One Year on Constant Content: an Analysis

Recently I published a post about why I think Constant Content is a great outlet for writers. I mentioned that I believe the more prolific you are, the better your results will be. This is evidenced by the fact that the top five or six authors on Constant Content on the “most prolific” list are the same five or six authors on the “top selling” list…in order. 

But now that I’ve been a Constant Content author for just over a year, I wanted to do some analysis. I believe that data doesn’t lie, and it’s probably one of the best ways to plan your strategy for business or whatever it is you’re collecting data on. 

Here are the results. 

How Much Do I Sell? 

87 percent of everything I write sells – however, that also includes team orders that are virtually guaranteed to sell. 

So to make it a little more applicable, I did most of my data on catalog sales alone. I love teams and their propensity to up my income for that month, but I also noticed, as I’ll show later on, that the months in which I made a lot on teams I also tanked my catalog productivity, which decreased my sales for the next two months. 

So, on average, 46% of everything I submit to the catalog will sell. 

Of that 46%, about 48.2% sold within the month I posted it. (So for instance I posted it on June 4th and it sold June 28th). 

6.9% sold outside of the month I posted it in, but within 30 days. 

13.8% of what I posted sold within 60 days (but past 30 days). 

6.9% sold within 90 days (but past 60 days). 

However, about 69% of everything I’ve written sold within 60 days (including those that sold in the same month and within 30 days), and a whopping 76% of what did sell sold within 90 days. 

Only a quarter of the articles I posted took four months or longer to sell, and most of those were quirky subjects. 

Productivity vs. Sales

I’ve noticed that increasing the amount I write significantly increases the amount I sell. Likewise, decreasing the amount I write tanks the amount I sell. This happens almost without exception. Here is the data. 

Month One: Writing increased 700%, Sales increased 200%

Month Two: Writing decreased 28%, Sales plummeted 50%

Month Three: Writing increased 850%, Sales increased 400%

Month Four: Writing decreased 69%, Sales increased 150% (this is the one exception)

This continues in the same general pattern for the remainder of the year. It can be stated with reasonable assurance that decreasing the amount I write in one month drastically decreases the amount of sales I make, and that increasing the amount I write has a substantially positive impact on the amount of sales I make. 

Things to Consider

This only deals with 69 catalog pieces out of 250+ pieces I’ve written. Most of what I’ve written and sold has been for teams. However, looking at the statistics it seems that I could be reasonably assured of dramatically increasing my income per month on Constant Content by focusing on increasing the amount of catalog pieces I submit. 

Do Topics Matter?

Determining which topics sell the most would take more analysis, and I might do that later. But on Constant Content there are people searching for literally everything. I have noticed that health, real estate, weight loss, travel, law, and technical subjects seem to sell quite a bit, as do beauty and fashion. Home and finance are also big topics. However, as long as your topic could help someone sell a service, it will probably sell at some point. And that’s just about everything in the world. So, yes topics matter, but not as much as you probably think. It’s smart to pay attention to what’s selling and being searched for, but it’s not necessary to base your entire CC career on what you think will sell. 

So What?

Someone out there is saying “Well this is a nice little piece of information, but what does it mean?” 

Obviously these are just my own statistics. But I have read similar statistics across the web from other writers who are willing to share the numbers – though they’re few and far between for some reason. 

But I can take this information and translate it into a business strategy. 

For instance, let’s say I want to know what I could make by writing 200 articles next month. 

Knowing that about 46% of those will sell, and of those that sell 48.2% of those will sell in the same month, I can come up with a number of articles that will likely sell within the month I list them. Then, I can take my average sell price per article, multiply it by the number of articles likely to sell in the same month, and come up with what I can reasonably expect, give or take a couple percentage points, to make within that month. 

I can extend it out and determine what I’m likely to sell within 60 days or 90 days, and I can adjust my pricing or volume accordingly. 

The Basic Findings

I discovered I can drastically increase my income, statistically, by drastically increasing the amount I write. And, because I have a year of data, I have reasonable assurance that I can hit my income goal and exceed it this coming month on Constant Content alone. 

