Emerging Cast: Content Mill Review

Emerging Cast has always been a topic of debate amongst freelancers as to its legitimacy. I had previously worked at this mill and can attest to its authenticity. Emerging Cast ‘hires’ freelancers to provide written content/how-to articles. These articles are then passed on to other freelancers where they are turned into videos. As a result, persons are able to apply as writers, voice over professionals and video professionals. I have only applied to be a writer so I have absolutely no clue of the rates paid for other positions.

ABOUT EMERGING CAST

As a writer you are presented with a list of possibly hundreds of topics. Here is a brief run down of the work:

Position: Writer (other available positions include translators {english to spanish and vice versa} voice over and film maker)

Pay Rate: $1 to $2

Word Limit: min 250 words (max 500 words)

Format:

  • Introduction
  • You Will Need
  • Getting Started (Step 0)
  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Fun Fact

Getting Started to Step 3 includes optional additional entries (Tip, Don’t Forget and Warning)

Time Line: 10 days to complete 1 article (no consequences if rejected or sent back)

Review Period: 10 days for review by editors. If rejected with the opportunity to edit you will receive 10 more days.

REVIEW

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I worked for Emerging Cast very early in my career where $1 – $2 was sufficient. There is no way I can work for them now and make a substantial income. However, for those who are looking for something quick and easy to supplement their income then this company may work.

So, down to the important question:

HOW DO THEY PAY

When I first applied for them they stated the option of payments being deposited to a debit card, I assumed this to be a Payoneer card. If you are a freelancer and you have no clue about Payoneer, I suggest you go take a look. However, when I had applied, this option was not available. Speaking with customer service they stated this option wasn’t ready as yet. They do deposit money to Paypal, writers will need to have a threshold of at least $50 before this is done. Also:

Note: Our current payment policy is to process payments on a monthly basis between the 1st and 5th day of each month, for all payments request submitted in the prior month.

And to the last question: Do they pay? Yes.

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Content Mills

I have been working for content mills for some time. I should say for the majority of my 2 year freelance career. AND I don’t hate it! Some may be reading this post and wondering what madness is spewing forth from my fingers and if I was commissioned by one of these mills to speak positively for them. The answer is, no.

Now, you are probably thinking I am insane. What, if I am not being paid then why make such an absurd statement? I will tell you why.

ABOUT CONTENT MILLS

Firstly, what is a content mill? According to About.com:

A content mill or writers mill is a slang term used by freelance writers and given to a company, website or organization designed to provide cheap website content, usually at a significant profit to themselves, and usually by paying very low rates to writers.

Content Mills like all other things will have its advantages and disadvantages. I feel, that in my line of work, my hours and my patience, content mills factor in perfectly. Let me explain further. Fresh out of high school I began writing, whether it was my poetry, my unfinished novel, or for something abstract. I haven’t been to college to study whatever it is you study for writing. Frankly, I think I’m damn good at it anyway. But besides that, when I began freelancing I needed to find work that was constant and I needed to do this very quickly. This is where content mills came about.

ADVANTAGES

  • Work is almost always constant
  • Allows you to exercise your writing skills
  • Allows writers to gain more experience writing about a wide variety of topics
  • Pays monthly or weekly

DISADVANTAGES

  • Lower pay rate vs direct client:freelancer jobs
  • Lowers the standard of pay for writers

MY REVIEW

Now, I may be missing a few points, granted it is really late, so I am sure my readers can fill me in. Obviously, no sane person wants to work for little or nothing. I have however, found some mills that I regard as well paying jobs. These I will list in a future post.

I do believe that content mills can be beneficial to some people. There are those who figure a goal and work towards it regardless of the pay rate or the time it takes. I also think my time would be better writing than applying for jobs, although I do take a few hours out of a couple of days to do this.

There are many opportunities online and there are a multitude of them that give others a bad name. Content mills are not that bad, in fact there are a few of them out there that offer decent rates and pay on time. And if you are looking for work at all hours of the day or night, then the mill is your place to go.

(and remember, this is only my opinion. Post your comment below)

The Life of a Full-Time Freelancer

There are hundreds, if not thousands of advertisements on the Internet promoting work at home jobs. Before I lost my job two years ago, I delved into this world, half expecting it to be one of those elaborate scams I often come across. I was, by nature, highly skeptical of overly reassuring statements. Most of the sites I stumbled upon were preaching high incomes of $400 and more. In my eyes, this large and brightly coloured text, was lieing to me. Simply because it was too good to be true.

HOW I STARTED

Frankly, I initially needed something to fill the time and to supplement my already laughable income at the Art store I worked. I had a lot of time on my hands. I began freelancing in content mills. Little did I know they were the spawn of the devil. But one of my first jobs was at Emerging Cast. I would balance that and my other jobs intently, hoping to make that $400 and more a week like the Internet told me. *scoff*

I also signed up on freelance sites such as Elance and GAF (freelancer.com), but was never able to, or had the patience to vie or bid for work. My laziness would kick in. I realised that content mills had ruined my attitude towards work. I was now used to being provided work freely, without having to vie each time for it. It did cross my mind the pay rate. I wasn’t dumb, just lazy. Content mills provided work regularly, but at a substantially low rate. If I had taken more time to bid/vie for work I would have probably been paid 4 to 5 times more.

I don’t hate content mills, but I do believe they should be regarded as choices you leave for last. I often wake up in the morning and check my clients. IF and only if work is slow that day, I turn to a mill just so I have actually made something rather than nothing.

Nowadays, I work full-time freelancing, constantly trying to get more and more jobs and raise my weekly/monthly income. I think for all freelancers, work comes and goes, and I’m sure, like me, many are tired of looking.