If you’re looking to start making money writing online for the first time, then one of your best options is via what’s known as “content mills.”
In short, these companies work with people/organizations and act as a middleman giving you work they find via marketing, or sometimes even publish the work themselves. These are companies that work with people who are trying to pump out articles designed to satisfy search engine algorithms for as cheap as possible, most of the time. It’s something that worked quite well in the past but is no longer as effective as it used to be.
A content mill can work in your favor for a few reasons.
For one, it doesn’t require much experience, and secondly, you don’t need to find your client as much of the work is right in front of you. However, the only downfall is that you won’t get paid as much as if you went to the client directly. In fact, it’s one of the lowest-paying opportunities in the writing world online. As with anything, though, there are pros and cons.
Nonetheless, if you want to make money writing online for the first time, then I highly recommend you at least check out a few of these content mills. Many of them that I list almost always have work and can at least help tone your writing skills as well as even find clients who want to work with you directly. Plus, you can make $100+ a week, sometimes much more, if you work diligently.
Once you feel you have the confidence to branch off on your own, then these content mills could be the stepping stone you need.
If you like the idea of writing right now and don’t want to search for clients for the first time, then here are some content mills to consider…
11+ Freelance Writing Content Mills
Textbroker is possibly the largest content mill online. I have used them personally and have nothing but great things to say about them only if you’re starting.
If you want to become a writer, they will first ask you to submit a sample, in which you’re graded on a two to five star scale, with a five-star rating almost next to impossible if just starting out. The higher your star rating is, the more you can get paid, but you can increase your star rating over time as Textbroker editors grade your work.
In the times I used it, there were almost always 500+ jobs, most of which ranged from 400 to 1,000 words with topics ranging on everything from writing about getting rid of ants to something more complex such as a tech review. I can promise you that there would be something that you would like to write.
For instance, when I logged into my account while doing this review, there were more than 4,200 jobs I could complete!
All you need to do is browse the job list, pick out a job of interest and start writing. As long as the client accepts your work, you get paid. There are no commitments as you can work whenever you want.
Textbroker pays anywhere from $0.007 to $0.014 per word, but you can earn much more if you join a team or receive private requests. You need to earn at least $10 to cash out via PayPal.
- Website: Textbroker.com
If you want to start writing in as little as 24 hours, then iWriter may be one to consider. However, before you get excited, this platform tends to pay the least at first and can be the most frustrating out of them all as clients can deny your work for no reason. It tends to attract a lot of low-quality workers, so the same can be said about most of the clients.
To get started, iWriter will ask you to fill out an application and write a small 200-word prompt on a random title.
You will read a lot of bad things about this content mill, and while I agree with some of the cons, there are pros if you consider yourself to be a somewhat decent writer. If you can rise up the rank, you can earn as much as $30+ per 500 words, sometimes more if you work with a private client. It takes time, though.
To move up the ranks, you will be rated each time you submit your article, with “elite” writers having an almost perfect ranking. You will also need to write at least 25+ articles before you can be upgraded.
Like Textbroker, you can log into your dashboard and pick and choose the jobs you want. There’s no commitment and you can work at any time.
iWriter pays weekly on Tuesdays via PayPal, but you do need at least $20 in order to cash out.
- Website: iWriter.com
The Content Authority is said to be a fantastic choice for entry-level writers.
While the company isn’t always accepting new applicants, it doesn’t hurt to at least bookmark the application form and keep coming back to see when it’s active.
If you want to sign up, they do ask that you submit a brief sample article on a random topic as well as be able to write formal articles using English grammar at a high school level. Again, the standards aren’t high nor is the pay.
Pay is said to start at $0.007 and barely increases from there. It’s one of the lowest paying content mills, but it’s one to consider if you want more than one option.
- Website: Content Authority
Crowd Content isn’t as well known as the many content mills I have listed here, but it’s one worth checking out.
What makes them different from the rest is that they use what’s known as a “performance rating system.” In short, this system will score you as a writer, essentially paying you more the higher you rank. So, a one-star rating will earn you 1.2 cents, whereas a four-star rating can earn you up to 6.6 cents. After each job you submit, the client will rank you anywhere from one to five stars, which will effectively affect your quality level.
Aside from writing long-form content, they also have jobs available, wherein you can write social media posts on Facebook and Twitter, for instance, most of which pay up to $2, sometimes more if you meet the bonus guidelines.
Just like the other content mills, you can apply to open orders or even work with clients directly if you choose to do so. The greatest thing, at least from the positive reviews, is that they pay TWO times a week, Tuesday and Friday, and you only need $10 to cash out.
