Getting Started

    How do I sign up to be a writer?

    First, create a new writer account by filling out our simple form. You will receive an email with instructions to log into your account and complete your signup.

    How long is the signup process?

    Give yourself 20-40 minutes to complete.

    Does it cost anything to join?

    No. There are no fees to sign up or use your account.

    Am I required to submit a writing sample?

    Yes. One of the final steps of the signup process is to submit a writing sample. This can be either unique or previously-written. For unique samples we have you answer a question within one of your expert topics you selected earlier.

    Your writing sample will be reviewed and you will be assigned an initial rating of 2-5 stars (5 being the highest). All unique writing samples will also be published on YoExpert so that you can demonstrate your expertise to potential clients. Previously-written samples will not be published on YoExpert.

    What if I'm not happy with my initial rating?

    If the rating isn't quite as high as you'd like, the best thing to do is focus on writing the best quality content you can in the future to raise your rating.

    Is Zerys an employer?

    No. Zerys is an online content production platform that connects freelance writers and editors to businesses that are looking for online content. Zerys is only a software platform and does not employ or contract its users. Writers and editors in the Zerys platform are considered their own self-employed entities, and are referred to as Freelance Service Providers, because they provide content services to clients who use the Zerys platform.

    Can I claim unemployment from Zerys?

    No. Because they are not employees, service providers are prohibited from claiming unemployment, and if any unemployment claims are made, they will be denied and reported.

    The Writer Public Profile

    Why is my public profile important?

    Your Public Profile includes information that clients need in order to determine if they want to use you for their projects. This profile includes your picture, a short bio, your statistics (average rating, pages assigned, etc.), geographical location, your Direct Assign rate, and availability. An optimized profile makes you more attractive to potential clients and may even get you more exposure and better access to jobs.

    How do I optimize my profile?

    There are several ways to make your Public Profile more effective:

    Your bio. Clients often search for writers using keywords found in the writer bio, so this should include all relevant keywords and information about your experience, interests and qualifications. Include your strongest assets in the first couple of sentences.

    Your rating. A higher writer rating always makes your profile more attractive. So we recommend that writers be proactive in seeking work. Take as many jobs as possible to build your portfolio and your rating. Get onto Favorites lists for clients who like your work. Always do your best work and maintain good communication with clients and editors.

    Your statistics. Keep missed deadlines and rejections to a minimum!

    What is my Direct Assign pay rate?

    Your Direct Assign rate is the rate that you want to net out for direct assignments. It is not the actual Client Rate, which will be 30% more than your Direct Assign rate to account for our commission.

    If a client assigns a job to you directly, unless they request a different rate and you agree to that rate, this is the rate that the client will pay to you. Determine the per-word rate that you would like to work for, based on your skill level and experience.

    Keep in mind that any job taken from any job board will be paid at the rate at which it was posted. You will not be paid your Direct Assign rate for job board jobs unless the rates for those jobs happen to match your rate.

    Can I edit my public profile information?

    You will provide this information at the time of signup, but may change your picture, bio and Direct Assign rate at any time after you are activated.

    I've set myself as unavailable. Are pending jobs still due during this time?

    Yes. Anything that is in progress during the time that you are set as unavailable will still be due by its deadline. Setting yourself as Unavailable will not stop deadline clocks for pending jobs. Unavailability only applies to new assignments--meaning that clients can't assign anything to you during that time.

    Payments

    How will I be paid?

    When clients pay us for their content, we keep track of each amount due to you in your account, and transfer those funds to you via Paypal. You must have a valid Paypal account in order to be paid.

    Can I share a PayPal account with another Zerys writer?

    No. Each writer and each writer account must have their own separate PayPal account.

    How often will I be paid?

    We pay writers for all earned income twice per month. Writer pay periods are the 1st-14th and the 15th-end of month. We will usually transfer your earned income to you via Paypal within 3 business days of the end of each pay period, however, due to fluctuations in Paypal transfer times, it may take up to a week or more after the end of the pay period to receive your funds.

