Last Updated on August 30, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
I’ve received a couple of comments about how writing for content mills is a horrible way to make money. And all I can say is that it’s driven my success to where I am today. But does that mean everyone will have the same experience?
The truth is, and you probably don’t want to hear this, but not everyone is cut out to be a writer. And that’s OK.
Today, let’s take a look at the real breakdown of being a freelance writer and what it entails. Then, you can decide for yourself if it’s something you’ll want to invest time into developing online.
Pros and Cons of Freelance Content Writing
I’ve made a lot of money over the years working with content mills. And although I do appreciate the platforms I use, such as Textbroker and WriterAccess, they are not without drawbacks.
In reality, no system is. There are good and bad sides to just about everything. So, let me break down what you can expect.
Writing for Content Mills is Good…
If you are new to writing and need some experience in AP Style English.
I’ve yet to meet a business owner who will hire a beginner writer without some kind of a background. And many of the better-paying jobs require a bachelor’s degree or an impressive amount of experience.
Content mills can help you get that experience for both client interaction and fine-tuning how you write.
If you need to get started right away.
In many cases, it’s easier to get started with content mills as opposed to trying to land your own private clients. It could be weeks or months before hearing back from a company.
Personally, I think you should look for private clients while writing on content mills. That way, you’re still bringing in a bit of money while waiting for a response.
For those who just want to make a few bucks on the side.
I started writing because my paltry paycheck wasn’t covering all the bills. If you have a spare hour throughout the day, why not write to bring in a bit of money?
Even though I turned it into a career, I know a lot of writers who just like to make a few dollars to play with over the weekend.
For those who thoroughly enjoy writing.
As I said before, not everyone is cut out to be a writer. I am able to hammer out thousands of words per day, every day, because it’s in my blood. Quite literally, actually.
If you don’t really enjoy what you do, you’re not going to be as good at it as you’d hope. This is true no matter what profession you go into. That’s because your mentality will affect how you view the job.
To build confidence in yourself as a professional.
All my life, I’ve struggled with having full confidence in myself. Writing for content mills and then on to private clients made a huge impact on how I view myself as a professional.
And it wasn’t just in my writing, either. I find I am far more confident today with life in general. Once you view yourself in a positive light, all kinds of good things start to present themselves.
Writing for Content Mills is Bad…
In that you don’t make as much money.
It’s true that you won’t make as much writing for a content mill as you would with a private client. However, some of the jobs are easier, and you can go through many jobs relatively quick.
This means you can pull in quite a bit if you focus on the content and write as much as humanly possible.
But, in general, you’ll make far more money writing for private clients than you will a content mill. It’s getting those clients that can pay you enough to sustain yourself that is the daunting part.
Because you have to closely monitor your own finances.
Unlike a traditional job, you need to set aside funds for sick days, vacations, retirement, health insurance, taxes, and everything else an employer usually tracks.
This means you have to be incredibly focused on what you make and how to save for vastly important financial needs. Focusing on your financial responsibilities is imperative as a freelancer of any kind.
For those who are on the fence about writing.
I’ve seen a lot of “writers” give up quickly as they simply could not hack it as a freelancer. If you’re not fully committed to writing, you’re not going to have the best experience.
It’s OK to test the waters. But just because you can’t make it work doesn’t mean someone else can’t as well. I’m proof of what you can accomplish with dedication and motivation to succeed.
If you’re looking to get rich quick.
For me to become the success I am today, it took a very long time. I spent the first year and a half working up from a 3-Star writer in Textbroker. My average weekly payouts ranged around $25 to $50.
By the time I was able to bring in $300 to $500 per week, I had built up my skill, learned a lot of AP Style writing, and focused on client experience. It’s not something that most people will do overnight.
If you don’t diversify yourself.
Start by writing content you know best, but don’t be afraid to branch out and try new topics. The more flexible you are in content mills, the better.
And don’t just stick to one platform. Textbroker is great, but in the beginning, I was using several mills simultaneously and writing on whichever platform had work at that moment.
If you can’t diversify yourself and quickly adapt to various niches and topics, you won’t make as much in a content mill.
The Right Mentality for Freelancing
Not everyone is going to be able to pull in a full-time income through writing for content mills. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to in the very beginning. After all, I was pulling in, what, $20 per week?
But, I kept with it mostly because I needed a few extra bucks each week to offset what I lacked in my paycheck from the school district. Making $8 per hour doesn’t do much for supporting a family of four.
After a year and a half, I was able to get to a point where I brought in more than twice what I was making. So, I quit my IT position for the schools and began writing full-time. And, I’ve been doing it since 2013.
But, it took a long time to get to that point.
I was able to make a living as a freelance writer using nothing but content mills. And there were days when I started to feel burnt out. But, I kept pushing and writing, every day.
Now, am I saying that writing for content mills is the best way to make money online? No!
In fact, it’s my private client right now who pays all my bills and allows me to live without stressing about finances.
Go Beyond Content Mills When You’re Ready
My point is that content mills are great as stepping stones to a far better lifestyle and career. Don’t think of them as being the only way you can make money online by writing content.
Content mills are great for getting experience for both writing and dealing with clients. Use them as ways to learn and grow as a professional. Then, start looking for private clients and businesses who can throw more money your way.
Or, you could maintain a blog while writing for content mills and start doing that full-time once the website brings in enough to make your day worthwhile.
There are a lot of different paths you can take as an online writer. Don’t limit yourself to just one, and make sure you diversify your income.
Writing Can Be a Good Online Career
Not everyone is going to have the same experience as an online writer. It’s not something you can just pick up and make a successful living.
Too many people have this misconception that anyone can write full-time. That would be like assuming you can step onto a football field and immediately quarterback for a professional team.
It takes dedication, practice, and perseverance to be successful in anything you choose. Before you try to commit to freelancing, ask yourself honestly, “Is this something I can do 10 years from now?“