Monthly Archives: June 2012

Working at the Content Mill

Whenever I read about content mills on the web, I get this random picture in my head of an old Monty Python sketch where four Yorkshire men compete to see who had the worst childhood. Their claims range from having to work at the mill for 14 hours a day for tuppence to working there for 29 hours a day and having to pay the mill owner for the privilege.

The claims about content mills are similar. The pay is low and the work is hard. The detractors say that if you are silly enough to sign up to work at a mill then you will be consigned to writing trash for peanuts. Continue reading

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The Beauty of Bylines

I used to write for newspapers. Proper newspapers that were printed on paper and sold in shops and gave bylines to reporters when they wrote stories.

In fact, at one point I was the only journalist on the local newspaper that I worked for in the UK. As a result my byline was on nearly every page and even my mum got bored with seeing it. Up until that point she would phone me when she saw my byline in a paper but during this gig she would search through and point out the few bits I hadn’t written.

My first, and still my favorite freelancing job, for a website covering early childhood education also gets me a byline on most of the things I write, but most of my other work so far had been ghostwriting.

After seeing my name in print for so long the idea of someone else take my writing and doing whatever they like with it without ever crediting me has taken some getting used to.

Continue reading