Many freelance writers make a living on content mills. A few of these websites offer great opportunities, yet the reputation of mills remains overwhelmingly negative because of the pay level these websites offer.
As a writer, I rely on a mix of private clients and projects discovered through content mill sites. Though mills tend to have a relatively low pay, they can be a nice option for accumulating a bit of additional income.
I’ve already talked about some of the best content mills and the advantages of writing for such websites. To make the presentation complete, I’ll also need to touch upon some of the shortcomings and risks connected to relying on such websites to make a living.
The first and most obvious disadvantage is that you’ll often be forced to write highly complicated, specialized texts for next to nothing.
A number of content mills ask for project execution at ridiculous rates that remain below one cent per word. The number of content mills that feature payments in the range from three to seven cents per word is quite limited.
If you live in a country that has a good dollar to local currency exchange rate, you will probably feel happy about the quoted payments. Everybody else, however, will be better off building a portfolio and looking for private clients.
Though finding your own clientele will require more time, the decision will make more financial sense in the long run.
Long Periods without Work
Many content mills have long periods of drought during which the available work is nonexistent.
If you rely on content mills to make a living, you will have to add a big number of websites to the list. Checking all of those and looking for projects in different websites will be the only way to guarantee a decent volume of work.
Alternatively, there could be periods featuring a big number of writing requests. Such periods are great for making some money but they can’t be relied upon if you are looking for consistency.
You’ll be Incapable of Building Your Reputation
Nearly 100 percent of the clients that look for content through the mill websites are in need of ghost writers. This means that you will complete the project and it will come up under somebody else’s name. Only the client will know that you did the writing for them.
This is why content mills are a bad idea if you are looking for opportunities to build your portfolio. If you need to have the texts appearing online with your name, you will have to look for other opportunities.
When working with private clients, you will get reviews and testimonials that you can use to build your reputation (if the client is in need of a ghostwriting service). In the case of content mills, clients will often have absolutely no idea about who did the writing for them.
Working with Some Editors could be Difficult
Some content mills have editors that are a true pleasure to work with. Writers can learn a lot from these people and the process will be mutually beneficial. In other instances, however, working with content mill editors is going to be a painful experience.
A few mills have really strict editorial guidelines. Others come up with rules of their own. It’s possible for a text to be returned multiple times for revisions, even if you think that you did a good job.
Work with such editors will make you waste a lot of time on a single text, which will decrease the profitability of working for content mills even further. You will simply need to know where to draw the line and how much you’re going to take from an editor.
Insignificant Pay if You’re a Slow Writer
If you are a relatively fast writer, you will get to earn some good money by writing for mills. Everybody else will simply be getting pennies for properly researched, well-written texts that could have been sold at a much higher price elsewhere.
Content mills make sense if you are capable of pushing out fast texts and accepting numerous orders per day. Otherwise, you will be making 10 to 30 dollars per day. This amount is perfectly insufficient for a freelance writer willing to build a career and accept this opportunity as a full-time occupation.
The attractiveness of these websites depends. Some writers are incredibly happy, others prefer to look for work elsewhere. You will simply need to set your priorities straight and figure out which sources of online income will help you achieve your goals.
Being highly selective about mills and about the clients to write for will give you an opportunity to enjoy working for these websites. Many writers have used them as a way to get started, to come in contact with clients and to establish the solid beginning of their career. Regardless of the option you choose, you need to have a strategy and you need to do research in advance. The more you learn about opportunities, the smarter decisions you are going to make.
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