WHY "MASTER DAYTON?"

"Master Dayton" might be humorous, (I mean if Ph.Ds are called "Doctors," shouldn't MFAs be called "Masters?") but in all seriousness I have made a living freelance writing and after several years I have tons of information I want to share to help out my fellow writers, regardless of age, experience, goals, situation, or background. This blog isn't pretty-but it will help if real freelance writing information is what you want.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Freelance Writing | Constant Content Review

Constant Content Review

UPDATE: A lot has changed at Constant-Content since I first posted this website review, as Jade Dragon was kind enough to point out in the comments (by the way, I strongly recommend his blog: it's a good one). The new pay out level is $5, making it extremely easy to make pay out each and every month. Also, your affiliate commission has been moved down to 5% from 10% - although they make even more sales then when this review was written, so I've seen minimal drop off in affiliate income. That's it for now, and I still strongly recommend Constant-Content as a great place for beginning or part time writers.

ORIGINAL CONSTANT-CONTENT REVIEW:

So here's the first major review of an online freelance writing website where writers can work and earn income. I choose to write this constant content website review because it is one of my favorite websites to sell work freelance writing online. This site hasn't been my biggest money maker as far as making money on the Internet, but it is a freelance writing website that offers a lot of opportunity for writers who are looking to make a little extra money online. In fact, there are several writers who make a full time living writing for Constant Content alone, but so far I've used this place as somewhere to put articles that I want to write or don't have a market for, or articles I plan on writing and re-selling several times (so obviously for these freelance writing articles I would offer only usage rights).

The first thing you'll need to know right off the bat is that Constant-Content.com pays only through PayPal, so if you don't have a PayPal account, roll up a newspaper and hit yourself in the head. Bad writer! Then go ahead and read this post on why online writers need PayPal.

All payments from Constant Content are done through PayPal, so that's a must. Signing up for an author account is completely free, and this site isn't restricted to just American writers. Australian and British authors are welcome to make money writing here, as well, and authors from any country that has PayPal. The major caveat to writers who speak English as a second language is that the editorial guidelines for CC are very clear: they expect solid grammar and English. If it doesn't read like native English, it's not good enough to be accepted on this site.

There's a small but very efficient team of editors on this site. Ed and Celeste are two names you'll become familiar with in learning to submit articles and read on topics on the Constant Content Forum. Obviously no Constant Content Review would be complete without a look at the editors, right? In my experiences Ed is a very professional editor. By professional, I mean just that. He is very good at his job, he takes care in his work, and he will be very direct and to the point on what problems you need to address if your article isn't up to snuff.

That doesn't mean he will hold your hand or be your best buddy. That's not his job. His job is to edit to make sure everything accepted into the Constant Content data base meets the editorial standards they put forth. Some people have complained of Ed being rude, but I've never found that to be the case (and a couple of times I made some bone headed mistakes before submitting articles that were rejected on the first run). He's old school professional: to the point and very direct. As a writer, that should be the type of editor you would hope for.

Write good articles for this website. This isn't an article dumping ground.

When you sign up, you can begin uploading articles immediately. This is a pretty easy process, and very self-explanatory as long as you read the directions and follow accordingly. The easiest mistake to make is to forget to upload the article after filling out all the information. Make sure to avoid this time consuming error.

One of the best parts of Constant-Content is being able to set your own prices for your freelance writing. So often taking advantage of freelance writing opportunities, especially for the beginning writer, means that you often are told how much you're getting paid, and as any starting freelance writer can tell you, way too often it's not very much. Any article you write for Constant Content you get to set your own prices for.

You also get to decide what type of rights you're willing to sell for your work. So instead of putting all that effort into making money writing and coming out with minimum wage (or worse), for ghost writing articles, you can tell a prospective buyer exactly how much you think your work is worth. Or you can even go so far on Constant Content as to decide to only sell usage rights, meaning your hard work freelance writing will be awarded with your name always on the byline.

There are three major types of rights that you can sell to your work as a freelance writer for Constant Content:

Usage Rights: If you sell usage rights this means that the buyer can post your article, but can't change anything. Your name remains as the author on the article, and not a single word can be changed. You own the copyright and can re-sell this article as many times as you can find buyers. This is my favorite types of rights to sell on Constant Content because like many online freelance writers, I like to get passive income from my articles and I like seeing my name in print :) These are usually sold at the cheapest rate since the buyer can't change anything.

