Of all the key factors that contribute to the success of a business, perhaps none are more important than having a content-rich website. Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies that aren’t fully capitalizing on the many benefits this platform can offer. This is especially true for many small businesses that often just use their website as a tool for visitors to compare pricing, browse products, and locate contact information.
Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with using your website in this fashion, as pricing and contact info are obviously integral parts of a business’s marketing strategy. Yet only partaking in the basics is doing a major disservice to your business and customers. For example, most people shopping online first search for reviews, testimonials, or other materials about what they’re looking to purchase. If your site doesn’t have content, search engines like Google will list your site way back on page 19, where it might as well be invisible. Since people have endless options, consumers tend to seek out product brands they feel connected to and want to be a part of the lifestyle they’re selling.
The Future is Blurry
The truth is, a site that lacks or struggles to incorporate the right amount of content necessary for business growth is simply a grain of sand on a vast beach. However, those who maintain helpful and up-to-date content usually end up enjoying many of the benefits listed below:
- Your website will rank higher in Google’s search results if you frequently keep it updated with fresh content.
- You will attract more visitors through word of mouth.
- Providing information regarding your brand – how and when you started your business, your product quality, what services you’re offering – earns you the appreciation and loyalty of your target audience.
- Content helps convert new visitors to customers.
- Having quality content allows you to establish authority and trust with your audience.
- You give other websites more reasons to link to you by publishing fresh content.
On the flip side, when content is infrequent, poorly written, or nonexistent, expect to see these issues arise:
- You’ll start seeing a decline in the amount of traffic to your site.
- Customers will begin to question your credibility and brand.
- Sparse content will negatively influence your page and SERP (search engine results page) ranks.
We Have Your Back
To increase your website’s visibility and brand credibility, you must continuously create and publish unique content specifically tailored and aimed directly at your target audience. Doing this successfully will generally increase traffic to your site and result in more customers spending money on your products and services.
This process may sound easy to do, but it’s not. This difficulty stems from the vast amount of work and time involved to properly develop the right amount of quality content necessary to be impactful. Few people, or teams of people for that matter, can appropriately juggle the work of creating a boatload of fresh and original content regularly in conjunction with their already full slate of everyday business tasks. So, to do both without working yourself to death, you may want to hire a content creation service.
This article aims to help those who don’t know much about these content mills or are having trouble figuring out which one works best for their needs. Here, you’ll find a detailed comparison between Zerys and Textbroker, two of the more popular content creation services around. We’ll include information regarding their potential benefits, as well as a guide to the logistical nature of how they each operate. If you want your company to be successful in the modern marketplace, you’ve got to have content, and the best place to start is by gaining a solid understanding of precisely what you can expect when hiring Zerys or Textbroker.
We must first review the generally accepted criteria for determining quality content. Knowing what to look for in a piece of content purchased from Zerys or Textbroker will ensure you aren’t wasting money by paying for sub-par content. Of course, you may have different opinions about quality writing. Still, most professional content marketers would agree that an acceptable criterion for quality written content is as follows:
- Emphasizes why someone should care about your business’s products and services
- Provides the reader with something unique and valuable
- Subject matter is consistent with what your target audience expects from your site
- Free of typos, misspelled words, and improper grammar
- Cite reliable and credible sources with no plagiarism
With this criterion, you can usually accurately assess the quality of most types of marketing content, including:
- Website content
- How-to articles
- Keyword-focused content
- White papers
- Press releases
- Product descriptions
- Informative articles
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
Before going into any specifics about how Zerys and Textbroker work, it’s first necessary to get a clear view of exactly how much money you can expect to spend on each service.
