Make Money Writing Articles for Constant Content
You CAN make money writing for a content site
Content sites have a really bad reputation, and rightfully so for the most part. The idea of writing content for someone else for a few dollars a month is depressing. There are people out there spending hours in front of the computer screen, churning out 500 word articles for less than a penny a word.
And now I'm depressed. Even the thought of someone else doing that crushes my soul a little bit.
Luckily, there's another option out there that pays a decent wage to honest writers: Constant Content.
I've only been seriously writing for Constant Content for a few months now, but I'm absolutely thrilled with how things are going so far. I made over 500 dollars in my first month, working part-time from home. I'm not an expert and am still learning to maximize my income potential - I expect that this page will change and grow as I learn over the coming months. For now, though, I'm happy to share what I've learned so far.
This is a fairly long and in-depth review of Constant Content that will answer some of the questions that might be buzzing through your brain right now.
What is Constant Content?
Constant Content exists in a fuzzy area, tucked in between content mill and genuine freelancing gig.
The basic set-up is that you write articles, upload them, choose a listing price, and get paid when they sell.
How Constant Content Works
Think of Constant Content as a kind of gallery for your work. They provide a place to showcase your writing, take care of all of the invoicing / marketing / customer inquiries, and charge you a 35% commission. While this might seem a bit steep to some, it's well worth it, as far as I'm concerned. Not having to worry about marketing or networking means that I can sell short articles without having to pitch ideas or write queries. Besides, the prices that you can command at Constant Content are much, much higher than on most other content sites. You set the rates for your own writing - keeping in mind that 65% of the list price will end up in your pocket.
Constant Content can sell articles for higher prices because they have incredibly high standards. They only accept carefully-written and well-organized articles completely free of spelling and grammar errors. I consider myself an above-average writer, but two of the first six articles that I submitted were initially rejected due to errors that I hadn't caught, small things like a misplaced comma and an uncapitalized word. It was humbling.
Buyers purchasing articles are confident that they're buying unique, engaging, well-written work - and they're willing to pay for it.
How does Constant Content compare to low-quality content mills?
low-quality content mill
little concern for proper grammar and punctuation
extremely high standards for grammar and punctuation
strong command of English not necessarily required
must write at the level of a native English speaker
very low wages set by the buyer
reasonable wages set by the author
respects the author's craft
scraping (copying), spinning (changing a few words around), plagiarism and other dishonest writing practices tolerated
all writing must be 100% original - scraping, spinning or plagiarism will get you permanently banned
So what can you write for Constant Content?
There are four different categories of writing available through Constant Content. I've had success with all of them.
- speculative: write about anything you want and hope that it sells. It might not sell immediately, but given enough time, there's a good chance that it will - days, weeks or even years down the road. I started out writing mostly speculative articles, adjusting my topics as I gained a better idea of what sells more quickly. The bigger your article catalogue, the more likely you are to make sales.
- public requests: customers place requests and writers submit articles. There's no guarantee that a buyer will buy your article, but at least you know that there's a demand. If the buyer doesn't choose to purchase your article, it will be transferred to your catalogue, where someone else can buy it. Three articles that I wrote for public requests ended up being purchased by different buyers. In addition to public requests, Constant Content also sometimes lists standing orders or rush orders, which have a very good chance of generating sales.
- writer's pool: once you've sold enough articles, you might be invited to join a writer's pool, where you'll be able to choose requests. I've been invited to join a few writer's pools, and have found them to be very profitable.
- private requests: customers can message a writer directly and commission them for specific articles. This is the best-case scenario, since you're almost guaranteed a sale - even better if it's for regular, ongoing work! I received my first private request in June. The rate per word was much higher than anything else I've written for Constant Content.
The Positives of Writing for Constant Content
Decent income. It usually takes me a little over an hour to write and proofread a 500 word article, which I generally price at 40-50 dollars. I can set my own price, so longer articles can be priced higher. The most expensive speculative article that I've sold was 750 words long and priced at 65 dollars, which put a little bit more than 40 dollars in my pocket.
High standards. I don't want my writing posted on a site that sells poorly written articles filled with spelling errors and grammar mistakes. I have high standards for myself, and so I also have high standards for anywhere that I might choose to put my work. You won't be able to churn out three articles per hour and still meet CC's standards - but that's why they pay more.
