The other day I wrote an article entitled, “3 Reasons Why Writing For Content Mills Is A Waste Of Time.” This piece actually generated a fair amount of buzz on my blog and various social media accounts. Many writers seem to be quite passionate about the subject…they either love the content mills or they hate them. I had very few comments or emails where people seemed to be undecided. So, as promised, I am now countering my previous post and attempt to outline some positive benefits I have found while working with content mills. In short, here are 3 reasons why writing for content mills is NOT always a waste of time!
- Networking: Having worked in the field of education for the last 25 years, writing has been a daily and integral part of my job. However, when it comes to the world of freelance writing, I consider myself to be a beginner. As such, the content mills I belong to allow me to network with other writers. We are able to bounce ideas off one another and also discuss various avenues for future work. In fact, two of the companies I currently write for have active discussion forums which allow writers to network with one another. As someone who is just breaking into the industry, I find this to be a fringe benefit!
- Flexibility: Part of what attracted me to freelance writing is the hope of “being my own boss” and achieving some degree of independence. For decades I have been forced to consistently respond to the ever changing demands of others, and always on their timelines. The great thing about the content mills is I can pick and choose the jobs I want. While it is true that the jobs can be scarce at times, between the different companies I write for, there are always a few in the queue. If I do not like the content or time restrictions of the job I can simply take a pass. That is a level of flexibility which I have never experienced before.
- Diversify, Diversify, Diversify: Any sound financial planner will tell you that you need to diversify your investment portfolio. If you don’t you are risking it all. I believe the same is true for freelance writing. While the pay of content mills may be substandard, they are only one part of a diversified network. They can be used to compliment your other services and sources of income, such as selling books and articles, revenue sharing, blogging gigs, and passive sources of income such as ebooks. Also, if jobs are scarce, the content mills are always there to turn to as part of your diversified freelance writer portfolio.
All in all, there are many great points which can be made in regards to the usefulness of content mills for freelance writers. I seem to be in the minority and pretty much land in the undecided camp. I would love to know your thoughts, however. Please take a moment to complete this simple poll and let your opinion be known!