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If you’re a burgeoning writer, it’s only natural to wonder how – and where – to start selling your work. Is it good enough for someone to even notice it? How to get your first clients without a writer’s portfolio? So you stumbled upon ContentGather, a content writing platform that requires no previous writing experience from you. You just need to write an article on (almost) any topic, submit it, and wait for someone to buy it.
But before you invest time and effort into writing that first batch of articles, you’ll want to know whether this site is legit and how it works. This unbiased review will provide all the relevant info. Read on before you hit that signup button!
ContentGather is a project run by Royal Media, LLC. The company’s based in Greenville, South Carolina. And from what I’ve seen, there’s no reason to doubt their legitimacy. Whether it pays off to work with them is an entirely different question though.
Who Can Join and How Does It Work?
If you can read this text AND write a similar one by yourself, that should be enough to get you started. Oh, and you have to be at least 16 years old. As for location, feel free to apply from anywhere you want – be it the US, Africa, Europe, Asia, or frankly the moon. You will have to have an active PayPal account. But if you don’t have one already, it only takes a few minutes to get it up and running.
There are two basic ways to start selling your service.
- You can submit your pre-written content, set the price and keep fingers crossed that someone will pay it. Note that you’ll have to start with this option. The second one will only unlock if or when you make your first sale.
- You can keep your eyes peeled for the so-called “custom jobs”. That happens when a client stops by and orders content on a specific subject, with a set of guidelines and demands. If you like the offer and think you’re a good fit, you can apply for the gig. Once (or if) you get accepted, you can contact the client anytime with questions. Upon submitting your work, the client can either approve, reject it, or ask for revisions. Just like with any other on-demand freelancing platforms! This option is for seasoned writers – that is, those among them who are looking for work on platforms such as ContentGather.
Once you create an account and verify it via email, you may start submitting your articles. For each of them, you will determine your rate per word. Then, it gets reviewed by the editors, who will also give you a rating of up to five stars. From there, your article is in god’s hands, as it were.
Niches & Categories
Take a look at all the categories available:
As you can see, the most saturated categories right now are Health & Medical, Home & Family, and Animals. If you’re an all-purpose writer, it would probably be wisest to hit the niches that aren’t covered sufficiently and are therefore less competitive. However, from what I’ve seen, the site doesn’t have that many writers. Most of them are charging $0.03 to $0.05 per word, which is very, very low. Even in the narrow niche of Health & Medical, where only specialized writers can shine, it’s rare to find writers charging more than $0.08 per word.
Now, put yourself in the shoes of a client who’s seeking decent content from a highly specialized writer. Would you trust a freelancer who values their expertise so little? I sure hope not!
To maximize your chances at actually making any sales, you should be very meticulous with your title, article category, as well as the first few sentences. That’s because your potential client won’t see the entire article. (And even if they did, who’s to say they would have read the whole piece? People don’t like long reads these days.)
You should submit “evergreen” articles rather than clinging to time-sensitive topics. Even if no one buys your article today or within the month, you will want it to be able to sell itself, well, sometimes in the future. Also, steer clear of the 1st-person accounts and viewpoints unless your name is Seth Godin.
What We Like About ContentGather
- Payments go through PayPal, which is hands down the most popular and convenient online payment processor. Plus, it is currently available in most countries in the world.
- The cashout threshold is low, at only $5. It means that you can get your earnings as soon as you sell one or two articles.
- There is a chance to make it to the Silver, Gold, Platinum or Diamond tiers, which would bring you advanced payment for every article. In fact, that might be the only way to get consistent (though not significant) income from your writing on this platform.
What We Dislike About ContentGather
- You may easily end up chasing your own tail. In other words, the fact that you registered with the platform and wrote some content doesn’t mean that someone will buy it. Ever.
- Their commission is 20% of the total price. Sounds like a total rip-off considering that you won’t be earning much to begin with.
- Along with your work, you will also forgo any rights to it. It means the buyer may do with it as they please – with or without attributions or credits. This is a clear case of ghostwriting, but the site never mentions the word. Which makes it even worse.
- The higher tiers of membership do allow for advanced payment, but they will NEVER cover the whole amount. They will pay anywhere from 5% to 15% of your article price. Plus, there’s a limit to how many articles you may submit: 20, 25, 30, or 50 for every respective tier.
- Even though you get to set your rate per word, there’s a limit to it. For example, as a complete beginner, you probably won’t be allowed to charge more than $0.02 to $0.03 per word. As soon as you get your first rating from their editors, you should be able to increase your rate if just a little. Still, it’s discouraging for new users.
Conclusion – Is ContentGather a Good Marketplace for Writers?
If you’ve ever earned a dime from writing, I wouldn’t recommend this place as a way to jump-start your career as a writer. It’s basically a glorified content farm – and not a very successful one at that. Your name is worth so much more. Don’t compromise it by trying to churn out a few articles per day, just so they would sit in this marketplace for a few months, a year, or even forever.
There’s only one category of people who could potentially profit from this site. If you already have a few drafts that have never been published elsewhere, and you don’t plan to use them in the future, why not submit them and see what happens? If you earn a small amount of cash from them, good. Even if you don’t, you wouldn’t have done it anyway because serious clients don’t pay for pre-written content.
Of course, you can always try out the site and only look for custom jobs, where you may have a chance to get ongoing work from the same client. But I wouldn’t put too much hope into that.
Anyhow, if you really want to commit to freelance writing, check out this list of seven best panels for creative writing. Those are a real deal, and can solve your problem in the long run instead of throwing a couple dozen bucks your way as a thank-you for your effort – and name.