    How much money can I make?

    There are many factors that will determine how much money you make. The biggest factor is the number of available jobs that match your writer profile. Another factor is your Standard Rate (the amount you charge), and your writing experience listed on your profile. Other factors include how quickly you write, and your ability to submit high quality work and build up a good quality rating.

    How do you make money?

    Clients pay a gross rate based on the word count of the content they purchase. A service fee is retained by us for the client's use of the platform and you see an adjusted rate that you agree to at the time you accept a job. The actual earnings of each document are based on the agreed upon per word rate for each client times the # of words of the document at the time it is approved by the buyer.

    How do I handle taxes?

    Due to recent changes made by the IRS, Interact Media is not required to send out 1099s to any writers and we will not be sending any. It is now the responsibility of the payment processors such as PayPal to report payments to the IRS, not the entity that used the payment processor to send the payment. However, that being said, most of you will NOT be getting a 1099 from Paypal, because they will only send you a form 1099-k if you were paid more than $20,000 and had 200 transactions in a single year.

    Before the recent IRS changes, Interact Media would have been required to send you a 1099 if we paid you more than $600 in the year. However, with these new changes, Interact Media is not required to send you a 1099 form. In fact, if we did send you a 1099 form, it's possible your income would be reported twice, once by us and once by Paypal, and you could owe more taxes!

    Paypal FAQs on This Topic: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/irs6050w

    If you have further questions about this topic, please contact your accountant or call the IRS.

    Pay Rates

    Who determines pay rates?

    The pay rate for each job is determined by the client. Clients have a wide range of rates from which to choose when deciding what to offer writers. Interact Media does not determine the rates that writers are paid for available jobs.

    As mentioned above, you may also set client-specific rates based on requests from, or negotiation with, clients. This client-specific rate will apply to all direct assignments for that client. PLEASE NOTE: client-specific rates may be changed by clients at the time of direct assignment, per agreement with the writer. Clients may ask for this change in rate for a variety of reasons, including an increase in the rate for job complexity, or a decrease in the rate for a bulk order.

    How do I set a client-specific rate?

    If a client requests that you work at a rate that is different from your standard Direct Assign rate, you can either agree to their offer or negotiate a rate. You can set a client-specific rate on the client's profile screen. Click on the Client ID, then go to Set A Client-Specific Rate. There, choose the Client Rate that will give you the rate that you wish to net out. You can calculate that rate before actually setting it.

    Can clients offer me bonuses?

    Clients have the option to offer writers bonuses (tips) for exceptional content. This will be additional money, above and beyond the agreed-upon payment. The amount of the bonus is determined by the client. Please be aware our service fee applies to this bonus as well.

    Taking Jobs

    How do I take writing jobs?

    There are 3 ways that you can get writing jobs:

    New Clients Job Board. Clients can post jobs to an New Clients job board. For these jobs, clients make a price offer and then post individual titles to writers who match specific criteria selected by the client (average rating, language, etc.). If you see a job you like, you can click to review the details and reserve the job so no one else can take it. Once you accept a job from the job board, you must complete the job before the designated due date, or else the job will be returned to the job board so another writer can take it.

    Favorite Job Board. Clients can post jobs to a Favorite job board. These jobs are not available to all writers, only those who are on those clients' Favorites lists.

    Direct Assignment. Clients can also choose to assign jobs to an individual writer directly. For these types of orders, clients will pay the rate you set on your public profile (your Direct Assign Pay Rate), or negotiate a different rate. Often, clients will use the job board to sample writers. If they like your work, they can add you to their "Favorite Writers List", and assign future orders directly to you.

    How do I create and submit my content?

    When you accept a job, it immediately goes into your Pending My First Draft folder. This is located on your dashboard page under the Job Center: Writing Jobs section. Click Show, then Pending My First Draft, then click Open to access the content box where you can start working on your job.

