What are revenue sharing websites?
These are third party websites, which pay for user generated content in the form of articles, video, audio and pictures. This post refers to writing websites that have a payment scheme in place for sharing their revenue with content producers and writers.
If you observe closely, you will notice that there are always some form of advertising on these types of websites. Revenue sharing websites generate their income from the ads placed on the website and/or affiliate links. This is how they keep the ship afloat, aside from providing newly published content to attract more visitors. When someone visits the website and clicks on an ad or makes a purchase through an affiliate links, the website generates revenue. The revenue is then split between the website owner and the content producer. Please be advised that writers who contribute to most revenue share websites are independent contractors and not employees.
There are two common compensation structures:
Pay per view Writers receive a certain amount of money per 1- 1000 unique views to content. For, example Bubblews pays 1 penny per unique view to a post. The amount paid varies with the platform.
Advertising/Affiliate revenue splits- Websites that pay through this method allow their members to sign up with an advertising network or affiliate programs, like AdSense and Amazon Associates. The website shares a portion of the revenue with contributing members. Some websites don’t require their members to sign up for an ad network. The website owner uses their own ad network account and distributes revenue share to the writers. The ones that do this, usually pay writers directly via PayPal, wire transfer or direct deposit.
What are the pros of writing for a revenue sharing website?
These platforms are a great creative outlet for people who have a thirst for knowledge and a knack for stringing words together coherently. Writing offers flexibility for the person in between jobs, full time students, stay at home parents, or people looking to ease into freelance writing and copywriting. It is free to register and it is a nice way to supplement your income. It is open to beginners, with very little experience, as well as seasoned pros.
They are helpful for people who don’t know anything about blogging or writing for the internet . Members don’t have to worry about learning coding (HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.). The main requirements are that you do your research, abide by the rules and then let your creative juices flow.
Most of these websites will give you the freedom to write on most topics that you care about. So, you aren’t required to write in a specific niche or topic. Whenever I am in the mood to blog about diverse topics, I publish the articles on a revenue sharing website. This makes more sense than publishing the article on my own blog in an unrelated niche.
Unless you are writing for upfront payment, there are no deadlines. There are no taskmasters demanding that you submit articles on a scheduled basis.
Another good reason to submit your content to these sites is that they have high amounts traffic from loyal visitors. The owners spend large amounts of money on SEO (search engine optimization), advertising and marketing to promote their business. Most revenue sharing websites have high rankings in the search engines. Therefore, many of the articles placed on these websites appear on the first page of Google.
This means that you stand a much better chance of publishing an article which receives a healthy number of page views, by submitting your articles through a revenue sharing website. It can be much more difficult to get your articles on the first page of Google with a new website/blog. That is true especially if you know nothing about driving traffic, social networking or SEO.
Some revenue sharing websites allow writers the opportunity to earn residual income from their articles. Once you publish an article on one of these websites, it has the potential to continue making money for you into the future. In most cases, no additional work is required beyond writing and promoting the articles via social media.
I joined some revenue sharing websites in 2009, and had no idea what I was doing. I was honestly not that serious about it at the time. It took me about six months to a year to learn what I needed to know to start increasing my earnings. People who join revenue sharing websites stand to benefit in so many ways. At the very least, they will help you to become a better writer and a better internet marketer.
Some people wonder why a writer would ever want to put his or her content on another company’s website. There are a few easy explanations for this. For one, an unknown and inexperienced writer may gain more practice and develop a portfolio by writing for a platform owned by someone else. It is also a great way to network with other writers in that website’s community and learn more tools for success. Some writing websites provide style guides, forums and support for their member writers.
The forums at the sites are chock-full-of information about SEO, affiliate marketing, keyword research, blogging, and many other topics. Most of the members are very generous about sharing information on how they’ve succeeded online and other opportunities to make money on the internet.
What are the cons of writing for a revenue sharing website?
The owner of the website retains control over what is displayed. Some revenue sharing websites have very strict rules for the types content that is published on their platform. Some of them have editors that hold contributors to a certain quailty standard before articles are even published. They do this in order to please their audience and remain in good standing with the advertisers. There is the looming risk that content that they consider to be too controversial, illegal, offensive to readers and advertisers, will be removed without warning.
Anyone who is already experienced with web writing knows about Google algorithm updates. From about 2010- 2013, Google implemented major changes to their algorithm. The most notable among the updates are Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird Google algorithim updates. This was done to prevent worthless, poor quality, duplicate, spammy content from ranking high in the search engines. Some revenue sharing websites are regarded as content farms with poor quality content. So they were dramatically impacted by the algorithm changes.
Basically, the traffic to and readership of your content is at the mercy of the major search engines. This holds especially true if you rely mainly on organic traffic from the search engines. This is the reason why many revenue sharing websites are now editing/moderating content, whereas they did not before. And some of them will not allow content which has been published elsewhere on the web- even if you are the original author.
Some discourage or limit affiliate links or backlinking to build traffic to your own website. For example, Bubblews does not allow any affiliate or promotional links. Hubpages places limits on links that are promotional and will not allow any affiliate links from Clickbank.
Most revenue sharing websites will agree that the writer retains copyright ownership over any content that is produced and submitted, unless otherwise stated. So, the writer is usually free to remove their content, if desired, without penalty. However, there are few revenue sharing websites that grant themselves certain rights to repubish your content. So, always be sure to read the fine print.
Will you make money with revenue sharing websites?
Yes, but you will not become an overnight success or eek out a full time living for several months or even years. This requires lots of hard work upfront to build a large portfolio of good quality content and marketing the content. The process is very time consuming to do research for articles, drafting, and proofreading before publishing them. It is your call whether to invest the time and effort that is required to make money on these sites.
The most obvious disadvantage is related to the pay structure. There is no guarantee that you will make money. There is also no upfront payment for article posts submitted. Writers on revenue sharing sites need to share the advertising revenue with the website owners. This is only fair since the website owner is responsible for the financial, legal and administrative drawbacks of owning and maintaining such large platforms. You always have that option to publish content to your own blog or website and keep 100% of any earned revenue.
Popular revenue sharing websites:
You will need to make the determination as to whether you can benefit from writing for a revenue sharing website and whether it is worth your time. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you come up with some goals, a good strategy and an action plan for maximizing your time spent curating content. Professional writers can skip these websites altogether, as they are capable of earning more money through freelance writing for private clients. As soon as you gain enough knowledge and skills, devote more energy towards building your own niche websites.