3 Aug 2009

The Ultimate List of Revenue Sharing Writing and Bookmarking Websites

Tired of seeing the same out of date lists getting copied around the net? Then here is the ultimate guide to bookmarking and article writing websites that are currently online, functioning and still paying. There are many sites that come and go or change focus that I will update this every few months.

If you find your favourite revenue sharing website missing then just leave a comment and let me know and I'll add it to the next edition. The current list has general websites that are either article directories or bookmarking sites and that pay their members out of advertising revenue. I have included revenue sharing bookmarking websites as they are useful for writers to promote their articles – and you get paid twice for no extra work.

The list below is more or less in decreasing order of traffic, at least according to Alexa. However, traffic and earnings are two totally different metrics and you'll just have to experiment to find those websites that earn you the most money. This seems to have more to do with the quality of your articles, the membership profile and the advertising value of your areas of interest than it does to raw traffic data. It also has to do with the ad placements in each website as well as the SEO and marketing done by each social media website.

Quick Guide

'Unique' means original articles not published elsewhere. 'Copyrighted' means original articles that you have authored but which may already be published on other websites. In this case it is a good idea to try and register the same, or very similar, usernames across multiple sites as this is the simplest way to see who the original author is. Most of these sites accept 'Articles' or 'Bookmarks' or both. Most websites accept 'Worldwide' members although I have noted those that have extra conditions. I have listed the current percentage 'Adshare' for the user as well as which sites calculate an 'Internal Revenue' and thus pay the user directly. Most have some 'Referral' commission and I have noted those that do not.

The List

[Articles (Unique) – USA only – Internal Revenue – No Referrals]
eHow is probably the most popular site on this list in terms of traffic. If you like writing 'How to' articles then this is place for you. Except, don't bother unless you live in the USA as they do not pay writers from other countries, although you can still submit articles if you think it will help your marketing efforts. For writers who have joined their Writer Compensation Program, revenue is calculated internally based on article popularity with payment via Paypal once $10 income is reached.

[Articles (Unique/Copyrighted) – Worldwide – 60% Adshare – 10% Referral Adshare]
Hubpages has been around a while and you can earn from Adsense, Amazon, eBay and Kontera. You can also add Hubpages to your Google Analytics, which is a huge bonus in finding out which articles (or hubs in Hubpages jargon) are earning the most. Unique articles preferred but you may post previously published articles although they now get penalty points although still earn money. One nice tool is that you can add your Hubpages affiliate code to any article rather than just a signup page.

[Articles (Unique) – Worldwide – 50% Adshare – No Referral]
Triond is different to the other sites in that rather than having different categories on the one website they have created lots of separate websites for each broad area of interest. Your articles are screened but don't worry, from what I've seen the standards are not high. Your earnings are calculated internally based on a secret formula and related to how many pageviews your articles get. Unique articles only. Monthly payments using Paypal with a minimum payout of just $0.50.

[Articles/Bookmarks (Unique/Copyrighted) – Worldwide – 50% Internal Adshare - $5 Referral]
Squidoo is the kind of site you either love or hate. You really do need a network of friends to get your lenses (Squidoo-speak for articles) seen and read. As lenses can be complex documents the only way to get noticed is to create at least one mega-lens and keep updating it. Earnings come from a variety of sources, including Google Adsense, Amazon, eBay and others, and are calculated by Squidoo. They pay authors by Paypal and you can set your minimum payout as low as $1. Your $5 referral commission is paid once a new member earns at least $15.

Associated Content
[Articles (Unique/Copyrighted) – USA/Worldwide - $1.50 CPM – No Referrals]
Associated Content pays per article view rather than sharing Adsense impressions, currently set at $1.50 per 1,000 pageviews. If you are a citizen of the USA you can also submit original articles for an upfront payment, which is far more lucrative. If you live anywhere else in the world then you're stuck with the miserly $1.50, but just copy your existing content and it's free money for little work. Also, although Associated Content publishes referral codes there is no indication anywhere that this actually earns anything for the referrer.

