don't specialize in any one field or industry, but may exhibit a proficient understanding of style and tone. Grammar, punctuation and spelling errors are a possibility, however balanced by the ability to research and incorporate basic SEO requirements into writing.

4 Star — Writers of the 4-star level have engaging writing samples and valuable writing experience. Most of these writers have experience writing a variety of asset types and also have an understanding of more complex editorial requirements and instructions. Work delivered by a 4-star writer should meet the specifications of the order and go slightly beyond to exhibit a more advanced knowledge base or stylistic ability. Grammar, punctuation and spelling errors are rare, and typically, a 4-star writer will have industry expertise.

5 Star — Writers who receive a 5-star rating on WriterAccess are typically published authorities with proven writing abilities. The writer is highly professional and has an expert grasp of the English language. Clients can expect 5-star writers to adhere to deadlines religiously, and produce content with a clear, concise writing style. Some 5-star writers are also experts in a given industry and may specialize in a certain type of writing (technical, PR, copywriting, etc). The 5-star writer also understands the complexities of editorial requirements and always delivers work that meets order specifications.

6 Star — 6-star writing flows naturally, serving up copious details without careening readers off on tangents or leaving them scratching their heads. Readers feel content with the knowledge gained, not unlike the satisfaction after a good meal. They're also left with a feel-good vibe, and maybe even a chuckle, thanks to the snap, crackle and pop that explodes in the work.

Writers' star levels can increase and decrease depending on the algorithmic scoring of completed orders, client and editor ratings, infractions, activity and communication on the platform.

Can I give a client my personal contact information?

No. Writers (and clients) are not allowed to exchange personal contact information for privacy purposes. This includes full names, email addresses and phone numbers. All communication must take place in the WriterAccess platform. This includes comments on orders, In-Mail messages, and Conference Calls. Everything is recorded and monitored so that WriterAccess can come to the defense of a writer or client in the event of a discrepancy.

Can I cancel an order?

Writers can cancel an order within the one-hour grace period. Within the first hour of checking out an assignment, writers are expected to review the instructions, check links and resources, and reach out to the client for clarification if necessary. All cancellations are reviewed by WriterAccess. If WriterAccess feels a cancellation was unjustifiable or it compromised a client's deadline, a warning or penalty may be issued. Writers are held responsible for the paid assignments they claim and are asked to contact WriterAccess in the event of an emergency.

Can a client rate my work?

Yes, but it's not mandatory. For the orders that clients don't rate, WriterAccess deems them as “met expectations.” This is good for writers, because it's counted toward the algorithm as a successfully completed order. For some assignments, clients can rate “exceeded expectations,” which helps the writer's rating even more so than having met expectations. Some clients choose to rate an order “did not meet expectations.” All work rated negatively is reviewed by WriterAccess. Internal staff determines whether or not the client's rating was justifiable. If not, we don't hold it against the writer. If so, WriterAccess will email the writer to confirm while pointing out why the work did not meet expectations.

What is a Casting Call?

Casting Call is what clients can use to find writers for their content projects. It's a recruiting tool that allows them to specify their project details and writers can apply to them. Email notifications are sent out to the writers who have the industry expertise required (as indicated on their profiles) and they can respond with details as to why they're the best fit. Clients use Casting Call and then are able to select writers to add to their Love List for future orders.

How Do I Become an Industry Elite Writer?

Writers with industry experience and/or education in a particular industry can apply for Industry Elite status at WriterAccess. This status is awarded to talented writers who demonstrate industry-specific writing experience and extensive background in a career field. They have established themselves as some of the best writers on the WriterAccess platform through their talents, dedication and contributions to creating quality content. Writers of this status receive a badge on their profile and clients can select writers for their projects based on Industry Elite status. All writers who have industry experience are encouraged to indicate their qualifications on their profiles.