iWriter vs. Textbroker vs. WriterAccess Article Quality Case Study (I Ordered from All 3 Writing Agencies)

Fishing village in Lofoten Islands area in Norway

I’ve never been to Norway, but want to go way up North to a place like this. Why this image? Because it looks like the perfect writing cabin (and blogging for that matter).

I’ve been meaning to do this writing agency comparison for a long time.

For my publishing business, content is critical.  I order a ton of it.  In November alone, I published over $6,000 worth of content (164 articles) across my niche sites.  Therefore, it’s well worth my time to find the best writers for each site I publish.

What I did for this writing agency case study was come up with 9 very similar article concepts.  I then ordered those articles from iWriter, Textbroker and Writer Access at various pricing levels with each writing service.

Below I explain how I set this case study up in detail and let you see the content as-delivered to me.  See all results below as well as my article instructions and access to all the articles I received as-is from the writers.  I did not change anything except corrected some bullet point issues, adjusted some hyperlinks and added featured images.

Here’s how I set up this experiment:

  • I placed all 9 orders on November 29, 2018.  See article topics ordered for each writing agency below under “Case Study Results”.
  • All articles, while a different topic, are the same concept (i.e. X alternatives).
  • All article orders stipulated 1,500 words in length.
  • I ordered at various price points with each writing service.
  • I didn’t bother ordering lower price points at Textbroker or iWriter because I know they aren’t very good.  I was curious, however, with the lowest level at Writer Access, so I placed that order.
  • I used the exact same instructions for every order.
  • I did not concern myself with search volume or keyword difficulty.  I’m not assessing the result based on SEO traffic.  Instead, I just want to assess the results based on my reading of it.  That said, all article topics have decent search volume numbers and aren’t horrendously competitive.
  • I did not inform any service that these articles were to be used for a case study.

My instructions to the writers

The following instructions were exactly the same for all articles ordered for this case study except I changed the article topic.  X refers to the specific topic which I set out below. Here are the instructions:

Thank you for picking up this order.

Please research, list and describe all viable alternatives to X.

The description should adequately explain what it does and how it’s the same, better, and worse than X.

The introduction should explain what is X.Then the body of article sets out viable alternative options to X.

Please do NOT write a conclusion.

The headings (the options that are the alternatives) should be h2 format and enumerated.

Please include a link to each option you find.

Do not include pricing information.

Thanks again,

Jon

Case Study Results:

All articles below were ordered on November 29, 2018 and were to be 1,500 words.

1. iWriter

Elite level

  • Article topic: Paypal Alternatives
  • Price: $.02 per word = $32 for the article
  • Monthly search volume (Ahrefs): 2,400
  • Keyword difficulty:  14
  • Wordcount in WP visual editor: 1,489
  • My Comments:  Terrible article.  Bad grammar and clumsy writing.  I put it on a page (instead of a post in the blogroll) and no-indexed it because it is not good enough.  FAIL.

Read the Paypal Alternatives article here

Elite Plus level

  • Article topic: Skype Alternatives
  • Price: $.072 per word = $109 for the article
  • Monthly search volume (Ahrefs): 5,800
  • Keyword difficulty (Ahrefs): 19
  • Wordcount in WP visual editor: 1,575 (exceeded requested word count)
  • My Comments:  Turns out the writer essentially copied a 2014 article at Beebom.com.  This is totally unacceptable.  I contacted iWriter and let them know about this.  iWriter refunded the entire cost of the article which is great and “blocked” that writer.  They suggested I specify a higher level writer when I submit an article.  I found this strange since I assumed that since I ordered an Elite Plus article that I would automatically have a top-tier writer working on the article.  Furthermore, I told Beebom that I would like to keep the article published for this case study and that I’ve sourced Beebom as the source.  I also said that if Beebom wants the article removed, I will comply immediately.  For $109 I would expect that much, much more effort would be put into the research, formatting and writing quality.  FAIL.

Read the Skype Alternatives article here

2. Textbroker

In case you’re wondering, Textbroker earns 35% plus a $.35 admin fee for every order.

4-star article

  • Article topic: Shopify Alternatives
  • Price: $.024 per word = $36.35 for the article
  • Monthly search volume (Ahrefs): 1,800
  • Keyword difficulty: 2
  • Wordcount in WP visual editor: 1,570
  • My comments:  Decent article for the money.  Could use a bit of touching up (I didn’t change a thing in the published version so you can see exactly what I received).  However, it was good enough to publish as-is.  I order quite a bit of 4 star Textbroker content and am generally pleased.  GOOD.

Read the article here

5-star article

  • Article topic: WordPress Alternatives
  • Price: $.072 per word = $108 for the article
  • Monthly search volume (Ahrefs): 1,800
  • Keyword difficulty: 8
  • Wordcount in WP visual editor: 1,542
  • My comments:  It’s good, but I think I’m better off ordering 4 star content.  I’d pay $108 if the writer would get screenshots and really dig in, but writing services won’t do that.  GOOD.

Read the article here

3. Writer Access

WriterAccess earns 30% of every article order.

