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Hanging Onto Writing For Content Mills is Like Hanging Onto a Bad Relationship

Updated on January 17, 2016
A Freelance Writer in Action!
A Freelance Writer in Action! | Source


Even just writing that title is making me laugh. But those of you write for content mills for pennies per word, or less than a penny per word, probably can relate to that title.

The New Relationship

Let me explain what I mean: you get into a relationship with someone and at first it's so exciting. You have found someone new. Someone who likes you, and who likes to spend time with you. You are getting some positive stuff out of the relationship. You put your heart and soul into this relationship. Everything is fresh and you share your excitement over this new development with your friends and family. After awhile though, the other person in your relationship seems to take advantage of you. They don't want to spend as much time with you. You feel as though you are being taken advantage of and that the other person is getting a lot more from you than you are from them. But you hang onto that relationship because you are comfortable. You know what to expect. You still get the perk of being IN a relationship with someone. People won't nag you about why you don't have a significant other or why you aren't married. But really, is the choice you are making to stay in the relationship preventing you from finding a better one? Maybe there is a person out there who is better for you, and you can give your all to and you won't feel taken advantage of. Maybe if you just let go, you could open up your life to other possibilities that you would never find if you stayed stuck in that relationship.

Imagine Content Mills as Your Love Interest

Now substitute content mills instead of a "relationship". If you are slugging away writing for content mills that pay you peanuts, they are obviously taking advantage of you. And you are probably putting your heart and soul into writing the best articles possible for the content mills, and they are getting a lot more from you than you are from them. This is true especially if you are not a particularly fast writer. You might slave over your keyboard, doing research and writing for hours and only write 2 articles. Maybe you only make $8 to $10 for your time. But you hang on to those content mills because at least you are earning SOME money. And when you tell people you are a writer, at least you can quote some actual sites that you write for, even if you know they aren't good to you financially. Because you know when you tell people you are a writer, they want to know what you write. And at least with content mills you have some subjects you have written about, and actual websites you can say you have written for.

But what if writing for those content mills is taking so much of your precious time that it is preventing you from finding a site out there that will actually be better for you financially. What if that site appreciates your talent and will actually pay you more money. Aren't you worth it? Isn't your writing talent honestly worth more money than 1 penny a word? I think for may of you, that is probably true.

Content Mills Are Good for Newbie Freelance Writers

Now I am not talking about those of you who are just getting started in freelance writing. For you, writing for content mills may serve a good purpose. Writing for content mills helps you practice your writing skills. You will learn as a trial by error experience what customers want, and how to best format articles. If you write for a site like Textbroker, your writing will actually be reviewed and critiqued by editors at Textbroker. This is very helpful and because you are scored on your writing for each article you have written, you may be able to move up from one level to the next based on your scores.

On Textbroker, higher levels equal more money. This article is not referring to the newbies in freelance writing, but for those of you who have been at it for awhile, and are still committed to writing for these sites and earning pennies for your work. At some point, it's in your best interest to let go and move on.

Experienced Freelancers Need to Let Go and Expand Their Horizons

For those of you who have some freelance experience under your belt, what if you were to let go of those poor paying sites? What if you took the chance and sent out some queries to write an article for an actual magazine? An article that would earn you actual good money, instead of a few dollars?

And what if that one act gave you the confidence to send queries to other magazines that would also pay you good money for your writing? And what if one of those magazines contacted you with an idea for ongoing articles? Spending so much time writing for those content mills may just be keeping you from earning a good living as a writer, just as staying in a bad relationship may be preventing you from finding your Prince Charming, or Princess Charming, as the case may be. You just have to make the decision to cut them lose and make room for better opportunities.

Here's Your Challenge

So what are you waiting for? What is holding you back? If you are reading this, and can relate, I challenge you now, right now, today, or at least this week, to send one query to a magazine. Just one, and it will be a start. You can find magazines and also online websites looking for freelance writers by just Googling the phrase, "magazines that pay freelance writers" or "websites that pay freelance writers." Okay, the challenge is on. Go do that Google search and find a place to write that will pay more than the content mills.

And please come back and tell us all about it. We want to celebrate your success with you!

