I feel cheated. I feel dirty. I feel let down. More than all of that, I feel very, very angry.
A few days ago, I decided to extend my reach as a freelance writer. This meant looking up some new, supposedly top-tier freelance writing platforms to set up shop on. As it stands, the first freelance platform I signed up to is definitely not one of these.
The platform in question goes by the name iWriter. However, really the creators should look at rebranding to something more suitable like iSlaveMaster.
To put this in perspective, when you try to sign up to iWriter, you are asked to complete a short quizz. This quizz is very similar to the Fiverr/UpWork Basic English test. After this, you are asked to submit a 250-word writing sample. iWriter gives you a topic, you write about that topic.
Naturally, you find yourself thinking throughout this process, “well at least this shows that I will be getting more high-value orders from people who appreciate my work.” At this point, though. you should take your brain out and shoot it.
iWriter says they will review your application and get back to you within 5-working days. In keeping with that promise, iWriter got back to me within 48-hours with a nice “You’e Accepted!” email.
At this point, I was still excited. However, after 2-minutes of using the site, I was crushingly disappointed. Here’s why:
First off, going through a manual selection process to gain access to a freelance platform where pay per 500-word article starts at $2.15 is insulting. That’s not the best bit, though, some writing jobs start at $0.81 per article!
Secondly, it is difficult to know what jobs are actually available. Nothing gets removed from the site. Click to see what work is available. and you will see jobs posted by people way back in 2017 and 2018.
Eventually, I found that clicking to the very last page of job listings shows you the most recent. However, even then there are still problems.
Listings don’t get removed after you click on one, agree to a project and submit whatever you are asked to write. In this case, I assume that each listing receives several submissions and the buyer chooses the best one. - i.e. Most writers don’t get paid.
The biggest problem, though, is the basic quality of buyers.
Yes, iWriter is just a dressed-up version of Buyer Requests on Fiverr. The briefs you are given for articles are often vague and nonsensical, and the pay is abysmal.
I did manage to find one project which I have submitted as a test. There, the buyer asked for a 500-word article about celebrities with social anxiety. However, they also insisted on me using “waking up early” and early rising" as their focus keywords.
I have no doubt that in the next 48-hours I will receive some kind of rambling message saying the buyer wanted an article about a different topic and I have failed miserably. This really was was just an experiment, though.
Regardless of the outcome of my experiment, do yourself a favor and steer clear of iWriter. As a writer, passing sign up tests and being welcomed to the site just leaves you feeling like you have been punched in the face repeatedly and spat on.
(As you might be able to tell, I hate cheapskate buyers.)