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Freelance Science Writer @ Insanitek

Freelance writing on Insanitek is not like other companies. We want you to be better at your job, so if you start at a low tier due to lack of experience and knowledge, we’ll help you get better — and pay you accordingly. 

But, it’s more than that. We like to treat freelancers as if they are part of the company as well. Not that we’re going to demand X amount of pieces from you due on specific days. No, you’re a freelancer. Your time and how you arrange things are yours. However, we like to be transparent with our freelancers on how things are going on the back end so they can bend and flex with us as we grow. 

The information below will lay out exactly how we arranged the freelance system here at Insanitek so we can plan and budget while arranging for you to grow. 

General info and expectations for posts

Every website and business has their own personality. Insanitek is a lot more flexible than others when it comes to things. We want every piece to have the voice and style of it’s author. 

And when we say voice and style, we meant it. If you swearing is appropriate, no problems here. If you want to decorate your posts with cool formatting, we even have a plugin that enables you to have fun with boxes, notes, image carousels, and more. You can even make the icons in a list bulleted list have your personal flair to it. 

There are only three things we demand before any post is published (besides good grammar):

  1. Citations — we have a plugin installed that makes them super easy to put in the body of the text and link to the bibliography below. No post will be published without citations to credible sources. 
  2. Featured image (and any illustrative pictures as necessary) are necessary to capture attention, but also to keep attention if the body of the work is long. 
  3. Justified formatting makes things nice and neat looking, but also it’s the industry standard for science papers. Might as well start training eyes early with this as well. 

Every thing else is a matter of what tier you test into. Tier one is for newbies, while tier four is for experts. Click on each and see where you think you’d belong and the compensation that goes with it. 

Tier 1

Tier one writers are complete newbies, but have a lot of passion and are willing to work. We know that the writing is going to need a bit of work and editing, but we also know that you’ll get better and grow with time. 

Here’s what to expect if this is how you placed in your writing test:

  • All posts are the author’s. We do not claim ownership of them. However, the default copyright policy of Insanitek is Share and ShareAlike
  • All posts must have proper citations — don’t worry, we have a tool installed to make it super easy. 
  • All posts must have a featured image, and the longer the posts should have one or two images in the body. Again, don’t worry, we have a huge list of free image sites you can browse to match what’s in your head the best you can. 
  • Compensation for this tier is:
    • $10 for a short (500ish word) blog post that has one point.
    • $13 for a medium (750ish word) blog post that has two points.
    • $15 for a long (1000ish word) blog post that goes a lot more in depth.
  • There is an author box at the bottom of each post you write. If you are serious about writing, you should fill out your Gravatar profile, and it will appear with your bio. You can put a main portfolio link in this to maximise your professional growth. 
  • Training and education in science writing and journalism as well as business training for a freelancer.

We assume that at this tier you are just learning your trade as a science writer and are passionate about, but not very well educated in, all the topics you might choose to write about. That’s where you get more training and flexibility than most companies. Tell us what you want, and we’re going to help you get after it with as many resources as we can. 

Tier 2

Tier two writers are not complete noobs. They often have a bit more knowledge of the freelance industry, discipline to get work done in a timely manner, some knowledge of the fields they are writing about, and don’t really make a lot of grammar mistakes. There’s room for improvement and growth, but you’re working on it with intention.

We know that the writing is going to need some light editing, but we also know that you’ll get better and grow with time and soon not need us much.

Here’s what to expect if this is how you placed in your writing test:

  • All posts are the author’s. We do not claim ownership of them. However, the default copyright policy of Insanitek is Share and ShareAlike
  • All posts must have proper citations — don’t worry, we have a tool installed to make it super easy. 
  • All posts must have a featured image, and the longer the posts should have one or two images in the body. Again, don’t worry, we have a huge list of free image sites you can browse to match what’s in your head the best you can. 
  • Compensation for this tier is:
    • $13 for a short (500ish word) blog post that has one point.
    • $15 for a medium (750ish word) blog post that has two points.
    • $18 for a long (1000ish word) blog post that goes a lot more in depth.
  • There is an author box at the bottom of each post you write. If you are serious about writing, you should fill out your Gravatar profile, and it will appear with your bio. You can put a main portfolio link in this to maximise your professional growth. 
  • Training and education in science writing and journalism as well as business training for a freelancer.

