Why You Should Spend More Than $1 On Content

by TheMadHat on July 29, 2008

Has anyone noticed that all my posts lately are filed under the retarded category? Well that’s because you are. So Sugarrae Fanboy and I were sitting around not seeing any twits from Rae so we had to find something else to do. Our plan? An actual SEO post. Well sort of. Streko drunkenly stumbled upon TextBroker.com. We had not heard of this network of so called quality writers before so we checked it out and exclaimed “Jesus on a pogo stick, we get a free trial!”Polygamy Rules

Here is the summary of their “product”:

Quality Level – Price per 100 Words
2 – good – $1.00
3 – very good – $1.40
4 – excellent – $2.00
5 – professional – $6.70

Okay, I don’t know why there isn’t a “1 – mediocre” but that’s a non-issue. I clicked on their “sample article” for each level of service, and found typos and errors in all of them, which obviously didn’t give them any points. But whatever. Can’t pass up on free content. Free beer is actually more preferable, but free content is fun too.

So Streko went out and recruited Melanie Phung from All About Content, Sugarrae who is too busy to play juvenile games with us and probably has a restraining order against Streko by now anyway, and SEOHack who probably got drunk before he could submit because I’m a terrible role model. In other words, we did three submissions. I did SEO just to keep this somewhat on topic. Here is what I got back (in less that 12 hours, so quick turnaround):

The Basics Of Search Engine Optimization

In order to be pulled up on the internet you have to be found and that is the basic idea of search engine optimization. What you are trying to do is get to the top of the list of other similar items on the net so that your article will be seen first when someone is searching for the topic that you have written about.

In order to get the most out of the search engine optimization you need to use a lot of keywords that other people will be searching for. When you understand keywords you will use them in your article several times so that it will pull when people are typing it into the search engine. Be sure that you use common keywords that people will be searching for when they are on the net. You don’t want to use a lot of fancier words. Most people search for simple items and use normal every day words. Doing this will help you to get pulled quicker when people are searching on the net.

The basics of search engine optimization are easy. As you learn more and more about the basics of search engine optimization your articles or websites will quickly become more accessible to more and more surfers.

Fuckin-A we have the secret. “You don’t want to use a lot of fancier words.” because “doing this will help you to get pulled quicker…”. Okay, we knew this one would suck ass anyway, so Streko comes up with a good topic.

How to Ask Your Wife If She Would Be Interested in Polygamy

While polygamy may be frowned upon by most people who are unfamiliar with the lifestyle, it can actually offer many benefits for those who choose to practice it. If you are a married man who is interested in joining this lifestyle, but are unsure how to talk to your wife about it, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Tell her about the benefits of a polygamist lifestyle – This lifestyle has many benefits, the most important of which is that it is very family and community oriented. If you live in a polygamist community, your children are likely to grow up in a sheltered environment and avoid many of society’s ills.

2. Visit a polygamist family – If you know someone in the lifestyle, take your wife for a visit so that she can see a polygamist family in their day-to-day settings. This will help show her that it is truly about family, not just about sex.

3. Ask her why she has reservations – Listening to her side is probably the best thing you can do, plus you can counter each one of her negatives with a positive benefit. With a woman, talking is always one of the best solutions to any problem.

4. Know your wife’s personality – The type of woman who may be willing to join this type of lifestyle is one who is very family oriented and has a submissive streak. If your wife prefers to drop the kids off with her parents and is very opinionated and not afraid to show it, then this might be a tough sell for you.

Hey, did you know that “With a woman, talking is always one of the best solutions to any problem.” First of all, I thought for sure this wouldn’t get approved because it’s against the law and a little creepy, but I guess whatever floats your boat. Be sure that your wife is “very family oriented and has a submissive streak” though. Melanie was next:

How to arrange a funeral at sea

If someone that you know has passed away and you know that they desired a funeral at sea, don’t worry you will be able to make arrangements and have their wishes completed. There are various charters and boats that will arrange the details for you. You can search on the internet to find the ones that you can afford. Burials at sea vary in prices, so be sure to take a look at the different packages that are offered. You want to find one that will fit your budget.

