Generally, the distinction between individual writers and essay-company writers is non-existent except in the case of writers who just aren't good enough to get hired by any company in the first place. In my experience, every academic writer who is good enough to earn a fulltime living doing this works for essay companies and also takes as much freelance work as possible. Essay companies usually have hundreds of writers and they range from very good experienced writers to very bad totally inexperienced writers who just end up getting fired after the first few unlucky recipients of their essays complain about the horrible work they received. Having written thousands of essays for some of the biggest and best essay companies in the industry since 2003, I can also attest to the fact that it takes at least several years to earn enough repeat business and referrals from freelance clients to make the successful shift from relying substantially on company work to relying almost exclusively on freelance work. All of the writers I know who have managed to do that were the best and highest-producing company writers first.
One advantage to using a freelance writer directly is that communications are more direct instead of through a company messaging system; another advantage is that we have even more incentive to making sure that our freelance clients are happy because we know that each client could represent several years of regular work for us whereas we regard every company order as an isolated, stand-alone project since we usually don't know what customer places what order and we just take whatever assignments we want regardless of who actually placed the order. Contrary to what many customers assume, essay companies can't actually "assign" any work to specific writers even when you request us. On occasion, (new) company administrators sometimes just placed an order on my account on their own because someone requested me and then they immediately removed it when I sent a message reminding them that they can't do that to me if I'm an independent contractor and that I don't ever want any orders placed on my account unless I choose to take them because that's totally contrary to what our contract says. As far as pricing goes, the best freelance writers typically charge about the same as the best essay companies; the main difference is that essay companies take approximately half the total amount paid by customers whereas freelancers don't have to split their fees with anybody.
Obviously, an established essay company is safer than some totally unknown person soliciting customers from a generic email address, but most of us who have done both types of work for many years have always used the same email address for as long as we've been doing this and the exact same forum screen name as our essay-company writer names, which means we have as much invested in our reputations as established companies have in theirs. New customers of any company or any freelance writer should always place a small order first before risking a major investment. Once you're happy with work from an essay company, you should always make sure that you request only the specific writer whose work you liked, because if you don't, your subsequent order could be filled by any one of hundreds of other writers who might take the order after it's posted on the company assignment board for their writers. It could also linger untaken by any writer until your deadline passes and you don't have any way of knowing whether or not any writer has actually taken the assignment off the assignment board until you email and get a response from customer service. Some companies may have added some kind of notification capability in that regard more recently, but years ago, I used to offer to check the company boards for customers who were also members here just as a courtesy so they'd know whether or not their orders had been taken.
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