Unique Rights: Unique rights are a little bit different. If a buyer purchases unique rights to your freelance writing, this means that nothing is changed in the article. The words remain exactly the same and you are credited as the author, but the purchaser is buying the unique rights to publish your article, which means that although you get the credit, you can never re-sell this article anywhere else, so make sure you mark it up to an amount you can live with.

Full Rights: This is exactly what is sounds like and is why this price should always be far higher than the others. Full rights means you sell full rights. You can charge a lot more for this, or choose to never sell full rights at all, but if you do the buyer owns everything, and can change this article any way they want. They can re-write most of it, or keep everything the same but put their name as the author. Most of the time this means your name won't appear with the work, and it will be as if you ghost wrote the article. These articles are in the highest demand, and sell most often on Constant Content.

It's hard to put an exact price on how much you should charge for each article, but don't undervalue your freelance writing! Depending on the quality of work, and degree of expertise, for 400 words I'll charge anywhere from $21-36 for usage rights, $29-49 for unique rights, and $39 on up for full rights. The $39 is generally for a basic 400 word SEO article that doesn't take much thought, time or research. For larger articles, the price can go up quite a bit. I once sold an 1,100 word article that took me two hours for $150 full rights. That's a very nice hourly pay, and it was on a subject that I wasn't probably ever going to need to use again, so I didn't mind giving away all the rights for that price.

Actually I even wrote that article for a request, and then the requester never purchased the article. This actually happens frequently, and as opposed to being discouraging, should be encouraging. There is a "requests" section on Constant Content where buyers can request articles. Many of the writers who make a living full time on CC do it by writing to these requests. Many times the requester will buy a good article, and many times they request something and never buy anything.

The good news is that this has happened to me many times, so I slapped a high price on the article, put it up for sale, and sold it to someone else a couple weeks (or months) later. The more articles you have available, the more likely someone is going to be looking for what you have to offer.

The rest is writing and figuring out how to get the most out of Constant Content based on your skills. Yes, full rights articles are the most sought after, but can you write articles people will want every year? I wrote an article on "Top 10 Movie Sociopaths" and sold usage rights four times. That's four quality sales for an opinion article in which research, writing, spell checking, and proof reading combined to take about 80 minutes. Not bad at all. The price is lowered now to $15 usage, mostly because after four sales this article is around the Internet and when the sales stopped coming, I lowered the price accordingly.

Another nice thing about Constant Content is you keep building over time. The more articles you write, the more sales you make, the more money you make. If you have enough in demand articles with usage rights on sale, then eventually CC can even become passive income for the determined freelance writer trying to make money online. My best month on CC (and I could be making a LOT more money on this site, but between Guru, Elance, going to grad school, and a full time writing job, and trying out everything on the web to get first hand info for this blog, I haven't given Constant Content nearly enough effort) was over $200 take home on a month where I didn't write a single new article.

I make generally $50 take home a month. I also haven't written a new article on CC in three months, and until the holiday rush is over, I won't be able to give them the attention they deserve. If someone started out with some actual work effort and a steady plan to write for CC, answer requested articles (I also almost never do this - I just write what I want on Constant Content), then it's not out of the question that CC alone could become a full time source of income.

The drawbacks to Constant Content?

Constant-Content does charge a pretty high 35% commission. That is a lot, but it is in range of professional referrals, and you should figure that into your pricing. If you want $15 for that article that took you 45 minutes to write, then charge $21. That easy. Even with that large commission, you also need to consider that this still pays you far more per article than with the far majority of other online freelance writing sites. It certainly beats pennies per month from Helium.com

So the Pros of Constant Content:

  1. You can choose your own topics
  2. You set your own prices
  3. Full time income potential
  4. Some passive income potential
  5. A perfect part time freelance writing site
  6. Freedom of schedule - less stress when life gets too busy

The negatives of Constant Content:

  1. No guaranteed sales
  2. 35% commission
  3. Must live in PayPal country
  4. Must be very solid in grammar and English usage
  5. You can't get your name out or build a reputation outside of Constant Content
  6. $50 minimum balance before you get paid

In my experience, the pros far outweigh the cons, and I look forward to getting a little bit of time next year and shooting for my goal of $5,000 from CC while still keeping up with all my other irons in the fire. I know this is a very doable goal, and for freelance writers looking for more freelance writing opportunities to make money writing online, you need to check out this site.

As a side note: if any of you writers are college freshmen, this is the perfect site. Over four years you have so much time to build up a wide array of articles that you might be able to make a full time living off passive income off CC by graduation, if you're willing to do the work.

