Monday, December 28, 2009

Writing Sites - My Year in Review

Hi all,


It has been a wonderful writing year for me in 2009 full of new and interesting writing opportunities and also a few flops. But, live and learn. I’ve very much enjoyed sharing new sites with all of my blog readers and trying them myself to see if money could be made. So now I’d like to share with you each of the sites I did write for in 2009 and what my experiences were with each of them. Remember though, that each person has their own likes and dislikes about certain sites and just because a site isn’t a good fit for me doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be for you. I just want to share my experiences and would love to hear about all of your experiences with different writing sites too. Here goes…

Associated Content – I’ve been with Associated Content (AC) for two years so this wasn’t a new site for me in ’09. However, I continue to add articles there from time to time and earn a few dollars each month. I consider it a small extra income and most of the articles I place there are re-prints. I made more money there this year than last and even moved up to the $1.60/1,000 level. I will continue adding to AC and see how it grows, although I am sure I will never get rich there. See my review of AC.

Constant-ContentConstant-Content (CC) has continued to be the highest-earning site for me and this year was no different. I enjoy the flexibility of writing for CC and also the fact that I can name my price on my articles. I haven’t spent much time writing for CC this year, yet I earned a good income from the articles I had placed there in the past. I will continue writing for CC in 2010 and maybe even go back to writing on a regular basis in order to increase my monthly income. Before trying CC, read my review of the site. So many people join and then are disappointed when they don’t follow the rules and guidelines. If you are a good writer, you can do well there. What do I mean by well? Some writers at CC earn $1000-2000 each month. When I was placing articles there part-time, I would earn anywhere from $100-350 a month. CC is really worth checking out if you are a good writer.

Demand Studios – This was my first year writing for Demand Studios (DS) and I did enjoy it at first but lost interest after awhile. When I find a topic there that I am excited about, I do enjoy writing for them. However, I didn’t like their new rating system because I thought it was demeaning to the writers. I think I will put DS on the backburner for now and only write an article from time to time in order to stay on their writer’s list in case I decide I’d like to add to my income with them. The truth is I can make more money at Constant-Content per article without having to deal with silly re-writes. I know several writers who love writing for DS and earn a good income there, so if it is the right fit for you, wonderful.

eHow – This was also my first year with eHow and I have enjoyed writing for them very much. They are my second-highest wage earning site for the year and next year I know I will make a good residual income from them too. I know that there are publishing problems at times and the sweeps can be frustrating, but I am going to hang in there for the long haul and see how much I can earn.  Read my review of eHow.

Examiner – This was my first year with Examiner as their Minnesota Heart-Health Examiner and I have been enjoying writing for this site. I am not making as much money there as I’d hoped, but I plan to stick with it in 2010 and see how things go. I did get one referral there, and that made up for the low earnings. I also recently placed an article there that did get high earnings, so if I am careful with keyword choice I think I could do much better there. I know that some people make a good residual income there, so it is worth it for me to build up an article library there and see how things go. ( See my review of Examiner.)

FireHow – I did sign up for FireHow this year and gave it a try. I’m kind of on the fence about this site. My articles are earning money there, but not at the same rate as they do at eHow. Also, I have had trouble getting on the site over the past few weeks, so I’m not sure what is going on there. I do think this is a good site for writers who are starting out and could end up being as good a moneymaker as eHow in the future. So I’m going to keep it on my radar and see how things go with it. See my review of FireHow.

Life123 – When I first reviewed Life123, I never really intended to write for them. However, my curiosity got the best of me and I did submit two articles to see how quickly they earn the first $5.00 from the first 50 clicks. Unlike other sites I write for, those first 50 clicks are very hard to get even though I added the articles to every share site that I belong to. It took about 20 days to earn the first 50 views on one article I have posted there, so I have earned $5.00. However, since it takes 500 more views before I earn the next $5.00, I’m not holding my breath for that. I’m hoping that as Life123 grows, getting views will become easier. So I am going to keep my eye on this site and probably add one or two more articles to see how they do (I will try some popular keywords this time). I’m not sure yet if Life123 is a keeper for me, I’ll let you know later in 2010. See my review of Life123  Update: Life123 is no longer accepting articles.

Orato – I joined Orato this year and it seemed like a good up-and-coming writing site, but I am sorry to say that I am rather disappointed in them. My earnings have been extremely low considering that several of my articles were popular with readers for a long period of time. I’m going to place Orato on the farthest backburner and check in on them from time to time. The site does have the potential to grow in the future, but for now I need to spend my time on other sites that are more profitable for me.  See my review of Orato.

Suite101 – If you have been reading my blog, you already know that I am disappointed in my earnings at Suite101. I’ve been writing for Suite101 since April of this year and currently have 30 articles there. Yet, I have only earned $48.50 there for the entire year. Not a good return considering these are original articles that I cannot place elsewhere for one year. I know there are people who earn a good residual income there; I’m just not one of them. However, Suite101 has been a good showcase for my writing and I have had some good offers for writing assignments from other websites that have read my articles there. I plan on completing my year contract with Suite101 and then I will decide if I will continue there or not. See my review of Suite101.

Textbroker – Earlier this year I did some writing for Textbroker and I have to admit I enjoyed writing for this site. However, the pay for articles is very low, so I moved on to Demand Studios who paid more per article. What I liked about Textbroker was the varying assignments available. I wrote many press release type articles and travel articles there that were fun to do. I doubt if I will go back to writing for Textbroker but I do think it is a good starter sight for writers who are new to Internet writing. Read my review of Textbroker.

Triond – I’ve been with Triond for about two years now, so it wasn’t a new site for me in 2009. I only add articles occasionally at Triond, so I don’t make a lot of money there. One problem I have with the site is that they only accept articles that have not been previously published. After they accept it you can place the articles on other sites. However, I can earn more money by placing new, fresh articles on other sites first, so that is why I rarely publish on Triond anymore. Also, since they have started placing your Google Adsense earnings directly into your Google account, I earn less in ad income there. Let’s face it – it takes a long time to get up to the $100 minimum payout at Google, so the $3-4 dollars I earn on Google ads at Triond each month are going to sit there for a long time before I can get the money. I doubt if I will be adding articles to Triond in 2010 as there are other sites I can earn more money at. Read my review of Triond.

XombaXomba was a nice little surprise for me this year. I had never even thought of looking into Xomba until I noticed that you can place links to articles there like a sharing site. I really liked that feature, and the fact that you earn Google Adsense income from these links. I did add a couple of articles on Xomba and many article links and I will continue to do this in 2010. I earn a few cents here and there in my Google account from Xomba while promoting my articles on other sites. All these little additions to my Google Adsense account will hopefully get me closer to a payout (so I can enjoy that Triond money too!). See my review of Xomba.

Write Moms Blog – I started my Write Moms blog in April of 2009 with an idea of sharing information on writing and am so happy to see how far it has come in less than a year. I don’t earn a lot of money from my blog, but I’ve made many new writing connections and new friends which have really meant more to me than money could have. When you work for yourself, it can get boring at times. But with my blog, I am able to share experiences and hear about other writer’s experiences. As I’ve said before, Write Moms is like my office and my readers are like my co-workers. It’s been so much fun and I will continue sharing with my readers through 2010.

