7 December 2009

Residual income vs upfront payment

I did mention in my previous post the big dicussion about content mills that's been making its rounds around the freelance community. I've also expressed my opinion in various places, which is that I have nothing against content mills, I quite enjoy them in fact. I can understand writers who are strongly against, quoting low, "insufficient" pay, hourly rates or pay-per-word. It all valid arguments.

Me? I enjoy the fact that Helium paid me in November, even though I hadn't written a word. I like to know I can write on any subject that strikes my fancy for AssociatedContent and still have those article bring me a penny or two. And I fully intend to post articles I'll be writing formy ebook online, before gathering them all in one nicely done pdf file.

Passive income is definitely something I will be pursuing even after I move to bigger projects. Simply because I know that while I'm not getting paid immediately after writing the article, those articles will be earning money for me over and over again, even years into the future.

Obviously, another revenue stream I considered is upfront payment. The lack of it available for non-US citizens such as myself made me ignore AssociatedContent for a long time. I did get a taste of being paid for my articles when I soldmy article at Helium Marketplace and when I was writing Press Releases for one of the online SEOs companies. It was an interesting experience. I certainly learned about bidding for jobs, applying and selecting samples.

The rejection is still something I'm not entirely sure how to deal with, but it is a part of a freelance life. And since upfront payments are something I want to explore further and soon, it's something I need to familiarize myself with. Though, hopefully, I won't have to (yes, I'm staying possitive).

Nonetheless, I decided to look for something long term (as I prefer to stick to one place... It's in my nature, you might say) and I applied to Lovetoknow.com.
Now, most of the writers out there would probably call that site a "content mill" and they would probably be right. The site pays $20 per article of min. 650 words. It's not the highest price for an article, though it is one of the highest upfront payments on content mills I've seen. They also require a lot of commitment, but I applied for "Study Abroad" section and "Travel"; categories I have a lot of experience in and I love them dearly. I'll keep you updated, of course (hopefully they both will like my application and hire non-US writers).


Kate said...

Good luck with it. Sorry if I am being stupid but why do people object to content mills?

Kate x

Jane Rutherford said...

Hello Kate,

To be honest I am not entirely sure why so many freelance writers are against content mills. I am a strong believer in the theory that if you don'tlike something, you simply don't participate in it.

In a way, I think they might consider content mills and their rates as an attack on the general quality of the content available online and as an indirect influence on the fact that the rates those writers charge are lower than they would like... While I think that one has nothing to do with the other. If a writers wants to get paid more per article, they raise their rates, or look for better paying clients. End of story, it's not all that difficult...

But like I said, I'm not sure why so many writers are against that subject... :/