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I Created A Content Mill, Made 50 Shitty Articles, and Here's The Results

Let's put our "shady" hats on for a second.  What we're about to do isn't technically illegal, but it's slightly spammy:

We created a Content Mill to crank out tons of articles!

Content Mill Machine


Sometimes this year I decided I wanted to get 10,000 visits per day on KopywritingKourse whether or not I published an article or not.  This means the traffic would have to come through organic search (Google, Bing, Yahoo) and clicks from referring websites.

Why 10,000 visits per day?  Because it's a great stream of traffic that allows the business to grow without direct input.  Based on the current numbers, here's the projected email signups for KopywritingKourse if we hit 10,000 organic visits per day:

On low days 3% of organic visitors signup to the email list:

10,000 X .03 = 300 free email signups per day.

On high days 5% of organic visitors signup to the email list:

10,000 X .05 = 500 free email signups per day. 

Getting 300 - 500 people a day to subscribe to my email newsletter is great, especially if those customers come to me organically (which means FREE)!

If the pace of new articles and traffic continues, by the end of this year KopywritingKourse should theoretically hit 10,000 organic visitors per day with no changes.

HOWEVER, I wanted to figure out some ways to maybe "boost" the delta acceleration of the traffic. So I asked myself:

"How can I 10x this growth?"

Content mill growth acceleration

One of the conclusions I came to was building a Content Mill.

A "Content Mill" is a system designed to pump out a shit-ton of articles.  This could mean either a huge network of paid writers, or unpaid guest posters.

A content mill doesn't care if the articles are good, it just plays a number game to get articles ranked.




How A Content Mill Works:

Content Mill Article

Let's say a content mill can create 100 articles in a month, here's how it plays out:

  • 100 articles are published per month.
  • 10% of those articles "bubble to the top" and start ranking in the search engines or gain social traction.
  • 10 articles now rank well in the search engines or bring in organic clicks.

Now this may seem like a silly way to publish since 90% of the articles are failures, but if you think about what Forbes, Business Insider, and a bunch of other "large media brands" do....it's exactly this!!

Forbes recently put out a note essential tip-toeing around saying, "We need more eyeballs so we can sell more advertising!!"

"In the past few months there’s been a drastic move toward ad viewability — in other words, advertisers only paying for the ads we can prove that people see. In addition, advertisers are increasingly buying premium ads for new content, not old.

To keep pace with these changes we need a reset on the way we’ve paid our contributors. Starting April 1, 2016 we’ll pay the same rate we now pay per visitor to content that’s within 90 days of publication. We’ll pay 25% of that amount for visitors to content more than 90 days old."

Basically what they're saying is:

more articles content mill

Networks like this that have large "contributor networks" pump out 1,000's of articles PER DAY.

These brands will have something like 20,000 contributors required to publish 4 articles a week.  This equates to 80,000 articles a month, or over 2,500 articles per day.

Let's say only 10% of those articles break out of the mold and gain some traction, that's 250 articles per DAY that get traction!

Nevermind the fact that 90% of the articles suck ass, these large publishers still get 250+ articles a day from their contributor network alone that get a fair amount of publicity!!


This shows that creating a Content Mill isn't necessarily the most efficient way about creating hit articles, but it's definitely a model that has worked for SOME companies.

So.....let's try making our own Content Mill! (Kontent Mill)?



Let's make our Kontent Mill!

Content Mill Machine

As a side-experiment I decided to create a little Kontent Mill.

I knew for sure that 90% or more of the articles produced would suck at first.  But that's part of the game: Playing the numbers.

In 4 easy steps I had a content mill up and running that didn't require me to write anything at all:



STEP #1.) Target relevant traffic and keywords.

targeted articles

Getting 10,000 hits per day means NOTHING unless people are signing up for the email list or buying products from me. If it doesn't bring me money, then I don't care. This means I don't want to attract the WRONG CROWD.

If I write clickbait articles on recent celebrity divorces, that will surely get some clicks, but it won't bring the right audience.

So the traffic needs to be targeted to the fields of marketing, sales, and copywriting.

I paid someone on Fiverr.com to fish me up 50 articles related to writing and copywriting (kind of like I did here). I got back a big ole list of keywords:

Copywriting SEO Keywords

So I knew WHAT to write, but writing that many articles by myself?  YEESH!




STEP #2.) Get other people to write the 50 articles ($445.25).

Bossing Other Writers Arouns

I already got stuff to do bruh....so I can't be the one making all these articles! If I wanted the Kontent Milll to post 1,000 articles per year, there's no way I could do that myself. Therefore I cannot be the one initially making the articles.