If you cannot afford to purchase the complete service at sea, then you might want to enlist a boat to take you out for a couple of hours just to throw the ashes. This can be somewhat less expensive and you will still be accomplishing the deceased’s wishes.

When you need to find out answers quickly, you might want to travel to the area that they wished to be buried at sea. There you can contact the Visitor’s Center and have them set up the arrangements for a burial at sea. They will know who to contact and how to make arrangements for the service. Be sure that you have the money to cover the cost of the service.

Hmmmmm. “…enlist a boat to take you out for a couple of hours just to throw the ashes.” I don’t know about the laws on that one but at least give me something from the evil Wikipedia. Wait, does anyone have a Polygamy Knol yet? SEOHack had the best topic, but it wasn’t going to get through anyway. “2 Girls 1 Cup Poop Porn”.

Summary: Not worth a shit for actual content. However, that being said we can certainly use this for some nefarious things. It’s scanned for copyright violations so it’s original content. It’s perfect for creating multiple versions of each and getting a Datapresser account and creating a bunch of madlib scripts for the network of blogs that you own.

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SEO Hack July 29, 2008 at 11:40 am

i washn’t drunk. i’m justa little buzzed. where’s my pants? you fucking took my pants, didn’t you?

holy shit, i can’t believe that that copy is that good. the bit on polygamy had some really good advice.

TheMadHat July 29, 2008 at 11:55 am

Dammit, quit leaving your pants at my house. Next time I’ll hang them on the “flag pole”

Melanie Phung July 29, 2008 at 1:13 pm

I thought the polygamy one was pretty good, especially considering it cost spare change to produce. It even has a numbered list — dude, that’s the mark of a totally Digg-able post right there :)

Given that the writer earned about $2 (or less) for this article, it should be no wonder that they are so price conscious – notice how obsessive they were about keeping the funeral on the cheap?

TheMadHat July 29, 2008 at 2:05 pm

The polygamy one was the best of the three, albeit a little disturbing. I’m going to use it for some “blogs that people don’t actually read”

Jan Becker (Textbroker.com) July 30, 2008 at 5:38 am

Hello everyone,

First off, I would like to say that though this was a tough week, I was delighted reading your contribution. “MadHat” you have an exquisite writing style – keep it up.

Concerning your criticism:
You requested lower level content, and that is what you got. I went ahead and posted “How to arrange a funeral at sea” as a higher level OpenOrder. Authors of the 4th and 5th level are more qualified and better paid, and thus invest more time and effort in research and phrasing.

If you recall, this was your somewhat short description of the order:
Would like a tasteful article about how to prepare a last-minute funeral for someone who wanted a burial at sea.

I received the following after 4 hours:

How to Arrange a Funeral at Sea
By Chris Williams

In order to arrange a funeral at sea, you must do some planning in advance in order to insure everything runs smoothly. For example, not every port may offer or allow burial at sea services. When you and your family have chosen an area that you would like to use, contact crematories and funeral homes in the area in order to have them assist you with all of the arrangements, which may require permits. Make sure you properly inform the EPA. They have requirements you must meet, and they will expect to be provided with all pertinent information within 30 days before the burial at sea. They need to know the date and location of the burial, the deceased family members name, the name of the port from which the ship departed as well as the name of the ship.

Next, you will need to decide whether or not there will be a large number of guests. If you plan on having a fairly large group, the company will probably offer refreshments. If not many people plan on attending the funeral, you will only be required to provide a sea captain who will preside over a short ceremony. A good idea when planning for flower arrangements is to make sure they are freshly cut and that the wreaths are biodegradable as they will most likely be tossed into the sea. Make sure to find out about the additional services that are offered by companies. Certain companies will provide you with a re-visiting service which allows family members to visit the specific site at which the burial at sea took place. They may also offer an aerial delivery service for
you to the burial site. Finally, inquire about what military programs are available to you. For example, the Navy will cremate and bury at sea any of its personnel if requested.

I posted the content in your ******-account. And remember, if you don’t like an article and wish to have it corrected, you always have the option to send it back to the author for revision.

Of course I am fully aware that you are not interested in a serious test with a positive outcome – criticism is always more humorous and fun to write.

But thanks for your contribution. We always welcome criticism – it keeps one on his toes.

