One of the reasons I compiled 50 Markets that Pay Freelance Writers 10 Cents per Word was to offer hope (plus a big dose of reality) to aspiring writers who’ve been duped into believing that the most you can earn from an article is $20 to $30. If you’re “lucky,” that is. So many writers earn much less writing for content mills, writing dozens of well-researched articles for rates as low as a dollar apiece.
If you’re not familiar with content mills, these are entities that pay insultingly low rates to writers in exchange for large volumes of web content. In many cases, the content is packed with keywords in order to rank high in search engine results. The people or companies purchasing such articles make money by selling them to other websites or by placing them on their own websites in order to attract paying advertisers.
Content mills are notorious for requiring their writers jump through some rather ridiculous hoops in order for their articles to get accepted. Their owners are often difficult and unpleasant to work with. You really can’t help but conjure up images of assembly line workers being supervised by money-hungry slave-drivers when thinking about content mills.
Not to state the obvious, but good writing is not something that can be mass-produced under such stifling conditions.
No matter how quickly you write, or how motivated you are to earn, it is a poor use of your time to write for the mills when you could be marketing yourself to higher-paying magazines and websites instead. Writing for legit publications like the ones listed in my e-book will help you build your portfolio and amass clips while you earn a respectable wage.
Look, though, I’m going to be honest with you.
Although it beats the mills, ten cents per word isn’t really all that lucrative in the world of professional freelance writing, either. Many writers earn substantially more. In my opinion, ten cents per word is the very minimum a writer should accept because it is a rate that will allow you to earn in the neighborhood of $2,000 per month if you work reasonably hard and have a steady flow of assignments. Even if you only earn half that amount to supplement another source of income, you should be able to do it without feeling stressed out or pressured to produce multiple articles under tight deadlines. Writing for magazines is generally fun and provides you with a by-line you can be proud of, too.
So, what are you waiting for?
Take the plunge, and query a market that pays 10 cents per word.
Once you see how easy it is, I’m almost certain you won’t want to write for the mills again.