2-star article

  • Article topic: Elegant Themes Alternatives
  • Price: $.02 per word = $29 for the article
  • Monthly search volume (Ahrefs): 0-10
  • Keyword difficulty: n/a
  • Wordcount in WP visual editor: 1,568
  • My comments:  It’s not good.  The intro rambles and is really fluffy.  The details for the listed alternatives are scant.  I understand it’s 2 star, but it’s also still $29 which isn’t cheap.  I wouldn’t order 2 start articles from WriterAccess.  I chose to no-index this on this site because it’s not good enough to be in the blogroll and indexed.  FAIL.

Read the article here

3-star article

  • Article topic: Mailchimp Alternatives
  • Price: $.04 per word = $58.30 for the article
  • Monthly search volume (Ahrefs): 2,700
  • Keyword difficulty: 7
  • Wordcount in WP visual editor: 1,595
  • My comments:  decent article for the money.  I could actually publish this (and did publish it as an indexed article in the blogroll).  If I were to do anything, I’d add to the intro and personalize it, but otherwise it’s reasonably well done.  GOOD.

Read the article here

4-star article

  • Article topic: Excel Alternatives
  • Price: $.06 per word = $87.10 for the article
  • Monthly search volume (Ahrefs): 800
  • Keyword difficulty:  11
  • Wordcount in WP visual editor: 1,548
  • My comments:  The article is well done.  I’m happy to publish it.  In fact, the writer actually did a pretty good introduction which I’m happy about.  GOOD.

Read the article here

5-star article

  • Article topic: PowerPoint Alternatives
  • Price: $.08 per word = $115.90 for the article
  • Monthly search volume (Ahrefs): 4,700
  • Keyword difficulty: 8
  • Wordcount in WP visual editor: 1,603
  • My comments:  This was well done.  I could publish it as-is.  Not sure it was worth $115, but I have no complaints with it.  GOOD.

Read the article here

6-star article

  • Article topic: Dropbox Alternatives
  • Price: $.010 per word = $160.70 for the article
  • Monthly search volume (Ahrefs): 4,000
  • Keyword difficulty: 21
  • Wordcount in WP visual editor: 1,568
  • My comments: It’s a good article.  There’s no defects to it.  However, I don’t think I would need to spend $160 for an article on that topic.  GOOD.

Read the article here

Which is the best writing agency?

Choosing the best requires balancing cost and quality.  Personal opinion may come into it.

That’s why for this case study, I ordered actual articles and am showing them to you as they were delivered so you can see for yourself which writing agency and cost level you prefer.

On balance, Textbroker’s 4-star content is best for my needs when balancing cost and quality.  I don’t mind having to do some tweaks and edits and given the 4 star is much less expensive than the 5 star, it’s worth it.  iWriter’s top-tier content was terrible.  Writer Access is good as well.  I do place orders with them on a somewhat regular.

The point of this case study is for you to judge for yourself.  I invested hundreds of dollars into articles.  Fortunately most of them I could use.  I then published them on this site (see links above which goes to each article) so you can read them yourself and decide which service and article quality meets your needs.

 



What do you think? Leave a comment!

  • Tristan says:

    Hi Jon,

    Great round-up, it’s nice to see the same set of instructions provided and the end results at different price points.

    It’s interesting to see the good results with TextBroker, especially at the four-star level (which is at a very good price for the quality).

    Writer Access’ pricing has always confused me a bit (wrt their slider on the https://www.writeraccess.com/platform-pricing/ page, which seems to imply even when paying “6 CENTS PER WORD” you might not get “Vocabulary Depth”)… hence it’s very helpful to see the level of quality at each price point.

  • CJ says:

    Is this site yours?

    https://turbomarketingmastery.com/index.php/2018/12/01/15-viable-skype-alternatives/

    I Googled the first paragraph of the 15 Viable Skype Alternatives article and that page, which appears to be the same as the plagarized article, was on the first page of results. It mentions the article being part of a case study.

    • Jon says:

      No not my site. I’ve seen that before for other posts. It’s weird. I did a bunch of redirects this week which failed to be done when I switched domains back to fatstacksblog.com a couple months ago. I’m hoping that fixes the issue where that site ranks for my content so well.

  • Tony says:

    Hi, Jon. Can you please do a review on wordagent as well?

  • Ryan says:

    Hi Jon,

    I value your opinion on writing services since you’ve tried so many. A while back you wrote about Textun saying they produced good content and a very good price. Still true?

    Or would you go with a 4-star Textbroker order instead?

  • Dan says:

    Jon I’m looking at the prices on Textbroker and they aren’t matching what you quote in the article. Do you have sort of deal with them to get better prices? The page I’m looking at says 4star is 2.4 cents/word.

  • Rayman says:

    Hi Jon,

    I find outsourced article writers produce quite generic and bland content. What I often do, is write the introductions, and give paragraph headings, giving a strong steer on what I want the article to say, I give a basic outline, emphasizing the “angle”.

    I don’t have the time to write the whole article myself, and this way I can inject some of my own personality into it. Is this a good method to avoid getting burnt out by doing too much writing myself? Or should I write the whole thing myself?

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