That’s it – my writing year in review. Let me know how you did in 2009 and what your goals are for 2010.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a safe, healthy and prosperous 2010.

Happy writing,
DeAnna

(Photo by Owais Khan Stock.Xchng 1205301)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Examiner Article Picked For "Year in Review 2009"

Hi all,


Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday.  We are in the midst of a very long-running snow storm here.  Luckily, we are having breaks in the snow every so often so the roads are plowed and then we start all over again.  These pictures are of our front yard and driveway this morning. 

I received an e-mail the other day informing me that one of my articles at Examiner, "Niacin and Cholesterol",  was chosen for their special section of the Year in Review.  The e-mail stated that their criteria for choosing articles was:

We considered a few criteria when selecting articles:



-Written in a timely matter on a major news story that was unique to the Health Channel
-Aesthetically pleasing
-Incorporated a local angle (where possible)
-One of the best articles written on a major news story that was unique to the Health Channel

I was very happy to have my article chosen.  As many of you know, I have been the Minnesota Heart Health Examiner for only a couple of months, so to have one of my articles chosen after only being there a short time is an honor. 

If you are interested in joining Examiner.com as a writer, you can read my review first to learn more about the site.  If you do join, I'd really appreciate it if you use my referral number on the membership form.  It won't cost you a thing but will be a great help to me.  My referral number is 28293.

Happy writing,
DeAnna


(Top photo - our driveway; Bottom photo: Our front yard 12/26/09.  Photos copyright Deanna Sletten 2009)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Hi all,


Before I get too busy with cleaning, baking and cooking I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!  This has been such a wonderful year here at the blog.  I have met many new friends from all over the world, something I would never have had the chance to do otherwise.  I also want to thank all of my regular readers and welcome all of my new readers.  Thanks for visiting.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I wish you all much success and joy in the new year.

My daughter and I drove down to Minneapolis this week (a 4 - 5 hour drive) to visit the Mall of America, do some shopping and see the mall's decorations.  The pictures are ones we took while we were there.  We try to go there one or two times a year just for the fun of it.  We had a good day there but it was a long one as we drove home that day, too.  Enjoy the pics.

My next post will be the "year in review". I will let you know what my thoughts are one all of the sites I wrote for this year.  It will be a long list.  Hope you check back to see how the year went.


Happy writing,
DeAnna

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where do All the Clicks Come From?

Hi all,


The Internet never ceases to amaze me when it comes to my writing endevours.  I check the views daily on the various writing sites I work for to see how things are going.  Generally there are a few clicks here, a few clicks there, (here a click, there a click, everywhere a click, click - okay I just had to, sorry), but once in a while I will be amazed by a sudden jump in clicks on a particular site or article.  For example, an article on Suite101 that has been sitting there for two months earning about 10 clicks each day suddenly had a 400+ click day yesterday.  Why? Where did the sudden interest come from? I searched where the clicks were coming from (you get detailed info at Suite) and yet could not understand why the sudden interest in this subject.  Now, I'm not complaining, but it always baffles me when a seemingly dead article suddenly comes to life. This happened once before on Suite with another article, and I always find it interesting.

Yet...I am struggling for every click I can get for my articles at Life123.  One article is at 32 clicks and I am waiting for the day it hits 50 so I will earn that treasured first $5.00.  I didn't think it would take too long to rack up the clicks, because I am used to Suite101 and eHow articles getting at least 100 clicks the first day.  It has been an interesting experiement.

I have finished my special article assignment that I mentioned in the last post and will now spend my time adding more articles to eHow and Examiner and possibly Life123 (because I never admit defeat).  My eHow clicks are slower this month than last month, yet my Associated Content clicks are up high.  Triond clicks are higher than usual this month but they will not make me rich. And this blog is enjoying the clicks of many, many visitors.  I don't make a lot of money from my blog and have yet to reach the Google minimum payment, but it was never my intention to earn a living off of my blog.  I just enjoy sharing information with other writers and meeting all the new people who come along.  My blog is like my office where I can visit with co-workers.  It's fun!

How are your clicks doing this month??

Happy writing,
DeAnna

(Photo by Samatha Mesones @ Stock.Xchng 723000)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taking the Plunge with Life123

Hi all,


I couldn't stand the suspense any longer so I just had to give Life123 a try and see how quickly a person could make money there.  (See my review of Life123)  Before I reviewed the site, I had signed up as a member so I could share the experience with all of you, but I had yet to submit an article there.  As I said in my review, I wasn't completely happy about the idea of selling full rights to Life123 for only a lifetime maximum earnings of $20.  But after reading how Kidgas of My Online Income has been doing there with his articles, I just had to try it myself.  As the saying goes, leave no stone unturned. 

So, last week I placed my first article there (Evening Primrose Oil: Herbal Remedy for Heart Health and other Ailments - Please feel free to visit the article - I need the clicks!).  It took a full 24 hours before it was reviewed and accepted and placed on the site.  Then I did all the social networking sites for it and sat back to see my clicks add up.  So far I've only had 13 views.  Ugg.  Because I am so used to placing articles on sites like Suite101 where you can get 200-400 views the first day, I was disappointed that this one only received 13.  At Life123, you make your first $5 on the first 50 clicks.  I really thought it would be easy to get that first 50; now I see it will take longer than I originally thought.

Of course, subject matter makes a big difference too.  I am aware that not everyone is going to Google and Yahoo searching for Evening Primrose Oil articles.  So my next article there (yes, I will try a few more before deciding if it is worth my time) will be more keyword friendly on topics people do go searching for.  But this one article did satisfy my curiosity as to how hard/easy it is get views and I will be more careful of the topics I submit in the future.  I think with the right articles, a writer could make a fairly good residual income from Life123.  Maybe nothing like eHow or Suite101, but every little bit counts.

Another Benefit of Writing for Several Sites

There are other benefits of writing for several sites around the Internet.  Last month I was offered a full-time writing job from a large website after an editor there had seen an article of mine on Associated Content.  Even though the per-article price was definately very good, I declined it after much thought because I really didn't want to be tied down to one site and one or two subjects.  I don't want the stress of weekly deadlines anymore, and luckily I don't have to have them.  Then, last week I recieved another very good offer to write a series of articles for another large website after an editor there had seen articles of mine on Suite101.  This is a one-time deal for a good price, so I did accept it.  The topic of the articles is also one I enjoy writing about, so that makes it especially good.  (And I wouldn't mind if they offered me more assignments, either. :))  So don't just think of your articles as a way to earn one income, think of them as a showcase for your work too; a way to possibly get some prime assignments.

Referrals

And don't forget about referrals.  A very nice lady in Detroit used my referral number when she signed up for Examiner.com and now I will receive referral money from that.  Robyn Adams is the Detroit Allergy Examiner and she writes very helpful articles for families with allergy problems.  Be sure to visit her articles if that subject interests you.   And if you decide to join Examiner as a writer, and you want to be really nice, you can use my referral number 28293 when you sign up. :)

Happy writing
DeAnna

12/13/09
Update

There was some confusion over the minimum amount you must earn before Life123 made a payout and that has all been clarified in updates at my Life123 Review

Cheers,
DeAnna

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Best Topics to Write About in December

Hi all,


Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are now ready to get into the full swing of the Holiday Season.  Did any of you hit the stores early Friday morning and get any great deals? We generally stay away from Black Friday (I used to work in retail so I know to stay away!), but my husband decided to brave Wal-Mart at 5:00 AM and picked up a great deal on a big flat-screen TV that we've talked about buying for years now but never did.  Even in our little town, Wal-Mart, Target and the tiny mall we have were packed to the brim with shoppers.  It's amazing what people will do to get a good deal.

