What is a Content Mill? The Complete Lowdown

Content mills have different rates and different names, but they’re all the same. Basically.

If you aren’t familiar with the term content mill, there’s no need to worry. I worked for content mills for years without knowing what they were. For the most part, content mills offer writing services at bargain basement prices. This is the main selling point and the top drawback of these sites. They appeal to customers with their low rates, but the service suffers because the prices are too low.

In my opinion, these companies should be avoided because they pay their workers insultingly low wages. These companies are the writing equivalent of sweatshops, so you know who is making the real money. Here are a few of the pros and cons of content mills.


The cost is low.

It’s easy to sign up.

You’ll have access to a large pool of writers.

You can experiment with different “quality” levels.

You can add a la carte editing and proofreading.


Workers are underpaid and disenchanted.

Less than one percent of writers are in the top tier.

Unless you place an order directly, you don’t know who will write it.

Editing services have additional charges.

Companies charge hefty fees.

Content mills pay their workers next to nothing, and they add on hefty surcharges of 30 percent or more in some cases. One particular company takes a full 30 percent on all tips and “bonuses” that their authors receive for doing a good job. Whether that’s $3 off of a $10 bonus or $30 off of $100, it’s terribly unfair. Content mills have a fundamental challenge that’s coming to light as more companies require quality web content. Unfortunately, it’s not the low prices that put customers off. It’s the quality of these super-cheap levels that makes them go elsewhere. Sadly, few content mill clients even know how much their writers receive after the brokerage company takes their cut.

Another fundamental problem associated with content mills is their editorial process. A lot of these companies cut costs by eliminating editors. These same companies will review their authors as part of a ghastly quality assurance process. Speaking as a person who made it to the ceiling of content mills, the “editors” at these sites are paid even less than the writers, who are also grossly underpaid. There is also a stereotype that these authors are young grads who think they know everything. Regardless of age, content mill editors are prone to applying grammatical rules recklessly and in a way that degrades the final product.

If you’ve ordered articles from a content mill, your writer may have been better than the editor. Today, up-market content mills are popping up, but the problems are all the same. We started Write On! because we wanted a better alternative to content mills, an alternative where writers and clients work together and develop lasting partnership. Get off the content mill bandwagon, and see the light!

Why Outsourced Copywriters Suck

Outsourcing is the latest trend to take over programming, web development and copy writing services. In a global climate where national pride is a rare commodity, many business owners see outsourcing as an affordable way to get what they need while paying prices that are below the domestic street value.

write-on-homegrownCopy writing is one of many industries that have been hit hard by the outsourcing trend. We are here to challenge this trend and set things right. Programmers and engineers were two of the first groups to be affected by outsourcing. Professionals in these high-paying industries were quickly undercut by offshore companies who could offer the same services at lower prices.

When it comes to writing effective, professional content, outsourcing has several drawbacks. Anyone who has called a tech support line in the past decade knows that these people can barely speak English let alone write it! Money. That’s what’s driving this trend. It’s not only companies that hire non-native writers from who knows where. There are many, many marketing companies and web development firms who claim to offer copy writing services as a value-added feature. However, this typically means that they mark up the low, low cost of the outsourced content they order on your behalf. Outsourced content could come from Brooklyn or Burma, but the quality is generally the same because the writers are underpaid.

As professionals in this industry, it’s sad seeing fellow writers suffering through and being subjected to sweatshop-like conditions. The push to force costs lower and lower affects professional writers everywhere. The vast majority of copy writing services pay their writers less than minimum wage. We’re talking $2 or $3 per hour or less in many cases. Even restaurant servers make tips on top of their meager hourly wages. These companies only hire independent contractors, so federal taxes, health care costs, Internet access fees and so many other expenses come directly out of the writer’s paycheck. If you’re currently ordering articles from a content mill or a firm that uses these services, there are multiple surcharges going both ways.

The company ordering for you will always mark up their prices, and the company who offers writing services will charge 30 percent in commission and administrative fees or more.  If you choose us, you’ll enjoy a variety of benefits.

  • Native English speakers
  • Trained, professional writers
  • Experienced editors
  • Real people who speak and write your language!

With our services, you might pay a little bit more, but the funds actually go to the writer. Support real professional writers, and strengthen the domestic economy by avoiding content mills and outsourced copy writing services.