If you’re a business who needs to develop your web presence, one of the first things you will discover is you need to have content, and lots of it.
Blog posts, articles, FAQs, video demos – you name it.
But in order to build search rankings and drive more leads to your business, you need to have a consistent content creation schedule. The problem is you don’t have time to write 3 blog posts a week and a comprehensive e-book, so you consider how to get this done without straining your budget.
Some may suggest using a content farm or mill, but as we’ll explain below, this may do more harm than good. A content mill can be defined as “a web-based company that “hires” numerous writers to create content for its customers.” Examples include Textbroker, Content Runner and the now defunct Writtent.
Continue reading for 5 reasons why you should never hire a content mill for your site’s copy needs.
- Although the cost may be lower in the short-term, it may cost you dearly in the long-term
You’ve undoubtedly heard the old cliché “you get what you pay for.” It couldn’t be any truer for your website’s copy. Most content mills’ pay is very low, sometimes only a penny a word for the writer. If someone is only getting paid a few bucks to write this big, long piece, it isn’t going to come out very well. It’s better to have nothing at all than terrible copy that ends up making your business look bad.You Get What you Pay For #contentmills Click To Tweet
- Good freelance copywriters do not work on content mills
Just go to Google and search for “content mills” – or click here to go straight to the results. What do you see? Most, if not all of the pieces, talk about the horrors freelance writers experience at the content mills. If your writer isn’t engaged and only feels like they’re not getting much for their efforts, quality will suffer.
- Content mill writers come and go
Unlike a more seasoned freelance writing professional, writers on content mills typically don’t stick around for too long. In order for you to get good quality copy for the long-term, you need to have a consistent writer who can really dive into your business, understand the customers’ needs, and then develop copy around meeting those needs. A content mill writer who is here today and gone tomorrow will be unable to do that.
- Many content mill writers are non-US
While you may be able to get away with using a programmer from overseas, it will be really obvious if you use someone from a country where English isn’t the first language. Great copy not only includes good technical elements (SEO, readability, etc.), it also needs to emotionally connect with the audience. The only way to do this effectively is for the writer to live in the same culture as the majority of visitors. A writer in Asia who learned English in college will be unable to relate to the cultural nuances that only a native writer can fully understand.
- Content mills generally will not work in the post-Penguin era
Before 2011/12, sites with “spun” articles from a content mill would rank well. But as Google continues to try and improve results for its users, it is tossing out content that is obviously from a content farm and not very useful to the visitor. If you’re using random writers who are only rehashing things they found online, Google will likely ignore it, and worse, penalize your site.
Although a freelance copywriter will cost a little more in the short-term, the quality and peace of mind you will get will more than make up for the additional cost.
So don’t rely on a content mill for your website. Instead, invest in a more established freelance professional or consider bringing in a full-time writer into your company.