Why you shouldn’t write for content mills

Don't write for content mills

Why you shouldn’t write for content mills

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Content mills offer a lot of people a way to write for money. So, why am I telling you not to write for content mills? What is a better option?

I don’t see too much about content mills anymore as a writer, but that could be because I don’t really use them. I have some in my back pocket still, but I don’t really like them. There are too many downsides as a writer to using them.

However, that doesn’t mean I regret using them in the past. I don’t tend to regret a lot as that means I can’t learn from mistakes or things that I’ve done.

I do want you to go into any type of writing with your eyes wide open. It’s important to understand what it’s like to write for content mills and what the downsides are.

They pay peanuts for content

You’re not going to make a lot in a short space of time. While there are some that pay $10-$15 for 500-word articles, there are others that pay just $1-$2. In other words, they really do pay peanuts for hard work. You could find yourself trapped in this system because there isn’t the time to market to higher-paying clients.

However, this really does depend on your writing* speed. This will also depend on the topic and amount of research required. It is possible to make $20-$30 per hour just on the $5 per post sites. Other sites offer $25 per post, which makes it possible to make much more per hour depending on certain considerations.

It’s all ghostwriting when you write for content mills

When you write for content mills, you are ghostwriting for other people. If you’re just working on the side, this may not seem like a big deal. However, for those trying to break into freelance writing, it means you cannot use the content for your portfolio. You will need to ask for permission, and then there is no proof that you were the original writer.

Ghostwriters will usually charge more for their content. This is due to the inability to use it afterward. Even a link from your own website is not allowed in most cases.

MORE: Why you need a side hustle when you work full-time

You won’t always like the topics

The topics will not always be fun and interesting. There are some seriously questionable topics at times, and some just require so much research it is unbelievable. Since you don’t always like them, you could start to question why you even write for a living. Is that something you really want to happen?

It also becomes harder to write something. The creativity isn’t there, and you need to do more research. That means your hourly rate shoots down considerably.

Revisions aren’t paid for when you write for content mills

In most cases, whether you write for content mills or not, the first revision will be free. Most freelance writers* offer this as a goodwill gesture. However, with content mills, there can be multiple revisions and you are not paid for any of them. In some cases, there are processes that you can go through to find out the reason for rejection and ask the editors to look into the decision again, but that is not always the case.

Even without revisions, if pieces are rejected then the writer is not paid. Clients can reject pieces for all sorts of reasons, including something that is out of the writer’s control.

There are some questionable editors

There have been cases where content mills are full of editors who are there to make a writer’s job much harder. This is certainly not the case with all, but something you need to look out for. The editors will send pieces back for a subjective reason, or because he or she did not see the content being written a certain way based on the keyword and instructions.

I will stress that this is not the case with all content mills. There are some that will side with the writers more than the clients.

Content mills are not for all writers. There are certainly benefits, but there are also many downsides. The question is whether you want to put up with the negatives for the sake of a side income doing something you generally enjoy.

MORE: Can you make money writing fiction?

Do you write for content mills? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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