I have always had an aptitude for writing but had never applied myself to the venture. I didn’t even know where to begin to be honest. But about six months ago while browsing a blog employment opportunities online, I came across what many call a content mill. While many would pass on writing for low pay, I found it to be my way to get a foot in the door.
I have learned many positive and negative lessons over the last six months, and I would like to share four of those lessons with you.
Lesson 1: Independent Contractor
This is something you seriously need to take into consideration. I have yet to write as an employee of any organization including the one I’m writing for now; Yahoo. When you choose to write Internet content and blog postings for others, you are considered on independent contractor.
That means you are NOT an employee entitled to wages and benefits usually associated with employment. Writing is truly piecework, and most often you get paid per word written. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for withholding your own taxes.
Lesson 2: Content Mills
Let’s face it; unless you are professional writer earning contract money, you are going to experience some low pay for a while. My first work with a content mill was not exactly a money making experience. I was literally rated a 3-Star writer and paid 1¢ per word.
I found myself earning between three and five dollars per article. When writing for a content mill, you give away any exclusive rights to your work. That means whoever paid for it can put their name on it and claim it as their own work.
But don’t let that get you down. I soon moved on to another writing service after submitting a writing sample. I am now rated as a 5-Star writer and regularly earn between 3.2¢ and 5¢ per word. Again, that may not sound like a lot, but a 350 word article can net me anywhere from $11 to $17.
Lesson 3: Editors
The bottom line is that you need editors to check the quality of the work. They can be both your ally and your enemy at times. You will experience someone else who does not like your style and voice. It can be subjective. That is just how it is. I guarantee that before this article gets published online, editors will have gone over it.
Do not feel all butt-hurt when someone criticizes your writing. If you do get your feelings hurt easily, then writing is NOT for you. Be patient and work with your editors. Many have valuable experience and advice to pass on to you. There are others that have questionable abilities, but you’re just going to have to live with it.
Lesson 4: Write Only What You Know
Do not make the mistake of thinking you can write about anything. If you don’t have some basic knowledge of what you are writing about, it will show in your work. If you write for any of the content mills out there, select articles in which you can show your expertise. If you choose to write about HVAC systems and you don’t know anything about how they work, you will find your articles rejected without pay.
These are just a few lessons I have learned along the way about writing on the Internet. Of course, I didn’t include anything about writing for Yahoo. Writing here is an entirely different experience than writing for content mills.
There are the occasional article offerings you can choose to write about, but for the most part Yahoo offers you the complete freedom to write about whatever you want on whatever niche topic strikes your writing nerve.
So go ahead and get on it. Express yourself with your writing, and get paid. You never know, maybe you’ll find yourself writing a money-making novel in the near future.