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.
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 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.
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.
(Photo by Keira Bishop @ Stock.Xchng)