Pros and Cons of Writing for Content Sites


Yesterday I gave a brief lesson on how to write for content sites. Today, I’m going to explain the good points and bad points to working for content sites.

Pro: Content sites are a good way to get started in the writing industry. You have to apply to sites, and you have to provide a writing sample. This can give you an inkling as to whether you have the skills to start a writing career.

Con: It’s not a realistic representation of an actual writing career. Content sites are the very first rung of the ladder that leads to a writing career. There is way more to a writing career than content sites. But that’s a discussion for another blog post.

Pro: They pay quickly. Most content sites pay frequently — many pay weekly, some pay twice a month, but usually, the longest you’ll have to wait for payment is a month.

Con: The pay is low. Freelance writers who write for private clients or magazines make WAY more. Again content sites are a legitimate way to break into the industry, but they are also at the low end of the payment totem pole. You CAN make good money working for content sites, but it takes a lot of work and juggling.

Pro: You’ll get clips that you can use for your portfolio.

Con: The clips might not be impressive to editors in other arenas. Every article you write is not going to be clip worthy — honestly, most articles aren’t clip worthy. Even with all the clips I have from content sites, I only use maybe a dozen or so in my portfolio. Not that the other articles are bad — the ones I use are the most in-depth, researched and well-written. And depending on where the articles are used, editors might be less impressed, even if the article is stellar.

Pro: It’s easy work.

Con: It’s easy work…when you can get it. Lately content sites have taken a hit, thanks to the Panda. There are still plenty of content sites available, and most are still hiring writers, but the competition is increasing and it’s harder to get good titles to write. Not impossible, but harder. Much harder.

Pro: Content sites are reliable pay.

Con: Content sites make you lazy. There, I said it. Writing for content sites — with the quick payments and easy work lull you into a false sense of security. But ask anyone who wrote primarily for Demand or Bright Hub how secure they feel now. Or SEED or Break Studios or, well, you get the point.

So, there they are, the top 5 pros and cons to writing for content sites. As I’ve said previously, I’m not a fan, but I do believe they have their place. However, if you want to make it as a freelance writer, their place in your career should diminish over time. Next week, I’ll explain how you can make that happen.

Thanks for reading! As always, comments and email are welcome!

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Writing for Content Sites

  1. Ken says:

    Great post Kim,

    Yes, content sites do (did) have a place. Some were better than others. Now though, they all seem to be taking on water like the Titanic. Once I would have said you could rely on content mill work for steady pay while building a business. Now, content mills can play a small part in income only.

  2. Actually, Ken, there are still quite a few content sites that are hiring writers. However, as I said, the competition is increasing both for approval to write for the sites and finding articles to write. But I can’t go as far to say that you cannot still make a decent living writing for them, though I wouldn’t advise it, either.

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