Cost of Zerys
Zerys has a robust range of pricing plans. These include pay-as-you-go services, in which you pay a flat rate to access each piece of content individually, and subscription services, which are billed at $49 per month and include the following benefits:
- Dedicated project manager
- Unlimited premium support
- Writer auditioning and assignment
- Monthly trending topics research
- Monthly keyword research for SEO
- Monthly content calendar planning
- Monthly trending title research and creation
- Custom content writing
- Two-stage editorial review
- Unlimited revision requests
- Pay as you go/cancel any time
Costs also vary based on the chosen preferences regarding the writer’s level of expertise, either Pro or Elite, the amount of research required, word count, and your subscription level. For example, a 400-word blog post that requires some technical writing by an Elite writer will cost you $60. The same piece would cost $40 if you chose the Pro level instead of the Elite option.
Overall, the pricing is fair and the variety of choices allows you to have a bit of flexibility. Our only issue with Zerys’s pricing is that there’s little apparent difference between the content produced in the Elite and Pro levels. Thankfully, Zerys allows you to only pay for the content you approve. If you’re not happy with a piece of content, you can reject it and receive credit back to your account.
Cost of Textbroker
The overall cost and payment system of Textbroker is like Zerys in a few ways. They both have a subscription service where you can access additional features. However, Textbroker’s features differ slightly from Zerys’s. They offer:
- Enhanced content strategies for increased visibility on the internet through search engine optimization
- High-quality, unique content written by native speakers in 36 different languages, including their translation service covering nearly every language in the world
- Increased project scalability at no additional cost
- Communication through a single point of contact in the form of your own dedicated account manager
- Guaranteed delivery dates for ready-to-publish website content
- Start-to-finish project management includes finding and supervising the writers, generating order briefs, proofreading, and other content-related tasks
The significant difference in their subscription services cost is that Textbroker service requires a minimum of $2,500 per project, which is considerably more expensive than Zerys’s monthly subscription plans.
Also, both Zerys and Textbroker have self-service options where you pay a fixed amount per word in combination with your choice of quality level. Textbroker uses a star system as its chosen criteria to determine the quality of the writing, with two stars being the lowest and five the highest. Below is a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for Textbroker when using its self-service options:
- Two stars – 1.3 cents per word
- Three stars – 1.8 cents per word
- Four stars – 2.4 cents per word
- Five stars – 7.2 cents per word
When using Textbroker’s five-star level of quality, you’ll pay about the same as you would with Zerys for the same number of words. However, Textbroker’s four-, three- and two-star options are considerably cheaper than anything Zerys offers. It’s essential to keep in mind that in our experience, these lower-quality options are borderline unusable due to copious errors, as well as overall poor grammar and word flow. For example, you’ll likely encounter writers who don’t know the difference between active and passive voice and commit multiple spelling and grammar errors.
If you’re like us, you’re probably wondering why Textbroker would include these lower tiers into their payment system. The answer is that people are still buying them regardless of quality. Textbroker isn’t trying to pass them off as something they’re not. The price you pay for these levels is commensurate to the quality of writing you’ll receive.
Textbroker is aware that its freelance writers at these levels are not the best at content creation. However, the company also understands there are potential clients out there who can only spend limited amounts of money online and cannot afford to purchase expensive content. In fact, we found plenty of people who use these lower-quality levels to save on costs. In practice, this strategy works well mainly because the clients are aware they will not get great content, so they’re prepared to edit and revise the work after purchasing it to make it publishable.
In our opinion, we found that Zerys gave us the most value for what we were paying. Textbroker, on the other hand, is the cheaper option, but only when getting content from the lower-quality tiers. Although the content you get from writers in the lower levels will require a bit of extra editing, it’s still a valid option for those who already handle their own editing or for folks who can’t afford the best quality.
Zerys’s Content Quality
The quality of the written content we bought from Zerys was pretty decent. We were able to try each tier and were typically satisfied with the product’s value. The content wasn’t perfect, but it rarely ever is. There were two or three pieces of writing that failed to live up to our standards, but thankfully, you have the choice to reject the content you don’t like.
Though we were generally happy with the content we got from Zerys, we couldn’t always hire the writer we wanted. This issue arises from Zerys not allowing their writers to accept more than one job at a time. While it makes sense to have freelance writers work on an assignment until it is completed and accepted before taking on another, it can be annoying. To counteract this, you must do a bit of trial and error until you find a few different experienced writers you like. Doing this will take a bit of time and may cost extra, but you’ll be thankful in the end because it’s common for some of the more sought-after content writers to remain unavailable for weeks at a time.
