Break Free from the Content Mill (What Freelancers Need to Know)

Are you fed up with how little you’re earning writing for a content mill?

You’ve just spent five hours writing dribble on coolant system requirements for refrigeration practices and received less than $2 for all that work.

Why go on? Is this for real? No one can live off of that, and it isn’t worth it as a side hustle either.

Break Free from the Content Mill (What Freelancers Need to Know)

But, is there a way to escape from a content mill and actually make a living as a writer? You’ve heard there are successful writers online, but you have no idea how they did it.

How did they dodge writing for pennies? How did they side-step working for bad clients that devalue your worth as a writer?

Can I tell you something? I got sucked into content mills when I first started freelance writing. Like everyone else, you start researching and BOOM! You learn about content mills and sign up.

Luckily, after my first content mill assignment, I busted out and created my own path as a freelance writer. I know you want the same, but are afraid of moving beyond iWriter or TextBroker. You have no clue what’s “out there” or how to break free.

Let me break it down for you. I’ll give you a road map on the steps you need to take to carve a path away from content mills for good.

Here we go.

What is a Content Mill?

A content mill has a commodity business model. What that means is that businesses are only looking for the cheapest writer or freelancer on these marketplaces. But what makes a content mill, or content farm, different than a gig on a job site is that you have to write in bulk just to make ends meet.

Content mills that pay $.01/word is not a sustainable business model for you! The commodity model makes freelancers compete for the lowest rate possible. This is just a race to the bottom and it’s not the best way to land gigs.

While I don’t want to list content mills for you, just know they aren’t the best way to become a successful freelance writer.

However, there is a caveat. If you are a fast writer and you find smaller projects then it is possible for mills to pay the bills…well one or two bills.

How Much Can You Actually Make on Content Mills?

For example, in Writers Access – a content writer platform – you can see short writing gigs – 600 words – with a pay of around $.01/word.

If you can write those articles in less than 20 minutes then it’s possible to earn money in the beginning. But only use this as a spring board or to top off your week from regular clients.

A content mill has a lower barrier of entry, can be easy to find work (i.e. every time you log into your account, there are gigs to pitch to), and you can get paid regularly if you write regularly.

There is definitely an appeal for beginner writers, but it can be short lived and stressful if you have to write 10 pieces a week or on a weekend to make a few hundred.

If you look at the recent freelance writing stats, you can see the that average freelance writing rate is between $0.21-$0.30 with the standard at $0.10/word.

But, if you are stuck as only a mill writer and want to make a living as a writer, then here is how to break free and escape a content mill.

1. Change Your Mindset about Content Mills


You made the decision to stop what you’re doing on content mills and become a legit freelance writer.

But, I’m sure you’ve been inundated with claims of Be a Sought After Freelance Writer in 20 Days of Less or The Quick Course to Landing 10 Clients in 10 Days.

Can seem a bit overwhelming, right?

They may list the best content mills for beginners or content mills that pay weekly but don’t be fooled by those articles.

All the information, advice, strategies, and tips can be a bit too much for the newbie freelance writer that just wants to get away from low-paying clients. You end up flooded with all this information and then become paralyzed.

This can all play tricks on your mind. To help you avoid this, here are the top two toxic mindsets that could ruin your chances of moving up from a content mill and avoid mill writing all together.

1. The Employee Mindset

Are you stuck thinking you’re an employee, and your client is your boss?

This wrong mindset can stall your freelance writing business and can even stop you from earning your first $1k as a freelance writer.

How do you know if you have this toxic mindset?

  • You wait for a raise – as a freelance writer you determine what you’re worth and you set your own rate. I was able to more than double my rate in the first six months as a freelance writer.
  • You are paid hourly – as a freelance writer it’s best to be paid per project or on a per word basis. If you get sucked into charging by the hour, don’t take on that client.
  • You follow everyone else – remember from your days as an employee you just followed the pack? The great thing about being a freelance writer is the freedom to choose your own schedule, projects, and clients.

