If you’re new to freelancing, content mills can practically sound dreamy.
Pick your favorite gigs. Work when you want. Get paid like a rockstar.
Ahem…That’s not exactly what happens if you bank your freelance writing career on working for content mills.
On most platforms, you’ll find thousands, of writers scurrying around competing for writing jobs in a race to the bottom for low rates and a soul-sucking existence.
Can you earn pro rates at a content mill? It’s possible. But you’ll need to know where to look.
If you want the truth about how much content mills really pay, save yourself some time on the hamster wheel.
These 10 blog posts will give you an inside look at what it’s like to write for content mills, how they operate, and how much you can expect to earn.
Have you noticed that many people online would like you to pay them to teach you how to freelance — even though they just started doing it themselves? Yes, it’s spring, and bad freelance advice is in the air.
Maybe it’s because I recently hit 15 years as a freelancer (and about 10 years as a coach), but this is a trend that worries me. If you read a lot of new bloggers’ About pages, they often gush that they’re excited to be starting a freelance business…but 10 minutes later, they switch to teaching you how to do it. Before they really have time to succeed at freelancing.
Do you smell a rat? I do, too.
What raises my hackles here, as an advocate for fair writer treatment and pay, is that I’ve had a chance to check out a lot of the advice offered by newbies — and the quality of it ranges from marginally useful to wretchedly wrong-headed.
Need a shot of freelance writing knowledge to start the New Year off right? I’ve got it for you right here — our annual list of the most popular new posts that went up this year here on Make a Living Writing!
That’s right, the all-time most populars you see over in the sidebar from past years are out of the running for this fresh list.
Winners here must have been published for the first time in 2015.
You, my awesome blog readers, voted for these by coming and reading them.
The posts that got the most traffic clearly had the most compelling topics, and are ranked below in order of the views they got.
These are your picks for the most helpful posts this blog put out in the past year.
Without further ado, here are your picked for 2015’s top 10 best posts:
- Websites That Pay Writers 2015: These 79 Websites Offer $50 and Up by Jennifer Roland — This one’s coming up on 20,000 readers to date! And reminds me that the top thing I can do around here that’s useful is provide job leads. Which is why we’re laying plans to present market lists more often in 2016.
- Writing an Article Vs. Writing a Blog Post: What’s the Difference? by Carol Tice — The raging debate over what makes an article different from a blog post, and how to charge for each as these two forms increasingly converge, made this a lively topic.
- Think You Can’t Earn $100 an Hour on UpWork? This Writer Does by Megan Williams — While I spend most of my time warning people away from sites like this, clearly, success tips for profiting from the bid sites are appreciated.
UpWork.com is one of my favorite places to find long-term, higher-paying freelance writing clients. Crazy, right?
The site (the new combined brand that’s the result of the oDesk-Elance merger) really is one of the best places to go if you want to be severely underpaid as a freelancer. But it also can be a great location for finding good prospects who are lost and confused in the never-ending search for quality writers — if you know how.
I’ve pulled clients who pay $100 per hour (and up) from this bidding site, and regularly use it to find strong new prospects. That’s despite the fact that I only check in once or twice a week, for a few minutes at a time.
You can find great pay on UpWork, too, by changing the way you approach a few elements of the site. These elements can help you avoid cheapskates and save you the time and frustration that usually goes along with navigating bid sites.
Here’s how I do it: