Every aspiring freelance writer feels both excited and scared about their first few writing jobs. In this Copify review we look at whether writing for Copify is a worthwhile use of time and / or a good way for a novice writer to get started with some professional work.
Let’s begin with the basics.
What is Copify?
Copify is a platform with a presence in the US and UK that connects freelance writers to clients that need content.
The attraction for clients is that the copy is delivered quickly, by approved copywriters, and at an affordable price.
For writers, the site provides writing assignments from a wide variety of business sectors. The advantage is that there is no searching and negotiating for work. That’s all done for you as Copify acts as the intermediary. However, they do, of course, take a cut from the client. Pay is dismally low.
I am an experienced writer but, having taken a break from it, I decided to give Copify a go. I knew that the pay rates wouldn’t be great, but I wanted to use the site to get myself back in the game as well as try out different business sectors.
This Copify review will also give my thoughts on whether the site is useful for writers who are just starting out.
Here’s what I found out.
Is Copify Legit?
Yes, Copify is legitimate. The pay may be low, but the work is there. It’s free to join and you get paid the amount promised, if your work is approved.
Copify is a content mill and content mills tend to have a bad reputation. They are frowned upon by many professional writers who believe that their existence contributes to dragging down pay rates for writers.
They are right, but that doesn’t mean that content mills don’t have their place. They can work well for novices who want to acquire experience, or for those who don’t want the hassle of finding and dealing with their own clients.
If you look at other Copify reviews, there are some negative comments. Most of these are about the low pay rates as well as the quality of the client briefs, which we will look at later in this review.
How to Register with Copify
To set yourself up, you fill in your details to register a profile. This includes uploading a photo and your CV. You are then asked to take a timed one hour 200 word writing test.
I realised that the hour doesn’t actually start until you click on the test. but you can see the topic Copify has given you. This means that you can take a little time to research and think about it before you start writing.
My topic was something along the lines of, ‘What is the legacy of the 2012 Olympics?’ Quite random. I’m a big fan of the Olympics but I can’t say its legacy is my specialist subject. So, I did some Googling to gather information and I didn’t start the task until I had a firm idea of what I was going to write about.
I completed the task well within the hour, including my research time, but it was helpful not putting myself under that time pressure.
Another tip is that you can copy and paste into the Copify platform. I prefer to type my work in my own document. It’s familiar to me and certainly felt more comfortable when doing the test on a new platform. You can then transfer it across when it’s nearly ready. The Copify software highlights any spelling errors so you can correct them. It also notes the word count.
Copify apparently receives hundreds of applications every month. My application was approved and my professional writer status confirmed within a few hours which was surprisingly quick.
I was rather pleased that I was accepted at the professional level until I discovered that, as of January 2021, all writers are given this status.
Up until this change, there were two levels of writer on Copify – standard and professional. All writers started at the standard level and, once you’d completed 25 jobs, you would be elevated to professional status.
I’m guessing Copify has decided that it is more appealing to clients if all the site’s registered writers are deemed ‘professional’.
Once You are an Approved Copify Writer
Once your application has been approved you are given access to your Copify dashboard. You are emailed the Copify handbook and advised that you should follow the Guardian Style Guide. You can look this up online. It is lengthy but the key elements are straightforward.
You are also given access to a vast number of FAQs which are combined for writers and clients. You can read through them all and work out which ones are relevant to you as a writer, or you can use the search box if you have a specific question.
Your dashboard is where you can view the available work, or orders, as they are called. The order summary includes the type of writing (eg web page), the pay, number of words and subject.
If you see an order you’re interested in, you can click on it to find out more information. You then have access to the full brief (more on these below) and the deadline – which is usually only a few hours.
Once you’ve found an order that you’d like to try, you can accept it and set to work. It’s definitely worth checking the deadline though, so you can be confident you have time to do it. I make sure I am ready to sit down and start the work immediately before I click on the accept button.
Copify Review: The Work
What Sort of Work is there?
Clients hail from a wide variety of business sectors and this may or may not be a good thing for you.