    Each job has a maximum and minimum word count as designated by the client, and it may also have a keyword density requirement. If you are within the parameters, the information for these two designations will display in green. If they are displaying in red, you won't be able to submit. When you are finished, go through the spellcheck and CopyScape scan, then hit the submit button to send your content to the client or editor for review. You have submitted successfully if the job then appears in either the Pending Review tab.

    How many jobs may I take at one time?

    You may only reserve one job from the job board at a time. Once you complete and submit a job, you can then take another one from the job board. If a client requests a revision of a page you previously submitted, you must also first complete that revision and resubmit before taking another job from the job board.

    The only exception to this rule is when a writer has a job on hold (see below, under Communication). If you have one pending job on hold, you may take one more job from the job board. If you have more than three jobs on hold, however, you may not take another from the board.

    You may accept an unlimited amount of direct assignments at one time. There is no restriction on how many direct assignments you may take at once, and you may accept additional DAs while you have jobs in Pending First Draft and/or Pending Revision status. Clients may also choose to assign a batch of titles to you all at once using the Direct Assign feature. In this case, you can accept many titles all at once.

    Am I notified when new jobs are submitted?

    Yes, but in order to avoid overloading you with emails, we will only notify you if new jobs have been submitted in the previous hour that match your profile and have not yet been taken by other writers. This means that writers who are logged in and checking the job board periodically may see new jobs appear BEFORE other writers are notified by email… and if all the new jobs are taken before the hour passes, you will never receive an email notification.

    Keep in mind that jobs do go fast, and are often already taken before writers get a chance to check the job board.

    If you would prefer to not receive email notifications regarding available jobs, you can turn off this feature in your account settings. You may also request notification emails only when jobs hit a certain rate.

    Deadlines

    Which timezone is used?

    All stated deadlines are Eastern Standard Time. For the convenience of writers in other time zones, a "countdown clock" will keep track of exactly how many hours and minutes are left until the deadline expires on an accepted job.

    How long do I have to complete each assignment?

    When you review the details for each job, it will show a due date. We calculate this due date based on the maximum word count requested by the client.

    Once you accept a job from the job board, you have 24 hours to complete the assignment for each 500 words per page. After that, you will get an additional 24 hours for every additional 500 words.

    For example:

    • 0-500 words: 24 hours
    • 501-1000 words: 48 hours
    • 1001-1500 words: 72 hours

    When you are direct-assigned jobs, you have 48 hours to accept each page. After you accept a page, the above formula applies.

    You should only accept jobs if you are sure that you can complete the job by the due date. If you do not complete the job before the due date, it will be automatically returned to the client or the job board so another writer can take the job. The job will then go into your Missed Deadline folder.

    Can clients extend deadlines?

    Yes. Clients may set custom deadlines for jobs. If you need a deadline extension, you may contact the client to ask if they can change the deadline.

    It is the writer's responsibility to make sure that deadlines have been extended. If the client agrees to extend a deadline, but you see that the deadline has not changed, you may put the job on hold to inquire. Failure to do so could result in a Missed Deadline. Any missed deadlines that occur as a result of the client's failure to extend a deadline are considered the writer's responsibility, and no Missed Deadline job will be removed from that status for this reason.

    Is there a penalty for missed deadlines and cancellations?

    Writers who cancel and/or miss the deadlines for more than 10% of the jobs they accept are subject to a suspension penalty, and will be unable to take further jobs off the job board. This 10% is calculated from the combined percentage of both missed deadlines and cancellations.

    Each subsequent time they reach the 10% threshold, the suspension time grows--eventually up to 30 days each time it happens.

    • The first 10% threshold of cancellations and/or missed deadlines = 3-day suspension
    • The second 10% threshold = 7-day suspension
    • The third 10% threshold = 14-day suspension
    • The fourth and all subsequent 10% thresholds = 30-day suspension

    The 10% threshold resets to zero after each suspension. However, the system keeps track of the overall total missed deadline and cancellation statistics, which appear on each writer's public profile.

    Can I accept direct assignments while on job board suspension?

