Paid-to-Write Sites: To Write or Not to Write

Last night I did something I rarely do, I noticed an advertisement on the right hand side of my Facebook page. Suite101.com advertised that they needed writers. Intrigued I went to their site. Writers are asked to fill out an application that requires two writing samples. The Web site said that my credentials and samples would be reviewed, and if Suite101 felt my writing and credentials met their needs an editor would contact me. My writing samples were two previously published articles. I wasn’t surprised to find out I’d been accepted. I was, however, surprised to receive the congratulations email in less than 12 hours. The terms of the employment which they outlined in the email included a set number of articles I’d be expected to write within a given period of time. I was instructed to read and sign their contract. That’s when I decided to do a little investigative work. Below is one of the articles I found. This review by IBrutus on hubpages.com

“Suite101.com is another revenue sharing, paid-to-write site (PTW), similar to Gather and Helium. However, the terms of agreement at Suite101 so favor the company and deprive writers of revenue, I’m giving it a big thumbs down.

These PTW sites work by placing ads on the pages and sharing whatever revenue is generated with the authors. The exact percentage is often hard to determine, but it definitely favors the website owners. The real advantage to a blogger is that by posting material on multiple sites you can drive traffic to your own site.

And that is where the fault in Suite101 lies. Other sites allow duplicate posting. You can post a article about Tom Cruise’s latest movie on your website, Gather, Helium, Xomba, Hub Pages and Thisisby. Suite101 demands exclusive writes to all your content and does not except previously published material.

For exclusive rights to original material, they pay $1.50 per thousand page views. One writer posting on the sites forum said he had 100 articles that received 34,000 page views in a month. Fifty-dollars a month for all that work. Ridiculous! Had he sold those articles to Associated Content, he would have received anywhere from $4 to $50 a piece. AC also pays a performance bonus of $1.50 per thousand page views in addition to the upfront pay.

I recommended selling non-exclusive rights to AC, then posting the same article to to Hub Pages and Xomba. Both those sites alternate showing Google Adsense ads with their account code and yours. The fairest revenue sharing model for making money writing online. I wrote this article on Associated Content for Hub Pages. It has received 193 page views with my Adsense account code, making $2.50. That’s about $10 a thousand views for comparison.”

I cannot substantiate the information posted on HubPages, After my cursory research and given my own experiences with publishing I decided that Suite101.com was not an opportunity I wanted to pursue at this time. (Later on I’ll discuss the problems I’m currently having validating the royality payments I am receiving through Amazon.)

If you need money to validate your work then a PTW may be the answer. If you never receive any money or you get some obscenely small payment for your work, the only thing you’ve lost is the investment of your time. That’s why I’ve continually suggested people write because they love to write. The reward is in the writing. If you decide to try a PTW I offer several cautionaries. Don’t expect writing for a PTW to be a good resume builder. I don’t know how stringent PTWs are about selecting writers, and I don’t know how other employers view the content on these sites. Finally, you’ll have to provide the PTW with personal data and specifics on how you are to be paid. My advice is to use a PayPal account and not  a checking or savings account. If they want information for direct deposit, I’d advise you to look elsewhere. Providing direct deposit information could open you to financial problems rather than rewards.

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Filed under cost, PTW, scams, writing

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