Make Money Writing at Constant Content
A step-by-step guide to writing for a popular content production website
I am a freelancer by profession and by temperament, so I am always on the lookout for ways to make money.
This constant hunt for gig writing work first led me to Medium a few years ago. Although I have made a bit of money here, and I’ve enjoyed the experience, I am no longer able to spend my time writing articles that might get 100 reads and make a few dollars. I don’t blame Medium; my choice of topics rarely includes self-help, erotica, or finance tips (these all seem like good Medium topics to pursue if you actually want to make money), and I freely admit my writing could be better and more frequent.
Recently, however, I discovered the content creation service Constant Content, and have been happy with my experience there, writing (largely anonymous) content for other blog creators and writers to purchase and use on their sites.
This guide is meant to help you get started at Constant Content and try to make some money there!
Before jumping right into writing for any purveyor of generalized content, you should sit down and write out a list of your areas of expertise, qualifications, and possible article ideas.
When you apply to write for Constant Content, they will ask your level of education and your specialty areas. Don’t be shy! Check topics in which you are already interested and knowledgeable, but also check topics you want to learn about and develop as new areas of expertise.
Be warned that you will not be allowed to write in the first person. There are several areas in which I have life experience (among them: parenting, aging, caregiving), but the editors at Constant Content are ruthless about spotting first-person narration and will not approve your pieces until it is removed. You can do this; it just takes a bit of getting used to. Instead of revealing a personal story, as you might in a personal essay, simply skip ahead to the steps outlining how you solved a problem or faced an issue, and provide THOSE tips in blog-article form (namely: break your writing into short paragraphs and use copious lists and paragraph headings and subheadings).
Now: Think you still want to write blog articles and get paid for them? Continue on to learn the nuts and bolts of signing up with the service.
Getting started: The fine print
- Go to constant-content.com and click on “Sign Up.” Sign up as a writer.
- First you will be asked to enter your personal information. This will include items like name, pen name, and address and contact information. You will also be asked to confirm that you have read Constant Content’s licensing rights and terms and conditions.
- Next, take the site’s small language usage quiz.
- Last, you will be asked to submit an article. If I remember correctly, the site assigns you a topic on which to write, and a word count, but you can change the topic if you’re not comfortable with it.
Fill out the form, take the quiz, submit the article, and then wait. Constant Content will let you know if and when they have accepted you as a content provider. At that point, you will also want to write a good short bio or profile statement, and provide payment information through Stripe.
Write your articles
Once you’ve been accepted as a writer for Constant Content, it’s time to write your profile and produce some articles!
By now you should have your list of subject expertise areas. Before writing, a great resource at the site to look at is called “Writing Ideas,” under the “Tools” menu. This will show you the titles of articles that other writers have submitted and sold (and their sale prices). This will give you an idea of topics that are hot and selling, and will also start to show you the categories that are available to write in. If I look at the list right now, some of the popular categories include “Home>Cooking,” “Health and Lifestyle>Medical,” and “Business>Management.”
By familiarizing yourself with the types of articles that sell, you can also start to learn how to write effective titles and how to appropriately price your attitudes. From the “Writing Ideas” page, you cannot click on the title and see the content, but it is still beneficial to check the page daily and get a feel for what sells.
Ready to write?
- Save yourself a LOT of time and read their Writer Guidelines first. I HATE reading instructions and skipped this at first, only to have my first articles rejected. Just go read it. It’s not long.
- Click on “Submit Content.”
- The service will take you to what looks like blog writing software. The interface is not as easy to use as is Medium’s, but if you’ve ever written a blog using TypePad or WordPress or Medium, most of the conventions should be familiar to you.
- Choose and enter a title. (Make sure it’s capitalized properly; use a tool like capitalizemytitle.com.)
- Choose a category and sub-category from the drop-down menu. You can only choose one per article.
- Set your price. Constant Content allows you to sell under a number of different “licenses”: “full rights,” which gives the customer the right to do whatever they want with your content and means the article they buy can be sold only once, to them; and “usage” rights, which means a customer must use your byline and accepts that the content is not unique, as you are allowed to sell the same content under this type of license to different customers.
