The Latest (Bad) News on Zerys

I know that some of my readers may wonder why I’m devoting so many blog posts to a site that banned and blocked me for my opinion. I would point to my unusually high number of new blog followers, comments and likes on my Zerys posts as proof that there’s clearly a large audience that wants to talk about their frustrations there, but can’t due to forum censorship.

As I mentioned on a previous blog post about Zerys practices, I have an ex that I’m still friendly with that keeps me updated on some of the craziness going on over there. He was researching approval times recently and came across this admin forum post from last month:


“We understand the desire to know where you stand with every job off the New Clients Job Board. Writers have a right to know one way or the other whether a buyer will add him/her to their writing team, and also whether they have chosen to purchase the initial piece or not.

For all other regular assignments to Favorite Writers, if the client doesn’t review the piece in time, we can auto-approve the piece because the client has already added that writer to their team, and there is some likelihood that the client would approve the content anyways since its from one of their favorite writers.

For initial New Client jobs, however, there is a unique challenge when it comes to auto-approval. We cannot force the client to like a writer, and we cannot force them to purchase a piece that was primarily designed to review a writer’s ability. The reason clients don’t have a review deadline on New Client Jobs is because these are not final, publishable pieces of content, but rather, these are jobs designed to help them identify writers they like, and want to add to their team.

All this being said, the great majority of New Client Jobs are reviewed within the 7-day window, so we are not finding this to be a major issue at thie point. We will, however, continue to watch it closely.”

There are several problems here – notably that “great majority” isn’t qualified – and even then, numbers don’t always work favorably in Zerys’ PR history, as we learned after the announcement that 60% of Zerys clients are not paying for their “samples.” Secondly, and admittedly this is anecdotal, but several writers I know have admitted that their samples sit for weeks, with some still languishing in queue from back during the initial shift to writing for free – excuse me, providing “custom” writing samples –  on the platform, months ago.

So, to recap, in order to get jobs from any new client on Zerys, you’ll need to:

1.) Write a 250 word article for free, knowing that 60% of these samples, by Zerys own admission, will never earn a penny.

2.) Wait for an indeterminate period of time, which is entirely up to the client, in the hopes that you’re one of the “lucky” 40% that actually gets paid for your work.

3.) Keep your work in limbo indefinitely, unable to repackage or sell it, because you’ve essentially created Schrodinger’s Article, which the client can buy at any point in time and lock down a copyright for.

This is what #FreelanceIsntFree is pushing for, my writing readers. These expectations and edicts are a slippery slope that devalues our hard-earned craft and makes new writers feel as if they’re not legitimate until they work for free.

You are worth more than that. Never forget that your work is worth paying for!



7 thoughts on “The Latest (Bad) News on Zerys

  1. When I first commented on one of your posts regarding this site, I spoke in favor of it. However, with this new system they have established, my opinion has greatly changed. I used to be able to take countless jobs off the open job board, which I would always choose based on the job itself (of course) and the client’s approval rating. Based on their approval rating, I could write with confidence knowing that my time would not be wasted and that my article would be approved. Often, those clients would then add me as one of their favorites. Great work. Great pay. No complaints!

    Sadly, this has all changed due to the new system. I’ve only taken 5 jobs off the New Client Job Board since this new system began and only 2 of those were selected because of the several other writers who ‘auditioned’ for the same articles. Why would I take more, when there’s a very good chance I’ll simply be wasting my time? I’ve chosen now to only take jobs from those clients who have already added me to their favorite list or those that are directly assigned to me. Unfortunately however, my 35 clients don’t have enough work to pass around and those I write directly for only need a couple of posts per month. This means less work and less pay. With all that said, I’m now looking for an an additional company to do freelance writing for – a place where I will get paid to write and where I can *enjoy* writing again.

  2. I used to love to write for Zerys! I could get an endless amount of work from the job board and had about 70 clients who had me on their favorite list. Being a 5-star writer for Zerys had me making $2,000 a month without really trying.

    Now that they have updated their system, it has been not so pleasant! I’ve voiced my concerns only to be censored. After all, everyone who is talking is all smiles and rainbows! Most of the 250 word articles don’t get paid, and on top of that is when the client denies the “trial article” it goes on your stats. How the admin at Zerys didn’t figure this out that it would hurt writers is beyond me.

    I maybe make three hundred dollars a month now, and it’s due to some clients who still use Zerys service. A lot of my old clients told me they were leaving Zerys because the new platform didn’t suit their needs like before.

    I’m happy I still have two other content companies I work for, but am missing the extra money I made at Zerys.
    My advice to writers thinking to apply, go somewhere else! Zerys is like the titanic, and it’s just a matter of time before they capsize!

  3. Pingback: Using “Yes, and” to Drum Up Freelance Writing Gigs | The Freelance Writer Guide

  4. I would like to critique Listverse where I freelanced a couple articles. They require even longer pieces (1800 words and more) and they receive 150 lists per day. Out of the 150 submissions, they only publish 3. So 147 written lists never get published. It takes time to write 1800 good words, yet for the vast majority of writers to listverse, they are never paid.

  5. Now samples can be as long as they like. I frequently write 500-word samples, only to have the client choose me for their team but reject the sample. To make matters even more absurd, we are now expected to have unpaid phone calls with some clients in order to work on their team.

  6. Pingback: The Latest on Zerys…Again. | The Freelance Writer Guide

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