Tips for Users

Getting Started

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Exciting Advertisements

It goes without saying, but no one wants to work on dull projects. When advertising for content, put some effort into highlighting the exciting or engaging aspects of the project. Also, clear and direct requirements will help ensure Writers deliver the content you want.

Set Expectations

Be sure to set explicit expectations. Word count, tone, style, format, timing, etc. should all be explicitly discussed with your Writers to make sure they understand your requirements and deliver to you the content you want.

Provide Feedback

Provide your Users direct, timely and honest feedback. Building strong working relationships with Writers will ensure that you receive the highest quality content over the long-term. Invest in those relationships with feedback to help Writers mold the content to your specific requirements.

Credit Risk

Because Content Runner does not employ the Writers, arbitrate disputes or otherwise guarantee the content exchanges through its marketplace, Writers bear the risk that they will not be paid for the content they generate.

Users are encouraged to address this credit risk to attract the highest caliber Writers to their projects. If you are new to Content Runner, you may not have established a reputation or direct Writer relationships. You can take steps to assure Writers that you will pay for the content they create:

  • Leverage your company's existing reputation.
  • Clearly articulate your expectations.
  • Ask to see a draft or outline first.
  • Invest in establishing a presence on Content Runner.
  • Start small, grow large - start with some smaller content projects to build a reputation for payment and to establish connections with Writers; don’t start off with a $1,000 project.
  • Develop and nurture relationships with your favorite Writers.
  • Pay more. A higher reward may attract Writers willing to take on more risk.

Writer Quality

If you are not happy with the quality of the Writers applying to work on your projects, there are a number of things that you can do:

  • Increase the rate you are willing to pay to attract higher caliber Writers. Peruse the other advertisements to ensure you are offering competitive rates.
  • Elaborate on your requirements. Writers may not fully understand what you are asking them to produce. Clarifying or expanding on your requirements may help Writers visualize a path to creating the content and reduce their risk of editorial re-work.
  • Review the Writer Directory to find Writers who appear to be suited to the task at-hand and communicate with them directly.
  • Consider adding flexibility to your time-frame or other variables. A more flexible request often results in a larger pool of Writer candidates.
  • Ask for referrals from Users and Writers that you respect. Good writing doesn't go unnoticed, and referrals may generate a great resource.


If a Writer has done an exceptional job on an article, be sure to give them a high star rating (4+) upon acceptance. Any article rated 4 or more stars will provide you the option to offer the Writer a Bonus. The minimum Bonus amount is $1.00. This is a great way to encourage your favorite Writers, to build Writer-client relationships, and to reward your Writers for going above and beyond.

Tips for Writers

Start Small

Start small with new Users. Don't agree to a $5,000 project with a User you have never worked with before. Try a $20 project and build trust over time.

Build a Reputation

As a Writer, your reputation is paramount. Be sure to invest in developing your reputation through your Content Runner profile. Upload writing samples, discuss your achievements and be honest about your experience and capabilities. Provide Users the information that they need to determine whether you are the Writer for the job.

Only commit to produce what you know you can deliver and then deliver.

Developing long-term User relationships will help to build other long-term User relationships. Referrals are a strong source of revenue, so investing in repeat customer satisfaction will generate long-term returns.

Be Explicit

Ensure that you fully understand the Users requirements (timing, tone, style, format, word count, etc.). If you are unsure or the User is unclear: clarify. Working without clarity will maximize the chance of editorial comments, poor customer satisfaction and refusal of payment.

Sell Yourself

When contacting Users about an assignment, practice good sales techniques. Be direct and concisely communicate why you are the Writer for the job. Offer to provide writing samples or other related work that will help the User make a sound decision (hopefully a sale for you).

Content Runner Basics

What is Content Runner?

Content Runner is an online marketplace specifically tailored to written content.

Content Runner’s goal is to establish an open marketplace that brings those in need of content together with those who generate content. Content Runner offers features and functionality to facilitate the creation and exchange of content.

How does Content Runner work?

People who want content created (“Users”) can contact the people that create the content (“Writers”) directly through our Writer Directory. Users and Writers negotiate the specifics (timing, style, tone, references, etc.) of the project and upon agreement, Users can assign the article to a Writer.

