Content Equals Money Writer Reviews

Updated Nov 19, 2019

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1.4
10%
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  1. "I had a positive experience."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Writer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Content Equals Money part-time

    Pros

    Since the reviews nearly prevented me from applying, I wanted to leave one once I had experience. They’re upfront about their expectations and requirements. Training is paid for and can be completed in a day with a little grinding. Assignments are usually clear and client notes can offer a lot of information, though not always in an easy to understand order. You’ll spend your first two weeks working as a probationary writer and having direct contact with the owner and lead editor. Very supportive, if mildly isolated environment, but I understand that’s a norm in remote work. That said, I chose to step down after my first week of probation to hopefully return later. Although they were completely clear about what they expected (around 800 words; the lower your editing requirements the lower your wph can be), *I* had no concept of how intensive that level of constant writing can be. It’s hard work. There’s a reason writers are associated with coffee so much, it’s downright exhausting. I haven’t been paid yet so I can’t address those concerns, but my experience with CEM was positive. At my first week probationary summary, I was told I would receive a performance bump on my pay scale, which I thought was nice for only having been there a week. They value quality more than quantity, though understandably they want a balance. Oh, and report your hours honestly for your own sake. If you don’t, you will most likely end up very overwhelmed, very fast. They don’t want to give you more assignments than you can handle – if nothing else, it costs them additional money when they have to delay deliveries or use extra editors. It also lets them see if you have weakness with a particular type of assignment and work around that. As a note about deadlines, I was incapable of meeting one of mine confidently (back to back picky clients, eek) and was honest about it once I realized. I was given another day for the assignment in question and no negative consequences. I’m sure missing deadlines isn’t something you want to do frequently, but I expected to be let go or get a bad mark on my probation because of it, and neither happened. In the end, I chose to step down because I recognized that I need to spend some additional time building my speed and work flow before I can pull those intensive hours. When I mentioned to the owner that I would like to return once I’ve improved, she graciously informed me that the door would remain open. A lot of other employers would have burned that bridge, I expect, so that’s worth noting. Summary version: My interactions with CEM itself were great and very communicative. I would recognize that writers/editors pursue any offers, but caution to take it slow and be honest with yourself.

    Cons

    It's harder work than someone from an office environment may realize (no such thing as downtime, really). The lack of community can be pretty isolating.

  2. Helpful (1)

    "Unfair Project Assignment - Glad I Left"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Staff Writer in Jacksonville, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Content Equals Money for more than a year

    Pros

    Fair pay. No word/internet tracking.

    Cons

    The projects you get are determined by your writer rating. A rating which, unfairly, is bestowed by the editors. The problem with this is the editors tended to play favorites - especially if you corrected their grammar in an email they sent to the entire company. Oops. I don't feel like I was treated professionally. I ended up with 90% of my projects being terrible, tedious, and impossible work. I HATED writing for one client in particular, and made this known multiple times. Guess which one I was assigned. :) I kept trying though, because I valued the job. But I was consistently marked down by the same editor, for the same client. It was a ridiculous cycle that I wouldn't have put up with for so long if I hadn't been younger and in need of the money.

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  3. Helpful (3)

    "Can't Believe I Ever Worked Here"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Content Writer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Content Equals Money full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    NONE. :) (If you were a former employee, I'm sure this smiley emoticon has now traumatized you.) On a more serious note, I was one of the seemingly lucky few that got paid and this job did help me in a few ways as a writer (learning the basics of web writing, discovering that I could write a lot more than I thought I could, realizing that I should avoid jobs like these).

