Scripted enlists freelance writers to create blog posts and other copy for its corporate clients
Expected pay: 5 to 10 cents per word
Commissions & fees: NA
Requirements: Writing ability; a Linkedin profile
Everyone wants to have a website in the digital age. And web gurus will tell you that if you want that site to show up in Google search, you’ll need to constantly add to it by “blogging.” The challenge for many a professional is that they may be brilliant at their day jobs but they’re not natural writers.
Content mills, such as Scripted, offer an answer. Claiming to provide a bridge between businesses that need ghostwriters and the freelancers, who can do the work, Scripted says it can produce blog posts for $39 to $98 each.
The problem for the people writing those posts is there’s an editor and a whole corporate structure (at Scripted) between you and that payment.
That means you’re only going to get a fraction of this amount — somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 to $50. That’s not much for a 300-500 word piece that might require research.
By the same token, 5 to 10 cents per word is better-than-average pay for notoriously low-paying content mills.
How it works
To sign up with Scripted, you’ll need to verify your Linkedin profile and provide at least two published writing samples. You’ll also need to take a writing and grammar test.
If you’re accepted to the platform, you’ll be able to get assigned jobs and pitch posts of your own.
The site suggests that you do both to move up its writing “tiers.” Generally speaking, new writers will be added to Scripted’s lowest bronze tier, where they get access to the fewest jobs. But they can move up to silver, gold and platinum tiers if they produce lots and lots of copy.
Lower-tier writers also pay 20% of their earnings as a commission to the platform and get paid twice monthly via Bill.com or PayPal.
Gold and platinum-tier writers do not pay commissions and they can get paid once weekly.
However, if Scripted decides that a writer has violated its terms, it can boot that writer and “refuse to process [his or her] withdrawal.
It’s a rare writer who can kick out copy fast enough to make a job like this pay even minimum wage. If you’re using this site to develop your writing skills and a personal clientele, it may make sense to spend whatever time is necessary to create a portfolio good enough to land you better-paying jobs in the future. But using Scripted as a long-term source of income is a ticket to poverty.
What their writers say:
Some of the most descriptive reviews of working for Scripted came in response to a post called Scripted and the Continuing Death of Good Writing at Stunt and Gimmicks. It’s long, but worth a read, if you’re considering work with a content mill.
“For a standard blog post of 350-500 words, you’ll normally get paid between $22-25, and for a long post, $29/30 typically. As a writer for Scripted, I always put in the same amount of work as I would when writing for newspaper articles with my byline on them. Sometimes I wonder if all the effort is worth it. ”
…Same crap pay for killing yourself. It’s a bit like playing the part of Conan on the labor wheel while someone whips at you.”
“Scripted has changed a lot over the last year. They shortened all deadlines without exception by two days, made most jobs invite-only and restricted to a pay rate demanded by the customer. That’s usually half of what I prefer to charge. Plus they have way fewer jobs available and their support has gone down the drain. If you hear back from them at all, they are late or can’t help you. Also, the revision requests have become even more unreasonable and bizarre than they used to be. Only now there is no way to negotiate about it. And Scripted specifically says to just get over it and do what you’re told, even if the revision request will end up hurting the client in the long term. As soon as I can find another job, I’m leaving Scripted for good.”
“I’d been with them over seven years. I had a 98 percent approval rating, over 200 clients had favorites me, and no rejections. I was put on suspension for a supposed client complaint. Would not tell me why or who. After 30 days with no word, I asked and was told they were letting me go. Again, no reason why. I think it was because I was making a lot of money and they could hire newbies.”
“Miscommunication between project managers, clients, and writers can sometimes lead to rewrite requests. Some clients have unreasonable expectations like multiple revision rounds that go on for months for a piece that pays less than $100 and management allows clients this leeway.”
“Very rarely any work. You can usually pick up one or two gigs, but there is very rarely enough to make a living. The work takes a long time for very little pay.”