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I’m looking for a technical writer to rewrite some corporate training manuals for a large food chain in America. The ideal candidate will have experience writing technical manuals for large corporations.
Details of the project:
- Client will provide their current manuals to be updated
- For use in corporate owned stores and franchises
- Three 80 page manuals to start with the potential for more dependent on quality
Pay: $20,000 gross for first 3 training manuals, to be completed by May.
The email is from Constant-Content, a content-mill-like site I signed up with ages ago. I’ve said it before, but I think it’s time to re-evaluate what we think of content mills because they are popping up like wildfire. And, this is due to the increase in demand by businesses brought on by the popularity of content marketing.
Content Mills Lead to Freelance Writing Success
1. $50,000 Editing Contract: Six-figure freelancer Laura Pennington, a frequent contributor to this site, landed a $50,000 editing job from a content mill (Upwork).
2. Over $50,000/Year from One Client: In 2009, when he was just a teenager (16 years old), popular Nigerian blogger Onibalusi Bamidele landed a $100 per article writing job on what was then Elance and oDesk (of course, these have been folded into what is now known as Upwork). The contract with that one client ear ned him over $50,000.
3. Earning $1,000+/Week: Sales and marketing consultant Jake Jorgovan, eschewed sites like Upwork because, in his words, “I thought it was a place to outsource tasks to people overseas for $4 an hour.”
That quickly changed when he started consistently earning $1,000+/week landing writing jobs on them.
Content Marketing: Driving the Demand – and Rates – for Professional Writers Up
As the demand for better content has increased – again, thanks to content marketing – clients are seeking writers who are professional. And you ain’t gonna find one for $4/article because they’re unlikely to know:
How to Tell a Story without Overtly Selling (ie, Write from a “soft sell” approach)
Know What Pain Points Are, why they’re important to know as a writer, and how to tap into that when you write.
All of these things are required in a good piece of content that has a chance of getting results – and that’s why the demand for skilled writers is going up … along with rates.
Proof that Content Marketing Is Here to Stay
FYI, here are some stats from the 2017 B2B Content Marketing Institute Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report that show you just how great the need is for content these days.
- 89% of organizations surveyed use content marketing. Of the 11% who don’t, 52% say they plan to launch a content marketing effort within the next 12 months;
- 39% — That’s the percentage of a firm’s total marketing budget that is allocated to content marketing on average.
- 55% have a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing team. This means more work for freelance writers because they need to outsource.
- 73% say that content marketing is as an ongoing part of their business plan, not just a one-off campaign
Getting Freelance Writing Jobs from Constant-Content: 5 Things You Should Know
Now, back to that $20,000 writing jobs on Constant-Content. Here are a few things you need to know.
1. Create an Account: Of course, you have to create an account on the site. It’s free.
2. Writing Samples: In setting up your profile, you have to include writing samples, which must be approved by the site before you can start getting jobs. The guidelines are not too stringent, but they are over and beyond what many content mills require.
IMO, this is good because it keeps the level of writing high, and when clients come, they expect to pay more because there are quality writers there.
3. Sell Pre-Written Content: You can not only make money writing content that clients request; it’s a great place to submit pre-written pieces to sell. Many writers have good success – selling up to 80% of the content they upload. Others have problems selling anything, even after a few months or years.
This freelance writing thread on Reddit about how to make money on Constant-Content selling pre-written content gives some great insight into how to make it work.
4. Consistent Job Leads: Whether or not you complete your profile, you will receive what’s known as “Casting Calls” notices (like the one I received about the $20,000 writing job referenced here).
Casting calls are just jobs leads that are sent out by the site. Usually, it’s because they’re looking for a lot of writers for a particular project and/or a very defined niche writer(s). I get notices on average of once every four to six weeks. Here’s a sample of some available gigs right now.
Note: To apply for jobs listed in Casting Calls, you need to have 5 articles accepted on your account. So if/when you sign up with them, be sure to upload samples that will get approved, that way, you can be immediately qualified to work. It takes roughly 3-5 days for them to approve your content.
5. Know SEO: Most content mill sites like Constant-Content assume that you know search engine optimization (SEO) because those compose the bulk of the job orders. And the reason is, people are buying content to drive organic traffic to their site.
So if you don’t know things like how to do keyword reseaarch, what anchor text is, the differnce between a keyword-stuffed article and themed SEO content, you won’t qualify for a lot of the jobs.
It doesn’t mean the sites will prevent you from signing up. None that I know do that. But what it does mean is that you won’t be able to satisfy clients because you won’t know how to correctly write the copy (ie, using proper SEO writing guidelines).
Special Reports: Some of the Most Lucrative Freelance Writing You’ll Ever Find
This $20,000 technical writing job falls under what I call “special report writing.” And, it’s some of the most lucrative writing you can land. I had one client who hired me to write 5-10 page booklets as free giveways for an online marketing seminar her firm was conducting.
This was early on in my career. I charged $1,500. It took me about a week to write one. The client was so satisfied that they hired me to write two more.
I had another client who owned a B2B consulting business. She hired me to write two books – which she put on her site as free download lead generators. She also uploaded sold them on Amazon. These were about 25 pages. I think I charged her $2,500.
I think the need for this type of writing is only increasing. Just landing one or two gigs like this can put a hefty chunk of change in your bank account every month.
Yeah, these gigs are harder to find because clients will be shelling out a few thousand bucks at a time, but as the $20,000 job post here says, there’s “the potential for more dependent on quality.”
Are Content Mills a Fit for Your Freelance Writing Career?
FYI, consultant Jake Jorgovan referenced above gives some great advice on which freelance writers should be utilizing sites like Upwork, writing:
Who should be using Upwork
- Freelancers who are early on in their career and struggling to get their first few clients
- Freelancers who are afraid of selling and negotiations
- Freelancers who want to work remotely
Good luck if you apply, and as always, circle back and let me know how it worked out for you.
P.S.: Did You Catch Yesterday’s Post? Starting a Freelance Writing Biz from Scratch in 2017: A 7-Step Process That Works Every Time.
This was revealed in a podcast interivew I did with Just Add Hustle, a blog that teaches freelancers how to make money writing by interview successful freelancers. It was a fun interview that covered a lot of ground. I hope you enjoy it.
P.P.S.: To Make Money Writing, You Need a Freelance Writing Website. Learn why and how to start one here.