2. The I’m Going to Fail Mindset

Now, this mindset is the killer to any budding freelance writer what wants more than pennies for their work. And you know the sad truth?

Pretty much every new freelance writer goes through this mindset of thinking they aren’t good enough.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had these thoughts:

  • No one’s going to pay me for writing
  • There’s just too much competition. I won’t be able to stand out.
  • I’m not even a good writer, and I suck at grammar, so there’s no way someone’s going to pay me more than a few bucks to write.

This list could go on and on.

And, the results of thinking like this? You start attracting bad freelance clients!

When you change your perception, you change the perception of future clients.

Because you see, we are professionals too; businesses seek out writers for their help and want a collaboration. This is new for freelance writers working in content mills.

But, it’s essential if you want to break free for good.

2. Don’t Think Freelance Marketplaces Are Any Better!


I made a mistake early on as a freelance writer. I went from writing for content mills to bidding sites like Upwork.

And you know what? It wasn’t any better. The whole notion of these places is that your writing has no worth. Clients want the cheapest writer.

It isn’t any better than content mill rates.

You’re also building your whole business on someone else’s platform. Freelance marketplaces take a percentage from every job you do. And since a lot of the writing work you do on this platform is ghostwritten, you’ll have a hard time breaking free from these places too!

Plus you’re competing with hundreds of other writers interested in that same content mill job…and it’s a race to the bottom.

I know it’s super duper tempting to jump on board to Upwork or Fiverr, but I hope you heed this advice and skip these places. There’s a much better way to make a living as a profitable writer.

3. Audit Your Content Mill Writing



You know you want to move up, and you know that doesn’t mean moving to Upwork. So, what next? Let’s take a minute and look at your writing because I’m betting you’ve picked up some not-so-good writing habits on the content mill requirements.

Since a lot of content farms want bulk projects, I’m assuming these are short, keyword dense type of posts, right?

Or, content mill clients have the audacity to ask for 1,000 words + and expect top level writing for pennies.

I could be wrong since the last content mill piece I wrote was over 3 years ago, but I’m only thinking of the common type of writing projects. From what I can gather, writing isn’t engaging or aren’t filled with expert notions.

So wipe away those requirements and hone down on your writing skill. Look at blogs like Freelancer FAQs or CopyBlogger. See how engaging and informative their posts are written. Learn from them and use those tips in your writing.

I’ve been blogging for three years, and on multiple blogs and I’ve picked up how to write a blog post. The most important thing about writing for online businesses and clients is that they seek valuable content and informative content that’s delivered in an easy-to-read format.

For more help, check out ten key attributes top freelance writers have (pay attention to #1).

4. Start a Website (& Escape Content Mills for Good)


Since you’ve been building your business off someone else’s platform, it’s time to create your own writer platform.

And the first thing you need for your platform is a website. This is a dedicated website that houses your freelance writing service.

Just think about it:

Anyone that is interested in starting a business online needs to have a blog. They need a home base to showcase their business.

Can you get away from not having a website as a freelance writer? Well, you can, but I strongly recommend that if you’re just breaking free from content mills, to start creating your own platform with a website.

Having a writer website will:

  • Make it easier to land good quality work
  • Gives a home to your portfolio
  • Helps you get your name out there
  • Makes your writing look legit and like a real business yo!

Here is what my writer website looks like:

If you don’t have a website or blog, it’s quite easy to get started. Here are the three steps:

Step 1: Choose a Platform

There are different platforms you can choose, but the best one for your freelance writing business is a site.

This site is a site. Why WordPress? Because most likely your future clients will have WordPress blogs.

And those future clients may ask you to upload your post in their WordPress backend. If all you use is Wix or Blogger, you might have a hard time fulfilling this requirement and can’t offer this service to your clients (which will help you raise your rate).

Having a site means you need hosting and these steps will walk you through how to set up your hosting easily.

Step 2: Choose a Domain Name

Choosing a name for your freelance writing business can be a challenge. Do you use your name? A business name? Part of your name?

