Recently, Examiner.com 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.