I didn't do any writing over the past two days yet I still earned money.  My residuals did fairly well over Thanksgiving and I sold an article on Constant-Content.  It is nice to be away for a day or two and still earn money - the benefits of residual income.  I probably won't get back into the swing of writing until Monday when everyone at my house is back to work and school.  Today is a great day for putting up the Christmas tree and maybe taking a long nap!  Tonight I plan to watch one of my favorite movies on the new TV!

Article Topics for December

If you are wondering what to write about this December, then here are a few ideas.  Of course, December is a good month to continue with holiday articles, tips to save money over the holidays, party tips, gift giving tips and decorating tips.  Holiday crafts for children is also a good topic - especially if they are crafts that teachers can use in the classroom too.  And don't forget about recipes.  People love finding new holiday recipes.

This time of year is also a good time to write about family finance, budgeting, and year-end financial planning.  Once the first of the year hits and everyone is in debt, they start looking for ideas on how to get out of debt and how to budget their money better for the new year.  People also start looking for tips on how to save money on insurances, household bills and credit card interest.  Debt consolidaiton is also a hot topic.  And don't forget about taxes.  Come January, people are already counting on their income tax refund to get them out of debt.  Articles on new tax deductions, where to get your taxes done and new tax software are always hot topics.  IRA's, 401k's and HSA's are also topics people are looking into at the first of the year.

December through March are good months to start in with articles on diet, exercise, weight loss and healthy eating.  During the holidays some people are looking for ways to not gain weight and after January 1st everyone is looking for the best way to lose the holiday weight.  I have found that "belly fat", "cholesterol" and "diabetes" are good money-making key words if you write for eHow or Triond.

Hope these tips help to make your holiday writing season a successful one.

Happy writing,
DeAnna

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

eHow Update and Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi all,


First of all I'd like to wish all of you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving. No matter how your year has gone, we can all find something to be thankful for.  It is also a good time to look ahead and make dreams into reality.  Enjoy the next few days with family and friends and try not to overeat and overspend on Black Friday!

I've been having an especially good month at eHow and wanted to share some of my top selling articles with you.  When I first started writing for residual income sites I really didn't know what to expect.  Even though I had read that people make a good income this way, you just never know until you try it yourself.  I didn't quickly write hundreds of articles to toss onto eHow - I've been at a slower pace and have only 66 articles there right now.  This month my income is up 43% from last month, even though I have only placed 7 new articles there this month. Most of my income is building up from older articles, although one article I placed there this month is earning income fast.  Here are my five top earning eHow articles. The amount earned is the total each article has earned to date since being placed on the site. I will put the date published so you can see how long it has taken to earn this amount.

6/11/09 - How to Stop Belly Bloat    $19.98
7/22/09 - How to Improve your Health with the Benefits of Lecithin   $12.13
8/13/09 - How to Lower Bad Cholesterol with Simple Diet Changes  $16.10
8/29/09 - How to Make a Kitchen Stylish and Efficient  $11.94
11/1/09 - How to Lose Dangerous Belly Fat  $8.10

My other eHow articles are anywhere between the $2 to $7 dollar range and one or two are earning no money at all.  The good thing is that the income continues to grow and you never know when a topic will suddenly become popular.  The article on lecithin had a slow start and then suddenly took off, it continues to earn money every day.  Maybe some of my non-earners will suddenly begin earning too.

eHow isn't Perfect

Of course, as in any job, eHow isn't perfect.  But of all the sites I write for, it is the best earning site so far.  I did lose 4 articles this month from an eHow sweep for silly reasons, but I could place them elsewhere so it didn't really matter.  I also have had a problem with their new "review" system when I edit an older article. Both times I edited an article, it had to go through review again and then it came up as a plagiarized article and it took eHow several days to figure out that yeah, the article came up plagiarized because it had already been published on eHow!  Very frustrating but it does get resolved. 

How are all of you doing on eHow this month?

Happy writing,
DeAnna

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Triond has New Features to Earn Money

Hi all,


Recently Triond has added two new ways to earn more money through their site.  (You can read my orginial review of Triond here.)  First, Triond has added Google Adsense earnings to your articles.  Not only do you earn the ad revenue as before, but in addition you can now earn Google ad revenue that is paid directly into your Google account.  Triond also keeps track of your Google ad earnings in your dashboard on their site.  While I don't have many articles at Triond, I do earn a few dollars a month there.  So far, with the Google Adsense addition, I am now earning twice as much as before.  Adding Google ads was a plus for writers at Triond.

Another way Triond is helping their writers earn more income is through a writer referral program.  You earn 10% of any writer's income that you refer.  Triond also keeps track of how much you earn from your referrals on your dashboard.  You do have to be an active member of Triond who is still earning residual income each month in order to earn referral income. You also have to send an e-mail to Triond to apply to have a referral account.  Check their latest messages to writers to learn where to e-mail the request.

If you are thinking of writing for Triond, now would be a good time to join.  If you are already a member, but don't write for Triond too often, you might want to start thinking of Triond as a good residual income site.

Happy writing,
DeAnna

Monday, November 16, 2009

Examiner.com – Writing Site Review

Hi all,


As I mentioned before, I started writing for Examiner at the end of October. I am officially their Minnesota Heart Health Examiner. I had applied for the National Heart Health Examiner because I don’t live near any large cities, but instead they offered me the Minnesota job (even though it never really existed) and I am basically under the Minneapolis division. I really love my topic and it is one that will be easy to find endless subtopics on to write about for some time to come. I had been thinking about applying for some time and finally took the plunge to see what kind of money could be made there. As with most sites, some people love it and make a good income, others hate it and say it barely makes any income. All I can do is tell you about Examiner.com, share my experience so far with it and let you make up your own mind as to whether or not you want to add it to your residual income writing sites.

What is Examiner.com?

First off, Examiner makes it very clear that they are not affiliated in any way to any newspaper with the name of Examiner. They are their own independent website. Examiner.com is owned by The Anschutz Company which is a large media investment company. Examiner.com was launched in April, 2008 and covers over 110 major US cities in states all over the country as well as Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Philippines. Examiner is a growing website and expects to have over 18 million unique visitors to it’s website by the end of 2009.

Examiner is a huge website broken down into areas for each city. When you go to their main site, they will ask you to choose your state, then city. This makes Examiner similar to a city newspaper because the people writing for that area are from around that area. It gives it a hometown feeling with a nationwide reach.

Applying for Examiner

You must apply and be accepted before becoming a writer for Examiner.com. You choose your state, then the city closest to you. The application requires a writing sample of about 300 words in your area of expertise, a biography, reason why you think you can write about your chosen topic and your writing experience. Don’t let the application scare you away. You don’t have to be a professional in the topic of your choice, just a good writer who is willing to research your topic fully.

