If you’re new to the freelancing game, there is a possibility that you may have been introduced to content mills. Please, for the love of all the words in your dictionary, get out! These sites are designed to churn out as many articles as possible and have very little regard for writers. Some writers seem to be making a steady flow of income on these sites, however, you could be doing so much more with your time.
Your Rating Does Not Reflect Your Writing Ability
Some sites have stars and others have levels in order to rate their writers. The sad truth is that there are top level writers contributing to these sites who only got there because they paid the fee. The rest have to go through the levels and try to work their way up, constantly battling low rates, time constraints, and stolen articles.
Other sites don’t have rating scales and you can start writing immediately. This means that anyone with a spam churner can submit their articles here as well. Copyscape may be a part of the system, but there is no way to see whether an article has been spun. This makes It difficult for the legit writers who take pride in their work.
Feedback from the customers will affect your ratings and if you happen to catch the midnight crowd on a Friday night, you may end up in a lower bracket by Monday. This is simply because there are clients who will use your articles and not pay the measly $2 – $18 per article.
Native and Non-Native
English seems to be the language of choice on most of these sites. The moment your IP triggers you’re from a country not deemed English-speaking, you’re flagged or blocked. The sad truth is that there are many countries who have households communicating in English only, thereby excluding a large percentage of writers.
You may feel protected from article theft on a content mill, but there are ways to copy your article and still decline it. There is simply no remedy for writers who have done searches on their articles, only to find it being used on other sites. Support teams are simply just there to answer the tickets, not actually do anything about your complaint. One thing is abundantly clear on these sites: the writers are right at the bottom of the food chain.
Clients come first and only after a fight will their accounts be blocked. They simply create new profiles and start their article-skimming scams again. They will approve just enough articles to remain below the radar, though.
While you’re churning out articles at rates between $2 and $16 per 500 words, there is simply no way you will know that you are grossly underpaid. Some writers are able to churn out 500 words in 20 minutes. The sad reality is that a lot of these articles require formatting and a ton of research. Most of the articles will take you 45 minutes or longer.
If you calculate body breaks into this, it takes roughly an hour per article. If you’re writing at the highest rate, this means you’re earning $16 per hour. You may think that this is a good rate but bear in mind that according to your mill, you’re at the top of your game. If you’re writing eight articles a day, it means you will have no time to contribute to a personal blog.
It’s also important to note that there are great article markets out there that will probably pay double for the article you were busy with last. How do I know this? The articles you find on content mills are usually articles that are in demand and will sell well on other platforms.
Do not be lulled into a false sense of security. A website who has over 100 000 writers working for them may seem a little more secure than bidding sites. However, you need to know that the articles you post on these sites are not yours. The moment you’ve submitted, those articles belong to the website.
If that does not freak you out… You also need to know that if you make it your duty to report clients or have constant queries, you will be booted and a less stressful writer will take your place. They simply do not have the manpower to follow up all your tickets. Also, will try to get rid of you at the first opportunity. Blocked accounts cannot be unblocked. Therefore, if you have any articles on these sites that have not been approved, back them up. You can sell them before they’re stolen should the site dump you.
These websites also have a lifespan and simply sticking to one is risky. Many writers felt the pinch as websites closed down, along with their only sources of income.
If you’re still stuck on writing for the content mills, try to work your way out. Dedicate some time and effort on your own platform. Talented writers should be able to demand great rates. Writing a 500-word piece for anything less than $10 is a shame when there’s no research involved. Writing a 500-word piece for anything less than $30 is downright awful if there’s research involved.