LA Content Farmer Earns $100,000 a Year

Willing to write 30, SEO-friendly online articles a day? Then you too could have a thoroughly depressing, but lucrative, career in content farming. AdAge has the story of formerly homeless LA writer Jodi Jill, who turned to content farming two years ago after losing her job as an assistant car dealer. She now brings in nearly $100,000 a year writing around 130 posts per week for Examiner.com.

AdAge calculates the numbers:

Denver-based Examiner pays its writers anywhere from $1 to $7.50 for every thousand page views their posts generate, based on a black-box formula. The company has a roster of more than 60,000 contributors producing more than 3,000 articles a day.

In the case of Ms. Jill, she posts anywhere form 100 to 130 articles in a week, and though Examiner will not disclose Ms. Jill’s traffic or her rates, a bit of back-of-the-envelope calculation shows it’s entirely feasible. Assuming she brings in around $95,000 a year and that her base rate is in the midrange of around $3.50 for every thousand impressions, given that her beat — entertainment — is a semivaluable category, she’s booking close to $1,800 for every 120 articles, or about $15 per article, which is a handsome though not unheard of rate in the blogging world. At $15 an article and an assumed CPM of $3.50, each post generates around 4,300 impressions, or over 500,000 page views a week — all from a single contributor.

The AdAge story notes that the Examiner doesn’t like the term “content farm” to describe its stories. How about “content factory” then? Any site where someone can write 30 posts a day isn’t practicing anything close to journalism.

H/T Romenesko