Avoid the Cheapest Articles at iWriter.com

Today I wanted to share my experience testing out iWriter.com as an article writing service.

The short version of this post is as follows:  Don’t bother ordering the cheapest articles that they offer ($2 for a 300 word article).  Make sure to check off the box asking for either premium or elite writers only.

See the screenshot that I’ve provided here.

I first heard about iWriter from a friend who’s email list I’m on. He wrote a brief email saying that they had some “seriously talented” writers, and that iWriter was a great service. Since I am a fan of testing things out, I funded an account with $20 and gave my user ID and password to one of my employees in the Philippines. We’d been discussing a new backlinking strategy, so this was a perfect way to get the content required for that strategy.

Our test order on iWriter

My guy ordered a test article. He paid $3 for 500 words. You can also order 300 word articles for only $2.  The way iWriter works is that writers do not get paid until you accept articles. BUT, and this is a big “but” that you need to know about … articles are automatically approved after 48 hours. So you better go read them!

Good thing I read the test article that we ordered. It was seriously illegible. The content itself was poor to medium quality, and I wasn’t expecting a work of art for $3. I was expecting it to have a grammar mistake here and there. This is common for people who don’t consider English their first language but learn it in their home country (India, Philippines, and many other countries where English is common).

But the results were absolutely disastrous for this test article. It was littered with grammar errors. It was simply not useable. I rejected the article.

The project was still open so another writer took the job, hoping to earn a couple of bucks. Again, same result. I rejected that article and cancelled the project.

Then I asked my guy to repost the job but only ask for high quality writers and pay more money. So he submitted articles asking for “premium writers” (4-5 star ratings) which cost $5 instead of $3. We ordered two articles and they came back in acceptable format. I accepted both articles.

How was the article quality?

The education value of the articles was still very poor. The topic being written about was chef’s knives. The two articles were merely (mostly) grammatically correct primers on the different kinds of knifes a person can buy. I am a novice reader on this topic, and I can definitely say the articles did not improve my knowledge.

By the way, the grammar mistakes on these test articles were minor and more an indication that the writer rushed to complete them without proof reading.

This means I would NOT feel comfortable using those articles on any website that I owned. But if your goal is to submit them to article directories or Web 2.0 sites to gain backlinks, they are probably good enough.

Next time I’ll order from “Elite” writers and test an $8 article instead of a $5 article.  Given the quality difference I saw in moving from $2 to $5, I expect to see a huge change in moving up to $8.  Perhaps these articles will actually be much more educational and even more polished.

Hiring a full time writer is still better

The economics of using a site like iWriter are probably OK if you need help getting started and simply don’t have time to write your own articles.  And if you can’t afford to hire a writer to work for you full time, you have no choice (in the beginning) but to outsource this work to a freelancer who takes assignment work like this.

I can hire someone with fairly good English writing skills in the Philippines for about $400 per month.  Consider that there are about 20 working days per month, meaning I’m paying $20 per day for a full time employee.

If I provide basic training to that person about how I like articles to be written, then I gain from my training investment over time.  I’ll end up getting much higher quality work for a similar price.

Why do I say “similar price”?  Because $20 per day for a full time employee means I need to get 4 x 500 word articles out of that person every working day to be comparable to iWriter. Reasonably well researched articles take about 2 hours to complete.  So it’s entirely possible to have a writer crank out enough quantity to surpass what iWriter would cost you.

Focus on quality and adjacent tasks, not just quantity!  I personally feel that if you hire a full time employee to write, you should also teach that person how to do keyword research.  Then he or she can spend time finding the best keyword opportunities to go after, and write articles on those topics.  Even better, he or she can then go post the articles to Web 2.0 sites and article directories for you.  In short, this person would act as much more than a writer.

