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My Experience Writing for the Zerys Content Platform

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

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As a freelancer, finding work is an ongoing process. You never know when a huge project will end or a client won't need writers anymore. As such, you always want to have some options on the table. I have found multiple writing clients through articles of this nature. However, I've also seen way too many articles with generic overviews or limited initial thoughts about specific writing platforms.

I'm not here to tell you how the sign up process works or what it was like completing my first few writing jobs for Zerys. The platform provides everything that you need to know about how to sign up, and it's exactly what you find at most writing platforms. If you have any writing experience, then you know how it is to get started at a new site. If not, you'll find out soon enough.

Instead, I'm here to tell you what it's been like day in and day out at Zerys for three solid years. I cover the pay rates, clients, revision process, rejection rate, direct orders, and favorites board as well as my personal opinions about writing for this type of site. As I go through these topics, I explain exactly what I do and don't like about writing for Zerys. I hope that this information helps you make an informed decision about whether or not Zerys is a good fit for you.

It's important to note that Zerys assigns all writers a rating level. Like other sites with this model, typically there are more jobs available to higher rated writers. As you gain experience and get article ratings, you should be able to move up in the rankings and access more jobs.

Quality

I have written for multiple sites of this nature and found the quality of the jobs at Zerys to be higher than most sites. With that being said, you'll still find clients who want writers to work for less than a cent per word. You'll also find articles with vague or overly complex directions. Look for clients with acceptable pay rates and clear directions that are appropriate for the pay rate.

Quantity

On a similar note, I have also found the quantity of jobs at Zerys to be higher than most sites, which is one of the key reasons that I use it as much as I do. It's frustrating to check job boards and only find a handful of available jobs. At Zerys, it's not unusual for there to be over 100 jobs available on the open boards at any given time.

Pay Rates

If you're looking for $125 blog post offers, you're not going to find them at Zerys. I know that this reality turns off many writers. With that being said, the pay rates are better than most similar writing sites. As I've gained experience, I've raised my direct order rate (more on that below) and gained the confidence to grab more higher paying jobs from the boards, which has enabled me to make more money than I did initially. When I was just starting out, I'd take anything and everything to gain experience and secure any clients that I could. I'm more picky now, but I'm also a better writer and know that my time is worth more. Clients who respect this principle are willing to pay more for their writers.

Clients

To date I've secured more regular clients through Zerys than any other single site. I've had ongoing success finding clients who assign direct orders at my direct rate. This has been huge for several reasons.

  • A client will only direct assign when he knows that he likes your writing skills and/or that you have a specific asset to offer (i.e. experience in a given industry) that he'll be hard pressed to find elsewhere. As such, it's likely that the client will be pleased with your work.
  • Since a client who does direct assign likes the majority of your work, he's more likely to be open to direct rate increases as you continue to gain experience.
  • The less time that you spend looking for new work is more time that you're earning money with existing clients who already know you and like your writing style.

As with any writing site, there will always be unreasonable clients who want writers to work for next to no pay and who reject well written work without giving writers the chance to revise it. However, my experiences with truly nasty clients have been few and far between.

How to Handle Rejection as a Freelance Writer

Revision Process

Clients always have the option of requesting a revision on a given piece. At most, I get revision requests on one in every 12 submissions. Almost all of these pieces end up getting approved after 1-2 revisions. Most of the time, these revisions are minor requests, such as changing the layout or adding a couple concluding sentences.

Rejection Rates

Currently I have 10 rejected pieces out of more than 3,000 submissions. I'm not going to lie: rejection always hurts, especially when clients reject without giving you the chance to revise. However, as a freelancer, you know that rejection is part of the job. You simply can't please everyone all of the time.

If you do get rejected, you can always try to submit the content elsewhere, such as Constant Content, or you can publish it under your own name elsewhere, such as HubPages or your blog. There is no guarantee that you'll make money submitting or publishing it elsewhere, but it's better than letting it sit on your hard drive where you're guaranteed to make no money on it.

