Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Associated Content vs Helium vs Suite101 vs Examiner vs Ehow

While I did not do any kind of official challenge to compare the various content sites I wrote for, I thought it would be valuable to compare the results of each one. I did not set out this month with the intention of doing this; I just tried to increase my production so I can eventually have a decent level of residual income. A week or so ago, I thought it would be interesting to see a comparison at the end of each month, so I am going to start doing that. This is pretty unscientific, because there are a lot of variables. Topic selection could have a big influence on the outcome.

[actual results removed due to a couple of the sites' policies that payments not be disclosed. Sorry!]

From the results, it is clear that Suite101 is the biggest earner per article this month, despite the lack of up-front payments.

However, I should note that Associated Content has had some indexing issues--articles are either not getting to the search engines or they are getting there but getting delisted. Associated Content claims there is no problem, but MANY content producers insist there is. Some have technical ways to show it that are over my head, but everyone is seeing a decrease in performance. For April and May, my performance pay was over $9, and it dropped by $3 in June--with 15 additional articles. There is clearly something rotten in the state of...Associated Content! However, even with an additional $3 in performance pay, AC would still be behind Suite101 in per-article earnings.

Examiner.com came in third. They pay .01 per page view, which is not bad. I think my topic selection and keywording there need work, because my views are pretty poor. I get the most views on days I post an article, probably because I post the link everywhere.

Helium and eHow are neck and neck. Helium at least has up-fronts, but I can't deny that eHow articles perform pretty well. Lots of views and decent revenue share, it seems. I don't know how much effort I want to put in there, but it would be nice to build up enough articles to meet pay-out ($10) every month. However, is it worth putting effort into a site that has the same structure as Suite101? Why not just put my how-to articles there? I may end up doing that.

I should also point out that the sample size is pretty small, so that adds to the unscientificness of this.

I also write for Demand Studios, but not very often so I didn't bother including them. I'm probably spending too much time on online content and not enough querying magazines!

17 comments:

SavinMaven said...

I like the idea of submitting to different sites, but I don't like keeping up with their different guidelines.

Eve Lopez said...

Wow, awesome. Thanks for sharing. Your Suite101 info warms my heart--I just started writing for them a couple of weeks ago. So far no revenue but it's early in the game. Lots of great info here!

Crystal St. Marie Lewis said...

I write for Suite101 and have written for Examiner, EHow, and Associated Content. Suite has been by far the most financially rewarding. I highly recommend Suite and Demand Studios over the other options.

mkpelland said...

If you place one article as the result of a magazine query, and make low end fees for it, a 500 word piece should be worth $50 to $75. You also get a clip that other editors recognize as quality and you begin a print portfolio. Your next placement should get you about $75 to $100 if you query consistently.How do the online conglomerates look like a good deal when you consider that?

mkp
http://www.ontext.com

hutch126 said...

Thanks for your post. This seems like a ton of work for 40 or 50 bucks a month. Do you all think that the effort is worth it, or is there a better way to get your content out there with exposure and the opportunity for pay?

Eve Lopez said...

I think it's funny that mkpelland just posted a typical print writer's diss on residual websites ... but if you go to her web page, you can see links to her Examiner.com profile.

LOL.

rsfreeland said...

I started with Constant Content. You can write what you want, and set your own price. Web-masters can come to the site and look for articles that fit their needs. Or you can write specific articles for web-masters who issue "public requests" for articles on topics specific to their sites.

At Constant Content, you can place your articles for sale under 3 licenses - usage, unique, and full rights. Usage rights allows a buyer to use the article one time and not change anything. Authors can re-sell articles bought for usage over and over. Unique and full rights can only be sold once. Full rights give the buyer exactly that - full right to do with the article as he pleases.

I like Constant Content because the author has so much control of his content. Full rights articles sometimes sell for $40 to $50 or more. Even usage rights can sell for $15 to $20. The site is easy to break into, and competent writers should have no trouble meeting their guidelines - if they read through the writer's guide, the writer's tutorial, the blog, and the forums first.

The editors are great at helping new writers make the grade, but you only get 3 chances to improve - then you're cut. But usually only if you're a hopeless case. If you show promise, adhere to the rules of grammar and punctuation, you'll do fine. And the forums here are great, the other writers very helpful.

I highly recommend Constant Content.

Articles that don't sell on Constant Content can be pulled and used elsewhere at the author's discretion.

I also write for Suite101. I like it, the editors are very helpful as are the forums, and I know they operate on a different revenue model, but man it takes a long time to accumulate returns! Have to think of it as a long-term return on investment thing.

A template is a good tool for making sure you're covering your bases as far as different site's guidelines go. Most sites duplicate requirements for products from their authors. It's mostly common sense, good grammar, punctuation, sentence structure - in other words, competent writing. The rest is citing sources and technical stuff, and submission guidelines unique to a particular site.

Write your personal guideline checklist to encompass the most strict site, and then add guidelines from other sites you write for as "riders". Gives you a quick, accurate and on-going method of checking your work.

cyrus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennifer Walker said...

Hey all, thanks for your comments! I posted my response as a new post.

suchin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
HeatherBlueSky said...

I write for eHow, Suite101, Helium, Examiner.com, Constant Content, Triond, Textbroker and Associated Content. I would rank them in order like this:

eHow
Suite101
Constant Content
Helium (Marketplace upfront payment)
Examiner.com
Associated Content
Textbroker
Triond

Claudia Lenart said...

Hi Jennifer, I think you're right about spending too much time with the online content sites. I write for Suite101. I like the idea of the residuals, but honestly, I think with limited time available, I'd rather be working on my books or seeking out magazine writing. You can really waste a lot of time writing online. I used to make about $50 an hour writing for mags and newspapers.

Bay Blogger said...

The disadvantage is, Suite101 does not let you write under a pen name. Which I dont like, as I dont want my friends to know, if an article sucks.

Jennifer Walker said...

Bay Blogger, I know a couple of people who do write under a pen name at Suite 101. However, it is a full-on entity for them--all their writing is under that name, they have an EIN for it and everything.

Personally, I just try not to let my articles suck too much and don't write anything I don't want my mom to read!

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