I’d much rather have a full time employee only produce 2 good pieces of content per day and properly research the keywords and the subject matter before writing.  I’d then have the article completely published to all the places I wanted it published in a hands-off manner.  I’d simply ask for daily reports with URLs showing me finished work.    In fact, this is not theory!  This is what I do in building niche sites, and in promoting my main content-rich websites.


iWriter is OK if you pay at least $5 per 500 word article.  I’ll do a test and write an update as to how the $8 articles come back. If you really need top quality I still suggest TextBroker instead.  It will cost you more (probably $20 for a 500 word article) but it will be written by a native English speaker and be very good quality.

Still, my preference is to hire full time people capable of writing, but train them on many tasks related to writing, editing, wordpress formatting, backlinking, keyword research, etc.  Give that person many different tasks to be a valuable member of your team and not just a writer.

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Leave A Reply (7 comments so far)

  1. Robbi Drake
    10 years ago

    Hey Thanks for your comments on my own article on doityourselfcomputing and for posting your review url.
    You make a lot of sense. Incomprehensible babble is about right :) Having been a writer and designer for more than 10 years,I simply question the new-found and self proclaimed experts and anything that just looks too good to be true.

    When you advertise quality writing for a given price, then get a client there and tell them that they have to pay more to get really good work and that the low price is for nothing short of garbage– LOL –it’s not far removed from the bait and switch tactics that the old time companies used. Interesting stuff.
    Thanks so much for letting us read your views and for posting on DIY computing. Perhaps you’ll do a guest post or two for us over there.

    Happy Tuesday!!

  2. Robbi Drake
    10 years ago

    You need not post this live if you’d prefer not as it’s a sort of advert/testimonial but, just FYI.. I think you do have options. I was a top rated writer, Level four, for Text Broker. They do pay well, but I left because there is another site that is a bit more fair to the customers, and pays a lower amount, but allows contact between the client and writer so that the writers know precisely what the client wants…

    You need not pay 20 dollars for a 500 word item if you’d like to check out NeedanArticle.com. The writers there are exam certified in certain categories of writing, such as technical, medical, and creative–as well as being certified English as a first language writers. You will pay a 10 dollar a month membership fee, but for that price, your work is proof read and the price is far lower than you will pay for comparable writing at Need an Article.I was so thrilled with the site that I went to work for them and am administrator now. Tell them that Robbi invited you. They will treat you very well and if you don’t get what you want from the writers there, I will write it myself.

  3. Nancy
    10 years ago

    I have looked at iWriter and agree with Robbi. They aren’t just bait and switch, they are bait, bait and switch. Like Robbi, I work for Need An Article. I provide customer service for both clients and writers as well as being a writer (when I have time), administrator and lead proofreader, . From what I have seen and heard, the writers who provide the lowest priced articles at iWriter wouldn’t even get in the door at Need An Article. The ones writing the next level would barely make it and the ‘Elite’ writers are probably of the level of most of our writers.

    Though many people don’t understand why Need An Article has a monthly fee, if you think about it a moment, it is a money saver. Other sites that don’t have a monthly fee tact a fee onto every article ordered. If you order only a few articles a month, say less than 20, it isn’t much to pay. However, if you need more than 30 articles a month, those fees per article exceed what NAA’s monthly fee is. NAA does not add those processing fees to every article order because that is what the monthly fee replaces. Imagine the savings if you need over 200 articles a month as many of our clients do.

    Need An Article adds a personal touch that no other site does.I recommend specific writers to those who want to know who the best writers for their needs are and walk people through the order process if they aren’t sure what to do. NAA isn’t just an interface; NAA is people.

  4. Marc
    9 years ago

    You should have a look at ezonlinewriter.com
    The writers are pre-screened, so that cuts down the chances at getting
    Bad content.
    The rates are very completive, and there is little risk in
    Trying the service out.

  5. Ken
    9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing, I intend to try on iWriter however read your and your guest comment, perhaps I will try needanarticle.

  6. Chris
    9 years ago

    Steve – LOL … sign up for OutsourceFactor. We don’t have enough people from Kenya. I can attest to what you’re saying. I’ve dealt with quite a few Kenyans and I’m amazed at the quality of English.

  7. Steve
    9 years ago

    Thanks, will sign up and see how it goes: admin- you can remove this comment as well