The Ramblings of a Somewhat Unstable Mind

You Call This Living?

For the first few years that article collection and distribution sites, otherwise known as article mills were paying writers for knowledge based articles, many writers were finding that they could, indeed, make over $500 a week writing constantly, as long as they were writing quality content. If you could post 2 articles an hour, and receive $15 per article plus revenue share (RS), and that RS then earning you another $10 to $25 per article per month, after having a few thousand articles in your portfolio you could start making really good money. Problem was that the word got out (the sites advertised).

Steadily, his bank account rose by pennies a day.

Thousands upon thousands of new “writers” join up. Content gets crappier. More good writers leave in disgust. Shareholders shiver in sheer fear. New owners get confused, decide to offer $1 upfront payment for some articles, half of what used to be offered. But with a major decline in monthly revenue share income, the beginning of the end for good writers supplying writing sites with quality content is at hand.




Hold on, I’m getting there.

Why did these article mills have to go and advertise that if you could write, you could earn a great, sustainable income? All of a sudden the ranks of writers swelled, and the quality of content tanked. Writers who were making a few hundred a month were now making a few bucks a month, and the exodus began. Now, most of these sites are filled with sup-par writers, and the few writers who need the money so bad that they just hang in there, taking whatever they can get.

But, on the flip-side of this coin, there are writers at Helium who earn over $50,000 a year! Gads, wish I were one of them!

Is it just the plummeting revenues that causes many writers to leave these article mills, or are there other reasons? There are many people on social networking sites that have nothing but bad things to say about these sites and the writers, newbies and hobbyists who submit content to said sites. With over 300,000 writers at alone, there is obviously a place for these sites on the internet and in society. Instead of bad mouthing the sites and contributors endlessly, why these people don’t just move on and get on with their sorry little lives is beyond this contributor.

Live and let live, write and let write.

But, with the quality of the content on these writing sites tanking, mostly due to the influx of people looking for ways to supplement their sub-living wage incomes, the better writers are now in position to earn more money on these sites. When publishers look for filler material for the magazines, e-books, websites and whatnot, and they find a few good writers who can write what they require, those writers are gobbled up by the publishers to submit content on a regular basis to them directly.

Can a writer earn a living wage doing this? Most definitely. But, be aware that only those writers who can submit quality content on a regular basis are earning more than a few pennies a day, on a portfolio of over 1,000 articles.

Comments on: "Can Online Article Writers Earn a Living Wage?" (14)

  1. That was a good post. I haven’t submitted any articles for a while, but I’ve been wondering about the number of articles floating around out there–the number is absolutely staggering! I like your blog and I’ll be back!

    • Thanks for the visit, Sandra, always a pleasure!

      It is truly amazing how many blogs are popping up, isn’t it? With probably a few million people blogging, some posting more than a few a day, I wonder when this thing’s going to run out of memory… makes me think that some day I might be cut off in the middle of a sentence or somet

  2. Hi There, I’m here on your invite.
    I am one of those writers who has thousands of high-quality articles, things you have to come to me to get becauause nobody else has them. I am unique and I am world-class, my name will pop up on google searches on a reguar basis.

    And what does this get me? Basically nothing, nada, zip (with that emphatic lip-smack at the end of “zip”). I barely maintain my status as a professional author.

    My best offer to do a book for somebody ended with the terms of the deal, “And we’ll give you ten percent”

    HA? Vas you tryink to be funny dere, kiddo?

    “OK, twenty percent, but don’t tell the other guys or they’ll get jealous”

    So I didn’t go for the deal and I’m not “Officially” published yet. Just seems it would do me more good to wait for the next one after that guy came my way.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

    • Thanks for the visit, Dale! Always a pleasure to see new people who may one day become complete strangers…

      Actually, in your shoes, I would have taken the deal, just to get my foot in the door. A quickie book deal is a lot quicker than writing a few thousand articles to replace the money that deal could have garnered. Wouldn’t you just kick yourself up the butt daily, twice on Sundays, if he made the screenplay, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Jason Stratham and Angelina Jolie got the lead parts and it sold a half-Billion dollars worldwide? Everybody starts somewhere, right?

      I hope your career takes you where you want to go.

  3. Two more Darn Old Blogs, Wait For It

  4. The Original and Best!

    • I hope that you’re referring to my blog with that? hehe

      Thanks for the visit, Dale – anyone ever tell you that you have a very similar name to a guy on the show “King of the Hill”? Sure hope that’s the only resemblance!

      Write on, Dale!

  5. With the number of ‘hobby’ writers on the rise, it can be hard for professional writers to get their work seen. I agree that if someone isn’t interested in the content mills they shouldn’t be continueing to submit their work there and spreading negative vibes around the websites. Well written post!

    • Thanks for the input, and the visit! Both are very welcome here!

      Yeah, with well over 350,000 writers, a site like Helium has no choice but to delete the far-inferior batch of articles every now and then. Imagine being a publisher, looking for material to purchase. How long are you willing to trawl a place like helium looking for what you need? The now just look at the front pages and the contest winners, as well as writers that they’ve purchased from before and been happy with their content.

      Trying to start out? You better be really good these days, even at article mills, because there is at least 10x the competition there was just 4 short years ago.

      • Not to brag but… yes I stand behind my work and am capable of setting myself apart from competition. Competition, no sense looking them over when it’s my own writing I need to be most focused on.

  6. Yes, you’re dead on there – forget about what others write (well, except for me, of course!) and concentrate on your own works – that’s the only way to ensure that you don’t go off the path and into first person drivel.

    I’ve had the pleasure to read some of your Helium works, and yes, you are a great writer – you really should try a blog out, one that sets yourself up for advertiser interest (not saying poetry won’t do that, but you, me, everyone else needs to find a series of posts that will draw in a lot of constant readers).

    I like to write a certain way, and at Helium and other sites it’s not accepted (as you can understand from reading some of my posts). I find that some of my best works at Helium are rated very low, but they get purchased by publishers through the stock content program – i usually sell 3-5 articles a month that way.

    pitter, patter, let’s get at ‘er!

  7. Good for you on Helium! Yes I have been thinking more about your advice to take up a second blog to bring more followers. Have you decided to make this one your primary? I recall you had a few on the go at one time.

    • Did you get that email from Helium yet? One writer made over $35,000 in 2011 – how? where? who? must have been one of the originals, the ones that get all the CS gigs (like the CanPages one) – there was a CS gig paying $35 per, with 10 allowed per week – i haven’t been accepted for any CS gigs yet, even though I am well qualified – they keep going to the same people (i know this from some higher-ups).

      What can ‘ya do, eh?

      Yes, this is going to be my primary blog. I’m just learning about Pages, Blogs and Posts, and the sub-classes for each… still trying to figure out why some posts have the Like button and some don’t, tho…

      Thanks for all that you do, and the help that you provide – with more friends like you, we could all be quite successful and happy!

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