Many are the times I would get too many writing assignments on iWriter, beyond what I could handle. Even when I intermittently go off the site and come back on, it often takes me at least one week (two or three weeks, if I’m targeting Elite Plus clients) to get a long-term client. Looking back, I can say three things contributed to such success: my mental attitude, an overall strategy and effective tactics.
By the way, I’ll only briefly mention the technical aspects of using the site, since you’ve probably already read a whole bunch of splendid guides detailing every aspect. Everyone follows the same technical processes, but the mental attitudes, strategies and tactics are what differentiate the bottom writers from the top.
So, here’s the mental attitude, overall strategy and effective tactics that I used on iWriter. I’ll also include some insights at the end on how you can formulate your own.
My Mental Attitude on iWriter
So, you’re a writer on iWriter. Do you consider yourself a freelancer? In my books, you aren’t truly a freelancer.
In reality, you’re indirectly working for iWriter; a sort of pseudo-employment.
It can’t get any clearer than iWriter’s Content Provider Agreement:
“(b) Provider [writer] represents and warrants that in the performance of the services to be rendered pursuant to this Agreement, Provider will be acting for the full benefit of Company [Bryxen Software, Inc. owners of iWriter].”
“22. No Third Party Beneficiary Rights. This Agreement shall: (a) create rights and obligations only between Company [Bryxen Software, Inc. owners of iWriter] and Provider [writer]; and (b) not create any rights for any other parties. For the avoidance of doubt, without any limitation, no User [client ordering content] shall be entitled to enforce the terms of this Agreement.”
“Provider [writer] desires to write articles, content and other works of authorship (each a “Work“) for Company based on content requests posted by Users [clients ordering content] on the iWriter Platform.”
It gets even more complicated since iWriter isn’t the one hiring you; rather, it’s the clients on iWriter. So, you’re indirectly working for someone who isn’t even employing you. Realizing just how precarious this situation is should sober you up instantly.
This might sound simplistic, but it will influence your overall strategy and eventually determine the tactics you use.
On the positive site, it’s also a superb platform. There aren’t many other places where you can find thousands of clients coming to one central site that writers can access? If you were fully freelancing, you would be the one going out to thousands of sites searching for clients.
So, iWriter is a half-way freelancing platform with access to multiple clients, but your guarantee of success will largely depend on you.
My Overall Strategy on iWriter
Once you understand the true nature of your status on iWriter (your mental attitude), you’ll be best placed to develop a proper overall strategy to fully maximize the opportunities created by this ‘half-way freelancing site,’ and avoid making costly mistakes.
Many writers look at freelancing sites as an end; rather, than a means to an end. This not only blinds them to the existing opportunities within such sites but also cripples their progress beyond the sites.
Since iWriter offers no guarantees (it doesn’t even provide escrow payment), your primary strategy should be to reduce the odds against you.
If you were offered $10 with a 99 percent chance of losing the money, or $2 with a 1 percent chance of losing the money, which would you choose?
You may think the risk of loss is reasonable for the $10 offer since the amount is higher, but it really isn’t. Well, unless you had maybe 100 or 1,000 chances to bag the $10.
So, your overall strategy is to reduce your odds of failure, while taking advantage of the income-earning opportunity. This overall strategy will determine the tactics you use. Remember, if you don’t have an overall strategy or have the wrong one, you’ll end up using the wrong tactics and get zero results.
Simple, isn’t it? Well, once you get into the game, too many people forget the simple things.
The Successful Tactics I Used on iWriter
By having an overall strategy, you can be more methodical in planning on the specific tactics to use. You don’t just use any new tactic that seems to be in vogue.
When planning on the tactics to use, you’ll have to consider your personal preferences, your skills, your past experiences, the existing opportunities… You’ll continually update these tactics as you discover new opportunities and threats. However, the bottom-line is that anything which reduces the odds of failure gets a pass and anything which doesn’t is cut out.
1. Pitching to Clients
You never thought you could pitch to clients on iWriter, did you? Well, I’ve done it so many times that I’ve lost count (however, don’t do it too many times in one go, since you’ll be spamming the system).
When you see a client’s order, instead of picking it up, you craft and send a powerful pitch based on the order. Here’s a sample:
Several clients who gave me special assignments based on my pitch turned out to be long-term clients.
2. Creating Your Own Premium Categories
What about creating your own premium categories? Didn’t think of that, did you?
iWriter has only four categories: Standard, Premium, Elite and Elite Plus. But you can add your own premium categories.
Here’s how to do it.
Based on your preferences, you can decide on which type of articles you’re willing to work on at the low standard and premium rates, and which ones you’ll only work on at the Elite or Elite Plus rates (or even higher). So, when clients offer such premium tasks, you inform them that you would charge a higher rate since the tasks would require much more extensive work.