[Articles (Unique) – Worldwide (?) - Internal Revenue – 5% Referrals]
Helium is one of those websites you either love or hate. It has a somewhat complicated income structure based on the community's perceived quality of articles and their popularity. This means you may initially not be earning anything until you jump into their minimum one-star rating. Once accepted, they will pay you through Paypal once a minimum of $25 has been accumulated. They should accept writers from any country but, like all companies using Paypal, there are some countries they cannot accept writers from – I put a question mark because I have seen a few people complain that their payment request was not honoured because of their country of origin, but only after they'd accumulated earnings. To avoid wasting your time it is best to ask admin first. But Helium is more than just an article directory. They can pay an up-front fee for some articles, and have a marketplace in which writers can get paid contracts as well as numerous writing competitions.

[Articles (Unique) – Worldwide – 50% Internal Adshare – No Referrals]
Suite101 is often ignored from lists such as this – I suspect just because they don't have any affiliate earnings. Suite101 is an article directory with strict guidelines for authors on layout and keyword use, with each article being reviewed by an editor. Earnings are based upon a 50% share but are calculated by Suite101, who issue payment by Paypal with a minimum payout of just $10. They have many categories and it is still possible to become a Featured Writer. The writer agreement does let you republish your articles elsewhere after one year.

[Articles/Bookmarks (Unique/Copyrighted) – Worldwide – 50% Adshare – 10% Referral Adshare]
Xomba is a social media website that accepts both full articles and bookmarks – these are respectively known as Xombytes and Xomblurbs. Adsense share is 50% to the author, plus a 10% recurring share for referrals. Perhaps the only website to have maintained a good mix of original articles plus bookmarks to interesting off-site content. Has just undergone a major website redesign, with lots more features to keep viewers reading.

[Articles (Unique/Copyrighted) – Worldwide – Revenue per Pageview – 3-Tier Referrals]
Bukisa is a social media article directory accepting both unique content as well as copyrighted content that you may have already published elsewhere. Has an interesting payment structure and referral system. Bukisa revenue changes according to their Bukisa Index, which is the amount they pay per unique visitor – this is currently $3.45. This is different to pageviews hence the value is much higher than AC's $1.50 CPM. They also have a 3-tiered referral system where you earn 25% of the earnings of your direct referrants plus a quarter of what your first tier earns from the next two tiers down. OK, a little complex but they explain it fully in their FAQ and this could be the most lucrative part of joining Bukisa. Minimum payment is $10 via Paypal.

[Articles (Unique Only) – Worldwide – 75% Adshare – 2% Referral Adshare]
Infobarrel is a social media website where you can create articles, videos, pictures or sound clips. Unique articles are preferred and all articles are read first by editors who then either approve or deny publication. Like Triond, this is really just to stop complete junk rather than a sign of high quality writing. Writers get 75% of ad impressions from Adsense, with 2% of impressions from referrals.

[Bookmarks/Blogs (Unique/Copyrighted) – Worldwide – 80% Adshare – 10% Referral Adshare]
Infopirate has morphed into a revenue sharing bookmarking website. There is the facility to post full articles or blog posts but this currently seems under-used and members concentrate on posting bookmarks. Adsense share is 80% to the member, which is one of highest payments around, with an additional on-going 10% for all referrals.

[Articles (Any!) – Worldwide – 100% Adshare – No Referrals]
Flixya is better known as a social media website where users can share videos and images. It does, however, have a section devoted to sharing the written word: articles. You get 100% of Adsense impressions, with Flixya claiming they make enough from other advertising on their site on non-member pages. However, their article section is filled with copy and pastes from article directories with no control over copyright issues. If you can get your articles noticed then this could be a good site, just don't expect any meaningful feedback beyond 'be my friend' messages.

[Bookmarks – Worldwide – 50% Adshare – 25% Referral Adshare]
Tagfoot is a fairly new social bookmarking site, and still officially in beta, but has an active community and the bookmarklet works like a dream. There is a little bit of a hurdle to overcome before your Adsense code can be activated – it just means proving you're an honest and valuable member and that your bookmarks don't suck. A well-designed site with lots of features that is begging for more traffic.

