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,
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.