Constant Content–The Lamest, Least Researched Content Site Review Ever

By 
on February 5, 2010 in Freelance Writing Business, Freelance Writing Jobs
17
0

In this series, we personally test traditional online freelance marketplaces to share first-hand experiences and honest assessments of marketplaces and resulting jobs, as many freelance writers turn to these outlets to find writing gigs. You can read all the posts in the series here.

I’m going to start this week with an apology. When I try out each of these markets for freelance writers it can take weeks to do all the things I need to do in order to get a realistic idea of what each gig is like, what it pays (relative to the time you put in), and how hard it is to get. I have to submit bids, work on my approach, write words for little to no cheddar, send emails, you know--do stuff. There's a whole costume I have to put on that helps me get into character. I have to clean my monocle and magnifying glass, get out my favorite brandy snifter and start speaking with a British accent. Seriously, this is not easy, folks.

Unfortunately,  I was not able to approach Constant Content in as many angles as I would have liked because I was busy with my actual clients (yup, I gots thems). Hopefully, other people will pick up my slack and chime in with comments about their experience with Constant Content.

What is Constant Content

Constant Content is an article broker. You can write an article and upload it onto their website to sell to whoever wants to buy it. You can give the article three different prices, one for each of the licensing rights:

  • Usage license: Multiple buyers can purchase and display the article with no content or byline changes.
  • Unique license: Only one buyer can buy it, but he or she cannot make any content or byline changes.
  • Full rights: One buyer owns the article and can change it however they see fit.

The more rights the client gets, the higher you price the article. You can also choose to let the clients make a cash offer for rights--so you might price a 500 word article at $100 for full rights and they could offer you only $65. Naturally, you can refuse an offer.

Constant Content also allows clients to request articles written on specific topics  from individual writers or they can put an article request out to the entire pool of writers. If you choose an article topic that has been offered to the pool then you write it, send it to the client, and they may or may not purchase it. The prices the clients offered for these things were both bad and not bad. You could expect anywhere from $10-$50 for about 500 words and up to $150 for some that were 1,000-3,000 words. It is really subjective though, the clients could choose to offer anything.


Advertisement

It’s also important to remember that Constant Content takes 35% of the sale price and they pay once each month.

One Freelance Writer's Constant Content Story

For weeks now I’ve been going into the Constant Content system to get topics that were requested by clients but unfortunately, I just never got around to writing them.

So what did I do? I submitted two pre-written articles for sale. One of them didn’t sell after a couple of weeks so I took it down and sold it to an existing client. The other article received an offer about 24 hours after I posted it. The problem is that the offer was for 50% of what I was asking for it. So I refused the sale and edited the article to make it more offensive and less safe and then I submitted it to Outright* as a guest post.

And that was the end of that.

In all, I didn’t have a bad experience with Constant Content... I guess you could even say that I didn't really have any experience with them. Based on my non-experience I think you can probably get .10 to .20 per word which is pretty great when you consider that you can just throw up whatever it is you decided to write, sans deadline. I think it's just important to really figure out if that is the best use of your article. For me, I think the exposure and links on Outright will be more beneficial than the money would have been, and I probably wouldn't have gone for the lower amount they offered anyway, unless my cats had been out driving and ruined the car and my car insurance premiums were going to go up.

If you decide to use Constant Content, be firm about what you want for an article and don’t settle for less. But then, isn’t that what we should all be doing at all times?

*Disclaimer -- AFW contributor, Jennifer Escalona, works for Outright. While that fact is completely unrelated to this specific article, we're all about full transparency and thought you might want to know.

Like this? Please share.
Tweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail to someone
Short URL: http://3bm.co/ns7zrl
The following two tabs change content below.
Yo Prinzel
Yolander Prinzel is the profit monster behind the Profitable Freelancer website. She has written for a number of publications and websites such as American Express, Covestor.com, Advisor Today, Money Smart Radio and the International Travel Insurance Journal (ITIJ). Her book, Specialty Ghostwriting: A New Way to Look at an Old Career, is currently available on Amazon.

key to writing success
Your key to a more successful writing career:
Join the FREE All Indie Writers community. Register today for access to the writing forums, and be one of the first to gain access to new e-courses, coming soon!


