Crowd Content Reviews
This page includes CrowdContent.com's reviews of users as well as an official review by ContentHeat in which we carefully analyze and write out our experience.
Crowd Content — who are they?
When we decided to check out Crowd Content and review their services, our first stop was their website. Professional looking and pleasing to the eye, it’s deceptively easy to navigate. However, the information they provide is far from satisfactory. Let’s start at the top — the About Us page.
If you’re wondering how long Crowd Content has been around — so are we. We have to say, their About Us page leaves a lot to be desired. At no point do they say how long they’ve been in the content writing game, or how they got started.
They mostly toot their own horn and talk about how they improved the content writing process. At no point do they say when they’ve started doing it and how many years of experience they have. Therefore, not a great start for us, as this doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
After some digging and visiting their Contact Us page, we finally found the location of the elusive Crowd Content. They are based in Canada, and their main office is in Victoria, BC.
Furthermore, on the About Us page, the only person mentioned is the CEO Clayton Lainsbury. However, there is an option to “meet the team.” But if you’re looking to see who would potentially write your content, you won’t find that info here. The “Team” consists of higher up management, and you can see the pictures of managers and directors — not one writer in sight at this point.
A slow start — testimonials
Now, because we love to dig deep, we took a stroll through the entire website and found some interesting things. For example, Ring Partner speaks very highly of them. That was very reassuring because, as you know, customer testimonials speak volumes of any business.
However, our delight was short-lived. This appears to be the only testimonial on site. What’s more, the same testimony appears throughout the entire website, and you can see the same person, the CEO of Ring Partner, singing praises to Crowd Content on multiple pages.
Social media presence
Since this testimonial was not satisfactory and we didn’t want to take it at face value, we headed to their social media. Our Crowd Content review revealed that they have a social media presence. They have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and even a YouTube channel. It seems their Twitter feed is where they are most active. However, they don’t interact with users that much. They mostly post articles from their blog and an occasional meme or two.
Facebook was where we struck gold when it comes to user reviews. On their Facebook page, their users rated them 2.9 out of 5. We browsed through the customers’ comments and posts to see what the real client satisfaction level was. Although there weren’t many posts, we did find a couple of users who were dissatisfied with the service they had received.
We have to say that each disgruntled user got a very professional response from the social account manager of Crowd Content. However, that being said, they haven’t actually helped any of them. The comments usually redirect the users to the customer support, but when the users replied that the customer support was unresponsive or not helpful at all, guess what? They received no answer. Even when another user chimed in, saying they have had the same problem, the Crowd Content remained silent.
Overall, things are not looking great so far. However, we decided to keep going because — well, you can’t really trust a couple of angry people on Facebook now, can you? We had to conduct our own Crowd Content review.
Back to the website
After our short visit to the land of social media, we are back at digging through the Crowd Content website. Next stop — samples.
Here’s the thing, when you are in the content marketing game, you need to provide people with at least a taste of what’s to come. Providing samples is just common sense. Crowd Content seems to disagree, given that there are no samples on their website whatsoever.
However, they do try to inspire confidence by displaying the logos of big companies they’ve worked with — HomeAdvisor, Wordpress, RetailMeNot, etc.
Crowd Content does have a blog, though, that we’ve mentioned already. So if you’re feeling generous, you could say they do provide samples of their writing in that form. However, there’s no guarantee that the content they provide for you will be as well-written as their blog posts. Furthermore, you don’t actually know who wrote the blog posts and if the writing process was the same as it is with regular orders for the customers.
Who are the writers?
A while ago, during our Crowd Content review, on the About Us page, we’ve read that they have over 2000 writers. Therefore, we wanted to see if we could find out anything about them at this point. We found out, on another page, that there are in fact 5000 of them. This means that either Crowd Content can’t get their stories straight, or they need to update their About Us page.