Alternatively, Users can create a “Pool” order and allow Writers to “Take” (assign themselves) an article request directly, without any initial engagement between the Writers and the Users. Content Runner recommends that both Users and Writers use this feature judiciously, to avoid miscommunications regarding the expectations of both parties (which may ultimately result in Writers not being paid for the content they deliver).

Content Runner does not arbitrate disputes unless it has been explicitly contracted to do so. Content Runner also does not guarantee payment to Writers until a User formally “accepts” the final product and marks the article request “complete” (a status that is displayed to Writers and Users) through the official Content Runner website mechanism.

Writers are not eligible for payment until the User formally marks the article request “complete” within Content Runner. While rare, a User may reject an article, which means that the User is not granted a license to use the copy and the Writer is not due payment for the Content that they created. Writers are free to license this copy without violating the Terms of Use. A User who rejects an article, but uses the copy is in direct violation of the Content Runner Terms of Use and United States' copyright laws. In the event this occurs, Content Runner may take action to revoke a User's account.

How does the money work?

Users load funds into a balance on Content Runner through PayPal or with a credit card through Stripe. At the point of order the cost of an article is deducted from the User's balance and held in escrow. Content Runner deducts its fee and holds the remaining funds in escrow until the User approves the release of funds to the Writers by accepting the article, marking it Complete. Users can send projects back to writers for revisions. After 3 rounds of revisions a User can reject a project and the money sitting in escrow will be returned to the Users's account.

Once an article is completed, the price of the article owed to the Writer is credited to the Writer's account. Payments are made to Writers on a weekly basis if a Writer has accrued $30 or more in their account. Payments to Writers with less than $30 accrued in their account are made every other week, regardless of the amount.

Writer payment takes place on Tuesdays. Accounts accrue payment up to the point of payment processing.


Does Content Runner charge a fee?

Yes. Content Runner charges a service fee on all transactions on the site, beginning at 15%. For instance, if a User requests an article for $20, Content Runner will collect $20 from the User and retain $3 as a fee ($20 x 15%). The remainder, $17, will be credited to the Writer’s account when the User formally “accepts” the article via the Content Runner platform.

The price of an article of content that is displayed on Content Runner is net of the 15% fee charged by Content Runner. In this example, $17 would be displayed.

The fee Content Runner charges may be less than 15% in some circumstances. See "Fee Scale" below.

What is the Fee Scale?

Content Runner takes a service fee on all transactions on the site. The service fee begins at 15%, but when a Writer works directly with a particular User frequently enough to earn $500 or more within a rolling 12-month period, Content Runner will reward that effort by reducing the fee we take on those transactions according to the Fee Scale, below.

Earnings Fee
Less than $500 15%
$500 – $999.99 14%
$1,000 – $1,999.99 13%
$2,000 – $3,999.99 12%
$4,000 – $7,999.99 11%
$8,000 – $14,999.99 10%
$15,000 – $29,999.99 9%
$30,000 – $59,999.99 8%
$60,000 or more 7%
How does the Fee Scale work?

Content Runner wants to encourage Writers and Users to build mutually beneficial professional relationships, so we designed our Fee Scale to reward Writers for working closely with individual Users. When a Writer works with one User frequently enough to earn $500 or more within 12 months, Content Runner will reduce the fee we take on transactions between the Writer and that User. All earnings count toward this total, including Bonuses, Offerings, and Projects.

Here are a couple of examples of how it works:

A Writer, Duchess, has been working with a User, SyntacticallySuperb, frequently over the last several months. The User has sent Duchess Direct Orders, Bonuses, and even ordered one of his Offerings. Duchess has written $884 worth of content for SyntacticallySuperb in the last 12 months, so Content Runner now takes a 14% fee. Once Duchess has earned $1,000 from SyntacticallySuperb, Duchess' fee will go down to just 13%. (See Fee Scale, above.)

Another Writer, PPoovey, has been working with SyntacticallySuperb for 14 months, and their relationship is excellent. PPoovey has earned $1,678 from SyntacticallySuperb, but only $450 in the last 12 months. PPoovey's fee with SyntacticallySuperb will stay at 15% until she earns another $50, bringing her total earnings with the User in the last 12 months up to $500.

When will I make it to the next lowest fee tier?

The Fee Scale takes into account all earnings between a Writer and a specific User within a rolling 12-month period. Writers, you can check on your progress towards the next lowest fee tier with a User from the Users tab in your Dashboard. You'll see a green progress bar that will tell you exactly how much more you'll need to earn before your fee will be reduced again.

