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Busy with other work the past few weeks, I have yet to complete any assignments for either, but I have looked things over briefly.
For TB I had to submit a writing sample after registering. A short list of topics to choose from appeared with a form that greets new writers logging in for the first time.
The sample's rating determines a new writer's staring level at TB. Levels there range from two to five stars. Three stars pays 1 cent per word. A three-star writer who completes a two-star assignment gets paid the lower rate.
Deadlines are one or two days away for most articles at TB. TB requires a completed W-9 form to process payouts.
The application for the TCA included a request to write a short article on Salsa Dancing. TCA's levels, called Tiers, range from Tier 1 that pays $0.007 per word to Tier 5 that pays three cents per word (for Tier 5 orders).
Writers are given eight hours to complete orders at TCA. TCA does not ask for a W-9 form. About employment status the new writer orientation states only "For tax purposes, the company considers your services as an independent contractor and if necessary, you should consult a tax accountant regarding any tax payments at your local, state, and federal levels."
Clients of both services have three days to request rewrites or reject articles. Both claim most articles are accepted with no or minimal rewrites.
Common concept: With proper research and production tools, writers should be able to complete four or more orders per hour, easily generating hourly rates above $8.
My source said he can make the system at both places work, though the topics are nothing to write home about. So I may give both companies a chance when my schedule clears.
Updated, 9/2: I am finding that TheContentAuthority (The Content Authority) pauses the process of submitting the first five probationary articles after each submission for an editor's OK, which has been taking hours. My fourth of the first five has been awaiting the OK for over 12 hours (as I write this update). While any of the first five sits awaiting an OK, the site prevents me from claiming the next order. TCA sends an email upon signup urging writers to hasten to submit the first five articles and get set up for ongoing work quickly, but this slow, one-by-one approval process is keeping that from happening for me.