Summary: Are content mills – companies that provide quick, SEO-rich content in volume to brands – the best solution for your “I need more content on my website,” woes? Probably not.
When we want to create the best content experience possible, just how much do we want to streamline our content production?
I recently noticed a popular content marketing blog listing several text brokers, also known as content mills, to help brands with content creation.
Content mills and content mill brokers have grown in popularity with the rise of writers seeking self-employment and freelance opportunities as well as clients seeking web content to provide SEO critical mass and opportunities to crosslink. Content mills have sprung up like weeds clogging verdant online pastures.
Long term prospects for content mills
Fortunately the content mill model is destined to fail in the long term because Google, Bing and other search giants no longer reward truly bad content and low quality back links.
Winners going forward in content creation will be brands that create solid, unique content that real people want to read and share. A team of subject matter experts trumps a content mill’s pennies-on-the-dollar, freelance team. An engineer’s passion for their product and processes is shockingly obvious compared with a writer producing 300 words on the same topic.
In 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain “hard-core” pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it.”
People searching for an answer to their question online know good content when they discover it. Text brokers can fill a topic with the appropriate keywords and word count, but quickly streamline past readability. When content is custom, creative and in context, your reader/customer knows exactly what they’ve found.
White wall content
When your search uncovers mill-generated content that technically answers the question but without any passion, context, or additional detail, you’re disappointed and you continue your search.
Content mills are like painting a wall. You might not be building a storytelling mural or adding creative branding with detail and context, but simply painting to cover the wall – one color, one coat. This can be expertly done, and done quickly and efficiently, but it is simply a clean, white wall. A white wall of content is pleasant, but merely a placeholder for more inspired words.
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