Starting out in freelance writing? Avoid the content mill trap

Breaking into the freelance writing business is tough; if you don't have a clue about what you are doing or any connections to speak of it can be like finding yourself stuck amid an epic sea and you don't even have the island of Lost to at least build a shack on. I know that was my experience, and still has been the case up until this point; the truth is that I am still new to this whole writing scene and while I've always loved words, how to get them in print and visible is no small feat.

Well, perhaps that is not wholly true especially in these times when anyone can have a blog (these very words are a testament to that) and the growing market for content mill articles is abundant. Because so much business has shifted to online venues and with page hits and rankings being more important sometimes than actual content, the work of keywords and SEO has run amok. That's why writing online for such outlets is a far cry from traditional print; there is a place and a reason for his content and it is still necessary but I am just pointing out that it is in fact different.

What is sad and what I will come out and say is bad is that what these kinds of articles or web content has bred is the perfect environment for all of these content mill sites dangling pitifully low wages in front of anyone who can write a coherent sentence and sprinkle in the right words here and there. The poor souls then are stuck in a similar situation to an overworked mule horse who never quite can reach that carrot; busting your but for $5 an article and netting an income on par with a high school senior working as a perky Jamba Juice pusher is not fun.

I think spreading the word that there are far greener pastures is the first thing to do and from there those that are comfortable working for those lower rates are more than welcomed to continue on that path. Yet for those that are striving to achieve something more they can have the information and then go on to break into the business. I think it is hard for anyone to dive into a new niche or market if they have no idea where to start, and if the first wave of information they get is telling them one thing and they don't know any differently that only perpetuates the cycle. I was completely overwhelmed with first trying to muddle my own way into writing and there are plenty of places and sites screaming to hire you but they are really only looking for someone to string together their specific words and aren't willing to pay for quality, even if what you end up writing is.

So hopefully if anyone reading this is new to freelance writing or are stuck in the content mill merry go round I hope this posts on how to break into freelance writing 'the old fashioned way' will help. Yes it still will take time and it won't be easy but the rewards will be better; here the author Carol Tice proves you don't have to have majored in journalism to make it and you can get your foot in the door by writing for local daily papers, the alternative press, and go out to nearby business and non profit organizations that need content. This can be newsletters as well as for their own websites; the fact that the online world is a burgeoning market can still work to our advantage and you can get some copywriting credits without having to work for beans. From there you can progress and move onto 'bigger' things; but like she says you are still going to be making more than $5 here and there.

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