Freelance Writer Poll

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Branch out from content mills to earn more money from your writing!
Branch out from content mills to earn more money from your writing! | Source

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    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi,

      You are so right if a guy treated me like that I would kick him out. And, I believe there are so many reason for writing on sites like this one and others---is because some of us do not have the time or energy to venture out to explore our talents.

      However, all of us do not just stay on one site, but some write for many sites, but still your hub makes good points for using our skills and talents.

      Thanks for the push to do more.

      Bobbi Purvis

      I will share with Twitter, G+ and pin on my re-pin board at Pinterest.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 2 years ago from Georgia

      PurvisBobbi44

      I have run into a lot of people lately that want a career as a freelance writer, but spend too much time on the less than a penny per word sites and don't realize what they are missing. I guess this is dedicated to them LOL! Thanks for reading and sharing. Much appreciated.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I guess we all like to be in our comfort zone so we hang around wasting time on sites that won't pay us for our efforts. I always come back to HP! I made a big mistake by joining one of these "content mills". They paid really well for a while, then stopped.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 2 years ago from Georgia

      I am sorry to hear that. Seems like such a waste of time looking back at it, doesn't it? Oh well, live and learn as they say. By Googling for "websites that pay freelance writers", I have found some good sites that pay pretty well, if they accept your article idea.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Well, would Hubpages be lumped in with content mills? I used to write for eHow, then for Squidoo and now here. I've branched out to having my own webpage, but haven't let go here.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 2 years ago from Georgia

      No, not really. A content mill is a site where people are looking for articles about a certain subject. They list what they need and writers can accept an article and if approved by the client who requested the article, they pay the site, the site keeps some of the money and pays the writer peanuts. Usually pay on these sites is less than a penny to a few cents per word. Textbroker and Demand Studios are a few examples. HubPages lets the writer choose what they want to write about, and income is residual so the money one earns from one article at HubPages can keep rolling in for years.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Karen, very informative hub. I will have to come back and re-read this many times.

      I love HP, and sometimes I do not like how the hubbers are treated, but as a whole I love it here and the friends I have made are awesome, especially the ones who have become friends outside of HP.

      Congrats on finding true love! (from your profile).

      Blessings and Hugs.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 2 years ago from Georgia

      Shyron E Shenko

      Thanks on the congrats. Sometimes it even amazes to 2 of us! I don't know anything about bad treatment of other hubbers here at HubPages. This was my very first writing online platform and I love it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • NatNat34 profile image

      Natalie Flores-Henley 21 months ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I love the love interest comparison! I am still a newbie and write much of my material (which isnt that much) on hubpages about full time rving. We have a separate website/blog which we include links to my hubpages...my husband writes journal entries and creates videos outside hubpages....I think I should take the leap too and include more material on the website outside hubpages.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know how I missed this...sorry about that. You are right of course. Content mills will chew you up and spit you out. They just are not worth the time of a serious writer. I understand their allure financially for those who are hurting for money, but in the long run babysitting would make more money and be more rewarding. :)

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 19 months ago from Georgia

      Ha ha billybuc you are so right about babysitting making more money and being more rewarding. I think that people just latch onto content mills when they first start writing because they are so desperate to earn anything from writing, and then they just hang on, afraid to make the leap to try to earn more money from reputable sources. They need to read your article bill so they know there's more money to be had out there!

    • Happymommy2520 profile image

      Amy 4 months ago from East Coast

      This hub is spot on. Just what I was looking for. I have been writing on this site for a few years and am looking to expand my horizons. Just put a hold on the Writer's Market 2017 at the library. I am going to reach a little further this year and submit one of my articles to a real writing gig. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 months ago from Georgia

      NatNat34

      It certainly can't hurt to try it. Actually, Hubpages has done a lot for me and I have gained clients from it. But you are right, putting all your eggs in one basket won't get you as far as branching out will! Take the leap!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 2 months ago from Brazil

      I have been looking for a kick in the pants and I think I just found it. I love the analogy of a bad relationship and content mills. I stayed in a bad relationship too long and now I spend time on content mills, it must be a character flaw or lack of confidence. Although I have been writing for some time, I felt uncomfortable clicking the 'advanced' in your writer's poll.

      This will be my week to start kicking butt and pull myself off the content mill hamster wheel.

      Thanks

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