Great writing practice. I'm learning to proofread my work a lot more carefully. I'm also learning to write more clearly and succintly. Wordiness? Yeah, that's sometimes a problem for me. Shocking, I know.
Supportive community. The forums at Contant Content aren't that busy, but they're very supportive. There's no competitive atmosphere. It's really a case of "make the pie bigger": the more writers post on CC, the more buyers will visit.
Varied topics. As a CC writer, you can write about whatever interests you. There is a potential market for any article, although it might take longer for some of them to sell. You can also choose to write for public requests, which is when a buyer asks for writers to submit articles about a specific topic. My favourite article from last month was for a public request for paranormal content. I would never have thought to write about haunted buildings on my own, but it turned out to be absolutely fascinating and a pleasure to write! Of course, it hasn't sold yet...
The Drawbacks of Writing for Constant Content
High standards. I call this a positive rather than a negative, but there are lots of complaints on the forums that the standards are too high. Articles are rejected regularly, and while sometimes you'll receive editorial notes, sometimes you'll just get a form email stating "Please proofread for comma usage" or something similar. You have to do your own proofreading and editing. The editors stop reading at the first error, so it's possible to resubmit and have the same article rejected more than once, for more than one reason. Too many rejected articles can lead to being permanently banned from the site.
Full rights. While you can sell for usage rights (ie. someone buys your writing, but keeps your name on it), most of the articles that sell on Constant Content are for full rights. That means that once your work has sold, it's no longer yours. It can - and almost certainly will - be reprinted with someone else's byline.This doesn't bother me, because I'm writing these articles for income and for writing practice. However, I know that I also have to work on other writing so that I can build a portfolio and bid on freelance jobs on my own.
Approval wait time. The editors at Constant Content move as quickly as they can, but in order to maintain their high standards, they need time to carefully read through every submission. If you're lucky, it can take less than a day for an article to be accepted. But if submission volume is high, it can take up to a week, which can feel like forever, especially when you're new to the site.
Lack of feedback. When an article is rejected or accepted, it's often with very little feedback - or none at all. The editors at Constant Content have only one goal: to review your work and make sure it's good enough. If you're expecting pats on the back or words of encouragement, they're few and far between.
Potential for theft. Articles on Constant Content are listed with a preview (or sometimes the whole text, if you prefer) in image form. Only registered users can see the preview images - although anyone can register. Because the previews are in image form, there's no danger of anyone copying and pasting your work. It is, however, possible that a dedicated scraper might retype your work manually. It happened to me once in 46 articles. And I'm not going to sugar-coat it - it was frustrating and disappointing and pretty much ruined my day. Luckily, the potential buyer who found the scraped content paid me extra to rewrite it, so not all was lost.
Is Constant Content a Scam?
Absolutely not. You pay nothing to post your work on Constant Content. The editors and the management are efficient, professional and very good at what they do. If your submitted article is good enough to get accepted, you can list it. If it sells, you get paid. Money is deposited twice monthly to your Paypal account. It's as simple as that.
How to Succeed at Constant Content
I'm relatively new to Constant Content. I've only really dedicated time to it for one month. Please understand that I am not an expert, and that I'm still learning. I'll be updating this hub as I learn from my own experiences. However, based on the limited success that I've enjoyed so far, here are my suggestions:
Build your catalogue. The more you write, the more you'll sell. Every month, I'm expecting to see my income creep higher, as both new and older articles sell.
Set some goals. I wasn't serious the first time that I tried Constant Content two years ago, and as a result only uploaded 8 articles in a few months before my motivation fizzled away. This March, I set a goal of 30 articles in one month. I surpassed that goal and intend to submit 30 articles per month once my current contract runs out.
Write to public requests. Honestly, I don't write to public requests that often. But I do look at them every day. If there's something that interests me, and I feel that I can research and write it within less than two hours, then I'll write and submit something. I haven't always had luck with public requests, and for that reason have a few very obscure articles sitting in my catalogue (think: Lucid Dreaming and Haunted Places in Toronto). Who knows? Maybe someone will buy them someday. Or if I get tired of seeing them in my catalogue, maybe I'll remove them from Constant Content and post them somewhere else. But I have made sales thanks to public requests.
Write to standing orders. Standing orders are put up by Constant Content when there's a lack of content in a particular area, or when a customer plans on buying a very large number of articles about a particular topic (think hundreds!). If you write to a standing order, and your article is accepted, there's a very good chance that you'll make some sales.