    Yes. Any client who has you on their Favorite Writer list may still direct-assign jobs to you while you are on suspension. A suspension only affects your access to job board jobs.

    Mobile Functionality

    Can I access my account from my mobile device?

    At this time we offer only limited mobile functionality. You may be able to access your account; however, you may not be able to submit or perform other tasks in the system from your mobile device.

    Keywords

    Why are some jobs associated with keywords?

    Most clients not only want great content... they also want it to rank high in the search engines for specific keywords that people are searching for. When clients set up each content project in our system, they start out by building a list of keywords (otherwise known as page topics). Then, they create individual page titles around those keywords. They then have the option to ask writers to optimize their pages for a given keyword. If they do choose this option, they will also choose the keyword density level they want to use for their content.

    When you are working on your job, our system checks to make sure you use the keyword the correct number of times to fit within the given keyword density. If the density is not within the client's designated parameters you will not be able to submit the content.

    What if I can't fit the keyword into the content without sounding awkward?

    While we try to incorporate basic search engine optimization principles into our system, in the end, we are writing for humans - not robots. It's more important to always write high quality content that builds trust with readers than optimizing the content to rank high.

    Sometimes, you may find it impossible to use the keyword naturally in the body of the content. In these cases, we give you the ability to disable the keyword density requirement for a specific page. This way, you can change the keyword slightly to make it sound natural within the content. This feature is located in the area below the content box.

    Editing and Review

    Are all pages reviewed by an editor?

    No. Clients can choose to their content edited by their own in-house editors or by editors found through the Zerys marketplace, but it is not requried.

    Do Interact Media editors review/edit each page?

    No. Interact Media only reviews the FIRST sample page you submit when signing up, to assign you an initial rating. IM does NOT review or edit subsequent pages you submit for clients.

    How long before each page is reviewed/edited?

    If the client is a direct client (not through an agency), there is no editorial process. The client reviews their own content. If the client is the child client of an agency, there are two reviews: one by the agency, and another by the agency's client.

    Agencies have 14 business days to review. If the job is not reviewed within that time, it is auto-approved and sent to the next status. The 14 business days is calculated from the date of the last action taken. So, it isn't always going to be from the date that you first submitted the job to the editor. If, for example, you submit a job then the editor reviews it a few days later, the 14 business days will start over from that date of review.

    Clients have 5-7 business days to review content before it is auto-approved. The length of time depends on the client's account setting. If they request further revisions, you will be notified and will be given instructions about what changes are required.

    Direct clients must review content within 5-7 business days. However, if they request revisions, the total amount of time can extend beyond that. Also, if it’s an Agency client, the time for editing could be even longer since the agency AND client both review the content.

    It is our policy not to interfere with projects, and we encourage you to contact your editor or client regarding project-specific issues.

    Do I get paid for words that are edited out?

    Writers are only paid for the amount of words that are approved by the client. During the review process, some of your content may be removed. You will not be paid for this content.

    Ratings

    How do writer ratings work?

    Your rating is one factor that determines which jobs are available to you. Clients set certain criteria for writer quality when posting their jobs in the system. In general, a higher writer rating means access to more available jobs.

    Your initial rating is determined by Interact Media editors at the time of signup. At that time, you will be assigned a rating of 2-5 stars. After that, your rating is determined by your account stats.

    How do I increase my rating?

    The only way to increase your rating is to consistently produce quality work. Many writers find that they can increase their ratings by becoming a Favorite Writer for clients who like their work.

    Can I leave feedback about clients?

    Yes! Writers can leave comments regarding their experiences with clients. These comments can be seen on each Client Profile page. Writers often use this information to determine which clients they want to work for.

    If you wish to see comments from fellow writers, click on the Client ID.

    Communication

    If I have a question or issue, who should I contact?

    If you find a system glitch or have any question about the software system, click the "Support Ticket Center" link on the Help page.

    Interact Media cannot answer project-specific questions. If you have a question about a project or page you're working on, please contact the client.