Take care,
Jan Becker

TheMadHat July 30, 2008 at 10:09 am


Hold yer horses…I didn’t say it was all bad, and you’re right, we only requested level 2 articles. “Serious” tests I generally keep to myself.

As you demonstrated above, the quality of writing improves at the level 4 and 5 prices, which pretty much emphasizes my title that you should spend more than $1.

If you read to the bottom, I mentioned what I thought it would be useful for at the $1 level, and I plan on using it that way. I wouldn’t use it for my main properties, but that’s my opinion.

You’ll also see, Melanie (who was the one that submitted the burial article) said “I thought the polygamy one was pretty good”.

I’d say the fact that I’ll use it in some form and a positive remark from a contributor to this piece, makes it a rather good review. Maybe I just make it sound negative. I am a bit cynical and only slightly insane.


Streko July 30, 2008 at 10:14 am


We were having a little fun with the service, in all honesty you should be thanking MadHat a bunch, you now have a nice inlink to your site off this blog & more then likely it will give you more business.

I am actually voting that you make MadHat your official mascot.

Melanie Phung July 30, 2008 at 10:24 am

Hi Jan -

You’re right, it’s always way more entertaining to poke fun of something than to give it a glowing review, and I didn’t post my original reaction to the copy which was: while the content is fluffy, that is to be expected – people who aren’t subject matter experts aren’t going to be able to write in-depth copy without doing more research than one would expect of a service like this; but I’m surprised at how decent the writing quality is compared to what I expected. I’ve seen a lot poorer quality writing that cost more money.

Now, is this a service I’d use for ghostwriting my own blog? No. But I might recommend it to someone who is looking to create a lot of filler copy quickly.


TheMadHat July 30, 2008 at 10:29 am

@Streko – SEOHack’s pants are the official mascot already.

Jan Becker (Textbroker.com) August 1, 2008 at 12:34 am

Hello guys,

I am sorry if my comment was rather ambiguous. I do absolutely respect the style of your blog and I like it very much.
I simply wanted to prove that we can do much better… and I absolutely understand what you were trying to say.

In fact, I was sad that Sugarrae was not able to attend your “test”. I took a flight here from Germany to Vegas to visit the “Content Creation – Cranking it Out” session at last year’s Pubcon where she was one of the speakers. She truly inspired me and gave us great ‘suggestions’ about how to adapt Textbroker to the needs of U.S. customers, and English speaking customers in general.

So, thank you for your honest feedback and your comments. I sincerely appreciate them.

Best wishes,


rishil August 4, 2008 at 8:38 am

I think this was actually quite funny, but saying that – I do see some seriously useful ways in which to use such low level copy. As melanie says – the polygay one would actually do quite well on digg (albeit with a few alterations).

@Jan – although this was done in Jest, I dont think there was much harm to it, given the style of Madhats blog – infact you may actually pick up quite a few people from the aftermath – (me included)….

Dr. Pete August 4, 2008 at 11:07 am

I don’t know… that SEO article would’ve been brilliant in 1999 ;)

rishil August 7, 2008 at 9:05 am

So I went and tried the service – luckily there was a $5 credit – awesome. Chose the 4* service. Provided a Link to info that I like on another site.

Actually thought will get rewritten content – but was quite suprised – it was pretty different, and actually more coherent than the original site.

The info was medical in nature (description of a surgery), and passed quality check by two surgeons. I think thats a pretty good result for a first try. Wonder if they provide discounts for bulk work….

TheMadHat August 7, 2008 at 9:24 am

@rishil yea two out of the three level 2 articles were decent enough for some spam. We didn’t try any others, but the TextBroker person resubmitted ours at level 4 and it was pretty good. Still not sure if I’d use them on my own business sites (unless it was a mass content play or something).

Not sure on the bulk disounts, if you email me I’ll pass along the contact info for Jan if you’d like.

Soft Air Torino October 31, 2008 at 8:56 am

Hi, nice site!


BarkTop November 4, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Haha next time I would at least use the Level 4. Level 5 may sound a little high priced, but if you’re not willing to write it yourself, you may wish to pay it. You get what you pay for, $1 barely buys a candy bar these days ;)

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