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Our FAQ covers the following categories. Click on the link to jump directly to that section and learn more.

WriterAccess Basics
Money Matters
All About Assignments
Rules and Star Ratings

WriterAccess Basics

Is it free to apply?

Yes. No fees or obligations exist for translators.

Who can apply?

Anyone from a language student/beginner translator up to a notary certified legal translator.

Do I have to live in the US to apply?

No. You do not have to live in the US to apply as a translator.

How does this work for translators?

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

Clients can place orders with translators using a pay-per-word order form, using the rates preset by WriterAccess that vary by star level. Translators are required to fulfill the order instructions as given on the order form. Once an order is submitted, the client can either approve the translation or request revisions. We urge translators 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 translator is paid for their work.

How does this work for clients?

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

You can reach out to the WriterAccess staff using the Help Desk in the platform.

Can you explain your pricing transparency?

Talent earn 70% of the client pay for any and all orders. Full transparency of prices help us attract the best talent and best clients.

What type of content can clients order translation for at WriterAccess?

A wide range of orders are placed on WriterAccess, including advertisements, annual reports, articles, banner ads, blog posts, books, brochures, case studies, catalog entries, data sheets, direct mail pieces, email copy, Facebook posts, grants, mobile content, newsletters, presentations, press releases, product descriptions, proposals, radio spots, speeches, traditional scripts, Twitter posts, video scripts, web pages, webinar presentations, webinar scripts, and white papers.

Can clients create a list of my favorite talent and keep using them?

Yes indeed. Clients can add their favorites to a Love List. All the talent they add to their Love List can also be added to smaller teams, for organizing. When a client adds you to their Love List or a team, you will also be added to their order form. 

Talent pick up orders first-come, first-serve, with only one person responsible for that order.

Do clients own the copyright on the translation they buy?

Yes. Clients own the copyright of any translated content purchased on WriterAccess. Clients do not own the copyright for any copy that they do not approve or do not pay for. Copyright is transferred upon approval of the order, which transfers payment to the talent. See our terms of use for more information.

Can I apply to be a writer or editor if I already have a translator account?

Yes, we do allow translators to be writers or editors at the same time. However, you must be able to fulfill the requirements for those talent types, which can be found in the Writer and Editor FAQs.

Why would my application be rejected?

Each application is reviewed based on both the quality of the profile and the test. If you are rejected, one or both may not have been up to our standards.

In each application we look for a strong connection with the target language. You can only translate into your native language, unless you were raised bilingual as a child AND you’ve lived in two cultures as a child for a number of years. If you have been out of the region of your native tongue for more than five years, it becomes more difficult to translate into your native tongue. Select the language you are most proficient in at this moment as your native and primary target language to avoid problems.

Who reviews the translation test?

We have editors and quality controllers in each of our 21 languages who are paid to review each test. We have a scoring system and these editors give a score (from 1-100) plus their overall opinion, these reviews are just for our own information, to give an idea of a translator's level, it's certainly not the only factor. Our talent managers review applications thoroughly and assign the initial star rating (from 3 to 5). You can get to 6 after a certain amount of successfully completed orders in the platform. Our Talent Managers understand that some translators have mostly technical, medical or legal experience and, because the test is literary, we ‘forgive’ them if their style is not perfect.

Money Matters

How much will I make?

That depends. Translators are paid on a per-word basis. The client assigns the order a star rating, and the payout for writers breaks down like this:

Level 3 orders pay at least 4.2 cents per word

Level 4 orders pay at least 5.6 cents per word

Level 5 orders pay at least 7.0 cents per word

Level 6 orders pay at least 8.4 cents per word

Translators will be paid based on the amount of words in the source text.

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 translators 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 translator.

How and when do I get paid?

We pay 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.

Do you only use Paypal?

Yes, all our payments are via Paypal only. We are aware that not every country has access to Paypal, but at the moment there is no other form of payment.

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

Translators can specify an alternate email address for use with PayPal. If translators 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.

What is the W8BEN and the W9?

If you are a non-US person, you should fill out the W8BEN (when you are logged into the platform) to indicate that no taxes are supposed to be withheld by WriterAccess because you will pay tax in your home country. The W9 is for US persons. We require one of these forms to be filled out before your first payment.

All About Assignments

Can I pick up assignments immediately?

Once a translator is approved with an initial star rating, they have full access to orders. This approval process may take a couple of weeks.

Are translators protected with terms and conditions?

Yes. Translators 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 translators are guaranteed payment for successful completion of the order. Translators 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. Translators can increase their exposure among clients by becoming more interactive on the site by:

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

2. Filling out your profile. Our search is based on your profile, so by filling out more assets, industries and samples, you are more likely to be found by clients.

Once translators become more involved in orders and messaging, they increase their exposure on the platform and are assigned more orders. The more successfully completed orders, the more visibility a translator has on WriterAccess.

How do I claim orders on WriterAccess?