If you want to specialise in a particular industry, you might not find many orders that match. But if you don’t mind what you write about and are willing to spend the time learning about new subjects, then you’ll find something to suit.
The majority of the types of orders are blog posts which vary from 300 to 1000 words. There are also articles to write, web pages, product descriptions and press releases.
Much of the work is fairly dull which is probably why it’s been placed on a content mill. Writing 20 product descriptions on various types of printer might not float your boat. But, once you’ve fired off a couple, you can hone your printer writing skills and work through additional descriptions more quickly.
Some of the orders I took on were ones in which I had no experience of the topic. I wrote a press release for a company providing SEO services for an e-cigarette business. I researched a specific planning law in order to write a web page about it for a firm of architects. And I wrote an article about a logistics company and its fleet of delivery vehicles.
All were subjects I was not previously familiar with. But the reason I chose them was because their briefs were concise and gave me everything I needed to do the job fairly swiftly. I also wanted to gain further experience of business sectors out of my comfort zone. My background is writing for the pet, lifestyle, health and charity sectors. Now I know I can write competently about gas powered trucks and planning law!
It’s all in the Brief
The quality of the briefs varies significantly. Some are lengthy and detailed and take a while to go through and understand. Most will provide keywords and are prescriptive in the length and type of heading/s they want from you. Instructions may include attached documents, as well as an expectation that you will read all the client’s existing blog posts.
This is all helpful stuff, but you need to bear in mind the amount of time it will take you to do this in addition to the writing if you are only being paid, for example, £6.
Others are really ‘brief’ (excuse the pun), and vague. For example, ‘please write me a blog on the subject of work’. That one left me scratching my head, so I scrolled past. You do have the option of contacting the client with any questions but this will impact the time you spend on the task.
There are briefs that are well written and you learn how to spot them. They will give you enough information so you can complete the order without spending too much time trying to work out what the client wants.
I found after looking through a few orders, you can work out which ones are worth pursuing and which ones you should discard. Clearly, other Copify writers feel the same as there are often a few orders that sit on the site for a while. The good ones get snapped up quickly.
How Much Work is there on Copify?
There is always work on Copify although the levels of orders vary day to day. The lowest number of orders I saw was 12 and there was one week when it hovered between 15 and 20 for a few days. Most days there are 30-40 orders available to check out.
However, that doesn’t mean that there are that number of orders that you would actually want to work on. If you remove the orders with the not-so-well-written briefs, that number is lower. And you might not want, for example, to write product descriptions, so you would need to exclude those too.
I prefer to focus on press releases, articles and web pages. I have worked out that, if I wanted, there would be on average three suitable orders a day. There were a couple of days when there were no suitable orders at all.
What Happens Once I’ve Completed my Copify Order?
When you’ve finished your writing piece, if you haven’t typed it directly into the Copify platform you can copy and paste it in. Check your spelling, that the word count is correct and that you’ve fulfilled the brief. Then you click on complete and the order will be placed in the pending feedback section of your dashboard.
It is important that you ensure you meet the deadline. You receive a reminder email from Copify one hour beforehand, which is helpful.
Your writing must be original and it must be of an acceptable standard. I suggest you aim to get work approved instantly. If you need to make amendments then it will increase the time spent on the order.
You may receive feedback or, if the client is happy with the work, it will be approved and you will be notified that the payment will be available to you.
Clients can give you a star rating and feedback on your work. They can also request you for future jobs, although there is no obligation to accept. These are known as direct orders.
It’s worth mentioning that there are no shortcuts to writing good copy. Copify offers all its clients a plagiarism checker called Copyscape which trawls the internet for duplicate content and flags any matches. So, beware!
How Do You Get Paid on Copify?
One of the benefits of working for Copify is that the payment is handled by them and you don’t need to do a thing, other than write good copy of course.
Once your work is approved, the payment is available to you. You can see your money accruing on your dashboard. When you want to make a withdrawal, you can request a payout. Payment requests are made daily via PayPal.
Most work is approved within a few days, sometimes a little longer. If you don’t hear anything for 30 days, the work is approved automatically and the payment made available. So, the worst-case scenario is that you won’t be paid for 30 days.
