Tag Archives: side hustles

Making Side Money On The Yahoo Contributor Network

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


What is a hustler?

One day, I was sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast and my little nephew looked at me and said, “Auntie, you’re not a money hustler!”.  I was wearing an oversized t-shirt which I  “borrowed” from my father.  The t-shirt is very worn, with holes, but it is still one of my favorite things to sleep in.  The front of the t-shirt bares a graphic design with a wad of hundred dollar bills and the phrase, “I am a hustler”.

I pondered what my nephew had said for a few seconds and then asked him, “What is a hustler?”.  He told me that a hustler is a dope dealer or robber.  Although, it bothered me that he thought this way of hustlers, it didn’t entirely shock me.  This conception is really a prevailing thought in the way that many people perceive hustlers.  Since the word “hustler” carries a negative connotation,  when it is uttered, it instantly conjures up imagery of pimps, prostitutes, the con man, the booster (professional thief), strippers, drug dealers, cliques, etc.

The media has also influenced the way that we view hustlers.  I grew up in the 70s and 80s and am very familiar with shows like Starsky and Hutch.  I remember quite well, the character Huggie Bear played by Antonio Fargas, a small time hustler/informant.  If you have ever watched the movie “American Gangster”, starring Denzel Washington, you probably know that it is based on the true story of Frank Lucas who rose from small time hustler status to global hustler/ heroin importer. These are just a few examples of images that come to mind when we hear the word “hustler”.

But really there are different types of hustlers.  Yes, the characters that I just mentioned do play roles in the game of hustling, but they are just different types of players in the game.  You might agree or disagree with me on this, but here’s my definition of a hustler, as explained to my nephew:

A hustler is a person that seeks and knows how to take advantage of ways to earn money in order to improve his or her quality of life. A true hustler (one who has mastered the art and science) always has a solid plan with clear objectives and takes consistent, right action to achieve the objectives.  He or she simply knows how to “make it happen.” A true hustler also, understands how to enhance their mind in order to improve his or her quality of life.

Being a hustler can encompass many characteristics, but it is not limited by gender, sex, race, age, religion, socioeconomic status, or geographic location.  It doesn’t matter whether you are single, married, or have children.  Like I said,  there are different types of hustlers.  Employees, self-employed small business owners, and investors are examples of hustlers. Lil Wayne, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, and Beyonce are all hustlers (at least by my definition).  Some people are better at their hustling game than others, and some people choose legal ways of hustling instead of  illegal means.

This situation with my nephew is partly what inspired me to start this blog.  The other part of it is that, I don’t claim to be an expert or guru at hustling or making money.  This blog is focused on discussion and exploration of ways to make money.  The economy is in a slump and many people are either having trouble finding or keeping a job.  We are living in a world that is shifting more towards a globalized economy. We have shifted into the Information Age and relying more heavily on technology.

Society is placing more value on technological and scientific advancement. Just to give you an example, I was watching a TV show about John-Deere.  This company uses multimillion dollar computers and machinery in order to manufacture most of their products.  Their manufacturing process turns out a more accurate and precisely put together product.  It also speeds up the manufacturing process and reduces the need for human beings, thus cutting jobs.

As another example, look at what is going on with the United States Postal Service.  This organization is not able to keep up with the fast paced changes in the way consumers communicate and ship packages. Consumers have greater options for making bill payments and communicating. The end result is that the United States Postal Service will need change its business model to keep up with the times or else. Therefore, those whom have not prepared themselves (companies and individuals) and adapted to the changes in technology are getting left behind.

With all this said, we are living in an era where it has never been easier to obtain information and make money.  The advent of the Internet and the computer has made it almost seamless to communicate with others and conduct business from almost anywhere on the planet.  The Internet and advances in technology have made it easier for companies and governments to outsource jobs overseas.  I want people to come to the realization that they should not rely on the government or a job for income. Don’t wait for the government to create a job for you. Don’t expect for your job to be safe and secure for the next five to twenty years, either.

Although, I mentioned above that some hustlers choose to engage in illegal activities to earn money, I have no interest in illegal ways to make money.  Some people don’t care how they make money, but I am concerned about ways of earning money which are strictly legal, because I value my freedom and reputation.  Oftentimes, the risks of engaging in illegal acts to make money are not worth the reward.  I must also point out that I have no interest in get rich quick schemes.  Also, it is beyond the scope of this post to engage in a philosophical discussion on the ethics and morality of hustling.

What are your thoughts?  Post a comment below.

© Copyright 2013   Susan Broadbelt