Acceptance or denial can come in as little as 24 hours or as long as 2 weeks, depending upon how busy the editor for your topic is. I was accepted within 24 hours and received all the information I needed to begin writing at that time. Once you are accepted, you have up to 3 days to publish your first article. Although your first article goes live immediately, they ask that you do not publish another article until the editor has looked at your first one and given you the okay. After that, you are free to publish as many articles as you wish in your topic. Also, you will be asked to fill out and return an IRS W-9 form in order to be paid. This you can download at the IRS website, print and mail in.

Writing for Examiner

Examiner asks that you write 3-4 articles a week to keep your page fresh. This is a good way to build up a following, build up your article library and, of course, build up your income. Articles must be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words. You can go higher but they prefer short, quick articles. Articles should also be written in the third person. I have explored Examiner.com quite extensively and I see many writers that treat the site like their own personal blog with a lot of “I” and “Me” on their pages. Examiner frowns on this; however they do not edit everything that goes through so these writers continue breaking the rules. I suggest you do as they request in the event that someday they become like eHow and begin cleaning up and sweeping away any articles that do not conform.

Examiner gives you plenty of learning videos and information on what they expect of you as an Examiner, and I suggest you watch these and read whatever guidelines they give. Then get started and write your first article.

Article Rights at Examiner

At Examiner you own all rights to your articles and you can publish them elsewhere if you so choose. Once published on their site, you have the right to delete them also. You can also publish articles on their site that you have published elsewhere, as long as they are in your topic of expertise. So, you will not be wasting your time at Examiner.com. If you find you are not making as much money as you’d like there, you can either add to the income by publishing the articles on another site as well or delete them from Examiner and publish them elsewhere.  (This has changed - you can still publish your articles elsewhere but you can no longer delete or publish old articles on Examiner).

Payment at Examiner

Like other residual income websites, Examiner says their pay rate is a combination of page views, unique visitors, session length and advertising performance. Most people who write for Examiner find that they are paid about .01 cent per unique visit. If you get 200 visits, you basically get $2.00. Of course, if the same person revisits the article more than once per day, that won’t count so you will see at times that you may have 200 visits for the day but only $1.95 in earnings. I have found that I basically get the one cent per click. How much you earn will depend upon how popular your topic is and how many people you can drive to your articles through social networking sites and such. Remember, some topics are hot and earn a lot at first but then die down, while others earn slowly but steadily. So don’t expect to get rich quickly.

Payment is made via Pay Pal once you have reached the $25 minimum. (Examiner now has a $10 minimum payment) In order to be paid, you must have published an article in the past 30 days. Another good reason to keep your page current.

Examiner also has a Referral Program that will pay you if a writer you refer is accepted and has had their first article accepted.  The amount you earn is $50 per person.  Not too shabby.

My Thoughts on Examiner

I like writing for Examiner because I enjoy my topic and I don’t find it too difficult writing 3-4 short articles each week. I am not making a fortune as of yet, but I only have 7 articles there so far. I like that Examiner sends you e-mails updating you on special topics or guides they will be having for the month ( like their Thanksgiving Guide) so you can write articles and link them to these special features. I also like the idea that I own all rights to my articles and can walk away with them if I decide to stop writing for this site. Take a look at Examiner and decide for yourself.

Update 4/5/11 - Examiner announced in an e-mail today that they were changing the way they pay.  Instead of pay per page view, they will be setting an amount of pay per 1,000 views, much like AC does.  Your CPM will be determined by how many articles you post, if you post articles on a current basis, the quality of your articles and how much you "Share" your links to such sites as Digg, Stumbleupon, etc.  The more points you receive, the higher your CPM.  Apparently they think this is the best way to reward their loyal writers.  If you write only once in a while, you will have a lower CPM.  And, if you don't post an article at least once every 60 days you will not receive payment.  I will do a post about this later this week (4/5/11) if you want to learn more.  Read post on Examiner pay changes here.

Happy writing,

Deanna

Associated Press Guide to News Writing: The Resource for Professional Journalists

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Suite101 Update

Hi all,


I recently had a comment from one of my readers expressing interest in hearing more about my experience with Suite101.  So, I thought I'd do an update.  I currently have 27 articles on Suite101 (will be 28 as soon as I get to adding my latest article) and so far I haven't seen big money there.  Now, that is not to say that you can't earn really good money there - many people do - I just haven't hit that magic number yet.  Reading around the blogs, I get the impression that once you have 50+ articles at Suite you start seeing a good monthly income.  That sounds about right.  It wasn't until I had over 36 articles at eHow that I saw the money begin to really grow.  Also, the subjects that you write on have a lot to do with how much you earn.  Most of my articles at Suite are on health or children's health issues, and while they do receive many views they don't necessarily earn a high income.  My most popular article gets 50-100 hits a day and seems to be my biggest money maker.  The others tend to get 20 hits and under each day. 

Even though I haven't made big money at Suite101 yet, I do plan to continue writing there until my first year is up and see where I am.  Interest in topics change, and while one day I may get 10 clicks on an article, suddenly another day I get 400 on the same article.  My opinion on Suite101 is that you have to be in it for the long haul.  And you have to be committed to writing at least 50-100 articles to start seeing the earnings you desire.  The only reason I haven't published more articles there yet is because I have been busy with so many other writing commitments.  Also, my eHow earnings have been growing faster than Suite101, so I have been writing more there.  Of course I have twice as many articles at eHow than Suite, so that is probably why.

The pros of writing at Suite101:
  • Your articles will rank high on Google and therefore get more clicks than anywhere else (that is my experience).
  • You get feedback from the editors there and learn to write quality articles that earn views.
  • Writing there pushes you to write quality articles instead of sluffing off like can sometimes happen at other sites.
  • You can make a good income over time if you are patient.
If you are thinking seriously of writing for Suite101, I would suggest applying and giving it a try for one year.  As a contributing writer, you only have to write a minimum of 10 articles every 3 months.  If, after a year you are not satisfied, you can stop writing there but still receive residual income for as long as you keep the articles posted on the site.

More Information on Suite101

Visit Felicia's blog "No Job For Mom" and Willow's blog "The Freelance Home Writer" to read their take on Suite101.  Prerna Malik of "The Mom Writes" is also an avid Suite writer and was just promoted to Feature Writer, so visit her blog too for her opinion of Suite101. 

Would love to hear comments from other Suite101 writers who want to share their opinion and experiences with Suite101.

Happy writing
DeAnna

(Back to fall again. We had the first beautiful day in weeks, but  I'm sure winter is on the way.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Informative Post on Earning Income Writing

Hi all,


I was just visiting Kidgas at his blog My Online Income and he has a wonderful article there about building spare income with your writing, especially helpful for writing moms (and dads) who are looking for ways to earn money while they stay home with their children.  The article is: Strategy for Work at Home Moms.  Finding time to write and earn money can be difficult, especially if you are a stay-home parent, but you don't need hours each day to accomplish building a viable income.  Hope you'll hop on over there and visit his article and blog.

Speaking of part-time income, my husband and son run a DJ/Karoke business on the side and play for holidays, weddings and other occassions.  Here they are on Halloween.  Can you guess who they are dressed up as?

Happy writing,
DeAnna

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November Goals & Examiner.com

Hi all,


Well, it's November which, way up here in the far north, means we now expect snow to come and stay (unlike the October snow we were already getting) and also expect extremely cold temps and spending plenty of time indoors (unless you are one of those hardy folks who loves to freeze - and there are many of you who do).  To me, November is the start of my time to really buckle down and get some serious writing done.  Not only the writing I've been doing, but also the writing I love best - fiction writing.

