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The Real Deal on Writing For 'Content Farms'

We profile sites like Associated Content and Examiner to determine what the payout is for writers -- in both cash and exposure

- November 10, 2009
Cathy Jones left a job at a national magazine to return home to Minnesota only to find that, despite having 13 years of experience, there weren't many options available to her. "When you're looking and you're a freelancer, you're spending a couple of hours a day trying to find stuff. You hit the job boards every day," she recalls.

Then Jones found Demand Studios, a flat-rate content site that pays $5-$25 an article. She wrote stories for the site, but switched to copy editing because the work was easier and more rewarding, she says. "When I first started freelancing [for them], I couldn't believe the low rate on these things, but if you can write 'How to troubleshoot your garbage disposal' in half an hour, that's $15. It's a different kind of writing; it's different tactics than your 'real' journalism." That "real" journalism used to take around six hours (researching, interviewing, writing) and paid $100, or $16.50 an hour -- and the assignments would trickle in. Now, Jones gets paid $3.50 to copy edit an article and edits 100 articles a week. "Their goal is that you can do them in 10 minutes; mine average about 12 minutes." She now makes $17.50 an hour and only works 20 hours a week for Demand Studios, filling in the rest of her time with work for other clients....

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