What: Skyword matches companies with writers, videographers, photographers and graphic designers able to create content to tell the company’s story

Expected pay: varies by assignment

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & fees: NA

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: Experience, a resume and samples of your work. 

Review: Skyword is one of the rare sites that actually pay decent wages for producing content. The content –writing, photos, videos and graphics — is generally for corporate websites and promotions. The site courts Fortune 1000 clients who need people to write for corporate blogs, post on social media, create infographics, feature articles and corporate videos.

The site screens the freelancers capable of producing what’s needed, and matches freelancer with client. The client sets the rate of pay; the freelancer accepts or rejects the project based on the wage vs. the time and effort involved. In some cases, freelancers can negotiate better pay than what’s initially offered.

Freelancers say that the work is not constant, but is generally well-compensated. For writers, rates range between 25 cents to $1 per word, usually depending on the complexity of the project. The site’s fees are charged directly to the clients, not taken from the freelancer’s wages. Payments are made through PayPal.

Skyword also addresses a frequent complaint of freelancers by telling clients that they are on the hook for a “kill fee” equal to 50% of the agreed-upon wage, if the client decides not to publish a work that meets the pre-set content guidelines. This insures that freelancers won’t walk away empty-handed after doing substantial work. On other sites, clients are able to renege on job assignments after the work is complete. 

The vetting process to get work on the site is apparently extensive. However, that’s also likely to keep out less experienced freelancers, who tend to drive down rates on other platforms. The one complaint we’ve heard consistently is the company’s software can be glitchy. 

Other sites to consider if you’re a writer are Contently and Cracked. If you’re a photographer or videographer, you may want to look at Upwork or Fiverr; if you do graphic design and web development, check out Belay, FreeeUp and OnwardSearch. Washington Post Talent Network is also worth considering for writers, photographers and videographers.

What their users say: (From G2Crowd)

Skyword provides an opportunity to have consistent work with brand recognition. For a freelancer, knowing that you can count on regular income each month is really nice. The editorial teams are great to work with and Skyword pays very market-competitive prices. I’ve loved working with Skyword so much over the past several years that I’ve referred them to several other freelancers. There are few content platforms that really stand out as offering good pay and good management, but Skyword is at the top.

I am creating content for several small , midsize, and large businesses. I might have overlooked these businesses in my job searches previously, so the biggest benefit from the Skyword platform has been the chance to connect with businesses who share my values to create content I’m proud of.

It’s intuitive enough that you don’t really need any training to use it. I love the assessment feature that helps me make sure I have the right # of words, keywords, grammar, etc. before I publish the content. I’ve encountered a couple of problems using the tool.  If I want a few images included in my blog content, it’s more difficult than it needs to be to insert them into the text exactly where they need to go. Sometimes I can only attach one image, and other times it makes me crop an image for no apparent reason. I get around this by sending the content directly to the editors. I’ve also had issues where I hit “Save” and it makes me log back in, only to see that I’ve lost a lot of progress with what I wrote. This forces me to type my blog in a separate document, and then I run into formatting issues when trying to copy and paste the content over. I end up spending additional time reformatting before I can submit for review.

What I like most about Skyword are the editors and acccount executives I work with. Almost without exception, they are friendly, responsive and flexilble. They understand the needs and challenges of freelance contributors like myself and can be relied upon to assist with any issues that arise. There are minor issues with the Skyword contributor dashboard. The spellcheck function is erratic (doesn’t always recognize names of clients), there appears to be no way to save “comments to reviewers” at bottom. Word count is faulty (shows that written article is ‘over’ the limit when the actual word count is less than the limit.)

 

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