Jump to content
Learn & utilize persuasive language.

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 Sean Lydon


The *ones* - please excuse the pedantry - what we call a "grocer's apostrophe" here in England... Great blog, so much worthwhile content!
Link to comment
Guest Tim


Glad you spent the $ and not me. USD$500 buys me a new set of cycling wheels or 1 Angus steer. (I am not joking.)

I tried this ages ago and same results: rrrrreally poorly written article.

Although, let's say you did continue this, let's look at the "hidden section":

Is that just a page with links to other pages? Or

Published on your WP "blog" feed, in which case you'd need to wack them in a category and tell WP not to publish those in the blog loop. I think Google has SEO ranking for having a "blog" so you probably want them to appear on your "blog" somewhere but not in your main feed?

Link to comment
Guest Tim


Great comment. I am looking at my first one, and it's pleasing to see your comments.

My strategy (and I am not seeking free advice from you here) is a mix of outlinks to other sites (with nofollows maybe) and content mill articles.

And the outreach.

So, it turns out I do have two questions

1. How do you monetise. You mention aff links: Amazon? Btw, one of my sites does ok with afflinks in a particular industry (but it's mid 000's a month not 00,000's like you) with afflinks to online stores. However, everyone is onto it now, so it's less profitable so it becomes a numbers game. So, how do you use your afflinks? In post? Sidebars? Etc.

2. How else do you monetise.

3. Would love to hear omore about the outreach piece of work tied into ahrefs (exxxxxpensive)

Link to comment
Guest Anon SEO


Hey Tim,

Honestly, people love to crap on Adsense, but if you're in the right niche, you can make okay money. We're talking $10-$15 per 1K views. Add in some affiliate links from Amazon and reputable affiliates on CJ.com, etc, and we're talking $25 per 1K views if done right. Just make sure the aff links are relate-able and reputable.

For example, one of my 2 yr old content sites gets 40K views per day @ about $18 per 1k when everything is factored in. Do the math: $720/day easy. Just people viewing content. No BS with customers, etc. I can walk away for a few weeks, etc.

Mostly, mix in your affiliate links naturally inside your content but make sure you have a disclaimer on your website for legal reasons.

As for outreach, I highly recommend AuthorityHacker. Just Google it. Knowledgeable guys with same approach.

Also, don't be cheap with your tools. You get what you pay for. I invested $80 (cut back on your lifestyle if need be.) When I started using their KW tool, I saw incredible results.

Link to comment
Guest Home Business Links Vol 1 Issue 4 - Jon Clayton Writes


[…] I Created A Content Mill, Made 50 Shitty Articles, and Here’s The Results […]
Link to comment
Guest The Unsurprising Result of Focusing on Quantity over Quality in Your Blogging | Databox Blog


[…] Unfortunately, it ended up being a waste of time. Some of the blogs even had bounce rates of 100%! Not only did the posts rank poorly, but the visitors were unwilling to take any further action after reading the blogs. See his full results. […]
Link to comment
Guest Neville


Bahahha, if you keep reading my site you'll notice I am (maybe to a fault) lax on my grammar. In my head if the words convey what you mean correctly, I'm not a huge stickler.

Thanks for the kind words though Sean :)

Link to comment
Guest Neville


Hey Marc, that's all done in your pre-SEO research.

If you notice there's an easier keyword to dominate, it can be useful to go after that. For example, if you sell Business Cards, it might be easier to write an article about "Business Cards for Moving Services" than just an article about Business Cards in general.

You definitely have to pick your spots when determining what to write.

I would suggest maybe following Brian Dean of http://backlinko.com/ for more stuff about this.

Link to comment
Guest Neville


Hey Jon, as a way to salvage the failed experiment, at least I got this post out of it!

I think for a news site a combination of long-form and short-form is going to be the ideal mix. News is fresh and quick and frequently updated, but there's gotta be some long-form and more in-depth stuff also.

Link to comment
Guest Neville


Hey Scott! I think your best bet is to have people follow your personal journey, not just write random-ass articles about coffee.

For a lot of my clients, a SINGLE PIECE OF GREAT CONTENT has frequently brought it more traffic and leads than all their other crappy content combined.

Be warned that if you simply "post a buncha crap" your results might turn out crappy too :)

Link to comment
Guest Neville


Damn Anon, fantastic post :)

I completely agree with everything you said. I bet I could make a content mill work in the right industry, but the traffic I was looking for during this experiment was harder to get this way.

