And a Few Tips on Moving Away from These Writing Websites
The topic of content mills for international writers is quite popular here. These are the websites that launched my freelance career and while I’ve managed to move away from them, content mills still provide good opportunities for income generation.
You can see my main review and the content mill suggestions I’ve previously made for non-US citizens on the basis of personal experience.
Today, I’ll try to identify a few additional opportunities for international writers interested in getting started with a freelance career. I’d also like to point out the best ways to start moving away from websites that don’t pay an awful lot for the purpose of identifying good clients and earning a serious income.
Content Mills for International Writers: Which Ones Are Worth a Try?
As a freelance writer, I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen the good and the bad of content mills. You should always proceed with caution when writing for such websites, especially if you’re being paid way too little.
This being said, here are a few content mills that accept international writers and that I’ve worked with through the years. Keep in mind that I definitely do not recommend some of those so take a look at the description/review.
iNeedArticles doesn’t restrict writers on the basis of their nationality. As far as I remember, you have to do a simple test in order to get accepted.
The good aspect of this platform is that it has an article marketplace. If you have some pre-written content, you can upload it there and set your own price. Through the years, I’ve managed to sell multiple texts on various topics (from entrepreneurship to gardening) and the payout was decent.
I also like the specialized and expert articles. There are research and style fees that contribute to a price per article of 0.02 dollars or even a bit higher. In the world of content mills, that’s a more or less decent amount.
Keep in mind that to access some of the better paying gigs, you’ll have to get a four or five-star rating. This isn’t difficult to accomplish, especially if you choose the right clients. You can see how clients have rated people working on their texts and make project selections accordingly.
Regular articles and rewrites, however, are the ones I’d never touch. The regular articles pay less than one cent per word and often, the clients have ridiculous demands for those. Rewrites have a pretty self-explanatory name but the effort required to make content unique is really not worth the amount being paid.
Occasionally, iNeedArticles features press release and ebook writing orders that offer an ok amount per assignment. Hence, my strategy here would be to sign up and be selective about the assignments being accepted.
While iWriter is definitely a content mill for international writers, I do not recommend!
Let’s start with the elephant in the room – the payout is ridiculously low. In order to get paid more, you need to maintain a specific rating and some of the clients are A. mean and B. incredibly capricious (taking in consideration the amount they pay).
Clients have the ability to reject the content you’ve created for them without giving you any feedback on the reasons why. This is infuriating because you often lose hours to create content and your rating is also affected.
I did write for a few years there towards the very beginning of my career. Getting a client to make you a favorite is wonderful because you’ll receive direct assignments that way. Other than that iWriter is really, really, really, really NOT WORTH THE EFFORT.
Another one I do not recommend. While Writers Department is trying to disguise itself as a content mill for international writers, it’s actually an academic writing website. You already have an idea about my opinion on such writing sites.
Supposedly, you get paid 15 dollars per double-spaced page.
Needless to say, a serious writer would never go down this rabbit hole. For a start, you’re helping students cheat. On top of that, the topics are specialized, you have to stick to an academic style and you also have to provide citations. This isn’t the way to build a career and I strongly discourage you from engaging with such websites.
My experience with this website is pretty good. I had to quit Express Writers because of personal reasons but they’re worth a try.
The application process is simple and straightforward. You’ll also be given an idea about the amount you can earn per assignment. While I was working there, a project management platform was utilized and writers communicated with an editor who assigned projects. Most of these earned at least 0.02 dollars per word.
At that time, there was also a bonus program for the best writers who earned some rewards. It was a nice perk that acted as a stimulus to do my best every single time.
Not a lot of experience with this one but PayPerContent may be worth looking into, if you want to supplement your income.
As far as content mills for international writers go, the terms and conditions are decent.
You have to complete a short assignment in order to get accepted as a writer (a 300-word text, topic and specifications will be provided).
There are several payment tiers and you once again work with editors who assign and approve the work. Some have complained of editors being way too picky and rejecting work without providing a lot of feedback. That’s a relatively common occurrence in the realm of content mills but you may still want to apply to PayPerContent and check the conditions on your own.
Getting approved to write for eZdia isn’t easy but boy, were the gigs worth it!
eZdia has some major clients and the payouts were pretty impressive in the realm of international content mills.
The problem is that once the respective project ended, I never heard back from them.
I did make some serious cash via the platform, which is why you may want to check eZdia out.
Green Light Articles
Green Light Articles is another platform I wrote for in the very beginning of my career.
This content mill accepts international writers and the process is pretty simple.
The payout, however, is far from impressive. You get one cent per word, which is way below what freelance writers should be making. Regardless of your country of origin, you should aim higher if you have the experience and the educational background to back your demands.
While the payments on Green Light Articles are relatively low, I do remember the assignments being more or less simple and the payouts being made in a timely manner.
The Bottom Line: Are Content Mills for International Writers Worth a Try?
The short answer is “no.”
However, I understand why some people may feel tempted to give content mills a try.
Getting started with a new career is always difficult. Sometimes, you’re so pressed for cash that you have to earn in one way or another. Even if the payment offered is ridiculously low, you still have to deal with bills and financial responsibilities.