How Much Does Copify Pay?
Copify’s pay rates are low. There’s no getting round it and this is why some of the Copify reviews are not positive. The highest rate of pay I’ve seen is around £20 and that was for 1000 words. This works out at 2p per word.
More common are rates from £6 for 400 words up to around £8 for 500 words. Jobs tend to hover around the 0.15-0.2p rate per word range. I have seen an order for a page of web copy that paid only £1.50. Needless to say, that’s not one I pursued.
The low pay rates are why it is important to try and work out how long a piece of work is going to take you. If you can produce 1000 words in a couple of hours for £20 then that could work well for you. I will be honest and say that I took on a £6 order that took me over two hours. This meant I was averaging less than £3 an hour, well below the minimum wage.
I was prepared to do that because I’m using Copify to train myself to work fast and efficiently on topics I know nothing about. But I’m not going to work at that rate too many times. It’s simply not financially viable for me.
If you are new to writing, working via Copify may work well for you. If you’re prepared to work hard, you can gain useful experience of working with different clients and across a variety of sectors.
How Much Can you Earn on Copify?
It’s hard to put a figure on this as everybody’s requirements are different. But, if you are not too choosy about what orders you accept, I think you could complete four or five a day if you wanted to.
Obviously there are lots of variables here, dependent on your speed and how much time you want to spend working. I doubt you’d find that number of £20 orders each day. It would more likely be at the £6-£10 level which would only give you around £50 a day, potentially for quite a lot of hours.
The key here is to work really efficiently. Over time, you could find repeat work with the same clients which would cut down your research time. I have seen some clients offering up to 40 orders. Familiarise yourself with the client’s requirements and you could rack up a few easy orders.
Or, you could decide you’re going to focus on one type of writing and get really fast and furious at that. There are certainly a few things you can do to maximise the money and minimise the time (see my tips, below).
Whether Copify can provide all the income you need depends on what you need your total income to be. I think at best, it can offer a part-time income or provide some handy top-up money.
Can you Use Copify Work in your Portfolio?
Unfortunately, the answer to this is no. If you are a new writer or a writer wanting to add fresh content to your portfolio, your Copify work will not provide this for you.
Under Copify’s Ts&Cs, all copyright is handed over to the client once an assignment is finished. Writers also have to agree not to publish the copy elsewhere or divulge any commercial information contained within the order.
So, that rules out using your Copify work as writing examples.
Copify Pros and Cons
In this Copify review I’ve provided a comprehensive appraisal of the platform. It’s not for everyone, but there are a lot of positives:
- There is work available!
- If you can write, it’s relatively easy to register with Copify.
- There is a good variety of different types of writing available (eg press release, blog post).
- There is a wide spread of industry sectors to experience.
- You don’t spend any time finding clients or negotiating.
- Everything is ready for you to pick up and run with, providing you choose the orders with the well-written briefs.
- Copify gives you an opportunity to hone your writing skills.
- You can learn how to work fast and efficiently.
- The experience can give you confidence in your writing and could lead on to other things.
- It’s completely flexible. You can do one assignment a week or three a day, whatever you want. You are not tied into a contract.
- Copify is an easy-to-use platform.
- The payment process is efficient and reliable.
Here are the not-so-great points about Copify:
- The biggest downside is that the pay is very, very low.
- It’s unlikely that there’s enough work or pay for a full-time career.
- There may not always be suitable work available for you.
- Poorly written briefs rule out some of the orders.
- You can’t use your Copify work for your portfolio.
- A lot of the work is tedious (think roof liners or drill bits).
- The deadlines are short, typically a few hours.
- It is a content mill and you may feel that by using one, you are complicit in driving down pay rates for professional writers.
Who Should Use Copify?
There are downsides of using Copify and the biggest is undoubtedly the desperately low pay. But, there are a lot of positives too and the platform could work really well for the following reasons:
- If you are new to writing, use Copify as an extension of your training.
- If your writing is rusty and you need to practise.