It’s up to you what you want to brand as a freelance writer. You can use your name for your business like Alicia Rades does. She’s branded herself and name to show that she’s a freelance writer for hire.

My Elna Cain site isn’t to attract freelance writing clients; it’s a way to help new writers get up and going.

I decided early on to go with a business name for my writing site – Innovative Ink. If I had a chance to change it, I probably would since I feel Innovative Ink sounds more like a company and not a one-woman shop.

But, if you want to offer more than writing, having a company type name would work or even just your name as your website name.

Take some time to find the right name for your freelance writing business. Make sure, however, that you can get the .com version as this is the most popular and recognized.

Step 3: Choose Your Hosting (I personally love Bluehost)

The links to Bluehost are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you buy through one.

Let’s cut to the chase here – there are lots of different places to get your hosting. I know Bluehost is one of the best all around places to get your hosting and needs met.

So, why choose Bluehost?

  • Free domain – You get a free domain. You’re saving at least $12. Other hosting services don’t give you that free domain!
  • Great 24/7 support – We are all writers, not tech people. If you have no idea how to get your hosting up or have questions about your plan and features, Bluehost will be there to help.
  • You’ll get 1-click WordPress installation – Bluehost makes it a cinch to start your WordPress site. From getting your hosting to start building it’s less than 1-click really!

So after you choose your plan (the basic plan starts at a super affordable price of $2.95/ can’t beat that!), you choose your domain name.

From here you just fill out all the forms and and make sure you tick the 36-month plan to get the savings.

After you pay, you are ready!

And you know what is amazing about Bluehost? How easy it is to get ready to create your freelance website!

So, don’t let the tech stop you from starting your website. Bluehost will handle it for you. From there you can pick a free theme and play around with it. There are WordPress groups and YouTube videos to help you out!

5. Draft Up Writing Samples (That Aren’t from Content Mills)


All that writing you did for content mills – don’t use that for your samples. They are probably ghostwritten so you can’t use them anyways, or they just aren’t good quality.

If you want to attract high-paying clients, you need high-value writing samples.

With your new website, you can draft up some blog posts about topics that you want to get paid to write.

This is the time to focus on your formatting and your copy to make it engaging and easy to read online.

The point is to get something up there that shows you are a legit writer. What if you aren’t interested in writing blog posts? You’re more an eBook writer or resume writer. What do you do then?

You can do mock ups.

Draft something in Google Docs of the type of writing you want to do. You don’t have to use your website to house your portfolio (you can use Contently for example), but it’s a good place for sure!

Have around 3 to 5 samples to show your writing. Should they be all in the same niche? It’s better when you have samples in one niche, but if you aren’t sure what your niche is, then go ahead and create a couple of samples in different niches.

When I first started, I had these samples on my website:

  • 4 Proven Ways to Uplift Your Mood
  • 4 Helpful Tips for Parents Working With Their Child’s Special Education Assistant
  • Sweep the Clutter Away with 3 Organizing Tips for Your Living Room
  • Cook Your Way to a New Career: Culinary School

As you can see, these samples covered different topics and niches. But, I was new and just wanted to get my writing up there. So, that’s okay if you do the same! The point is, get some samples up on your website or portfolio site.

6. Set Up a LinkedIn Account


Part of being an online freelance writer is having a social media presence. But, should you be on all social media sites?

If you’re just starting out, then no, you don’t need to. Pick one social media site – I suggest LinkedIn as it’s like Facebook for business – and get to know it.

I started my LI account when I became a freelance writer in 2014. I’ve updated my copy and resume a few times to make sure it’s up to date.

In LinkedIn, you can connect with other writers, businesses, and entrepreneurs. It’s a good thing to connect with a lot of people and to let others connect with you.

This will build your followers, and more people will see your posts.

When setting up your LI account remember to fill in as much information as you can (and use keywords), join LinkedIn groups, and use their publishing platform to make more samples!!

For me, LinkedIn has been a fabulous place to land clients. Hands down!

7. Set Your Writing Rate and Stick With It (Until You Increase It)


If you’re a new freelance writer, one of the hardest decisions to make is determining your rates – especially if you come from content mills.