Can Users see a Writer's current fee tier?

No. Only Writers will be able to see their fee rate, including their progress toward the next tier of the Fee Scale. Writers may disclose their fee to Users at their own discretion, but are never required to do so.

I picked up an article from a User right before I earned enough to make it to the next fee tier. What will the fee on this article be?

The fee Content Runner will charge on a given transaction is calculated at the time the content was picked up or the Direct Order was sent. Changes to the Writer's fee tier do not affect orders that are still in-process. The reduced fee will be applied to all future orders for as long as the Writer's rolling 12-month earnings are over the cutoff for the new fee tier.

Will a Writer's fee tier affect the price of their Offerings?

No. A Writer's position within the Fee Scale will not affect the price of their Offerings. Content Runner charges a 15% fee on all Offerings.

Is the price of an article net of Content Runner’s fee?

Yes. All prices displayed on the Content Runner site are net of Content Runner’s fee. These are the amounts that will be credited to a Writer’s account upon acceptance of the article by the User.


Who pays for payment processing?

Content Runner pays the payment processing expense (e.g. credit card fees) associated with collecting funds from the Users out of its service fee.

Does Content Runner guarantee payment to the Writers?

Payment to the Writers is entirely incumbent on the respective User accepting the Writer’s product (acceptance means that the article’s status is changed to “completed”).

Once an article is completed, payment to the Writers is guaranteed by Content Runner, under the terms of Writer payment, which are as follows:

Payments are made to Writers on a weekly basis if a Writer has accrued $30 or more in their account. Payments to Writers with less than $30 accrued in their account are made every other week.

Writer payment takes place on Tuesdays. Accounts accrue payment up to the point of payment processing.

How are Writers paid?

Payment is disbursed via PayPal. A Writer must have a PayPal account in order to pick up work on the site. Writers can change which PayPal account they'd like to receive payment to at any time by navigating to Billing and selecting PayPal from the tabs on the left. Writers will not be charged a fee for receiving payment to their PayPal account; all processing fees are taken from Content Runner's service fee.

How often are payments disbursed to Writers?

Writers who have accrued $30 or more in a week will be paid every Tuesday; otherwise payment will be disbursed every other Tuesday.

I'm having trouble receiving payment. What should I do?

Contact PayPal's customer service team.


Are Writers required to fill out a W-9?

Yes. Each Writer will be required to submit a W-9 tax form. If you have not already done so, please download the PDF and fill it out with the appropriate information. Do not forget to submit the form complete with your Social Security Number and your signature. Content Runner cannot accept a W-9 without both of these items included on the form.

Does Content Runner send out 1099 tax forms to its Writers?

Yes. Every Writer who does $400 of work on our site is required to submit a W9 form. If Content Runner doesn't receive a W9 prior to the Writer earning $600 (the IRS limit), the Writer is blocked from picking up any new work until a W9 is submitted. At the end of the tax year we mail out a 1099 to all Writers who have earned $600 or more on the site.

Restrictions and Liabilities

Is there a possibility that a Writer could write an article that would not be accepted by the User (and therefore, the Writer would not be paid)?

Yes, there is a possibility that a Writer’s article will not be accepted by a User. To date, the rate of rejection by Users is very low.

While Users are encouraged to communicate with Writers via revision notes when there are issues in an article and work collaboratively to resolve it, Users do reserve the right to deny an assignment. However, Users have no rights pertaining to the content until they have formally accepted the content via the Content Runner platform (at which point the Writer is due payment).

It is against Content Runner’s Terms of Use for a User to use (use meaning any of the following: publish, display, reproduce, distributed or create derivative works of the content) an article that has been denied or otherwise not accepted. Content Runner is not responsible for a User’s violation of the Terms of Use and does not assume fiduciary responsibility, or assume any other obligation, for the violation of the Terms of Use. Content Runner may take action to revoke a User’s account and agrees to provide reasonable support to Writers seeking legal remediation.

To avoid having an article rejected, the Writer should communicate all questions and concerns directly to the User. When sending a message to a User, be sure to include the article ID and title of the article you are concerned about.

Is written content the only content allowed on Content Runner?

