When we set out to build Content Runner, we knew we wanted to handle writer relationships much differently than all the other writer platforms out there. Our goal was to be transparent about pricing and do away with the star rating system for payments that is popular at Text Broker and Writer Access. Right from the beginning the idea was to let users set their own price for their content, but first we had to determine how we wanted to interact with writers.
4 Approaches to Interacting With a Writer
1) You want something written, don’t have a writer in mind and DON’T want to review and approve individual writers.
To handle this scenario we created the “Take” concept. This a common way for users to work with writers when they want something quick and don’t want to spend the time reviewing writer profiles to find the writer they want. When you create your user profile on Content Runner all writers are initially set at a take limit of 1, which means if you post an order for 10 articles, you are guaranteed you will get a different writer for each article. As you evaluate writers you can move the take limit up or down depending on your relationship with that writer. Of course you can also favorite your best writers and block the ones that aren’t working out for you.
2) You want something written, don’t have a writer in mind and you WANT to review and approve individual writers that contact you.
To handle this scenario we came up with the “Contact” concept. You might load up an order of 3 articles and before you want a writer to get started writing any of them, you would like to be messaged through the system by the writer, review the writer profile and then accept the writer “request”.
3) You want something written, and have a specific writer (possibly a favorite) in mind.
After you have been on the Content Runner platform for some time you have a list of your favorite writers. Once you have your favorites, you can contact them directly with orders and avoid the open marketplaces of orders. The goal of users on Content Runner is to build strong writer relationships and use the platform to facilitate as many direct orders as possible.
4) You want something written and have a pool of writers in mind (this feature coming in December 2013)
Why do we Allow Users to set Their Own Price?
When you are working with writers you find on Craigslist, through a friend, through an ad in the paper, the first thing you do is set a price. We took the same approach on pricing, the market will dictate pricing for certain types of “standard” articles, but special projects and time sensitive work will cost users more money.
We also wanted to take a free market approach to pricing for general orders: take and contact (see #1 and #2 above). When you load an order up as a take or a contact you go to the top of the queue and writers can see the details + the price you have set. Set a higher price than the rest of the market and you will greatly increase your chances of getting your order picked up in a timely manner. Set a price too low in the open forum and you could see your order sit untouched for a week or 2 (which might be acceptable to you if you’re not in a rush).