Writing Sites; Way Back When...(2006 -2010)
I’ve been writing online for about eight years.
I’ve seen sites come and go.
I’ve experienced rip off and smack downs.
I’m beginning to think people who write on line must love punishment. But way back when.....?
This site was fantastic. Firstly, it was easy. It didn’t demand 1000 words, photographs, bold, links, anything. All it wanted was original work. It had a lot of subsites which looked very professional; there was a site for articles about Computers and a site about Web pages, a site about Health; on and on. The pay rate was, for some sites, (I am NOT inventing this) 1c for 6 hits. (You read it right. You have 60 hits, you have 10c. You have 6000 hits, you have $10. And payment was rock solid.
I know people who easily made $200 per month!
This is because in those days Triond got about Five Million Hits a month. Making $200 was not exceptional, others writers made more. Getting Two Million hits in one month was not rare. A number of writers were in competition for who could get the most hits.
Somehow, the site was marked a Content Farm. (I’ll deal with that a bit later).
Hits began to fall, logging on became difficult and most articles couldn’t be Stumbled or Networked. Today, although it still pays, hits for the entire site are less than 30k a month.
Seeing the success of Triond, up came Bukisa which claimed to pay more; 1c for every 3 hits. This site got a rush of users but couldn’t maintain it so fell apart, so that you can write there but you won’t get paid.
I never liked this site because it was a competition. There was a list of articles you could write on. You’d go through the list, find a topic, write an article. Then, the other users would vote on it. So those who had X friends would get lots of votes. Those who didn’t, weren’t published. You could spend two hours researching Anne Boylen, write a paper that would get you an 'A’ in history. But you got a Zero on Helium.
By the way, you couldn’t post a single thing until after you engaged in voting on a number of other articles. So you could easily waste four hours of your life and get Zero. Happily, that rip off went down.
This was once a Premier site. There were Members, Writers, Staff Writers. Members didn’t get paid. They would have to write Five Articles which were approved before they were raised to Writer.
Every article had to be perfect. Had to be over 1k words, have images, links, and attribution. At first this site PAID. To make $50 a month was no sweat. It would get millions of hits, it was well received by Network sites, and had more 'shills’ than any other site. You couldn’t go anywhere you wouldn’t see someone posting their referral link.
People joined, did the five articles, got to be 'Writers’ got paid, worked hard, were moved to 'Staff Writer’ were they would no longer be moderated and could post until their fingers bled. Many people spoke about making $500 a month.
Then Factoidz changed. Whatever happened, (and there are stories) Factoidz stopped paying as well as it did, marking some articles 'low value’ so that 100 hits would get 1c.
Then it began to drop Staff writers to Writers and when they complained, or even asked for clarification, were dropped to Member. As members weren’t paid, this meant that you, who had 100 fantastic articles, all earning, got nothing. Some members were paid and ran around attacking everyone who dared criticize Factoidz.
Then they were dropped to Member as the site was taken down. This is because there were a lot of complaints.
Let me clarify; where Americans make up the bulk of the writers they have access to various agencies in America; whether the Attorney General’s Office of their State, or the Better Business Bureau, or the F.B.I. As Factoidz had a lot of American Members who made complaints, it went down.
This was the most popular site, it often got 20M hits a month. Lots of people wrote there. But here is what put the knife in heart of Hubpages; it was a 'Content Farm’. This term refers to a cow pasture where cows are busy emptying their bowels. Hubpages was warned in 2010, but didn’t listen. As we say in Jamaica, “If you don’t hear you will feel.”
What’s A Content Farm?
Once a site is marked a Content Farm it begins with a minus score. This means if you wrote an article, “ What to do in Kingston, Jamaica .” People who would search,putting those exact words in the Search box, would not see your site. They would see every other site which had Kingston or Jamaica before your’s. Because on a Content Farm, every single article begins with something like -15. Articles on Non-Content Farms begin at 0.
So “ What to do in Jamaica ” would match better than your article, so it would be on Page 1, your article might be on page 10. This happened to Hubpages. Although they have been working to pull up their socks, and still get a few Million hits a month, making 20c a month is standard.
Although there were dozens of other sites, some lasting a few years, others a few months, making $50 a month writing has become exceptional.