We assume that at this tier you are serious about your trade as a science writer and are a wee bit more focused on what topics you want to write about. We also assume you have a little bit of a vision of what you want to do with your skills. That’s where you get more training and flexibility than most companies. Tell us what you want, and we’re going to help you get after it with as many resources as we can. 

Tier 3

Tier three writers have the discipline to get work done in a timely manner, quite a bit of knowledge of the fields they are writing about, and are more of a grammarian than most of us. Tier three writers have a tendency to know what they want out of their freelancing (most of the time).

You’re here to flourish, not just learn. We respect that and hope you’re willing to team up with us while we all flourish. 

Here’s what to expect if this is how you placed in your writing test:

  • All posts are the author’s. We do not claim ownership of them. However, the default copyright policy of Insanitek is Share and ShareAlike
  • All posts must have proper citations — don’t worry, we have a tool installed to make it super easy. 
  • All posts must have a featured image, and the longer the posts should have one or two images in the body. Again, don’t worry, we have a huge list of free image sites you can browse to match what’s in your head the best you can. 
  • Compensation for this tier is:
    • $23 for a short (500ish word) blog post that has one point.
    • $25 for a medium (750ish word) blog post that has two points.
    • $28 for a long (1000ish word) blog post that goes a lot more in depth.
  • There is an author box at the bottom of each post you write. If you are serious about writing, you should fill out your Gravatar profile, and it will appear with your bio. You can put a main portfolio link in this to maximise your professional growth. 
  • Reimbursement for one conference up to $50 a year. Sorry, our budget isn’t so big that we can do more yet.

We assume that at this tier you are serious about your trade as a science writer and are more focused on what topics you want to write about. We also assume you have a little bit of a vision of what you want to do with your skills. We won’t pigeon-hole you into that role and give you the flexibility to explore other topics. We might see something cool and recommend it to you, though. 😉

Tier 4

Tier four writers have the discipline to get work done in a timely manner, a lot of knowledge of the fields they are writing about, and are more of a grammarian than most of us. Tier four writers have a tendency to know what they want out of their freelancing (most of the time). These are usually Ph.D. students in the field with a love of writing or a science writer that’s been at this for a while and wants a more laid back site. This is not for the technical writer.

We know our budget is not conducive to your level, but if you’re here, that’s because you like us. 

Here’s what to expect if this is how you placed in your writing test:

  • All posts are the author’s. We do not claim ownership of them. However, the default copyright policy of Insanitek is Share and ShareAlike
  • All posts must have proper citations — don’t worry, we have a tool installed to make it super easy. 
  • All posts must have a featured image, and the longer the posts should have one or two images in the body. Again, don’t worry, we have a huge list of free image sites you can browse to match what’s in your head the best you can. 
  • Compensation for this tier is:
    • $30 for a short (500ish word) blog post that has one point.
    • $35 for a medium (750ish word) blog post that has two points.
    • $40 for a long (1000ish word) blog post that goes a lot more in depth.
    • The ability to sell ebooks on our site and use us as your publishing assistant. 
    • 25% off graphic arts service for your pieces and books — even if they aren’t on Insanitek’s site.
  • There is an author box at the bottom of each post you write. If you are serious about writing, you should fill out your Gravatar profile, and it will appear with your bio. You can put a main portfolio link in this to maximise your professional growth. 
  • Reimbursement for conferences up to $100 a year. Sorry, our budget isn’t so big that we can do more yet.

We assume that at this tier you are serious about your trade as a science writer and are more focused on what topics you want to write about. We also assume you have a vision of what you want to do with your skills. We won’t pigeon-hole you into that role and give you the flexibility to explore other topics. We might see something cool and recommend it to you, though. 😉

Technical details

Applying and some basics

You all in? Then, let’s talk technicals for a moment.

