Freelance Writing Jobs: Pros and Cons of Content Mills
If you are a beginner, good freelance writing jobs can be very difficult to find. Reputable firms and companies tend to hire freelance writers who have already established themselves and have a solid portfolio to back themselves up. Due to this fact, many "newbies" migrate to companies who will pay a pool of writers to generate content for their many customers. In the world of freelance writing, these are traditionally referred to as content mills. Should you consider working for these companies? As you can see below, there are many pros and cons which need to be considered before deciding if writing for content mills is a viable strategy for your freelance writing career.
1. Poor Compensation:
As a beginning writer, any writing jobs which you complete for the various content mills will be compensated at the lowest pay grade. As an example, on one of the content mills I currently work for, a standard offer for a new writer is $2.43 for a 500-word article. That works out to be about half a cent per word! It is true that this is certainly on the low side, and writers can expect pay to climb as you gain experience and credibility. Nevertheless, even when they gain that experience, pay is still below market value and is certainly not a pathway to riches!
2 Unreasonable Time Demands:
Creating the very best possible content can be very difficult when a writer is given a ridiculously short amount of time in which to compose it. When writing for content mills this is exactly what happens. The nature of the business is to churn out as much content as possible. They simply do not have time to wait for "masterpieces" to be created. In turn what happens is that quality will often be sacrificed in favor of quantity in a virtual race against the clock!
3. Few Good Assignments:
In my personal time writing for content mills, I have discovered that there are very few good assignments. In order to have a chance at securing any work, I needed to sign up for 5 different companies. Even then, the jobs tended to be all about SEO and keyword density. The lack of quality assignments can be very discouraging for any writer.
An overwhelming dream for many freelance writers is to "be our own boss" and live life on our own terms. This includes picking and choosing what to do, when to do it, and who to work for. Working for the content mills can provide this flexibility and independence. Writers have the ability to pick the jobs they want to fulfill. If the time limits or content nature of the job is unappealing, the writer can simply take a pass.
2. Connecting and Networking:
Content mills provide excellent opportunities to network and communicate with other writers. There are sophisticated email systems and chat rooms which enable editors and writers to connect with one another. For any new freelance writer, this is absolutely invaluable as they learn new tips, tricks and potential opportunities for future work.
We all know that you should not put all your investment money in any one particular industry. If that industry has a downturn, you will lose everything. The same holds true for your freelance writing career. Writing for content mills should be only one part of a larger strategy. It should be used to compliment the other writing services you provide such as blogging, article writing and creating ebooks. It is also a great place to turn when the other better paying jobs are scarce.
There is little doubt that writing for content mills has many advantages and disadvantages. I have attempted to outline what I have found from my own experience writing for these companies. In truth, writers tend to have very strong opinions about this subject. They either love content mills...or completely despise them. Please feel free to complete the poll below to express your opinion on the subject!