    Cons

    I only worked here for 2 months, but I'm honestly not sure how I survived. I didn't post here back then because I didn't want to waste my time listing all the cons, but after seeing the recent reviews, I wanted to add in my two cents that yes, this company sucks. As someone who has writing experience (BA in English), but not much to show for it portfolio-wise, I thought CEM would be a stepping stone to practice writing and make some money. I even thought this was a great opportunity when I first got the job. But I couldn't have been more wrong. Amie expected writers to produce 1k words an hour, for 8 hours a day and 5 days a week, but that didn't include time for researching, editing, and breaks. I thought I wasn't doing well because I couldn't keep up, but I quickly realized I was being ripped off, from the $15/hr that was actually less than 1.5 cents per word to the fact that I couldn't use anything as a writing sample. I usually worked without breaks most days and spent up to 10-16 hrs a day researching topics and writing, all while logging less hours than I really worked (although I did truthfully record my hours once I realized what was happening) to meet deadlines. In the end, I left because I couldn't take it anymore. In less than 2 months, I had crammed my brain with information on everything from roofing to nursing homes to cryptocurrency. Each project consisted of several blog posts/articles and it took a toll on me physically and mentally. It might sound exaggerated, but the workload was no joke and almost everything was always due the same day it was assigned. When I finally quit, a part of me was frustrated that I couldn't stick it out but it just wasn't worth being underpaid and writing like a crazy person.

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  4. Helpful (7)

    "Terrible Workplace Culture/Business"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Writer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Content Equals Money full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    No pros worth telling about.

    Cons

    Please take the allegations against CEM and its owner seriously. I didn't and loved my job at CEM for years...until she stopped paying its employees. Six months ago, the owner used every excuse in the book to get away with not paying her hard-working employees a cent. She now owes multiple people thousands of dollars. Almost everyone who previously worked at CEM now has to file wage claims against the owner to try to get what she owes them. She has committed a number of shady business practices, but not paying her employees has been the worst. You'll notice you won't see any more job ads for CEM on Flexjobs or other reputable job sites. It's because she can't pay her employees, so notable sites will no longer allow her to post job ads. I can only hope this review helps others avoid the black hole that is this company and its founder. Plenty of other content writing jobs exist with stable leaders, simple ethics, and better pay. Do yourself a favor and stay far away from CEM.

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  5. Helpful (5)

    "Don't fall for this scam"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Writer in Elkhorn, NE
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Content Equals Money full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    No pros outweigh the fact that Amie Marse (company owner) will scam you out of your pay.

    Cons

    The owner stopped processing payroll, claiming there was a bank freeze. She encouraged all of the staff to stop working until things get resolved. The company does not seem to have a strategy to pay back wages to staff.

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  6. Helpful (6)

    "Don't Waste Your Time"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Writer in Elkhorn, NE
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Content Equals Money part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    My coworkers were genuinely good people.

    Cons

    The owner is unprofessional, does not pay her employees, and flagrantly disregards employment law. I sincerely regret spending as much time as I did at this company trying to make it work. Please seek employment elsewhere -- if you are talented enough to make it through the onboarding process, this company is not worth your time.

  7. Helpful (7)

    "PAY ATTENTION TO THE RED FLAGS!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Writer 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Content Equals Money full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Experience in a field you love.