- In the “Content Editor,” write your article. Paste your title into the beginning of the box. Follow conventional rules of blog-post writing; keep paragraphs short and snappy and break your article up using lists and headings and subheadings.
- Once your article is written, go back and write the “Short Summary.” The Short Summary is the “blurb” about your article, which is what most customers will read when considering your content. It should be at least three sentences long and include as many of your article keywords as you can fit in. It cannot simply be an excerpt from your article.
- Enter keywords in the Keywords box. Enter a lot of them, separated by commas, and don’t be afraid to use short phrases as well as keywords. These keywords will help customers find your content, and a knowledge of SEO and how best to use it can be advantageous here.
- Click “Submit Article.” Usually, within 24 hours, Constant Content’s editors will accept and “publish” it to your catalog (meaning it is live and available for sale), or they will reject it. They often provide the reason for your rejection — it can be as simple as one instance of the first-person voice — at which point you can edit your piece appropriately and re-submit.
Tips and tricks
There are a number of ways to maximize the time you spend producing content on Constant Content, and I freely admit I’ve not yet tried them all. Here are a few tips and tricks to fine-tune your writing.
Casting Calls and Public Requests
Most people who write about using Constant Content say that the real money to be made is found by binding and working for clients more directly, and on different projects like white papers, ghostwriting, and product description writing. When customers are searching for blog posts or writers on specific areas, they will post “Casting Calls” or “Public Requests,” to which you are invited to apply directly through the site.
Applying is easy and the calls are frequent. I have not yet utilized this tool directly, as the calls I have seen are for areas on which I don’t yet have the expertise: I have seen requests for QVC site product descriptions, blog posts about equal pay from the context of Latina Equal Pay Day, and writers with “strong firearms knowledge,” among many others. If you have articles already written that match a public request, you can also choose to submit that already-prepared content.
These invitations can be found by clicking on the “Requested Content” menu.
Write a Good Profile
In addition to your article summaries, customers can access your Public Profile. Make sure to tell them why you are qualified to write what you write about, and include information about your education. To write your profile, click on “My Public Profile” on the far right (under your login name). If you already entered information upon signing up, it will appear here. To change it, click on “Change Image/Bio.” You can find tips for writing a good biography at this link.
Make Use of the Site’s KnowledgeBase
When you first sign up with Constant Content, you will receive a number of e-documents and links to resources to learn how to use the site. Read them! Also, peruse the site’s FAQs and KnowledgeBase. A lot of the information is outdated, so make sure to check the date on the articles you read. What current information is there is very helpful and can help spark ideas for how to better your writing, keyword selection, and using all of Constant Content’s features. To access the KnowlegeBase, follow the link above, or click on “Forum” under the Tools menu. Then click on “Help.”
Check Out Others’ Work
It’s not easy to browse other articles, particularly those listed under the “Recent Sales” tab, but you can cheat slightly and see how other people are writing their bios, articles, and short summaries. This can be tremendously useful when fine-tuning your skills and learning your Constant Content craft.
To read others’ biographies and articles, first click on “My Public Profile” under your name. At the bottom there will be a list of your articles that are for sale. Click on any one.
You will see a preview of your story. However, more importantly, at the bottom of the page, you will also see links to “Other Articles You May Like.” If you click on those titles, you can see the article titles, short summaries, an excerpt from the article, a keyword analysis, and the author’s name (which you can also click on, to peruse their bio).
Particularly look for authors who have a large catalog (number of articles available or already sold) and high numbers of sales. Whatever they’re doing, you want to learn from them.
The bottom line is: Learn the site. Write your articles. Fine-tune your writing. Be ready to apply for public requests when they come up.
The pros of writing for Constant Content
There are several things I really like about producing articles for Constant Content.
