Ever read an article on how to mash potatoes or fix your toilet? Chances are, if you’ve typed anything in Google search starting with “how to” or “what to do when,” you’ve read articles written by content farmers, freelance writers who work for sites like eHow and Livestrong.com.
In the latest Mediabistro AvantGuild feature, a former Demand Media writer tells what it’s really like toiling on the content farm. On a typical day, she writes, she’d find assignments ranging from “the serious to the completely inane.”
There were usually plenty of writeable titles to choose from, but occasionally I’d come across a dud like “How to Furnish a Giraffe” or “20 Benefits of a 3CQ On the JLRM36.” There were also a thousand iterations of the same article: “How to Dye Your Hair Pink,” “Best Pink Hair Color for Brunettes” or “How to Change Your Hair from Blonde to Pink.” Sometimes these redundancies were beneficial, because I could use the same resources for multiple articles and save time on research. At others, the droning nature of this process made me wonder, “What am I doing?”
For more, read My Year as a Content Farm Writer.
The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.
— Sherry Yuan