Wealthy Web Writer Review & Giveaway

Wealthy Web Writer ReviewThe Wealthy Web Writer is a site that provides a “comprehensive resource and community for anyone seeking to become or already working as a web copywriter.”

It’s been around since 2010, and in that time the minds behind the site have compiled a pretty extensive list of how-to videos, articles, and job leads for freelance web writers.

Wealthy Web Writer is associated with American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI), a company you may have heard of in conjunction with past International Freelancers Day events.

Free Resources

So we’re clear: the Wealthy Web Writer is a premium content site, meaning they make money from monthly subscriptions. However, they do offer some free resources and advice on the blog.  A sampling of recent topics they’ve covered include:

  • Marketing Basics: Closing the Sale & Asking for More
  • Marketing Basics: Generating Leads & Following Up
  • How to Make Money as a Travel Blogger
  • 15 Link-Building Strategies that Google Will Love

Paid Resources

This is what it’s really all about. Is the site worth the current $27 per month price of admission? That, of course, depends on your current skill level and how much you can absorb in an independent, online environment.

While there are more resources available on the site like forums and a web copywriting glossary, here’s a rundown of a few key things you have access to with a paid membership:

Improve Your Skills 

In this section, you can browse content in specific areas related to specific web writing skills. You can learn more about writing for social media, B2B copywriting, writing autoresponders, and how SEO strategies are constantly evolving in the web writing business.

Build Your Business

This section covers a lot of newbie questions regarding fee structures, contracts, basic bookkeeping and organization. It also includes advice on marketing yourself as a web writer and landing those first couple of clients.

Tech Corner

With article titles like “WordPress Maintenance 101” and “Using Google Webmaster Tools” the topics in Tech Corner will hit home for a lot of freelance writers who like a little introduction before they dive head first into a new application or platform.

Wealthy Web Writer ScreenshotTraining Center

While you can browse upcoming and previously recorded webinars and teleconferences in the Training Center, I think the 3-Minute Guru videos and Roadmap Tutorials are the most promising features here.

The 3-Minute Guru videos walk you through practical instructions on things like using Google Alerts and learning how to prevent Google from indexing your site until you’re ready for search traffic.

Roadmap Tutorials walk you through more complex topics in a series of modules on topics like:

  • Build Your Freelance Website with WordPress
  • 12-Step Roadman to Success
  • Become a Web Writer
  • WordPress Tutorials

Wealthy Web Writer even offers to generate content for its Roadmap Tutorials based on user feedback. So if there’s something specific you want to learn about, you tell them and they promise to build a tutorial or find someone who can.

Jobs

Last but not least, the Wealthy Web Writer does provide some unique freelance job leads for users. On top of that, they pay web writers too. So, if you have a content idea, you can submit it for possible publication on their site. If selected, they’ll pay you for your trouble.

Summary

I know that those of us who have been freelancing for years could still stand to learn a thing or two about running the business, but I really see this site being more beneficial for newbie freelance writers.

Also, a word to the wise: content focuses on running the business and writing specifically for the web, not on learning to write in general. So if you don’t already excel at writing, it’s probably a little premature to sign up.

Finally,  while the content seems well-rounded overall, I think from a user’s perspective the content in Tech Corner could stand to be beefed up a little.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[box]I was given a three-month subscription (and a three-month subscription to give away ) to Wealthy Web Writer for the purpose of evaluating the site and publishing an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.[/box]

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More Author Solutions Employee Reviews

Have you been keeping track of the Author Solutions employee reviews on Glassdoor.com? Of course you haven’t, so let me give you the skinny. We start with one good review and wrap up with two more bad ones.

The Good Review

iuniverse customer serviceI’m glad to see that someone at the company decided to take my suggestion to heart. On May 22, I wrote: “one has to wonder where the loyal employees are hiding, if, in fact, there are any loyal employees to be found.” Then yesterday, I found a 5-star review from someone at the Fort Mitchell, KY offices* who claims that the company is growing so quickly a few hiccups are to be expected. You can read  the review in its entirety here.

That Author Solutions review really tickles me. I mean on one hand, ZOMG! It’s so fast-paced you might not be able to hang. But on the other, there’s a three-month ramp up period to help you along, so you’re good. (Granted, I imagine it does take some time to master the art of pushing overpriced marketing services on people who have said repeatedly they don’t want them.)

I also love how the employee lauds what other employees have grudgingly identified as croneyism. Also, lookie! The review has bumped Kevin Weiss’s approval rating all the way up to a whopping 20%!

The Bad Reviews

That approval rating and the company rating of 1.6 would probably be higher, except that two other 1-star reviews have also been added. (I’ve posted excerpts for your convenience, but you can see the full reviews by clicking on the dates at the end of the quoted material.)

