Once you’ve registered as a Textbroker author and confirmed your email address, the next task on your to-do list is the sign-up article. The sign-up article is like your test article or resume. It’ll showcase your writing skills to the team at Textbroker, and it’s upon this initial article that they’ll assign you a star rating. We’ll talk more in depth about the star rating system in another blog post, but for now I’ll briefly outline what each star rating means.
Textbroker’s Star Rating System
2 stars = Poor
3 stars = Good
4 stars = Very good
5 stars = Excellent
*You might have noticed that there’s not a 1-star rating, and I suppose this is because if you can only garner one star, Textbroker doesn’t feel like your skills are ample enough to write even the lowest-paying articles on their system. Regardless, you want to shoot for as many stars as you can get anyways, so no matter.*
Your star rating is important because this will determine what articles you have access to on Textbroker’s site and how much you get paid (We’ll talk more about what each rating level pays in another blog post, but, obviously, the higher your star rating the more you’ll get paid).
When clients place orders, they can select the minimum rating their writers can have to be allowed to write their articles. Most clients require that their writers have at least a rating of 3 stars in order to claim their orders, but a select few will allow 2-star writers to write content for them.
The highest star rating you can be awarded right off the bat is 4 stars. The only way you can get a 5-star rating with Textbroker is after you’ve written at least 5 articles with the company, and then you can opt to take a proofreading test in order to nab that 5-star rating. For your initial rating, you want to shoot for a 4-star rating, but a 3 will suffice to get you started writing decent-paying articles as well.
And that brings us to…
The Sign-up Article
The sign-up article isn’t really a test article so much as it is a sample of your writing. It can be about any topic that you choose, and if you’ve already got some good writing samples, you are free to submit them. I used my college entrance essay as my sign-up article and was promptly awarded an initial rating of 4 stars with it. However, you can write an article from scratch if you want, or if you’ve got content already published online, you can use it as well. You just have to make sure that you include a link to the published work and that it includes your byline proving that you are indeed the one who wrote it.
A few rules to keep in mind when writing the sign-up article include the following:
- The sign-up article must be at least 200 words long. It can be much longer, but it’s not necessary.
- Write in AP style. Textbroker primarily generates content for the World Wide Web, and most clients expect their articles to be formatted via the Associated Press’s style guide. If you’re not familiar with AP style, there’s plenty of online resources that highlight differences in AP style and what we’re taught in school. Perhaps the most controversial difference is the omission of the Oxford or serial comma (and this a big one for Textbroker). When writing for Textbroker, do not use a comma before the last item in a list.
With an Oxford comma:
Me, myself, and I
Without an Oxford comma:
Me, myself and I
Note how the Oxford comma comes before the conjunction in the first example while it doesn’t in the second example.
*If you decide to use an existing piece of writing like I did, go through your written work and modify it to coincide with AP style. That’s what I did, and it worked like a charm for me.*
Await Your Rating
Once you’ve submitted your initial article, all that’s left to do is await your initial rating. It usually only takes Textbroker a couple of days to get back to you with your initial rating, although they ask you to allow up to a week before you send an inquiry to their support team.
Although you can’t claim any orders until you’ve received an initial rating, you can explore the platform and customize your author profile while you wait. You might also want to check out some of the many resources Textbroker provides its authors to become more familiar with the generally accepted writing style there.
Most importantly, when you do get your initial rating, if it’s not as high as you expected it to be, don’t despair because you’re always given chances to improve your rating at Textbroker, especially in the beginning.
The first five paid articles you write after getting your initial rating will determine whether or not you maintain your initial rating and will serve as your learning curve.
Once you’ve gotten your initial rating, you’re ready to begin making money writing on Textbroker.
So stay tuned because next we’ll discuss Writing for Textbroker: Claiming Orders