Here’s a headline from Fast Company that made the polish come right off my pedicure: “Yahoo Buys Associated Content, Scores 380,000 Freelancers and Boatloads of Cheap Content.” Is this what content has come down to now? A commodity that can be bought “by the boatload” and scored cheap cheap cheap? Like t-shirts? I see visions of content with Wal-mart “roll back” price signs. Good grief, is this seriously where we’re heading? Are we really this desperate for “boatloads of cheap content”?
Some of these articles can be bought for five bucks. Yes, you heard right! You can now buy a well-researched, well-thought out, comprehensive article for a little more than a hamburger Happy Meal (according to this Answers.com article, it might be $5.50 if you upgrade to chicken nuggets and a shake) and a little less than a cute pair of flip-flops. I can’t even get a pedicure to look good in the flip-flops for five bucks, I’d have to pay $40 for that. I could get a cheap bottle of nail polish for five bucks or less and do it myself.
Recently, a spate of LinkedIn group discussions have sparked this debate about content mills like Demand Studios which pay, oh, let’s see, as low as five bucks an article. Inevitably you get the content mill writers defending content mills: but we get our work out there! We get “exposure!” Many of us are unemployed journalists! We’re just testing the waters! They give us detailed manuals of writing guidelines!
Here are my counterpoints to those arguments: your work is Continue reading ‘How not to make a living as a writer (hint: content mills)’