Most of their writers are from the US, which is weird, given that the company is located in Canada. They also state that they have a network of writers based in Canada, Australia, and England. Yes, it actually says “England” — we’re guessing they meant to say the UK but went with the wrong, colloquial term and named one state while talking about the entire country. However, we do leave room for doubt. Maybe they really have writers based only in England.
Either way, the claim was that they only employ writers that are native English speakers. We’ll test that claim later on.
Overall impression of the website
Overall, the entire website is aesthetically pleasing. It has a nice layout and an attractive design.
However, upon further inspection, we found a grammar error on one of their pages. Now, this really lowers the level of professionalism. On the page where people can apply to write for the Crowd Content Team, the statement is as follows: “Anyone who can write well and who is willing learn from feedback can make money on our freelance writing platform.”
Have you noticed that a preposition is missing? Proofread your own website content, people!
Now, this would dissuade most people from ordering, but let’s give them a chance and see what they can do. Here’s our detailed Crowd Content review.
The registration process
Right off the bat, we can say that registration is easy and straightforward. All you need is a name, an email address, and a password. After you put those details in, you’ll be redirected to a page that requires a bit more information. Standard information is needed — last name, a phone number, address, etc.
While you’re signing in, you can see pertinent information on the left side panel. For example, while welcoming you as their customer, Crowd Content guarantees that you can request as many revisions as you like. Furthermore, you can also get your money back if you’re not satisfied with the content. These are all good signs — provided that they are actually true.
The sign-up process has one nice additional touch. The last question on the first sign up page is “How did you find us?”
This leaves a good impression, at least on us, and talks of their commitment to marketing — they are interested to see which marketing efforts paid off and which didn’t.
However, again, our bliss was short-lived, because we could see the next three steps of the ordering process. After submitting your account info, you needed to add funds to your account before you could place an order. This sounds reasonable, of course. However, it also poses a potential problem.
What happens if you add more funds than necessary? Well, according to one user on Facebook, you’ll wait quite a while before they refund you that excess money. This means that, if you’re not a patient person, you better know straight away how much your entire order is going to cost you. Otherwise, your money might get stuck on your account.
This is a potential problem for first-time customers like us, who are unsure if they will be ordering more than one piece of content.
However, the entire process of creating an account and adding funds is really fast. In a couple of minutes, you’ll get a confirmation email, and you can create your order.
Crowd Content gives you the option to add funds via PayPal or pay directly with your credit card on their website. However, it’s interesting to see that this information isn’t included anywhere on their website, not even in their Terms of Service.
It would have been better if this information was available to the users before they actually went to deposit funds and pay for their order.
What happens if you get stuck — customer support
Sometimes, things go wrong. When they do, Crowd Content has a couple of options you can turn to. They have a number listed that you can call during their office hours. They also have a LiveChat. However, the chat isn’t live 24/7, but you do have the option to leave a message for the Crowd Content team.
Therefore, users who don’t live in North America might have a problem getting in touch with the customer support straight away. You might have to wait a while for their response. This poses a particular problem if you run into issues during your registration, for example.
The revision and refund policy
While we’re on the subject of things going wrong, let’s discuss the revision policy Crowd Content has in place. Sometimes, the content you receive doesn’t meet your expectations, and thus, you’d like some parts redone. Crowd Content offers an unlimited number of revisions. However, you only have three days to review your content and request changes to be made.
The good news is that the writers have a 24-hour window to complete your revision request. If they don’t, you are eligible for a refund.
When the three days are up, Crowd Content will ask you to accept or reject the order. You can reject the order only if you’ve previously requested at least one revision. If you reject the order, your money will be refunded to you.
However, although they say that you can reject the content at any point after one revision, that isn’t exactly true. The fine print says that you can get your money back only if the admin that reviews your refund request approves it. Rejections are approved if:
- the writer failed to follow the instructions
- the quality of the content didn’t meet the expectations
This leaves a lot of room for admins to reject your rejection, so to speak.