Setting Writing Goals

I always think it is good to set goals no matter what you do in life, but as a freelancer who is in charge of my own time with no boss standing over me, goals are even more important.  Without goals, I would probably never finish an article, let alone 60 articles.  For me, setting goals comes naturally because I am one of those annoying sort who loves to organize and plan.  For others it isn't as easy, but I recommend you try just to give yourself a push. 

When I started my residual income writing, it was to build up an income that would give me a few extra dollars a month while I work on my next fiction novel this winter.  Before that, I was writing for up-front pay, which is wonderful but when you stop submitting work, you stop earning money.  So I thought I'd give the residual income earning a try, and I have not been disappointed.  Between eHow and Suite101, as well as the many other sites I write for, I do have a nice little residual income.  I am nowhere near the amount I want to be yet, but I will get there.  Because I found I enjoy writing for the residual income sites so much, my plan of stopping to submit for several months has changed.  I now want to both build up the residual income sites and work on my novel.  So, for the month of November I plan to spend 1-2 days a week submitting articles to my residual sites and 4-5 days a week working on my novel.  Yes, that means that I will probably work 6-7 days a week all winter, but I don't mind it.  When you love what you do, you love doing it.  It just isn't work.  And besides, a workday for me isn't traditional.  I can work mornings, afternoons or evenings, depending upon what is going on in my life each day.  Since I no longer have young children needing my attention 100% of the time, I have that luxuary.

Adding Examiner.com to My Residual Sites

On top of writing for eHow and Suite101, I have also recently applied for, and was accepted as, the Minnesota Heart Health Examiner.  I had actually applied for the National Heart Health position since I didn't know they had state openings, so I was pleased to be asked to be their state heart health Examiner.  I have one article there so far and will be submitting 3-4 each week.  I really like my topic as it is one I can embellish on and come up with ideas for articles easily.  I write a lot of health articles, and heart health ones, already so it won't be too difficult for me to write 200-400 word articles for Examiner. 

Why Examiner? 

I have read a lot of reviews about Examiner, both good and bad.  I came to the conclusion that I wanted to try it for myself and see how well a person can do there.  I read good and bad reviews about eHow, Associated Content, Suite101 and Constant-Content, yet I enjoy writing for these sites and have done well with them. I will give Examiner a try for a few months and see how well I do.  I'll let you all know how it goes and do a more extensive review about the site later on.  (If you are thinking about signing up as a writer for Examiner.com, I would be pleased if you would use my referral number when you sign up.  It is 28293.  Thanks.)

So, my plan for November is to write my 3-4 Examiner articles a week and try to add 5-6 articles to eHow and 2 articles to Suite101 for the month.  My book will take up the rest of my time.  I plan to finish this book whether or not I am able to find an agent or publisher, because I love novel writing that much.  I can always self-publish if I have to.  I've done that before, and with good results.  But I am hoping that "third time's a charm" is true and I will finally find a publisher in the traditional sense.  If not, I will have my residual income to fall back on, which I also enjoy very much.

What are your goals for November?  For the winter?

Happy writing,
DeAnna
(Winter is coming! Photo by Hanna Zabielska @ Stock.Xchng)

Monday, October 26, 2009

eHow Update: My Top 6 Articles

Hi all,
As usual, I was checking my eHow earnings for the day and evaluating which articles were doing the best and I decided I should share this information with you.  Because I do have an accounting background and I love numbers, I keep a spreadsheet on my daily views and earnings on eHow to evaluate just how much I make for each click per day.  Yes, I know that makes me a bit, uh, what's the word? I'll use "uptight" instead of the "a" word. But my logic is that I like to see the ups and downs of each day to get a handle on if my earnings are raising or lowering and by how much.  I also like to evaluate which articles are doing well so I get an idea on which subject matter gets the most reads.  Now, I understand the we aren't paid per click and it all has to do with ad revenue and such, but the more popular the keyword, the more we get paid, so it's nice to know which articles are doing well.  For instance, I've found that articles with the word "kitchen" in them seem to make good money per click.  So, of course, I wrote two more articles with the word "kitchen" in the title and they did well also.  My being a---, uh, I mean uptight, has paid off a bit.

Yes, I do know that Google has a Keyword Estimator and I do use that on occassion.  When I wrote three articles on acid reflux it was because I used the Google Keyword Estimator and found out that keyword did well in both clicks and money.  I can tell you, after writing three different acid reflux articles for eHow and then another one for Suite101, I was not only knowledgeable on the subject but also sick and tired of it as well.  But it was worth the income in the end.  But I'm rambling, so I will get back on subject.

My Top 6 Earning eHow Articles so Far

Now, keep in mind that I only started writing for eHow on June 11, 2009.  I currently have 62 articles on eHow and while all are earning something, these are the ones that are earning the most so far. I'll put the date they were posted so you know how long it took for them to earn this amount.

6/11/09 - How to Stop Belly Bloat - $15.02

7/22/09 - How to Improve Your Health with the Benefits of Lecithin - $6.72

8/13/09 - How to Lower Bad Cholesterol with Simple Diet Changes - $10.84

8/25/09 - How to Prevent Acid Reflux through Diet and Lifestyle Changes - $5.59

8/29/09 - How to Make Your Small Kitchen Stylish and Efficient - $9.53

9/2/09 - How to Find the Most Fabulous Fall Foliage - $4.90

Who knew belly bloat would be so popular?  That was my first article posted and it has so far made the most money.  Keep in mind that many of these articles are earning around .01 to .02 cents per click, which I don't find bad at all.  I also have many other articles in the $4-5 dollar range too, just wanted to give you an example of ones that are earning well.  Of course, I also have articles that have only made a few cents, but over time I believe they will eventually make money.  I've had articles on other sites such as Associated Content that just sit with very few views and then one day, months later, begin collecting views like crazy. Interest in subjects change often so you should never give up on an article, even after a year or two.  As another example of that, I recently had an article on Suite101 that was only getting a few views each day and then one day it had 320 views.  As I said, you never know.

eHow's New Review System

As I  mentioned before, eHow is now reviewing all articles before they go live.  It must be a computerized review system because no matter what the time of day or night they review them in about 10 minutes.  I submitted one at midnight the other night and it went through in 10 minutes.  I am assuming they are scanning it through a plagiarism checker and possibly some sort of subject checker as well to scan for inappropriate words.  Since I am no computer guru, I have no idea what type of programs are out there for this, but I highly doubt they have live editors sitting there all night just waiting to read a submission.  I have no complaints so far about their review system, but all of mine have gone through so far so that is why.

What do all of you think?

Happy writing,
DeAnna

Friday, October 23, 2009

eHow Now Reviews Articles before Publishing

Hi all,


For all of you eHow writers out there I just wanted to let you know that eHow is now reviewing ALL articles before they go live on the site.  Maybe other people knew this already, but it just happened to me today as I posted an article.  They claim it will only take 10 minutes for the article to be reviewed, so we shall see. 

