I’ve been doing freelance work on the oDesk platform for a touch over a year now and occasionally get bored with programming and like to switch what I do for a short while. Media Piston has filled this bill as of late and this post details my experience so far with the writing platform which is now a part of the oDesk corporation.

earnings from mediapiston so far

Signup

To get started you can either connect your existing oDesk account to MediaPiston or you can signup for a standalone MediaPiston account. MediaPiston allows you to be a buyer and a seller with a single account.

Signup is quick and simple and fleshing out your profile is pretty simple, too. Be sure to put in any relevant experience you can think of and links to live writing samples.

Bidding Jobs

Until you’ve been assigned a quality rating you can only have 5 jobs in progress at a time. In order to get a quality rating you need to have 10 writing assignments with ratings. As you progress in levels on the MP system you gain access to better assignments with more pay and bonus opportunities. From my experience it takes quite a while to get enough ratings to be assigned a QA score and gain access to more and better jobs.

Workflow

The workflow on MP is pretty simple and involves 8 steps.

  1. Click on the “Find Work” link in the main navigation at the top of the page.
  2. Find a job that either covers a topic of interest or that pays your target rate.
  3. Read the overview and if it’s an assignment of interest access the job.
  4. Write the content as per the requirements given by the poster and paste it into the content area. If your text meets the word count requirements the “Submit” button will become enabled.
  5. Submit the text.
  6. A editor will review your text to ensure that it hasn’t been plagiarized, that the text meets the client’s target word count, and contains no syntax errors or spelling mistakes.
  7. Once the editor gives your text the OK it’ll be passed along for the client to review.
  8. If the content is accepted by the client you’ll see a credit in your account for the job amount plus any bonuses that you may have earned. If the client has a problem with what you’ve produced it’ll be sent back to you for edits.

In order to earn the most you’ll need to make sure that you submit the content in the given timeframe, minimize the need for editing, and when edits are requested complete them quickly.

Earning Potential

Compared to other writing platforms that I’ve looked at such as TextBroker MediaPiston provides quicker payments and and easier-to-use interface. I also really like their twice-weekly payments and their responsive support team.

Until you get past the 5 simultaneous job limit and obtain a quality score you’re earnings will be limited. Low-level writers only have access to low paying jobs and to limited quantities of jobs. At the beginning you’ll have access to mostly 50-100 word jobs that pay $0.78-1.50; some will have small bonuses upon completion.

If you can stick with the platform long enough to build up a solid reputation there’s potential to make some decent coin; however, if you’re impatient this isn’t the site for you.

Overall

If you are patient and persistent enough to get to the higher levels on MP you’ll be able to earn a decent amount each week. The initial limit of 5 simultaneous assignments can be a major bummer. Also, from my experience clients that post lower-paying assignments take until the very last minute to approve jobs and don’t leave feedback. The MP staff has been responsive in addressing this no-feedback issue and has encouraged past clients of mine to leave feedback on future jobs.

If you’re a budding writer and need some spare cash be sure to signup for MP and give it a shot; but don’t expect it to pay the bills until you’ve established yourself as a solid provider on the platform.