I recall doing this once, when a client wanted me to do product reviews, and I told him that I only handle Elite Plus articles for product reviews due to the extensive work required. He started sending me a couple of Elite Plus product reviews weekly.
3. Snoop on Other Writers
Check out the profiles of top-rated or prolific writers and search for their articles online. Find out how well they write and learn from that.
You can also search for these writers online and maybe get in touch with them. Develop a relationship with them and, perhaps, they’ll soon feel comfortable enough to subcontract some writing assignments to you (they often get loads more tasks than they can handle).
4. Research on Prospective Clients Online
If you want to be sure you’re working with a genuine person who won’t swindle you, research on them online.
Several times, I’ve taken up assignments from clients who had very low approval ratings on iWriter (many writers avoid such clients like the plague, with good reason too), simply because I researched and found they had excellent reputations online.
Your best client could be the one every other writer is avoiding.
5. Offering Ideas for Future Articles
Don’t just ask clients to consider you for future assignments. Offer some tantalizing ideas for the next article, so they have something to come back for.
Once when I did this, I got two Elite Plus assignments from a client, instead of the only one she had planned for.
6. Offering Content Advice to Your Client
Sometimes, long-term clients are simply found. Other times, they are created.
Perhaps, your client just hasn’t figured out a few things to grow and maintain his/ her business. If you could give a few useful pointers that help get the business on the right track, you could have created your very own long-term client.
If you notice anything wrong, point it out and help your client avoid losses.
7. Targeting Clients With Established Businesses
Often, you can quickly identify clients with established businesses. They might provide their website details within article instructions, or you can easily locate them online.
You would also see a long track-record of assignments completed through iWriter. If the client just recently joined iWriter, you could search online to see any history of hiring content services.
8. Targeting High-Revenue and High-Opportunity Topics
Certain topics often pay quite well. But don’t just target these high-revenue topics, unless you’re sure you’ll get them. High-revenue topics are also typically low-opportunity. Meaning, you might spend an awfully long time before finding them.
Instead, look out for high-revenue and high-opportunity topics. These are topics that pay well and have regular orders from clients. If you aren’t skilled in those topics, you would be missing out on a great opportunity. By the way, you don’t really have to abandon your preferred topic, if it’s different, you can adapt by applying some of the insights from your favorite topic.
9. Giving Clients Extra Offers
You shouldn’t give free offers too often since clients might come to expect it.
The time I used it was when I found a client I really liked (actually, I just liked the money…) and I almost lost him with an under-par first article. So, I crafted a better second article and submitted it.
Instead of using it as just a disaster management tool, like I did, you might give extra offers to rope in new long-term clients. Personally, I prefer giving an extra offer instead of a discount.
10. Show Off Your Qualifications
If you haven’t done a guest post on a high-authority site, you should. You should probably also have a blog with several top-notch articles – not just the rejects from iWriter (keep those in another blog).
Now, when you pitch to prospective clients (as previously elaborated), you can confidently state how experienced you are. Of course, you’re not allowed to include website URLs in iWriter’s messaging section, but you can simply state the article titles you’ve written and website names.
How to Come Up With Your Own Tactics
The last thing I would ever want is for you to copy every single thing I’ve done. It’s not that I’m afraid of competition, but what I did might not work for you. Moreover, iWriter’s rules keep changing; therefore, not everything I did would still be possible in future.
Here’s how you can come up with your own tactics:
- Assess your personal goals. Think where you want to be 1, 2, 5, 10 years down the line and plan ways of making that happen.
- Evaluate your preferences, skills, and experience. Can you leverage on what you already have? Would you need to up your game?
- Think about what clients want and need and position yourself to fulfill that need. Sometimes clients want what they don’t need, and you should be the sober professional to calmly correct and save them from themselves before they lose everything.
- Do you want 100s of clients, sending you a few jobs each, or a few clients sending you 100s of jobs?
- Are you comfortable with the payment rates vis-à-vis the workload? Perhaps, there’s a legitimate way you can still deliver quality work with minimal workload.
- Do you want to get assignments related to a few topics or tasks from varied topics?
- Are you comfortable working at odd hours of the night (for Kenyans, most assignments are found during the night)? Personally, my preference for long-term clients was partly driven by the desire to avoid working at night.
- Have you assessed the most common types of clients on the site? Do they fit your perception of the ideal client or would have to adapt to the situation?
- Have you assessed the most common types of articles on the site? Perhaps your favorite type of content can’t be found on the site.
Through this assessment, you’re sure to discover many untapped opportunities on iWriter that are staring right at you. You just haven’t seen them yet.