I know that many eHow writers have been having trouble posting articles and pictures over the past week.  I have too.  Apparently the site was gearing up for their "review" phase to start working.  If you read the community forum on eHow, you can see how unhappy many eHow writers are with the site.  Most of it is just complaining because they don't read the rules or writer's guidelines, but some of the complaints are legit.  I think eHow could inform their writers better by posting what is going on or sending out e-mails.  But that is just my opinion.

As to my opinion of this new Review process - I'm kind of on the fence about it right now.  While I think it will be good for the site so junk articles are not placed live on the site, I'm also afraid that they will start to get too picky and take away from the fun of writing for eHow.  And, if the editors are anything like the ones at Demand Studios - ugg - watch out.  Let's hope the editors are English Speaking Editors, unlike some of the editors at Demand Studios. 

Good luck to all you eHowers out there and I hope the review process doesn't cramp your style but instead helps us all to become the best writers we can be.

Happy Writing,
DeAnna

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Writing Site Life123.com Review

Hi all,


Welcome to all the new members here at Write Moms. I hope you are finding helpful information and are enjoying rummaging through the site. I’ve been busy writing articles for eHow and Suite101 this month, so I haven’t been posting as much here at Write Moms. I do try to find new sites to bring to you, though, and that is what I have today.

I really didn’t find Life123.com, they found me. I received an e-mail from them inviting me to join. I assume they had a list of writers from other sites and sent out e-mails to a lot of people, but I did go and check them out. This is what I found.

What is Life123.com? (Life123 is no longer taking submissions as of 2/1/10 - Sorry)
Life123 is a writing site that is looking for experienced writers who will contribute interesting and well-researched articles on one of the many topics that their site covers. From what I can tell, Life123 is a fairly new site and is actively searching for new writers to fill their pages. However, the owner of Life123 is the company that also owns Ask.com, iWon, Match.com, Citysearch as well as many other well-known internet companies. They are also associated with partners such as Parenthood.com and Southern Living. So, this company is no stranger to the Internet and is on the fast track to creating a popular information site out of Life123.

The topics that Life123 covers vary greatly, so there is sure to be a topic for any interested writer. Arts, Beauty, Career, Crafts, Food, Health, Holidays, Home and Garden, Parenting, Relationships and Technology are just a few of their many topics available.

Joining Life123

To join Life123 all you need are the basics, e-mail address, password, pen name or real name and a Pay Pal account e-mail for payment. I did join Life123 and did not find a section where you have to give them you Social Security Number or any other financial information. Life123 does not accept writers from outside the U.S. Once you have been accepted, you can then update your profile and submit your first article. The first article must be original and has to be accepted by the editors before publication. After the first article is accepted, it sounds like you can then go live with your articles when you submit them, however, at some point an editor will review your article and ask you to make changes, if necessary.

Writing for Life123

Life123 accepts only original material that has never been published before and they claim exclusive rights to this material forever. So, if you submit articles to Life123, they will own your articles forever, even if you no longer write for the site. This is one point to keep in mind when deciding if it is worth the pay you may make for the site to exclusively own your work.

Articles must be a minimum of 300 words up to a maximum of 1,000 words. Articles must be written in the third person, just like they are at Suite101. Life123 has their own specific Article Style Guide which you can view after you join. They expect articles to be written in a certain way, much like Suite101, and do not allow certain sites as reference sites. You are limited to writing 10 articles a month, which may be increased as you work your way up in their system.

Writers have the opportunity to move up the ladder at Life123. When you first join, you are called a Member. Once you submit an article and have been accepted as a writer, you are considered a Contributor. Contributors can submit only 10 articles per month. Once you have written 10 articles and have attracted at least 500 unique visitors to your articles you can move up to Writer and are allowed to submit 40 articles per month. Once you have submitted 25 articles and have attracted at least 2,500 unique visitors to your articles you can become an Expert and then you are allowed to submit 150 articles a month.

Payment at Life123

Payment of up to $20 per article is possible through the Life123 system. Here is how it works.

- $5 for the first 50 Unique Visitors

- $5 for the next 500 Unique Visitors

- $10 for the next 500 Unique Visitors

Payment is made monthly via your Pay Pal account if your account has reached a minimum of $10 for the month. Otherwise the money is withheld to continue to accumulate until you reach the minimum.

What I Think of Life123

Life123 sounds like a good site to write for but there are a couple of things that bother me. You give Life123 full rights to the article the minute you submit it and you can only earn a maximum of $20 on an article no matter how well it is doing on the site. Granted, some articles will make up to the $20 and others won’t. But if the article is popular and continues earning money for Life123, you will stop earning at the $20 maximum payment. That is something to seriously consider before submitting articles. Also, I read in some of their fine print that they can delete an article after a certain amount of time (can’t remember how long) if it is no longer earning any money. So, you lose the article on the site, you cannot submit it anywhere else and you can no longer earn money with it. My advice is to read all the Terms of Use, Agreements and Guidelines before submitting any work to Life123.

We all have our opinions on which writing sites are good and which are not. Life123 may be a great writing site for some people, may not be for others. I do find it an interesting site and well worth looking into, and possibly writing for.

Happy Writing,

DeAnna

(Photo by Deanna Sletten - Our fall has really turned into winter here, but I took this of the road into our state park the day before it snowed. Yes, snow in October - MN is full of surprises.)

12/13/09
Update on Life123

Hi,
In my review I stated that Life123 paid out as soon as you reach the $10 minimum amount of earnings, however that is apparently not the case.  In their FAQ's, Life123 states that they pay out at a minimum of $5, yet a writer for the site has been told that they pay out at a minimum of $25 in earnings.  I just wanted you to be aware of this in case you are considering writing for this site.

Cheers,
DeAnna

12/14/09
Update on Life123 Payout Minimum

Hi,
I wrote to Life123 to have them verify their payout minimum and this is the answer I received:

Deanna:



Sorry for your frustration! We know we have a few mismatching statements.


Short answer: Writers get paid once a month (next time will be Tuesday), and the minimum payout is $5, not $10 or $25 or anything else you read on our site or anywhere else.


We are working to fix these mismatching numbers and we arrived at the $5 payout because we wanted writers to be paid as soon as they earned! Being part of a big company like IAC means there are lots of checks and balances on all systems, hence once a month payment.


Sorry for the confusion, we are still relatively new at this. But as you mentioned, we are IAC and we're good for the money, so don't worry about that.


It is our mission and goal to make writers feel comfortable at our site and happy with our payment. We are always looking for feedback, so feel free to write me back or contact me at the number below.


Thanks.
Robert
Robert Deutsch
VP Content Development & Operations
Life123.com


Considering I wrote to them on a Sunday and received the answer on the Sunday,  I'd say their communication is top-notch.  So this answers the minimum payment question - it is $5.00. 

Cheers,
DeAnna







Tuesday, October 13, 2009

LoveToKnow.com Update

Hi all,


Just wanted to update you on LoveToKnow.com.  Ann MacDonald from LoveToKnow left this comment under my review of the site and I didn't want anyone who may be interested to miss it. 


Hi DeAnna,


Thanks for taking a look at LoveToKnow and writing about us. Just wanted to give you a little more info:


* We are actively hiring writers right now. We are looking for writers with expertise in the following areas: Cheerleading, Cycling, Cocktails and Mixology, Origami and Paper Crafts, Home Improvement and Appliances.


* We pay once a month via PayPal.


