Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
A lot of people have made a career out of writing from home. In fact, I am one of them. Since 2012, I’ve completed thousands of articles for thousands of clients around the world. And it all started from a content mill.
Though, I had to put in a ton of effort and market myself well to get where I am today. But if it wasn’t for content mills, I would never have developed into the freelance writer I am now.
Today, I’ll share a bit about mill sites, how they work, and whether using them is right for you.
What is a Content Mill?
A content mill is often referred to as a website that connects clients to potential writers. The term “mill” is used to describe the fast-paced turn-out of content covering everything from product descriptions to lengthy eBooks.
Usually based on a low, per-word rate, writers can complete as many jobs as they can. As long as the work is readily available, authors can pick up a job and complete it within a specified time frame.
The faster you are, the more money you can make.
While writing for a content mill, you are essentially a “ghostwriter.” This means you have no rights to the material once you’ve submitted a job to a client and he or she accepts.
At which point, the client can add any name to the article or change it to fit exact needs.
The entire premise of these sites is built around being able to churn out a massive amount of articles in a very short period of time.
In reality, there are plenty of benefits for using content mills, especially if you’re new to writing. But some of the most important include:
Learning How to Write
When I began as a writer in 2012, I didn’t know the first thing about AP Style English. The editors at various content mills, such as Textbroker and Constant Content, helped me hone my skills.
If you don’t have experience as a professional writer, it’s more difficult to find work. Websites like these give you ample time to learn and grow while making a bit of money on the side.
Adapting to Clients
You will come across a wide range of clients through content mills. Some will be excited about your work, while others will hate for the sake of hating. Experiencing this range of client types helps you develop a professional mindset.
Now, not all clients are going to be clear on instructions. In many cases, I had to turn down work because I simply couldn’t understand what he or she wanted.
However, learning to interact with a professional attitude across a spectrum of clientele is only going to improve your interactions when dealing with private customers later on.
Developing a Good Work Ethic
And lastly, using sites like this help you develop a good work ethic. Working from home isn’t as easy as some might believe. It’s all about finding a good rhythm for yourself that keeps you productive and making money.
During my peak while writing at Textbroker, I discovered when my most productive times of the day are, streamlined client interaction, created goals, and pushed hard for success.
Sure, you can develop these skills outside of a content mill. But, these sites let you start off as a novice writer and field your own path while making money.
Can You Make Money Using a Content Mill?
For five years, I wrote exclusively for content mills. I was able to pay my bills while having a bit of extra money each month. And this was while living in Los Angeles.
However, it’s not something that happens instantly or overnight. I had to work exceptionally hard to bring in that kind of money.
To get where I am today, I had to:
- Spend a lot of time researching ways to write in Google.
- Practice writing on my blog when not doing a job for a client.
- Dedicate myself to bring in a specific amount of money every day.
- Write down every critique and research ways to improve.
- Stay motivated to keep writing when all I wanted to do was play Diablo III.
As a 3-Star in Textbroker, I was averaging between $12 and $15 an hour back in 2012. In 2017, I was averaging closer to $30 an hour as a 4-Star. I worked hard to get on as many teams as I could while maintaining a decent flow of Direct Order clients.
I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars using content mills, so, I know it can be done. But I had to put in a lot of work and motivate myself to power through every day.
Why Do Some People Hate Content Mills?
Most people who do not like a content mill say it’s because of the lack of pay. And this is true; at a content mill, you’ll only make between $0.01 to $0.014 per word depending on your skill level or the job’s contract.
That doesn’t sound like a lot, does it? But if you can write 1,100 per hour on average like I do, it’s an easy $15 every hour you write.
And that’s not including some of the other benefits. For instance, Textbroker hands out all kinds of goodies for high-production…including cash bonuses.
Then, there are the teams I am on that only pay out $0.0139 per word but are so easy to write, I wind up making $25 every hour.
Compared to private clients, though, you don’t make nearly as much money. When brands hire you to blog, some pay $1 per word or more. Or, you can have a retainer contract that pays you whether you write or not.
In reality, private clients are the way to go if you really want a career as a freelance writer. But, a content mill can give you a start if you’re new to writing.
5 of the Best Content Mills You Can Try Right Now
There are plenty of sites out there that will pay writers. However, I’m only going to mention the ones that either worked for me or have excellent potential, from my point of view.
If you’ve had success at other sites, feel free to let me know. I’d love to hear from you.
Textbroker is definitely my top choice when it comes to a quality content mill. It’s the site I’ve made the most money with while having an awesome experience with both clients and Textbroker staff.
In this system, you can choose from an open pool of jobs by category, join writing teams, and focus on direct order clients. And with the new production rewards, I’m half-tempted to go back to writing with Textbroker just so I can get a trip to Las Vegas.
Although I haven’t made money with Constant Content, I love its overall premise. Writers can essentially create whatever they want in terms of content to sell to a potential buyer.
The end result could be making 10 to 20 times more than you would on other content mills. The hardest part is writing something people want to buy.
They do have an ordering system much like other mills, though. So, clients can directly ask for specific pieces.
In the beginning, I used Textbroker and WriterAccess at the same time. I would have two browser windows open and would just go back and forth taking any available work.
Nowadays, WriterAccess has a vast offering for both writers and clients. And the only reason why I stopped using the service was because I became so busy with Textbroker.
WriterAccess is a great source for those who want to get into creating content.
Contently is another that I haven’t used in the past. However, I’ve heard nothing but good things from writers who have.
It goes a bit further than Textbroker in that it also centers around visual content as well as text.
I did sign up for a Contently account, and based on their pay rate claims, you can make some decent money. It all comes down to client and job, like most other sites.
Fiverr is another that’s not necessarily a content mill, but it has a lot of writing work available. It’s also another one I was using at the same time as Textbroker and WriterAccess.
In Fiverr, you set your rates and can offer extra elements clients can pay you to include. For instance, you can offer stock photos for the articles you write for a fee per image.
There’s quite a bit of flexibility and the ability to deliver a unique experience to clients. The only downside is that I found I made more money per hour on Textbroker than on Fiverr.
Then again, I really didn’t offer anything outside of pure content. So, I’m sure you could take it even further.
You Get What You Put In
Effort dictates success. The harder you work at anything, the more money you’ll potentially make. I’m not saying that using a content mill is in everyone’s best interest. But, I am the success I am today because of these kinds of sites.
If you try any of the above and they don’t seem to work out for you, there’s nothing wrong with that. Content mills aren’t for everyone.
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