Valley Direct Media

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy

Valley Direct Media

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Valley Direct Media is a content mill that works a little differently than the ones most of us are used to.

Instead of choosing topics from a job board, each writer is assigned an editor who then e-mails batches of keywords to each writer. Most batches are comprised of 10 keywords, but some are less and some are more. In general, you write one 400 word article per keyword, with that keyword used once in each 100 word paragraph.

That is their standard format, and most clients stick to it. There are those that have special directions however. One client always has numerous phrases that must be used 8 times or more in each 400 word article. Also, I once had to write several tweets and Facebook bios for various companies, so not all assignments fit into the general mold.

All about the Pay at Valley Direct Media:

They pay every Friday via PayPal at the rate of $4 per 400 words.

The rate goes up some when you break 50 articles per week and again when you hit 100.

The hard part is you have a deadline of 24 hours for each batch of 10 articles. They are typically easy and require little research, but that does not apply to all of them.

Also, since you do not get to choose your topics, you can end up writing about things that do not interest you, which can be tedious. I saw where one of their writers said on a forum that she could knock out a batch of 10 in three hours if they fit the standard format. I think that is probably about right, but it always takes me longer with my daughter around, so keep that in mind if you have children at home.

The income potential is substantial when you consider that if you get 10 articles per day for a week, you can easily make $200 per week. I have worked for them for over a year and I can remember only a very few times when I did not have a new batch as soon as the one I had just sent was approved. Also, very rarely were the batches less than 10. My problem always comes from meeting the deadline amid other responsibilities.

Is Valley Direct Media Flexible Enough for my Schedule?

They are flexible with deadlines as long as you are not chronically late, and they are very helpful getting you started with their style and format of writing. Also, they are good to let you know when clients comment on your work, whether positive or negative. I always appreciate that. In all, Valley Direct Media is a great company to work for. Though they do not guarantee steady work, for over a year it has been pretty steady for me. I always filled in dead spots with work on other eggs. They also had no problem with me not taking assignments for a week here and there for a vacation or because family was coming in.

Similar Content Mills

If you love content mills that use model similar to Valley Direct Media, you can consider the following:


Textbroker offers a similar arrangement to Valley Direct Media, where writers are given keywords that they must include in their articles. They assign articles to writers based on their expertise and the content required by the client. Article lengths vary, and the required keyword density might differ from project to project.


iWriter works with a broad network of writers to deliver content in various niches. As a writer on iWriter, you can expect to receive batches of keywords around which you’ll need to craft 400-word articles. The platform emphasizes keyword density, requiring a specific keyword to be used at a certain frequency, similar to Valley Direct Media.


Zerys is another content mill where writers are assigned tasks based on their expertise. Once matched with a project, writers receive specific keywords they must incorporate into their articles. While the platform doesn’t specify the keyword-to-word ratio, clients may set their preferences, making it quite flexible.


On WriterAccess, clients can request content with specific keywords, and writers are expected to create content using these keywords. The platform caters to a broad range of content needs, and the required keyword density can vary from one assignment to another. Like Valley Direct Media, the standard article length on WriterAccess tends to be around 400 words.

Constant Content

At Constant Content, writers are given assignments with specific keywords to use throughout their articles. The platform provides guidelines for keyword usage and density, with the general expectation of using each keyword once per 100-word paragraph. Like Valley Direct Media, this ensures that the created content aligns with SEO best practices.

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What is the Application for Valley Direct Media Like?

I applied to an ad on one of many work-at-home job boards I frequent. There was an e-mail on Valley Direct Media’s website that said you can e-mail them to ask about openings. I had to send a writing sample as part of the application process. It took at least a couple of weeks to hear from them.

When I did hear back from Valley Direct Media they explained their format to me and gave me a practice batch, which they paid me for.

From the time I heard back until I knew I had the job was less than a week.

If you have the time to sit uninterrupted or are willing to do what it takes to meet a 24 hour deadline for 10 articles despite interruptions, such as working at all hours of the night and morning, then Valley Direct Media really is a great egg to have in your basket. You can visit Valley Direct Media on their site to learn more and apply.

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Leisa Good

February 8, 2012 at 9:29 am

Great review, Faith. Always looking for those opportunities, and being paid to write a “batch” is great! I’ve been on a few of those 24-hour all-nighters, so I have the drill down pat. Coffee with IV hookup, loud music, the works! LOL

Sounds like a good alternative to the more traditional content mills.

