Yahoo! shutdown the Yahoo Contributor Network and Yahoo Voices the end of July 2014 and all of the published articles were deleted from their servers. I wrote a short review about the Yahoo Contributor Network in another blog post.
Even though I wasn’t active there, I am a little upset to see them go. This was one of the first websites that allowed me to publish my content and get paid for it.
I published less than 40 articles, and continued to receive a few dollars in Performance Payments every couple of months. It’s not much, but every bit helps if you want to buy a cup of Starbucks.
I had stopped publishing for YCN over a year, ago. I developed a bit of a distaste for them after I submitted an article to them and never heard anything back (even after 10 business days). I deleted the article from YCN and published it on my personal blog instead.
There are some contributors who published hundreds and even thousands of articles on Yahoo Contributor Network. Many of them were making hundreds to thousands monthly in Upfront Payments and Performance Payments. To see all of that residual income vanish with short notice has to be devastating. Not only does this impact their income, it also impacts the amount of time that it will take for them to download those articles and come up with another plan.
The contributors are going scramble to find somewhere else to put their writing. They will do this in order to keep their residual income stream flowing.
And another one goes down in smoke… Squidoo is shutting down, too!
Squidoo announced that it is closing down. Helium is closing down in December and I hear that Zujava lost their Amazon Associates account. Suite 101 is no more. I see a recurring trend here. As the saying goes: “The only thing that is constant is change”. Many user generated content mills and revenue sharing websites have either shutdown or have problems paying their contributors.
Squidoo is a writing platform founded by Seth Godin that allowed individual authors to publish articles called “lenses”. I joined in 2010, but decided not to publish there, because I didn’t like some of their rules and standards for publishing. I lost interest in Squidoo a few years ago when I noticed how much poorly written stuff was published there. Plus, I didn’t like the way that they treated some of their publishers. Lenses (the articles published on Squidoo) seemed to be locked in an arbitrary fashion, without warning.
Squidoo was acquired by Hubpages (another publishing platform). Lensmasters (the publishers on Squidoo) with at least one featured lens are permitted to migrate their work over to Hubpages, if they wish to do so.
Squidoo was hit really hard by the Panda update, along with many other similar websites. So, the update caused a reduction in search engine traffic, which led to reduced readership and revenue. Hubpages was able to bounce back a little from the Panda update. I don’t think that Hubpages ever made a full recovery of most of its high ranking in Google and traffic. Some of the authors on Hubpages complain that they aren’t making nearly as much money as they were prior to Panda. Many of them have jumped ship due to this fact.
I am going to be honest. When you submit your content to a revenue sharing website, you are building up their internet property and adding value to their system. More good quality and relevant content and media added to a website tends to make Google happy.
The biggest takeaway that I get from this situation is that they can kick you to the curb, whenever they want. They don’t care about your bills and the amount of time that you have invested into producing content and helping their business. They probably won’t be moved if you were to scream “Murder!” and cry tears of blood about the debacle.
Just look at how much courtesy and respect that Squidoo paid to their contributors by dropping the bomb on them at such short notice. The owners of revenue sharing websites are obligated to look out for their own best interests; your interests and financial welfare take a backseat to theirs.
I won’t come down on user-generated content mills and revenue share websites too harshly; that would be like throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water. There are some benefits to utilizing them. Revenue sharing websites are fine for building up a portfolio and earning some residual income. They are not a permanent or dependable income stream. We should never become overly dependent on them. If you are going to use them and other third-party money making systems, keep in the back of your mind that you aren’t in control.
Like I said in my video, diversify your income and your efforts. Don’t make the mistake of putting all of your eggs in one basket. Again, look at what has happened to some of the people whom have published their content on Squidoo. Some of them published anywhere from hundreds to thousands of articles there. Those articles were netting many of them hundreds to thousands of dollars per month in residual income.
Now, they are going to hustle and scramble to find a way to replace their lost income. They are going to need to figure out if they should rewrite, repurpose their content, republish it or retire it. Some platforms don’t want content that has been published elsewhere on the web- even if the content has already de-indexed in search engines. So, it may or may not be a good decision to try and put the articles up on another website.
I would love to go on about this, but I think that I have rambled about it enough and beat this topic into the ground. So, I will leave you with this: You can either stop using revenue share websites/user-generated content mills or continue to use them. The choice is yours. If you decide to continue using them, get what you can out of revenue sharing sites, but make sure that you create your own internet property and other revenue streams.