There is a lot of negativity regarding working for content mills. The negativity stems from established writers who complain of poor content being produced by content mills and content mills offering poor wages to writers. I’ve come across authors who suggest that beginning writers avoid content mills at all costs, and that the only honorable way to work at a content mill is to moonlight at one after your day job (see comments).
I think the authors of said writings are established in their careers, have come from a different time than the recent college graduate comes from and are at a disconnect with a point that fades with success, but resonates oh-so-loud when one is struggling to make it day-to-day. Because when the day is over, well… I don’t know how else to put this but… dammit, we’ve gotta eat!
I work for Demand Media Studios as a freelance writer. Call me a sellout. Call me a poor writer. Call me what you will. But one thing you won’t have to call me is poor. Demand Media Studios pays $15 per article and they pay on time. In today’s economy, it’s not enough just to hold down an internship or a low paying freelance gig. Stable income is the key, and by working for Demand Media Studios, I’m slowly building myself up to where I can sustain myself and still have time for an internship.
Without my job at a content mill, I may be working at Wal-Mart for 40 hours a week where I actually do make minimum wage (around $9 an hour) and don’t have the time to hold down an internship. Worse yet, I’d be doing a job where I’m not writing, and even though content mill writing isn’t great writing, it’s still writing and it’s still something I love to do.
It may be trendy to slam content mills, but the truth of the matter is that content mills allow people to open career doors that may be otherwise closed to them forever.