For many, building a freelance writing career is a dream come true.
No boss, no pants required.
Working on a sunny beach with a fruity cocktail in hand.
On your path to living that dream, you may have run across a site called Writers Work. It certainly seems like a legit site. The site is well designed, and they offer a ton of nifty resources and tools required to build and launch a lucrative freelance writing career.
But, is Writers Work too good to be true?
That is what we are going to look at today.
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What is Writers Work?
Writers Work claims to be an “all-in-one” platform that can help you launch a career earning $30 to $45 an hour.
Promising features include a job board, training, and a wide variety of tools that sound really interesting for a new or mid-level writer to land new writing gigs or part-time work.
Promising Features of Writers Work
A quick look at the Writers Work webpage shows they have a lot to offer.
Their training videos claim to help you learn how to find clients, how to handle taxes, and how to figure out what you should be charging. All things things you need to brush up on some writing skills and get ready to make it rain.
Which are all things you need to learn how to do as a beginner freelancer — little-to-no work experience required.
In addition to training videos, they also offer several tools, including a word processor with a grammar checker, readability score, and a distraction-free writing mode.
They also offer a project organizer, complete with text editor, to help keep your documents organized, create tasks, track your time, and send reminders so you never miss a deadline. The habit builder can help you meet your goals by setting and helping you track stats and meet word count goals.
Basically everything you could want or need to manage your entire writing process.
It sounds really good, right?
But (you knew there would be a but), well, it’s kinda a scam.
Is Writers Work Legit?
Here is the thing: They charge $47 for a lifetime membership, which is supposed to come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Sounds risk-free, right?
But, their BBB profile is filled with people complaining that Writers Work failed to refund them within their 30-day period.
In addition, the writing job center leaves a lot to be desired. They claim to accept writers of all creative levels, but many of the job listings are either expired or require a journalism degree.
Which makes no sense, considering so many of their resources are aimed at newbie writers.
Most troubling, while they claim to have built relationships with publishers, but most of the jobs listed in their job board for writing services can be found for free on sites like ProBlogger or Mediabistro.
And to make matters worse, most of the flattering reviews you read online are simply people trying to promote them through their partner program (taking home a cut of your payment).
The tools, such as their word processor and grammar checker, are helpful enough, but you can get access to similar (often better!) tools for free.
Which begs the question— what are you actually paying for?
Does Writers Work Cost Money?
Building a freelance writing career is an incredibly difficult, incredibly rewarding task. It’s not some passive income pipe dream. Which is why I get a bit perturbed when spammy sites come in offering a so-called easy path to a fulfilling and lucrative career.
The worst part may very well be that Writers Work has a few promising features, yet fails to deliver. It is not worth the $47 per month when so many of the jobs and tools are available for free elsewhere.
Pros and Cons of Writers Work
Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Fairly affordable ($47 for a lifetime membership)
- Tools are slick and easy to use
- No free trial
- Writing jobs are not exclusive and can be found elsewhere for free
- Most writing jobs are not beginner-friendly, which the site claims to be
- Run by the previous owners of MasterWritingJobs.com, which also had an extremely poor reputation
- Multiple reports of customers not receiving refunds
- All the features they offer are offered elsewhere, often for free
So, what should you use instead? If you want to build a successful freelance writing career, there is a good chance you will end up paying for a few tools. But, which ones should you use? Let’s look at a few alternatives to Writers Work.
5 Ways to Earn a Living Writing Without Blowing Money on Writers Work
Fortunately, there are a ton of alternatives to Writers Work. And, even better, most of them won’t cost you anything at all. Those that do have paid versions also tend to offer “freemium” models, where you can try out a limited version before you go all in.
Here are a variety of tools that offer the same (or better) benefits without the side dish of spam.
1. Where to Find Writing Jobs
The number one question I hear from new and mid-level writers is “Where do I find writing jobs?” Platforms like UpWork and Fiverr are little more than a race to the bottom. They pit writers against each other and tend to favor writers who charge far below the industry standard.
Other sites want to charge you to gain access to the same old tired listings you’ll find everywhere else.
Luckily, there is a better way.
Start by using our free writing job tool, which aggregates the job listings from popular sites such as ProBlogger Job Board, We Work Remotely, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. And, while it might not offer exclusive opportunities, we also won’t charge you $47 to use it.
