WAW August 2014

BostonGreetings from Boston

WriterAccess WAW V5 is here. It’s live. And it’s more sublime than watching fireflies dance on a steamy summer night, sipping chilled Sancerre in the midst of a three-week vacation. OK, that may be going a bit too far. But we are indeed excited about the launch, and do welcome your feedback along the way to making it even better. And better than that.

WriterAccess 4.0 Teasers

A new pricing model is on deck, aiming to better align quality requirements with price. Discussing pricing is sticky and tricky. I’ve been at the pricing front line since 1992 when I kicked off my first company, Freelance Access. And the challenges continue to astound me with misalignment on both talent and client sides.

Hopefully we’ve fixed all that, with several new twists to our business model. Here’s a quick recap of what’s new and what’s improved (with a bit of slapstick stuck in for good measure and fun).

KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. In the old days, we tried to steer customers in the right direction when placing orders with fancy names like Crowd, Standard and Premium order. We scrapped all that with the new launch, moving to orders that pivot on the star rating only. Raising a star level raises the price. Simple. Easy. No exhaustive explanation required.

FLAT TIRE. A flat rate price makes mondo sense when it comes to pricing content. For some strange reason, we once thought it would be nifty to mess with that plan. We tinkered with lowering the price per word within a star rating as customers ordered more words, potentially motivating customers to buy more words. Can anyone say “disaster?”

Let’s just say we’re back on track with flat rate pricing per word. Prices are 2, 4, 6 and 8 cents per word for 2 to 5 star writing, respectively. It jumps to 10 cents to $2 per word for 6 star, depending on all those juicy things like complexity, visibility, and the skills/research/knowledge required for success.

EXPERT HANDLING. Forget about using outside resources or organizations to “certify” the expertise of our writers in our community. That idea always gave me a headache. We find it preferable to help writers advance their careers from within, with gads of career-boosting options right here on the platform.

Online testing, algorithmic performance, customer endorsement and manual review of the work keep standards in the stratosphere. You can now apply for certifications (and badges) in Journalism, Copywriting, Tech Writing, Legal Writing and Editing. Industry Elite certification also continues, earned by completing projects and earning endorsements from customers. Everyone starts with the General Writing badge, then applies for advanced certifications and badges as desired.

TRANSPARENCY RATES. Sure, you can saunter on over to competitive platforms and join other writer communities. But all the platforms need to be on the same page when it comes to aligning price with content quality. It’s our responsibility. We also need to be fair with margins—transparent even—as we are here at WriterAccess. Most importantly, we need to educate customers on that thing called reality: when it comes to content, you get what you pay for. Period.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Exceeding expectations is the goal here at WriterAccess, and that’s where you come in. The problem crops up when customers don’t know what to expect when they pay more. That’s where our price model changes and the Professional Writing Skill and Price Guide come in. I decided to publish this book so writers and buyers could enjoy the same mindset when it came to professional writing services. Enjoy your PDF version now!

Contest Winner

Referrals were the name of the game last month. And you guys brought them in with gusto! The lucky winner will not only get paid every time the referred client spends money, but also gets a $100 cash prize or $125 Starbucks card.

And the winner is: Angie M from Camp Hill, PA!

So, Angie, what’s it gonna be: the $100 cash or $125 Starbucks Gift Card?

New Contest

Cover letters are often dry, boring and staler than last week’s donuts, all in the name of playing it safe. After all, it’s far less hazardous to stay on the tame side when sizing up your background so you don’t turn off a prospect client with too much edge.

But what if that all changed, and creative writing became the goal for your cover letter? (Yeah, we’re getting goose bumps, too!)

Head to the edge with this month’s writing contest that puts your creative spirit, skill and savvy to the test. See if you can tell your story in a way that outlines your services, engages a prospect buyer, and compels them to pull the trigger to give you a go.

If you think about it, you actually know a lot about that prospect client. They’re using our robust platform, the best on the web. They’re looking for the rising stars. Their content needs to stand out from the pack. If aligned with the best writer(s), their business will soar.

Finally, they want peace of mind, landing on a reliable writer on which they can depend. Use these facts as ammo as you tap into your creative mind and surface with an irresistible story about yourself that connects with these needs.

If the goose bumps didn’t give it away, we’re extra excited about this contest. We may even suggest adding a new section to the new profiles called Creative Cover Letter, making this a requirement for 5 and 6 star writers, or perhaps all writers that join our team. Like the idea? Let us know!

Submit your cover letter to ByronWhite@WriterAccess.com, and you’ll enter to win $100 cash or a $125 Starbucks Gift Card!

Blog Posts of the Month

As the weather starts sizzling, so does our blog:

UNHCR and Neil Gaiman: Why You Should Pay Attention to Social Media

UNHCR and Neil Gaiman: Why You Should Pay Attention to Social Media
In late May, The Guardian published an article by Neil Gaiman about Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. By early June, the article had received thousands of social media shares and likes, which isn’t surprising given Gaiman’s popularity…
by Sarah S

Managing a Long-Term Writing Project: Writing a Book

Managing a Long-Term Writing Project: Writing a Book
For many writers, myself included, the idea of writing a book is intimidating. In my case what intimidates me is the length of the project. I write articles that are 1000 words or less routinely, and have written content as long as 4000 words, however never anything close to the number…
by Paula A

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Coffee Maker

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Coffee Maker
One of the advantages of the freelance lifestyle is that you set your own schedule. But, on your worst days, that can be the downside as well. While most freelance writing days are productive, on others, you consider yourself ahead of the game if you don’t go skimming…
by Lara S

Feedback (Always) Wanted!

Thanks for all your comments, both on WAW and on everything else! We’re always learning from you, so never be shy to share your opinion. See you next month!

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