Instead I hired someone to be the organizer of all the content, and gave them a blank check to go hire writers on Fiverr to do the writing.  I've used Fiverr before to do a myriad of different tasks include got a blog post written on Fiverr for only $5.50, and it worked quite well.

Checkout a portion of the orders we placed:

fiverr writing ordersWe tried to keep it cheap and get only $5 gigs. We used several freelancers multiple times, and sometimes ordered extra fast delivery. Total cost for articles was $445.25.

I ain't gonna lie, if I had to write all these boring-ass articles I would've blown my brains out.

Thankfully there's people out there who will trade a small amount of money to pump out an average to low quality post for $5.00, and they completed every single article for me!


NOW......the quality of these posts kind of sucked balls.  And rightfully so!  We were paying people on Fiverr the lowest acceptable amount for each article, so you're not gonna get brilliant work done.

I was pleasantly surprised that not one article came back to us with plagiarism (we used this plagiarism checker for each article). I for sure thought 50% of these would come back positive for plagiarism and be unusable. They all came back legit-looking enough.





STEP #3.) Post the articles to a "Hidden" part of the site.

I didn't want the blog homepage to be cluttered up with enthralling posts such as "Prepositional Phrase Examples."

So we put them in a section of the KopywritingKourse site called "Writing Guides" and put it here:


Writing Guides


Here's all the articles we got made for the Writing Guides section:

We actually ran out of relevant articles to write, so we capped out around 38 articles in this section.

We then made another section called "The Glossary" where we defined different writing terms:


We made 10 articles here before stopping.  A lot of the traffic from these articles would most likely come from high school students looking up a word.

These articles for the most part all suck.  BUT, that's the game we're playing here (and why I forewarned you this "sneaky experiment" to boost traffic is slightly spammy).




STEP #4.) Wait and see what "bubbles to the top."


Any content mill expects that 90% or more of the articles will suck, but if 10% of the articles gain traction (either by social shares, website shares, or SEO rankings), then it was a success.

  • If you make 50 articles and 10% stick, that's 5 articles that worked.
  • If you make 100 articles and 10% stick, that's 10 articles that worked.
  • If you make 200 articles and 10% stick, that's 20 articles that worked.
  • If you make 300 articles and 10% stick, that's 30 articles that worked.
  • If you make 400 articles and 10% stick, that's 40 articles that worked.
  • If you make 500 articles and 10% stick, that's 50 articles that worked.
  • If you make 1,000 articles and 10% stick, that's 100 articles that worked.
  • If you make 2,000 articles and 10% stick, that's 200 articles that worked.

It often takes 6-12 months for an article to start "bubbling to the top."

For example, this humorous piece I wrote on how to scam people took about 3 months to start gaining some real traction in the organic rankings. Then after 6 months started to take off! It peaked around 9 or 12 months later.

This single post has brought in thousands of visitors, thousands of email signups, thousands of ranking search engine keywords.....all from one post that was free for me to write (although requires approximately 12 hours of work over several days):

Scam Post Lifetime Stats:


Everyday this one piece of content brings me several hundred new visitors.

Everyday this one piece of content brings me email signups.

Everyday this one piece of content keeps bringing in search engine traffic.

Everyday this one piece of content exposes my work to a new audience.

....all for free!

THAT is the power of a good piece of content.

However these Content Mill posts we cranked out were mostly huge pieces of crap.  Let's see how they did:



Results of the Content Mill Experiment:


Now let's take a look at the results of our shit-tastic articles we bought for $5.00 each:

Content Mill Guides Stats:

Guides Stats

These stats are horrifically bad!!!!

What's even worse is the bounce rates are SKY HIGH (often 100%) meaning every single person who visits the page from a search engine immediately leaves, and the email signup rates are pretty much 0%!!!  These stats suck suck suck!!!

Even posts I personally consider "not my best work" rack up far better numbers in a single day than all of these combined.

The "Glossary" we made has even more horrific stats.  They're so bad it's actually quite comical:

Glossary Stats:

glossary stats

Needless to say, so far this Content Mill idea has fallen flat, at least in the short term. I still think the idea can work, but it doesn't seem like something to invest more time in at this stage.

By publishing maybe 20 more good articles this year, we'll get to the 10,000/day mark just publishing at our normal pace.

Content Mills tend to work when a higher percentage of the articles gain traction.  In this case the traction rate was so low, and the quality low, it doesn't seem to be profitable to continue.

However for reputable brands like Forbes, their strong brand name allows them to get "guest contributors" that make some reasonably good articles.  Most of them suck, but at least 10% of the articles output are good.