* There is a bit of an initial learning curve in writing for us, so we are a best fit for people who can write 15-20 articles for us each month.


* We really do look at all the applications we get, but we can't respond to all of them due to the volume of applicants.


Thanks!!!


Ann from LoveToKnow.com

So, if any of you are still looking for a great place to write and earn money, this may be the place for you.

Happy writing,
DeAnna

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Taking a Second Look at Associated Content

Hi all,



Recently I have been taking a second look at Associated Content (AC) as a site for serious residual income. (See my past review of AC) I have been a member of AC since May 2007 and have published 83 articles there to date. I have never really given AC much thought as a serious money-maker, but after the last few days I’m beginning to. Here is some history and my reasoning why I’m taking a closer look.

Just Another Residual Site

I found AC around the time I discovered Constant-Content (CC), so at the time, in comparison to the money I was making at CC, AC was just another one of “those residual income sites” to me. (I am no longer a snob about residual income - I love it now!) AC purchased my first submitted article for $8.12 and I would earn $1.50 per 1,000 views after that. My first article that sold at CC was for $65.00 of which I kept $42.25 of after they extracted their percentage. So, you can see why I very happily forgot about AC and worked to place articles on Constant. After that, I only placed articles that had sat on CC for a long time and didn’t sell onto AC for either an up-front payment and views or just for the payment of views. When things were slow at CC, I did submit a few articles to AC for payment plus views but by then they were paying an average of only $4.50 for up-front payments. After two years I accumulated several articles there, some of which were highlighted as editor choice articles in different sections, and worked my clout level up to a 7 and my earnings per 1,000 to $1.55. Still, I didn’t look at AC as a good residual earning site.

Why a Second Look at Associated Content?

Recently I received an e-mail from an editor at AC informing me that one of my articles was going to be highlighted as a main article in the Health & Wellness section for one week. Since the article was 2 years old, I was surprised but happy. That same week I placed a short news item on AC because I just felt like writing the piece and really didn’t think it would fit in at my other writing sites eHow and Suite101. I made $4.00 that week, and my content views have continued to rise just from adding that one article and having the other one highlighted. Now, I realize that $4.00 for one article for one week isn’t big money, but since my AC monthly earnings had steadily stayed around the $5.00 a month level for 2 years, it caught my attention. Maybe, just maybe, if I used AC to its full potential I could include it among my serious residual income writing sites. After all, there are people out there making serious money on AC, or so they say. I highly doubt I will become rich from AC, but it may add more money than I first thought to my income.

What I Like about Associated Content

AC has really grown and matured in the two years since I’ve been there. They have a huge audience and more writers than you can shake a stick at. Because of this, they can appeal to both large sections of the population as well as small sections. You can write about what is happening in Los Angeles, or in your small town of 5,000 people and the article will have a following.

I like that you can publish just about anything you feel like writing. News, articles on most any topic, opinion pieces, fiction and poetry. I took a look at some of AC’s top producing writers and found that many reported stories from their home towns as well as pieces that would interest a wider population. I also noticed that many of them are using AC to publish previously published articles from other sites. They are using AC much as I had, as a place to make extra money on already written material, but they are using it more efficiently than I had. That is another reason why I like AC – you can republish articles there and get more mileage out of your hard work.

What I like most is you know exactly what you will earn at AC. There is no magical number to figure, no Google Revenue figure to wonder about. You simply earn a set dollar amount for every view of your articles. It may be low, but it is consistent.

Final Thoughts

I think AC is a good site to re-publish already written material and earn extra money at.  That being said, I must also say I am not all for re-publishing everything you’ve ever written on every site that lets you. Choose the sites that will give you the best earning potential and only re-publish articles on one or two sites. Always place your articles on the highest earning site first, give it some time to generate money, and if it begins to lose income then re-publish it on the next highest earning site. Surprisingly enough, sometimes an article that doesn’t do well on one site may earn a great deal of money on another.

As for me, I think that while I am building original material at Suite101 and eHow, I will also be adding to AC on a regular basis too. I am close to moving up to the next level which will put my income to $1.60 per 1,000, so I might as well work towards that goal. Most of what I will place at AC will be re-prints, but I also enjoy writing the occasional opinion piece or news article.

What about you? Do you write for AC and make a good income there or do you only make a few dollars a month? I’d love to hear your opinions on the site.

Happy writing,

DeAnna

(Photo Copyright DeAnna Sletten - This is Chessie on our favorite walking trail - then it snowed the next two days! Snow in October, ridiculous!)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Orato.com - Writing Site Review

Hi all,

I came upon the writing site Orato.com while reading another writer's blog and thought I would check it out.  Since then, I also came upon a review and several comments about Orato on Felicia's blog, No Job for Mom which you can read here.  I figured if I was going to review Orato for you, you should also read other people's opinions before you decide if Orato is the right site for you.  The more information you have, the better choices you can make.

About Orato.com

Orato is not a new site but the owners have recently decided to completely change its direction.  When Orato first started, it was geared toward personal experiences and accounts.  Now, Orato has changed into a site that wants to inform its readers with well-researched articles and news stories.  In short, it is much like an online news magazine that educates readers with the latest topics along with evergreen information about health, family, child-rearing, business, travel, entertainment, world topics and much more. The new Orato looks very professional and is fairly easy to navigate.  If you want to see Alexa Stats on Orato as a company, click here.

Joining Orato

Joining the Orato writing team is very easy.  There are no applications to fill out, no submissions that need to be approved, you simple fill in your name and e-mail address to get started.  They do ask that you use your own name, no pen name or username.  Once you publish your first article on Orato you will have access to creating a profile, giving your background, experience, etc.,  if you so choose.  Orato does not ask for any tax information, only your Pay Pal e-mail address so they can pay you.  You will be responsible for any taxes due on income you earn at Orato.

Writing for Orato

Once you join Orato, I advise you to read their Content Guidelines as well as their Correspondent Handbook and their FAQ's so you understand completely what is expected of you as a writer.  You have no minimum articles due and can submit as many or as few articles as you choose.  Articles must be a minimum of 250 words with a maximum of 600 words.  You may also publish photos, slideshows or videos along with your articles. 

Orato prefers articles written in the 3rd person; no I's, me's or you's in the articles please.  I have read several articles on the site and have seen many that are not in the third person, but since the content guidelines ask for 3rd person then I suggest you do as they ask.  While your articles do go live the minute you hit the publish button, within 48 hours an editor reads and makes changes to your article if he/she feels it needs any.  That editor can also bump your article up to an "Editor's Choice" article if it follows the guidelines properly and is well-written, so that is why I suggest doing as they ask.  This way your article will be showcased, and hopefully receive more hits. 

Generally, the editor makes the changes and re-publishes it for you so you don't have to make the changes yourself. There is a section in your Article Dashboard where you will see a "check mark" that shows the editor has read your article and you can see side-by-side comparisons of your original article and the article after the changes.  If you are a person who doesn't like anyone touching your articles, then you won't want to write for this site.  But if you don't mind the editor making a few changes, mostly tweaking the subtitles and fixing grammar errors, then you won't mind writing for this site.  If an article needs 50% + tweaking, then the editor will contact you to fix the article.  Personally, if an editor wants to make my article more user friendly and SEO friendly, I'm all for it.