- If you don’t want to spend time searching for your own clients.
- If you want a part-time income or side gig.
- If you want to learn how to write about different business sectors.
- If you want to see what it’s like working for lots of different clients.
- If you love writing and you don’t mind too much about the pay.
Tips for Using Copify
The key to making Copify work well for you is to be as efficient as possible. Here are my top tips on how to make the most of it:
- Glance through the orders quickly and more than once daily as new ones are added all the time.
- If any orders catch your eye, read the brief and calculate if you have what you need. Is there enough quality information? Or is there too much information that will take a long time to read and understand?
- Don’t spend too long looking at orders that you know you don’t want to do. It’s easy to get lost browsing. Move on!
- Work out how much work/time is involved outside of what’s provided in the brief.
- Once you’ve accepted an order, work on it straightaway so you complete it well before the deadline.
- Try to get repeat work for the same company/sector so you can gain and re-use knowledge and minimise time spent on understanding the brief.
- Are there some types of writing you prefer and can get really good at? For example, if you love writing product descriptions, scan the list and home in on those orders first so you can snap them up.
- Bear in mind that sometimes there are fewer orders available. Don’t lose out on potential work thinking there will be more tomorrow, as there might not be.
- Ensure your work is of a high standard. Any time spent communicating about amendments means your hourly rate will reduce. Plus, good ratings will work in your favour for repeat requests.
Alternatives to Copify
WriterAccess is a US-based content mill that used to only accept American writers. However, since late 2018 it’s been accepting writers from several other countries too.
WriterAccess writers produce content for all kinds of companies. The entry test is quite strict, but at higher levels this content mill does seem to pay more than most others. Check out our WriterAccess review.
Textbroker is one of the most well-known names in the content mill world. Like all such services it has its fair share of detractors in the online reviews sections, but it’s a company that’s been in the game since 2007.
Textbroker hires writers from the US and UK, and rates range from a very low 0.7 cents per word to a far more respectable five cents per word, depending on the “level” you reach. There’s generally a fairly consistent flow of work. Read our Textbroker review.
Constant Content is another player that’s been in the content mill game for many years. It differs from the other sites here, because while clients can request pitches for articles, writers can also upload articles “for sale” at a price of their choice. Many claim a good level of success doing this, though your mileage could vary.
Last time we investigated Constant Content, they only accepted articles “for sale” from US-writers, but there is no longer any mention of this on the site. We are seeking clarification on this, and will update the article when we have it.
The usual criticism of content mills is around article rates. With Constant Content, it’s more related to how much commission the company takes, some 35% of what the client pays.
Another content mill with no shortage of mixed reviews, Crowd Content works on all kinds of content for clients, but online reports suggest product description work is the norm. The site states that they sometimes recruit writers to write descriptions for Bloomingdales.
It’s a well-put-together and approachable platform, complete with live chat and staff representatives who join in on discussions on Reddit threads. This is definitely a good content mill to join if you want to be part of a very active online community, as there are plenty of online discussions.
A rather different proposition and NOT a content mill, Upwork is the world’s largest freelance site that connects freelancers with clients. Clients post job details, and freelancers apply for the jobs. The client sets their budget and can opt to pay either hourly or a fixed rate. Both parties can agree to milestone payments for fixed rate jobs.
Once the work is complete and the contract closed, Upwork freelancers and clients leave feedback for each other, in the form of star ratings and comments. This Upwork feedback score can then help others to judge whether or not they want to work with that particular freelancer or client. Check our our Upwork freelancer review.
Copify Review Conclusion
This Copify review has shown that this popular content mill won’t appeal to everyone. The pay is low and a lot of the work is dull.
BUT…Copify will be a useful source of income for some. If you’re a new writer or a writer wanting to practise your craft, Copify can provide steady work, it’s an easy-to-use platform and the site is a reliable payer. All benefits worthy of consideration
- An established platform with a good flow of work
- Pays promptly and reliably
- Quite easy to get accepted
- No need to negotiate with clients
- Very low rates
- Some article briefs are very poor quality
- Short deadlines