Ultius is a company that employs a large team of freelance writers to create high quality content on demand. Clients can pay for different levels of quality based on an academic scale, from high school to doctoral.
Compared to many other content creation platforms, Ultius puts a greater emphasis on academic and technical writing. Consequently, they charge slightly higher rates than some other companies, and that allows them to provide better-than-average compensation to their writers.
Ultius appears to be open to US residents, although they are not able to accept writers from CA, NY, or MA.
Working for Ultius
In a lot of ways, this company seems to be similar to Textbroker. Clients submit orders through the site, and members of the writing staff are able to claim the orders that interest them most. Some jobs pay more than others depending on the client's requested skill-level, and the amount of urgency.
Ultius has a messaging feature that makes it easy for writers to communicate directly with clients to get clarification, which can be really helpful for difficult and complex orders. Clients are also able to submit revision requests before accepting a finished piece of work.
From what I could gather during my research, writers are initially limited to a smaller pool of low-paying orders. Ultius expects you to finish a minimum number of these beginner articles before they give you access to the higher paying orders that are apparently much more varied and numerous.
It seems that the magic number for getting access to the better jobs is 20 orders, or at least it was in the fairly recent past. Trying to build up 20 finished articles when you have to choose from a very small pool can be fairly difficult apparently, but once you gain access to the rest of the orders, it sounds like there's plenty of variety, and many of the articles are quite enjoyable to write.
According to current and former employees, the overall quantity of work on Ultius changes periodically. Sometimes there are tons of jobs to pick from. Other times, the pickings are extremely slim. This is a common issue with most content creation sites, and it's one of the main reasons freelancers like to have access to lots of different marketplaces. If work dries up in one place, you move to another.
A lot of the work on Ultius involves writing academic papers. This kind of work is fairly technical and requires significant research, which is usually the most time-consuming part of any writing job. Fortunately, Ultius gives you the flexibility to pick the orders you find most interesting, which means you can reduce research time to a great extent by focusing on subjects where you already have a lot of knowledge.
Ultius Pay Rate
They pay by the page with different compensation amounts based mostly on the quality level selected by the client.
The lowest paying jobs are in the Freelance Queue, and they average between $7.50 and $13.00 a page. Jobs in the Urgency Queue pay $12.00 to $19.00 per page, and the Graduate Queue, which is technically the highest tier, offers compensation averaging between $11.00 and $22.00 per page.
Ultius pays out twice a month, and payments are delivered exclusively via Paypal.
Scheduling with Ultius
You can work as much or as little as you want, but to make the best of things you'll have to take advantage of the times when there are a lot of jobs available.
Requirements to Apply at Ultius
You need to be a native English speaker with academic research and formatting skills.
They have a strong preference for candidates who already have a four year college education, and they also like students currently enrolled in college, but neither of these are actually mandatory.
Tech Requirements For Ultius Writers
Applicants will need Microsoft Office suite, a modern computer with good internet access, a Paypal account, and a mobile phone.
Ultius Application Process
If you want to work for Ultius, the first step is to navigate to their website and send them a CV or a resume, along with a cover letter. If they're interested they'll get back with you, and ask you to write them a sample paper. The paper is strictly to assess your writing skill — you don't get paid for it, and they won't try to make any money from it. If they like your sample, you're hired. There is no interview process or anything else to worry about.
Feedback On Ultius
I used Glassdoor to find opinions from current and former Ultius freelance writers. Overall, the company gets pretty high marks. Because of the focus on academic papers, there are all sorts of very interesting subjects to research and write about. Most writers seem very happy with the pay rate, and there were only a handful of negative comments regarding issues with the management.
The most common complaints I saw were ethical concerns. Apparently a large percentage of the jobs on this site are coming from college students who want someone else to write their papers for them. Many Ultius freelancers understandably have mixed feelings about getting paid to do other people's homework.
Another problem that was brought up repeatedly in the review comments was a lack of clarity in the writing assignments. Since the clients are mostly students who may not really know much about the subjects themselves, they might give you bad instructions, and then ask for revisions later when they realize they got something wrong in their initial request. This means you'll have to do extra work sometimes even if you follow the directions perfectly, which I'm sure can be pretty irksome.
How to Get Started Writing For Ultius
If you like the sound of everything above, and want to give Ultius a try, go here to read more about the job and put in your application.
Want to Go Into Business For Yourself?
This is the most profitable route to take as a freelance writer. You can get your own clients and set your own rates, which you cannot really do with Ultius or other content sites. A six-figure income is not outside the realm of possibility when you're running your own business.
Not sure what sort of writing you'd specialize in if you worked for yourself? I recommend grabbing a copy of Gina Horkey's FREE list of 200+ writing niches to consider!
She's also written an incredibly detailed guide on working for yourself as a freelance writer if you're interested in getting a lot more information on how to go about starting your own freelance writing business.