Textbroker’s Content Quality
Unfortunately, the custom content we bought from Textbroker was not as consistently good as Zerys. In fact, after trying out each level of quality on Textbroker, only the four-star and five-star options gave us great content. As mentioned earlier, the lower-quality options are a waste of time unless you are prepared for some heavy editing, or you’re in a situation where you need content quickly and cheaply.
Like Zerys, many folks looking to hire writers from Textbroker’s job board have difficulty finding and hiring experienced content creators who are available to take on new writing assignments. This is a bit of a paradox because, on its website, Textbroker boasts that it has more than 100,000 writers working on its platform. Although this amount is an incredibly high number of freelancers, most can only work in the lower-quality levels, and the rest are usually already working on assignments. Also, the overpopulation of freelancers on Textbroker makes it time-consuming and challenging to locate a writer who has the type of knowledge and experience you need.
There are considerable differences in content quality between Zerys and Textbroker. While Textbroker is open and upfront with clients about the quality of content produced by the lower, more cost-effective star levels, Zerys is not. We expected high-quality content every time we hired Pro- or Elite-level writers from Zerys and felt misled when we received poor work. Though this didn’t happen very often, it was frequent enough for us to hold our breath out of anxiety each time we received a writing job back. Despite these inconsistencies and borderline dishonesty, we still give Zerys a slight edge over Textbroker’s content quality.
Zerys’s user interface is not the best. We, and many others, found it a tad overcomplicated. The first time you log in to Zerys, you might be overwhelmed by a myriad of options. These aren’t just the options used to fill out your blog post or social media writing assignment, but rather an overly complex variety of customization options. We also found it hard to get our orders filled out due to the distractions caused by the constant notification pop-ups.
Aside from these minor annoyances, once we were able to get a grasp of Zerys’s platform, the process of getting writing assignments posted, hiring, and communicating with writers was relatively easy.
The user-friendliness of Textbroker’s main dashboard was significantly better than Zerys’s. Textbroker’s main dashboard doesn’t have an overabundance of unnecessary options, making submitting and collecting writing assignments straightforward. You simply select whether you want an open order, where your job will go to a pool of writers who match your chosen quality level, where your job is posted to your preferred collection of writers, and whether you want a team order where you put together your own group of writers to handle your job. Next is a screen with some templates where you can pick what you need for your job before submitting the order.
Our only complaint with Textbroker’s interface is that its messaging system was challenging to use and made communicating with writers much more complicated than it needed to be. Specifically, we were often unable to see or respond to text conversations with writers because they can delete message threads, which removes both ends of the conversation. Also, while attempting to get the harmonization established as to how we were going to transfer some files to our hired writer, there were a lot of rules that we were not aware of that made this process very difficult. For example, when you send a document file to the writer using Google Docs, the share setting needs to be set to “view only.” And your name and contact info can’t be anywhere on the document.
Despite the messaging issues, Textbroker still managed to offer a better overall user experience than Zerys. With Textbroker, learning the ins and outs isn’t as tricky, and you aren’t overwhelmed with options and notifications.
In all honesty, both Textbroker and Zerys are solid options; we recommend trying both to see which works best for you. Just remember to be patient and expect some bumps in the road.
Lastly, we must stress that you should read the terms of service agreements before partnering with Textbroker or Zerys. We know firsthand that these companies take violations of their terms seriously. The fact that even minor items like file transfers must be done in accordance with their terms of service opened our eyes to the fact that there are likely many more of these types of restrictions that could be accidentally violated if they are not known beforehand.
We understand that these terms of service agreements are long and boring to read, but it’s still better than having to pay a fine for an honest mistake. Content mills like Textbroker and Zerys use these terms of service to their advantage whenever they can, so do yourself a favor and read them.