Once you select an order, then you can begin writing it. Click on the order to open it, and then you’ll be presented with something like this:
Here you’ll find everything you need to know about the order. The Order ID is the number ID that Textbroker has assigned to the order for internal purposes. (You won’t need to concern yourself with this too much unless you ever have to email support with a question about the order, in which case it can certainly prove helpful to provide the support team with the order ID of the article you have a question about.)
Next is the Client Title. This is the title that the client has given the article. Sometimes the clients want you to use their provided titles as the titles of the articles you write. In other cases, they might want to you to create your own creative title. Unless the client states otherwise in the instructions (that we’ll get to in a minute), use the client title that’s provided.
The Deadline lets you know when the article is due back to the client. Most articles have a turnaround time of 24 hours, but some might give you as long as 3 days to complete the order before it’s due.
Directly underneath the deadline is the Time Left. This tool’s pretty helpful since it essentially serves as a countdown clock letting you know just how long you have left to write the article before it’ll expire. If you don’t get an article turned into the client before the time left countdown is up, then the article will automatically be removed from your queue and sent back to the open author pool for other authors to claim.
Next, is the Word Count. This lets you know how many words your article has to be. You’re usually given a range of words that your article must fall in before you’ll be able to submit it back to the client. You can go above the suggested word count but not below. Minimum word counts are hard, which means that Textbroker’s system won’t let you return the article to the client until you’ve written the minimum word count. How hard or soft the maximum word count is depends on the client. Some clients don’t mind you going above and beyond the maximum word count to an extent, but others want you to stay within their specifications.
The Current Word Count is self-explanatory: it gives you a word count of how many words you’ve written thus far.
The Current Earnings for This Article is probably what’ll you’ll be more interested in. It’ll show how much your earnings increase with each word that you write, so you can see how much difference there is in writing just the minimum word count and the maximum.
Last is the Client ID and My Note. The client ID is the ID Textbroker assigned to the client. This is actually a useful feature because if you click on the client’s ID, you’ll be taken to the client’s profile where you can sent the client messages, sent a different pay rate for that particular client, see previous orders you’ve written for the client and so on. (All of which we’ll talk about at a later date). The My Note feature is one that I’ve actually never used, but it’s designed so that you can input a note about the order if you see fit. For instance, you might want to add a note if the title has an error in it.
Next is the Keywords section. This is one of the most important parts of the order instructions since it lets you know what keywords you need to use in the article and how many times you need to use them. In fact, Textbroker’s system won’t allow you to submit the article to the client until the keyword requirements are met. You can easily keep track of the keywords you’ve used by clicking on the checkbox in the Manual Keyword Tracking section. Check the box next to ‘Check this order for keywords automatically’ to make Textbroker’s system automatically tally up the keywords for you as you write. Alternatively, you can wait until you’re done writing and then click the ‘Check Keywords Now’ button to check them. I always track them as I go, but it’s a matter of preference.
Sometimes you’ll see “Connecting Words Allowed” in the keywords section, and this basically just means that you can use connecting words when appropriate with keyword phrases to help them fit naturally within the text and make sense. For instance, the keywords for this example are “Miami allergy doctor.” You could also write “allergy doctor in Miami” using “in” as a connecting word, and the phrase would still count towards your keyword count.
Next, you’ll see the Client Briefing, which looks something like this:
As if you haven’t already discerned that this section is important, Textbroker draws your attention to it with its ‘Important!’ exclamation heading. Click on the down arrow located next to ‘Show’ to expand the box and show the full client instructions. The specific way the client’s instructions looks depends on the client. Some might offer detailed list style instructions like these, and others might only write a sentence or paragraph or two. Still others (like this one) might include a link to a GoogleDocs file where they have a complete list of their instructions with a style guide and examples. Read all instructions carefully before proceeding to write the order.
If you see anything in the client briefing that violates Textbroker’s terms of service, such as asking for contact with writers outside Textbroker’s system, you can report the briefing. You can also rate the briefing, giving clients who offer clear instructions 5 stars and those who are vague 1 or 2. You don’t have to rate instructions, but it can be helpful for letting clients know how clear their instructions were.
Next is the Text Input space. This is where you’ll do your writing, or rather (if you’re like me) this is where you’ll paste your written content. I prefer to write my article in a word processor like Microsoft Word and then copy and paste the written content into Textbroker when I’m done. The reason for this is because when you write directly into Textbroker’s system, you’re at risk of losing all your work if you accidentally refresh or close the page or if you experience a connection issue. I’ve written articles directly in the system before and then when I clicked to submit them, my internet went out and I lost the articles. Frustrating does not begin to describe it when you lose a 1,000+ word article in such a manner.
Still, if you choose to write directly in Textbroker, the text input field keeps track of your word count as you write, and there’s a toolbar for formatting text and inputting lists and hyperlinks. You can also click the ‘Save Manually’ button periodically to save your work as you write, but again if there’s a connection issue when you click the button, you’ll be directed to an error page, meaning you’ll lose all your work so far.
When you think you’re done with the article, click the ‘Preview and Submit Text’ button. You’ll be presented with a view of what your article will look like as it’s formatted. If you want to make any revisions, you can click on the ‘Revise’ button, but if you’re satisfied with the text, then simply click the ‘Submit’ button.
If for some reason you decide you don’t want to write the order, you can click on the ‘Cancel’ button to release the order back to the order pool.
Once you’ve submitted the article, then your queue is opened back up to claim another one.