“I’m certain you’d produce high-quality, credible and valuable content for us.”

In this scenario, I lost the business to a content mill. You know the sort of platform, Fiverr, People-Per-Hour, Upwork…

Content mills upset me for two main reasons:

  1. Unscrupulous people see it as an opportunity to make quick cash. They’re not copywriters so the quality of the work they produce will be shocking. And because they don’t care, they’re not going to even attempt to put it right, so you end up with nothing.
  2. Talented copywriters, who may turn to the content mill when their work dries up, get exploited – forced to slash their rates in order to compete with the aforementioned chancers. They’ll be paid less than the legal minimum wage, which means they now can’t afford to pay their bills, forcing them to return to employment…and you lose out on benefitting from their talent.

As a consultancy, you too are selling skills, knowledge and experience all wrapped up in a well-thought out service, tied up with a beautiful bow.

So imagine this…

Someone comes to you.

They really need some help.

They want to use the best people.

You’ve spoken to them, understood their project and made a personal connection.

Things are going great…

“We’d need a budget 3x bigger to afford your pricing. Can’t you do us a special deal?”

Ouch! I know how much that hurts.

You’ve spent years working hard to accumulate those skills, knowledge and experience. Then you’ve put hours into packaging up your services, figuring out how to add the most value to your offering. And performed spreadsheet-upon-spreadsheet of detailed analysis, based on vast quantities of real data to calculate the perfect price point…

And in one foul sweep, you’re knocked over and expected to work for peanuts.

“You get what you pay for”

I’m not stupid, I fully appreciate the lure of the content mill with its promise of thought-leadership articles for mere pennies. But if you want to be certain about the quality of the work you receive, it costs.

“We tried the content mill before with hit and miss quality results. I agree you get what you pay for.”

So yes, if you’re lucky with the content mill, you might hit upon an exceptionally talented professional copywriter and get the thought leadership article that helps to differentiate you in the market – but at what cost?

I was once told that if you find a good copywriter you grab them with both hands and pay them their weight in gold – this particular client even insisted on upping my rate card by 25%.

Balancing quality with volume

You should never produce content for content’s sake – it’s pointless. Content should always be produced with a purpose, and you should have determined the return you need it to produce upfront.


Content shouldn’t be created in isolation either…

A case study does nothing if it’s just sat on your website…

But respin and repurpose it into a series of blogs that elaborate on the key themes, an award submission to boost your team’s morale with some third-party recognition, and emails to drive traffic towards the asset on your website…

Now you’re sweating the asset, making it work harder for you and delivering a greater return on your investment.

If you’re smart about how you produce your content, you will always get more for your money, and ultimately better results for your business. A true copywriter knows how to do this, and will provide this insight to you as part of their service.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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