Faith Stewart

February 8, 2012 at 11:15 am

Thanks Leisa! They really are an awsome company to work for. They got me through the whole past year and the work was steady enough to convince my husband I could do this. I am with you on the coffee and music, and my other secret is Spark by Advocare…AWESOMENESS:)

Leisa Good

February 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Wow, Faith steady work for a year! Now, I’d call that a success story! Thanks for sharing.

Spark by Advocare? I’ll check that out!


July 31, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Thanks for this information

I recall knowing of Valley Direct Media and I am pretty sure I applied for it – a long time ago. Amazingly, there is an email waiting for me in my inbox right now and I am about to begin the sample! Hope to get in 🙂

Lee Thomas

December 8, 2012 at 9:43 am

Thank you for the complete review, Faith.

I tried going to the site but it came up blank, even after I tried changing browser, ha. After searching around a bit, I found out some other people have not been able to access the site either.

Has VDM stopped hiring or…? If so, I would love it if you could recommend other sites that are similar to VDM. Meanwhile, I’ll be going through the posts here, of course 🙂


December 10, 2012 at 9:57 am

Hi Lee! Thank you for the information. I have no clue what is going on, but I emailed my former editor there to see if I could find out. If I get a new web address I’ll be sure to post, and either way I’ll post what I found out, if anything:)


January 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Faith and Lee,

I used to write for VDM until I moved on. Faith, if your former editor was Cathy, she may not reply since she is no longer the editor at VDM. The company now has a new editor, Diane. Unfortunately, she will likely get very snippy if you ask her about the hiring process. I had emailed to find out why the page was blank, stating that my sister was looking to write for the company. She sent me back a very impolite email stating that the company is not hiring right now and it is not her job to help people by telling them when they will be hiring again. So Lee, unfortunately, VDM is not hiring right now. I do absolutely love the opportunities listed on this site. Hopefully VDM will open back up for interested writers at some point. I do definitely miss Cathy though. She was a fantastic person. I loved working for her.


January 12, 2013 at 8:27 am

First I just want to say thank you for putting up these opportunities, I’ve found a few jobs through reading your blog so thanks for taking the time!! 🙂 I also have been trying to access the valley direct media site and wondered if you had heard anything back from your editor? It’s strange, when you google it no website comes up and when you click on links to it, there’s just a blank page! Thanks in advance for your help!


January 13, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Ahhh…. that helps! I did email Cathy as soon as I posted that, and I did not hear a word back. That explains it. Thank you so much Cathy! Yes, she was a great person to work with. I guess we know they are not currently hiring, but I do wonder what happened to the website….


January 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Oh, and I am so sorry for not coming back and posting. Honestly, I was expecting to hear from her, and when I didn’t I guess I forgot!


January 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

I came across this post in a Google search and figured I’d post an update about this company.

VDM is now Contenzio, although I haven’t been able to find a new writer application link when searching their new business name.

Diane is certainly not as friendly as Cathy. I’ve tried being friendly and personable with her but she’s strictly business. They’ve changed their payday from Friday to Tuesday and, if you’re a good writer, you now have a pay rate of $5 per 400 words as opposed to $4. Still slave labor, IMO. It’s a heck of a lot of work in a short amount of time, especially when I make $15 per 300 words for more reputable companies. Plus, the biggest recurring assignments I’ve had from VDM/Contenzio have been writing fake product reviews, so you can really feel like you’ve lost your integrity as a writer.

They also don’t have the flexibility they used to. I’ve always used VDM as my backup egg when other work slowed, but since Diane came they prefer that you to take more than the 10 articles per day, which I refuse to do. They also require weekend work now–at least one 10-article assignment but Diane will send 2 assignments on Friday (although you have the option to decline the second weekend assignment). Still, this means they now prefer you to be working 6-7 days per week. It’s full-time work for part-time pay.

As far as the flexibility issue, I’ve requested to go inactive several times due to personal reasons or to focus on better work from my other eggs, but Diane will start hounding you if you don’t check in. She will also threaten to cut your pay back down to $4 if you need too much time off. Keep in mind we’re talking about 1-cent vs. 1.25-cents per word. *rolls eyes*

Working with them since they’ve made these changes has sort of felt like being under a black cloud, and I’m planning an exit strategy.


January 17, 2013 at 8:12 am

Thank you so much for sharing J.D. ! That answers a lot of questions I think a lot of us had. Cathy was so great to work with. I would not be appreciative of the weekend work requirement either. This is a great comment with such useful information. I can’t thank you enough for sharing.


