Revenue Sharing Sites
If you don't need cash immediately, or you want to also spend some time investing in long-term projects, you might want to also try the revenue sharing sites. These provide you with an easy platform on which to publish your content. They will use advertising on the site, placed around your content, and distribute a portion of the income from this to the authors. This obviously means you will only get paid if people read your content, but it has the advantage that there's no cut off to this income.
The obvious alternative to this is to self-publish on your own website or blog and sign up for accounts to advertise with google AdSense or Amazon affiliates for example. However:
- Hosting costs money and takes time. While hosting is relatively cheap these days and content management systems, such as Joomla! and WordPress, are relatively easy to install, it may still be more time and money than you're willing to spend, especially if it's just a hobby or sideline.
- Publishing sites are already established. A good publishing site will already have a lot of trusted sites linking to content on their system. This is a huge advantage from an SEO perspective and will help your work to feature more prominently in search engines.
Even if you're adamant on self-publishing there is still good reasons to make use of these sites. Often there is no requirement that it is unique to them; you must simply have the rights required to post it. This means you can re-publish the same material both on their site and your own. You can also use them to drive additional traffic to your own site; this is perfectly legitimate on a lot of sites, so long as you are contributing worthy content to them – spamming meaningless content to promote your own site, however, will most likely result in it being deleted and your content deleted.
Associated Content (US only)
Associated content was founded in 2005 and as since been acquired by Yahoo. Touted as the people's media company, it combines a number of different models for article publishing:
- Performance Payment: Author's publish their content and receive a payment based the number of readers accessing their content. Currently, this is set at a baseline of $1.50 per 1000 impressions and rises as the writer's 'clout' increases.
- Requested Articles: They advertise required articles on particular subjects, which authors can "claim" (I believe this reserves your submission slot and avoids someone beating you to it). Once the article is submitted, it is checked and if it's good enough quality, the author is credited.
- Upfront Payment: In addition to performance payment you can also be offered an upfront payment of between $2 and $15 for certain highly sought-after content. This would be in addition to your performance payment and is an interesting compromise solution between long- and short-term gains.
Unfortunately the site only offers payments to U.S. citizens and residents, citing the often used tax arguments, so I won't be exploring it too much. It does however give off some good vibes. You can choose to publish exclusively (more chance of upfront payment) or non-exclusively (can republish the same content on other sites). Comments on the net seem generally positive, and it does seem to have potential if you have a knack of creating the content people want to read. It should only be thought of as a long-term option though, you will probably need to provide a decent amount of good quality content before you start seeing your impressions build up.There's also a referral program, but no one seems to know what it does.
Suite101.com follows a revenue sharing model similar that of Associated Content (AC). There are however some crucial differences. Firstly, suite101.com are only interested in content that is going to be exclusive to them for a full year. Secondly, unlike AC, no upfront payments are offered for any articles.
No specific payment is outlined. You will receive a percentage of advertising revenue originating from your articles, but suite101 do not release what this percentage is. The general feeling one gets is that conditions are very weighted towards them when you compare it to those at AC. For example, instead of publishing an article at suite101, you could publish it non-exclusively at AC. As it's non-exclusive, you could publish the same article on your own website/blog and also get benefit from it there. You could also publish it on other revenue sharing sites that do not require exclusivity.
Hub pages works slightly different to the above sites. Instead of paying you per impression, the site alternates advertising between its own and your advertising. This means that you will need to sign up for your own Google AdSense and Amazon affiliate accounts. You will be paid any revenue directly by Google/Amazon, which avoids the common tax related problems a lot of these sites have. Setting up content, or "hubs", is a real breeze; it's simply a case of adding a number of different modules to your page (such as blocks of text, images, polls, etc) and fill in the content yourself. Content is not required to be exclusive to their site, but you may prefer to work this way rather than compete with yourself over several sites.
Overall hub pages looks very slick, and the fact that it displays your own advertising gives you a bit more piece of mind when it comes to payments. It gets a thumbs-up from me.