“Being owned by a private equity corporation, treatment of employees and client satisfaction are AuthorSolutions lowest priorities. The wages are low and the benefits are minimal. Discipline is maintained by regularly singling out employees for harsh treatment through intimidation, work overloads, artificial production goals and eliminating positions to transfer to their facilities in the Philippines. Management actively recruits employees to spy on other employees. On the job training is minimal and employees are expected to sink or swim on their own. Expertise and seniority are not valued and promotions are often based on obsequiousness to upper management, not skill. For these reasons, employee turnover is high and moral is low.” — June 21, 2012

and another from a Fort Mitchell, KY employee…

“Aside from the pay being significantly under normal expectations, shortly after starting to work there, they had the gall to actually pull a bait and switch on pay, by changing the CarrerBuilder advertisement from ‘base salary plus an aggressive commission structure’ to ‘draw against commission’ with net loss of $17,500/year in guaranteed income, plus they raised the minimum acceptable performance metrics level by 33% without discussion, comment, or any additional compensation in doing so.” — June 13, 2012

What it Means for iUniverse Customers

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: High employee turnover and dissatisfied employees are bad news for the customers of any of Author Solutions vanity presses, including iUniverse, Xlibris, Trafford, and Palibrio. Just to be safe, I’d stay away from Abbott Press (Writer’s Digest-branded line), Balboa (Hay House-branded line), WestBow  (Thomas Nelson-branded line) and Inspiring Voices. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Plenty of customers have already warned you:

Lawrence Fisher
Joan Moran
Mark Thornton
Philip Reed
Justin Nutt
Lawson Brooks III
Jean Rikhoff
Jodi Foster 

*Fort Mitchell, KY offices located at 228 Grandview Dr., Fort Mitchell, KY 41017 with phone number (859) 916-5741. I’m not sure what strategic reason they have to maintain offices here, unless they 1) want to split employees to break down communication and lessen solidarity or 2) found a way to get economic development tax credits from Indiana AND Kentucky.

OMFG, iUniverse Authors!

For an update on this story, read The iUniverse Rants: Coming Clean.

A couple of iUniverse authors are acting up again, and I thought I’d write about it today. While it might seem more humane just to let these folks fade into Internet oblivion, it’s a welcomed distraction for me. So let this be a lesson to anyone else out there who is thinking about a) sending me pitches for a self-published book disguised as a “real” social media conversation or b) writing comments on a months-old post without actually reading the post.

The lesson is: find out who you’re irritating first.

Oh wait, I should do one of those “previously on Suess’s Pieces” things, shouldn’t I?

The iUniverse Backstory

  1. I used to review books on this blog.
  2. Many were written by indie authors, several were published by iUniverse.
  3. Most of the books were shitty. I mean so shitty that when the iUniverse dude offered to send me a bunch more titles to prove some of them actually had merit, I was all, like, oh hell no!
  4. I began to feel the authors were expecting a little too much from me, the only girl in the world giving their tomes the time of day. When one author whose book was slated for a review asked me to take a picture of myself with her book at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I lost my shit.
  5. I effectively stopped doing book reviews by telling authors they now had to pay for my time, and I hoped beyond hope that the iUniverse people would finally leave me alone.

They did. For a while.

Then one day last week, this random comment shows up on one of those old iUniverse posts of mine. Joy of joys, it was from an iUniverse author who chastised me for tarring all iUniverse titles with the same brush.

Got right up in my craw, it did.

Tip for Authors: Want to sell me on the merits of your book? You’d have better luck sending me a review written by your mom.

I responded to the commenter a few days later, thinking I was done with that mess for another 6 months or so until the next poor soul decided to type “iUniverse reviews” in his favorite search engine. But then today I had the following exchange on Twitter with someone who turned out to be an iUniverse author.

At first, I thought she was genuine about her concern for the tradeswomen of Ohio. And because I’m a raging feminist who believes in things like the right to choose my own health care and the Fair Pay Act, I responded to her. I wanted to learn more about their cause, maybe offer them a little solidarity. (For someone as cynical as I am, I am still really stinking gullible sometimes.) Anyway, when she finally sent me the correct link, I landed on the front page of her blog, where every post is either about her or her iUniverse book.

Pee-yuke.

Trying to trap me into discovering your book is not going to sell me; it’s going to anger me. If some PR “guru” suggested you promote your book in this fashion (or worse yet, if someone in PR is doing this on your behalf), congratulations!  You have officially been hosed.

The best part? Girlfriend only had 72 tweets on record at the time, so I decided to check out her tweet history and found half a dozen other tweets that were pretty much the same only with different @mentions tacked on the front.

The Moral of the Story

I kind of side-stepped this issue when it last came up because, although I knew I was being a bitch, I didn’t want to be that bitch. I didn’t want to be the one to wreck the dreams of everyone who thinks that self-actualization only comes with a publishing contract. But that last remaining scrap of goodwill is gone from me now, and I’m just going to come out and say what needs to be said:

If you have to pay someone to publish your book, odds are it isn’t marketable. And if it isn’t marketable, that’s probably because it sucks.

Now, maybe your whole book concept sucks. Or maybe it’s just not ready for general consumption yet. Maybe there’s potential, but you need to do more work? If that’s the case, rushing the publishing process by paying someone to ignore industry standards is the last thing you should do.

Authors who write well receive advances instead of paying deposits. Authors who have something worth publishing don’t pay extra for professional proofreading packages. Authors with great stories to sell don’t pay additional fees for mediocre cover art. And authors who write well don’t have to beg or trick people into helping them promote their books.

Good or bad, real publishers agree to print marketable books because that’s how they make money. And, good or bad, vanity presses agree to print unmarketable books for a fee because that’s how they make money.

Any questions?