Calling All Content Mill Writers: The Content Authority is Looking for You
Updated on: by Kelsey Sunstrum
Working as a freelancer for a content mill can be scrupulous. The rates are often laughable, the expectations fuzzy, the payments frequently delayed, and the credit nonexistent. Still, you have to get your foot in the door somewhere and for maybe newbie writers, content mills are just the place to make such a debut.
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For 6 years, The Content Authority has been a leading content mill, partnering with clients to fulfill their content-related needs. Writers, keep reading to learn more about The Content Authority and decide if content mill work is your next work-at-home endeavor.
What is The Content Authority?
Founded in 2009 by CEO, Shawn Manahar, The Content Authority (TCA) is a content mill that provides custom SEO content to businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to connect with customers on a deeper level and boost engagement. The work of their writers is commonly found on blogs, promotional and marketing material, and occasionally in printed documents.
What are the duties of a writer for TCA?
As a writer for TCA, you belong to a pool of writers available to create SEO content based on the needs of clients and to be used by clients online and in print. TCA writers are expected to deliver the utmost content while acknowledging the needs of the client as well as the style guidelines set out by the client and TCA. Writers are expected to respect deadlines.
What are the qualifications?
- Firm grasp of the English language
- Perform thorough, accurate research
- Abide by the guidelines set out by TCA and individual clients
- Accept feedback regarding your work from TCA and clients
- Adhere to deadlines
Is it a full- or part-time position?
Writers for TCA are not employees of the company but rather independent contractors, meaning they have the ability to work as much or as little as they’d like and as suits their current needs.
Is this an international opportunity?
Yes, international applicants are welcome.
What is the compensation?
Compensation done exclusively through PayPal so an existing account is a must to receive payment. Payments are sent every Monday, as long as you have at least $25 of income earned. If not, it will be carried over until you have reached that minimum. Also note that only approved articles are eligible for compensation; no payments are sent for rejected works.
Pay rates vary by assignment and are calculated based on the number of words requested, type of article, and quality level set out by the client. Some articles differ on their Tier, out of four possible degrees. An important point is that article tier trumps your current writer tier. Thus, even if you are a Tier 3 writer, if you complete a Tier 1 assignment, your payment will be in the Tier 1 range.
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Writers may apply to be designated to a higher Tier by consistently providing high quality content. Promotions of this nature depend on your skillset and the amount of work available to writers at that time, and are subject to editor discretion.
Specific payment rates are not disclosed by TCA. An article on Examiner from 2011, though, claims that Tier 1 articles are paid less than a cent a word while Tier 4 articles shell out 3 cents per word.
Is there a probationary period?
Yes. After being hired as a writer in the TCA pool, you are put on a 5 article probation. In this time, new writers are limited to producing 5 articles which must first be reviewed by their editorial team prior to writers being granted full access to work orders.
Does the position demand special equipment or software?
No, it does not. A reliable computer, quick Internet connection, and fast typing are all you need to succeed at TCA.
What do TCA workers say about the job?
A TCA worker reported her experience on HubPages and listed a number of positives. Topping the list was the fact that payments are consistently made on time, a problem frequently encountered by writers of content mills. Writers also have the freedom to choose the articles they take on and have a number of hours to complete – again, this is not a given at all content mills.
On the other hand, expectations are said to be quite high, especially considering the low payment rates. Writers may have their articles rejected, based on subjective preferences, and are subject to dismissal after three rejected works. Demotions can also be unexpected and unexplained, while assignments to higher tiers appear to be few and far between.
What is the application process like?
Fill out a simple form, asking for basic information such as name, location, and contact information. At this time, you are also required to submit a unique sample of writing, with a minimum of 150 words, on a topic of their choosing.
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Click here to post a comment...
April 5, 2015 at 9:22 am
can you post an example of what they are looking for
April 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm
Just FYI, TCA says they are not requesting applications at this time. Seems to me that I have been there before and they said the same thing. Not sure if that’s just my luck or what, but thought i’d let you know.
July 22, 2015 at 3:06 pm
I so appreciate you taking time to mention The Content Authority for this article.
I did want to make some clarification points regarding the following:
“On the other hand, expectations are said to be quite high, especially considering the low payment rates. Writers may have their articles rejected, based on subjective preferences, and are subject to dismissal after three rejected works. Demotions can also be unexpected and unexplained, while assignments to higher tiers appear to be few and far between.”
Yes, we do have expectations and some do consider them to be high. We are always looking to improve rate of pay and that is best seen when doing direct orders and our highest tiers. There are many writers working through TCA making $200 – $500 / week part time, but most folks are less than that.
We do not reject articles subjectively. There are always reasons, but not all reasons are agreeable to writers, BUT, we always balance decisions in trying to be fair among clients AND writers.
If someone receives a demotion there are also reasons why and an email explaining the detail of what was going on. If someone did get demoted “for unexpected reasons” they are always welcome to ask for further clarification.
I do hope this was OK to respond and I welcome chatting any time.
February 19, 2016 at 2:45 pm
Like all content mills, Content Authority pays below market rates and to make a lot of money, you need to write super quickly. That leaves you open to making typos/mistakes which means being kept at a low tier even if you produce worthwhile content. It’s an endless cycle. That’s what SEO writing is: you work for people who know a lot about SEO and not about writing beyond being grammar/typo Nazis…and even their knowledge of grammar often relates more to style than actual rules. For instance, they mark you down for commas when a real editor at a magazine would say, “We want to use/not use a comma here” or would just add in/delete the comma. They love to point out accidents like every once in a while using “their” instead of “there”, etc., when it’s obvious it’s a typo or because you’re working quickly. There’s no true editing process except penalization which is not the purpose of editing. CA does pay on time, but it’s nothing like working for a magazine or a marketing firm that pays professional rates and values creativity as well as professionalism. If you’re pressed for cash, content mills come in handy. Use them like they use you and keep pitching to get real writing jobs. Here are other opinions about content mills: http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/why-you-shouldnt-write-for-content-mills/ and http://www.makealivingwriting.com/content-mills-aspiring-writers-avoid/
April 18, 2016 at 3:22 am
This is very useful. This article covers everything!
May 22, 2016 at 4:42 pm
If anyone is interested: The Content Authority is opening the door a little. They have added an email option to the “not currently accepting applications” statement. They are giving the option of emailing support with contact information and your writing niches. They claim to keep you on file for consideration when they hire.
May 9, 2017 at 6:57 pm
They say they aren’t currently accepting applicants at this time.