If you’re having troubles with the review process, Crowd Content has a helpful video where they explain what you should do if you want to accept the content or request a revision. This is a great bonus, but unfortunately, they don’t have videos that explain every step of the ordering process. However, it’s still a nice touch.
Who’s writing your content — Crowd Content writers
Crowd Content claims that their selection process is rigorous and that they only accept the top 15% of applicants for their writing team. However, given that there are around 5000 writers on their team, we find this very hard to believe.
What’s more, they claim that your order will be picked up within minutes. This is true, and it’s also a testimonial to a surely massive writing team. Therefore, the “strict selection” isn’t that believable.
We’ve already mentioned that you could only “meet” the upper management of Crowd Content on their website. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t know who’s working on your order.
Once you place your order, a writer will pick it up. However, the skill of the writer depends on the level of expertise you’ve selected and are willing to pay for. Crowd Content offers four different payment plans:
1 star — entry-level writer
2 stars — freelance writer
3 stars — professional writer
4 stars — expert writer
Therefore, whatever option you chose determines the skill level of the writer that picks up your order. However, Crowd content doesn’t rate their writers — the clients do. Every writer has visible statistics on their profile. This is a nice touch, as it allows you a glimpse into their expertise and past work.
For our order, we went for a 3-star writer. Once a writer picked up our order, we could see the statistics that are indeed very detailed. Although Crowd Content leaves a lot to be desired in terms of their website information, this is an excellent feature and a great surprise.
The statistics for each writer include the number of completed orders and words written, writing speed, and all orders that the writer in question is currently working on. Furthermore, ratings from previous clients are also included. You can see how each writer was rated for certain topics — marketing, technology, etc. Another nice bonus is that you can see the full name of your writer, as well as their picture.
A significant part of customer support is the option to talk to the writer who picked up your order directly. We took advantage of that option immediately. However, even though the writer assigned to us had great statistics, our conversation left us a bit disappointed.
When we contacted the writer, she was very friendly and accommodating. However, her language didn’t exactly inspire confidence. Even though Crowd Content claims all their writers are native, we strongly suspect that isn’t the case. Our conversation started with: “I am ready build a strong working relationship with you.” Now, we thought that might just be a typo or a mistake made due to speed, so we inquired further. When asked about the TAT, our writer replied: “Will deliver in one day, will you be comfortable?”
As you can see, our confidence deflated rather quickly after that. However, on the plus side, our writer promised a one day TAT — and delivered before the deadline.
Pricing and types of content
As mentioned, there are four different star ratings. Each of them has a different price. Therefore, the quality depends on the amount of money you are willing to invest in your content.
For regular orders, that include Blog Posts, Website Content, eBooks, Press Releases, White Papers, and Newsletters, the prices are:
1 star — entry-level writer — 2.2 cents per word
2 stars — freelance writer — 3.5 cents per word
3 stars — professional writer — 8 cents per word
4 stars — expert writer — 12 cents per word
Other orders that are considered non-standard include product descriptions, social media content, and metadata. The prices are:
Product descriptions — $1.75 and $2.75 per 50 words for a rewrite and $2.75 and $5.00 per 50 words for fresh content.
Social media posts — Tweets are $1.75 and $2.75 each, while Facebook posts are $2.25 and $3.25 each.
Metadata — $1.95 and $2.80 each.
When it comes to standard orders, you can place an order for any type of content at any rating. However, you can expect the quality to vary, based on the star rating you choose, of course.
Extra options and features of Crowd Content
While the service and the website information leave a lot to be desired, Crowd Content does offer a couple of extra features that might set them apart from their competitors. For example, they offer the option of sending the content to Wordpress or copy an HTML code. What’s more, they can also include images in the content they produce.
Now, let’s move on to further details about the order and the content we received.
WHAT WE ORDERED
For this test drive, we decided to go for the golden average. Therefore, we ordered a 1000-word 3-star order, at 8 cents per word. This rating guarantees diversified expertise of the writer and an error-free piece of content, allegedly.
