As a writer, I know that money can be tight. I know what it’s like to not have money to pay the bills. I myself am a student with many health issues who is already in a lot of debt as a 26 year old woman. This can be disheartening but you’re a writer. You suck it up and roll up your sleeves and search for work.
The problem with our searches is that they lead us into the world of content mills. I didn’t feel this way as a beginner because things were different a few years ago—you could earn a cool thousand or so dollars each month. Such is not the case in today’s content mill economy. In fact, the exact opposite.
I have my own personal beliefs as to why this has happened but that is a post for another time. Here are the top 10 reasons you shouldn’t sign up to write for a content mill.
- They nickel and dime you.
Content mills don’t really care about their workers—in this case, you the writer. If you’ve been in the freelance writing game for a while you know that you will have to pay taxes on top of paying your special victim tariff before you even get your cut. It’s a funny thing considering that you’re the reason why the owners of these companies are millionaires and why people keep coming back for more and they don’t even have the human decency to pay a fair amount of money.
- They aren’t worried about your growth.
They could not care less if you make it or don’t. You can literally work until your fingers hurt and your brain is exhausted. Sleepless nights and vigilant editing don’t matter to these folks at all. They know people join content mills by the hundreds each and every day and are willing to work pennies on the dollar—again, a different post for a different day.
- They don’t care about scammers.
Everyone who has done work at a content mill has come across a scammer or even worse, has realized that content mills themselves are scams. This particular problem is a huge one that is driving legit writers like you and I away from these problematic websites. I myself have been targeted by scammers multiple times and each and every time I report then the content mill takes no action against them but are quick to blame me for not attempting to ‘work with’ the client.
- Many do not protect your portfolio.
I have had my work stolen from the portfolio space provided at certain website platforms. I’ve since become leery about giving out samples of my work or sending my portfolio over to prospects. Again, content mills don’t care as long as they are getting paid. They sit back and chuckle while you scratch your head wondering how some website overseas obtained your work.
- They do not screen writers or buyers very well.
Again, these places don’t give a damn whether or not you get money or build your portfolio. They’re just in it for the check they’re guaranteed at the end of the day. You never know what kind of screw up you will be working for (or who might be working for you). This is very unfortunate considering that I’ve met many long term clients through content mills who I’ve held on to through the years. However, things are not the same as they used to be.
- They don’t work well for long term funds.
If you love pinching pennies this is the route for you. These companies suck at actually providing a stable flow of work. This is likely due to scammers and an inability to screen or filter job posts. Many of the sites are spammy which is a real turn-off for buyers and writers alike.
- They don’t pay well.
If you like your payment in Indian money content mills are the place for you. The people offering work want you to spend two hours of your time for $2.70 after tax and deductions (this is what writers have to deal with). Imagine an eight hour day where you are barely breaking $12 for all of your hard work.
- They have zero benefits.
This is a no-brainer. These places aren’t giving you anything in return and take most of your profit. You are better off going to professional blogging boards in search of a gig that can actually become a long-term position than the random mess that is ‘freelancing’ online.
- The odd lawsuit.
Many content mills (and similar websites) will allow you to write for clients and even approve your work and then turn around and slap you with a lawsuit claiming that you’ve broken some part of the contract. This sounds farfetched but it isn’t. Never mind the fact that they proudly accepted payment for your work. Never mind the fact that they approved your project information. Like I said before, these companies only care about money and will do anything in their power to get it from you.
- They capitalize off of people using and degrading you at their will.
Do you have a fake review on your profile? Guess what? The company isn’t going to do anything about it even if their ‘investigation’ concludes that the reviewer left poor comments out of vengeance or malice.
Welp folks, that’s all she wrote. Expect posts on great places to obtain writing jobs that pay and more in the coming weeks. Until next time!