Let me start this blog post by saying that I’m not completely against writing at content mills. I actually find them extremely useful for some writers. But eventually, you will outgrow them. You need to step out of your comfort zone and start writing for real private clients.
Are you ready to stop writing at the mills? Is it time for you to look for higher-paying clients? Here’s why you need to stop writing at the mills.
Not all content mills are made equally
Before we get into this, I do want to say that having content mills in your back pocket can be good for your income. But they do also need to be good for your mental state.
Just recently, I shared why I still don’t regret quitting The Inquisitr a few years back. I also shared why I’ve quit offering my writing services at Fiverr. There are a few other mills that I’ve left over the years, but others that I check in on now and then just as a top-up or just to keep some skills sharp.
Not all content mills are the same, which is something to think about. Only keep the mills that are good for you in your back pocket.
Here’s why you need to stop writing at content mills completely
You simply can’t make a living writing at content mills
The BIGGEST reason to stop writing for these mills is that they don’t pay enough to survive on. Well, okay, you can get enough to survive but don’t you want to do more than that?
I can type quickly and when I was solely writing for the mills, I was able to make enough to get by. But that was it. I was making enough to pay the bills and afford food. I couldn’t go anywhere or enjoy a holiday.
I wanted much more from my job, and you should too! I wanted to be able to take a week-long holiday without worrying about the cost, which I’ve done numerous times since focusing on private clients. I wanted to be able to treat my daughters now and then. I wanted to be able to take a day off just because I could, which I’ve since been able to.
Writing at content mills would never give me the ability to do that. They can be there as a backup, but you want your private clients to be the bulk of your work.
Writing at content mills leads to burn out
I tried making enough one month to be able to afford the luxuries and take some time off but you know what I got? Burn out!
I ended up writing for a whole month without taking one day off. By the end of it, I was just on autopilot. I didn’t want to work anymore and didn’t enjoy my job.
The topics didn’t interest me, and I was writing for the sake of writing. I was looking for topics that I’d already done the research one. 700 articles later (yes, really!) I was done. I was so fed up that I closed the computer and walked away.
It took me two weeks to recover from that. All the money I made from the month was pointless since I needed it just to survive the next month.
Burnout hits any freelancer when they do too much of the same thing, and writing at content mills is the quickest way to bring that on. The biggest problem is that the financial gain from my writing was wasted. I think I actually ended up losing money because of the time I took off to recover from it.
I’ve never done anything like that since! Not because I got away from the mills, but because it wasn’t worth damaging my health. But this was also a reason to start charging more, which meant heading to private clients.
Constant writing causes other health problems
When I was at writing for content mills during that month-long marathon, I hardly took any breaks. In fact, my husband had to take my computer away from me one night so that I would stop working!
Not only did I suffer from burnout, but I was doing damage to my health. My posture was rubbish. My wrists were in agony. My head was pounding. My mental health was at the lowest it had been for a long time!
Get the picture?
The money really wasn’t worth all that! It isn’t worth damaging your health. You may think that having the money is the answer to your problems but is it worth causing health problems, which lead to more money being spent? Of course not!
Stop the mills and market yourself. Find the higher paying clients and do less for more!
You lose your creativity
I used to love writing. I would always have ideas and would constantly create plots with some of my favorite characters.
I’ve got that back now, but for a while, I just lost all creativity. Not just in my writing but in everything that I did. When someone wanted article ideas, I drew a blank. When I wanted to work on my novel, I couldn’t. When my husband asked what I wanted to do for a day off, I didn’t have a clue!
Losing your creativity is the worst thing that can happen, whether you’re writing at content mills, private clients or personal fictional projects. It happens because you’re writing the same things over and over again. You’re not getting the breaks you need and your body is just telling you ENOUGH! Listen to it!
Give your creativity a boost and stop slaving away at the pittance that you’re being paid.
Now you have the skills to be a great writer, it’s time to make an effort to step away from the content mills. Find private clients, boost your income, and improve your health. You won’t regret it.
Are you still writing at content mills? Have you had bad experiences with them? Feel free to share your story and experience working for them and whether you think they’re worth your time and effort?