One last thing: there is an affiliate program. For every author you refer, you get 10% of their sales, taken completely from Constant Content's 35% cut. This means if you sell an article only 25% goes to CC, while 10% goes to the grateful author who referred you. As a warning: don't get too excited when people sign up. The majority of people in life never put up the effort to get ahead. Out of 61 referrals (and counting) that I have, none have written over five articles, and over 2/3 haven't written a single one. Three have wrote at least one article, as I have three "cuts" for a whopping $3.25 or so. But you keep up the referrals because every penny counts, and because you hope one day a full time Constant Content writer who'll go on to make 30k a year will sign up through your referral link to show their appreciation

So come on, be that writer. I dare you, sign up and make a small fortune and make us both happier :)

I hope this Constant Content review has been helpful. If there are any further questions that any of you have, please feel free to leave your question in the comments section. For all those writers out there looking for freelance writing opportunities and other great ways to make money online, keep up the hard work, good luck, and hopeful this Constant-Content.com review will help you on your way to a full time writing income.

23 comments:

  1. Great review Master Dayton! I use Constant Content for some of my own passive income too and I've found that the cut CC takes is a little high but it's still great if you have an article you can't place anywhere else. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Bianca,

    Thanks for the kind words! I'm a big fan of your blog, as well. I definitely agree that the biggest drawback to Constant Content is that the cut is definitely high, but when AC pays $3.50 an article or sites like Helium (don't even get me started on them), the per article pay for online writing isn't bad if you don't mind holding your ground. I agree with you in my Constant Content Review about this being a great place for articles you can't place elsewhere. I've made a lot of good money on articles that would otherwise be zip filed or in storage doing nothing.

    Thanks for the comment, and thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just so ya know-- I just signed up with CC. I have a file FULL of unsold articles that I can freshen up and put back out on the market, which I intend to do soon. It would be great if you could blog about what KINDS of articles sell the best at CC. I'll pay attention to that, and hopefully it could profit both of us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi master. I've bookmark your site. I just signed up for CC, no article submitted yet. Thanks for your guide..you make me realize, there are lots of things i should know about this field. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  5. One of the negatives you mention about Constant Content is this: "You can't get your name out or build a reputation outside of Constant Content." What does that mean? Can you write on another site at the same time as Constant Content?

    ReplyDelete
  6. You can write for many websites at once, and I strongly encourage freelance writers to spread out their income options. With sites like Associated Content or with your own blog you can put your name or pen name up on the article (or ehow, hubpages, squidoo), and that page or article is online and getting attention. This readership can help you "build" a reputation by having quality writing online. Constant-Content gets you a good price per article, but if you sell full rights, you won't get credit at all, and your articles don't appear online until they're sold. With other websites I have gotten job offers or writing offers based on them seeing my writing - something that doesn't happen on CC. That said, if your grammar is solid and you write well, article by article Constant-Content pays about as well as anyone I've found.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just want to add:

    1. Minimum payout is now $5 not $50. So if you sell anything you get paid in the first few days of the next month.

    2. Writers report getting Private Requests from buyers that liked their work. Likely more productive then buyers finding you randomly from a buyline.

    3. Public requests - never a lack of topics to tackle.

    4. you might be interested in an interview I arranged with Celeste Stewart - one of the top CC writers. She has an interesting perspective because CC is her main job.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Jade Dragon,

    Thanks for the comment and the update. This blog has a lot of content, so it can be hard to locate every post when something needs changing, but you are correct: the minimum payout is $5 for Constant Content now which in my opinion is a drastic improvement. I believe I also need to update the affiliate information, as I believe that only pays 5% as opposed to 10% now, as well. I agree that overall, I like Constant Content as a place for talented but inexperienced writers to get a great start. I'll definitely have to take a look at that interview with Celeste - I've very much admired her work ethic, willingness to help others, and ability to make great money from Constant Content. Thanks for commenting on my freelance writing blog.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This was a great review of Constant Content. I've considered this site in the past but I've been spending all my time writing articles for ehow. Eventually I'll give Constant Content a try. It sounds like it would be an interesting experience.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Matt,

    Glad you liked it. There have been some changes since this Constant-Content review was posted, but I consider virtually all of them to be improvements, so it's still all good. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am very serious about writing, so while I do not know yet if Constant Content is right for me, I am looking forward to giving it my best. (And by the way, I did use the link you provided, as a referral link.) I hope that I can earn us both a little money.