You don’t know of any other rate than $.04/word or less.

What should you rate your writing? For new freelance writers, I feel $.08-.10/word is a good starting range.

It’s enough to support your business and get it going. As a new writer though, you might start lowering your rate when you get prospects interested in your writing. You’re hoping that if you are “cheap” enough, they’ll hire you.

But, that’s the wrong mindset! Remember, prospects are seeking you out. They want an effective writer to help them accomplish their business goals.

What factors goes into creating your rate?

So, you can see, there’s a lot to it than picking a random number for your rate. Consider what you need to live on and figure out what that equates per hour. From there figure out how long it takes you to write an average 1000 word post and charge accordingly.

I strongly suggest you charge per word or a flat rate for each project. You’ll generate more income than an hourly rate (you’ll get punished for being a fast typer).

8. Check Out Job Boards (Instead of the Best Content Mills)


One of the easiest transitions from content mills to starting your own freelance writing business is to use job boards to find clients.

Not all job boards are the best, and not all of them have quality work. Since I’ve been doing this for a couple of years, I know some good job boards. My top four are:


Contena is a job board that curates job boards from other job boards, online and social media. It is a paid job board, but I find that it’s one of the best to find the exact type of freelance writing job I want.

You can search via your niche category. For me that’s marketing. I click a button and BOOM! I get all the marketing jobs I want.

Some categories (niche topics) they have are:

  • Real estate
  • Business
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Health Lifestyle

What’s neat about Contena is that they will email you leads, so you don’t have to visit this job board every day. This saves a lot of time and makes it easy to pitch to these businesses.

Finally, for those that want to boost your chances of landing a client, Contenta offers Contena Companies which lets you see company profiles (and what they pay writers) based on your niche.

Using Contena may not be on your radar right now since you’re just breaking free from writing for pennies, I suggest you bookmark this job board and save up for the membership fee as this is a great invest for the longevity of your business.

By the way, when you’re interested in signing up to Contena, don’t wait! There are soo many writing jobs that pay well!


If you’re strapped for cash (which you might be if you’re escaping content mills for good), start using free job boards.

One of the best ones out there is Problogger. I used this job board religiously when I first started and landed some great high-paying clients. Since this is a free option, a lot of freelance writers know of this job board, so it is competitive.

To make sure your pitch gets seen, be one of the first to apply. This might mean checking the job board twice a day!

All Indie Writers Job Board

Jennifer Mattern has a wonderful free freelance writing job board over at All Indie Writers (make sure to check out her blog and podcast!).

What I like about this job board is that you can quickly see how much each job pays. You can quickly scan pay ranges and not waste time reading job ads that aren’t high-paying.

Finally, she only posts relevant jobs from the last month to help you increase your chances of landing a gig.

Freelance Writing Job Board

The Freelance writing job board was the place that I landed my first legit freelance writing client!

I went from making $1.42 per post to $100 per post!!

This free job board curates jobs from different places like BloggingPro, Craigslist, Indeed and more!

I find the jobs on this board good quality depending on the source, and since there are so many curated jobs per day, it’s easy to find something that’s in your niche.

9. Pitch Directly to Clients (And Avoid Content Mills)


One way to avoid the competition job boards have is to pitch directly to potential clients. This is called cold pitching, and it can be very effective in getting clients.

So, it goes something like this:

You research online for businesses in your niche. Let’s pick the personal finance niche. It’s best to search for startups in your niche as they want to grow their business, get their name out there and they’re used to marketing online.

Next, you want to click on some links and see what you are interested in. I clicked on the fifth link and looked at the list there.

From there I picked a company and saw if they had a blog. They did as I saw they had in-house authors or ones from sponsors.

This might be a great opportunity to introduce myself and let them know that I’m a writer in their niche (which I’m not, but you might be!).

By positioning yourself to be the only writer for them, a business owner gets to know your expertise and will most likely hire you (since there’s no competition).

This is a great way for a brand new writer to get going fast.