Direct Orders

As I've already discussed a bit, I've had more success getting direct orders on Zerys than any other site. At times, I have so many direct orders that I don't even check the open boards for weeks on end. This is a good problem. It's almost always more productive to write for existing clients who like your style and are willing to pay a decent rate than to search for new clients.

Zerys has a low default direct order rate for writers. Unless you sign up for the site with a lot of experience under your belt, I recommend starting at this rate. As you gain experience, you can raise it accordingly. I've raised my rate multiple times over the past few years and have yet to have existing clients complain about the increases or stop assigning work because of an increase.

Favorites Board

Zerys clients can favorite writers, which is how they assign direct orders. Zerys also has a favorite writers board where clients can make jobs available to favorite clients instead of the entire writing pool. If I don't have any direct orders available, I would rather take a job from a favorite client than the open board for the reasons that I've already discussed about working with existing clients as opposed to new clients.

One of the few downsides of the open board system on Zerys is that you can only accept one assignment at a time. Clients can assign as many direct orders as they like, but you're limited to one open board assignment. Some sites allow writers who have met certain criteria (i.e. five approved articles) to accept more articles at a time.

My personal opinion about having content mills in your freelance writing portfolio.

I know that there is a lot of controversy about writing for content mills. Many people are adamant about avoiding them, believing that they only hold you back from higher paying work. Other people believe that they're only worth pursuing when you're first starting out as a freelancer and need experience.

Like anything in life, content mills are not for everyone. If you're burning out writing tons of low paying content on topics of little or no interest to you, you may need to cut back or take a break from content mills altogether. If there are specific places that you want to write and taking content mill jobs pulls you away from those goals, don't do it.

Personally, I think that content mills are a great option to keep in your portfolio, regardless of where you are in your writing career. Freelance work is unpredictable. Sometimes I go whole months at a time without having to look for new work because I get so many jobs from existing clients. Other times I'm checking the boards at Zerys and other content sites multiple times a day because I have so few direct orders in my queue.

There's no reason to take lower paying work when you have higher paying work available. But keeping a lower paying option available gives you something to work on during your down time. Again, I know that many people don't feel like $10 or $15 blog posts are worth their time. Ever. I do think that it's worth it. Taking one extra $10 blog post per week day equals $200 dollars per month, which translates to $2,400 per year. As an experienced writer, you can churn out most of these $10 blog posts in a matter of minutes. When I have a slow day, I'm always happy to grab one of these jobs and complete it in between working on personal projects or writing queries for potential jobs.

Why You Shouldn't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket | Alec Torelli

Why you shouldn't put all of your eggs in one basket, even when it's a great basket.

As a freelancer, you're most likely familiar with the expression about not putting all of your eggs in one basket. As much as I enjoy writing for certain sites, ultimately I know that I'm better served casting my net a little wider. You never when a client pool will dry up or when a site will shut down altogether. It can still be a huge blow to lose a site or even one big client from a given site. However, you'll be able to rebuild more quickly if you have other options on the table. It stinks to lose a well paying client and have to resort to writing $10 blog posts, but it's better than having nothing.

Finally, I think that it's especially important to keep your options open when you're writing for Zerys and other sites of this nature because the pay is not stellar. If you're going to continue to increase your overall revenue and keep bringing better paying clients into your portfolio, you'll be hard pressed to do it entirely through these sites. I'm glad that I have Zerys jobs in my queue most days while I continue to write for clients elsewhere and continue to keep exploring other client options and pursuing personal projects (i.e. building my HubPages portfolio, writing ebooks) so that I can keep increasing my overall income.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2015 Rose Clearfield

Comments

Tess on May 12, 2019:

I love writing for Zerys, and as a 5-star writer (and editor) I generally make $30 for 500 words of content. It's a great place to pick up a substantial amount of extra money - and if you get direct writing assignments from clients who like your work, it can be almost a full time job!

Aisha on December 18, 2018:

I feel like this article needs an update, not only for readers information, but for the comments below.

1- They got rid of 250 word "audition" assignments.

2- They got rid of ratings for the writer directly. Remember, each article that was accepted was rated? Not anymore.

3- The amount of articles (at least on my end) have dwindled down quite a bit. In fact, even through going through my 500+ clients from the past, many clients have openly said they have left Zerys, for one reason or another. This makes it tough for people that rely on steady work from said clients.

