On Content Mill Writing
Content mills get a mixed review, in general, from freelancers and professionals. Many writers have started a career churning out content, others warn new writers to avoid them at all costs. The argument, that it brings down the price and pay for professionals when others are willing to work for peanuts, is valid. However, many companies are paying writers and social media specialists a living wage despite the existence of the mills. While some bigger companies do indeed use the mills, many of those paying very little for a lot are web start-ups and small businesses that may not be able to afford regular-priced content services.
That being said, if we face facts, while there are professional writers (myself included) who pick up mill work when business is slow and they need to know there will be a paycheck this week, many writers are beginners. Some mills go out of business if they are unable to keep clients happy. While there is rarely a lack of new writer blood who wish to cut their freelance teeth on mill assignments, many excellent writers eventually break out of millwork to try to land private clients. Those few with the talent and skill to succeed will leave, replaced by two people eager to try making money from home as a content writer.
Some of the mills are actually great places for the beginner and professional to make a few dollars. In fact, ones with good editors and guidelines such as Scripted (more of an agency than a mill) and Search Influence can truly influence ever-important SEO skills.
If you have spent the entire week on pitches and queries and haven't really written anything, these companies are great for having at least a little coming in. In most cases, if you are good, you are going to get on a favorite list for some clients, and once private requests start coming in, there is some money to be made.
In future blogs I will discuss my experiences with some of the better ones, and be a little more specific.
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