    How do I contact/communicate with clients?

    There are three ways to communicate with your clients:

    Private Message Board: Each client has his/her own profile which includes a Private Message Board (PMB) for private conversations. You can access client profiles by clicking on their client ID anywhere in the system.

    Document-Specific Message Board: You can communicate with clients about document-specific matters on the document-specific message board located at the bottom of each page of content.

    Can I communicate with clients before working for them?

    No. Writers may not contact any clients unless and until they have accepted at least one job from them.

    May I share contact information with clients?

    No. Writers are prohibited from sharing private contact information with clients, and all communications must be made through Zerys. This means that writers may not provide to clients email addresses, phone numbers or full names.

    If a client offers private contact information, or asks you to contact them outside of Zerys, you are expected to inform them that they must communicate via one of the three permitted forms of communication listed above. This is for the protection of both writers and clients.

    Can I put a job on hold while I wait for an answer to a question?

    Yes, you may put a job on hold. If you have a question for a client, leave a document-specific message then check the box that says "This is a question". This will stop the deadline clock until you receive an answer. Once the client answers the question the deadline clock will resume where it left off.

    If the question remains unanswered after 5 days, you may contact Support. At that point, we can cancel the job so that the cancellation does not count against you.

    My client's private message board is greyed out. What happened?

    Clients have the option to block writers from their message boards. This usually happens if the client blocks the writer or rejects the writer's work. It can also happen if the writer misses a deadline. If you have been blocked from a message board, the board will be greyed out.

    What if I have a tech support or billing question?

    For all tech or billing issues, please contact Support via the Help page in your account.

    Remember that all messages related to a specific job or project must be directed to the client, not to support. We cannot provide support involving specific client or project issues.

    Content Rejection

    What should I know about content rejection?

    Clients have the right to reject content that does not suit their needs. If your content is rejected, it will go into your Declined folder and you will receive an email notification stating the reason for the rejection.

    In the Marketplace, clients are trying out writers to determine who will be a good fit for their projects. Therefore, the first page that you write for a new client should be considered a sample page that may or may not be accepted. You are trying to prove yourself to that client so that they will add you to their Favorite Writer's List, and assign you more work in the future.

    The Marketplace is designed to allow clients to try out writers until they find the ones who they want to work with. Likewise, writers can try out clients to find the ones they want to work for. Not every client will be a good fit for every writer and vice versa.

    Are clients required to request a revision before rejecting?

    We do not require that clients request revisions, mainly because if they don't like your content the first time, they're likely to reject any revisions as well. So at that point you've wasted even more time that you won't get paid for. This is one reason why it's important for writers to check out the Client Profiles, and a good reason to leave client comments. Writers can help each other make informed decisions about which clients they want to work for.

    What happens to rejected content?

    Writers are not paid for rejected content, and the client has no access to content that they have rejected. The rejected content remains in your Declined folder and is permanently accessible to you, to use for whatever purpose you choose.

    You have full exclusive rights to rejected content and the client cannot use it or have access to it. You own this content until someone pays you for it.

    I believe that a client published my content without paying for it. What should I do?

    Content theft has become a serious problem on the web and can happen to anyone. There is no human or automated means we can use to prevent buyers from stealing writers' work and publishing it without paying the writer for it. Therefore, while this is rare, Zerys cannot guarantee that this will not happen to you. That being said, if it does happen, we want to help you know how to handle it, so we've some steps you can take below.

    (Note: The advice below should not be considered legal advice. If you believe a theft has occurred, you should consider retaining the services of an attorney that specializes in copyright law.)

