By in Writing

Another one bites the dust

A number or us who submit our work at one of the major content writing sites received notice yesterday that it would no longer continue. The site would shut down that component as of July 31, 2014.

I wouldn't say that news came as a surprise. I think we all knew it was coming eventually. But, I will say it was still a shock. For some, their "voices" have been heard there since 2005-2006.

My "voice" has been there since 2009. I felt like I was making headway lately. Have never been a fast writer, nor one that got millions of page views, but I really enjoyed writing about topics and getting paid more than mere pennies for it.

Unfortunately, I never felt like the site's upper echelon really cared about the writers. The bottom line -- especially the monetary one -- is always the bottom line, no matter where one writes. Authors are just a throw away commodity.

And that's a shame. We're more than the words we put on paper. And especially more than the ad revenue we generate. The site told us, at the end of the announcement, that it had been such "an incredible privilege to share your talents with the world over these past nine years. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts."

I could have done without that. I don't believe it for a second -- at least not of management. Editors? Yes, they probably formed attachments with some of the writers and feel bad about what's happening. But to management, it's just par for the course.

So it goes, that another one bites the dust. And as that dust settles, some of us will give up on online writing. Others will try to find a niche elsewhere, at another site. Only to have it happen again in a few years, there.

Kermit, the frog, is known for saying that it's not easy being green.

If he thinks that's bad, he should try being a writer.


© DorothyGale
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indexer wrote on July 3, 2014, 7:06 PM

I think we need to start asking about the economics of online writing, and why the owners of such sites are finding that they no longer pay. Is it Google's strictures that are the problem, or is it simply that advertisers no longer find that these sites are worth supporting? Is it maybe the case that there are too many such sites and what is happening is that the market is having a general "shake down"? It would be good to know why some sites, including heavyweights such as Helium and Yahoo Voices, cannot make a go of it and others seem to be able to do so. I am sure that those sites still trying to prosper - including Persona Pages - would love to know the answers to these questions. Perhaps they already do?

JanetHunt wrote on July 3, 2014, 7:19 PM

DorothyGale You said it! I couldn't have put it better! I also started in 2009. I don't regret it. I met some great friends there and learned a lot about writing too! :)

DorothyGale wrote on July 3, 2014, 7:29 PM

indexer ... I agree with you. Online writing sites will only succeed if they can figure out why most of them fail. As you said, maybe there are just too many of them. Or maybe the quality control is not there, in terms of the writing, and so the public stops visiting. I know for some sites, it's a combination of both writing quality and tech issues. Sure wish someone would figure it out soon, though.

DorothyGale wrote on July 3, 2014, 7:36 PM

JanetHunt ... thanks for your kind comments. Like you, I met some great people and learned a lot there. Just wish it could have continued! If a major player like that couldn't manage to keep online writing afloat, it makes you wonder if any company/site can. Still, I suppose that's just disappointment speaking, and by tomorrow I'll be convinced that new and exciting times lie ahead for online writers, and I'll want to be right there at the forefront. (And I know you will, too. :)

MarshaMusselman wrote on July 3, 2014, 7:52 PM

At first I was going to ask which site you were talking about, and then I remembered skimming over a similar email yesterday. I'll have to get back there to see which articles I had on the site. I know there weren't too many, and I'm sure I already have it saved elsewhere, but i want to be sure about that before it's too late.

JanetHunt wrote on July 3, 2014, 9:01 PM

DorothyGale Yes, onward and upward we go! :)

poddys wrote on July 4, 2014, 3:36 AM

I know one reason why YCN failed, and that's because Yahoo didn't put the right people to put it right. After 3 or more years, they seemed to create more site errors than they fixed, annoyed and frustrated a lot of writers, and were incapable of making the page on the site SEO effective. As a result people moved away, and content often got less traffic than it might have. The last screw up with page view statistics took almost 3 weeks to fix. That was probably the last nail in the coffin, although I am sure pulling the plug has been something they thought about for a long time.

I think the best thing to do is to be in control. If you write enough, try managing your own sites and writing there. It's not too hard to get a following, or write on a site that is owned by a group of friends. I know of a few of those, with friends from sites like Squidoo and YCN.

Once we start writing we must go on I think, I know I will.

inertia4 wrote on July 4, 2014, 8:33 AM

DorothyGale Well I cannot say I am sad to see that site go. I tried to become a member there but they told me I was not good enough. So I didn't bother. I felt that it was just a waste. As for it not succeeding, well, lets take a good look at who owned that site. We all know Yahoo is not the greatest search engine nor the greatest site around. Google has it all over them. And Yahoo always seems to have problems and becomes compromised at times. The last thing I remember was they had their email hacked and people lost their accounts. Yes, it could be advertisers, it could be Google or it just may be ignorance on their part. Trying to make more money and failed yet again.

rusty2rusty wrote on July 5, 2014, 12:48 PM

It is truly sad to see a writing site go. I have seen many come and go.

Ruby3881 wrote on July 13, 2014, 2:35 AM

I haven't voiced anything there in several years, mostly because as a Canadian all I got after they reshuffled the featured contributor program was the crumbs from PVs. No upfront pay for non-US writers.... It's still a bit sad to see it go, though :(

Ruby3881 wrote on July 13, 2014, 2:52 AM

I have to wonder if the sites that have higher standards aren't failing because of sites that have no standards, and pay out quickly. I won't name any names.... But there are sites that let just about anyone write a ton of posts about what they had for breakfast, and then pay out almost as much as some more legitimate sites (if not more.) Some of the "easier" sites are rife with lousy spelling and grammar, posts that lack organization and focus, even obviously plagiarized content.

I believe the "better" sites go under because Google paints them all with the same brush, and considers them all "content farms." But also because people who write good content for those sites go and paste it all over the "easier" sites, which accept duplicate content. That just makes the original piece look like one more instance of copy and paste.

I want to celebrate that Persona Paper has chosen not to go that way. It could have, but the admin here made some tough decisions about what should and not not be acceptable here. I have hope that this site will prove itself with time, and it will be one to succeed.

PriscillaKing wrote on July 16, 2014, 5:24 PM

Some were Editors and some were Predators. I thought the balance was in favor of Editors before Yahoo took over.