Yo Prinzel

17 Comments

  1. Matt Willard February 5, 2010 Reply

    My dog drives the car sometimes. Then she ends up puking on the seat. Must be the dog version of “defensive driving”.

  2. Jennifer Escalona February 5, 2010 Reply

    I tried Constant Content out months ago. I wrote three articles for requests, and had the first two snapped up. Apparently I didn’t satisfy the third requester, and she didn’t buy my article. Because it was about something I rarely write about – beauty products! – I just left it there. Last Friday, I had a random Paypal payment from Constant Content. I logged in, trying to ascertain if I’d sold an article, but everything looked the same to me. Then, on Monday,I got the email from Constant saying I’d sold an article.

    So… thanks for paying me before you tell me what you’re paying me for, but no thanks for having me frantically dig up my password to your site so I could figure out what the heck was going on!

  3. Anne Wayman February 5, 2010 Reply

    Constant Content has been around much longer than many of the similar sites… I watched it for awhile early on and couldn’t figure out what was what. Thanks for clue me in.

    And thanks as always for the reminder that we writers do control our own destiny in large part and can say yes or no – two magic words.

  4. Allena February 5, 2010 Reply

    What do you think of AOL’s Seed? same old, same old…

  5. Yo Author
    Yo February 5, 2010 Reply

    I haven’t explored Seed yet, I’ll add it to the list. You never know :)

  6. Celeste Stewart February 5, 2010 Reply

    A two article test (offering usage rights only) isn’t really going to reveal much about a site’s potential. Having sold over 2500 articles on Constant-Content.com, I can tell you that the site is indeed a legitimate place to sell your work for a decent price, despite the 35% commission.

    It takes a bit of figuring out at first, but once you get the hang of the site’s requirements and which strategies work for you, it’s a lot of fun.

  7. JHaynesWriter February 5, 2010 Reply

    Celeste,
    Having sold near 3,000 articles on Constant Content, I guess you would be qualified to shed some light on them.

    Can I ask you how you utilize the income from them? Do you use it as another income stream to stave off in-between client feast / famine stretches, or is Constant Content a bigger part of your business strategy?

    Also, how do you account for the commission–do you simply increase your rate by 35%?

    Thanks for stopping by. I would like to hear more about CC.

  8. Celeste Stewart February 5, 2010 Reply

    JHaynes,
    I make a full time income writing for Constant-Content.com. Several clients keep me busy with private requests and I also submit articles on general topics when the mood strikes. I do also have clients outside of Constant-Content. I’d say 75% of my work is from CC and 25% is from clients who have found me via my Web site or from referrals.

    Yes, I adjust my prices with the 35% cut in mind. For example, if an article takes me an hour to write and I want to make $65 for my efforts, then I charge $100. I always consider how much I need to earn for the time spent as well as the client’s budget. From there, I mark my price up accordingly. That way, I get what I want, CC gets its fee, and the client receives an article that meets his needs. It’s win-win-win. Plus, by separating my fee and CC’s percentage, there’s no resentment that CC’s taking so much of “my” money. That’s because I never think of that portion of mine to begin with.

  9. Yo Author
    Yo February 5, 2010 Reply

    Thanks for weighing in Celeste. As I mentioned in the article, I did not have enough time to really play around with CC. Your insight is extremely helpful :)

  10. Jennifer Mattern February 5, 2010 Reply

    From what Celeste is saying, CC can pretty much operate the same way private clients do (that’s really what it amounts to) as long as you account for their fees. And that makes sense. The only potential downside I can see is that charging more to CC clients than you would to direct private clients for the same end earnings could cut down on the overall client base due to the middleman payments. That said, for those who don’t want to bother marketing their own sites much, the visibility of a built-in service site sounds like a viable alternative. It absolutely sounds like a better option than fixed rate or residual payment content mills, and allows the writers to maintain a certain level of professionalism in charging what their time and content is really worth.

