My Experience Writing for the Zerys Content Platform
- Content Marketing Software Platform | Hire Freelance Writer
Zerys is a project management tool designed specifically for content projects, with a built-in marketplace of thousands of professional writers.
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.
Quality and Quantity of jobs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Revision Process and Rejection Rates
How to Handle Rejection as a Freelance Writer
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.
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.
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.
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.
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© 2015 Rose Clearfield