Once we selected the rating we wanted, we were presented with a choice — self-serve content or enterprise content. We chose the self-serve option since we only needed one piece of content.
However, the enterprise option is excellent for those who are interested in ordering content on a regular basis. What’s more, there’s an option of scheduling a recurring order schedule. This is a great option if you need a great volume of orders but don’t want to place each of them individually.
The content we ordered had simple instructions. It needed to be 1000 words long, SEO-friendly, dense and informative. We also needed the entire piece to be easy to follow, and we advised the writer to use bullet points. We also requested that the writer included one keyword, which we provided.
The interesting thing here is that you have to pay extra for proofreading and editing. It costs 3 cents per word.
As mentioned, our writer confirmed the TAT — one day. However, we were warned that if the order has specific instructions, the TAT might not be as swift as one day. This is because we might wait a while before someone picks our order up.
However, you should keep in mind that Crowd Content has a bonus system in place that rewards swift writers. They offer bonuses for speedy writers. That’s great for them, but what does it mean for the user? Well, more often than not, speed and quality don’t go hand in hand. Therefore, there is a possibility that the writer will sacrifice the quality of the content to achieve the promised speed and to increase their writing speed average.
Since our order was straightforward, it was picked up immediately. However, the writer then dropped the order, and another writer picked it up. We have no idea why this happened, but it didn’t delay the process by much.
When we contacted our writer and had a quick, albeit grammatically incorrect, conversation with her. We looked over her statistics that we had already mentioned and noticed that she had a rating between 2.73 and 4.82. This variation in topics wasn’t exactly a concern, especially since the writer apparently excelled in writing for the marketing category, which was the category we needed.
WHAT WE RECEIVED
In terms of respecting their deadlines and the quality of the content, Crowd Content is a hit-or-miss type of company. We were delighted to have received word of quick turnaround time, and even happier when the material arrived on time.
However, that was where our delight came to an abrupt stop. After we received the content and inspected it, it seemed evident that it:
- was not written by a native speaker
- didn’t follow the instructions given
- was not error-free, as advertised
Here are our impressions of the content.
Overall quality of the content
At first glance, the article seemed fine. It was eye-catching, made good use of the white space, and had numbered sections that included bullet points, as requested. However, upon further inspection, it was clear that the writer was either in a hurry or was lacking some basic writing skills.
The intro and the conclusion were way too long, which left less room for actual information. Considering that we requested a dense and informative article, this was a big disappointment.
Furthermore, before we started dissecting the article, we checked it in Yoast. The results were, for lack of a better word — abysmal. We requested an SEO-friendly and optimized article. What we got was a lump of text that was in no way optimized for search engines.
The text scored 44.4 on the Flesch readability score — way under the recommended score of 60 or more. What’s more, the topic of the article was in no way technical or complicated. It was a simple marketing topic. Therefore, there was no excuse for a score as low as this one.
Furthermore, the sentence length was also off (which might explain the low readability score). Although we asked for an easy-to-read article, we got a text where almost 40% of the sentences had 20 or more words.
However, the coup d’etat was most certainly the passive voice score. Almost 22% of the sentences included passive voice — double the maximum recommended amount.
The only saving grace here was the keyword density, which was optimal, at 0.5%.
Overall, the positives were:
- the TAT was quick and respected
- keyword density was optimal
- the writer over-delivered — word count was 1100
The content advertised as “error-free” was all but that. The writer missed adding an “s” for a plural form of more than one word. However, while that could have been a typo, we also ran into some massive grammar errors.
For example, the writer didn’t seem to grasp the concept of articles, as sometimes they were missing, and at other times they were entirely unnecessary.
There were also quite a few punctuation errors in the form of missing commas and unnecessary semicolons. What’s more, some sentences were also missing entire words or phrases, thus making them meaningless.
Here’s an amazing combo of such a sentence, paired with a grammatically incorrect structure: “For the best results, seek the guidance of the best content marketing professionals who also a large portfolio of clients in your line of business.”