10. Create a Plan to Land Freelance Writing Clients (& No More Low Paying Content Mill Clients)


Now that you have your own website and are hustling to find clients, you need a plan so that you don’t fail.

So, creating goals and metrics around those goals will propel your business forward. For example, you might say you’ll pitch to job boards 3x a day and cold pitch 3x a day for 10 days.

Your plan should also include improving your skills as a writer, optimizing your online presence and improving your rate and clients so that you stop pitching and start choosing the clients you want to work for.

Trying to do this on your own can be a challenge. It might take longer, and you might not have the support you need to keep at it.

And to help you I have a free course on getting paid to write online.


Sign up to my free six-day email course and get even more actionable tips to help you succeed as a freelance writer.

I feel that support network is pivotal to your long term success and, my course Write Your Way to Your First $1k has that built-in support.

This course gives you the blueprint and step-by-step lessons that will walk you through setting up your business, attracting clients, finding clients and retaining them. To really break from content mills, you need a solid foundation, and that’s what this course is all about.

Content Mills Unearthed

By following this plan, you no longer need to find jobs on content mills. You’ll be able to create your own platform on which to find and land clients. And with some guidance from me in the Writeto1k course, you’ll get proven methods for success!

Over to you – what’s stopping you from escaping content mills for good?

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

Leave a Reply


Hi Elna! I’m a Latin-America based writer. I had over five years of experience freelance in total, with the past 3 fully devoted to a marketing agency. Late last year I realized that said agency was totally a content mill and that I could not keep on doing that to myself. I sat down and realized I had over 5 jobs that were low paying and I was in physical and mental pain over burnout. Finished projects, quit some of those jobs and asked a raise in the one I knew I had the more leverage. Got the raise, and finally had more financial security. Now I’m devoted to finding myself more high-paying jobs. What would you recomend for people who’s mother tongue is not English or are not based in tipically well paid countries? Because my country in particular is considered among the lowest freelance rates in Latin America and finding jobs that see beyond that has been proven a challenge. Besides, as I’m currently not earning as much as to feel comfortable paying Contena, that’s out of the question until I find a more… sustainable and stable income to do so. PD: I’ve been reading your website pretty much all day. Thank you, I’m keeping notes!Reply to Aidnes
Hi Aidnes, That’s difficult for sure. If you feel your country is limiting you, I would try NOT to make it known where you live. Ideally, you can live anywhere in the world and freelance write. I don’t think my country of origin plays into gaining clients for me. So, as long as your writer website has no grammatical errors I also wouldn’t make it known that English is your second language. It’s the whole “fake it until you make it” mentality!Reply to Elna
Elna, this is absolutely wonderful. I made the mistake of starting with UpWork. Though I’m making more than pennies (about $100 or so per week), the amount of work that I have to put in is killing me, and I need to break free. I already have my freelance website, I just need to work on creating sample posts and pitching to clients. I see you recommended Contena, and I would LOVE to use them if I had the funds right now (which I don’t, sadly). What do you think about Writers Work ( They charge a one time fee as well, but it’s much cheaper than Contena. Would love to know your thoughts.Reply to Connie
Hi Connie, Good that you started your website and doing it the right way (away from content mills for sure!). Don’t know much about Writers Work so sorry! I would do my best with guest blogging and adding more samples and then pitching to job boards!Reply to Elna
Hi! I really appreciate this post. I am glad I was searching for “best content mills for freelancer writers” because you gave me the tools to do the exact opposite! I was struggling with creating my own business, and thought “hey, I’ll just go to the content mills.” Well, I was wrong and so glad that you really helped and gave a solid foundation and steps of how to move forward with starting a freelancing business. Kudos to you, you are one of the first people on the internet that actually provided me some real steps and not fake BS inspirational stories.Reply to Lis
Hey Lis! I’m so glad you moved away from content mills for freelance writers! There is no best content mill to help you make a living as a writer! I’m glad this post showed you an alternative method to making a successful freelance writing biz!Reply to Elna