Right now yes. Content Runner's focus is on providing a marketplace to bring people who need written content together with Writers. In the future Content Runner may expand to other forms of content: images, videos, logos, etc.

Can I hire Content Runner Writers with the purpose of circumventing Content Runner's transaction fees?

No. Users (and Writers) are prohibited from sharing, distributing, posting or disseminating personal or contact information with the express or implied intention to remove the exchange of and payment for Content and CR Services from the Site for any reason whatever, including for the purpose of exchanging, making or receiving payment outside the Site. In summary, Users may not distribute or solicit contact information in an attempt to poach Writers from Content Runner for private contracts outside of the Content Runner system. If Content Runner suspects that a writer and user have taken their relationship outside of Content Runner with the express intent of circumventing our fees, they will be subject to the following penalties:

Writers: The first offense will be a 1 month ban from Content Runner and the 2nd offense will be a permanent account suspension.

Users: Content Runner will collect the cost of each article + a penalty of $500 per article, including any legal fees incurred to collect such payments.

Do I have to create an account or provide personal information to use Content Runner?

Yes. Content Runner requires that both Users and Writers provide certain personal information, principally to support payment processing. All information is used solely for the purpose of supporting the content marketplace. Content Runner does not sell or market your personal information.

Specific information generally includes:

Users - Information necessary to enable charges to your credit card.

Writers - Information necessary to support payments for content delivered, which may include PayPal account information. We may require you to submit IRS form W-9. Additionally, for your profile to be available in our Writer Directory, we require a pre-approved, non-stock profile picture of yourself. Images depicting company logos, illustrations, or any picture that is not the Writer will not be approved.

Does Content Runner arbitrate disputes?

No. Content Runner does not arbitrate disputes. All disputes are settled between the User and the Writer, independent of Content Runner.

Assuming the liability to arbitrate disputes is costly; by removing a service that is rarely used, Content Runner is able to significantly lower its transaction fee.

Content Runner may, at times, offer arbitration services. These services involve a specific and explicit contract between Content Runner and the third-party (User or Writer). In absence of an explicit contract, no arbitration obligations or guarantees exist.

As a Writer, how many articles can I “Take” at once?

Users can set the global limit of “takes” by all Writers under “Settings” in their Dashboard. For example if a User sets their “take” limit to three per Writer, then any given Writer can only have three articles outstanding (any status other than “completed”) with that User at any point in time.

As the Writer completes articles for that User (i.e. the User “accepts” the article via the Content Runner platform), they are allowed to “take” additional articles (to the maximum set by the User via the User’s settings).


What kinds of communications does Content Runner send concerning orders?

Content Runner sends automated notices throughout the order process to confirm the status of any work and alert you to any actions which have been taken or which are required from you.

A breakdown of notifications which are triggered when an order is placed can be found here

Notifications that are triggered by various actions after an order is placed can be found here

How Should Users and Writers Communicate on Content Runner?

Users and writers are required to email and send attachments through the Content Runner system. Many of our users find that calling each other on the phone is an effective way to communicate and Content Runner allows that as long as the purpose is not to avoid Content Runner's fee structure.

Many of the Users on Content Runner manage agencies with their own clients. Content Runner writers are strictly forbidden from contacting User's clients for the purpose of working directly with a User's clients. If Content Runner finds evidence that a writer has approached a User's clients that will result in a permanent account suspension.

As with any public forum, we encourage both Users and Writers to take appropriate steps to safeguard their personal information. Content Runner is not responsible for the actions of Users or Writers, or the misuse of information shared between parties.

Staff Orders

What is a Staff Order?

Staff Orders are intended to streamline the ordering process for Users who've already established working relationships with specific Writers. Staff Order forms don't require a word count, a Style Guide or a deadline, giving Users and Writers more flexibility to work out those details together. Because Users must have worked with a Writer before they are able to send a Staff Order, Content Runner assumes that the User has already assessed the quality of the Writer's work. Once a Staff Order has been accepted by the Writer, the User cannot reject it.

How do I place a Staff Order?

Staff Orders may be placed from the Writers tab. You'll see a "Staff Order" button alongside the other stats for each Writer in the Your Writers box. Clicking the button will take you to an order form for Staff Orders with that Writer.

Why can't I reject a Staff Order?