As a much smaller company, it'll be harder for us to get the sheer scale Forbes can get.  Also, our business model isn't dependent on the sheer number of views the site gets.  This means a Content Mill might not be the best model to spend time and money on.

So it's been a VERY short amount of time, however I think there's a solid conclusion I've made for the content mill:

Stop spending time and money on it, and go back to creating few (yet higher quality) posts!


Mmmm. Did you like that?

If you liked this post describing how to start a Content Mill, consider downloading the whole post for your own files and joining the email list:


You'll get:

-- This whole post downloadable as a Google Doc, PDF, and Word Doc --

-- Weekly emails with awesome experiments like this --

-- Updates when a new post is live --


Hopefully you learned something and enjoyed this post!


Neville Medhora - Copywriting Course Kurator


P.S. What do you think about big content mills?  Like em?  Hate em?  Worked for one? Got questions I can answer?

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

Guest Neville


Glad you got a laugh out of this!

I probably won't remove the posts, and will maybe consider giving this post an update at either the 6 month or 9 month marks. I'm sure one or two of the posts will gain SOME steam by then.

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Guest Neville


Thanks Robert! I will considering doing a follow-up or update to this post at the 6 or 9 month mark.
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Guest Neville


Thanks Allen!

Hopefully just 50 extra articles doesn't hurt. From the experience I have with SEO over the years I don't think the articles will add much unless they get links, but they won't HURT much either.


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Guest Neville


Hey Sid, this is the plan eventually! Getting SUPER GOOD guest posts is my goal. Already have the criteria written and ready to go. Will prob launch it next month.
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Guest Neville


Hey Jon, that's why we stopped writing all the articles that were recommended to us. The topics just started getting too far out of line with the targets.

That's also why a lot of the bounce rates are 100%.....the topics are just people search for a quick definition which is gonna be flakey traffic.

It was still worth trying, and I'll update the results in 6 to 9 months with more analytics!

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I once worked for a content mill that still pays $2.5 for a 500 word article to new writers for their site. I wrote 5 articles and gave up working for them. Now I work for direct clients for $0.05 per word. Though it's not much, I like it because its changing my life gradually.

By the way I'm following your advice on writing copy. I'm almost done with the Boron Letters.

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Guest Jimmy



You now have data across 50 topics, you could make an hq piece about the top 10% pulling topics from your content mill. I see it as a spammy way to rack the shotgun.

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Guest Romeo Jeremiah


As you pointed out, the fact that you got views on some of the posts means that you're on to something. More specifically, the keywords were at least searchable and seemingly low in competition. That said, I think your conclusion is accurate for shitty $5 articles created from shitty keyword research. A better experiment, I'm sure, would be one created from keywords that were based on number of monthly searches > 100 and a keyword difficulty score less than a specific competition criteria. Then, the post written with those keywords should be optimized by, if at all possible, having the title, description, URL, and h1 tag including the keyword along with h2 subheadings using the keyword (or related keywords). There are also some other "tricks" such as having the keywords in the alt tag of your images and even putting the words in bold. Probably most important, the article should probably contain at least 1000 words. Having a shitty bounce rate doesn't necessarily mean the articles were shitty. Maybe the article answered the users search intent. If it did, it makes sense that the bounce rate would be high. If it didn't convert your readers into subscribers, it likely meant the content wasn't interesting, you didn't attract your target audience, or the page wasn't optimized to show your other interesting stuff (i.e. limited by a mobile design). My conclusion...there are too many variables in this experiment to determine that a content mill doesn't work.
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Next step? Shitty YouTube videos using the shitty articles as the transcription! Just please don't use automated voices. I hate those the most!
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I am curious if you ever considered a way to gauge the depth of copywriting for a specific keyword. Perhaps the results vary according to the competition? I have a client in a super competitive niche but the ranking pages are utter fluff. I'd like to try this approach with a different niche, I'm just wondering if there's going to be any variance in performance based on price paid per article.
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Guest Zakaria Desai


Ah! That was an anti-climax!

But thanks for taking one for the team :)

Kinda reinforces what Brian Dean advocates. Quality content + Outreach

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Guest Ricardo



Relevant traffic and keywords was part of the initial strategy, but from the screengrabs you posted the how-to's are basically too general, right? On the 2nd content mill test you can narrow it down to more sales oriented content.

The traffic will likely be more targeted. And if those articles are still crappy, you can get yourself covered by putting them into a contributor-network section. So people know they are not yours.

You might also want to check out Sean d Souza's blog, he is a guy that writes many, many, many, many, many articles per year. High quality, of course, written by him. So you can check out his literature to learn how he does it.

