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Content Mills

I’m seeking additional writing or editing work and have again run into the content mills.

I’m using as a job board which seems reasonable considering their size, however, they, too, list employers who offer as little as one cent a word and those with completely insane expectations.

I’ve written on what else you should be doing if offered an insulting penny a word (internal link). That employer says a person can make up to $35.00 an hour but then you find out that all beginning writers start off at $7.50 for a 750 to 1,000 word article. I doubt anyone has ever seen $35.00 an hour. A complete con game.

Another employer offers a “non-negotiable” $25.00 for every 1,000 word article written. Well, I’ve done that with, although they paid $35.00 when you supplied your own photographs. You could pick the topics you wanted to write on, all of which were about everyday consumer items.

The employer I just mentioned, however, goes right into fantasy land with their requirements and expectations. They strongly prefer a writer with a JD degree for their legal content creation company. It’s their first question, “Do you have a JD?” That’s right, they want someone with a law degree to work for $25.00 an article.

Now, that might not seem too bad if it takes you an hour to write a thousand words. But no one can do that unless they are a practicing paralegal or a lawyer in the state that the topic is about and working in the field of law that the topic centers on.

Only a practicing professional in Montana working in, say, elder law, could dust off an accurate 1,000 words on that subject in one hour.

The company I work for generates content for law firms across the United States and Canada. A 750 word blog post for our writers takes between two hours and seven hours. (Two hours is exceptional.) It all depends on the writer but mostly on the research involved. They are expected to write on almost any legal topic for any state, putting the law into plain language for a client’s customers to read.

We supply at least two references or leads for the writer to begin work and they usually develop several more on their own. I do any revising and editing. We do not kick back work to a writer, it ends with me. They do not have to lose money if their work needs rewriting.

More likely this employer is paying less than ten dollars an hour for someone with a JD. This company is big and they should know better but I know better, too. I’ve been writing and revising and editing this kind of content for five years. It takes research and time and multiple drafts by our writers to produce clear, accurate, quality writing. The content mills know this, they just don’t want to pay for it.

By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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