We hire freelance writers both per post and contract basis. If you are interested in the requirements and the pay-rate for our writers, here’s the general guideline we are following currently:

  • Writers must go through application process to even be considered as it helps us understand what you’re looking for to make sure we can provide it. If we can, then we’ll place you in one of the pay categories below commensurate with your skills, help you learn, grow, and keep you movin’ up in the world. (Read: you’ve shown an interest, and for that, we want to help you succeed if we can. This is not a formal application to query about work, but rather to start the dialogue by telling us what you’re looking for and see if we can meet you there. It’s a partnership between two professionals, and we will help you succeed in your dream as a science writer as much as possible.)
  • We keep a list of articles that people may wish to work on, but we also take articles that are not on the list. Since you would be a freelance writer, you’d put in a pitch for a piece you want to write about. They must be something related to science, technology, education, or the R&D/inventor business.  They can have any angle on it ─ even the weird and wacky ─ but must be properly cited and all arguments must be backed up.
  • We pay per published item, not necessarily what you write and submit.
  • All articles are edited by someone else on staff before they are published. If you have something good, but it needs work, we’ll work with you to get it published. If you’re just as good with editing, see if you can’t be an editor for someone else for a little extra pay.
  • Bear in mind that how many articles we published are based on our budget.  This budget fluctuates from time to time, and while we intend to publish as many things as we can, it may be some time before we can publish all your articles.
  • We pay our writers via PayPal, Zelle, or a direct check sent standard mail. If you are with Insanitek for some time and intend to stay with us, we may consider direct deposit into your bank with the signing of a contract.
Admin jumble

Ah, the paperwork side of things. We love to hate it, but it has to be done.

As a writer for Insanitek you are an independent contractor (or subcontractor, if you will). As such you will be treated as a professional, and you will be expected to act like a professional. This means:

  • Getting things done when you say you will get them done by.
  • Submitting invoice of your work in a “timely” manner. You could choose to do this monthly, weekly, or even quarterly, but it will be your responsibility. Don’t worry, we keep the payments in a holding pattern so no matter when you invoice us, it is there. Barring unforeseen events like a zombie apocalypse, that is.
  • If/When you work with Insanitek clients, you’ll be expected to work with our system.
  • Give feedback regularly about what is… and what isn’t working. Despite being in business for 3 years, we firmly believe that there is room for error and improvement in our systems, but we’ll never know where to focus without your feedback.
  • Do your own taxes. As an independent, we don’t hold taxes for you. If you qualify for a 1099, we’ll send you one of those for your paperwork though.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. We use WordPress for most everything, but if you work on a project with us, you’ll be using Asana to communicate with a team and the clients.

That’s pretty much it. When you apply and are given a pay tier, we’ll also send you a welcome packet explaining all the nuances in detail. Until then, there is no need to bore you.

Marketing & PR

What is the point of writing for someone if it doesn’t help you make that mark on the world you’re seeking to make? Whether you’re looking to make it big as a writer or “just” out to save the world from itself, our PR and marketing team have your back.

We sling your posts around our social media, reference them in posts we write around the web, and help you navigate the world. Our connections are your connections once you start working with us — and for the rest of your life.

You decide the value in that. 

Step into our world

OK, all this is sounding good, but what kind of posts do we need? Well, you can browse around the site and see for yourself what others are doing. These are posts on topics that the writer is interested in. Some of them are inspired by news, others their own inner geek geekin’ out. 

The themed posts ideas below will tell you what else we are looking for, if you’re keen on it.

Currently we have a few themed posts to inspire, motivate, humour, encourage and teach our readers and members. We’re always looking to expand these into other concepts, though.

Inspiring Inventions: Inspiration can come in many forms from replication to fixing a problem. The inventions we’ll be showing here can be half dozen of one, six of the other depending on the person. Images, tidbits, facts, and random knowledge abound. How will you be inspired?

Creative Genius: We couldn’t have half the stuff we have today without hard work and happy accidents. Read about the people, ideas, and circumstances behind the inventions.

Financial Fridays: A lot of the people that we work with are inventors with hopes and dreams of running their own company or at minimum getting their ideas out there on the market and giving it a sincere go. Financial Friday posts are dedicated to helping these guys out with ideas to manage and sustain their financial situation if not even boost their revenue. This is a broad range of ideas from marketing to investing.