Making Money Online As A Freelance Content Writer

What Is It?

When businesses have small communications or writing jobs that they can’t fill internally, they often turn to content mills. On the content mill, a freelance content writer can pick and choose what projects they want to bid for and are paid on successful completion of a job.

How Does It Work?

On content mills, a freelance content writer will post their portfolio and depending on the site can complete different proficiency tests. Those tests are a way of measuring the capability of each writer and that sets your rating. The rating allows customers to see up front who are some of the top writers and at the same time, it can impact how much the writer is paid per job. Also, when registering you typically set the industries you have familiarity/expertise in which is quite important for finding work. Once registered, depending on the site, the writer can then add samples of their writing portfolio.


When a client comes to the site with a job they need to complete, they enter in the type of work they need along with some details. After that, they can either post the job, directly find a content writer through the directory or with some systems even post it to a pool of writers (with the winner getting the work). Freelance content writers can find available work and bid on it or enter into the writing pool contests in the hope of winning the work.

The type of work that writers can do is quite varied. It can range from blog posts, articles, books, brochures, case studies, press releases, newsletters and more. You get to pick and choose what type of work you want to do. Once completion of a job, you are paid. Pay varies depending on the length of the article, your overall rating, and the site. On average payments vary between $5-$80 for a 500-word article.


If you think a content mill sounds like a freelance site such as UpWork and freelance content writer sounds a lot like a straight forward freelancer, you would be right. Freelance content writing is a specialty area within freelancing the following differences:

  • Freelance content writing typically has proficiency tests
  • There is usually more writing jobs in a content mill than a freelance site
  • With content mills, clients can search for writers based on their industry expertise (which can be advantageous if you have deep knowledge in certain areas)
  • The variety of work on freelance sites allows writers with a wide skillset to do other work as well, such as web design or marketing. This can be advantageous for customers who want to deal with just one person for a project that requires multiples skills to complete.


How Much Money Can You Make?

Off the start don’t expect to make a lot of money due to the competition, a typically low starting rating and no established client base. You will be lucky to make $500/month working intermittently. As you develop a stronger customer base that comes back to you directly for work you will work more consistently for a higher rate. In this situation, you could be making upwards of $25+/hr and $3,000+/month.

There is certainly more money to be made as a professional consultant or as a guest writer, but this is a good way to start out building your experience and portfolio.


Content Mill Websites


  • Make sure to apply to several content mills at the same time. This opens up the number of opportunities available to you.

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