Have you heard about Contena, the amazing writing website that has so many rave reviews? Based on the reviews out there, there are tons of writers who are gushing about Contena. Yes, gushing. It seems like Contena is a dream come true. If you’re a freelance writer, then why aren’t you on Contena?
Well, I think there are a lot of reasons not to be on Contena and I’m going to tell you why. Here’s my completely unbiased, totally honest review of Contena.
First some Caveats:
I was approached by Contena to be part of an affiliate program which allowed me access to a portion of the website for a week. My results may have differed if I were a full member for a longer period of time.
Everyone is going to have a different rate of success based on varying factors, my failures with Contena do not guarantee you will have the same experience. You might try it and find it really is a great tool and worth every cent.
There are no affiliates or sponsors with this post, so everything is completely unbiased, and any links in this post will not benefit me financially in any way.
Let’s Talk Affiliates
I’ve had my website up and running for about 3 months now, and as such I’m starting to get freelance writing companies and products reach out and ask me to write a review.
Here’s my big problem with this.
My engagement rate. I know that my online engagement is not amazing by any stretch of the imagination. Mostly because I’m so new. I can’t expect thousands of page views a day when I’ve only been publishing content for a few months.
Do you know what your engagement rate is, the number of page views based on your shares on Social Media? The number of followers actually engaging with your content? The number of followers sharing and commenting? I know what my scores are, I know in retrospect they are low but fairly decent for being active online through my website and platform for 3 months.
When companies reach out to me with my low engagement rates, I know they aren’t doing their research. They simply look at keywords, at the title of my website, or my latest tweet and say “Hey, she mentioned writing at some point, we could maybe get some money off her reader base”.
A smart company would reach out and ask for those numbers because that’s how you get clicks to affiliate websites. Right?
But Contena didn’t do their research. They sent me this email.
We’ve built an awesome service for people who want to launch or expand their freelance writing business.
Contena gives writers the tools they need to find success with freelance writing through dedicated coaching and our Academy. Members also receive access to ContenaScout, a tool that finds high quality, remote writing jobs, with dozens of new gigs being added each day.
I think your site would be a great fit to promote Contena.
We have a brand-new affiliate program that pays a 20% recurring commission on our product.
I would love to set you up with an affiliate account. What do you think?
They just get right down to brass tacks! You write about writing, you have a website, you should join our affiliate program.
I’ve been burned with fluffed up job boards before. Why pay for information I could get for free on Freelancewriting.com, Problogger.com, nDash.com, and even Indeed.com? I had heard of Contena and even joined as a free member. But as a free member, you can only see the job titles and companies.
If you click on a job posting you are redirected to the “Buy A Membership” page. You can’t actually access the job postings. I sent this in response.
Thanks for getting in touch. I do currently have a free account with Contena, but I haven’t upgraded to experience the Academy or access to the writing jobs. Can you provide me with a little more proof of the validity of what you offer? I have been suspect of paid writing job boards, since there are so many free options out there. However, I do understand and appreciate the value of what you offer if it’s legit that these are higher quality gigs, and also that the competition for the jobs would be less as many freelancers don’t want to pay to find jobs.
Are the jobs on your site also available on other online “free” sites? Can you explain to me a little more about your vetting process in finding and posting the writing jobs on your site?
Depending on what I learn from you, I would upgrade and actually use the tools, apply for gigs and see what type of success I have before promoting Contena to my readers.
They had little to say about this but did assure me that all jobs were thoroughly researched and vetted. Which is awesome. No sketchy Craigslist jobs on Contena.
They gave me free access to the website with a demo account for a week. I took that and ran!
I decided to apply for as many jobs as I could in a week and submit as much as I could. I think overall I applied to 8 or so jobs and submitted 6 articles.
Contena also allowed me to opt for a portfolio review. Which I also took advantage of.
I will say, that was a great opportunity. Having a professional reach out to me and critique my published clips, my standard pitch format, pointing out an error or two that I missed and suggesting tips was brilliant. And I can’t thank Contena enough for that. Is it worth $697.00? Maybe no. Yes, the platinum membership with portfolio review is $697.00 and that’s discounted!
My demo account allowed me access to most of the website but did not include the Contena Academy. The section of the website with videos and helpful tips for ensuring freelance success. I was not able to access any of the academy, which meant I was unable to get any kind of real feel for the website.
Recently I had someone reach out for another affiliate opportunity and allowed me full access to all classes and lectures on his website. Which means I can give a full, honest, review knowing that I’ve experienced all that he offers.
What were the fruits of my labor from all those job applications and submissions? Not one response.
Which to be fair, may have something to do with me but according to my portfolio review, I was pitching just fine.
And lastly, when I was searching for jobs, past the first or second page of job listings, I found all the jobs expired. Imagine how frustrating that would be for dedicated freelancers looking for jobs.
I asked about this, surely with such dedicated vetting they would have someone deleting old job listings.
Glad you had a chance to check out the platform!
Our process for eliminating the expired jobs is pretty much automatic. Jobs are archived automatically after a few weeks of being listed so their info is kept in our database to be examined by users from our leads page and the submissions are refreshed every month or so.
Not exactly a helpful answer.
In short, Contena is not worth your money…in my humble, beginner, opinion. I know, I’m in the minority. So take that into consideration before you take to the comments. I’m not one of those gushing reviews. But I’m not trying to get any affiliate link clicks, so I can be honest. If you’re thinking, well I’m just bitter that I didn’t get any pitches accepted or that I didn’t use the website right, I can’t stop you. I’m simply trying to weigh in and give my honest feel after trying the website.
The prices are $497 for the gold membership package and $997 for the platinum package. But you can pay in Installments. Visit Contena and see what all is included in that price. You may find it worth it. But I will stick to Freelancwriting.com, Problogger.com, and nDash for my freelance writing job boards. Websites where I’ve had responses to my applications, pitches accepted and got paid instead of having to pay.