Article Rights on Orato

You do retain All Rights to your articles published on Orato.com - but, and this is a big but, you cannot delete articles from the site and the site can use your articles in any form for eternity if it so chooses.  You do still earn money on the articles for as long as they earn money.  You can re-publish articles you've placed on Orato anywhere that accepts already published material.  You can also publish articles you have published elsewhere on Orato.  For example, if you have a stack of articles you have published on Associated Content and you own all rights to those articles, you can tweak them to fit the format on Orato and publish the articles there as long as they fit under one of their categories and follow their guidelines.  So, you can think of Orato as either a site to place new content or a site to get more mileage out of articles you have already written.

Earning Money at Orato

I know this is the section you scanned down to first because this is always the most important question - how much will I earn?  Orato pays you 20% of the Google Adsense Revenue that the site earns from placing Google ads on your article.  That means that if the ads on your article are clicked on by a reader, you will earn 20% of that ad revenue.  Once you have published 25 articles on Orato and have earned a minimum of 5 Editor's Choice awards, they will bump you up to 30% of ad revenue.  At first you might think that 20% of ad revenue doesn't sound like much, but when you really think of it, how many writing sites actually tell you what your ad revenue percentage is??  Orato pays you monthly via Pay Pal if you have reached the $10 minimum for the month.

My Thoughts on Orato

Before writing this review I decided to try Orato out for myself.  I've published four articles there as of this writing and have been fairly happy with the site so far.  What I like:
  • You can publish reprints on the site.
  • You own full rights to re-publish your work on other sites.
  • The professionalism of the site.
  • The fact that editors actually read the content.
  • That the site has specific guidelines.
  • That they are an up-and-coming site that offers great potential.
The only problem I had with the site was that it was difficult to upload text from a Word Document into their textbox. It would delete some or all of the article or re-format it.  Instead, I now change my Word Document to a Plain Text file before uploading an article and that seems to work fine.  I then have to make simple changes like adding Bold Text, Links, and changing bullets if there are any, but that is okay. 

I think Orato is going to grow into a high-ranking site, much like Suite101 and I look forward to being a part of it as it grows.  I think it is a good site for both new writers and seasoned writers to have one more place where they can place their writing and build residual income.

Update 3/15/2011 - Wow, was I ever wrong when I predicted Orato might become much like Suite101!  Maybe if you have 100 articles there you can earn some money, but I would have trouble believing that.  I have been a member there since September 2009 and have 6 articles - 2 have the Editor's Choice stamp and all have been highlighted as top articles at one time or another.  In all this time, I've only earned $2.82 for my articles.  If anyone is making money at Orato, I'd sure like to hear about it.  I'm just glad I didn't spend much time there.

If you already write for Orato.com, let me know how you like it and how it is going.

Happy Writing,
DeAnna

(Photo by Keira Bishop @ Stock.Xchng)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Daily Article - Writing Site Review

Hi all,


For those of you who like the freedom of choosing the topics you write about and setting your own price, then Daily Article might be the site for you.  At Daily Article you can submit your articles, set your own price and be paid for the article when it sells.  If that sounds interesting - read on.

About Daily Article

Daily Article started in 2007 and since then has built up a large group of writers who submit their work there.  At Daily Article, you submit your original articles on almost any topic you choose, set your own price, and after it has been approved by the editor and placed on the site you wait for it to sell.  It is easy to join Daily Article.  All you have to do is give basic information to set up an account plus your Pay Pal e-mail so you can be paid if an article sells.  They do not ask for any tax information such as your Social Security Number.  There is no up-front charge or subscription charge to join the site.  The site takes a percentage of each article sale instead.  Once you have signed up, you are ready to submit content.

The site does specify that all writers should be fluent in the English language.  However, it does not state anywhere whether or not a non U.S. or Canadian citizen can write for the site.  If you live outside of North America, you should contact the owners of Daily Article first to see if they accept writers from other countries before you apply.

Type of Content Accepted

Daily Article accepts articles on all types of subjects such as finance, home improvement, family, parenting, health and much more.  There are no restrictions on length of articles.  All articles you submit must be original content that have never been published before.  You only sell Full Rights on Daily Article and the buyer has the right to change your content in any way they wish and take your name off of it too.  An editor at Daily Article must approve your content before it is placed on the site and it will be run through CopyScape to make sure it is original. 

Once an article is accepted only a small portion of the article will be placed on the site as well as a summary for buyers to see it.  This ensures that large quantities of your articles will not be stolen as does happen at other sites.  The disadvantage to this, however, is the buyer doesn't get a good sense of how well written the article is and has to trust that the writer is good.  Customers can also make requests for certain articles but there is no Public Request page for writers to view.  I assume the site sends out an e-mail to let writers know about requests.

Rights to Articles

You own all rights to your articles until they are purchased for Full Rights by the customer.  You are then not allowed to sell the article elsewhere.  But, for unsold articles on the site, you can take them off of the site at any time and sell them elsewhere if they are not selling there.

Pricing of Articles and Payment

You can price your articles however you choose, but keep in mind that Daily Article receives 20% of the sale of an article for the use of the site.  From what I've seen browsing around the site, most articles are priced between $10 to $15 dollars for a 500-600 word article.  There are some that charge more, some less.  Overall, it looks to me that if you price an article too high, it won't sell, so most writers there charge under the $20 mark.

Payment is made by PayPal, but I could not find anywhere on the site that explains when you are paid.  You may be paid after each sale or weekly or once a month.  Authors receive 80% of every sale, which is a good percentage compared to other sites. 


Another Constant-Content?

Daily Article works quite the same as Constant-Content (CC) does, but does not offer as many amenities as CC does.  At CC, you can view the latest sales to get an idea what is selling and at what price, Public Requests are easily viewed and easily submitted to, you can receive private requests from customers, there is a Forum to ask questions and get answers quickly as well as communicate with the other writers, and there is also an affiliate program where writers can sign up new members and receive a percentage of any sales earned by those signed up under him.  The only advantage I see to Daily Article vs CC is that Daily Article only takes 20% of each sale while CC takes 35%.  It's really all in what you feel comfortable with.

My Take on Daily Article

I have been a member of Daily Article since 2007 so I have been watching it as it grows.  However, the only growth I've seen in two years is the list of writers and the number of articles posted there.  The site itself has had no major upgrades or changes that I have seen.  It also bothers me that you cannot view sold articles so you have no idea how well sales are there.  I did have several articles posted there for several months and did not sell one of them.  Eventually I took them off.  But just because I never sold an article there doesn't mean articles don't sell well there.  I personally have had very good luck with Constant-Content and have sold many articles there, so to me there is no comparison between CC and Daily Article.

That being said - I have spoken to a couple of writers for Daily Article who claim to have many sales there.  It is also hard for me to believe that so many writers would be using the site if they weren't selling at least something there.  So there must be money in writing for Daily Article or else it wouldn't still be in operation.

I haven't read any complaints about Daily Article so between that and my own experience I do believe they are an honest site and may be a good place to sell your work.  We all have different ideas about where we like to sell our writing, so for some of you, Daily Article may be exactly the writing site you are looking for.

I would love to hear from anyone who writes for Daily Article and their take on the site. 

Happy writing,
DeAnna
(Photo by Dora Horvath @ Stock.Xchng)
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