Extremely helpful! Thanks again!Reply to Lis
Hi Elna! I stumbled upon your website during my quest to become a part-time freelance writer. Your posts are very helpful and give me hope as a newbie. I have drafted three articles that I’m hoping to finish up and include as samples. Reading this just motivated me to keep on going with my quest. Thank you so much and I hope we can talk soon, you have a lot of advice that I’d love to pick your brain on!Reply to Candy
Hi Candy! That’s awesome you have some samples already! Now it’s time to publish them and market your service! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Elna, You are so darn helpful! Thank you!Reply to Holly
Hi Holly! Thank you so much! Glad this post on how to stop writing for content mills is helpful!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I can’t imagine a better way to thank you for this thoughtful post.I deeply resonate with your thoughts on content mills because I’ve been a victim for around 2 years now and I feel its time to call it quits.I’m now ready to break free from low-paying gigs to realize my potential as a writer. I think the determinant lies in changing your mindset as you said-and taking action.Thanks a bunch Elna!Reply to Peter
Hey Peter, That’s good to know! Writing for content mills isn’t the way to make a living as a writer for sure! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Wow. What a comprehensive guide you have here, Elna. I learned from Ramit Sethi that one must learn to take money for the services rendered. When breaking into the writing industry, there is that nagging feeling that, “I don’t think I’m good enough to command such rates.” Get off it. If the client loves your work, you are worth every penny, otherwise they wouldn’t have considered you in the first place. Take the money.Reply to Kevine
Hello Elna, I have read this very post countless time but I’m shocked I didn’t leave any comment. One of my bravest move as a freelance writer was to create my own blog and own my thing. Using my blog as my writer platform, it made it easier for me to build my career as a blogger also have a home online I can point to each time I guess post on other blogs for the purpose of social proof and marketing myself. Honestly, it will be difficult to really build a full-time business as a freelance writer without a writer platform. One more thing I did and has continued to do is to be active on social media. Thanks for this great lesson. EmenikeReply to Emenike
Thanks for making your first comment! And yes, a writer platform is imperative to longevity as a freelance writer!Reply to Elna
Hi, Elna! I started blogging for fun a couple of years back, but now I would like to start writing freelance. I already have two blogs, one in English and one in Spanish, but they’re both on Since I started blogging as a hobby, I didn’t pay for a domain. In order to showcase my writing, do you think I should set up another site with my own domain or could I use the blogs I already have? Since I started blogging, I’ve already written several high-traffic posts on both blogs, so that’s way I’m reluctant to start from zero with another site.Reply to Fabiola
I’m sure you can use one of your websites to showcase your writing!Reply to Elna
I like your information and your site, thanks!Reply to newhope
I LOVE this post – it inspired me to leave sites like Upwork. I am a teen blogger and I’ve always been so thirsty to land my pitch on freelance gigs or prove I’m the best to deliver quality work (for cheap). I have made countless articles for many clients, using content mills or job platforms, but I’ve made so little. In fact, I make more working at a bakery (!). Now, I own my own sites (and a few others) delivering MY own quality work. I use WordPress and guess who inspired me? Elna Cain.Reply to Emoijah
Elna, you nailed it from every single facet. Content Mills, you can jam ’em! Just yesterday, having written in excess of 2500 words for a content mill, I adhered to each and every requirement for that article. With a positive response, they required a review. New angle was required. So I questioned what they “truly” wanted and was given a new set of instructions. Edited post, grammar and spell checked, I left it alone for a few hours and read it to myself out loud. Then I clicked submit, letting the ‘client’ know that I was open to further revisions if required. No reply. No acknowledgement. Reject! That canned it for me. No more content mills. Now here I am reading your informative post. Bloody brilliant advice which I am in the throes of heeding. Thank You for your wisdom and guidance.Reply to Judy
Hi Judy, Thank you so much! I’m glad you found this post and it’s giving you the advice and motivation you need! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Awesome Post, This one got me! Big minds do Big things! We all need a unique voice, having a website of yours is one big way to do that.Reply to Adeniyi
