Defending content mills is dumb

I subscribe to the weekly email from FundsForWriters, which features a variety of writing tips, markets to try, and pep talks from editor Hope Clark. This week, Hope published (with trepidation) a feature piece from a writer by the name of Nannette Croce who actually had the audacity to defend content mills like Suite101, Demand Studios and others that seek to exploit writers in most unpleasant ways.

Obviously, I think the woman’s argument is completely flawed. There is literally NO reason to write for these scam-artists, and I’ve written on this subject before, having investigated them for myself. But, in case you were wondering, here’s a copy of the email I sent to Hope, having read Nannette’s ridiculous article:

Hi Hope,

I’m glad you let Nannette make her case, as it shows just how flawed her argument really is. We should take a huge pay cut AND write stuff that can’t go on our resumes AND that will make us look bad as writers?! So… the benefit is WHAT? That these sites pay next to nothing, take all our rights, and continue to exploit writers at every turn? Sorry, but that’s not worth anything to me. Even when I find myself thinking I could use the extra money these sites allegedly supply, I tell myself that I could easily make that money (and more!) working a crappy minimum-wage job in retail, where (in Texas, anyway) people only make $7.50 an hour. [For the record, $7.50 an hour translates to $300 a week, before taxes, or $1,200 a month, which is far better than anything you’re going to get from Demand Studios.] Writing mills are a crock, and any sites that support them are equally worthless, in my opinion. Working for a place like Demand Studios gets you nothing but a lack of self-respect, and in turn, brings ALL of us writers down.

Nuts to that,
Laura Roberts

Seriously, if you’re thinking about writing for one of these places, you should just hang up your thinking cap and favorite writing pen and get a minimum-wage job at the nearest mall. There’s no shame in being a writer with a day job, but there is PLENTY of shame in selling out your fellow scribes and working for these slave labor camps that claim to pay writers fairly.

Suite101 and Demand Studios should NOT be listed as paying markets on any legitimate job sites. They do NOT pay their writers fairly, and you should NOT waste your time on them. If Nannette Croce wants to dig her own grave by writing for them, then let her. But I think, in the end, that Hope’s quote from Ms. Croce concerning payment speaks volumes:

Thanks Hope. I’m taking the day off tomorrow since you just
paid me ten times what they pay me to edit one article for
Demand Studios and three times what I’d get paid to write one.

P.S. Lest you think Hope pays a king’s ransom for her articles, she gives her pay rates up front: $45 per piece, or $47 if you accept payment via Paypal. Hardly enough to live on, and yet Ms. Croce is defending 10 times LESS than this as a writing “wage” from these content mills. This must be the “new math” they’re teaching in schools, because something doesn’t add up here. As a published writer who knows there are plenty of markets that pay much better than this, I wouldn’t waste my time on sites like these, and neither should you!