(This post started out as a reply on this blog post, but got so long that I thought it was better to just post it here and reference it on that blog - SCY)
At Blogmutt, we serve businesses that have a blog, but just don't have the time or ability to write. Most of them have a small marketing budget, and they would never have enough time to figure out how to use one of the content providers. Blogmutt just makes it super easy for the business. I mention this about our customers so writers will know that we are not some spammy page-creation thing; our writers serve real people with a need for original blog content.
From the writers' perspective, we are also different because we tell the writers what they will make right up front. There's no "black box" like there is with the content farms.
I know it's a drag for long-time writers to see yet another writer opportunity that pays less than top-shelf fees for freelance pieces. I get it. I was a writer at daily papers for a decade, and I worked freelance for a long time, and I "co-wrote" a book last year.
I still feel good about what we are doing, however, because there are a lot of aspiring writers out there without good options for starting out. Most seasoned writers will tell you some story about how hard they worked for their first paper for peanuts. (In my case it was $17,500 a year after paying almost that much in tuition the year before.) The problem is that the paper they worked at is now closed, or has a newsroom that's half the size it once was. The options they had no longer exist.
That's why Blogmutt may be a good option for some people who, for instance, have an English degree but are working as a secretary or a "coordinator" in a big agency. Others may have always enjoyed writing, but they are staying at home with small children, and they'd just like something real and tangible to do for a couple of hours a week. The money isn't great, but they'll be able to rack up some legit professional accomplishments that they can put on their LinkedIn profile when they do reenter the work force. And most of them say that it's kind of fun, learning about new stuff as they write posts for niche or local businesses.
We have those kinds of writers approved and working for our customers now, and they are doing a fantastic job. We also have a couple of more seasoned writers. They wish the money was better, of course, but they like the fact that they can come in, write, leave, and not have a laborious editorial process. And if they've been writing for a while they probably have the ability to write really quickly, so their per-hour rate isn't all that bad.
I write this in empathy with everything that Julie wrote in her post, and I just hope that she and others will hold Blogmutt as something that's not a content farm, not a scam, not slave wages, but is instead a realistic and respectful new approach that really works for businesses and for writers.