You’re not alone. How to quit content mills and earn more than their rock-bottom rates is probably the single question I get asked the most.
It can be so easy to get sucked into content mill work, but it takes so much time and effort to write enough articles — and deal with the often contradictory edits — that it sucks up all your time, and you never can market yourself to find better paying work.
I’m doing a survey about content mill writing right now, and the pay rates writers report are appalling. We’re still collecting results, but with 300 in the can, I can report nearly half say they earn $5 an hour or less writing for mills, or for mill-type quickie-article gigs on the bid sites.
Man, that makes me mad to hear.
I’ve done quite a few posts on how to escape content mills, so I thought it was time to pull them together into one useful guide to help you move out of content mills and into better paying freelance writing gigs.
- Are You Addicted to the Heroin of Freelancing? Low-paid writing work tends to leave you no options but…more low-paid writing work. Here’s how to break the cycle.
- How to Dig Out of the Content Mill Hole and Land a Client — Fast: Guest poster Elaine Yue gives an easy step-by-step plan to get you better gigs.
- How a Writer Can Move Up From Content Mills: Your questions and my answers about the process of leaving content mills behind for good.
- How I Got Good-Paying Article Assignments — With NO Clips: Can’t break away from mills because you think you have no clips for pitching better markets? David LaMartina tells how you can make the leap, even without a portfolio.
- How to Stop Feeling Desperate and Taking the Crappy Writing Gigs: Practical help with creating financial breathing room so you have time to market your services and find better clients.
- 5 Reasons Demand Studios Only Pays Writers Peanuts — and Won’t Change: Understand the failing business model mills operate under, and why this will never be a place writers get paid well.
- The Reality of Writing for Content Mills — 14 Writers’ True Stories: With 190+ comments and counting, this post inspired one of the hottest discussions I’ve ever had on the blog.
- 6 Vital Writing Skills From Content Mills–Plus 1 You’ll Need: There *are* a few useful things you can learn writing for mills — Lisa Baker outlines the key skills you’re acquiring, plus one you won’t get from a mill dashboard.
- How I Scored Great Clients Off My Low Paid Content Mill Gig: Yes, you can use these clips to find clients — Angie Mansfield tells you how.
- The 4 Worst Places for Freelance Writers to Start: Sort of self-explanatory here. Guess what one of those places is?
- Writing for Content Mills: Did You Pick the Wrong One? Do you keep switching mills in hopes of finding a better one? Then this is a must-read.
- How a $5 Article Writer Landed a $900 Article: Think you can’t use those dirt-cheap mill posts to get better gigs? This guest post from Thomas Hill shows you how it’s done.
This collection should give you the tools you need to escape the content mills — or at least prevent you from spending too much of your time there — so you can get the better-paying writing gigs that make a career as a freelance writer so rewarding.
Do you write for content mills? Tell us your experience in the comments. Or… take my quick survey, and I’ll send you a useful free e-book, 13 Ways to Get the Writing Done Faster.