Attention Ruthless Content Mills: Chapter 7 is Callin’

Be Gone, Content Mills.

WARNING: This is a progressive rant dedicated to the alleged parties who choose to make a commodity of professional writers’ creative and physical labor–used to render countless dollars in revenue for companies worldwide.

Before I commence with ripping these generic online outlets to shreds, let me briefly explain the “whys” behind this post.

As an ambitious, go-getting, professional, hard-working, self-promoting copywriter, I spend a certain amount of time EVERY day looking for clients. How I do so involves several tasks and functions, all of which are done consistently and frequently:

Seeking companies looking for copywriters

Cold calling prospects

Using PPC marketing


Offering value for FREE

Searching the job boards  

When I decide to waste my time browsing through several “highly-regarded” freelance boards and job boards, I wonder how, why, when and where these freelance boards and job boards became highly-regarded.  To the tune of $5-$15 for an article or blog post.

Now, $5 for an article or blog post is AMAZING pay if you can write ONE article in ONE minute.

At that rate, you’re looking at $300 per hour.

And $15 is a great fee for your time–if making less than minimum wage after performing the research required to meet the demands of that “premium” $15 article–suits your fancy.

As more industries layoff employees in tribes and the world of print media remains dwindling in uncertain flux, the pool of available writers in decent-paying markets skyrockets. Such circumstances explode the demand of writing work, while the supply proportionately diminishes.

The content mill business model exploits this state of the industry and “starving writers” fall for it.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

 Unfortunately, hard-working and self-respecting writers are lumped in the same category as amateurs without the background or experience to market themselves, and fly-by-night pen warriors alike.

IF we are to preserve the craft of writing, as a legitimate, high-value occupation, instead of a “service to be sold to the lowest bidder,” we must tap into the source of the problem, and eliminate it.



 In my last post [post here] I mentioned that I’d be focusing on teaching my readers HOW to make money with copywriting. Well, this post still qualifies. One of the best ways to show you how to make money, is offering advice on how NOT to make it:

 WritersDON’T make your money writing for content mills. Their business model sucks and YOU don’t matter; only their in-the-red ROI.

Content Mills DON’T make your money exploiting talented writers. Your business model sucks. Go out of business.

Now let’s assume you shake off my advice and dismiss it all as mere BS. Or your mounting bills and looming feeling of a slow and painful financial demise, has you scurrying to type your palms off. All for a hefty $.01 per word, or possibly even less.

Hard times befall your choice indentured servitude website, and they look for ways to cut costs. Soon after, your 500 word articles paying up to $20, are now scrutinized like the Secret Service are the editors.

Rejections, rejections, rejections.

While you rush to the keyboard to “revise” your work, you think, “I am almost at the point where I know the editors’ wants and needs and I’ll soon have few revision requests.”  WRONG.

The “editors” are unskilled “reviewers,” looking to deny your work so they can get as many variations of your hard work as possible, to use later down the road, when YOU don’t expect it. Or they simply don’t care about your time and/or they wouldn’t feel great writing if it slapped them in the face–twice. Avoid such companies like the plaque (or Ebola).

Now…the Million Dollar Questions:

1.) Have I ever worked for content mills? Yep, I did my hard time, years ago, and I am ashamed of it. The worst several months of my life.

 2.) Are all content mills bad? Yep. If they can be deemed a “Content mill.”

3.) What’s a content mill? A company which exploits writers by making a pool available of work projects, where the pay is not commensurate with the time and effort involved in producing original “works for hire.”

4.) Are there legitimate companies to write for online? Yes there are–a FEW. Literally. And I don’t write for any of which I can recommend to you.   (and no, I won’t give you the name of the ONE online company I write for, lest I look for competition to swoop in on my territory and feast on my portions).

Although I haven’t yet written for any of the following companies, I’ve heard good things about them from professional writers and novices alike, so give them a quick looky-loo if you haven’t yet.

_____  (pitch reputable companies using ebyline as an intermediary) (sell your content without the greedy “mill managers” dishing you pennies in return, if you can get past their inconsistent, often arrogant editors and vague “constructive criticism”)


Yes, that’s it. Just two. And I can’t guarantee them because I haven’t yet earned a penny from either.

If I hear of more, and they pass the “not-a-content-mill” test, I’ll add them to the list (highly unlikely).

Until then, lead the way, AWAY from the content mills. The future of the writing profession demands it of you.

P.S.…Stay tuned for the next post, detailing how to prospect for your own clients who will pay you MORE than what you think you’re worth. IF you’re a writer, business owner, CEO or executive who has to seek out and find clients, you cannot AFFORD to miss this post.


By Jarvis Edwards

Jarvis Edwards

About Jarvis Edwards

Jarvis Edwards absolutely loves helping companies and individuals find more success with their marketing endeavors. As senior copywriter at Ayiam Digital, he provides his time-tested copywriting ability and hands-on marketing strategy for every project he takes on. Follow him on Twitter @Jarvis_Edwards.
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