Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Demand Media Studios Shuts Down their EHow Writer Created Assignment Tool

DMS stops its Writer Created Assignments program.
Photo: Emil Bacik
Hi all,

Demand Media Studios announced that they are ending their Writer Created Assignments (WCA) program so writers will no longer be able create their own titles and assignments for EHow revenue share articles.  To me, this seems like just one more way to keep the writers from having any say in the creative process at DMS. 

Why DMS is Shutting Down the WCA Tool

In their statement, DMS says that since it is their publishers that drive what articles are needed to be written, then there is no need for a tool that allows the writers to create their own titles.  Also, DMS believes that their recent creation of topic sections allows DMS writers to easily find titles that fit their expertise.  So, why would writers actually want to create titles and articles on their own when they can just pick one already created by DMS?

Why I Think DMS is Shutting Down the WCA Tool

Obviously, (maybe only to me) the new changes at Google are influencing how DMS is doing business and the first thing that needs to go is any input (meaning creativity) from its writers.  DMS doesn't trust its writers to create titles that are unique, creative and meaningful, and therefore the program must go.  We writers are good enough to write articles for DMS as long as they tell us what to do and how to do it - otherwise we can't think for ourselves.   So the one last program at DMS where writers had some control over what they wrote will be going the way of the EHow WGA.

EHow-WCA articles had to be approved through an editor just as any DMS created assignment is, so if the article is low-quality or the title is too similar to others already on the site, the editors have the choice to reject it.  With this safeguard in place, I don't see why the program couldn't continue.  In my experience, the DMS created revenue share titles do not generate as much residual income as the titles I created myself.  Gee, do you think that means that humans may have the upper hand in creating keyword-friendly titles as compared to DMS's computerized titles?  Apparently DMS either does not agree or simply does not care.

I started seriously using the DMS-WCA tool last October to see if my articles there would generate as much income as my old EHow articles do, and I have been very happy with the results.  However, now I won't be able to pursue that source of income any longer since, once again, DMS has taken away one of its best programs.  Oh, well, on to the next!

Happy Writing,

Make Money Online-Write and Sell EBooks Guide: A Work from Home Internet Business Writing, Selling EBooks Online

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Examiner Changes Its Payment Model

Hi all,

Recently, announced it is changing the way it pays its writers starting in May. In other words, they are going to exchange their already unexplainable pay model for one that is even more complicated. All I know is that, as an Examiner who has two titles, I certainly cannot make any less than I already do there so maybe the change will be for the better, though that is hard to believe.

How Examiner is Changing their Payment Model

When I first started Examiner in October 2009, the payment seemed to be around .01 cent per hit – so if your article was viewed 30 times, you made .30 cents. Then, as time went on, it went down to about half-a-cent per click. Recently, my payments have been about 3/4th of a cent per click. So basically, if I receive 350 clicks, I earn $2.62. Although not completely explained by Examiner, (much like Suite101 doesn’t do a good job of explaining how you earn money there), you earn money by a number of factors such as clicks, number of subscribers and ad revenue from ad clicks.

The new changes are going to be based on earning a certain amount of money per 1,000 clicks, also known as CPM. The way your CPM will be decided is by:

1.  How often you place articles on the site

2. The quality of your articles

3. If you market your articles via Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, Fark and My Space

4. How many subscribers you have

So, if you write weekly, write quality articles, market your articles and have a ton of subscribers, your CPM will be much higher than someone who rarely publishes or doesn’t market their articles or has low-quality articles. Basically, the A-writers at Examiner will make more per 1,000 hits than the D-writers at Examiner.

How Will This New Payment Method Affect Examiners?