If you have to write for a content mill in order to make some quick cash, I recommend the platforms mentioned in my first article on the topic. Express Writers, eZdia and iNeedArticles from this guide could also provide some decent opportunities.
The trick here is to be selective about the work you do. Know how much time each article is going to take you. Based on this calculation, you can estimate the hourly fee you’ll be paid by creating content for the respective mill website. I think that anything under 10 to 15 dollars per hour for complete newbies is not worth the effort.
Finally, if you have to write for content mills, apply and get accepted to a few of those. This way, you will have access to a bigger number of assignments and you’ll have the freedom of choosing better projects.
How to Move Away from Content Mills for International Writers
As you become more experienced and confident, you should undertake steps to move away from content mills for international writers. Here’s how to make it happen.
Build Your Own Website/Blog
A website that features your writing is going to act as a portfolio. Highlight your best texts and show these to clients. This way, you can land gigs even if you haven’t worked for copywriting clients in the past.
Your own blog can also be monetized via affiliate marketing or displaying ads.
While you can make money this way, do keep the focus on quality content creation. As your blog grows, you will eventually start enjoying excellent monetization opportunities.
WordPress offers some of the best options for the setting up of a simple blog. The content management system is user-friendly and there are dozens of free templates you can use to set up the blog immediately. You’ll only need to get a domain name and the right hosting plan.
Domain.com has an excellent WordPress package you can test out. The starter pack is priced at 3.75 dollars per month and the WordPress essential package is available at 6.95 dollars per month. Both feature unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, a customized control panel and pre-installed themes and plugins.
Domain.com offers an array of additional services and products that can be quite beneficial for first-time bloggers.
Currently, all hosting plans are available with a 10 percent discount. Domain name registration is also possible via the platform.
To get the discount, use the DOMAIN10 code.
Find Good Ways to Earn Money Meanwhile
Finding clients to write for can be a lengthier process. You need to be making money while you’re getting there.
Seek good options for monetization while you’re still attempting to build a freelance writing career.
Ebook writing is a great choice. Not only will you earn money from it, you will also get a chance to add another product to the portfolio you show to potential clients.
You can learn a bit more about making money as an ebook author in this post.
There are numerous stores you can use to reach the right audience and sell the biggest possible number of ebooks. Some of the opportunities, however, are better than others.
I use both of those and while Draft2Digital does charge you for distribution and management, you get access to a wide array of online stores like Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, Scribd, Playster, OverDrive, Bibliotheca and others.
You can also develop a couple of additional passive income generation opportunities.
Finally, consider the completion of simple tasks to earn a bit of money every single day. Numerous websites offer such opportunities.
Survey Junkie is one of the biggest players on the market, featuring paid surveys and simple tasks you can complete for cash. The website accepts members from the US, Canada and Australia. Each survey completed results in a certain number of points being earned. These points can be turned into cash and withdrawn via PayPal.
Inbox Dollars is another great choice and you’ll receive a five-dollar bonus just for signing up. You can earn money through paid surveys, watching videos, playing games, shopping and even reading emails.
Finally, SwagBucks also offers legitimate money making opportunities to college students from numerous countries. The website also provides a five-dollar sign-up bonus and monetization can be achieved in multiple ways apart from doing paid surveys.
Don’t Stop Applying to Projects
Joining platforms like Upwork and Guru will give you a chance to see many freelance writing/editing/copywriting projects. Get in the habit of applying to a project or two every single day (while you’re also working on building a portfolio).
You will get better at applying the more experienced you become.
There are subtleties in the communication with potential clients. You have to sound confident without being cocky. You have to show that you’re passionate without appearing desperate. You’ll also have to learn how to set the right price for each project.
These are essentials you will learn as you go. Chances are that you’ll see multiple rejections in the very beginning. As you become better in terms of pitching, however, you’ll eventually start winning projects and making money.
A final tip here is to create a personalized application and cover letter for every single writing job you apply to. If you have one generic proposition, you’ll never hear back from potential customers.
Network, Network, Network
Networking is another essential.
Just like any other professional, you have to establish your reputation in the respective field.
Social networks like LinkedIn are invaluable for freelance writers. Not only can you connect to influencers, other professionals and potential clients, you can also discover multiple gigs. The number of companies looking to outsource copywriting is growing all the time. If you manage to get in touch with these companies in the digital realm, you can start finding sustainable work.
A few of my long-term writing clients found my LinkedIn profile and got in touch with me as a result. Don’t underestimate the importance of building and maintaining a sensible professional presence.
Get Your Content Published
Apart from having your own website, it’s also a good idea to get your content published elsewhere.
Bylines go a long way in terms of marketing your skills.
Earning money is an added bonus. Many websites out there will accept submissions from guest authors they will provide a byline and a payment.
Look for niche publications in the field that you want to build your freelance writing career in.
Guest posting will expose you to new audiences and provide additional networking opportunities. For best results, choose platforms that ask for a pitch first. once the article idea is approved, you’ll get to create the content, get it published and receive a payment/byline.
Do you have experience with content mills for international writers? Are there any good platforms that I’ve missed out? Share your experience with content mill writing, whether you’re still doing it and how you’ve managed to move forward.