Statistics are extremely valuable for planning your business. Always keep a record of everything, and take the time to look at your data. Vary your income sources, and follow the money. Whatever sells the most and requires the least amount of time and money from you is where you want to be. 

Being able to write about whatever I want and make a living doing so is a huge incentive for me to write for Constant Content. I also like to explore different topics in shorter articles so I can find out what I really love and am passionate about, or what I’d like to know more about, and expand those into Kindle articles and eBooks. 

Constant Content isn’t my only source of writing income, but it’s the one that I have the most fun doing and the most data on. 

The Takeaway: You reap what you sow. The more you put out there, the more you’ll sell, and that’s true for just about any business. This works the same way in online crafts selling (or even craft show selling); the more items in your shop, the more you’re likely to sell. And in marketing, the more people you contact, the more sales you’ll make. 

Planning is important, but don’t get so caught up in the planning that you never get around to doing. The best plans won’t get you anywhere if you never follow through on them. 

I know a lot of freelancers out there who say you should be able to work 4 hours a day 4 days a week and make $10,000. Sure, that’s a possibility once you build a business, query magazines, get corporate clients, and so on. But if you want a more solid and immediate source of income, I see no problem with working your tail off, pulling late hours, and working crazy amounts of time per week for a few months on sites like CC and (gasp) even higher quality content mills (like Zerys, which I’ll write about soon) in order to get your bank account to where it needs to be so you can breathe. 

Then worry about the other stuff. 

I hope this has helped you! Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not a “legitimate” freelancer just because you’re not following the business plan they are. You’re still freelancing. You’re still a writer. And you’re earning money from it. That means you’re a freelance writer. 🙂 

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Sound off in the comments! 😀 

Until next time, happy writing!

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Kevin Casey says:

    This is a very useful article, Courtney. Your findings mirror my own experiences on CC. Like you, I sell over 80% of what I write there, and certainly the more I write, the more I make. Writer Pool requests always bump up the monthly average nicely too, when available. I have been offered a lot of Teams requests lately, but my field is mainly travel and outdoor-themed stuff, so I haven’t accepted any (so far). But I think the most important info from your one-year analysis is that if people want to earn a certain amount from CC, they have to write a certain amount – there’s no way around that. Like you, Constant Content is not my only source of writing income (and, to be honest, it’s currently my least profitable one, so I’ve been writing less and less there in the past few months), but it does have its uses – and as you say, there’s the freedom to write on-spec articles on whatever topics interest you. Examples of my recent catalogue sales include “How to tell if an Internet ad is complete and utter codswallop”, ” Want to improve your business? Start by ditching the ridiculous jargon” and “12 delightfully nasty facts about nicotine”.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Casey
    author of The Freelance Writer’s Guide to making Money on Constant Content

    1. courtneyherz says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for your input! I’m glad you found this to be accurate and useful.

      I have branched more into fiction and publishing my own works recently, but I’m still in the early stages of what I assume will eventually be far more profitable than CC. But, as you say, CC is extremely useful and offers writers a great platform for their work.

      A lot of people ask me why I would bother writing for them when I “can’t guarantee” anything will sell. But I think statistics speak for themselves. And the 20% that doesn’t sell likely makes up for the bidding, pitch creation, article finding, client pleasing and other activities that go into work such as that found on content mills like Textbroker. So it’s a win-win. I find it more profitable to sit down and churn out articles on topics I’m interested in and submit them than to be engaged in the hamster wheel of most content mills.

      Your recent sales help to show that almost anything will sell on Constant Content. Many people might not think to write about those topics, but that’s precisely why they will sell.

      I feel that people too often get caught up in the “what will people buy” thought track. People will buy anything. For every standard business article that sells are five more on the history of Halloween, things you didn’t know about Mozart, and how to make your dog feel comfortable at home after adopting him. Or…basket weaving in a remote section of Nepal. Whatever it is.

