If your freelance life gives you nightmares, you might be chasing online writing jobs in some scary places. It’s a recurring problem I’ve heard from writers for years. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Do you go to sleep at night feeling good about your online writing work?
Or do you toss and turn, have nightmares about writing for pennies, and wake up in a cold sweat?
Being a freelance writer can be scary. So many online writing opportunities are out there beckoning you to walk down a virtual dark alley without a flashlight.
I’ve seen it happen. And heard too many nightmare tales from freelance writers.
Some shady online writing client lures you in like an unsuspecting victim in a horror movie. And before you know it, you’re hooked into writing copy for soul-sucking rates.
If you don’t want to be stuck in an online writing nightmare, beware of these four places in the Underworld of Freelance Writing that are guaranteed to put your writing career on the road to nowhere.
How do you find content writing jobs as a freelance writer?
It’s the million-dollar question every newbie freelance writer wants an answer to (even seasoned freelancers keep coming back to this).
But there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to finding content writing jobs. And to be honest, sifting through job boards, Craigslist, and freelancer platforms isn’t the best way to find great clients.
But wouldn’t it be nice? A one-stop shop to find clients, get assignments, and make money…that doesn’t require a serious marketing effort.
That’s the appeal of middle-man agencies like Upwork, ClearVoice, Contently, and others. Sign up, create a profile, and apply for jobs. Or just sit back and wait for clients to find you.
It seems like every week a new platform that promises content writing jobs is born. So what are some of the newest platforms to find content writing jobs? And do any of them pay well enough to help you move up and earn more?
Check out these 7 middle-man agencies to find out:
You scan through all the low-paying work in the content mills, and it makes you feel sick.
Ever done that?
Spend much time in the content mills, and you’ll soon feel the need to wash your hands, lather up with hand sanitizer, and spray your computer with Lysol, or you’ll spew disgust all over the place.
It’s not a healthy place to find clients or make a living writing.
Maybe you’ve already sold your soul and several hours of your life to write a blog post for five bucks. No doubt, the kind of mind-wasting gigs content mills are infested with.
When one writer I talked to told me he did this 399 times, I threw up in my mouth a little.
If you want to be a successful freelance writer, you can’t hang around the content mills. It’s a toxic environment that will siphon creativity, confidence, your bank account…and make you feel like blowing chunks.
Sick of content mills? Here are four healthy writing income remedies:
Want to write for a marketing agency? It’s a great way to scoop up freelance assignments. But if you’re not careful, that agency might actually be a content mill looking for cheap tricks.
Believe me. I learned this the hard way.
When I saw my first article published on US News and World Report I should’ve jumped up and down while singing the Halleluiah chorus.
But I didn’t.
Instead, the sight of it tangled an angry, disgusted knot in the pit of my stomach. I just got pimped by a content mill.
I wrote that article for a digital marketing agency and sold it for 20 bucks. My name wasn’t even on it.
But hers was—the web savvy millennial who’d purchased the content. It was right there next to her photo and the bio touting that she was a freelance real estate writer.
And I don’t want you to make the same mistake.
Here’s how to tell if that agency is nothing more than a pimped-out content mill:
They’ve been called content mills, content farms, bid sites, broker platforms, and many other less kind names, too. But whatever you call them, websites that pit loads of writers against each other in a race to the bottom on price have been around nearly since the birth of the internet. Historically, rates were rock-bottom low and writers were unhappy.
I wanted to check in on the content farm scene again now, because a lot has changed in this neck of the freelance-writing woods. It’s been exactly 4 years since Google’s Matt Cutts declared junk content dead. Google began actively penalizing sites that used the sort of short, semi-literate, SEO-focused ‘articles’ that have long been content farms’ most common product.
That change was like a Category 5 hurricane for content farms.
Over the past few years, many mills have merged or folded. I recently reopened a survey of content mill writers I first did several years ago — and discovered many of the popular mills back then are now gone.
Which made me wonder what life down on the content farm is like today. To find out, I asked my blog readers, Facebook followers, and Freelance Writers Den members to check in with their personal experiences of today’s rates, working conditions, and opportunities on these mass platforms, where thousands of writers are still signed up.
Many of you responded. Below are stories from 13 writers:
Tagged with: content mills