    Cons

    There are so many cons to this place. The negative reviews you're reading here are the honest truth. I chose to ignore the red flags - the negative reviews because I thought it would be a great learning opportunity and experience. Learning opportunity? Yes. Opportunity? Not so much. One of the things I learned is not to ignore the bad reviews when you read them. Take my advice and don't ignore what you’re reading here. I’m an experienced writer and looked forward to moving into the world of online content with CEM. However, this is truly a "writing mill," disguised as a regular company with clients. You're expected to churn out a ridiculous amount of work as quickly as you possibly can. Don't let the pay fool you - it's by the word, not the hour. So, it's true when you read that you're almost forced to lie about how much time it took you to do a project to keep your hourly rate up. This means, either you'll give them extra hours and not charge them for it (which I did - silly me), or you'll rush through your assignment and the quality of your work might suffer. I don't know about you, but I much rather turn in quality work and have it take a little longer than rush through it and turn in a piece of crap. But they don’t care. Time is money. CONTENT IS MONEY. CEM. For the amount of work you are given, there is very little guidance from management. They put you through a ridiculous boot camp and expect you to retain everything you read there. They pay you a measly $20 for the boot camp that they say you can complete in a couple of hours. Not true…unless you’re a “speed reader.” It’ll take you much longer and you end up making about $1.00 per hour for the boot camp! Here’s the other thing - much of the content from the boot camp doesn’t pertain to the everyday workings of CEM. So, when you start your probationary period, you’re basically thrown to the wolves. They have a graph that you’re supposed to get your assignments from without any clear instructions on what the assignment is. You have to try and decipher what the assignment is! And then when you do, you’re sent an email with a condescending little smiley face, like that’s supposed to help you feel better about the fact that you did it incorrectly and it should’ve been done “another way.” Then you are then instructed to return to the boot camp. When you send an email asking for help, you receive another email about how you might want to take time and read through yet another boot camp (that you WILL NOT be paid for) and they include another smiley face. They love to send smiley faces. What they don’t love is communicating clearly and concisely with their employees. THEY AREN’T CLEAR IN THEIR INSTRUCTIONS. And don’t bother to ask for a phone conference. They don’t want to speak to you directly. Here’s what happened to me – I asked to speak to the owner after she hired me. I was told that because I was one of their “best writers,” I was going to be assigned to work with their best client. However, after I started doing the work, it was clear that I was struggling with some of those assignments and wanted/needed clarification. I also wanted to discuss a change in the assignment to something more suited to my writing style. She wouldn’t take my calls. She insisted we do it by email. They tell you in their newsletter that if you’re struggling, you should set up a conference call with them – no problem that “they’re there to help in any way they can.” That’s a bunch of BS. She refused to speak to me one-on-one. And by the time (in an email) she realized that part of the problem was that I needed a phone call (which I confirmed in my email back to her), it was too late for both of us. We were frustrated and there was no turning back. I wasn’t given the opportunity to speak with her – this is how they treat one of their “best writers?” I am not some disgruntled ex-employee. I’m fine with the decision and felt a HUGE relief when it came to an end. I just need to put this out there so you know ahead of time what you’re getting into if you decide to work for them. You’ll gain experience. And you’ll also “gain”: frustration, exhaustion, aggravation, anxiety and you’ll be overworked. You’ll also gain an amazing sense of awareness and relief when you realize this job isn’t for everyone – including you. Good luck!

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  8. Helpful (3)

    "Run for the hills!!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Writer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Content Equals Money for less than a year

    Pros

    NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE (5 word minimum)

    Cons

    The owner is insane. She is really demanding and rude. She expects you to drop everything to make $12 an hour on some last minute, mind-numbing assignment. Writers are treated like garbage. What she needs is a robot to pump out crappy content so she can keep making money.

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  9. Helpful (12)

    "Five Nightmarish Months"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Writer in Fort Myers, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Content Equals Money

    Pros

    This job is great if you enjoy receiving mundane writing assignments about every topic under the sun, thrive on impossible-to-meet deadlines, and live for the thrill of not knowing whether your paycheck will show up on time.

    Cons

    Against my better judgment, I quit my full-time job to work for CEM on a freelance basis. They market it as being just like a regular job, with paychecks every two weeks. Unfortunately, pay is rarely received on-time, and every two weeks I had to contact the owner to find out when it would be deposited. I would receive a different excuse every time as to why it was late, and on average, would not receive it until a week after it had been promised. Despite the owner's ability to pay contractors on time, they are often inflexible about granting extensions on writing projects. When the standard is 1,000 words/hour and you are writing about something you've barely even heard of (industrial tubing? Web hosting?), an hour goes by pretty quickly. I found myself in a constant state of panic, often waking up in the middle of night in a cold sweat, heart racing, trying to write a blog in my head. Although you may technically walk away with $16/hour, the cost to your mental health is far from worth it. The industry standard for writing and blogging varies, but 1.6 cents per hour is ridiculous. If you are serious about writing for a living, don't degrade yourself with this "opportunity." You would be better off getting a secure job with benefits and writing about what you're really passionate about in your spare time. I haven't written since my time with CEM; I'm still burned out six months later.

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