4- Some clients have become keyboard warriors. I agree with the getting paid what you're worth ideal, but I also think that clients shouldn't talk down to you, reprimand you, etc. We are still people! We have feelings lol

5- They got rid of the expert categories section. I'm not sure why, no one really had an answer for me when I asked about it. I think this was an important part of the system because it allowed more clients to find you.

Support has told me on another occasion when I asked about there being less jobs than usual, that they are "hoping" writers have already made a connection with clients through the years and can "count on" getting work that way. So in other words, if you hadn't used the system before, you're probably going to have a hard time getting new clients.

Eric Red from Taiwan on September 15, 2018:

I would be careful of Zerys these days. All that seems to come through are 250 word assignments that are effectively an audition of your writing talent to potential clients. The client isn't at all obligated to buy your piece even if they 'accept' it, and in my experience they don't buy it. As a platform they seem to favour the client over the writer, certainly these days.

Jennifer on January 06, 2018:

I wrote for Zerys from 2013 to 2016 and stopped using the platform when it became very unfriendly toward writers, IMO. The 'audition' requirements (250 word 'test' pieces for clients) are a major turn off, as are the very low pay rates (most are a few cents per word, at best). I am a 5-star writer and editor for Zerys with over 4,100 sold pieces and a less-than-1% rejection rate. The complete absence of jobs on the open and favorite job boards at any given time (less than 10 jobs on either one, or total between the two) makes it less than useful for a writer to bother with, even with a wide range of 'expert' category selections for content subjects. I use another 'content mill' where I can set my own pay rate, write about what I want, and create as long a piece of content as I want, and make 5x what I ever did through Zerys. $50 for 750 words is always much more worthwhile than $10 or $15 for the same content.

Nelly on September 01, 2017:

A great post right there. Just one question though: which categories have plenty of jobs in Zerys?

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 16, 2017:

It was 1.5c/word when I started.

Michele on July 10, 2017:

What is the default direct order rate?

Nancy on July 06, 2017:

My experience with Zerys has also been good. The system is a little different now, so there aren't as many jobs on the "open" job board, but I get 99% of my work from direct assignments. It's a nice additional source of income. I regularly earn $1500 or more per month through them.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 24, 2017:

Twritesalot, I'm sorry that's been your experience with Zerys. It's extremely rare my work ever sits for more than a few days on Zerys.

Twritesalot on April 21, 2017:

I also have experience with Zery's, and to those looking to venture there, I would recommend looking elsewhere. You may pick up a meaningful assignment from time to time. But in reality, your submitted work will sit for weeks and months before you are accepted or rejected. No writer deserves that kind of treatment.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on October 06, 2015:

I'm glad to learn about Zerys and am considering writing for them

Melissa Orourke from Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras on March 02, 2015:

Thank you, I am voting a Thumb's up!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 26, 2015:

I'm so glad to hear it, MJ Martin! Best of luck!

MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose from Washington State on February 26, 2015:

Very informative, just what I was looking for. I tried some of those before, ready to try again.

Zelda Mes from South Africa on February 25, 2015:

A very interesting article. Thank you.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 22, 2015:

I'm so glad to hear that, Maxine! It's great that you've built up a client base and are looking to expand your net a little bit.

My best advice about compiling an appealing portfolio is to keep producing content. The more writing you do, the better you get and the more high quality samples you produce to share with potential clients.

Best of luck! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

MP from West Virginia on February 22, 2015:

Thank you so much for this article. It was very helpful and informative, and I plan to take a look at the other articles that you linked. I began freelance writing in June of last year and have found all of my clients on oDesk.com. I just joined HubPages and have been exploring other options for "casting a wider net."

Do you have any information or could you write a post about compiling an appealing portfolio?

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 20, 2015:

Thanks, Jodah! I hope that you get a chance to check it out!

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on February 20, 2015:

Very interesting and helpful hub. i have never heard of Zerys Content Platform either. I will have to check it out.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 18, 2015:

You're very welcome, Tamirogers! I've been there and know how frustrating it is trying to get those initial articles and ratings under your belt. Again, best of luck!