- Website: CrowdContent.com
In my experience, getting onto WriterAccess, in comparison was much harder than Textbroker mentioned earlier, but nonetheless, it’s another content mill-like setup.
If you want to join this platform, you will be asked to submit a resume as well as links to any work that you may have done in the past. You will also be asked to link to your LinkedIn profile if you have one.
Similar to that of Textbroker, they also use a similar setup, wherein you will be graded on a star rating, with payment ranging from 1.13 to 4.60 cents per word. Again, it’s not much, but it’s a great way to get your feet wet.
The same is said in regards to how you can find work. You can either pick and choose jobs as you please or you can “apply” to what’s known as a casting call, wherein a client lists a project and then chooses a writer/s from the pool of applicants.
- Website: WriterAccess.com
Out of all of the content mills I write about, WritersDomain probably pays the most, with most writers earning anywhere from $0.02 to $0.05 per word. The only downfall, at least to me, is that they only pay out once a month on the fifth and you need at least $100 in order to do so. This is quite high.
Like the many I have already talked about, WritersDomain uses an open pool, wherein you can select any jobs you please with no minimum commitment required. Yes, you can work whenever you want, and there always seems to be a fair amount of jobs.
If you want to apply, the company does ask that you pass a grammar test and submit a sample 400-word article to be considered. Due to the applicants, it can take a few days to hear back, so don’t be too discouraged if you don’t hear back immediately.
Even if you’re approved, you may be placed on a waiting list, or in the case you fail, you can re-apply six months in the future. Nonetheless, it’s another content mill that makes you money, so it doesn’t hurt to apply to as many as possible.
- Website: WritersDomain.com
Constant Content works a pinch differently than the rest here as this platform asks you to write articles and then post them to their database. You can write about anything you want, but it’s recommended you take a look at the hottest sellers to get an idea as to what’s selling right now. Your articles will also need to be approved by their very strict editors, so it’s very important that there must be no spelling/grammatical mistakes.
In return, these articles can then be purchased by any customer who wants it and you get to set the price. From what I did in the past, I would usually price my work at $0.05 to $0.07 per word and almost all of my work would sell within three months. If it didn’t, then I would drop the price until it’s gone.
So, while you won’t be able to earn money instantly, it could make for a great backup option if you have articles laying around that you see no need for. You may find that some of the clients you work for sometimes reject your work for one reason or another. So, instead of just deleting it, be sure to upload it to a company like this.
Aside from uploading your work, clients also ask for help, but you do need to apply to these jobs and wait for approval. These jobs are slim, but they do pop up from time to time.
- Website: Constant-Content.com
This isn’t a well-known name in the content mill world, but nonetheless, it’s an option.
The cool thing about Contentgather is that they hire at 16+ years old, so if you’re looking for a job as a teenager, it may be one to consider.
Like Constant Content mentioned above, you can either submit your work and wait for someone to purchase it, or you can claim custom jobs that have been requested. You get to set your price, and your ratings, much like the many I already mentioned, greatly depend on your approval rating and your writing history.
If you reach the highest rank, referred to as “elite,” you can earn a minimum of $0.10 a word, which is quite high, even for the most experienced writer. However, only the top one percent reaches this status, so it’s not as easy as you may think.
Contentgather pays anytime you cash out via PayPal, with the minimum payout requirement being $5.
- Website: Contentgather
To get accepted to Scripted, you must first pass an English proficiency test and complete a timed writing test. They only accept some of the best, so don’t be too frazzled if you get denied.
While it’s not as large as the many content mills mentioned, Scripted works a lot like the rest, wherein you can browse a job pool and select from the ones you want to write. It’s first come, first serve. When I researched it more, I found the jobs to be like the others, ranging from blog posts to press releases. There was a pinch of everything.
In terms of pay, it’s one of the highest, paying upwards of $60 per article, making for a great opportunity to rake in some great side cash. The biggest downfall, however, is that the company does not pay via PayPal. Instead, they pay via a company called Stripe.
- Website: Scripted
The nice thing about Zerys is that they tend to offer more open jobs than most of the companies I mentioned here, but a lot of writers also like the direct orders they receive as well. While the payout tends to be lower than average, you will find it’s no different than most of the other content mills mentions here.
Most of what you will find here nowadays are short and simple 250 word snippets.
The company will rate every writer, with higher-paying jobs, of course, going to higher rated writers. A five-star rated writer, for instance, can make about $30 per 500 words. That’s not too bad.
