When you are running the gamut of content mills the way that I have the last few months, you are going to find some good ones and some bad ones. I will admit that I did not hold very high hopes when I first signed up for Blogmutt. I did so because it had a cute name and I knew that I was going to write this article. I had already read a spirited debate regarding this new mill on the Linkedin message boards and there was so much back and forth between its proponents and its detractors that I knew that it was bound to be worth my while to satisfy my curiosity. Even though I winced at their motto "We work like a dog to fill up your blog" I was in for a surprise. What I found is that Bloggmutt is a good place for a writer with very little experience in paid blogging to get their feet wet and find their niche while getting paid a fair rate.
What Blogmutt does right
One of the things that makes Blogmutt most unique is its fixed-rate pricing system. You will not find a tiered system like other mills where a writer is assigned a star rating that defines them to potential clients and sets the rate that they command for their work. All Blogmutt writers are paid 8 dollars for every blog that they publish, but the length of blog entries are typically much shorter than articles or other forms of content writing. With lengths ranging between 300 to 400 words most writers who are supporters of Blogmutt's pricing consider it a fair rate compared to other mills. Detractors are quick to point out that clients are under no obligation to accept any work that is submitted and may receive twenty submissions that they may compare and choose from when they only need three.
No matter how you feel about the pay rate, it is wonderful that there is no minimum pay out. You can request your earnings at any time and they will be paid quickly via Paypal. I will not be able to settle the debate about the rate of pay in my review, but as a writer I immediately found the transparency of the entire process fascinating. You are able to see every article that a client has accepted, rejected or published as well as having access to all of their comments regarding what is right/wrong with the work. As I have said before, I am a big fan of transparency in the writing process and reading these comments quickly became the first thing I would do before writing an article for a Blogmutt client. As a result, I found that my rejection rate on Blogmutt is almost supernaturally low because I had ample information about what these clients want and don't want before writing a single word. It also helped that I could opt out of writing for clients that were overly demanding or unrealistic, and Blogmutt has no shortage of other clients that you can write for if you encounter these individuals.
Blogmutt also does one thing that other content mills have never done and in all probability will never do. They offer an equity share in the company to their top performers. Thsi give a real incentive to write a high volume of articles, because the more that are accepted and published the higher your writer level goes. Once you reach level eight you qualify for the stock options. How much this will ultimately be worth is anybody's guess, but it is all-but unique in the industry.
What Blogmutt can improve on
With all that said, there are some areas where Blogmutt can improve. Despite the transparency in the writer/client correspondence you are still required to write under an assumed identity. While this is appropriate in the respect that you are ghost blogging, the fact remains that this protects the writer from accountability. Writers always do better work when they have to put their name to it, whether it is to the public or to a single client. As and example, a writers public profile does not have a star rating, probably so that clients will regard the writer's submission on its own merits. This is commendable on its own, but other features such as the writer being able to determine which (if any) client comments regarding their work can be viewed through their public profile puts the client at a disadvantage.This anonymity is intended to prevent writers and clients to jump to a working relationship off platform, but as I have said before this is an unrealistic fear that too many mills have fallen victim to. If Blogmutt "unmasks" its writers they should not be surprised to see a huge increase in article quality and client contentment.
Another problem is the awkwardness of the platform in general. It is not very intuitive and seems to be designed with the express purpose of being different from other mills. For example, the first step in finding a client to write for is clicking a button marked "research." Wouldn't it be a little easier to click "write an article?" Once you do click on that it will give you a drop-down that gives three options: Urgent 7, Search, and New Post. If you click the latter, you will be directed to a random client to post for. The one that most writers will want to click on will be search, which lists all the clients, but the list is more concerned with definite metrics such as number of articles posted and not at all concerned with what topics those articles cover. There is room for improvement in this database, although with a little bit of practice and searching with specific keywords it is possible to find the right client for topics you wish to cover.
A promising start
If you want to get started in freelance blogging but have no experience in the arena, Blogmutt is an excellent place to start. You will be able to practice your craft in relative anonymity for a fair rate and will learn valuable skills such as client management. The Blogmutt platform invites competition, and you will be competing against every other poster for a finite amount of publishing slots. There is a definite sense of accomplishment when you get a notice in your email that your article has been published. There is a dark side to this, however, in that even acceptable articles may take some time to be published. Some of my articles have lingered in the publishing queue for months, even having later submissions published ahead of them. When starting on Blogmutt, it is important to manage your expectations and move on to the next article rather than dwell on those that you have already written. Blogmutt represents a unique content mill experience that provides transparency and a pay scale that defies how the other mills do business. Even though there is room for improvements, I have no doubt that they have earned their four stars.