5 Cautious Steps to Take to Make Money Writing at Content Mills

by AlexandriaIngham

Do you use content mills to make money writing? You need to do it carefully to avoid health and financial problems.

Some people say content mills are bad places and will never make you any money. However, there are plenty of writers who earn enough to pay their bills through these methods. The content mill writers who do find success follow a few rules to make the most of their venture. Here are five cautious steps to take to make money writing at content mills.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs Into One Mill

All writers should follow the rule of not putting all their eggs into one basket however they make money.

Don't Put All Your Eggs Into One BasketThe biggest rule for writing anywhere online is not to put all your eggs into one basket. When it comes to writing at content mills, this is doubly important. A website can shut down at any time. If you’ve only got an account at that one site, you end up losing all the work you could have done. There is nowhere to get money from again.

If you have other mills and sites that you write at, one closing down is not going to cause too much of a financial problem. You have others to turn to and can make up the income from the closing site.

Sometimes sites don’t close but will decide to let you go. In 2011, there was a huge issue of writers being dropped from Populis. The site had taken on too many writers and did a mass-cutback. Those who did not have anywhere else to write were left searching for replacement mills.

Don’t Just Rely on Writing at Content Mills

There are many other ways to make money writing online.

One of my biggest tips is avoiding just writing for content mills. While there are a few mills that I still write at, I also have private clients. On top of that, I continually market my services to gain more clients on a regular basis.

If you’re just relying on content mills, you’re going to struggle to have a life. The problem is the pay just isn’t enough to take a lot of time off and do more than just pay the bills. You also need to work long hours to make sure you make enough money just to pay the bills. You’re limited to charging the amount that the content mills are offering.

When you take on your own clients, you can set your own rates. Those rates can often be much higher than the content mills, without having to write longer pieces. There are freelance writers earning $200 per 500 word blog post or more through private clients. This is not necessarily going to be easy, especially if you’re so used to the $5 per 500 words rate. But at least you know that it is possible.

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Pick Topics You Enjoy Writing

When you enjoy writing, you're more likely to work harder without realizing.

What do you enjoy writing about?There are times that you’ll be in a financial position where you can’t be picky, but if that isn’t the case it really does pay to pick topics you enjoy. You’ll find that the writing will go much smoother, and you may not even feel like you’re working. Of course, this is difficult since clients aren’t necessarily going to want content on a topic you enjoy.

If you can’t pick something you enjoy writing, choose a topic that you already know a lot about. You’ll find that there are certain topics that routinely come up, whether it is car hire, insurance tips or home selling (just as examples). The more you write on these, the more the research will stick in your head. Next time it will take less time to research a topic and you will be able to just write and make more money within an hour.

A lot of the time clients will want multiple articles on the same topic. Take a few together where possible, and use the same research. However, you will need to write on different angles to keep the content unique.

Keep the Research for the Future

Don't discard your research as soon as you're done with it. You never know when you might need it.

You never know when that same topic will come up in the future, and as I’ve said many of them do. It’s worth keeping the research that you’ve done for future reference. Create a Word document or use something like Evernote to paste the links of your research. You can then quickly grab the links and use them the next time you get that topic instead of having to do a Google search again.

This is also useful if you decide to write your own pieces on that topic. Think about it; if multiple people want content on the same topic then the topic must be useful. You can create content for revenue share sites or your own blog to show off your writing skills. This will help you gain new clients that pay a higher rate.

Take Regular Breaks When Writing at Content Mills

Taking breaks will make you a more productive writer.

The only way you will make money writing at content mills is by taking breaks. It seems counter-productive, but that is quite the opposite. Constantly writing without a break is going to lead to burn out and can even lead to health problems.

Think about the amount of content you can write in an hour. How many words do you type and how much time do you need to do research? Take one less article for that hour, so you can then take a five to 10 minute break after doing your set. Use that hour to get away from the computer and do something that you want. I tend to just walk around the house or the garden (depending on the weather) or will use the time to play a game with my daughter.

It’s also worth taking a day off each week at least. I prefer taking two days off, but not everyone is in a financial position to do that.

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If you’re going to make money writing at content mills, you need to follow some rules. This will help you get the most out of the sites, and avoid financial problems as sites close down. Good luck!

Updated: 07/05/2014, AlexandriaIngham
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


frankbeswick on 02/06/2015

I do not even attempt to rely on writing to pay bills, though I have earnings from writing. I blend writing with other money making activities.

Digby_Adams on 02/05/2015

I find that content mills help me pay the bills every month. You're right that you have to find time to build for the future as well.

AlexandriaIngham on 07/07/2014

Thanks for explaining content mills, Paula.

Thanks for your comment, Frank. I personally write for both expressing myself and making money.

AlexandriaIngham on 07/07/2014

Ologsinquinto, I don't consider Wizzley a content mill either. For me is a revenue share site. Content mills to me are those that pay pennies (sometimes not even pennies) per word, and have set terms for their writers. Wizzley and sites like it allow a little more freedom, and don't set the topics in stone. I love the fact that I can jump from history, to writing about writing to stuff about weddings on one site.

frankbeswick on 07/05/2014

I want to write to express myself. My aim is the true, the good and the beautiful. I hope that money follows. I could do with a bit more of it.

ologsinquito on 07/05/2014

I don't consider Wizzley a content mil, but rather like a big online magazine with a lot of writers and a lot of articles. We also need to develop our own sites in order to diversify our income.

WordChazer on 07/05/2014

Most online writing places which pay you set rates per hundred words could be classed as content mills, Frank. They're not paying market rates, they're not private clients, they want large amounts of short articles in a fast time or they specify the subject matter; that sort of thing.

frankbeswick on 07/05/2014

Excuse my naivety, but what is a content mill?

WiseFool on 07/05/2014

Lots of good advice, thanks for sharing!

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