It’s fast. Once accepted as a writer, you can start producing pieces immediately. Particularly when you are writing blog posts, the optimal length seems to be about 600–900 words. After writing such an article, it often only takes a day or two for editors to approve it, and then it’s immediately up for sale. Some of my pieces have found buyers within days; then the fee is credited to you and is paid out to your Stripe account on the 1st or 15th of the month. For a freelancer who is used to completing the work, submitting the invoice, and then waiting 30–90 days for payment, this is AWESOME.
It’s straightforward. This is where I make an unfair comparison between writing for Constant Content and writing for Medium. I used to spend a lot of time trying to write really well-crafted essays for Medium. Every now and then I had an article seem to resonate with readers and go “viral,” but they were never the essays I thought were my best. It was a total crapshoot, trying to guess what people might like to read. When writing for Constant Content, I can be more practical. I just think of things I’ve learned to do in my own life, or I do some research, and then I write simple how-to and descriptive articles. Almost everything I’ve written there has sold for more money per article than 90% of the articles I wrote at Medium.
It pays. The money isn’t great, but for the time I spend writing the articles, it pays better than most of the other writing and editing I do for pay. I like that I can set my own prices per article, and as I sell more, I have started to raise my prices.
All you have to do is write. I really dislike the business of “owning my own business” as a freelancer. I do not like sourcing ideas that seem “sellable” or pitching them to editors. I don’t like filling out forms and submitting invoices. I abhor networking. Constant Content takes care of all of that for you. All I do is write articles and throw them up for sale. If content customers like them, they buy them, and in less than 30 days, there’s money in my bank account. No painful pitches or back-and-forth discussion needed.
I think it has potential. I have a few problems when writing content, and I admit it. I need a better grasp of SEO. My titles stink. I tend to be too wordy. I think if I improve my writing in those areas, I will sell more articles. That feels a lot better than convincing myself that I’ll someday just magically be able to guess what Medium readers want (and then be able to produce it).
I can write anonymously. I actually write at Constant Content under a pseudonym, and I sell all my articles as “full use,” meaning whoever buys them can use them as they want, pass them off as their own writing, and never give me my byline. That’s okay with me for the type of content I write on the site.
The cons of writing for Constant Content
Nothing can be too easy (particularly for freelancers, who seem to have to work twice as hard as everyone else for half the pay), so there are some drawbacks to writing for Constant Content as well.
Constant Content takes a big cut. Constant Content is very up-front about the fact that writers only get 65% of their list price, and they get the rest. This means, if you write an article and price it at $50, if you sell it, Constant Content will keep a whopping $17.50 of that sale price (leaving you with $32.50). To some extent you can ease that pain by making sure to price your articles highly enough, but all the same, that is a hefty fee, and if you price your articles too high, they might be harder to sell.
It’s really weird to write without research. One of the weirder aspects of writing for Constant Content, as described above, is that they don’t allow any Internet links (or first-person writing) in your articles. Their reasoning is, people are buying your content to KEEP readers at their blogs, not to send them out to other sources and pages. There are various ways around this (some authors will list citations at the bottom of their articles without hyperlinks, refer to other research by referring to the author or institution providing the information, or say on their profile that links for any articles are available upon further request, to name just a few), and perhaps it is different if you find a client through Constant Content and work with them more directly, but I really miss backing up my suggestions or information with links and citations. It’s the former librarian in me.
There’s still some guesswork. I am still not very good at figuring out what Constant Content customers want. Of the articles I have written thus far, about half have sold, so clearly I need to do something better. (Although the site does say that their own research has shown that 85% of what people write for their catalogs does sell eventually.)
I am writing anonymously. I don’t believe that any of the articles I’ve sold will include a byline (which, for me when writing on this site, is a pen name anyway). I will not be able to point to any of the articles I’ve written or sold on Constant Content as article samples when trying to send pitches or get work elsewhere, and I will not be able to build my personal “brand” here.
Each month I have written for Constant Content, I have made more money than the month before.
I love that trajectory, and I think with a little more effort and revising, I can continue it. It’s been a long time since I felt that way about a writing gig or a blogging service.
Got any tips or questions of your own, or opinions about other writing services that you enjoy producing work for? Let me know in the comments! And best of luck to you.