29 Jan 2009

Make Money Bookmarking Sites and Articles - Have Found Only Two

Bookmarking has become all the rage, with people Buzzing and Digging and Stumbling all over the net. But just as there are revenue sharing article directories, like Xomba, what about some bookmarking sites with the same revenue-share programs. I mean, it can't be that difficult!

Well, there is one article that I keep finding copied in various locations that lists over 100 revenue sharing websites. Many are for sharing videos or photos so I didn't look at those. There were, however, about 30 potential sites for writers. Many of those we already know, like Xomba and Associated Content, Hubpages and Squidoo, and a few more. However, what about simple bookmarking sites?

Bookmarking your own articles can be a good way to get more traffic and, hopefully, a greater income. The big ones are very crowded and it really is a hit-and-miss affair on which go viral and which get quarantined. I'll write more on which ones seem best, but here I was specifically looking for ones that pay. So what did I discover?

The article I quoted above with all those links is over a year old and obviously a lot can happen in a year. Many were dead links with the admin giving up. Most had actually removed their revenue sharing program - I assume the original article was correct so something must have happened for the admins to scrap their program. A small number were still running but felt like the webmaster had gone AWOL as the entries were full of spam and adverts with little or no worthwhile content and precious little traffic. I found only two that seemed functioning - Xomba and Infopirate.

Xomba is a very interesting mix between articles and bookmarks - called Xombytes and Xomblurbs. You can use it to both post longer articles and to bookmark to either third party content or to your own articles published elsewhere on the net. I must admit that other writing sites seem to have more features but there is no doubt that earnings on Xomba are currently higher than anywhere else. I don't really know why this should be, but pages do appear on Google search very quickly, there is an active community exchanging comments on articles and a light but effective moderation, thereby avoiding complete rubbish. You don't have to be a writer to use Xomba, just join and post your bookmarks there. Xomba pays 50% of Adsense revenue to you.

The only other site I found that is currently earning money is Infopirate. This is a much smaller site than Xomba but, for some reason, it is getting the page views and the advert clicks. After all, that's the only thing that matters. As of writing it has about a tenth of the traffic of Xomba according to Alexa but, as mentioned above, it hasn't folded and although has precious little community activity that could change with more people using it. Infopirate also has a handy and very simple bookmarking toolbar button - not one of those huge add-ons that take over your browser! Infopirate pays 80% of Adsense revenue to you.

So... unless anybody knows other bookmarking sites that pay, these are the only two I've found. Sure, some blog features on some writing websites could be used to bookmark content but that isn't what they're designed to do. So why has revenue sharing bookmarking not taken off? What went wrong? lack of traffic could be one reason as pointless running a server if it costs more than the revenue. A dedicated admin is also required to stop the sites turning into a spam feast. But some, such as Newsvine, seem to be running effectively but abandoned their revenue sharing. Perhaps in the end it boils down to content. If thereis money to be made then a bookmarking site is going to be filled with adverts and links on topics that seem to generate the most income. This may well swamp a site with noise so that people genuinely interested in other topics just cannot find them easily. Perhaps that is just in the nature of giving people money for doing something. I don't know the answer to this question but interesting to ponder it. One personal experience may have the solution.

I started using Flixya but noticed very quickly that most articles were either copy-and-paste from dull article directories or copies from advertising websites. I know it is supposed to be for videos and photos but they do claim a significant article category too. I'm sure they make their money from the media listings but if they were only an article website and had the same content I still wouldn't bother using it.

So, if you like to share your bookmarks and earn some money, or link to your other articles, blogs or websites, then it looks to me like Xomba and Infopirate are your best bets.

19 Jan 2009

Writer Wanted at Wedding Mantra

Wedding Mantra is a wedding blog filled with tips and how-tos for Singaporean couples.

Written in a casual style, Wedding Mantra is chock-full of information on everything from how to make that dream wedding come true to buying your first car afterwards!

We're looking for contributors who are genuinely passionate about this work - writing articles, doing research, etc and most importantly, connecting with real folks!

We've got loads of exciting ideas in store for Wedding Mantra and we're looking to put together a team to help us get the magazine off its feet and have it running!

We want to make this magazine yours as well as ours. We need folks who genuinely care. About us, about Wedding Mantra and especially, our readers. If that sounds like you, this job is for you.


Read Me Buzz Me Digg Me Love Me

The day is young and filled with the aroma of coffee. The screen blinks on and opens a window onto the world. Check emails – delete most of them, read the rest later. Oh! There's one from a friend. New photos on blog to behold. I have three half-finished articles I should really have a look at as they sit there like unfinished sandwiches waiting to be wasted. But let me see what's new, what's news. A row of tabs line up to form my little universe. News feeds, blog feeds, video feeds. Read me, watch me, look what I've made mummy. Stock markets down, death tolls up, buzz me, save me, bookmark this to tell the world. Hello! Be my friend. Digg it, dugg it, dig me too. What's hot, what's not, seems random, chaotic. I mean, something has to be at the top of the rubble. Scroll, scroll, click, click, scroll. More windows spying on a granulated world. A grain of sand or a pearl of wisdom. Read it, comment it, save it, buzz it, digg it, mix it, max it. Shout it out, shout to me. Be my friend. Follow the links, trying to reach the source, but links upon links just go round in a circle. What's hot and what's rot. The clamour to be seen. Be my friend. Read me, buzz me, digg me, love me. Click me, tick me, come see my pics of me. Naked and distant I just want your money. Adsense with nonsense as keywords collide. Going back to the source I save my sources. The truth doesn't matter, it's the prizes that count. Round two, going back to the feeds that feed me. Titles with hooks to sucker the sick. Myspace is your space with no room to move. Tweets and twats invading my screen space. Look at me, look what I've done. My tube is your tube, I parade for the crowd. I stumble and fall and go back to the source. The digging continues, I'm almost there now. Digg this, bury that, shout it out that I wanna be a star. What's hot and what's crock. Read me, digg me, buzz me, feed me. I've done it, I'm there, close the curtains, close the crap. Stop the surfing, for a while. Write my own piece to join the crowd. Read me, buzz me, digg me, love me.


