50 Ways to Sell Your Writing — #4: Content Mills

Content Mills50 Ways

Part 4 of a multi-blog series on how many ways there are for writers of all stripes to make a living doing what they love. Check out #1 over at FictionalCafe.com, and #3 right here

Ehow, oDesk, PSFK.com, Demand Media, Constant Content, Answers.com. These are all sites that hire you to write a bunch of articles for 15 to 25 or so. I’m not linking to them because the pay is low…but it’s not work for free or “for exposure,” either. A lot of people poo-poo working for content mills, and they’re right that it’s not the best deal a writer can get.

But…it’s consistent work for writers still building up their resumes. If you’re fast, you can knock out two or three articles an hour. That’s $30 to $75 an hour working in your underwear from home.

It works like this.

You get on the writing staff. You look at a database of stuff people want written. You claim or bid for one, then write it. If accepted, you get paid.

Pros

  • Consistent work you don’t have to pitch for
  • Low barrier for entry/place to build clips
  • Can train you to write quickly

Cons

  • Very low pay by industry standards
  • Can take up so much time you don’t build your brand
  • Editors can be of extremely low quality
  • Can train you to write poorly

Markets That Hire

Pro Tip

Be mercenary about your work with a content mill. All content mills are gaming the system and (mildly) abusing their writers. Use this as a stepping stone, and don’t be shy about gaming their systems to learn what you can, earn what you need, and move on. They won’t be sentimental about you, so don’t get sentimental about them.

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