Weeks after declaring my hatred of SEO content mills – during an anticipated state of question – my opinion was solidified when I received a handsome cheque of $300 from Black Belt magazine. I wrote an article called Forgotten Martial Arts of Great Britain way back in February 2013 – yes, over two years ago! Black Belt was the first magazine I approached.
When I initially queried the editor I had no print publications to my name and was naive to the process. It was a passion piece, so I never really expected to hear anything, but lo and behold, I received a reply within 24 hours. Shamefully, I hadn’t actually written the article, I merely had the idea (a white lie). I spent two days researching and crafting the text to the strongest of my abilities. After sending it out I checked my emails religiously for days… but heard nothing.
An entire year went by. During this time I proposed the article to a few other publications. While it received interest, I was reluctant to seal the deal as anything less than Black Belt would’ve been a huge disappointment. In October 2014, over a year and a half after the initial query, I received an email stating that it would be published in the following issue. There were a few hiccups along the way due to image copyright; however, the piece finally made it to the shelves in February 2015.
Two years… it took two whole years! But the reward was well worth the wait. I received the cheque in April, and while it wasn’t a particularly large payment, it dwarfed anything I’d received in the past from content mills with a similar word count. With ridiculous turnarounds, low pay and factory-like production schedules, the mills really do make a mockery of the writing profession.