While many people rave over the usefulness of revenue sharing websites such as Squidoo, HubPages and Triond , there are many drawbacks for writers who rely on revenue sharing sites for a major part of their income.
While these sites indeed have their place in providing supplementary income in an easy to use manner, I do not believe that any writer should use these as a major platform for their writing business. As a matter of fact, there are a number of major issues to consider before placing any sort of reliance on a steady paycheck from these sites.
Here are 7 reasons why writers shouldn’t rely on popular revenue sharing sites:
1. You don’t make a lot of money
The estimates on how much people actually make from the most popular revenue sharing sites are often exaggerated, and it is very difficult for most writers to be able to earn any sort of livable wage from them. As the director for marketing and public relations at Examiner.com, a popular revenue sharing site so eloquently put it, writing for their website isn’t a “quit your day job” opportunity . Popular blogger Darren Rowse of Problogger.com also gave his personal story on why writing for revenue sharing sites isn’t the road to riches that many make it out to be. After finding out that his article was the top earner for popular revenue sharing site Squidoo, he anxiously checked his account to find out how much it had made.
Even though the payment structure for Squidoo and other revenue sharing sites has changed to allow for increased earnings, the truth is that the vast majority writers simply do not make much money from these sites.
2. A number of rules limit your earning potential
Revenue sharing sites often have many rules that limit the usefulness of your content and earning potential. Of course, this is for good reason – without these rules, it would be much easier for spammers and others to take advantage of their ability to post massive amounts of low quality content, which would have serious negative impacts on the site. However, the rules instituted to combat this issue make it far more difficult for writers to make a living. For example, many of these sites do not allow duplicate content, meaning that if it’s posted on their site, you cannot repost the same information anywhere else on the internet! That becomes a problem for writers who prefer to syndicate their content, so writers cannot resell or syndicate any content that they have on these sites.
3. The income you make isn’t truly passive
Because of the large amount of work that you have to put in to making your revenue sharing profile successful, some may argue that these sites aren’t truly passive income. According to one of the top earners for Examiner.com, he has to write over 1000 articles before he earns any decent income. In fact, he mentions that in order to make a decent income, he had to post “like mad, month after month, until it pays off and finally gets some traction”. The simple idea of having to write hundreds of articles before a decent paycheck even starts to roll in is almost unimaginable to many traditional freelance writers who make a living before or quickly after their articles have been submitted.
4. Your income isn’t reliable
There simply isn’t a reliable way to forecast how much money you’ll make from revenue sharing sites. Whereas a traditional freelance writer can enter into a contract for a certain amount of work in return for a guaranteed and stable payment, there is almost no way to predict how much money your revenue sharing article will net you. Not only that, even for those whose articles are making money, there is no way to tell if and when your earning will suddenly drop, rendering what may have been a profitable article suddenly worthless, like this author here.
5. You have no control over your content
By relying on another company’s platform, you run the risk of being subject to their whims and fancies. There are a number of horror stories where people who had thriving articles on a revenue sharing site suddenly had their account shut without warning or proper explanation – meaning that their entire earnings were cancelled without question at someone else’s discretion. Of course, with your own site, you would never have to worry about your content suddenly being locked or closed to the public.
6. You could make more money doing the exact same thing through your own website
Many people overlook the fact that they could earn as much money or more through their own website as they could through one of the revenue sharing sites. While most people cite cost as a limiting factor, the truth is that owning a website is both cheap and simple. A cursory look at GoDaddy.com shows that you could easily purchase a year’s worth of hosting for the bargain price of $36.12 per year – which works out to be $3 per month, easily within the reach of almost any freelancer budget. Not only that, but you would be able to customize as you like, and keep all of the revenue that you make – which may end up being far more than you would be paid from the revenue sharing sites.
7. It doesn’t look very professional
While some writers do try to use articles from revenue sharing sites, the truth is that your HubPages author account simply does not look very professional. Due to the obviously low bar of entry for many of these sites, editors will not be impressed if you trot out these accounts. As a matter of fact, a writer would probably be better off guest posting for free on a well-respected website with high traffic levels than posting on many of the popular revenue sharing sites.
Just like anything else, there are exceptions to the rule, where it does make sense to post to revenue sharing sites. Carol Tice makes an excellent argument for the limited use of revenue sharing sites, provided that they meet any one of these requirements:
- Revenue sharing sites that pay upfront or provide a minimum base pay along with traffic or ad revenue.
- High traffic sites such as the Huffington Post where your content is far more likely to generate a high level of page views and clicks, therefore almost guaranteeing a decent payday.
- Well regarded sites such as the Huffington Post which actually do look good on a writing resume.
Are you writing for a popular revenue sharing site? Maybe you have a new bubble from Bubblews, or a new lens from Squidoo? I would love to hear from you your thoughts and opinions on your personal earnings and dealings with these sites.