Write evergreen content. Articles might take a long time to sell. One of my original articles sold nearly two years after I first listed it. When you're choosing topics, write about things that will still be relevant a week, a month or a year down the road. If you write time-sensitive articles and they don't sell right away, you may never sell them. That said, timely articles on technology-related subjects (Google panda updates, for example) do seem to sell. It's a risk.
Keep an eye on the recently sold content and recent searches. It's worth checking out what's selling and what people are looking for. While I don't write directly to those lists, I do keep an eye on them and jot down ideas as they come to me.
Write sellable articles. People are buying articles because they expect to make money with them. Some topics are more easily monetized than others: technology, beauty, health and lifestyle, finances. While you might write beautiful articles about local customs in Micronesia, they won't sell unless someone wants to buy them.
Keep your articles short and sweet. According to Constant Content, the easiest articles to sell are between 500 and 700 words. This can be hard for wordy people like me!
Use an appropriate voice. Think about what you read online: simple, concise text that's written in accessible, chatty language. Academic papers won't generally sell on Constant Content.
Don't get discouraged. Early on in my first month, I was worried because I'd written 20 articles and only sold 4. I started thinking that I was wasting my time. But I kept writing, and the sales kept trickling in. Insider tip: obsessively reloading your author page does not make your articles sell any faster. Trust me, I tried. Just keep writing and submitting.
How should you price your articles at Constant Content?
This is a very personal decision that depends on how much time, research and expertise go into your articles. It also depends on how quickly you want to sell your articles. Less expensive articles might sell more quickly, although I figure that if a person is willing to pay 45 dollars for an article, they'll probably be just as willing to pay 50 dollars.
Personally, I generally calculate 9 cents per word, and then round down to the closest 5 dollars. So, for example, I might price a 625 word article at 55 dollars:
- 625 x 0.09 = 56.25
- rounded down to the nearest 5 dollars = 55.00
When that article sells, I'll be paid 35.75, 65% of the selling price.
If I'm writing for public requests or standing orders, then I'll price accordingly. For instance, in April there was a rush order for energy-related articles: 500+ word articles for 40-50 dollars each. I wrote five articles, ranging from 506 to 714 words, and listed each of them for 50 dollars.
You can sell full rights (the buyer doesn't need to use your byline and can make changes to what you've written), unique rights (the buyer keeps your byline and cannot change the article; you cannot sell the article to anyone else), and usage (the buyer keeps your byline and cannot change the article; you can resell the article as often as you like).
I prefer to sell my articles for full license. I'm not interested in having my byline attached to any of the work that I do for Constant Content, and I know that the vast majority of sales are for full rights. If I do sell an article for usage, there's no guarantee that it will ever sell again, so I might not make the same amount of money for my work. For this reason, I list all three licenses (usage, unique, full) for the same price.
How Much Money Can Writers Earn at Constant Content?
The income that you make writing for Constant Content is directly related to how much time you're willing to put into writing. I spent as little as 35 minutes on a short article (under 350 words) using background knowledge that I already had, and as much as two and a half hours on a longer article that required more in-depth research. The average amount of time that I put into writing a 500-word article - including planning, writing and editing - is a little over an hour. That said, I'm a relatively quick writer and I'm a good proof-reader.
In March 2013, my first month writing for CC, I wrote mainly speculative articles. I submitted 38 articled and sold 17, which put a little over 500 dollars in my paypal account. A few of the other articles sold over the following few months, although many of them are still in my catalogue. I'm not terribly worried about the articles that don't sell right away. They provide residual income as they sell in the following months - they're like money in the bank.
In June 2013, I was much busier with my day job. I was only able to write 11 articles, all of them for writer's pool or private requests. However, I sold all 11 of them - and ended up with almost 400 dollars in my paypal account.
There is real money to be made at Constant Content - so long as you keep on writing!
So is writing for Constant Content worth it?
Absolutely. The articles that I'm writing for Constant Content are cheerful fluff for the most part. This isn't writing that's going to change the world, but I enjoy it. There are some writers who write on Constant Content as their main source of income, although most writers use it in conjunction with other work. While I can see myself writing for Constant Content long-term, I don't plan on it being my main source of income. I'm working on building my portfolio so that I can freelance on my own in addition to writing for Constant Content. But it's fun, and it's a very good way for proficient writers to supplement an income from home.