Writing for Content Mills: A Personal Review
Nothing bothers me more than when I'm searching for a review on a website and all that I pull are sites that have information about the subject, but not a real review. When I see the word "review" I want experience. I want the author to have used the product, service, or website and tell me what they actually thought. I don't want a bunch of information that the writer found online. I can find it myself. So here are my real, honest, authentic reviews of five content mill sites based on personal experience with each one.
As a content mill, Textbroker is one of the better ones. They always have a large selection of writing assignments. You can cancel a project when you want to, without receiving any type of penalty.
You will need to submit a writing sample to get started, which they will use to give you a star rating. The higher rating equals higher pay-outs.
I admit that I did not put much effort into the writing sample, as I should have. So, I started out with a 3-star rating that pays writers approximately $.01 per word.
Bottom Line: I like Textbroker. They always have a lot of jobs and a large list of topics to choose from. After submitting a few articles, I was bumped up to a 4-star rating which earns more money. Payment from Textbroker has always been on time with no issues. At a 4-star level, a 700-word article will net you around $9.
Crowd Content is another site that uses a rating system, I was very disappointed with a 2-star rating. Again, I admit that I didn't put enough time and effort into my writing sample.
In the beginning, there was always work to take. However, Crowd Content only gives you 30 minutes to decide that you don't want the article. If you cancel the article after the 30-minute deadline, they will penalize you by giving you a strike, (three strikes you're out). And that one strike cost me an entire star-rating. They quickly dropped me to a 1-star and the odds of finding and being able to claim a 1-star article are high. Pay is slightly higher than Textbroker a little over once cent per word, depending on the client. At a 1-star level, a 600-word article will net you approximately $7.
Bottom Line: A little tough to write for as they punish you severely if you cancel an assignment or miss a deadline. Still, when I was a 2-star there were available jobs and I always got paid on time. They have since removed my strike, but my 1-star rating will take more work to be bumped back up to at least 2-stars. To increase my rating I will need to receive constantly good ratings, however, it doesn't advise how many ratings are necessary. At a 1 star level a 600-word article will net you approximately $7.
As a Blogmutt writer, you will have a large list of jobs to choose from and you will supply "ghost" blogs for clients. The pay (at the time I was a writer) is $8 for a 350-word blog post. Compared to other sites, this pay rate is very fair. I loved working for Blogmutt. They pay through PayPal and I was always paid weekly and on time. There is no limit to the amount of the pay out.
Unfortunately, Blogmutt is very strict with their writers (in some ways, maybe a little too strict). I loved writing for Blogmutt, and generally, only have good things to say about them. However, I made an unintentional mistake that cost me my writer's status. Blogmutt is very strict when it comes to keyword stuffing and I knew that. However, while I was writing and receiving very good feedback from clients, I noticed that many articles submitted by other writers for some of the clients were being rejected for not having enough keywords. I took those rejections to heart and when I wrote for those clients I made sure to include the keywords several times. Those articles never made it past the Blogmutt editors and they were all flagged as inappropriate keyword stuffing. The status's required me to fix the articles and resubmit. However, when I tried to remove the keyword stuffing I was told that I couldn't and that my account was deactivated. I was shocked! I immediately sent an email to the Blogmutt team pleading my case. I was rejected and told that I was banned for life! Seems very harsh, if you ask me.
Bottom Line: Even though I was banned from the site, I still recommend Blogmutt as a good place for writers. Just make sure you don't make the same mistake I did.
Also a rating system. Writers are given statuses of Standard, Premium, Elite, or Elite Plus. Most everyone seems to start out as a Standard writer and it takes a long time and a lot of writing to move up.
The Elite and Premium jobs pay more and you can work your way up by receiving 30 to 40 high ratings. You can also move up by purchasing the Elite package for $147, at which time you will be able to claim jobs in the higher-paying elite categories. It could be well worth the investment, however, because I refuse to pay money to make money, I will rise slowly.
Pay is approx. one cent per word. These jobs are taken fast, so if you're not quick on the button you will miss out. They don't have a lot of jobs at any one time and the pay is very low. You will need to earn $10 before you're eligible for a payout.
Here is the basic breakdown.
This is where everyone starts out and pay is approximately .006 cents per word—a 1000-word article will net you $6.08. The downfall is that you are lucky to have any articles available at this level and by the time you review the article requirements and click the “I want to write this” button the assignment has already been taken.
To become a Premium writer you must have a 4.1-star rating and at least 25 ratings. Payout is approximately .008 cents per word. A 1000-word article will net you $8.51. Premium writer members, however will enjoy approximately six pages of available assignments at any given time.
To become an Elite writer you must earn 4.6 stars and have at least 30 ratings. Payout is approximately .01499 cents per word. A 1000-word article will net you $14.99. An Elite writer will have approximately 4 pages of available assignments and you are able to write for any of the writing groups, which will give you many more opportunities.
To become an Elite Plus member you must have a rating of at least 4.85 stars and at least 40 ratings. This status will only give you a handful of available assignments, but the pay is much higher. A 500-word article will net you $32.40—not bad at all. If you're lucky you can claim an assignment of 3000 words that will pay you $157.95 and even a 1000-word article at $28.50 is decent.
Bottom Line: If you have the time and patience to start low and work your way to Elite or Elite Plus status, Iwriter could bring in a decent income.
There are not always a lot of jobs available, especially in the 2-star rating, and oftentimes, there are none. Any given day is a hit or miss here. However, Writer Access always pay on time and I have never had a problem getting paid. They also require a minimum of $10 for a payout. A 600-word article could pay out $15. If you can research and write quickly it may be worth it.
Bottom Line: Writer Access is a decent site and it's possible that they have more available assignments for higher ratings. The better your writing sample, the better chance to earn a higher pay.
A Few Words of Advice
Writing for the content mills isn't all that terrible. Earning extra income, part-time income, or even full-time income is possible through content mills.
Do Not Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Never put all your eggs in one basket. To make money through content mills you must work consistently. Sign up for each content mill and you will always have the opportunity to earn some cash.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm
Get up early—Early birds do indeed catch the worm, especially when it comes to finding and claiming jobs through content mills. I have found that many sites update assignments in the early morning hours and assignments for all of the content mills are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check each site for available jobs, grab an assignment from each, start writing. As you submit each assignment you will be qualified to accept another assignment.
The Sample Sells
All of these sites, to the best of my memory, require at least one writing sample to get started. Don't make the same mistake that I did. Make sure your writing samples are your best work by spending considerable time on each one and giving it you all. It will benefit you in the end because the sample is what sells your writing skills.
My Personal Experience
Everyone wants to know the real deal when it comes to how much money they can make writing for content mills. Here's a breakdown of my earnings from the mills, taking into account that I did not write every day.
From December 9, 2016, to January 28, 2017, by utilizing the above content mills, I earned $235.65. I spent very little time writing for the content mills, in fact. of those dates I actually wrote only 15 days, approximately one hour per day.
I know that if I spent more time writing for these sites I could easily earn a part-time, even a full-time income. Because I enjoy writing books and other writings, the content mills, for me, are just a little spare change that comes in handy when I want a little extra.
So, is it worth writing for the content mills? I believe this is a matter of opinion. What works for one doesn't always work for another. If you're new at writing, it's definitely a good place to start your career and earn a little from your passion.
Good luck and feel free to comment below.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Michelle Bentley