Each New Year Brings – CHANGE

Change is inevitable, yet we often tend to resist it, even if it represents a GOOD change in our lives. Each new year typically brings change in some area or another, whether in our personal or professional lives, or both.

A major change that began in 2011 and continues into 2012 is the restructuring or closure of many of the so-called “content mills” that previously hired large numbers of freelance writers to produce content for numerous sites. These changes derived from Google changing its algorithm, which in turn affected search engine rankings – meaning lower revenue earnings for content companies.

I don’t even pretend to understand it all, but I’ve seen the results.  A number of the companies I have written for over the past couple of years have either already disappeared or have so drastically changed their business models that it no longer makes sense to continue writing for them. Many well-known companies, such as Bright Hub, Demand Media Studios, and WiseGEEK, have either substantially reduced or stopped providing work for freelancers and have lost many good writers who weren’t willing to accept the changes or didn’t want to wait around to see what was going to happen – if anything.

While on the surface, this seems like a BAD change – the trend taking place is that truly professional and proactive writers are discovering a world of much better opportunities beyond content mills. Many of us – meaning me and my fellow writers with whom I regularly interact in virtual forums and support groups – have learned that private clients not only exist, but abound and need writers who can provide high quality, professional work. It often requires stepping outside your comfort zone, tackling different types of writing, or investigating whole new fields that are related to writing, such as curriculum development or resume writing.

Whether any content mills survive to see the next new year – who knows? But as long as there is an Internet, and site owners in need of content – as well as offline clients in need of various types of written material – the written word will continue to be in demand and writers who plan ahead should always be able to find work to maintain their freelance lifestyle.

Seldom do your circumstances change without something first changing in you.” ~~ Joyce Meyer

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7 thoughts on “Each New Year Brings – CHANGE”
  1. Stopping by from the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

    I’m glad the content mills are disappearing. I used to pick up some jobs through the various freelance mega sites and finally got burned out on being undercut by non-native English writers’ low pay and the stilted way in which we had to write. I hope better writing will come out of this change, as well as more competitive pay.


  2. Here’s hoping that those who need content written will realize that $1.50 for 500 words is NOT going to get you “quality writing”, and that those quality writers who keep settling for $1.50 for 500 words will stop what they’re doing and realize their worth.

  3. Great post, Karen! You are so right about the need for examining a situation. Also, there is always room for content. I remember reading a while ago about a retired minister who wrote sermons and sold them online. He explained that it was because some people are great pastors, but terrible preachers (which is why, in a digression, I liked when I read about some Puritan churches that had a pastor and a teacher, because different people often have different gifts), there will be room for people looking for content. I tend to write my own, but I couldn’t agree with you more that we need to keep looking for opportunity, because it is often where you least expect it.

  4. I am hoping it means better quality writing on the net. I feel badly for the people who are struggling to find the match between writer and client. Hopefully, other opportunities will find them if the new writing world is not a match.

  5. Writing is not the only change we are seeing in this new year, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. We need to learn not to fear changes. If we aren’t ready to embrace them, at least we can take some time to get used to them.

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