Yahoo Contributor Network (formerly known as Associated Content) is an online platform where writers can publish content on a variety of interests and passions while getting paid to do it. Associated Content was purchased in 2011 by Yahoo for $100 million. Soon thereafter, Associated Content became known as Associated Content by Yahoo and then the Yahoo Contributor Network. The purchase was a move to provide more content to its audience at a much lower cost. The web address for viewing content and logging in to an account is www.voices.yahoo.com. Contributors are allowed to produce and submit almost any type of content to the website, provided that it does not violate the terms of service agreement and that it Is not deemed as offensive.
When I joined back in 2009, the website was a bit more liberal in allowing most contributors to place content on its website. Contributors mainly needed to have the ability to produce original content, with marginal to fair writing skills and good (not great) English grammar and spelling skills. However, over the past few years, there were several updates to the Google search engine algorithms. Websites with poorly written, duplicate content were penalized with lower rankings in the Google search engine. Associated Content developed a reputation in certain writing circles as a “content farm”, meaning that much of the content placed on the website was viewed by some as poor quality. I won’t call anyone out, but based on some of the articles that I have read there from certain contributors, I found that to be partially true.
Prior to the Google updates, I was able to write an article and publish it on Associated Content almost immediately. Nowadays, the process of submitting an article and having it accepted by the Yahoo Contributor Network is more rigourous. All articles must be reviewed by an editor and is usually accepted or denied within 10 business days. If the content passes the muster of the Submission Guidelines then it is good to go and usually published. Article length is generally between 400-600 words.
Contributors have the choice of submitting unsolicited articles or submitting articles from the Assignment Desk. An “unsolicited article” is an article that a contributor writes on a topic of his or her choice. An “Assignment Desk” article is just as the name implies: the contributor will go to the Assignment Desk and select an assignment there to write about and then submit the finished article to an editor for review. There are usually guidelines that need to be followed for submitting an Assignment Desk article, such as how much the contributor can expect to be paid for accepted articles and how many words the article must be.
There are two main systems of compensation with this website: Performance Payments and Upfront Payments. Performance payments are based on the amount of views that an article receives. It is calculated and paid in the range of $1- $2 per 1000 views to an article. So for example, you have an article that recieves 2700 page views in one month. And your performance payment level is $1.50 per 1000 pages views, then you will be paid $4.05 for that particular month and that article. Assignments for Upfront Payments are obtained through the Yahoo Contributor Assignment Desk. Articles have the potential to earn performance payments for as long as the article remains published through YCN.
Although the pay is not great for an experienced professional writer, it is a good way for a newbie to the game of blogging/ internet writing to get his or her feet wet, gain some exposure, and earn a few extra dollars. Contributors aren’t allowed to use their profile and articles for self-promotion purposes. They are allowed to place links to their “affilliations”, blogs and websites in their contributor profiles, though. I have been contacted in my inbox by people interested in having me write for them. So it is a good way to network and put yourself out there.
In order to be eligible to write for The Yahoo Contributor Network, you will need to be a U.S. Citizen or resident and at least 18 years old, with a valid PayPal account. If you want to use a pen name, this is permitted. At the same time YCN has rules about the type of pen names you can use and suggests that you use your real name and a good profile picture of yourself.
All in all, my experience with YCN has been a positive one. I have not had any major problems with comment trolls or spammers. I simply delete the few offensive comments and block the pain-in-the-ass commenting and keep it moving. Their forums and blog generate a lot of useful information as well. I had to contact the staff of Yahoo only once or twice for help with some website technical issues and questions. Those times the staff responded in a few business days and were able to address my concerns quickly.
One thing that the Yahoo Contributor Network has that it did not have when I started, is the Academy. Contributors learn more about how to navigate through the system and produce better quality content through the Academy. It is open to both new and seasoned Yahoo contributors. Enrollees learn things like, how to set up an eye catching profile, how to promote their content, and how to use proper SEO in content.
Have I made lots of money? No. There are definitely other platforms where professional writers command a higher pay for their work. When I run the numbers and average everything out. My articles have generated around $3 each since I started producing content on YCN. Bare in mind that I only have less than 40 articles published there and that I have not published an article on that platform, since 2011. Yet my articles still generate a little residual income.
Other things to consider are that I haven’t asked for Upfront Payments on my articles and the earning on my published articles are from Performance Payments. I have not been very active with YCN lately, nor have I promoted the content that I produced since 2010. There was even a period of time that I missed out on Performance Pay, because I did not log into my account regularly. I would say that my earnings are probably in line with my minimal output and participation.
If did more work, then it is only logical that my earnings potential would increase. There are many contributors to YCN who earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars monthly at YCN. These are contributors whom have gained notoriety through consistent production and hard work.
The amount that you earn may also depend on the demand for the topic and type of content that you produce. I have found that certain topics such as celebrity gossip and current events may garner more page views on some of their sites. This will translate into more money. My highest paying article on YCN has to do with a salacious topic about a former reality TV personality. It’s sad to say, but unless you have a huge following, other topics/genres like history or sociology are not as popular. In my opinion it is a reflection of American obsession with popular culture.
If you love to write and express yourself, then The Yahoo Contributor Network may be a good match for you. Check it out! www.voices.yahoo.com
© Copyright 2013 Susan Broadbelt