    • First, check the content on Google, or use a plagiarism checker such as CopyScape to make sure the client is actually using your work. Also, double-check to make sure you were not paid within your Zerys account.
    • Start a conversation with the client through their Zerys profile first. If they're unresponsive, you can attempt to contact them via the contact information on the site where your content has been published. To start with, we have found it's always best to assume there has been a misunderstanding, and to remain polite and professional. Consider asking asking them to explain to you why they have published your work without paying for it, and give them options to rectify the situation. You can choose which options you want to give them. These options can include removing the content entirely from their site, compensating you for the content, or crediting you as the author on their website.
    • If the client does not respond and agree to rectify the unauthorized use of your work, you can send a Cease and Desist message to them, which is basically a formal letter stating that they must rectify it or further action will be taken. Templates of Cease and Desist letters can be found online.
    • If, after a reasonable amount of time, actions have not been taken to make proper amends, consider contacting the client's supervisor, web host, and/or ISP. If the content is hosted by a 3rd party website, you can contact that website and give them the URL of the content you are claiming was stolen, and explain that you own this content and that it was published without your permission, and request that they take it down.
    • Consider contacting search engines to request that they take down your copyrighted material. You can learn more about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and get instructions for filing requests at Google and Yahoo!
    • If all else fails, consider hiring a copyright attorney

    What NOT to do:

    • Try not to lose your cool. Remain polite and professional and assume this is all the result of a mistake. If this doesn't work, you can rachet things up later, or ultimately let your attorney do it for you.
    • Don't resort to posting negative things about the client on their website, on social media pages, or anywhere else out on the web. Even if you're in the right, this may be used against you by the client later and could end up causing you headaches in the future.
    • Don't delete anything. Save records of your work, its misuse, and all communication with the client, with screenshots and timestamps if possible.

    Content Ownership

    Do I retain ownership of the content I write?

    Writers only retain ownership of content that is rejected by clients.

    If your content gets rejected, it is returned to you in your Declined folder. You have full exclusive rights to it and the client cannot use it or have access to it. You own your content completely until someone pays you for it.

    Content that is accepted and/or paid for by a client becomes the property of that client. You no longer own it and cannot use it in any way.

    If my content passes CopyScape, is that good enough?

    Not necessarily. CopyScape will detect exact matches but may not see that the content as a whole is too close to the source, or inspiration article(s) that you used for research. So, your content may pass the scan, but the client may still have an issue with it.

    Buyers want 100% original content. Occasionally, a client will see too many similarities between a writer’s work and content that is already published. If your content passes CopyScape, but the client is stating that you plagiarized, then most likely you have submitted a rewrite.

    A rewrite is a piece of content that is not sufficiently unique from the inspiration or research article(s). It is the same content, rewritten to be unique enough to pass CopyScape but not unique enough to be considered 100% original. If you have simply rehashed the content, then manipulated it enough to pass CopyScape, you have created a rewrite.

    A rewrite is not technically plagiarism. However, it is not an acceptable practice, and if a client brings this to our attention the writer will be warned. If the writer continues this practice their account will be terminated.

    Plagiarism:

    Interact Media has a zero-tolerance policy regarding plagiarism. All reports of plagiarism are investigated, and any writer in the Zerys network who is found guilty will have his or her account terminated immediately.

    Self-Plagiarism:

    Self-plagiarism is the practice of creating and submitting the same content from job to job. If you write content for one title that is significantly similar and/or the same as content that you write for another job, you have self-plagiarized.

    Interact Media has a zero-tolerance policy regarding self-plagiarism. Any writer found to be self-plagiarizing will have his/her account terminated immediately.

    Right to Terminate

    Can my account be terminated?

    Interact Media reserves the right to terminate any writer account for reasons including, but not limited to:

    • reports of plagiarism or self-plagiarism
    • rude or inappropriate communications with clients or Support
    • account fraud
    • client solicitation
    • any violation of the Service Provider Terms of Service, Writer Terms of Service, or Editor Terms of Service

    Account termination may occur without warning, and without regard for work that you have pending in the system. This means that any unapproved work in progress at the time of termination will not be paid. We strongly recommend that Service Providers in the network read the Writer Agreement and this FAQ before taking on jobs. Once an account is terminated by Interact Media, the writer may not sign up again.

    Writers have the right to terminate their own accounts at any time, for any reason.