WriterAccess provides an online content writing platform where customers can access over 10,000 rated U.S. writers, place orders and manage work flow using built-in planning and performance tools. The 14-person firm, headquartered in Boston, pulled in $4.4 M in revenue in 2014, representing 155% 3-year growth and was highlighted in the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies.
Writers must first submit an application before gaining access to jobs posted on the site. The application includes a resume and written test. Following, site editors read the essays and assign ratings to each writer. Ratings correspond to the quality of the writing and the writer’s subsequent pay grade. Ratings go from 2-6, and receive $0.02 – $2 per word. Overtime ratings will change based off of customer reviews.
WriterAccess offers three business account options for customers: Self Service, Plus Service and Enterprise Service. Self Service accounts are $0 down, pay as you go. Plus Service accounts require a $2500 deposit, but include an assigned Account Manager, API integration, advanced order setup, writer recommendations, additional time to approve orders and kickoff calls/strategy review meetings. Enterprise Service accounts require a $10,000 deposit, but include all the perks of the Plus Service account plus volume discounts, a dedicated Senior Account Manager and free access to ideaLaunch’s (the company that owns WriterAccess) annual Content Marketing Conference.
Value Creation for Customers: WriterAccess provides an online content writing platform where customers can access over 10,000 rated U.S. writers using its advanced search functionality. Customers can review profiles, which include the writers’ experience, samples, ratings and endorsements. WriterAccess also provides a platform to place orders, communicate with writers, and manage a project workflow from placing the order, to putting the project on hold, to completing the order. Customers do not have to pay for the work they receive until they approve the order.
Value Creation for Writers: Writers get free access to writing assignments from 16,000 companies that they otherwise would not have been in contact with. They are able to accept any assignment that its at their rating or below. New writers can only accept one assignment at a time until they have completed 10 approved assignments. Following they can accept 3 at a time. If writers perform well with a particular client, the client may put them on its “Love List,” which means that any time that client posts a job a direct email gets sent to the writer. Writers’ pay increases as their ratings increase.
Value Capture: Price per word charged to customers. WriterAccess keeps 30%. Writers take the other 70%. WriterAccess is known to pay writers on the higher side compared to its competitors..
Challenges: There are a few major challenges that this company faces. First, there are many competing companies with similar business models, such as Textbroker and Content Authority, which are fighting for the same customers and writers. Second, writers have complained that they are not able to build an independent brand for themselves since they cannot directly contact clients, and are typically ghost writing work. Lastly, writers get paid once per month, not immediately after a project is submitted.
Growth Potential: Currently the company only hires U.S. residents. They could potentially grow internationally, but would need to hire resources that speak the added languages. They could also expand into a whole new crowdsourcing industry such as design, which would require a lot more capital investment and risk.