Hanging Onto Writing For Content Mills is Like Hanging Onto a Bad Relationship
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 a while 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 two 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 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 many 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 a while, 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 loose 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!
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© 2015 Karen Hellier