      Thanks for your input, and feel free to link to your book if you have an e-book. 🙂 I’m hoping to write a new, updated, more useful book for writers soon, and I think sharing information is extremely important since freelancers are often so short on it. 🙂

      Have a great day and thanks again for your input!

      Courtney

  2. Laura Ginn says:

    This was a really interesting article. I’ve been on Constant Content for almost a year, and have recently tried to submit at least five articles per day. My sales are increasing, but I have a lot of old articles still hanging around in the gallery. I do like the way that you can not work for a week and still make money, but like you said, I think its important to add content regularly. I aim to be in a few of the top author lists as I believe once you have notoriety on the site, your sales will further increase. We shall see. Here’s to the future!

    1. courtneyherz says:

      Hi Laura,

      That’s great! I’m glad you found the article interesting! I’m glad you’re submitting more and more on Constant Content. I think it’s a great outlet for writers, and it’s nice to be able to write about anything and everything and get paid for it.

      Here’s hoping we see each other in the top author lists soon! 🙂

      Courtney
      (aka Aileen Maguire, my pen name on CC) 🙂

  3. David Hinerman says:

    Nice post! Glad to see this.
    I have a question. I was (fortunately) approved to write for Constant Content. I wrote my first article and got rejected and this is what they said mainly. “Thank you for this quality first submission. Please address comments to the right of the article before resubmission. Hope to see more articles of the same caliber from you.” There was only 3 mistakes (1 very minor).
    I went back and edited the article about 5-6 days ago. I saved the edits and submitted again. I have not heard from them since. Ironically, however, it only took them 12 hours for them to get to article 1st time.
    Did I do something wrong? The article has been in review for a long while. I wrote about 4-5 more articles on Microsoft Word, but do not want to submit more until I see what happens with my 1st submission.

    1. courtneyherz says:

      I am not sure why it’s taking so long, but sometimes they are very particular about new authors. Sometimes their corrections can seem miniscule, but they really do help improve your writing. At least mine has been helped by them. They may be taking awhile because you’re new…or because they are busy.

      That being said 12 days is quite unusual. One thing to note is to use Mozilla Firefox when submitting on CC. I use Chrome for everything except submissions on CC because Chrome will often delete my corrections and not submit. But if it says review then it was submitted successfully.

      You can contact support if you want and ask for the status. But I would encourage you to submit your other articles. Don’t wait on one article…it will just set you back. Keep the pipeline going.

      The fact that they gave you such a compliment on your article is pretty awesome. Keep submitting and email support about the other one. 🙂

      So glad you are on CC!! Keep up the awesome work! 🙂

  4. David Hinerman says:

    I am simply afraid to submit more because I have heard people say if you get rejected before having first article posted then you can get banned forever. Perhaps it does have something to do with me being new, but the first initial review was very fast, as I said.

    I used to write for HubPages (still slightly do), but it’s starting to become a lost cause or whatever. My plans a few years ago worked for a while, but Google Alogrithms etc. hurt the site badly.

    CC seems professional, unlike many other writing platforms. I assume the reason you can sell articles for higher prices is because of the fact that the site is more professional.

    My aim is to write 1000 articles on CC, but I cannot allow hurdles to stop me.

    I thought about contacting CC regarding my submission, but have not yet.

    Currently, I have Google Chrome & Internet Explorer. Guess I’ll have to get firefox…Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

    1. courtneyherz says:

      Oh they may have a “wait for your first article to be approved” rule….it’s been awhile, I don’t remember.
      But you shouldn’t be penalized for asking. 12 days is pretty long for a review. I don’t remember ever waiting that long for either an approval or a review.
      Still write, though, and save your articles. I’m trying to build up my profile with them, too. And yes they’re much more professional than most other places. 🙂
      Which is why I kinda love them. 😉
      I hope everything goes well for you! Keep us updated; it’s always good to learn from others. 🙂

  5. David Hinerman says:

    Just a short update. My article…Unfortunately did not get approved….JUST KIDDING! My first article was accepted! 🙂 25 is one of my lucky numbers….

  6. David Hinerman says:

    Oh, never mind. I jumped the gun. It was a forum post topic I posted…

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