Content Mill Announces Unusual Requirements to Help Writers
Evan Jensen | 52 Comments
Unusual Requirements for Content Mill Work. Makealivingwriting.com

Unusual Requirements for Content Mill Work. Makealivingwriting.com.Need more freelance work? A leading content mill just stepped up to the plate to help freelancers in an unusual way.

If you’ve been thinking about chasing content mill work as a freelance writer, now might be the first time in content-mill history to consider it.

Why? For every day of the shelter-in-place orders around the world, the demand for high-quality, well-written, and engaging content keeps rising…something content mills haven’t always provided.

But that’s about to change.

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve done a thorough assessment of our platforms,” says Content Mill Consortium spokesman Westley Roberts. “We need to do a better job at compensating freelance writers and helping our clients hire great talent. And that time is now.”

The plan, spearheaded by one of the top content mills in the industry, outlines changes to improve rates and connect freelance writers with quality clients, says Roberts. But there are also some unusual requirements the plan includes to help the best freelancers rise to the top.

Ready to move up and earn more? Here’s what you need to know.

The COVID-19 content mill shake-up

So what are the unusual requirements the leading member of the Content Mill Consortium plans to roll out?

Documents obtained by an insider at the Content Mill Consortium from a source only known as “Ryan,” describe the changes one leading content mill plans to implement, beginning today, April 1.

If you want to write for content mills in the COVID-19 climate, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Work for pennies. Struggle, get by, barely make ends meet writing…like a poor farm boy. It’s a way to prove yourself, earn your stripes, and maybe even have extra left over to buy bread, says Roberts.
  • Never get bylines. Even though many ghostwriting gigs pay top dollar, you can ghostwrite for content mill clients for dirt cheap. Play it safe. Do all the work and let someone else claim your byline and control your future. The trouble is you start to believe the lies that you’re “friendless, brainless, helpless, and hopeless!”
  • Rarely deal directly with clients. Why not do the dirty work for the middle man and get paid in scraps? You could, but it never ends well. It’s kind of like drinking from a glass filled with liquid and poisoned with iocane powder.
  • Race-to-the-bottom bidding. It seems like everybody else is doing it, so that must be the way it’s done. Well, it’s not. Doing freelance work this way is like punching your ticket to the fun-house called The Pit of Despair. When you ask your client for a raise, all you’ll hear is maniacal laughter and the mocking repetition of the word…”interesting.”

Wait, what? Content mills aren’t rolling out the red carpet and paying freelance writers pro rates?

Nope…Happy April Fool’s Day from Make a Living Writing.

The proven way to find freelance writing clients

If you’re serious about moving up and earning more as a freelance writer, stay away from content mills.

Sure, you might find the rare client that pays pro rates there. But most only offer a soul-sucking existence, pay pennies per word, and treat you like  an unemployed giant in Greenland or a poor orphaned boy desperate for revenge. And that’s no way to live.

The proven way to find great freelance writing clients…Reach out. Network. Introduce yourself. Market your services. Connect with editors and marketing directors in your niche. The more you do this, the closer you’ll be to storming the castle and earning pro rates.

Need help leaving the content mills? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Evan Jensen is the blog editor for Make a Living Writing. When he’s not on a writing deadline or catching up on emails, he’s training to run another 100-mile ultra-marathon.

Learn to find, price and land great gigs! Freelance writers den.

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52 comments on “Content Mill Announces Unusual Requirements to Help Writers

  1. Myrt Monroe on

    Hahaha, I now have a favorite article from the Den, this will always be my favorite article… Thanks for sharing Carol, a shimmer of light crowned in darkness. I’m going to archive this one just in case I start feeling “content-milly”…

    Reply
    • Carol Tice on

      Thank my editor Evan — he came up with this concept and wrote it! Some people were offended, which I thought was even more hilarious… I think we all need a laugh now, more than ever.

      Reply
    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Myrt…Thanks for the comment. Glad this put a smile on your face. My journalism-brain just couldn’t allow “said an anonymous source,” so I made up “Content Mill Consortium spokesman Westley Roberts,” inspired by the cult classic The Princess Bride. The trick was trying to write the top of this post in a way that might actually be believable.

      Reply
  2. Millicent on

    ….I even forgot such a day exists and it’s halfway the money month already. Thanks for the laugh and the reminder. I have laughed at my hunger to get a membership as a freelancer I never saw that coming. It’s so relaxing from the push I feel of getting a chance.Hoping to find one here…signed up the waiting list already. God bless the Den.

    Reply
    • Carol Tice on

      Oh, they surely do, Aunice. When I started this blog in 2008, I thought I could warn the writers of the world off them, and they’d go away. But as PT Barnum said, a new sucker IS born every minute. So the work of this blog continues!