These were just some of the examples, which also lead us to our next point — sentence structure.
As mentioned, the sentences were long, hard to read and follow, and often grammatically incorrect. What’s more, a few of them had weird word choices.
“When evaluating results, it is imperative that the assessment be critical and honest because the content marketing strategy you develop and spend a lot of money on will be pegged on the assessment.” The phrase “pegged on” doesn’t fit well here, and we doubt a native speaker would have used it in this context.
The depth of research
The entire article seemed a bit hollow if we’re honest. A big portion of the content we received didn’t actually hold pertinent information. What’s more, the writer often left thoughts unfinished — “Content distribution is, in fact, one of the top three priorities of many experienced marketers.” This leaves readers with the question — what are the other two?
Overall, it seems the entire article was poorly researched. What’s more, a lot of unnecessary content was added to fill the void, so to say, and to pump up the word count. With that in mind, it’s no wonder the content was delivered in less than 24 hours.
Our Crowd Content review revealed that the article was original in the sense that it wasn’t plagiarised. It passed Copyscape with flying colors. However, there wasn’t one original or unique thought in the entire article. The writer didn’t even try to take a particular approach to the subject.
What’s more, the content was boring. There was no definitive style or anything that would bring the readers in and make them read the entire thing.
This entire article seemed like a never ending disappointment. Although we gave straightforward instructions that weren’t particular at all, the writer still failed to meet them. The only thing done right was including the keyword naturally in the text with sufficient density.
However, while that’s great, it doesn’t make the article SEO optimized. As mentioned, the Yoast results were a disaster, which is concerning, given that SEO was our primary request.
Furthermore, we also had an issue with formatting. The writer included subheadings but failed to format them properly. What’s more, only the subheadings were bolded in the entire text. The writer didn’t bring in any dynamic — the paragraphs were of adequate length but they looked uniform, and there were no bolded or italicized words.
Of course, one of the major points was that the article should have been informative and easy to read. It most certainly wasn’t.
Speed and quality of service
While the entire service was very swift, it wasn’t of superior quality. In fact, we would have rather waited a bit more for the content but received what was promised.
Value for money
Considering that we didn’t go with the cheapest option, the results were very discouraging. For 8 cents per word, we expected so much more. This was by no means the worst content we have ever seen, but we have definitely never paid more for such a drearily average piece of content.
Overall, our impression is that this service is definitely not worth the money. The article was useable, but it required heavy editing on our part. In fact, after we made the information in it denser, we ended up with a little more than 600 words. That means that we’ve paid for 400 words of useless drivel.
THE BOTTOM LINE
While reading this article proved to be a real exercise for our patience, we can’t say that Crowd Content isn’t redeemable. What’s more, we can’t say what their most expensive option looks like and therefore, can only judge the level of skill of 3-star writers. However, we don’t predict it would be so much better to justify such a high price.
Overall, Crowd Content doesn’t deliver on their promise of high-quality content, but they are punctual. However, there are a lot of other content writing services out there that deliver content just as average as Crowd Content does, but for a much lower price.
However, since you have the option to pick and choose writers after the first order, maybe you’ll strike gold and find a writer that really cherishes and hones their craft and who will deliver amazing content for you. It’s very likely that there is indeed someone like that among the 5000 writers that are employed at Crowd Content. Still, that search might take a while, and it will definitely blow a huge hole in your budget.
We are sure you guessed, based on our Crowd Content review that we will not be their repeat customers. But at least our experience can help you make an educated decision about whether this company is the right fit for you or not.
- Blog Posts
- City Pages
- Website Content
- Press Releases
- White Papers
- Fresh Product Descriptions
- Product Description Re-writes
- Social Media (Tweets and Facebook posts)
|Writer's Skill Level
|per 100 words
|Writer's Skill Level
|Re-write (per 50 words)
|Fresh (per 50 words)
|Writer's Skill Level
|per Facebook post
|Writer's Skill Level
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