What can you do when you receive horrible content from a writer?


If you order enough content, eventually you’re going to receive some junk.  I sure have over the years. That’s why I put “when” in the title of this blog post instead of “if”.

To this day I get choked when I get it. You’d think I’d learn by now that now and then I’ll get garbage.

What are your options when you receive badly written content from writers?

Your options really boil down to the content source.

In-house writers

You can ask them to rewrite it.  If an unproven writer, you might decide to suck it up, write it yourself and fire them.  I always give writers one more go but if it’s not good after that, I have no choice but to let them go.  I currently have about 20 draft articles across my sites from in-house writers I hired on a trial basis that aren’t good enough to publish.  I haven’t gotten around to sprucing them up. Which leads me to step two and that is to roll up your sleeves and make it worthy of your site.

What I dislike about editing is sometimes it takes longer than writing a topic from scratch.  Sometimes an article appears to be an easy fix and three hours later it’s still not done. Been there. Done that.

Another option is to send the piece of junk to another in-house writer and ask them to fix it.  The problem with this of course, is you’re going to pay twice for the same article.

A third option is to publish it as a piece of junk and hope for the best. If it ranks, it won’t be the first piece of junk that ranks and gets traffic.  I’m not particularly fond of this option but I’ve done it especially on some of my lesser sites (which maybe explains why they’re lesser sites).

Lastly, you can toss it in the garbage bin and chalk it up as a cost of doing business.

Content services

Examples of content services are Passion Posts (save 10% with coupon BWMZ0ZXDWK) and Content Development Pros.  They have their own cadre of writers. You just pay the service and give them topics. They handle the rest.

One nice perk we enjoy from content services is that most offer revisions.  I know PassionPosts and Content Development Pros offer revisions.  In fact, the one thing content services can offer that even agencies can’t (unless you beg) is if the revision is junk, the service will assign it to another writer.  Most services are keen to ensure you’re satisfied (assuming your expectations are in line with the rate you paid.  You can’t expect expert-level content when you pay for the lowest quality tier).

I’ve often requested revisions from content services and they’ve never balked at improving it.

Content agencies

An example of a content agency is WriterAccess.  It’s a self-serve platform. You sign up. Submit your article orders.  A large pool of writers snags those orders.  Unless you send them directly to individual writers, you don’t know who will pick the orders up.  It’s a bit of a crapshoot (which is why it’s a good idea to start assembling love and block lists immediately).

If the article you receive is badly done, you can request a revision. The problem with this process is it goes back to the same writer.  They get a second chance.  If they can’t write, they ain’t gonna deliver something good the second time.  I’ve had this happen a few times.

What I do in these situations is I contact the agency and ask that it be assigned to another writer.  So far they’ve accommodated me as long as the original writer got a second kick at the can.

My guess is this can’t be abused.  If you’re asking for assignments to be reassigned all the time, I’m pretty sure the agency will eventually decline your request. I use this “nuke” option sparingly.

TIP: if you get garbage from a writer, add them to a block list so they can’t pick up orders in the future.  Every order delivered to me, I assess whether to add that writer to my love list or block list. The more I finetune my account, the better quality I consistently get.

What if you approve articles and then realize there are problems?

I’ve had this happen as well.  Sometimes I can be a little trigger happy with the approval button especially when I’m pressed for time and have many articles delivered that need approval.

If it’s a content service, they’ll usually take it back and improve it.  Again, this is one perk of using content services (with its own cadre of in-house writers).

If it’s a content agency like WriterAccess, if I catch my mistake quickly, I’ll ask the writer if they could fix it and if they agree, I ask the agency to send it back to the writer.  If it’s been a week or longer, I deal with it which means I fix it.

Regarding revisions generally, if it’s something minor, I’ll fix it myself.  The revision process takes time. If fixing is faster than my time spent going through the revision process, I’ll just fix it myself or ask an in-house writer to fix it.

If the long-after deliver problems are spotted from an in-house writer, then it’s easy.  Just ask them to go in and fix it (unless it’s faster to fix it yourself than asking someone else to do it).

This is why I use all three types of content sources

Each type of content source has pros and cons which is why I use all three.  Some months I use WriterAccess mostly. Other months I use Passion Posts and/or CDP extensively. Some months most of my content is from in-house writers. Some months it’s all three.

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