January 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

You’re so welcome! There have been other changes as well. It does seem like Contenzio is trying to become a higher-quality company than VDM was, which *is* a good thing–but there are a lot of extra steps writers have to take that we didn’t before (counting and limiting phrases, submitting work, confirmations, and questions to a separate email address, and a few other nit-picky things that can be hard to keep up with). With all the extra steps I’ve gone from writing 3-4 articles per hour to a little over 1, which means, even with the pay rate increase, my hourly pay has been cut in half to below minimum wage (of course, this doesn’t include mindless work like fake product reviews). I applaud their steps to become a higher quality content provider, but they do need to fairly compensate their writers if they expect that kind of output. If they ever do advertise their hiring process, I’d only recommend them to someone starting out in content writing.


January 24, 2013 at 12:26 am

J.D., you basically said it all in a nutshell. I moved on from VDM, as I stated previously. I was updated with a 12,000 word per week requirement after Diane started. To me, that was no big deal. In fact, I was fine with more than that. Unfortunately, I had been diagnosed with cervical cancer and on my way to one of my appointments, I was in a horrible car accident that left me in the hospital for quite some time. I was unable to respond to Diane during that time. She sent emails threatening to remove me from the writer’s list. My mother explained to her in an email what was happening on my behalf and Diane responded (rather curtly I might add) that if I was not going to be able to return shortly to meet my 12,000 word per week requirement, she would remove me. I told my mother to let Diane know that was perfectly fine by me and it has been ever since. With the changes the company and Diane have brought in, I would not recommend VDM anymore. Cathy was a very wonderful person to work with and I do wish there was a way to at least keep in touch with her. I loved working with her because of her personality. The pay may not have been great, but it’s nice to work for a decent human being who reaches out to writers the way she did.


January 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I agree completely. I had a similar incident where I had a blinding migraine and ended up in the ER. Cathy had been aware of my situation and occasional migraines. I honestly never missed an assignment deadline with her.

I had the migraine under Diane’s editorial review and received the nastiest email about how I accepted the assignment and it’s my responsibility to complete it. I had emailed the moment I realized this wasn’t going away and I needed to go to the ER, yet came home to that.

I was in tears over it, and I realized it wasn’t worth the stress. While I don’t want people treated this way, I am glad that I wasn’t the only one and it wasn’t something I did to them.


January 28, 2013 at 11:22 am

Just wanted to say thank you Faith and everyone else for your replies regarding VDM! Sounds like they were easier to work for before they changed hands. Honestly, I don’t understand these content companies who think it’s ok to treat writers like this when they are essentially the company’s bread and butter! They could easily turn a decent profit with this amount of work if they paid the writers half of what they charge the client. It seems that to make money in the content business you have to find your own clients (which I find difficult and time consuming) or you have to start a content company!


January 28, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I am thankful I found this website. I wanted to update everyone with my experience with VDM/Contenzio. I have worked for the company for almost 3 years (on and off).

I have numerous health problems that cause me to have multiple doctor’s appointments, etc. I had explained everything to Cathy who was wonderful to work with. I was producing most weeks 30-40 articles if not more for them.

After Cathy left, Diane took over and I honestly thought I was the only one who had problems. They implimented a 24 hour turn around time, but the problem is sometimes you don’t get assignments till 3/4 p.m. PST. These assignments can be detail oriented and require extensive research.

They now have a different ‘pay scale’ for different writers. I was offered a pay of $4 for 400 words, which was what they had before. When I asked what I would need to do to move up to the next level, I was told that the next level required me to produce anywhere from 25,000 – 50,000 words. That’s approximately 56 articles a week, with ‘high quality’. And that was only a MAYBE of an increased pay. I honestly, don’t see how I could produce that without outsourcing it to someone else for help.

The latest in the new changes is there are multiple ‘editors’ who reply now. Now you never talk to the same person twice. For example, I said I’d be available for work M-F and got a rather short response stating that they needed to know if I would be available to complete the assignment if it’s assigned on Friday. Obviously, if I accept the assignment I’ll complete it.

I was also just informed that now all writers need to write a minimum of 10,000 words a week. That would be fine, but sometimes I sit for days without assignments. Which means that when the assignment does come in you either have to accept it or face ‘termination’.

As for the flexibility. There is none. If you miss a deadline by even a minute, you are dashed. There is no room for accidents, medical emergencies, etc.

It is honestly not worth the stress or hassle. I am just glad I am not the only one.

Steve H

April 27, 2013 at 6:16 pm

I’m sort of surprised to read some of these reviews about the Contenzio writing job. I’ve been working with them for 18 months now, and my work just keeps getting better and better.

They did bring on a few new editors recently, but since then my pay has doubled and my work has become more interesting.

From what I can understand by the type of content I’m writing now, we writers are being tiered out based on what we can provide and based on how often we deliver assignments on-time.