- Website: zerys.com
Formerly known as Blogmutt, Verblio acts as a middleman, connecting clients who need to work with you only if you fit the bill.
I don’t have much experience with this company, but from third-party reviews, such as this Reddit one, it seemed you would have to start at the bottom, often making $21~ per 600 words and work your way up to make $50 for 1,000 words. The pay seems to be pretty good for a content mill and the work continues to flow in.
If you do consider this platform, you will have to start at the bottom and work your way up, but nonetheless, the hard work does pay off eventually.
- Website: Verblio
Contently is the cream of the content mill world, and I hate calling them a content mill since the word often associates with “cheap.” This couldn’t be further from the truth with this company.
I haven’t personally used Contently, but from what I read online, writers love them, mainly due to the higher payouts, often paying as much as $100+ per article.
If you are accepted, the company simply emails you work opportunities if they feel it fits your skill set.
While the payouts are quite high, you won’t make as much as the other content mills since they often don’t have that much work.
- Website: Contently
How to Succeed With Content Mills
Don’t let the poor content mill reviews discourage you as you can make money if you go about smartly. Again, you won’t make much, but it’s not unheard of to make $0.05, $0.10 or even $0.25 per word.
I have played around with content mills in the past and recommend you consider doing the following to make the most money possible:
Sign up for as Many Content Mills as Possible
Almost all of the content mills I mention above allow you to work at your own pace, any time you want.
So, nothing is stopping you from signing up to as many websites as you please. I recommend signing up for all of them and then sticking to the top three that you feel offers the most work and best pay.
Be Smart About Your Choices
Just because you’re starting doesn’t mean you should write a 1,000-word article for $1.
Adding to the point above, sign up for as many websites and see what they are willing to pay. As long as you feel it’s worth your time, then go for it.
And, if you’re asking what’s worth your time, I don’t have an answer for you as your value may be different from mine.
No Need to Be Perfect
Since you’re only making $0.01 to $0.05 per word, there’s no need to write like New York Times Best Seller nor should you comb through your work for the next hour.
Instead, try your best to spit out your work in a time that’s fair to you. For example, if I want to average $20 an hour and I’m offered $7 to complete a 500-word article, then I would have to complete it in less than 20 minutes to succeed.
Now, don’t just write gibberish as this can haunt you, but again, don’t put too much emphasis on your words and research.
I wrote more than 1,000 articles on these content mills, and while 99% of them were accepted, I had a few that lead to rejection.
No matter how good you are, you will run into that one client that is expecting a $100 job for $5.
If this happens, and it will, take your article, save it and then upload it to one of the options I mentioned prior.
Write, Write, and Write!
These content mills are a great stepping stone to help you perfect your writing. The more you write, the better you can get at it.
Once you feel you can write at a decent speed and produce great results, then this could be the time when you can go onto greener pastures.
Have a Game Plan
You won’t want to treat these content mills as a career path as I mentioned already.
Instead, it’s best to have a game plan.
Do you just want to make a few bucks? Do you want to work whenever you want? Do you just want to write occasionally?
There are so many questions to ask yourself, so make sure you know what you want to get out of this.
As a rookie freelance writer, it can be hard to find online writing gigs that pay more than $0.20+ per word, but if you want to make money by the end of the week, content mills can get the job done. Just don’t consider it as a long-term viable option, however, as you will burn out quickly. Remember, there are so many other ways to make money writing online, not just via content mills.
I only recommend these content mills only if you’re starting out as a writer and want to build a small portfolio or to even content with clients that may offer long-term work that pays much more. It’s a great opportunity to start writing and making some cash, and there are nothing wrong with them. Don’t let the internet fool you as most people come to complain. Only you can figure out if it’s worth your time.
Once you feel you have a grasp as to what clients are looking for and you have a small portfolio to showcase, then I would highly recommend you venture out on your own and start your own freelance business, whether it be via Fiverr or Upwork, to name a few. While it could take time to start a freelance writing career, it can pay out huge dividends once you find the right clients.
For now, I recommend you check out the very highly-rated books on Amazon, most of which cost less than lunch. A lot of these best sellers teach you what it takes to make $1,000 a month writing. And, don’t think about paying for those $100+ courses you find online as you will find that these writers are only making money off you, not the tips you can already find online.
As always, if you want to share your thoughts, you’re more than welcome to do so in the comments below. Whether it’s bashing a company or recommending a new one, I always love hearing from you!
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