Tami Rogers from Seattle, Washington on February 18, 2015:

Thank you so much @randomcreative...I am going to be patient, wake up early and give it a try!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 18, 2015:

Tamirogers, that's frustrating about the time zone issues. As you start accepting jobs and get ratings, you'll have access to more jobs, which will minimize the time zone problem. Best of luck!

Tami Rogers from Seattle, Washington on February 18, 2015:

Great Hub!! It's like you read my mind today! I signed up with Zery's like a week ago but haven't taken anything yet..I was rated a four..one of the problems I'm having is that I am on Pacific time and by the time I get up and check in--all the jobs are gone. I assume that as I start accepting a couple..more jobs will grow from there?!

Voting you up and VERY useful! Thanks!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 16, 2015:

Bill, I agree about hearing about new sites, regardless of specific interests and goals in writing. You never know what you may be pursuing down the road or when you'll be able to make a great recommendation to a fellow writer. I appreciate your feedback!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 16, 2015:

I always enjoy hearing about new sites...even content sites. Although this isn't something I need right now, it's helpful to hear from someone like you who has been with them for so long, so thank you for your perspective.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 16, 2015:

MarleneB, I'm glad that someone agrees with me about the lower priced work. If you can churn out those pieces quickly, I think that it is worth the money.

Hooks and Needles, for me, it really depends on how much work I'm doing and what sorts of subjects I'm covering if that price point is worth it. Most of us simply can't churn out a dozen $10 articles every day or we burn out really quickly.

MsDora, I'm glad to hear that. Thanks!

Cyndia, ha, thank you! I don't ever feel like I'm quite striking the perfect balance, but I keep trying. :)

Jamie, thanks! Best of luck to you and your friend. Please feel free to reach out any time if you have questions about freelance writing. I'm certainly not an expert, but I'm happy to help in any way that I can.

Jamie Jensen from Chicago on February 16, 2015:

Great hub! Today, a friend and I have started the process of looking into freelance writing. I'm sharing this with her and voting up!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on February 16, 2015:

Didn't know about Zerys, but very awesome information. You're amazing: between the crafting, photography and writing, you really balance everything out and do a great job. Nicely done!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 16, 2015:

Thanks for sharing your experience on Zerys. You gave good information, answering questions I would have asked. Very helpful!

Hooks and Needles on February 16, 2015:

Thanks for the information about this site. I've only ever worked for a client once and it was for $10 for 500 words. I quit after a month. At the time Hubpages was doing better than now and I just didn't feel it was worth it. Maybe I'll change my mind and check this site. Thanks again.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on February 16, 2015:

Your information is very helpful. Your tip about accepting lower priced work makes a lot of sense. Ten dollars here and ten dollars there - it all adds up in the end.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 16, 2015:

Dip Mtra, if you're interested in freelance writing, you have to start applying to sites and building your experience. Initially take what you can get and slowly work your way up to higher paying jobs and clients. Best of luck!

Thelma, thanks, glad to hear it!

breakfastpop, I hear you on Textbroker. I wrote for them initially as a freelancer, but the open boards job pay was not enough to keep me going back. Now I'm part of a few teams there, which can be a good back up when other sites are slow.

breakfastpop on February 16, 2015:

I totally appreciate t info you have provided here. I did a lot of work for Textbroker, but as of late, I have not done a thing. They pay pennies and it finally turned me off. I will look into the sites you speak about. Voted up and useful!

Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P from Anambra State, Nigeria on February 16, 2015:

Nice piece, I love what you put down.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on February 16, 2015:

Hi Rose,

I have not heard about this Zerys Content Platform before. I´ll check this out. Thanks for writing this very informative hub. Voted up and useful!

Dip Mtra from World Citizen on February 15, 2015:

Thanks for the info. Will you please take a look at my hubs to see if I can freelance, i.e., is my structuring and quality good enough? I have been trying to do this for some time now, but am not confident enough. Thanks for your help.

Dip Mtra from World Citizen on February 15, 2015:

Great and informative hub. Voted up.

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