Confidence Gained: How Dreaded Freelance Content Mills Helped Me

A boy, a Mississauga freelance writer, works on a white paper while using a typewriter.
When I was younger, I used to dream about writing for a living. Now, I’m actually trying to do it.

As a boy, I used to dream about writing for a career.I only just started seriously freelancing in the past few months.  Writing is something that I had wanted to do when I was much younger, but was very hard to get into.  There was no internet in the 1980’s, and it was just coming into its own during the 1990’s.  Once the millennium came around, I had given up on writing and moved on to other things.

Brand-New Start

So, now that I’ve decided on a brand-new career path, I feel like I’m starting over again.  Writing has changed a lot since the time when I learned to write in the 80’s and 90’s and I had to relearn a lot of what it meant to write in the information age.  So I read a lot of other people’s articles, how-to articles and job postings.

Everything that I read from anyone who is in the know about freelance writing says, “Stay away from content mills.”  They pay slave wages, they don’t help you write solid articles, the jobs there don’t allow you to repost articles for your portfolio.

All of this is true.

I’ve been working on a content mill writing articles that are 60 cents per hundred words—that’s horrible pay and I can practically hear other freelance writers groaning out loud.  I can’t link any of the articles to my own website and I know I’m spinning my wheels there.

+1 to Confidence

So, I haven’t made a lot of money as a freelancer.  I’ve yet to land a real client that pays professional wages, but there is something that I can take away from writing for websites like this:  I can write content well, I can write it reasonably quickly and writing a few thousand words doesn’t scare me now.  I know I can do it because I have been doing it.  I just need to do it for better pay.

For me, writing for a content mill is something that I needed to do in order to figure out how to write again and learn what topics I’m interested in writing about.  When I got my first (relatively) well-paying client from that site, the prospect of writing a 1400 word article didn’t scare me anymore.  The fact that I got paid $150 for doing it finally convinced me that there are people who will pay much better rates and the fact that the client gave me repeat business showed me that people like the final product.

Now, it’s on to bigger and better things.  I’m finally at the point where I’m inspired to push harder for what I want.  I feel like this is something that is achievable for me.  I’m nervous about the whole thing, but the content mill part of my career has helped me out, and that alone is worth it.

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