    S

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for the kind comments. I agree all the changes are improvement. I did an interview with Constant Content writer Hayley Writer (she's Australian) since my previous comment. I've linked it through my name for you. Oh, and I'm a guy just so you know.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the information about Constant Content! I had a question about the rights of the buyer. If you sell a piece, do they have the rights to online and printed material? I mean, could you go and sell the same article in print? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. If you only offer Useage rights you can sell the article to print for usage/revenue share elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey guys,

    Sorry about the long delay in comments - my family has been going through some very personal and hard issues, and I simply needed to tend to that first. To answer your questions and/or comments:

    @ Shirley. Glad to hear it. I'd recommend submitting one article back and getting feedback. CC isn't a place you want to bombard early before really knowing what they want out of you. I hope it works out great, and if it's just not your place, there are many other sites to look at so don't let one setback get you down. Many, many famous individuals have quotes along the lines of: "I succeed often because I fail even more." Chalk it up to a learning experience and just keep going.

    @Jade Dragon. Great interview, and I really like what you're doing with your blog. Sorry about the guy/gal thing. I have that happen so often to me, I can't help but note the irony. Still not sure why everyone wants to spell my name "Shayne," though, lol.

    @Anonymous - that's an excellent question and one I've actually run into before. The answer is that the rights are both on and off line rights - so if you sell unique or full rights online, you can NOT also sell the article to print. This happened to me once as I sold unique rights to a travel article on Alaska to an online site, and after asking found out I was not able to sell it to a print publication. So if you want to be able to do that, you can only sell "usage" rights.

    Thanks for the comments, guys. Keep at it!

    Best,

    Master Dayton

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great advice here, it really helps

    DJ

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Master, I googled freelance writing and got into your blog, which is immensely helpful. Thank you for your informative and so down-to-earth take on this income option. I've just gotten into writing and since I'm looking for a job at the time, I might as well write and be paid and pay my bills until I land a suitable job (I hope to keep writing). As a beginner, you are my master! =)

    Jen
    Blogging @ http://www.proceedingwithgrace.com

    P.S. I'm wondering about AdSense. I don't want my readers, which are most of my friends feel like I'm blogging for money so I've been resisting signing up. Do you think it's worth doing it as a passive income?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Jen,

    AdSense can be a little tricky. I can definitely see with your blog topics why you don't want that to appear commercial. I think my answer for you would be that as part of a long term strategy, you want to build passive residual income and to do that you will want AdSense to be part of the equation, but I probably wouldn't use it on your blog because I don't believe it's a good fit.

    Consider signing up for HubPages and InfoBarrel, and maybe even Xomba. Especially with HubPages, if you make a few quality hubs, it is very easy to sign up for AdSense and the Amazon Affiliate program through them. Those 3 sites can make you a good cut with AdSense, and you can decide from there if you want to pursue mini-sites, niche sites, or other methods of using AdSense. For your "proceeding with grace" blog I just don't think you'll find great ads anyway, so it's not worth messing up the appearance. Putting in Amazon Affiliate links might be your best choice if you decide to monetize it, in my opinion.

    Hope that helps. Thanks for stopping by!

    Best,

    Shane

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks Shane! This was really helpful. I think I'm going to start off slow, sit down and write my "plan of attack" because I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the possibilities out there for freelance writing. I'm definitely excited!
    Thanks!
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Jen,

    Not a problem. Glad I could help out. Setting up a plan of attack isn't a bad idea at all - just make sure the planning doesn't prevent you from doing. One of the nice things about writing online is that you don't have to be perfect - you just need to start moving and learn along the way. A good plan definitely speeds up the process as long as you're willing to do the work. Glad you're excited. Years after starting, I'm still excited about all the possibilities!

    Thanks for stopping by, and let us know about your future success!

    Best,

    Shane "Master" Dayton

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have gone through this blog. I found it very interesting and helpful. Nowadays I am doing an online job from home only.
    And this blog really doing great for me. This blog also offers me more ideas and advices concerned to my job.
    Just sit at your home earn daily hundred dollars. Hey! Genuinely its really possible to earn money online.
    I really felt that this website is quite impressive and a great idea to earn hundreds of Dollars daily.


    Earn Money Online

    ReplyDelete
  22. Is this updated? If not, is there an update?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hey Runescape, basically the only major differences are that you only have to make $5 instead of $50 to cash out, and the referral % fell from 10% to 5%. Otherwise the rest of the information is still completely valid.

    ReplyDelete