Blog networks are a dime a dozen these days. From job boards to Facebook advertisements, there seems to be hundreds of these blogger networks willing to pay you handsomely for your content. That is great and all, but are they really worth the time and energy or are they just scams?
Well, some of these sites put on a great first impression. They look like great places to work. Sleek designs, flashy graphics, and text from other members contributing. They are all getting paid for their hard work, right?
Many of these sites state that “you will be paid for your content” and similar. However, there are catches: for one, there is no guarantee they will actually feature your work, and I’ve seen sites that claim the rights to your content even if they don’t feature it (they essentially get your content for free without pay); next, these sites usually determine how much you will be paid on an article by article basis, and this just doesn’t seem right as the writer should set the rate; finally, many of these sites don’t have a chance of making it to the big time and won’t promote your brand in the process.
I would say that if you were going to join a blog network, regardless of which one it was, make sure they are legitimate. Scour their website to ensure great content is on that site. If possible, email the authors of some of the content and ask how they are compensated.
Ask this network if they will pay you how much you are asking for instead of the other way around. Determine how the bonuses are calculated. Finally, ask what you will be paid, how you will be paid, and when you will be paid.
Determine who owns the content. Find out what will happen to an article you submit that isn’t featured. Ask who is liable for the content. Ask if you are notified if your content is edited, and determine what will happen to that content if you decide to leave the blog network.
Also, don’t work somewhere where you won’t be paid for your hard work. You know how much you and your content is worth. If you are only going to make a few bucks after months of work at a site where your content will not be exposed to many people, just move on.
Finally, don’t forget to read the fine print. There is usually a catch, and it is your responsibility to read everything before you agree to the terms.
In my opinion, it all ends up being a big waste of time. There are plenty of other paying opportunities around, and wasting your time working for a site that has that attempts to nickel and dime you is not the way to do things.
Keep your eyes on the Performancing Job Boards.
Have a better experience with one of these types of blog networks? How about a legitimate blog network? Let us know!
[Update: I want to make it clear that I did not intend to generalize all blog networks with my previous statements. I am not talking about respectable blogging networks like Splashpress Media, b5media, Gawker, and the like. I’m talking about those types of networks you would, for example, read about in a Craigslist advertisements: “You could earn hundreds of dollars from working at home!!!” Blog networks whose name would resemble something like “Blog4MoneyNow.com”. Hopefully this clears up any confusion.]
I’m just a little concerned about the time and effort I’ve put in at Today.com, and I am not heartened by finding this during a Google search this morning;
I did not know you got paid for blogging. Where do you go to get a job. I just like talking on the web. How much does it pay. Please tell me about it. I’m 60+ years old so maybe I’m to old to do the blog. HaHa, sounds like a dance to me. “Lets go Blog”
Wow Jeremy, are you serious? 8,000 blog networks?
Thanks Deb (and James) for noting that this doesn’t apply to the larger networks. All of the big 10 have clear pay structures, clear ownership of content, clear responsibilities and (generally), clear processes for content review and so forth.
At the same time, I’m sure there are a *lot* of young networks that are more than fair to their writers. It’s just hard, with all the fluff (we’re now tracking 8,000 networks!) for new bloggers to spot the wheat from the scams, as it were.
Experience has been noted.
My experience with today.com is very good been with them 4 months get paid on time
each month.(They picked up my paypal charges last month)In fact they just came up with a content program that pays very good and you can make a lot of money .Yes they did change there payout to be in line with other programs.Seem to me people are getting mad but did you ever see associated content? Talk about making pennies they don’t even pay per post it 100% rev share.Hey I don’t work for today.com just posting about my experience so readers can see both sides of the coin.I am very happy there and from the way I see the post growing on there site it looks like other people do also
Just my 2 cents
That pretty much sounds like a scam to me.
Sorry you didn’t get paid.
I signed up for one and I never did get paid for my work. So I think at least that was was a scam.
I think you and I know what to look for. We got the stuff. Trust me when I say that I have no idea what that means either.
I’m off to bed!
I’m not sure how much traffic you receive, but have you considered using Project Wonderful? Have you considered offering inventory to advertisers directly?
If you have respectable numbers, you should be able to make money. Google AdSense just really isn’t going to cut it unless you are in the right niche. Considering the first page of content on your blog, I an say it isn’t going to go too well with Google.
Give some alternatives a try.
Also, if you haven’t seen my very first post on Performancing, the one where I talk about creating an “Advertise Here” page, go check it out. If you are bold enough, you might just be able to go find some companies that will want to sponsor your content.
Great Post James, you and I are on the same frequency, I swear. Anywho, I haven’t had that much experience so I can’t contribute on that end of the spectrum but thanks to your tips and suggestions, I’ll be sure to keep all of those in mind if I find myself in the position to write for another blogging network. I would hate to be a victim.
Thanks James for this thought provoking post, and thanks Deb for reminding us about b5media. I love problogger and glad everyone agrees that they are good.
I’ve been struggling with the per click payment method. Since I have my own blogs and Google Adsense, I know how long it takes to make money.
At the same time, I think grouping together with good people can help. Am I right in thinking it takes patience and research to find the people who will help you and you can help in return?
Any reasons as to why?
Of course a company like b5media is legit. They are something completely different. There really needs to be made a difference between a company like b5media and eHow.
i think they r worth n will increase ur pr
jst my 2 cents
I think it depends on the network. I was very happy with b5Media. Some networks like Know More Media, Riverwired, She Knows…they’re good to their writers. I’ve also heard good things about Creative Weblogging.
I’m not hearing good things about Today.com though, because they lowered their rates within a couple of weeks to a month for brand new writers because their traffic didn’t spike enough in the couple of weeks since they had been there. Not cool.
I never recommend working for traffic or advertising revenue only. You’ll bust your butt to bring in the traffic and get pennies in return. Look for a network offering a base plus traffic bonuses.
I recommend research – not just for things like pay, but also for reputation. What are others saying about them? What’s the turnover rate? Do they have a lot of disgruntled workers?