The Great A-xperiment Continues…

Things do not change; we change. – Henry David Thoreau
… except the rubrics… the rubrics change… but we’re getting there! – Matt 

Hey QG writers!

It’s been a busy few weeks as we continue the experiment of implementing the rubrics, paying over double the money for A articles, and raising the payouts for B articles.  It’s going well and overall we are seeing more care taken in each submission, which is greatly appreciated.

Of course, this is an experiment, and as such, we are constantly tweaking and readjusting, trying to find that perfect balance between subjectivity and objectivity while editing.  Furthermore, we are trying to ensure our rubrics fairly adjudicate the quality of each submission.  If the rubric’s too easy, we end up spending much more than we traditionally have, and that money is spent on articles that would not have been As before the rubrics were instituted.  Too difficult, and we have a lot of justifiably angry writers.

A Few More Changes

With that in mind, we are making a few more changes.  We are adding some criteria to what it takes to get a 4 when writing blogs and resource articles.  Those changes have gone live, so simply look at the rubric the next time you submit and you will see them.

Also, the score required for an A is now a 22, raised a point from a 21.  Perhaps an unpopular decision, but let me explain.

In order to give an A, we really should have to do very little as editors.  These aren’t fiction pieces, so the information is either there or it isn’t, in ways that are either easily readable or aren’t.  That may be an over-simplification of our editing process, but you get my point.

Given our current rubrics, we grade based on 6 categories.  This means that if you completely forgot a crucial component of the article and received a 1 for that category, but you did everything else perfect, you could have received an A for an article we had to spend significant time correcting.  The rubric as it stood also made it possible to not be perfect (my definition of an A) in half of the categories we grade while still getting an A.  This was skewing everything and made getting an A a little too easy.

A Quick Note about Bs (Not BS)

Here’s the thing about Bs… I love ‘em.  I expect to see Bs the vast majority of the time.  A B is a good grade… which is why we upped the pay on them.  I understand that an A is double the pay, so getting a B can be frustrating, but getting a B means you submitted a good piece.  It’s just something that an editor had to spend more time on, so the money that we typically save with an A, money that is largely passed on to you, is instead used to pay the editor to make the changes necessary to meet the client’s needs.  I’ll take a writer who consistently gives me a B over a writer that splits between As and Cs any day of the week.

Where we go from here

I don’t know that there will ever come a day when we will have the rubrics absolutely perfect.  We may always be tweaking them, but I can say that the changes will be much less frequent eventually… and that’s about as much as I know on that.

While we do this, we continue to ask your patience and understanding.

The experiment continues!


Matthew Holden is the Director of Content Marketing for Online Writing Jobs, and a frequent contributor to the OWJ blog. After receiving a Master’s degree in English Education from Sage Graduate School in Troy, New York, he began writing freelance, and eventually full-time, for various companies and media outlets. After spending some time writing marketing copy, he became interested in the various ways a company can market itself online through the use of different types of content marketing.

Today, as the Director of Content Marketing, Matt oversees strategy creation, production, implementation, and promotion, of content written by experts and influencers from across the country in every vertical imaginable. When he is not overseeing the creation and promotion of thousands of pieces of content a year for OWJ clients, Matt can be found writing some for himself.

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