Staff Orders cannot be rejected as a measure of protection for Content Runner's community of Writers. Staff Orders are intended to be used only for orders between Users and Writers who have an established working relationship. As a result, Content Runner assumes that the User will already be familiar with the Writer's work and that both parties will communicate and coordinate any revisions that might be necessary.


What is nTopic?

nTopic is a service for evaluating content relevancy. When placing an order on Content Runner, you have the option of running submitted content through nTopic to ensure it meets a specified minimum relevancy score.

For more information on nTopic, you can visit their site.

What is Content Relevancy?

Content relevancy is a measurement of how relevant a piece of content is to a particular keyword, beyond simply determining if that keyword occurs in the content. An article on NASA is not particularly relevant to the keyword "glasses", even though the article might mention that word in describing part of a satellite.

How Does nTopic Work?

nTopic takes keywords you provide, builds a "perfectly relevant" document, and then compares your content to that document. It then compares your relevancy against the probability that any random 2 documents from our cohort will have greater relevancy to one another than the ideal document to yours. A score of 96% means that 96/100 times your document would be more relevant to the ideal keyword document than any two random documents would be relevant to one another.

What is a Good Score?

You should aim to score as high as possible as this indicates strong confidence that your document is relevant. However, as some topics can be harder than others to achieve the highest scores, Content Runner limits User minimum nTopic score requirements to 96% maximum.


Does Content Runner employ the Writers?

No, Content Runner does not employ any Writers, nor does it provide any representations, warranties or guarantees pertaining to the content created. Content Runner serves as a marketplace to bring those needing content together with those creating content. By removing guarantees that are seldom exercised, Content Runner is able to significantly reduce the transactional fee it charges.

Content Runner provides Writer profiles, communication channels and other functionality to allow Writers to market themselves to Users. Content Runner encourages Writers to take advantage of these tools.

Users are encouraged to review Writer profiles and communicate directly with Writers to maximize the likelihood that a Writer’s product will meet their needs.

Do Writers have to “qualify” or satisfy other requirements to offer their services?

No. Any individual may register to be a Writer. Determining whether a Writer has the ability to deliver content is entirely up to the User. Writers are encouraged to share information with Users in order to help the User make that determination. Users are encouraged to screen Writers and develop long-term relationships to ensure quality.

Does Content Runner guarantee that the content is unique?

No. Content Runner assumes no responsibility for the content exchanged through the site or via its services. By removing guarantees that are seldom exercised, Content Runner is able to charge a significantly lower transaction fee compared to industry averages.

However, Content Runner's Terms of Use require that all content exchanged on the site be unique and that Writers have the ability to offer an unencumbered exclusive license to the content. Content Runner will take action to revoke accounts for Writers who violate the Terms of Use. Regardless of Content Runner's policies or actions, Users are encouraged to take steps to review the content for plagiarism, quality and other factors before accepting an article (which commits payment to the Writers). Users are entirely responsible for ensuring content is appropriate before they accept an article.

Content Runner has integrated the Copyscape API to check that the content each Writer provides a User is unique. If the % of content copied is too high (based on the Copyscape score), Content Runner will programmatically not allow the Writer to submit that content to the User. Content Runner has created a system to fight plagiarism, but these tools do not convey responsibility to Content Runner for any content exchanged.

About Copyscape:

Copyscape is dedicated to protecting your valuable content online. We provide the world's most powerful and most popular online plagiarism detection solutions, ranked #1 by independent tests. Copyscape's products are trusted by millions of website owners worldwide to check the originality of their new content, prevent duplicate content, and search for copies of existing content online.

What are Offerings and how do they work?

Our Offerings give Writers the chance to market their niche services and abilities according to a price they set themselves. Approved Writers will be able to create their Offerings in the marketplace, fee-free; if a Writer posts an Offering for $75, they will receive the full $75 upon project completion. Users are able to purchase Offerings based on their specific needs and wants. Once a User has purchased the services of a Writer via their Offering, both parties will communicate to determine any required specifics.

Writers may provide additional services—such as a higher word count, faster delivery, or various added media—in the form of Extras attached to their Offerings. Users may purchase Extras along with an Offering as desired. For example, if a Writer offers to write a 700-word article, with the option of adding 200 words for $20 as an Extra, the User can choose to receive a longer article. Should the User need the content sooner than the proposed delivery date, they may have the option to choose one-day delivery as an Extra for a certain set price.