Monday, October 29, 2007

One Month of Articles

Some of you have remained curious about my experiences with Helium & Associated Content, so I thought I'd give you an update since I've now been a member of both for a month now. I first talked about them in my post, Freelance Writing Opportunities on the Web so check that out for background. In this post, I've summarized my experiences with the two and am taking the opportunity to point you towards the articles I've written in case you're interested. They are not all great, but decent enough; especially since I spend very little time working on them.

HELIUM

I've become less of a fan of Helium for a few reasons, namely that much of what they don't do, Associated Content does do and better. On the other hand, I do like that they will at times offer to buy your articles and the way they do so is very transparent. (A publisher says what they're looking for, you write on it, others rank your articles and the publisher looks through the top choices.) Yet it's hard to find out which topics are articles for potential purchase. I also tend to find easier topics to write on since the quality is sometimes so bad it demands a good, quick article.

The multiple articles on the same topic format is nice to see the sorts of advice you get, but is also too constraining and frustrating at times. For example, it's easy to find a topic and other views, but if you want to write from a different angle, or nuance you're restricted by a very specific title. The rating system is also a bit capricious. While they claim it is an honest evaluation, there are some articles that are in first or second place that are terrible when better articles are below; so there's something off about their rating system. Probably that it is done blind by people with no interest or knowledge in the subject. I find myself looking for topic sentences and organization when I rate rather than reading the full article.

If you want to know the rest of my problems with Helium's format, click here for my article on that very topic.

ASSOCIATED CONTENT

I really like writing for them because I see exactly how many people have viewed each page, though they are slow to post this since it's in Beta. And I'm making nearly twice as much as I am on Helium, thus can see the difference. I mentioned earlier that they allow comments and I find it an interesting way to interact with other writers and to see what people say to me; though, of course, not all posts garner comments regularly. I've been noticing how much people have made on the site because they have a star system based on number of page views so you can roughly estimate profits; there are a number of people who have made a few hundred dollars in the few months they have been members so it looks like if you write consistently about interesting things, you can use it as a nice supplement for your income.

DIRECT COMPARISON

So how have I "done" this month in terms of the two sites? I have 5 articles that have been up on both sites for roughly the same time period. Helium is ranking 2 of the 5 in first place, yet I have only made a total of $0.58 on them and have no idea how many people have read my articles. With Associated Content those same articles have garnered $1.56 and around 1,000 people have viewed them. So a dramatic difference, especially since I've been with Helium slightly longer. While neither is a lot of money, I feel that Associated Content's pick up quickly and earn regularly.

I'm not going to do a month-by-month comparison every month because that will be dull and boring, but instead will update you next time I make a substantial amount of money, or after three more months (i.e. a quarter update). If you're looking to write, I would recommend doing Associated Content since the fee structure is profitable, transparent and consistent. On the other hand, if you're really successful on AC, you might be able to make half as much at Helium, making it worthwhile to post on both.

2 comments:

Jefferson Otwell said...

That is a great comparison of the two. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Chelsea said...

Glad you found it helpful! I'm really interested in whether or not it's possible to supplement (or even) earn a living through these sorts of things. The whole being able to choose your own schedule, etc is rather appealing. :-)