      Reply
  3. Erika on

    Hi Carol,

    Oh my GOSH! You really got me on that one…thanks for the laughs, I needed them!!! If it hadn’t been for my son I never even would have remembered April Fool’s Day.

    Thanks, too, for all the AMAZING resources available in the Den. I’m signed up for your content strategist bootcamp, and the honest, useful, REAL advice and support you provide there is astounding for the small amount you charge.

    Fight on, soldier!

    Blessings,
    Erika:)

    Reply
  4. Alice Wilson on

    Yeah I agree, genius both of you!

    I got suckered the first time when Nick Cannon, host of The Masked Singer announced last night that he was leaving the show!!

    Y’all had me primed for something brilliant and I got it!

    Reply
  5. Cevia on

    OMG – I thought you had gone to the dark side, Evan. Second time today I almost got suckered, too! Have to say, that was goooood. Thanks for lightening up the mood Carol and Evan!

    Reply
    • Evan Jensen on

      LOL. We’ve seen a few content creation sites actually pay decent rates like NewsCred, but most content-mill sites have the same amount of integrity as the six-fingered man.

      Reply
  6. Diane on

    I recently wrote two things for a content mill. One assignment I enjoyed and one I didn’t. I never thought writing for them would amount to much though I thought picking up an assignment when I felt like it would help with both speed writing exercises and the write every day habit. Might as well make a little bit of money doing that.

    Well, I requested my payout, which only amounted to latte money, and two months later I still didn’t have it (they pay weekly). I told the content mill I’m not writing anything else for them until I get paid. They’ve were responsive but didn’t resolved the issue. They use a payment processor to process author payments. The processor said they didn’t have my bank account information, though I promptly responded to all correspondence.

    At round three of that I decided this is all more bother than it’s worth and I closed my accounts with the content mill and the payment processor. To their credit, the content mill did pay me my latte money outside their regular processes.

    Reply
  7. Thomas on

    Do people still write for content mills? Blymie. I thought by now, no writer worth their salt would ever do that. Oh well. Cheers

    Reply
    • Evan Jensen on

      People still write for content mills…(heavy sigh!). Glad you realize there’s a better way to make money freelancing. Keep going.

      Reply
  8. Athena on

    LOL–nicely done! I was wondering what in the world the content mill universe would have done to have Carol endorse this; I must read now!

    Then, as I was reading, I started thinking:
    -Consortium? That’s an interesting choice in name.
    -Work for pennies??? Damn, they got me!! LOL

    Touché, Evan–touché! LOL

    Reply
  9. Florie Barry on

    Happy April Fool’s Day Evan and Carol. I enjoy your articles and possibly missed reading a few articles over the years. What is your opinion on publishing stories on Online Publishing Platforms? Do you feel they are similar to Content Mills? As an Emerging Writer with no website or Blog yet, these Platforms are usually free, tiny payments unless members love our stories, but it should help with Marketing. Thank you for your suggestions.

    Reply
    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Florie,
      Well, there’s a few platforms out there where you could publish your own content there and build a portfolio of samples. And it’s possible to earn well writing content on Medium. But IMO networking and pitching prospects with a well-written query or LOI is still going to be a better avenue.

      Reply
    • Evan Jensen on

      Great to give you a laugh. Content mills do a good job selling the snake oil, but it’s not where writers typically find well-paying gigs.

      Reply
  10. Kaitlin L Morrison on

    Ugh…anytime I see MALWB and “content mill,” you know I MUST read it to see what’s going on! You almost had me. I had to slow down my skimming and re-read a couple paragraphs.

    This is the second April Fools joke I’ve fallen for today. You’d think I’d learn.

    Reply
    • Evan Jensen on

      LOL. Two clues in the lede. The Content Mill Consortium is not a real organization. And Westley Roberts is a combination of names: Westly, the poor farm boy, and the Dread Pirate Roberts, from The Princess Bride.

      Reply
      • Kaitlin L Morrison on

        Evan, now I have to go back and re-read this. 🙂 I totally missed The Princess Bride references!

        I did see Content Mill Consortium and thought it was odd that the industry would DARE label themselves “content mills,” but you still had me for a moment…

        Reply
        • Evan Jensen on

          Hi Kaitlin. Here’s a funny backstory about this. I was trying to come up with a fake name for a content mill or organization. So I randomly type in WriterTopia, thinking there’s no way someone would use this. Turns out this is an actual site for freelancers…but at the bottom of the site’s page, it looks like it was last updated in 2012. Glad you enjoyed The Princess Bride references…30-year-old movie and it’s still hilarious.

          Reply
  11. Tonya on

    When I started reading this post I thought, “Carol must have a fever. She’s delirious. “ Thanks for the laugh, Evan. That’s medicine we can all use.

    Reply

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