In 2018, while I was living in the U.K., thanks to a Workaway experience, I had a lot of free time and started wondering how to make some money online with no previous experience or investment.
Somehow I ended up discovering the chance to earn from my writings through content marketplaces.
At that time, I was writing only in Italian and found a couple of websites where I had between 6 to 48 hours to write a piece of content and get paid almost instantly.
If you don’t know what content marketplaces are, let me give you a quick overview.
Content Marketplaces are websites where customers can post one or more job offers for writers who want to create articles for their website — some kind of ghostwriting job for bloggers.
The piece’s final price is based on the difficulty, the number of words, and the client’s extra services required, such as SEO, images, or proofreading.
The marketplace supervises the work, checks if the content is plagiarized, counts the number of words while you are writing, and offers the opportunity to authors and clients to get in touch anonymously.
These websites can be a great way for inexperienced copywriters to make some money and quickly turn into a nightmare for a few dollars. Let me explain to you why.
Pros for the author
If you are a brand new writer and need some fast cash, the content marketplaces can be the best place to start your writing career.
All you have to do is subscribe, take a short test, and once approved, choose among the offers the ones that most suits your abilities. Usually, there is no entry fee to start writing for a content marketplace; I’ve personally chosen only those free to use.
The more you write, the more you earn, and your level rises. You will get paid more, have more offers to choose from, and more time to write.
Promised payment is yours once you write the minimum number of words and the client is satisfied with your job. Once you reach the threshold, you can withdraw.
If you are an expert writer, you can apply for proofreading jobs. Some platforms also offer the chance to do translations, which is fantastic if you can write in another language.
Cons for the author
As a beginner, you won’t have many offers to choose from, so you can’t afford to be picky if you want to grow fast. Usually, you will start with a 1-star level and gain more stars if you write a lot of good content.
Also, don’t spend too much time wondering if you want to write a piece, take the job fast, or someone else will. Competition is nasty when lots of writers are new, have a limited number of articles they can write, and try to make their way to the top.
I bet you don’t want to spend the rest of your day refreshing the “available jobs” page until some new offers pop up.
Basic payment per word can be lower than 0.01 $, and you must reach the minimum number of words, stop words excluded, to submit your finished article. It doesn’t matter if it takes you two hours to write 100 words with a lot of research; if the payment for that essay is set for 1 $, that’s all you will get.
If the client doesn’t like the piece can ask you for unlimited revision at no extra cost and even reject your work, and you won’t get paid.
If you don’t write the article before the time at your disposal expires, the job will be removed from your dashboard and will become available for other writers. You will get penalized for that.
Penalties will be added to your records also if your content is rejected or contains plagiarized parts.
You can end up writing for hours for a few dollars a month.
What if a client rejects your job and ends up still using it? Will you ever find out?
Pros for the client
As a client, you can create a free account and post as many job offers as you want without contacting the website staff. This self-service option is the most common and cheap.
Thanks to some websites module, you can get a quote for the content based on the quality required, length, and extra services before even opening the account.
On the other hand, for a more professional service or dedicated offer, an editorial team can be tailored to your specific needs.
If you have already worked with some writers, you can choose them to work with you again by paying extra money. Still, you won’t need their name but an identification code.
The website team will then check the job, look for copied pieces, and proofread the content or add images if you require a higher standard essay.
The best part is probably the opportunity for you to ask for revisions or reject the content you don’t like without paying anything.
Cons for the client
You get what you pay for, maybe less. Since content marketplaces are an excellent way for authors to gain experience fast or work every now and then, rarely you will find professional writers spending their time looking for jobs there.
Often, writers don’t have a specific niche. They can switch writing from medical matters to travel itineraries pretty quickly with no previous experience, and, if you don’t know the topic yourself, you might end up publishing inadequate information on your website.
If you want a good piece of content, you need to spend a lot of money. Content marketplaces offer services such as multiple reviews, proofreading, and Search Engine Optimization. You can also create your custom team of writers and editors, but it will cost you.
If you are a brand new writer or want to find out if writing is for you, content marketplaces can be a reliable place to give it a try. If you write a lot and manage to get to the highest level, you can make real money, but you must be really desperate or determined to accept some offers initially.
Marketplaces are an excellent way to learn how to write and what a client expects from an author. On the other hand, sometimes, clients demand too much for what they are paying.
As a client, if you are looking for cheap content with no rush, these websites can help you find a writer without directly hiring him or dealing with his complaints.
Content marketplaces aren’t good or bad; they help clients and writers to meet and do business without all the trouble of signing a contract and taking care of the payments.