Thank you, Cain, from the bottom of my heart for writing this piece. Excellent advice for freelance writers. Never write for content mills, which never reward your time and skills. Get the real clients. Network with them and work together. That’s the best way to work as a freelancer and be successful. Avoid online sites and content mills at any cost and save yourself from the bitter experience.Thank you for post…..Reply to Linda
HI, Glad you’ve figured out freelance marketplaces. They are not worth it and it was another mistake I wasted time with! Thanks for stopping by! They all seem to be ghostwriting projects though. I really dislike the fact that there’s so many clients out there who want to take credit for your hard work but are not willing to pay you well for it! I really appreciate all your tips and advice – keep up the brill content!Reply to Linda
This is an insightful post. The first thing i will do is get myself a new website. Secondly you have shared some great platforms to land on a freelance work. Third, Mindset plays an important role while doing your business be it freelancing. Its your temperament that helps you succeed eventually. Once again thanks for the post.Reply to Shivam
Hi Shivam, Glad you found some insights into this post. Good luck on getting out of those low paying mills!Reply to Elna
After wasting much time writing for content mills, I finally managed to put this together and guest what? I have achieved financial freedom.Reply to Kegesa
Good to know! Good luck getting out of content mills!Reply to Elna
Hello Elna, This is a truly epic post. You know, one of the hardest parts of doing business is to actually step out of your comfort zone. The moment one get’s used to getting writing gigs via content mills, it becomes somewhat difficult for him to break out of it. This is because he will often think that if he leaves those sites, he won’t be able to get jobs again because no one knows him hence, he’ll die of starvation. And that is where the mindset you talked about comes in. Everyone really needs to work on his mindset, that is the only time we’ll see how truly awesome we are. Thanks for sharing.Reply to Theodore
Hi Theodore, Thanks so much! I wanted this post to be epic and full of great information to help others who are stuck in content mills! Glad that’s what it is!Reply to Elna
Thanks for the always useful information. This is great information to help garage type SEO people like me.Reply to Nazia
Hi! You’re welcome! Glad you found some good info about content mills.Reply to Elna
Thank you, Cain, from the bottom of my heart for writing this piece. Excellent advice for freelance writers. Never write for content mills, which never reward your time and skills. Get the real clients. Network with them and work together. That’s the best way to work as a freelancer and be successful. Avoid online sites and content mills at any cost and save yourself from the bitter experience.Reply to Venu
I think changing the mindset has always been the hardest one for me. The “If I charge higher prices, they won’t hire me” problem. But that’s what I’m working on right now! Also, do you have an affiliate link for Siteground? I want to change hosts!Reply to LJ
Hi LJ! Yes, the mindset is a huge barrier! I have different thoughts that stop me from projects at time and I have to learn to just ignore them! As for hosting, I’m sorry you are having difficulties! I do have an affiliate link (that’s in the post), but here it is: Thanks!Reply to Elna
Great post. I have been struggling for long, writing for content mills to make ends meet. It’s been really hard. I have two questions 1) Can I start a writers website with one of the free sites and succeed? 2) Can I use other platforms such as HubPages to showcase my writing? Please advise me on the best way to go about it.Reply to Aggrey
Hi! It is possible to create a free WordPress blog, but it’s a littler harder to succeed at freelance writing. There are little tricks you can do that I mention in my course to help you look professional with a free site. I’m not familiar with HubPages, but Contently works great and is recognized as well as Medium or LinkedIn 🙂Reply to Elna
Hello Elna, This is another mind-boggling post as usual, and I will also call it an eye opener for every newbie writer out there. Indeed, one of the best ways to make money while working from home is to work as a freelance writer. It really pays well especially if you know your game very well. But the problem is that the new guys in the game are often confused as to where and how to start hence, the reason they often rush to content mills not knowing it’s a time waster. Like you rightly said, it all starts with the mindset. For you to really make it big as a freelance writer, you need to have this mindset that you can do it. You need to get rid of every failure mindset in you and work hard towards becoming a better and well sought after writer. Thanks for sharing Elna. AnilReply to Anil
