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Charles Gray's professional and not so professional writings

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“Content mills” and the writer.

Posted by Charles Gray on September 12, 2011

There an evil fact of the internet– places that hire you to write for blogs, or SEO optomization or for a number of reasons. They’re content mills, and some will tell you thay’re bad, bad news.

They don’t speak to a writer’s muse.  They don’t let you write what you want.  They want, to be honest, schlock and they want it now, and they want it in five hundred words, and no, they don’t have time for you to get your muse back.

And that’s why every aspiring writer should think about writing on them.

They prize concise writing, but more importantly, they force you to write, even when you don’t want to.   And that?  That’s the besg lesson any writer can learn. It’s easy to write when you’re inspired, when the thunder of your muse is in your ears.

When the kid’s screaming, and you have a headache and you want to go to bed (or play WOW)… not so easy than, is it?  But the difference between professional writers and those who wish they could be professional writers is that ability to push through. Content mills can teach you that.

Also, they pay money– not a lot, but still, you’re getting paid for writing and the practice that gives you, which is better than a kick in the teeth.

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2 Responses to ““Content mills” and the writer.”

  1. Yeah, but as someone that’s trying to get into the less shady side of SEO, I would really hate to encourage the damn things.

    I also find Twitter works really well, for practicing writing concisely.

    • happyhyena said

      Twitter’s a good choice, agreed. I think you need to look out for what type of content mill you’re looking at. Also, choose your assignments carefully– I’ve done material for blogs and articles where the request was: “I need an article for this, but I can’t make it sound interesting.” Which is good.

      Then you get: “I need two hundred words. Please use “Viagra” “Pulsating piston of power” and “Cheap” from 4-6 times.” Which is…not so good.

      One interesting area I’ve gotten a few nice assignments is in rewriting an article that has already been translated, but the publisher wants it to be put into colloquial english rather than the “Very proper” style of English you often get.

      But on your main point agreed, you want to pick and chose what you write.

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