The Combo > Imagine the traffic mechanism (aka sign ups) you can create if you put up a contributors network (with fairly good/relevant content, but mainly 4 traffic), combined with your own stuff but produced in bulk.

Extra beef in your tacos!

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Guest Neville


Awesome you've moved on up!

Writing a quick 500 word article actually makes sense for some people living in countries where their currency is much less valued than the US, so cranking out 5 crappy articles a day can actually make someone a living there.

I choose not to write per word, but rather per hour or per project.

Good job finishing up The Boron Letters, it's amazing advice!

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Guest Neville


In 6 to 9 months I will re-visit the stats, see which articles are doing best, re-vamp those articles, and kill the rest.
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Guest Neville


Thanks Romeo!

I don't think it didn't work at all, it's just something I'm not going to continue.

However in 6 or 9 months I will check the stats again and post them, I'm sure at that time the results might change.

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Guest Neville


Not all experiments end up working! This was one that also might require more time and effort to work. With my limited resources I'd rather choose to output fewer yet higher quality posts.
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Guest Neville


Thanks for the tips Ricardo!

I think accepting lots of guests post and keeping only high quality ones can work.

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I'll be sharing this with my buddy who recently began a news website. Starting out in web journalism, it's really difficult to gain traction on more in-depth content. For that medium, bite-sized chunks of news and intriguing headlines really drive traffic. That type of application might benefit from a "kontent mill" strategy.

I like how you used this "failed experiment" to pitch your email list. Seems to me that this whole thing will have been a worthy investment on the strength of this article alone- don't you think?

Interested to see what transpires.

Really enjoying the emails btw. I learned a lot from the podcast episodes with you and Noah Kagan too.

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Something like serp metrics for a given keyword. Recently ahrefs came out with a keyword score to asses how many unique domain links would be needed to rank in the top 10 (probably not that accurate but a decent way to measure again the competition). Do you think there is some way to measure the quality of writing necessary in the same manner to determine what a reasonable budget would be for a specific keyword? For example, if I was gunning for a top 10 ranking in "Neville the Kopywriter" (not to discount your brand name at all btw) it would take a lot less writing skill to rank than if I were trying to rank for "liberal biased writing at the NYT." Hope that makes sense. Perhaps it's irrelevant but I think it's a valid question from an ROI perspective. How to consider if this experiment is a "failure" thus far simply because of its smallish dollar investment. If it were larger would it have mattered? And at what price point does it lead to conversions?
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Guest Scott Finney


Thank you Nev for writing this. I have a coffee project brewing. The project has me considering the Kontent Mill approach. It sounds good to publish blog posts while I ride my bike across the country this summer( finnious.com/ride/ ). Ya, I'll be riding a bicycle form Seattle to Washington DC this summer. Averaging 75 miles a day for 2.5 months. The thought of some cash flow coming in while I'm peddling down the highway is very exciting :)

Going the fiverr route to post something once a week sounds great, but after seeing your results, I realize I've got to take another route.

Maybe automating an Instagram account would have a faster audience building return.

Thanks for sharing your numbers. Greatly appreciated :)

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Guest Anon SEO


Hey Nev!

Good study, but there's so much missing to this.

To offer you a background on myself, I have been building "shitty" content farms since 2007, and I still make a wonderful living off of it (mid $xx,xxx easily per month). I'm talking websites with 10K articles+ per site written by $7 writers.

There's a few things wrong with your approach, but content farms DO work.

In a nutshell, here's the basic:

- Make sure your keywords are low in competition but get the searches. Ahrefs is a godsend here. Your articles are way too broad. I took one of your articles " how to write a cover letter for an internship." Too much competition here; even the best article ever won't rank without backlinks. Instead, using Ahrefs, I found something with much less competition "cover letter for an internship in computer science." Won't need much to boost once your gain authority. Hopefully you get the point here.

- Next, I always pay $1 per 100 words. It takes a long time to find a good writer (usually 1 in 50), but when you find one, they stick around. I just tell them to take the top 10 results, mash them together and make it easy on the eyes. Subheadings, bullet points, etc.

- Third, backlinks. Backlinks matter. They won't come to you, so you have to dig AND work. This is were people get really lazy. Guest posts. Resource pages. Scholarships. etc. Hire a VA, source the emails, send a template, 3-5 in 100 email success rate. Content farms are work but ARE very profitable.

Now, from there, you can milk your revenue or sell for 36x your monthly.

Once you get a system, trust me.. you don't have to work much. WAY WAY easier than dealing with customers, sending out email lists, etc. Just let people read your content, click the aff links and sit back.

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