Freelance Writer Guide Asks: Is CloudCrowd legit or Is CloudCrowd a scam?
UPDATE: 7/21/2015: Crowdsource is now where all applicants should head to (Cloudcrowd no longer exists as a standalone company). You can apply at this link: https://work.crowdsource.com/signup
Applications and work for BOTH the former Cloudcrowd site and Write.com now go through Crowdsource.com, which in turn will kick you to Mturk (if you have Amazon payments as your preferred payment method) to work on tasks after achieving qualifications, or leave you to work on the site itself (if you select Paypal as your payment option).
What is CloudCrowd?
Aside from a tongue twister, CloudCrowd is a combination of a “mill” type writing site with many articles available for writing and a microjobs site, where small individual tasks can be completed for a few cents each.
How do I start at CloudCrowd?
CC has an unusual Facebook-based system, not a traditional .com site to work through. You’ll need a Facebook account, which are free to set up, and then you’ll need to click this link to start at CloudCrowd. From there, click the credibility tab, the writing section, and the English Credibility Test from there (see image below):
The test is timed, but you get about 40 minutes for the same amount of questions. English Comprehension Credential Test answers for CloudCrowd are fairly self-evident to native or fluent English speakers, and you can expect something like this:
The test results and credential award for this test should come back immediately, but don’t expect such a fast turnaround for the peer-reviewed writing or editing tests, which take a few days in most cases.
- For the writing test, you’re called on to write a 150-200 word piece on a keyword (I’ve seen “green shoes” and “funeral home” on two separate occasions).
- The marketing test will send you to an Amazon or Overstock product and require you to rewrite the product description.
- The editing test directs you to a poorly-translated Asian site with the order to essentially rewrite the homepage text – which seems more “rewrite” than “edit” to me, but that’s my opinion.
All tests aside from comprehension and all writing tasks completed require you to submit your work as a Word Document – there are no text entry boxes on the site at all. The completed tests will not pay money.
How do I get paid with Cloudcrowd?
You’ll need a paypal account to get payment from CC, there are no other options available. Payment is made every day – yes, you read that correctly – into your given paypal account. For instance, if you complete $3 of work on Monday and it’s approved by Monday evening, you’ll have $3 in your account by Tuesday evening. This makes CC an excellent platform as far as money desperation is concerned. If something’s about to be shut off and your other writing site paydays fall too far in the future, you can make the extra you need with CC. The payment times vary, but are generally in the 7pm-8pm EST range for yours truly. The site does NOT take a percentage off for themselves, so what you see is what you get – I imagine they’ve done all of their fee-trimming prior to posting the jobs.
How is the overall experience at CloudCrowd?
It’s a little tough. It’s easy to feel like no one’s listening, and you’re shoulder-to-shoulder with a lot of ESL types, which can make peer review – which the site runs on, by the way – a little bit difficult. Be ready to file appeals for wrongful rejections, but make sure you’re in the right by reading both the site styleguide and the individual task styleguide(s) before beginning – there’s a lot of reading to cover, in some cases. The writing portion often has exhaustive instructions, but they do pay .03/word, which is generous in comparison to a lot of other mills at an average rating level. Lurk the forums for a bit and you’ll see what the common complaints are, which may help you avoid pitfalls of your own.
Helpful Hints for CloudCrowd
You’ll notice your “credibility” rating once you start at CC – this is an important little number. In general, you’ll get a single point boost for every microjob you complete, such as filling in product spec information for Amazon. (You don’t have to do these microjobs, as writing looks to be a fairly separate animal, but you will need higher credibility for editing tasks). Use the “skip” button judiciously – if you don’t know the answer for sure, just pass it by. Skipping doesn’t affect your credibility and it may save you from hitting a “check task” – a task with a predetermined answer that, if answered incorrectly, will tank your credibility to as low as it goes and lock you out of CC for a full day.
Each task keeps you on the screen with a timer ticking down in the lower right corner – if you exit the page or the timer runs out, the task is gone. Don’t get through a 400 word piece and hit the back button by mistake – I did, and I was left with a lengthy piece that had no application anywhere else.