I’ve freelanced for Verblio on and off for several years now, ever since it was known as BlogMutt. The pay wasn’t fantastic, but the experience wasn’t bad. Here’s what to expect if you’re trying to freelance for Verblio in 2021.
What is Verblio?
Verblio is a content marketing service for businesses looking to outsource the writing of their blog content. Verblio uses freelancers to produce content for its clients and can be considered a content mill.
How much does Verblio pay writers?
Verblio’s pay rate isn’t great and varies depending on the length of the content. Writers for Verblio operate on a tiered system that requires you to prove you can produce high-quality content with smaller assignments early on before you can move on to longer and higher-paying jobs. Before you can gain access to those more lucrative jobs, you need to have several shorter pieces purchased and rated with five-star reviews from the customer.
Here’s how much Verblio writers make for each post:
|Word count||Pay rate|
Verblio customers set their desired word count for each post so you’ll know how much to write and what you’ll get paid before you start.
What is Verblio like for writers?
The writer’s experience on Verblio is similar to what you would expect at other content mills. Content mills are some of the easiest jobs to get in online writing and are popular among new freelance writers. As such, you’ll be competing against many other writers on the platform for the same work.
Also akin to what you see on similar platforms, writers are not paid unless the customer decides to purchase the completed piece. This means that you will inevitably spend time producing content for Verblio that you will not be able to sell. Verblio gives you the ability to “recycle” the content for submission to other customers with similar jobs, but I wouldn’t count on that always being the case. A lot of the work on Verblio falls into some pretty specific niches, and customers tend to be pretty specific in what they’re looking for so content doesn’t always translate across multiple customers very well.
How do the Verblio writer level and points work?
Like I mentioned above, Verblio operates on a tiered system. Writers start out at level one where they must write and sell several 300-word content pieces to level up. Assignments with higher word counts and pay rates are not available to new writers.
If you want to increase your writer level, you’ll need to earn points. Points can be earned in a few different ways like by submitting content (even if it doesn’t sell), receiving five-star reviews, and having customers purchase your content. The points you earn for each of these vary again by your existing level and the length of content you submit and (hopefully) sell with higher levels and longer content earning more points per post than those at lower levels and word counts.
Here’s how many points Verblio writers earn for each activity and level:
|Action||300+ words||600+ words||1,000+ words||1,500+ words||2,000+ words|
|Receive 5-star review||4||8||12||16||20|
How many points are required for each writer level?
The number of points you have earned on Verblio determines your writer level. As you progress, you will earn points at a faster rate as you level up and produce longer blog posts.
Here are the number of points required for each writer level at Verblio:
|Writer level||Points required|
Why doesn't level 9 require more points than level 8? Beats me.
What jobs are available at each writer level?
Verblio limits the jobs you can submit posts for depending on the word count of the job and your writer level. In order to be eligible for longer posts with higher pay rates, you need to increase your writer level by writing, submitting, and selling more posts.
Here are the jobs available for each writer level at Verblio:
|Writer level||Jobs available|
|4||300+ words, 600+ words|
|5||300+ words, 600+ words|
|6||300+ words, 600+ words, 1,000+ words|
|7||300+ words, 600+ words, 1,000+ words, 2,000+ words (invite only)|
|8||300+ words, 600+ words, 1,000+ words, 1,500+ words, 2,000+ words (invite only)|
|9-19||300+ words, 600+ words, 1,000+ words, 1,500+ words, 2,000+ words (invite only)|
|20+||300+ words, 600+ words, 1,000+ words, 1,500+ words, 2,000+ words (invite only)|
How much does Verblio charge customers?
Verblio takes a sizeable chunk of change playing middleman between the freelance writers on their platform and the businesses looking for their services.
Here’s how much Verblio costs:
|Post length||Cost to Verblio Customer|
Writers make less than half of what Verblio charges customers for their work.
Verblio also offers a number of add-on services for its customers that build on the content Verblio writers produce. These add-ons include stock photo services to go with each blog post, SEO optimization on the blog post content, extra proofreading, and videos created from the blog post content.
What has my experience with Verblio been like?
