I’ve been a writer and editor going on seven years, and it really surprises and saddens me how people still undervalue writing. And I find that content mills undervalue writing.
So what exactly is a content mill? It’s a company that corrals a large amount of writers and pays them poorly AND takes a percentage of the profits.
How poorly? Try a blog post for $15. And that may sound like a reasonable price to you. But if you want your writing to be well-researched, without errors, and thoughtfully written, there’s no way you can consistently get that for such a low price.
Why? Because now you’re looking at volume. Someone is going to just poop out a post in 10 minutes because they need to take on a lot of work in a short amount of time to make ends meet.
Do you want someone to look at your content in that way, without much regard for accuracy or quality?
I’ll just say this right now – you need to be paying at least three figures for a blog post – no matter, how long or short the post is, no matter how much experience the writer has.
The idea of using these places is that someone can vouch for your work, that it isn’t plagiarized (hello, Copyscape!), that there aren’t typos – there’s a level of credibility and professionalism that you’re allegedly purchasing.
But the problem is, the only people being able to have a profitable business are the ones running these places (which, by the way, I’m not linking to).
I cut some of my professional teeth in these places, and I didn’t necessarily turn off my quality meter because I was being paid crap. But I didn’t know any better.
I definitely know better now. But I’m always surprised by who approaches me for work and the agencies that masquerade themselves as profitable for writers. And last week, I came across both types.
The first came through a weekly newsletter I receive for job alerts. The website looked slick and put together, and I applied with writing samples and a resume.
I got a reply within the hour, impressed with my work. I received all this information about how to research (from Reddit? Really?), all this infrastructural information with videos and documents. So professional looking.
And they made it sound like I would be doing them a favor by writing well. There was something to the effect of “if we really like you, then you’ll get paid more.”
So, we get down to pay. It was 500 words for $15. ??♀️
It makes me wonder what they charge their client if the overhead is so low.
The agency was looking to start me immediately, but I respectfully declined and thanked them for their consideration.
The other agency is based in Europe. I received a contact request on LinkedIn about joining them. So I replied asking them about what kind of writing, type of clients, and rates.
Sadly, the rates were pretty similar to the other agency I had applied to.
Thanks, but no thanks. ??
What really pisses me off about this is how writing as a profession isn’t treated with respect.
And here’s the thing: you would never demand such poor rates from a doctor, an attorney, a car mechanic, a hair stylist, and other everyday professionals. (If you do, then bless your heart, please learn how to value other people’s time and expertise, ASAP!) Only creatives seem to deal with this. You should read Clients from Hell if you want to hear some horror stories from the front lines.
I do have one caveat: there are a couple of places I still write at that have a lot of writers but the rates are competitive. I wouldn’t call them mills, though. If you’re a little skittish about working with someone directly outright, I recommend them.
So if you really want quality writing, you should go to an expert, like me. Check out what people have to say about the professional. Check out samples of their work. Or if you want to give the professional test drive, pay for it! Ask around from other colleagues, family, and friends.
Simply put: if you’re not ready to pay professional rates for writing, then you’re not ready for quality writing. You do get what you pay for and it will impact your business in a way that doesn’t reflect the quality services or products you’re giving your customers.
But, if you’re interested in someone helping you carve time for your writing or to improve your skills, I can help with that, too.
Don’t get fooled by some large company with hundreds of writers. Content mills only focus on making money for themselves, not to make their writers nor their clients ultimately happy.
If you want to learn more about if I could be the right editor or writer, for you, then let’s schedule a time to talk today!
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