If you’ve been following my blog for long or have read many of my posts, you probably know by now that I’m a huge fan of Constant Content. I know there are people who will tell you that sites like this are only a small step above content mills or that they aren’t worth your time, but having worked for just about every online outlet there is, I can tell you that from what I’ve experienced that’s hokum. The ability to write about essentially anything you want, have it reviewed by editors (who often give you really great feedback you can use to better your writing as a whole), and have it placed in a catalog where people can buy it is one of the best opportunities for writers. Why? Because you can practice your writing, get better, write about whatever you want, and have the chance to make money – way more money than a content mill will ever pay you. And you set the price. To me, that’s pretty awesome. I’ve had rough weeks or months where I could have used extra cash and an article I wrote a month or three earlier sold – it’s great. 🙂
But – like anything – there are some things I’ve learned in my time on Constant Content, and for those who are interested in giving them a go – or those who are on there wondering how to sell more – I thought I’d share my top eight tips for success on Constant Content.
It’s a Numbers Game
The number one thing you want to keep in mind is that it’s a numbers game. The more you write – the more you’ll sell. Over the 11 or so months I’ve been on Constant Content, I can tell you that I have pretty consistently sold 50% of what I’ve added to the catalog, and most people I’ve read report similar statistics. Someone’s saying “And?” Think about it. If you’re probably going to sell 50% of what you post, the more you post, the more you’ll sell. If you have $1,000 worth of content up for sale, over time you’ll probably see $500 within the year. But if you have $5,000 of content available for sale, you’ll probably see $2,500. Case in point? Have double what you’d like to see in the next 6 months or so up for sale. And remember – you only see 65% of the posted price, so price accordingly.
I know that when you’re trying to earn a living as a freelance writer, writing content that isn’t guaranteed to sell seems like a real gamble – and to some, a waste of time. But you’re guaranteed to not make a penny off the articles you don’t write. Right? So write consistently for Constant Content. Even if it’s one article a week to start with. Why? Because it takes about a week (usually) for your articles to be approved (or have revisions requested) by the editors and posted in the catalog. If you continually post items, you’ll always have a steady stream of your articles being uploaded to the catalog. If you don’t write consistently, it takes a few weeks to get the ball rolling again income wise. Ask me how I know.
Write About Everything
If you look at the statistics for the most prolific writers (they write/sell the most in a wide range of categories in the catalog) and the highest earning writers, the names are pretty much identical on both lists save for a few. This should tell you something. I have a list of all the catalog categories in which I am willing to (and like to) write. If you hate a subject, well then don’t bother. But I keep a spreadsheet of the categories I like to write in, and I cycle through them keeping a tally to the right for each month of how many articles I’ve written in that category. I just started this, and I think it’s really helping me out. There are three reasons I like this approach:
- By starting with the catalog category you already know where you’ll be placing it, so you can focus your article a bit more.
- When you’re out of ideas, the category can be a nice idea generator.
- Writing about a wide range of topics makes you a better writer and allows you to say you’ve written about many topics – a great selling point in the future for bigger projects.
There are some categories I simply refuse to write about because I either disagree with the topic and feel morally opposed to it, or I simply don’t care. You don’t have to force yourself to write about literally everything. But if you can write in about 80-90 percent of the categories, you’ll likely sell a lot more and become a better writer, too.
Hit a Topic From Many Angles
When I go down my spreadsheet, I try to write about three to five articles on any given subject. For instance, if I’m writing about vegetable gardening in the fall, I’m going to write an article about what to plant in the fall, how to plant for the fall, how to keep plants from being frostbitten, when to plant vegetables so you can use them in your fall holiday dishes, etc. Why?
- When people purchase content on Constant Content, they tend to purchase a lot of content on one subject. Pay close attention to the “recently sold” list under “Writing Ideas” and you’ll see this play out over and over.
- If someone buys one or two of your articles, you don’t have to wait a week to replenish – you’ll have more of the same type of article available for those who want them while you write new articles to fill the void (or not – it’s up to you).
- If you watch the search topics and what’s popular, they sometimes change frequently. If you have articles available on a popular subject, you’ll have enough inventory for those who want it.
Pay Attention to Trending Topics
Again, don’t write about something you hate or feel opposed to. (For instance, I would never personally write about medical marijuana – it’s not my thing – maybe you can’t stand owls – don’t write about them.) But so long as it’s something you feel you could be interested in, write away when you see a trending topic. Now, there are two types of trending topics.