If you have to pay to read job listings, there is a good bet the site is a scam.
2. Grammar Checkers
After having a quick look around Writers Work’s writing platform, I have to admit it is pretty slick. It’s easy to use, and the built-in grammar checker is a nice touch.
But, there are several other grammar checkers on the market with much better features.
Grammarly, for example, offers a plagiarism check on their paid version, which is handy to ensure your content is unique. They also offer a score chart that helps you understand your article’s readability and learn how to create higher-quality content.
They also offer a free version so you can try out a few ideas before you commit.
ProWritingAid is another popular grammar checking option. It is aimed more at fiction or book writers than blog writers, but it checks for common mistakes such as the passive voice, cliches, and hard to read sentences.
Basically, Grammarly provides a better plagiarism app and more well-rounded grammar checking, while ProWritingAid offers more style-related advice and is a little cheaper. Here is a quick breakdown of the two grammar tools compare:
Both also offer a free version, and you will get a discount if you pay for a subscription by the year rather than by month.
3. Project Management Alternatives to Writers Work
If you want a tool to help you manage projects, there are plenty of options. In my experience, these tend to come from the client-side. As a freelance writer, you may be at the mercy of whatever PM tool your clients choose to use.
However, a few of my favorites include:
Asana is a fantastic option to keep larger teams working on multiple projects organized and on task. Features include tasks, projects with dependent tasks, priorities, and even some automation. Perfect for managing everything from your new professional pieces, assignments, to even social media posts in one place.
It is also super flexible, so you can create, for example, a marketing campaign project, a PPC project, essay pitch, and even track specific content pieces from outline through to promotion.
Pipefy aims to make it easier for businesses to track and simplify all types of business processes, from marketing and content production to IT and product design.
It also makes collaboration very easy by centralizing conversations for each project and easily display what is going on in every department. Features include project assignment, file storage, priorities, process improvement, and automation through Zapier and an API.
Created by Citrix, Podio is designed to manage projects and help improve workflows. It is powerful and might be overkill for a single writer, but you’ll find it useful when managing larger projects such as a blog calendar for email and website content, or production of an ebook or story.
Features include task management tools to hit deadlines, a calendar, meeting scheduling, unlimited document storage, notifications, and the ability to chat with other users.
4. Task Management
Once the jobs start rolling in, it can be challenging to stay on top of everything. Particularly when you have one client who uses Slack another who prefers email, and a third who uses Trello. This is where a task management tool comes in handy.
Features include the ability to create a variety of lists, add due dates, send reminders, upload files, categorize tasks, and can be accessed via mobile or desktop. They offer a free version, or you can get access to pro features for just $4.99 a month.
This is a streamlined task management tool that allows you to create one time and recurring tasks, set priorities, categorize tasks, create subtasks, and even sync with your Google calendar.
Todoist offers a free version, or you can get access to their premium features for just $3 a month, billed annually.
If you are already a Google user, you’ll be happy to know your favorite email and file storage company also offers a task system right in your email box.
Features are pretty limited— you can create and delete both tasks and lists, set due dates, and add emails as tasks, the Gmail integration makes it easy to use.
5. Time Trackers
If you are looking to keep up with how long your work takes, you’ll need a time tracker. I love using a time tracker to see where all my time is going so I can work on being more efficient and stop falling into internet rabbit holes!
The top time tracker tools include:
- Time Doctor: Offers a limited free plan and can track automatically or manually. It is a great choice for employers who want to help employees do more. Plans start at $9.99 per user.
- Harvest: More than just a time tracker; this tool also handles invoicing, reminders, and online payments. Offers a limited free plan or pay $12 a user per month for premium.
- Timely: Fully automatic time tracker that helps you find where you are wasting time. Additional features include project planning and project and team management features. Pricing starts at $7 per month.
- TimeCamp: A simple, yet powerful free work timer to stay on top of work. Ideal for professionals across all industries for team time tracking. TimeCamp is an essential management tool that gives you clear insight into a project’s efficiency and helps to avoid an overblown workload for your team.
Writers Work looks good on the surface, but after digging deeper it is hard to recommend their service when so many of the features they offer are available elsewhere for free. Add that to the past complaints of failing to refund unhappy customers, I quite simply cannot recommend the platform.
However, the types of tools they offer are useful for freelance writers. Give the above options and try and let me know what you think!