It is hard for me to believe that this new payment method will be better than the current one. First of all, let’s look at some numbers. For 2010, my total hits for my 80 Minnesota Heart Health articles was 6,553 – that was over double the average hits for other MN/Minneapolis health writers who averaged 3,175 for the year. I would need to earn a CPM of $7.51/1,000 hits in order to make the little bit of money I did make for that title last year. (I also earned $1.00 for every article as a local incentive and money for every person I signed up for Examiner, so it wasn’t a total waste of time.) Now, imagine if my CPM was only $2.50/1,000 hits. How pitiful would that be? Unless Examiner is offering their A-writers over $30.00/1,000 hits, no one is going to want to write regularly there. Even that amount is very low.

Being a National Examiner is a little better; however my views there were almost the same as my local title for 2010. As the National Alternative Medicine Examiner, I had 6,551 views for 2010 but the average national health Examiner had 13,608 views. Of course, I only had about 40 articles there for the year, which is half of what I had for my local title. However, even at the average views of 13,608, you would still want to earn at least $30/1,000 views or you might as well be selling peanuts on a street corner. But will Examiner actually offer $20, $30 or even $40 per 1,000 page views? That would be very hard to believe.

It will be interesting to see what they think is a good CPM amount and how much they offer each level of Examiner. There are some writers at Examiner who earn high page views and income because they have popular titles in the sports and entertainment categories. There is one Examiner that I believe has 12 titles and earns a good income there. But I think these people are the exception, not the norm. From what I see, most people give up on Examiner after writing 20 or 30 articles because the income is so low. I haven’t given up entirely though because I have so many articles there and I am still hoping for a miracle, like what happened with my old eHow articles. :)

Would love to hear from other Examiners what their feelings about the new changes are and if they earn a good income at Examiner or not.

Happy Writing,


2011 Writer's Market Deluxe Edition (Writer's Market Online)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Write Moms Celebrates Two Year Anniversary

By Melissa Balkon Stock.Xchng
Hi all,

It’s hard to believe, but as of April 6th Write Moms is two years old. Not only can I not believe I have had this blog for two years, but it surprises me how much information I’ve covered about online writing over that time. It has been an incredible two years for both the blog and for me personally in my own writing ventures. I hope that in the past two years I’ve been able to help many of you with the information I’ve shared and that we are all a little further along in our online writing careers than we were 24 months ago!

Live and Learn

Over the past two years, I’ve joined and tried a multitude of writing sites in my quest to find the best places to publish my articles and earn the most revenue. I learned that revenue share income can be as rewarding (or more rewarding) as up-front pay if I work hard enough at it. I also learned that some of the old stand-bys where I started my online writing journey at (like Constant-Content) are still some of the best places to write for. Most importantly, I’ve learned that no writing site lasts forever (even the good ones) and that you need to be flexible and always have a back-up plan in case your favorite site changes or leaves you behind.

You’ve Got to Have Friends

Where did I learn the things I know today about online writing? First and foremost, from surfing the web and trolling the nooks and crannies of Google to find writing sites that actually pay money. Secondly, but most importantly, from the many friends I’ve met along the way who also share information on writing online on their blogs and websites. I have met so many wonderful people who so willingly share information so everyone has a chance to prosper online and who live in every corner of the world. It’s amazing to me how small the online community can become once you start wading in the waters. A big thank you to all my online friends (you know who you are) and the inspiration you give me from your online successes.

Write Moms Moving Forward

As of today, I dropped the .blogspot from my blog’s URL and finally secured the domain for Write Moms and hope this will help my blog grow even higher in the rankings as well as accessed easier by those people looking for it. I’ve been very lucky over the past two years in that Write Moms has done so well on search engines despite not having a unique domain name, but it was time to move forward, onward and upward. If the blog seems a bit goofy over the next few days, it’s because of the transfer of URLs so please bear with me.

I also hope to continue to share online writing information with my readers as well as information on writing for print media. I may even add more information on writing and publishing books in the future. I want Write Moms to be an all-inclusive go-to site for writing information no matter what type of writing people do.

Thanks to everyone for visiting this blog and supporting it through comments and links. I couldn’t have lasted this long without the help of all of you.

Happy Writing,

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