Once a translator 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 translator 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.

Translators 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.

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

Can I compose texts offline?

Yes, translators 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?

Self Service clients have 120 hours to approve the work once a translator formally submits the order: by hitting the “Save and Submit” button. Plus clients have 168 hours. Pro and Enterprise clients have 336 hours. Clients can also pay for additional approval time when placing the order, however the max is 336 hours. This extra cost is split with the translator according to the usual 70/30 breakdown.

The time for client approval is decided at the time the order is created, and the translator 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 translator with comments on what to revise. When the translator 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 translator and get a refund for their order. Clients can request revisions for a number of reasons:

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

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

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

How can I improve my ranking for higher paid assignments?

Translators can improve their rating by completing orders successfully, receiving positive ratings from clients, and being added to Love Lists. There is an algorithm in place that determines the translator's algorithm score.

Consistent good work is rewarded with an increase in star level, whereas any discrepancies regarding the quality of work will have a negative impact on the star level. This algorithm can automatically move you up to a 5-star translator, but moving up to 6-star is done by periodic review by talent management.

How many orders can I check out at a time?

The seasoned translators 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 translators start with a 1-car garage, and can only check out one love list order and one crowd order at a time. Once the first 10 orders are approved, translators are automatically upgraded to a 3-car garage and can check out up to three orders per group (crowd and love list) at a time. After a translator 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.

There is one exception, a translator can claim an unlimited amount of “solo” orders. These are orders that clients assign only to one editor to work on “solo.”

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 translators in several ways.

  1. Via Comment/Message directly in an order.
  2. Via WriterAccess Mail: In the communication area (like an email/message)
If a client reaches out to you from any other avenue, or provides you with contact information to talk off of the platform, please open a Help Desk ticket.

What are crowd, love list, and solo orders?

These terms refer to way the order is sent to the translator rather than the level of the order. Crowd orders are released to any translator who wants to claim them, while love list and solo orders are sent to a single translator directly (solo) or a group of translators (love list) to see who picks it up first.

All levels of content orders are potentially available via these distribution methods.

Can I use CAT tools?

Yes, we believe that all WriterAccess translators are true professionals, who understand when and how to use CAT tools appropriately.

Rules and Star Rating

How does your Star Rating for translators work?

The WriterAccess freelance translator community is categorized into a four-level rating system. The purpose of this system is two-fold: 1) It allows more experienced translators 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 of applicants' education, writing expertise, knowledge of SEO and social media, and the extent of their online authority. Translators are assigned 3, 4, 5 or 6 stars depending on their profile details, industry experience and demonstrated translating proficiency.

3 Star — The majority of applicants fall into this ranking. Profile and samples are basic, yet informative. The translator may have previous translation experience. Some 3-star translators don't specialize in any one field or industry, but may exhibit a proficient understanding of style and tone. These translators have some basic cultural knowledge of the source language and great spelling and grammar abilities in the native language.

4 Star — Translators of the 4-star level have valuable translation experience and an impressive portfolio. Most of these translators have experience translating a variety of text types and also have an understanding of more complex translation and localization instructions. Work delivered by a 4-star translator shows perfect interpretation, great word choices and creativity in sentence structures. Grammar, punctuation and spelling errors are rare, and typically, a 4-star translator will have extensive expertise in one or more industries.

5 Star — Translators who receive a 5-star rating on WriterAccess are typically linguistic authorities with proven translation abilities. The translator is highly professional and has an expert grasp of the source language. Clients can expect 5-star translators to adhere to deadlines religiously, and produce translations with perfect word choices and great readability. Some 5-star translators are also experts in a given industry and may be certified in a certain type of translation (technical, legal, medical, etc). The 5-star translator also understands the complexities of translation requirements and always delivers work that meets order specifications.

6 Star — 6-star translations convey the most complex messages perfectly and elegantly, making the creators of the source text wonder if they should improve the original text because the translation is so smooth. Readers won’t realize that they’re reading a translation and feel content with the reading experience, not unlike the satisfaction after a good meal.

Translators' 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. Translators (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 translator or client in the event of a discrepancy.

Can a client rate my work?

Yes, clients are required to rate the order when it is approved. If the order is auto-approved, the client is given 2 weeks after the auto-approval to rate the order. After the 2 weeks, if the client doesn't rate, WriterAccess deems the order as “met expectations.”

This is good for translators, because it's counted toward the algorithm as a successfully completed order.

Clients can rate “exceeded expectations,” which helps the translator's rating even more so than having met expectations.

Some clients choose to rate an order “did not meet expectations.” In order to leave this rating, the client must comment on the order with their reasoning. All work rated negatively is reviewed by WriterAccess internal staff. Internal staff determines whether or not the client's rating was justifiable. If not, we don't hold it against the translator. If so, a penalty will be applied to the algorithm, which can be canceled out by "met" and "exceeds expectations" ratings.