In 2014 I got my start as a contributor to The Mighty. The Mighty, at the time, was branded as a website that was for parents raising children with disabilities. In 2014, they were smaller and less diverse, and many of the people writing for them were new writers or bloggers looking for exposure. By 2016, I had published more than 30 articles. I grew sour of the treatment I received as a contributor. During this time I realized The Mighty existed not to help the disability community but to profit off and exploit the community it served.
As the website grew, they began to diversify their content and began to include more topics, and started a public relations campaign to brand their site as a site for all individuals within the disability and mental health community. They began to feature more writers that were living with disabilities of their own, and I was happy to be a part of a community that I thought was doing good at spreading awareness about disabilities.
I was published by their site more than 30 times. Articles I have written for them, have been featured on Huffington Post and Yahoo Parents. Millions of people were reading and responding to the content I was delivering. I was churning out work that at the time I thought was amazing, but as I look back, I realize how green I was as a writer. I also realize how naive and inexperienced I was in understanding how the world of Digital Media worked.
In the entire time that I was writing for the Mighty, I never received a dollar. Each time I wrote an article for The Mighty I provided them upwards of 1200 words and digital images for free. For anyone that is not familiar with images for websites, all photos have copyright by the photographer that has taken the picture. For The Mighty to save money on royalties or paying for stock images, they had contributors provide photos to them for free.
Not only did they get their images for free, but they also got their content for free. New writers or individuals with small blogs commonly submitted articles to The Mighty. The Mighty consistently told writers they did not have advertising on their site, and they could not pay the writers. Somehow, they continued to get people to submit content and say “We will give you exposure.”
What I didn’t know then but know now is that real media companies will pay writers for their content. Generally, a 1200 world article can sell for $25 – $100 for a restricted license. If they had paid me $25 a piece, I would have received $750 in income. I never got paid, and they still don’t pay their contributors to this day.
When I contributed to The Mighty, I never signed a contract. I was merely a mom that was dishing them out content that was driving thousands if not millions of views to their page. In the world of digital media, the more page views you have, the more money the website makes. The Mighty was making hand over fist in income from contributors like me, and none of that income was being spent paying us for our work.
Can you imagine working for free?
However, you then see your employer’s business explode with success. Instead of paying you to work, they keep finding more people to work for free. All the money they make is going to only them.
The Mighty is an organization that pretends to care about the disability community. However, they are just another organization that preys on and exploits our community. Those of us in the disability community are under-employed, or unemployed due to our mental health, disability, or the needs of a loved one.
Many of their writers are adults living with disabilities. Most of the writers don’t hold full-time jobs. Many are looking for a way to earn money to live. The Mighty promises them exposure for free content. Writers pour out their souls and share their darkest secrets. None of the writers receive payment. The Mighty exploits all of them.
When I left work to care for my son, I looked to writing as a way to supplement my husband’s income. My goal is not to become a millionaire. However, I do expect that if someone wants to use my content, they will offer to pay me.
If you are considering contributing to The Mighty, please be careful. Any content writers provide to them is visible on their site indefinitely. The content you submit can generate them millions of page views. You will make no money for your work. Additionally, Editors can edit and publish your content without consenting you first. Titles are altered to generate Click-Bait hits.
For example, I wrote an article on Homeschooling. However, editors changed the title to a Click-Bait title that said: “Why my Child will never have an IEP.” This title drove views to their page. However, I received more than 1000 insults and derogatory messages sent to me.
The editors of the Mighty didn’t care about the comments. They told me to ignore them. Editors didn’t care about my attacks or my hurt feelings. I lost friendships in my personal life due to that article. They share this article on their social media to this day. I can say truthfully, the material they published was not the same as the one I submitted.
If you care about your craft, I would highly suggest steering clear from this organization and this website. Find an outlet that will pay for your content and will not edit your content for Click-Bait purposes. There are lovely media outlets that will pay for contributions. Take unpaid guest spots on independent blogs, and most importantly build your brand. Start a blog where you can control your content, your titles, and you can generate income.
Finally, writing for free for someone else makes no sense. Writers deserve payment for their work. Media companies like the Mighty take advantage of families and individuals in challenging situations. If you care about ethical media, support a smaller blog or an independent writer.
Don’t support The Mighty.
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