Hi Anil, Thanks so much! And yes, mindset plays a huge roll in succeeding. If you think you are an employee or you have fear control what you do, you just won’t make it out there as a freelancer!! Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
I am so glad that I found your websites BEFORE I actually took the leap into freelance writing- otherwise, I’m sure I would have tried out content mills, too. I recently have found two reoccurring gigs, so I’m pretty excited about that. I have done several one-time projects over the past few months, but I’m still working on increasing my rates and finding those higher-paying clients who want blog posts every week, month, etc I have a “hire me” page on my blog, just set up a Contently site, and I’m currently working on my writer’s website. Also trying to narrow down my samples, as right now I have blogging, digital marketing, construction, parenting, sports betting, and ands few others! Lol. So I think I’ll take your advice and organize my samples so that it’s attracting the RIGHT clients. Which would be digital marketing for the most part. I still like the idea of writing for a few other businesses though! Now that I’ve written a book here lol – back to work I go. 🙂 AleeReply to Alee
Alee, That’s great you didn’t fall into the trap of writing for content mills! And I’m glad you’re following the advice in Writeto1k 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more of your wins in the group!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Great post, as always! I’ve literally just started freelance writing about 2 weeks ago, landing my first client after a week, but I’m already finding that it’s so hard to break out of the freelance marketplaces! The money is not always poor on platforms like Upwork; it’s hit and miss. They all seem to be ghostwriting projects though. I really dislike the fact that there’s so many clients out there who want to take credit for your hard work but are not willing to pay you well for it! I really appreciate all your tips and advice – keep up the brill content! KatieReply to Katie
Hey Katie! Glad you’ve figured out freelance marketplaces. They are not worth it and it was another mistake I wasted time with! Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Your writing is so no nonsense I love it haha. I’m currently in the search for freelance writing work and skipping the content mills is the best advice you’ve given me (I was about to go that route). I think what I struggle with the most is crafting a pitch that isn’t too much or too little, and that requires being able to ‘read through the lines’ of what the job ad says. The struggle is usually ‘do I send them a more lively and a less formal pitch?’ or ‘do I sound super professional?’ Anyway, thanks for the encouragement I always get from reading your work 🙂Reply to Vivian
Hi Vivian! Thanks so much!! The best approach to pitching is to be conversational and friendly, but still professional. I start my pitches as, “hey (name)” and then I try to be personal and let them know my credibility and niche. Good luck!Reply to Elna
Such a great read this by Elna. The struggles of a freelance writer are vividly explained. The content mills and most of the platforms available online has clients that are not willing to pay even minimum wage. I have experienced this in almost all the freelancing sites. You gain freedom once you get the client’s trust. Some really good books are recommended by Elna. Every freelancer should check this out.Reply to Venu
Hi Venu! So glad you found this post informational and inspiring to make a move! Good luck!Reply to Elna
I think the first point is the most important. Get out of the employee mindset! I find that clients who have no experience of working with freelancers often treat you like an employee. But when you work as a copywriter it should be a partnership. And yep, pitching directly is also a surprisingly effective way to get gigs, as you mention.Reply to Jon
Hi Jon, Exactly! I still see job ads that want a freakin resume and CV! Like what!? I still get hung up on that. I’m glad though, that I’ve worked with some awesome clients that know exactly who they are getting!! A collaborator!Reply to Elna
I’ve been struggling with the employee mindset for quite a while and still have it even as an entrepreneur. I know this is blocking me from my full potential as a freelance writer. The problem is, for me, how do I fix that? How do I fix a mindset I’ve had since I was 13 years old? (My parents own their own business and I was working for them unofficially when I was 13. Long story.) I’ve got plenty of determination but that’s about it.Reply to Lisa
Hi Lisa, I think the first step to breaking free from that mindset is to get your skills up. Have expert skills to help you be more confident. From there, market your services and start with bloggers or entrepreneurs to get your feet wet. Work with them on a collaborative effort. From there you can move up to bigger companies if you want! It’s all baby steps!Reply to Elna