Before I start this, I want to be very honest. My views of content mills have changed. I actually believe you should look at each content mill on its own merits. Before I start writing for content mills, I look at their minimum payout threshold, whether they have forums (and then check the forums for other writer complaints), the amount of work they tend to get, and the amount they pay. I’ll also find out more about their customer support and any shady tactics.
Not all content mills are created the same.
I also believe that content mills can be good for some writers. I still use them to top up my income every now and then. Although honestly I haven’t needed them since last summer when I did a big international move and needed to get some money in quickly to replace that money I’d spent. Before that I couldn’t have even told you the last time I wrote at content mills.
A content mill isn’t something you want to do long term. To make a living writing, you want to have plans to get away from the rat race, the bidding of jobs, and the low pay. Here’s a look at why it could be time for you to give up writing at content mills and start focusing on gaining private clients.
You Simply Can’t Make a Living Writing for Content Mills
The BIGGEST reason to stop writing for these mills is that they don’t pay enough to survive on. Well, okay, you can get enough to survive but don’t you want to do more than that?
I can type quickly and when I was solely writing for the mills, I was able to make enough to get by. But that was it. I was making enough to pay the bills and afford food. I couldn’t go anywhere or enjoy a holiday.
I wanted much more from my job – and you should too! I wanted to be able to take a week long holiday without worrying about the cost, which I’ve done numerous times since focusing on private clients. I wanted to be able to treat my daughters now and then. I wanted to be able to take a day off just because I could, which I’ve since been able to.
Writing for content mills would never give me the ability to do that.
Since getting out of the content mills and writing for higher paying clients, I’ve been able to afford a holiday! I’m actually going away a week tomorrow and I can’t wait!
Write Your Way to $1,000 Per Month and More!: Support Your Family With Your Writing Income
Writing for Content Mills Leads to Burn Out
I tried making enough one month to be able to afford the luxuries and take some time off but you know what I got? Burn out!
I ended up writing for a whole month without taking one day off. By the end of it, I was just on autopilot. I didn’t want to work anymore and didn’t enjoy my job.
The topics didn’t interest me and I was writing for the sake of writing. I was looking for topics that I’d already done the research one. 700 articles later (yes, really!) I was done. I was so fed up that I closed the computer and walked away.
It took me two weeks to recover from that. All the money I made from the month was pointless since I needed it just to survive the next month.
Burnout hits any freelancer when they do too much of the same thing and writing for content mills is the quickest way to bring that on. The biggest problem is that the financial gain from my writing was wasted. I think I actually ended up losing money because of the time I took off to recover from it.
I’ve never done anything like that since! Not because I got away from the mills but because it wasn’t worth damaging my health.
Constant Writing Causes Other Health Problems
When I was at writing for content mills during that month long marathon, I hardly took any breaks. In fact, my husband had to take my computer away from me one night so that I would stop working!
Not only did I suffer from burnout, but I was doing damage to my health. My posture was rubbish. My wrists were in agony. My head was pounding. My mental health was at the lowest it had been for a long time!
Get the picture?
The money really wasn’t worth all that! It isn’t worth damaging your health. You may think that having the money is the answer to your problems but is it worth causing health problems, which lead to more money being spent? Of course not!
Stop the mills and market yourself. Find the higher paying clients and do less for more!
You Lose Your Creativity
I used to love writing. I would always have ideas and would constantly create plots with some of my favourite characters.
I’ve got that back now but for a while I just lost all creativity. Not just in my writing but in everything that I did. When someone wanted article ideas, I drew a blank. When I wanted to work on my novel, I couldn’t. When my husband asked what I wanted to do for a day off – and during those two weeks recover – I didn’t have a clue!
Losing your creativity is the worst thing that can happen, whether you’re writing for content mills, private clients or personal fictional projects. It happens because you’re writing the same things over and over again. You’re not getting the breaks you need and your body is just telling you ENOUGH! Listen to it!
Give your creativity a boost and stop slaving away at the pittance that you’re being paid.
Do you still think writing for content mills is worth it? Help your creativity, your health and your bank balance and get out from the slave wages. There are great clients out there and you CAN write for them!
Are you still writing for content mills? Have you had bad experiences with them? Feel free to share your story and experience working for them and whether you think they’re worth your time and effort?
Note: This post was originally published on June 6, 2013. It was updated on May 23, 2017.
Image by: healingdream/Freedigitalphotos.net