Compose.ly is one of the newest heavy hitters in the world of content services. It’s only been in business since 2018, but it’s already built an impressive list of clients that includes Mailchimp, Martindale-Avvo, PayScale, and Pacific Life.
So what is Compose.ly all about? What makes it different from the many other content writing services out there, and is it the right choice for your business? Read on for a comprehensive Compose.ly review, including what you can expect and what other people have experienced in working with the company.
Compose.ly is unique in the world of content services. It’s not a marketplace like Constant Content, where writers sell articles and buyers purchase them on their own terms. You won’t find writers bidding for jobs like you would on Upwork, and you won’t find 2-cents-a-word writers like on Textbroker and other content mills.
Compose.ly works more like an agency. Clients order content and Compose.ly sends each order to one of its writers, all of whom are carefully vetted and regularly monitored for quality control.
In addition to its team of fully vetted freelance content writers, the company maintains an in-house staff of content strategists, project managers, client success professionals, and of course, editors. The team’s shared goal is to deliver high-quality content that meets each client’s individual goals.
One of Compose.ly’s main areas of focus is SEO performance. According to the company’s website:
We’re a trusted source for businesses that require highly technical content to take Google’s top organic positions for competitive SEO keywords. In fact, we are recognized as a top SEO company on DesignRush.
Most importantly, Compose.ly writers and editors all have SEO expertise, making it a trustworthy company for optimized web content.
Compose.ly is designed to serve anyone who needs content, from individual eCommerce entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. Compose.ly also works with agencies to provide on-demand writer access for client projects.
For agencies and larger companies, one of the most important features of Compose.ly is its ability to offer content at scale. Some of Compose.ly’s clients order hundreds of content pieces per month, and it’s not always easy to find a provider that can handle that volume.
Compose.ly focuses primarily on digital content, including:
- Blog posts and articles
- Website pages
- Press releases
- White papers
- Product descriptions
You can work directly with a writer or sign up to have Compose.ly handle it for you. More on that later.
Compose.ly’s writer team is one of its strongest assets. All applicants undergo a thorough evaluation of their skill and subject knowledge, and only 1% receive an invitation to join the platform’s team of freelancers. Once a writer gets accepted, the internal team regularly reviews their work and offers feedback to ensure that standards remain high.
Compose.ly’s writers have a broad range of subject matter expertise, including:
- Sales and marketing
- Finance, business, and real estate
- Medical and healthcare
- Tech and internet
- Travel and lifestyle
Compose.ly understands what writers need to know to create great content and has designed its project request form accordingly. There are open-response fields as well as specific questions about your project needs, preferences, and brand voice.
- Do you prefer a more casual or professional tone?
- Do you want the content to be written in the first person (I, we), second person (you), or third person (he, she, they)?
- How many sources do you want the writer to use?
- Who is your target audience?
For a lot of clients, especially those new to commissioning content, these questions will make you think in-depth about how you want the final product to look. It’s a moderate time investment, but it can significantly increase the chances that the initial draft will be just what you wanted.
Plans and Pricing
Compose.ly offers three pricing plans to meet different client needs.
For clients who prefer to work directly with writers, Compose.ly offers a self-service plan that lets you order and pay by the project. Prices are based on word count and type of content, starting at:
- 200-word product description for $29.95
- 500-word blog post for $74.95
- 500-word newsletter for $74.95
- 500-word website copy for $74.95
- 500-word press release for $74.95
- 3,000-word white paper for $449.95
All self-service orders include automatic plagiarism checks and access to a team of vetted writers based in the U.S. You can manage all orders on your content dashboard and communicate with your writer using Compose.ly’s intuitive in-app messenger.
2. Managed Service
If you need a higher volume of content or would like someone to manage your content orders, Compose.ly’s Managed Service subscription plan is a strong option. Managed Service clients enjoy exclusive access to a team of Compose.ly’s top writers, plus a review of each piece by the platform’s in-house editors.
The Managed Service plan includes the work of a Client Success Manager, who serves as the intermediary between the client and the content writing team. Clients can request as many revisions as necessary, and all projects include SEO editing for optimal performance. Pricing starts at $999 per month, depending on the client’s content needs.
3. Content Blocks
For clients who want the features of the Managed Service plan without the long-term commitment, Compose.ly offers custom content blocks for purchase.
Blocks start at 10,000 words and are priced at a flat rate depending on word count. The cost includes all benefits of the Managed Service plan, including in-house editing and the services of Compose.ly’s best writers. Blocks are valid up to six months from the purchase date.
Reviews of Compose.ly
Compose.ly is well-reviewed on third-party sites. On Trustpilot, the platform has 4.4 out of five stars with ratings from writers as well as clients. Here’s one concise example:
Another client referred to Compose.ly as their “go-to for long-form content,” calling the writers “dependable, attentive, fast, skilled, and adaptive—attributes you don’t see with most content resources.”
A third reviewer uses the headline, “Look no further. Quality content and trustworthy, honest people.”
The throughline of these reviews is dependability—real people who care about the client experience. That can be hard to find in the content world, as evidenced by this review of Scripted:
Client reviews are important, but don’t forget to look at writer feedback when you’re learning about a content service. Plenty of companies put on a good show for clients but show their true colors to writers, offering low pay and even trying to withhold income. As just one example, look at these Textbroker reviews:
- “Got paid $0.50 per hour to write for them. Not kidding.”
- “They charge a minimum of 7 cents a word but paid me only 1.7 cents a word. Don’t work for them. Don’t use them for content.”
Textbroker has also been accused of withholding pay and closing writer accounts unfairly:
Compose.ly’s Trustpilot profile looks a lot different. Reviews look more like this:
Other reviews from writers state:
- “It’s the best source of writing jobs that I’ve found. They pay fairly and they care about their writers.”
- “Compose.ly has become my favorite company to work with…The projects are interesting, [and] the editors provide excellent feedback that helps me grow as a writer.”
Reviews tell you a lot about client and writer experiences, but what about results?
ResumeGenius sought Compose.ly’s services to rank for job search keywords, which tend to be high-value and extremely competitive. Compose.ly helped the ResumeGenius team to scale up their content and rank in the top 10 for popular keywords like “resume,” “resume examples,” and “cover letters.”
Mailchimp boasts a similar success story. The company partnered with Compose.ly as part of an effort to expand its service offerings and grow its web presence. One of its primary goals was to outperform competitors on search engine results pages.
In just four months, Mailchimp landed on the first page of Google search results, even ranking number one for the keywords “audience segmentation” and “direct mail marketing.”
Results like these don’t happen by accident. They require the attention of skilled SEO writers, editors, and content strategists. There are no guarantees that another Compose.ly client will see the same results, but the availability of this data is telling in itself.
Is Compose.ly Worth It?
If your goal is to get content as cheaply as possible, Compose.ly may not be the service for you. There are plenty of “content mill” services that churn out material at bargain-basement prices—Textbroker, for example, starts at just 1.5 cents per word, but you get what you pay for. This kind of content usually comes from inexperienced writers who can’t command higher fees.
Compose.ly is geared toward those willing to pay a little bit more for quality content from experienced writers. Compose.ly is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive, but it’s reliable and transparent with pricing. Plus, you always know that you’re getting quality service.
In the end, you know what you need from a content service better than anyone. If you think that Compose.ly might be a good fit for your business, get in touch for more information or a writing sample. The team is always ready to help.
About the Author
Ellie Diamond is a professional freelance writer with nearly a decade of freelancing experience. She creates informative and engaging content across a broad range of industries, including real estate, child development, healthcare, marketing, personal finance, and tech.