I’ll admit it. I used to be a sucker for content mills. As a professional writer, content mills offer a variety of benefits that other avenues of securing clients can’t. That includes a large pool of assignments. After a period of several years, though, I quickly began to realize content mills were holding me back from reaching my full potential. After realizing that, I felt confident about charging more for content creation.
In fact, I want to share with you how I went from making only a few pennies per word on content mills to raising my rate and securing more clients.
My Experience With Content Mills
Image via Flickr by SidewaysSarah
Content mills are good for novice writers.
When I started out making money as a writer, content mills were where I made a name for myself. They helped build my portfolio and gave me a nice introduction to the content creation industry, but they most definitely did not help me build my bank account. They held me back from realizing the true worth and value of my services.
Content mills are commonly referred to as content farms. They are a go-to source for companies in need of content to fill up their web pages. They are not, however, going to be a source of quality, researched content that secures high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Content farms pay their writers only a few cents per word, meaning writers aren’t going to put a whole lot of time and research into the content they produce.
When I provided content to clients on content mills, I would provide impeccable spelling and grammar, but as far as the research went, I kept it to a minimum. If I was writing a 500-word piece of content for $14, this means I would spend no more than five minutes completing the research.
As you can imagine, it’s possible for writers to earn a decent living by selling content on content mills. On the downside, though, at least in my experience, content mills limited my professional growth as a writer, and I didn’t even realize it.
My Experience With Ebyline and WriterAccess
About three years after writing for content mills, I stumbled upon Ebyline and Writer Access, and I was introduced to a world of quality clients who were open to paying me at a rate that was far more in line with what my services were truly worth. I went from making two to three cents per word to making about five to eight cents a word. This literally more than doubled my income overnight.
My Experience With nDash
Image via Flickr by Douglas Muth
Fast forward another five years, and this is when I became a verified writer on the nDash platform. At first, I had my rate set at $30 for a regular blog posting, which in my opinion, is about 400 to 600 words. Still yet, I had no success in securing any assignments.
As I was speaking with a private client, however, he explained to me that I was undercharging clients by charging them only seven cents a word. I thought that was still somewhat steep, being that it takes me only about 30 minutes to complete a 400 to 600-word piece of content. At seven cents a word, I was making around $60 an hour.
The more the private client and I talked, though, the more he pointed out that I should be charging at least 10 to 15 cents a word, if not more. I couldn’t believe what he was saying. He said he would only hire me to produce content if I would accept at least 10 cents per word.
After speaking with this client, I logged into my profile on nDash and increased my rates for blog postings and other formats of content. In the pitches I sent to clients on nDash, I increased my average pitch from $30 to anywhere from $50 to $200. And low and behold, three clients almost immediately accepted my pitches. I was in awe.
By simply increasing my rates, I was able to secure more clients. More importantly, I was able to come into contact with clients who appreciated my services and valued how far I had come as a writer.
Reasons to Charge More as a Writer
I used to think the better the deal, the more clients I would attract. Now I have come to see that quality clients prefer to pay higher prices to get the end result they want.
As a writer, I do pay more attention to the orders that are paying me more. This means I devote more time and attention to the orders that are paying me 10 cents a word than the ones that are paying me seven cents. As a result, I am becoming an even better writer than I was before, and that is what true professional growth is all about.
I have also discovered that by increasing my rate as a writer, I have been able to establish a higher number of long-term relationships with clients. These clients prefer to have a go-to writer for all of their writing needs. Once they hire me at a rate of 15 cents a word for one assignment and I exceed their expectations, it causes them to turn to me for future orders.
The Takeaway About Charging More
A lot of writers simply create content for the money. I create it so that readers can have a better experience when searching for information online.
Not all writers can increase their rates and enjoy results as I have. It takes a quality writer who possesses subject matter expertise to be able to back up their reasons for increasing their rates.
I have a deep passion for writing and research. And I understand what it takes to create quality content and to format it in a way that readers can easily skim it for the information they are looking for. I know how to engage readers, and this is what true search engine optimization is all about.
If you are failing to secure clients as I did for so many years, consider increasing your rates. Consider selling yourself for what you are truly worth, and you may find that this is the key you’ve been searching for that unlocks a door to a world of clients who appreciate your professionalism as a quality writer.
Editor’s note: This post is by nDash community member Whitney White. Whitney writes a variety of business articles and website copy on topics such as inbound marketing, accounting, SEO, and more. To learn more about Whitney or to have her write for your brand, sign up for nDash today!