Why You Should Avoid Writing for Content Mills

Content mills have spelled the beginning of many freelance writing careers. They’re so popular because it doesn’t take much for them to accept you. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have and you can normally get ready to write straightaway. Now, what if we told you content mills aren’t good for your long-term career?

Here are some of the reasons why.

The Pay is Low


Even at the highest levels, which aren’t easy to reach, the pay isn’t fantastic. You can expect to work for some of the lowest rates within the industry. Yes, it’s true that the work often flows in abundance. That means you can work quickly in order to build up your bank account. It sounds good, but keep reading to find out why this isn’t a viable option.

They Still Expect High Quality


Yes, you can’t rush the work to earn more. The editors working for these content mills still expect the highest quality. You can find yourself working for less than a cent per word, despite the fact the site wants you to produce work that could sell for five cents per word. The standards are high and you’ll receive penalties if you don’t meet these standards.

Inconsistent Editors


In an ideal world, you would always work with the same editor. This is how it would work if you were working with a private client. Instead, your work will go into a general pool where any old editor can pick it up and edit it. That means any feedback you receive could completely contradict the feedback someone has given you in the past. This is confusing for newer writers and no way to improve.

Furthermore, many of these editors have no clue what they’re doing. We’ve heard hundreds of horror stories relating to editors who penalise perfectly good writers for grammar errors that aren’t really grammar errors. So now the writer has to purposely do the wrong thing to satisfy someone who has no clue what they’re doing.

How frustrating is that?

Nothing to Show for It


Content mills give you a small package of monetary compensation for your work. That’s it. You can’t claim credit for that spectacular piece you wrote on washing powders. Part of the deal is the client doesn’t even know your name. They order from the content mill and the content mill passes the work to you. There’s nothing you can do about this. It’s all in the contract you sign.

You could earn thousands of dollars from content mills, but it won’t help you in the long-term. You’ll still have no portfolio pieces to show potential private clients. You’re not moving forward with your freelance writing career.

So What are Content Mills Good For?


It would be wrong of us to say content mills are completely useless for every single person in the world. That’s not true. They’re fantastic for people who need money on the same day and are willing to earn almost nothing in exchange for it. If you need an extra ten dollars for groceries, a trip to the content mill is a perfectly valid way to get it.

If you want to build a lucrative writing career with your own team of writing clients, you have to leave the safety of the content mills. It may mean less work for now and it may not provide the security of work we all crave, but you will make and accomplish more.

Working for content mills now?

Reduce your workload and begin creating a website and finding private clients. Over time, you can gradually extract yourself from the content mills.


5 thoughts on “Why You Should Avoid Writing for Content Mills

  1. Under that theory, though, no one who writes web copy would ever have a viable sample, as those never have bylines.

  2. What is to stop you though, from finding your articles on the interwebz and posting the links on your portfolio so people can see samples of your work? So what if your name is not attached?

      1. But under that theory, no one who writes web content, i.e. home pages for websites, would ever have any samples as the writer’s name does not appear.

      2. This is true. However, from my experience, when writing web content the clients do not mind you using them as a reference. Content mills could be used on your resume, however, I don’t think they look to good.

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