  11. JHaynesWriter February 5, 2010 Reply

    Celeste,
    Thanks so much for sharing. As I work on building my platform I will look to Constant Content for some of my income.

  12. Celeste Stewart February 5, 2010 Reply

    My Constant-Content.com clients are getting fair rates despite the CC markup due to the volume; most are getting a better rate than I charge non-CC customers. For one thing, there’s the volume as I mentioned. For another, I don’t have to bother with invoicing and tracking down payments. Another, I don’t have to advertise to attract clients. It’s all good :)

    • Jennifer Mattern February 6, 2010 Reply

      I don’t do any of those things either though for private clients (advertise, spend a lot of time on invoicing — takes less than a minute, tracking down payments, etc.). So I’m not sure how much of a benefit those specific factors are. I personally wouldn’t consider them anywhere near worth 35% of my fees, but that’s just me.

      Can you explain more about what you mean by “volume” when talking about buyer benefits? You can sell in volume to private clients just as easily, and they’d still be paying less per piece, so again I don’t see any benefit other than not wanting to worry about your own site (which you do anyway). I might be misunderstanding what you mean by volume here though, so feel free to enlighten me. It’s always good to know the logic behind the different ways writers choose to operate. And even though it’s not my cup of tea, it might benefit someone else to better understand it. :)

  13. Celeste Stewart February 6, 2010 Reply

    I suppose I speak of volume in this way because most of my long term clients and the ones that provide me with tons of work happen to be those I work with via Constant-Content. I’ve been doing Constant-Content since 2006 but only recently launched my own site so I’ve yet to experience large volumes of work from my own marketing efforts. I’ve found that building a Web site, getting it in front of potential customers, and landing projects is time consuming – and that’s before I write a single word! With CC, I spend more time writing/earning and less time looking for work.

    Beside pricing really does vary by the client, the project’s scope, and other factors regardless of where the client came from.

    In addition, clients using CC receive some value from the middle man. All articles go through an editorial review and plagiarism check before customers ever see them and the site offers a money back guarantee. Sure, clients can run their own CopyScape checks, but some don’t want to deal with stuff like that.

    To give you an idea of the volume that I do on CC, that 2500 articles sold number mentioned in my first post isn’t really accurate. Most of my projects are submitted to client in batches of anywhere from ten to thirty to hundreds of articles at a time. So a single sale on CC is often for multiple articles. Many of those sales are for complete training manuals, white papers, and other large projects. So, yeah, I do a huge volume there.

    Anyhow, the CC concept isn’t for everyone and I’m one of the exceptions rather than the norm, but it’s worked nicely for me.

  14. Thursday Bram February 7, 2010 Reply

    I tend not to specifically respond to requests on Constant Content, although I’ve making some money there. I tend to post projects where something has gone wrong — an article gets killed, that sort of thing. It’s a strategy that pays off at least a little.

    I know I could probably do better if I spent time on selling those articles to private clients, but sometimes I just don’t have time to devote to that sort of project.

  15. Jessie Fitzgerald February 7, 2010 Reply

    @Thursday, thanks for adding to the conversation. I see how that could be a viable strategy to salvage some earnings. I have a kill fee written into my freelance writing project contract, but that still leaves me with some article I’ve got to put somewhere.

    @Jenn, CC definitely seems like a solid alternative to content mills and the like for earning what your time is worth. Like I said, as I’m establishing my platform, building up my niche blog and trying to grow a client base, I could see writing articles for CC and / or responding for calls as a viable way to earn and potentially find clients during those early business stages.

    @Celeste, I know you’ve got a solid history with CC, but do you think that you might start directing people to work more directly with you? I’m not sure if this would violate the CC TOC (which I wouldn’t encourage) but maybe in general to get people to work directly with you. You still have those middlemen fees, you’re not getting paid immediately (of course I don’t know what your standard billing policies are) and an external site has market share on your revenue–it seems like it could be hazardous. No matter how great it seems, I don’t think anyone could rely on a single external source to keep them afloat.

Add comment

By using this comment form you agree to the site's Comment Policies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *

CommentLuv badge