Frankly, this seems only fair since dealing with late/annoying writers is a massive headache (believe me, I know — I used to do more freelance copywriting and had a few writer helpers I found on Craigslist).

My only complaint about the company is sometimes I’m writing the same type of content or working on the same types of projects over and over again. Sometimes I wish there was more variety — but maybe that’s just me?

Anyways, I just wanted to offer my report. I’m earning about $825 per week from this gig alone and I never have to go hunting for clients or doing any advertising — AND… I have an editor! That’s a huge bonus for me.

I am curious though… where did the rest of you end up moving on to if you’re no longer working for Contenzio?

Did you find better pay/terms elsewhere?



May 25, 2013 at 1:39 am

Hi Steve, I was already working with another company before and in addition to VDM/Contenzio, and this other company was always my main gig because they pay 3-4 times more for the same amount of words (without having a weekly quota or punishments for taking time off or having health issues). They also have a supportive social network community and the editors and fellow writers become recognizable, so it’s like a family, and they have an actual CMS for submitting work.

Because of all this, I always considered Contenzio to be my backup egg since it was a true content mill (if that’s not the case anymore, that’s great). The differences are even more obvious when you consider that my main company has very high profile clients that are nationally recognizable. They treat their writers better in addition to offering a higher pay rate, and it shows. That’s how they get the big clients and I enjoy being part of a regular campaign.

I also work for another company out of the UK which is similar to my main gig, and I do editing/proofreading for them. Even though I actually work less per week than I ever did at Contenzio, I make better money and have more free time. It really shouldn’t be a bonus to have an editor since any reputable company will have editors, so I’m glad to see that Contenzio is again taking a step in the right direction. If they are truly treating their writers better, then I applaud the changes they’ve made.

I did quit shortly after my last comment on here…and haven’t looked back. I’ve since talked to other former writers who dealt with the exact same issues and endured mistreatment once VDM changed hands, and it has nothing to do with them being annoying or perpetually late writers. I never once turned in a late assignment but I did need a lot of time off due to sickness, travels, and deaths in the family, and that was enough to be threatened with a pay cut and being removed from the writers list. I gladly took both because I’d had enough and because I know that the grass is greener on the other side–because I’m proud of the companies I work for that do value their writers.

Contenzio has demands that exceed what most people (NOT all, but MOST) can achieve in a day without resorting to outsourcing, but I’m sure there are those that can deal with it and make tons of money from that kind of model, and kudos to them! What works for some doesn’t work for others. That’s what makes the world go ’round. I’m glad someone like you has found success with their model, and I imagine anyone can be super successful with it if they have the time, a stellar immune system, and never have any personal issues arise that keep them from meeting the weekly word count.


November 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I fully agree with J.D.

I wrote for this content mill for several months. Communications with staff were affable and concise, and payments were always on time. However the compensation rate of .01 USD per word was laughable at best. I did my best to only accept assignments that required no additional research or rewriting, as the time required for them would have left me making well below U.S. minimum wage. All in all, an okay place to start your content writing career if all you’re looking for is something to put on the resume, but the rate of pay is about as low as it gets, and they will remove you from their writer’s list if you go inactive or don’t accept enough of the crummy and low paying assignments that get thrown your way.


April 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm

That is so good to know Steve! Thanks!

Lisa Loves Books

August 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

****Please do not post my email addres.***

I am currently working for Contenzio. I started in March 2013. I’m having serious issues with them lately. At first I was getting great projects – up to 25 articles/day. That I can work with. Once you get into a groove, you can do it.

However, these past 2 months, I’ve been getting stinky stupid projects like 1-2 200 word articles/week. Now I’m ok with that if they don’t have the work, because I have other projects on the go.

The problem: I find they are asking for revision after revision after revision. I have followed all instructions to a T and they still come up with (what I would call unnecessary) revisions. I find the revisions do not improve the article at all nor the writing mechanics. I’m not saying I’m such a great, perfect writer, but seriously?

Not having a kill fee with these companies suck because I can work on an article for maybe 2 hours doing 2 revisions and still not get paid.

I’m also getting weird article requests. Let’s say, from my previous writing experience for other companies, an article with all the required information & facts for the post should be about 450-500 words. Let’s say that’s average. The project I get from Contenzio was to do add all this information but only use 100 MAX. They stressed MAX. What??!! So I slash and skimp, only to have them ask for a revision, stating I didn’t include enough explanation or information. In 100 words??! Seriously?

I’m considering quitting.

Has anyone else had issues with them?

Lisa Loves Books