Do you love me?


15 Jan 2009

100% Revenue Share Writing at Flixya

Flixya started life as a video bookmarking and sharing website. It now includes photos and blogs as well as videos. The startling thing about Flixya is that it pays out 100% of the Adsense revenue generated on the pages you yourself have created. How do they do this?

Well, I managed to track down a Flixya Case Study from Google that explains this. Because of the number of pages not created by one author - I guess things like blog lists - they are still able to turn a profit on clicks from their own adverts and still pay members 100%. I think this really raises the bar for other social networking sites. When will Facebook start paying its users?! However, one word of caution is that I have also seen a couple of people run into problems visiting their own pages as the Adsense adverts will be their own. I don't know if Flixya has fixed this but until I use the site more I'd be cautious about visiting one's own pages too often.

For writers the obvious place to head for is the blogs section. All your articles will be listed as part of your blog and there are the usual features of comments and voting. I haven't as yet had a chance to explore everything fully so will report back in a month or two.

One strange thing I noticed when looking at Flixya's Alexa traffic is that there has been a dramatic rise during December 2008 followed by a precipitous fall! It looks like they implemented some sort of automated service that seems to have back-fired so that they then had to place some limits on activity. Their admin blog seems strangely silent on this matter but a few blog comments talk of rule changes late December.

So although writing is not its primary focus, writing at Flixya, or at least copying some of your other content, could be profitable.

Writing at thisisby.us for Revenue Shared Earnings

What is thisisby.us?

thisisby.us is a site where anyone can contribute anything they write -- news, opinions, how-tos, humor, politics, technology -- anything at all. Rather than having an editor decide which content is the most interesting and most relevant, the readers decide which pieces are most prominently featured and highly rewarded by viewing content which piques their interest and voting for content they enjoy. Our ultimate goal is to be an excellent source of user-created written content.

==

Revenue share is calculated based on 50% of the total income received by thsisby.us. They then distribute this to writers in proportion to the traffic and positive votes they have received for their articles. This means writers cannot check earnings on a daily basis.

Sadly, and seemingly like so many other sites, thisisby.us is only useful to people in the USA. If your accrued earnings come to over $25 then you will receive a cheque in US Dollars. This means you need to be able to deposit the cheque cheaply as it is pointless spending more on banking charges than the income is worth. For those of you in the USA this may be another place to copy your existing content.

14 Jan 2009

Traffic Comparisons for Squidoo, HubPages, Associated Content, suite101 and Xomba

I will try to do this every month or two, having a quick look at the Alexa traffic data for different revenue-sharing writing or article websites. Before I look at the traffic statistics just a few things to bear in mind. Alexa only measures traffic, not earnings potential. Whilst this may be a useful guide to the potential number of views your writing may get, it doesn't seem to (in my experience so far) bear much relationship with earnings. This, however, may have more to do with the article topics than with either the design or revenue-sharing formula of each site.

So here we go, these are the 3-month average Reaches for each site as a percentage of all internet traffic. I think the Reach is the best measure as it shows real comparisons whereas Rank is highly volatile and websites with similar traffic can appear to have very different Ranks. I have, however, included the Rank in brackets just to show this as well as whether traffic has gone up or down compared to the previous 3 months.

Squidoo.com = 0.148 (510) down
HubPages.com = 0.138 (595) up
AssociatedContent.com = 0.126 (769) up
suite101.com = 0.069 (1,641) up
Xomba.com = 0.029 (3,876) down/up

I have not included Triond as the data is not meaningful because they syndicate the articles across many different sites.

If I've missed out any websites that should be included then please leave a comment.

Squidoo has highly volatile traffic compared to all the other sites. I don't know why this should be.

The Xomba data shows that while the Reach has gone very slightly down its Rank has actually increased.

My highest earnings in the past 3 months have been from Xomba, but it is the site on which I write most as it was also the one with most immediate success.

So, have a plan in mind and keep an eye on both your own personal traffic and earnings. It could be that different communities have sprung up within different websites and hence that different subject areas will have more success. There is no magic formula, just experiment and see what works for you.

12 Jan 2009

CopyDesk agency for professional writers

"CopyDesk, Inc., is the outsourcing and placement agency dedicated to providing businesses with professional writers. Only writers. We do what we know best; our recruiters are writers themselves. So we know the difference between someone who can write and someone who can write.

If you want a subjective opinion of a writer's talent, ask the writer's mother. If you want an objective opinion, ask another writer. In other words, ask CopyDesk. Ask often."

The site continues in this punchy style. If you don't know what you're doing then don't bother them! However, if you're an experienced writer, with five years experience, a portfolio of work and the desire (or need) for either freelance or full-time work then take a look.

If you've already been frightened away then just take a read of their article on Content Careers in the Digital Age. It may, indeed, be possible to move in the opposite direction - from web to print media - with effort and talent. Talent? We've all got that, surely!