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Sunday, 6 May 2018

I did something stupid.

Boy, do I feel like an idiot right now.

Three years ago I was in sixth form and desperate for a way to make some cash. I was throwing my CV at cafes left right and centre, and with no luck, began to search for a way to earn money via freelance writing. I came across this site called iWriter, which pays you to write articles for clients. Sounded great, right?

Wrong. I should have learned my fucking lesson, but financial disparity and general uselessness can cloud your judgement. You have to earn a minimum of twenty US dollars - which equates to eleven quid in GBP. Their articles are EXTREMELY badly paid. How it works is you can start off as a standard writer, which means you earn little to nothing for spending hours churning out articles, and then once you get 30 positive reviews you can rise up to become a premium writer, and then an elite writer, where you're able to earn more.

Did I mention that clients can also reject your article and give it a poor review without leaving a reason? You can follow all of their instructions and write well, but they can still reject it, which squanders your chances of getting up the rank.

Anyway, several days ago I was feeling useless because I'm graduating from uni soon and don't know what to do with my life. I mean yeah, I want to pursue writing and music, but in the mean time I need to find some way to make some money whilst pursuing those seemingly impossible ambitions. (Why couldn't I just be a plumber or a dentist, huh?)

I haven't had a standard job in two years, since I worked at this cafe for three weeks and got fired because - well, not paying enough attention, too day-dreamy, drifting off, slow, you get the picture. I thought signing up for iWriter again would be a good idea; my writing skills have improved, I have more time, etc. You can't make anything as a Standard writer so I knew I would need to become a Premium or Elite writer.

Well, tally-ho, old chap. iWriter have a Fast Track Program where you can pay a wonderful $197 - £148 for a poor British student - and write them three articles, which gets you promoted to Premium or Elite status. I wrote three articles; one about Mark Cuban, one about processed foods and one about energy supplements, based on what they asked. I got shot up to Premium status, and began searching for articles to write.

I spent four and a half hours writing a thousand words reviewing a bike, following all of the instructions and formatting it as the client requested. I would have gotten $9.32, which equals £6.68.
Rejected. I decided to just do shorter ones - 400 or 500 words max, as I can churn those out in an hour or less. So far I've done three; two are pending approval and one got approved. All will earn me about £2.50 each.

It's not fucking worth it. My mum was pretty disappointed when she found out. Yes, I clearly got screwed off real bad - I paid a lump sum to this stupid site that pays writers nothing because I thought it might be a quick way to make cash. Lots of the clients have a low rating, which means they're more likely to reject articles (the one I got paid for had a very high rating, thankfully). And most of the topics are soooo boring - they just want people to write about products they need to sell, like jewellery or sporting equipment. But I could stomach that, if it wasn't so badly fucking paid and there was a chance you wouldn't be slaving away for ages only to get rejected.
No, no and no.
So yeah, I made a stupid mistake. I did send an email just now asking if there's any way I can get my money back and be 'downgraded' to Standard writer status. It probably won't happen, but it's worth a shot. I decided to recycle two of my old Samsung Galaxy phones - I'll be able to make seventy quid from that at least.

Sigh. I feel unbelievably shit right now. Of course I know this was all my own stupid fault, and the moral of the story is to not fall for companies that will exploit your talents. Lots of people have complained online about how bad iWriter is. Of course, there are those that do make money from it, but that takes a long time and you have to be very patient in order to be pushed up to Elite writer status. And let's face it, I feel way too fucking disheartened at this point. But let this be a lesson; after all, I'm probably not the only sucker to get screwed over by a shitty company.

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