If in 6 or 9 months I see a change in the numbers (very likely), I may continue spending money on it. Thanks again for your comment, super cool info :-)

Link to comment
Guest Neville


Hey Tim, I just don't want crappy articles clogging up my feed. It's just lame and I tarnishes the brand.

The more important factor is if these articles are getting linked from other places. Even if they're not prominently linked on the home page, if OTHER sites are pointing to them, that matters even more.

Link to comment
Guest alon gouldman


A friend of mine hired a full time Philippines Lady to whrite for him. He worked hard to find her, but she whrites a lot and good quality. Maybe this can work for you too!
Link to comment
Guest Eddy Baller


I wanted to do the publishing site model on my site but the submissions so far have been terrible. Writing is definitely a real skill which most people don't have.
Link to comment
Guest Ash Waechter


Thank you for writing this article. This clears up my thoughts about Forbes. Often, I would see a link on Google going to a Forbes article thinking that it would be an interesting read, but I was almost always disappointed. Now it all makes sense. Thanks.

On another note, I had a blog where I wrote one article about Donald Trump. It got over 500,000 views and 343 comments in a six month period. But every other article averaged around 124 views and three comments. Sometimes, you get lucky.

Link to comment
Guest Arjen Z


So, this is a very interesting article and I would like to thank everyone contributing. Was impressed by Anon SEO's additions as well.

Anyway, immediately I thought of a _unique_ extra feature(s) which you could try out that would fit your site very well, Neville:

Take the Kontent Mill as it is today and

- Display the metrics of past x period.

- Add a possibility for copywriters to claim one article and take the challenge to upgrade it

- [Gamify incl ratings and scores]

- Every x period later, article metrics are reposted and some karma awarded to the copywriter who rewrote it

- Article is free once again to be claimed by some other copywriter, ready to take the challenge to improve

- etc etc

Win - win:

- You get much more traffic/conversion

- Copywriters get juice, ratings and exposure

Anyway, just thinking of that.

Another thing that crossed my mind: Since you are being 'scammy' anyway, you might as well point some expired domains with good tf/cf ratio to the Kontent Mill and measure what that does with it. Might get you some more traction and increase the TR quite a bit (do it myself here and there as well: good results)

So, thank you and I will subscribe to your newsletter.

Link to comment
Guest Arjen Z


PS: "Download this post as e-book": Never seen it and find it quite brilliant. Chapeau :)
Link to comment
Guest Neville


Hey Arjen, that works very well to get people to download and signup to the email list. It gives them an extra incentive. Try it out!
Link to comment
Guest Neville


That's actually a really great idea Arjen!

The only bias that would be shown is that some articles will be harder to rank than others, and some will have more search volume than others.

But pitting copywriters against each other could be a really fun way of coming up with some great content!

Link to comment
Guest Neville


Hey Ash, I feel ya on that. I'll click a Forbes article, read, and just be like, "Ughh that didn't say ANYTHING the title implied."

It happens enough to where I'm usually skeptical to click the articles sometimes. HOWEVER, I still click them and read them. Forbes would consider this a victory since they judge their success by views.

Cool you had a random article take off like that, a lot of it is luck and just constantly churning out content!

Link to comment
Guest Neville


Hey Eddy, that's exactly how the content mill model works: Churn out a bunch of crap, but if 10% is good, then it's a success!
Link to comment
Guest Rajeev Bagra


It is easier for an online publisher to rank high on organic search results of Google (or any other search engine like Yahoo, Bing) because of the volume of content generated being in the business of online publishing. Google loves fresh content, and the website should rank high in a large set of keywords.

On the contrary, if say you operate a real estate portal that connects buyers and sellers, your strength is portal technologies. While you may also maintain a blog section plus generate additional contents with the likes of press releases, visitors' comments, still they do not form the core area of your expertise. To maintain a whole group of content writers and SEO experts may not be viable under constraints of money. Also, getting rank on top pages of organic search results takes time which may be weeks and months. So, it makes sense then to spend on paid ad campaigns like Google AdWords for generating leads and sales.

Link to comment
Hey, any updates on this one? You'd said you intended to revisit the articles that would bubble up 6 months later. Have you gotten around to that, or have you abandoned the experiment altogether?
Link to comment
Those Content Mills are the reason why I don't read websites like Forbes or Business Insider. Thank God it didn't work and you didn't change Kopywriting Kourse into F#@$in Kontent Mill
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Join 55,000+ people getting our newsletter

    nev-and-logo-going-into-email (3).gif

    - Get notified of new posts -
    - Get weekly S.W.I.P.E.S. Email -
    - Get a free masterclass in copy -
    - People love our emails, see testimonials -

  • Create New...