Someone recently posted on the WAHM.com forums about a company called IRA. I had never heard of it, so decided to do a little research. There are some seriously mixed reviews concerning the company. Here's what I found out about Internet Research Associates, the good, bad, and ugly.
They claim to pay $35 for a ten page "report," which is essentially ten different 400-500 word articles for $3.50 each. This isn't the greatest wage, but some sites pay even less, and if you need the money, I guess it could be tolerable, depending on how fast you can write them.
According to the site, they also pay weekly, which is a huge plus for many of us who need extra weekly income. They pay via PayPal, and will allow you to write up to 7 reports per week, totaling $245. If you need the cash, it might not be a bad gig, but I don't have any specifics on how likely it is to get enough work to make that much.
From the website:
"If English is your native language, and you can write in a basic and clear manner, we want to hear from you! Simply email us at JoinIRA@gmail.com and write "I want a job" and we will email you our simple test, and get you started today."
The Benefit of the Doubt
I've found several reports of non-payment, but upon further research it seems it's impossible to tell who was in the wrong in these situations. This post was written by someone who says that IRA never paid them for the articles they had written for a client. The comments below the post are riddled with comments both for and against the company.
It appears that you must sign a contract with IRA upon being hired agreeing that you will not be paid if your articles are not approved by the client. I can understand this from a business perspective, and many clients have the same policy. So, you can imagine that some writers will be upset if their articles are turned down.
Experiences of Former Writers
There are also many good reports of writers for IRA. Here's a post, albeit and old one, from WAHM where the company is discussed at length. Many writers appeared to have a good experience there, while others didn't like the low paying projects.
Here's another more recent post by a writer who had a difficult time being paid, although she has updated that some of the money has been received. Here's an article by a former IRA writer who also had a bad experience with them.
So, What's the Verdict?
I'd like a little more information before I make a verdict, but it appears to me that the pay is low and many people have experienced problems with the site. Does this mean it's a bad place to work? Of course not! Everyone won't have the best experience on every site. Some people probably hate DS and it's my favorite place to write.
IRA has the huge benefit of paying weekly, and I know many of you need that security. The bad reports could be anything from misunderstandings gone awry to disgruntled employees who had their work turned down for not being up to par. This is one site I'm just not sure about, but it couldn't hurt to sign up and see what they have to offer. If you are interested in signing up with them, click here to be taken to the sign-up page.
Have You Written for IRA?
If you're a current or former writer for IRA, I'd love to hear your feedback. Is the pay reliable? Any details about the type of work available? Did you have any problems, or are the above cases simply isolated occasions? Help inform the readers of The Freelance Home Writer!
According to dailan123, the payment has been raised to $5.00 per 400 words, which isn't too awful, really. In comparison, need-an-article pays $5.00 for a 550 word article, so the pay here is better.
There was a very informative post on the WAHM forums made by Rhyah, who once worked as a freelance writer for IRA, detailing her experiences with the company. She has given me permission to publish them here. Here's what she has to say about IRA:
"It didn't take me 2 hours to write 5,000 words. More like 5-6 hours considering I can't just sit and write 5,000 words at one time and do the research. My eyes and brain would be fried. When I had a larger project it would take up my whole weekend. The articles aren't hard to write, but I stopped writing over there a couple of years ago. But the guy is definitely making a fortune and paying writers nada. Some articles he sells to clients and others he posts to article directories under his own name. If you do a search for the name Clark Covington (he goes by another name, too. I just can't think of it right now) you'll see everything he's got going on.
For some reason, I get these review emails from them but there's no unsubscribe link to them. That's another venture of his and when I did read a few of them it looked like he was giving out $5 gift cards as payment for review....and one of the gift cards was Starbucks. I don't even have a starbucks in my town so writing for that would be useless.
Personally, I never recommend that site to new writers and took if off my portfolio as soon as I built up more clips and clients. I guess it would be okay for new writers that want some experience, but I think Textbroker may be more beneficial for a similar amount of pay. At least then, writers have a chance of gaining a client that requests them for projects. But when the owner of the site picks and chooses who can sign on and who can't, with no email or communication to the writer, then a writer can't really count on that for $$$. I did about 10 projects for him and then just couldn't get on. There's a chance that he didn't like the fact that I was in his forum pointing out that there were other writing gigs that paid more $ or similar payments for less work. Quite a few writers were interested and then *poof*, I'm gone. I wasn't bad mouthing him, just suggesting other opportunities since freelancers can't put all their eggs in one basket. I guess he wants to be the only egg.
Writers just have to make a judgment call with that opportunity. But I was always paid on time. But you have to be on the site, on top of new opportunities. They go fast. When I was there, there were a couple writers that seemed to snag everything. Also, you may want to check out the writings of other writers if you can still do that. When I was there you could see other writers articles and a lot of them were crap. I read one where the writer ended every sentence, and I'm not kidding here, with the words "and so forth." I know some writers don't like to be associated with sites that produce junky content because those sites do get reputations for producing crap. A new client sees that writing site in your portfolio and makes assumptions. That's the main reason I took it off my portfolio. Okay, I rambled on too much. Hope some of this helps."
Thanks so much for the insight, Rhyah! I hope this helps anyone out there who is trying to decide whether or not to write for IRA. If anyone else has anything to add, please jump right in and leave a comment! I don't have any personal experience with this site, but I'd like to hear yours!