I first started writing for Verblio, known then as BlogMutt, shortly after graduating college. I’m not too familiar with what the application process looks like today, but when I first joined a few years ago new writers were prompted to complete a short quiz before gaining access to the platform. The quiz wasn’t challenging, and I actually remember using Google to get the answer to one of the questions I was unsure of. If I remember right, another prospective Verblio writer posted the question on Quora or something and someone responded with the correct answer.
At first, I was producing content pretty infrequently as I started to learn the platform. Once I got into a good groove though, I used Verblio to cover my daily living expenses for a month or two while I interviewed for full-time work. The work itself wasn’t the most fulfilling thing to do, but I was able to gain experience writing about topics I knew I wanted to learn more about once I landed a new job.
Back in the early BlogMutt days, they used to have a writer’s forum where the freelancers on the platform could ask questions and share best practices. BlogMutt staff would also communicate with the writers there to share new features, respond to writer feedback, and highlight some of the writers in the community. I found the forum to be incredibly valuable, and somewhat of a differentiator from other similar sites for freelance writers. I’m not too sure why or when Verblio dropped the feature, but it was certainly a bummer for me the day I discovered it was gone and I’ve missed it since.
Some of the conversations that took place in the forums highlighted many of the negative behaviors the freelancers were noticing among their fellow writers. One common offense, as you might expect, was plagiarism. As a writer at the time, you could view the posts other writers had submitted to customers you were interested in writing for. You could view all of the posts a customer had received as a submission, all of the posts they purchased and any rating or feedback the customer gave on the post, and any posts rejected by customers including the rating and reason given to the writer. With that much visibility, writers were flagging each other’s content when they didn’t believe it was authentic or of a high enough quality.
With the ability to see the full posts submitted to a customer, many writers would take the content of a post that was submitted but not yet purchased, and rewrite the content using the same structure and talking points to save on research time.
That level of visibility has since greatly been reduced with only previews of other writers’ posts being visible today. However, all you need to do to view the full content of a purchased post is visit the customer’s blog (linked in Verblio’s platform) and search for the title you see in Verblio.
Writers are making an extra buck by having Verblio’s customers advertise on their behalf on top of getting paid for the post.
Another bad behavior I’ve begun to notice more recently is the abuse of hyperlinks in content submitted on Verblio. When looking through the posts Verblio customers have published on their blogs, you start to notice a lot of affiliate links conveniently placed in posts that are sometimes only tangentially related to the product or service being mentioned and linked. To give an example, a lot of the Verblio customers looking for blog content related to marketing have a lot of Canva mentions and affiliate links tucked within the best practices and tips being pitched in the blog posts. Writers are making an extra buck by having Verblio’s customers advertise on their behalf on top of getting paid for the post.
That’s not the only way Verblio writers abuse the platform. Content mills are popular among new writers as they get started in their freelancing or solo careers. As freelance writers gain experience and move to write and work for themselves using platforms like Substack to publish independently, they often need help driving traffic to their blog or newsletter. To give their content a boost, many Verblio writers give themselves backlinks by writing content for Verblio customers and using their own sites as references. In all fairness, most of the Verblio customers are low domain authority websites and the linked content can be relevant, but it’s still a shady practice and questionable content marketing strategy that incentivizes the wrong kind of behavior for platforms like this.
What’s even more surprising, is Verblio doesn’t discourage either of these practices in their guidelines for using external links in blog post submissions. Here’s what they tell writers:
Some customers have the option to request external links formally through our system. If the customer selects "Yes, add external links" you should:
1. Add 2-3 relevant external links in your submission, where applicable.
2. Not link to competitors of the customer.
3. Follow any additional guidelines provided in the customer's "Other Info" section or in the Request Description.
4. Choose credible sources and articles that are no more than 2 years old, when possible.
It’s hard to tell if this unspoken incentive for writers is intentional, or if Verblio customers just don’t care.
Lastly, and on a much pettier note, Verblio promises to add you to a private LinkedIn group once you reach Level 5. It’s unfortunately not true. Sorry to break your heart if that’s something that matters to you.
All in all, Verblio is an okay place to gain experience and get familiar with online writing gigs. It used to have a vibrant writing community in their forums, but since that’s disappeared it’s what you would expect from any similar content mill.