- Recent Search Topics – Recent search topics are updated pretty much continuously. These topics are actual search terms that people have just recently looked for. Keep refreshing your page and you’ll see they keep updating.
- Popular Search Topics – These are topics that have been searched for frequently over a 3 month period.
So which do you write for? Both. But this is how I form my strategy. If I’m in a pinch and I really need something to sell this month, I’ll probably write about some of the topics in the Popular Search first, because if they’ve been trending for three months, the demand is probably higher. Now sometimes this isn’t the case – for instance right now, it’s February and “Halloween” is a Popular Search topic. Chances are – since October was just 4 months ago – the search is still hung up in there. But hey, maybe people are stocking up for next year. However, I’d be more inclined to believe that gardening – which is almost always in the Popular Search – is a better choice than Halloween.
Recent search topics, though, tend to cycle back again and again. You can look at Recent Search topics one of two ways – “Ah, crap, I should have written about circus clowns,” or “Hey, I should write about circus clowns!” Either way is fine, but if someone has searched for it, someone likely will again. Many times you’ll see a search topic come up again and again because people are continually needing content on it.
Under Requested Content, you’ll see public and standing requests. Public requests are kind of a casting call – you submit articles to that request, the people who posted the request have three days to reject it, accept it, or do nothing with it, and if they don’t accept it then your article is available for everyone. Standing requests always go straight to the catalog, but they’re Constant Content’s way of telling you that there’s a high demand for articles on a certain subject.
Standing requests are usually your best bet. Sometimes the demand is so great that the editors will email you and say hey, we need content in this category because a client really needs a million articles on solar power – or whatever. This happened once to me, and I stayed up until 3:00 in the morning writing UK articles about solar power, and in about 5 hours I made $350. Not too bad.
Always pay attention to the requests and fill them if you can (and want to) do so. Worst case scenario you have more articles in your personal catalog and people can find them. It’s really a win-win.
Keep it Simple
Remember that you are writing for the internet. Blog posts. Simple. I have literally had editors come back to me and say that my writing was too complicated and the sentences were too long. No joke. The plus side? This makes writing for Constant Content relatively simple. You should approach each article as though it were a blog post – because it probably is. If you write very long content, break it up with bullets and subheadings. The longest articles in my catalog are still there. And the reason is probably because they’re written more like a white paper or a magazine article than a blog post. In my experience, 500 to 700 words is the magic number. Second person (you) sells well, too.
Play With Pricing
I have sold articles for $15. I have sold articles for $60. It completely depends on the industry and category, the length of the piece, and probably what mood the client is in that day. For that reason, I suggest you post a range of prices. Always check the “or best offer” box when you submit your content. I’ve sold many articles to people who just wanted $5 or $10 off the price. For me, it’s a win. If someone offers you an insulting fee, you can just reject it. Also, always check the discount offer box – if your content is online for more than 6 months without being sold, they’ll often bundle it with other similar articles and offer it as a package for a lower rate to the customer. If my content is sitting there after six months, I’m good with that. If you’re not, then don’t check it, but I always do.
When you go to submit your article, there’s a link that says something like “What to charge” or “typical pricing”. Click it and you’ll get a nice range of prices for word count and license type. In my experience, technology, business, law, etc. will all sell at the higher end of that range, and gardening, home and family, etc. will sell at the lower end. But I usually never post an article for less than 10 cents per word, gross. That being said, everyone is different, so offer a range of pricing and you’ll likely sell more.
Well there you have it. My eight tips for success on Constant Content. If I think of more, I’ll do a follow-up post, but these are the tips that have really helped me. I’ve been on Constant Content for almost a year, and I’ve learned a lot through trial and error. I’m hoping to save you some of the trouble and time by telling you what has worked for me. I’ve sold articles on everything from how to prepare your home for a new dog to government grants for solar power to safety tips for online dating and everything in between. The most wonderful thing about Constant Content is that just about everything will sell. Keep your eye on the recently sold list, and you’ll have a jaw dropper moment at least once a month. “Someone wanted an article on what?!” Never assume that what you’ve written about or what you want to write about won’t sell. And if you sell a usage license instead of a full rights license, guess who gets to put it in their portfolio because they still hold the rights – you! Write away, post consistently, and you WILL sell something. I have had $35 months and $2,700 months, but so long as I posted content, I have never had a $0 month as a writer on Constant Content.
If you have any questions, experiences to share, further tips, etc., please put them in the comments so we can all learn and grow as freelancers! ❤
Until next time – happy writing!