Whenever I read about content mills on the web, I get this random picture in my head of an old Monty Python sketch where four Yorkshire men compete to see who had the worst childhood. Their claims range from having to work at the mill for 14 hours a day for tuppence to working there for 29 hours a day and having to pay the mill owner for the privilege.
The claims about content mills are similar. The pay is low and the work is hard. The detractors say that if you are silly enough to sign up to work at a mill then you will be consigned to writing trash for peanuts.
Most of the companies claim you can earn a decent amount by working for them, but when you look at their rates, you realize that you need to create an awful lot of content to be a high roller. It might not quite be at Monty Python levels but you probably need to be cracking out several articles an hour for a good few hours each day to earn anything decent.
To be honest, the rates are not much better at some of the websites where you bid for jobs, which seem to have a better reputation than content mills.
Some might argue that you have more choice on bid sites because you can decide not to bid for lower paying jobs but some content mills offer a choice too. Some offer assignments at differing pay levels while at others you can always improve your pay by climbing up the writing levels
Badly paying clients on bid sites often want a lot more for their money than the content mills ask of you too. On the other hand, many of the assignments at content mills need only minimal research so they are not particularly onerous as long as you do not mind sometimes writing about obscure topics. If you are a quick researcher and writer, it is possible to get several articles done in a fairly short period.
Personally, I see nothing wrong with content creation companies. I write for a few and I like the fact that I don’t have to come up with title ideas, I don’t have to go through the bidding process and the wait for days before I get an answer, and I like the fact that sometimes I even learn something new and interesting during my research.
I do not write for content mills full-time, but I have made a decent amount of extra money from them. I am sure some people do make a full-time income from them but I am not sure if any provide enough steady work to provide a huge income on their own. However, following the age-old mantra of not keeping all your eggs in one basket, signing up to a couple to provide extra work is not a bad idea.
In my next freelancing post I will write about one I do like – Interact Media.
Do you write for content mills? What do you think of them?