She Told Me
[Bookmarks – Worldwide – 100% Ad views (50% AdShare) – 33% Referral Adshare]
She Told Me is a very new bookmarking website. Their Adsense revenue sharing percentages need, however, a little explanation. Most websites will split the user's and admin's advert codes into the same ad units using a simple random number generator and depending on the published revenue share. At SheToldMe the code is simpler: your ad unit is shown on all your content pages - hence they claim 100% Adsense revenue share – but your advert is shown on only one ad unit out of two (essentially a 50% split). If you refer a new member then your ad unit is ahown on all of their pages too but as a third advert (hence I quote a 33% referral share). SheToldMe has lots of room to grow which means good potential for such referral earnings.

[Articles (Unique) – Worldwide – 100% Revenue – No Referrals]
Qassia has just recently been renamed Qondio and is undergoing somewhat of a transformation. Articles, known as 'intel' (for intelligence), are first screened and voted on by 12 other members after which they are published or rejected. This quality control has its merit but means your articles are not earning anything during this period and then can get buried if the average vote is mediocre. They do have an innovative advertising solution using uniQlicks advertising manager so that writers can mix together different revenue streams on one page. There may be more changes to come so worth taking a look.

[Articles/Discussions – Worldwide – Pay per Activity – 25% Referral]
MyLot is different to all the other websites so far listed in that it is essentially a discussion forum and members are paid per activity. This may seem far removed from traditional article writing but if you like writing controversial op-ed pieces then this may be a subsidiary income stream whilst showcasing your original writing. The actual formula that generates income is now kept secret, which has the small benefit that MyLot won't go broke, but don't expect more than about a dollar a day without active referrals. Minimum payout is $10 via Paypal.

[Articles/Comments – Worldwide – Pay per Activity - $1 Referral Commission]
MyPage5 is a new social networking website that allows users to blog and share videos etc. It is in some ways similar to MyLot in that it pays users per activity, such as adding an article or comment. MyPage5 does currently publish the income per activity so users can easily calculate earnings. In the past, such business models fail because of abuse and lack of advertising income. However, about a dollar a day is a nice little earner for people in many countries so worth a look. The referral commission is a one-off $1 per new member so long as they start being active.

[Quizzes – Worldwide – Internal Revenue – Referral Commission]
This is another of those websites that may seem out of place here, but then again writers seem to earn money from a huge range of different activities. At Pickjack you earn money by writing interesting multiple-choice questions. You are paid by how popular the questions are and there is a referral commission, but both formulas are kept an in-house secret. The one thing that makes this site a little time-consuming is having to answer 20 questions before you can submit one of yours but they've speeded this up by batching them as 'Take 10'. One useful thing from a marketing point is that every question has to link to an authoritative source for the correct answer, so if you've written an informative article just think up a good question and link to your own article rather than to Wikipedia.

And finally...

I will update this in a few months, but in the meantime feel free to comment on any websites I have missed out. The above list does, however, have certain criteria to it. The website must pay the writer, usually a share of the advertising, either indirectly through using the writer's own affiliate code such as Adsense, or directly by calculating the revenue in-house and issuing periodic payments, usually via Paypal or cheque. This list is for the benefit of writers so that any site that shares videos or images, or bookmarks of any other media, are not included. The website must also be immediately usable as soon as a new user signs up. Having some editorial overview or moderated content is fine but I have not included sites that go through an application process much like seeking new employment. I would like to include more blogging networks but most of them have a screening process and you should already have a personal blog to show the quality of your writing. There seem to be sites that claim to be blogging networks but are actually just blog hosts, at which point, without the benefits of shared traffic and cross-promotions, they are no better at showcasing one's writing than using Blogger. All the above social media sites are general in content. I would be happy to include niche revenue sharing social media websites if they exist.

Good luck with the writing!

1 Aug 2009

sulumits retsambew

Now there's a title! What does "sulumits retsambew" mean? What's it for? What is the point?

Well, the meaning is actually quite straightforward: it's just "webmaster stimulus" spelled backwards. Now that wasn't too hard, was it?! However, the point of the whole exercise is an interesting SEO (search engine optimization) competition run by the forum Net Builders.

The aim of the competition is to see which 3 websites hit the top spots on Google.com. The competition started in March and ends on 15th August 2009 at high noon GMT. So only a couple of weeks for budding SEO experts to try and beat the current crop of top websites. To enter the contest, you must post the domain you are entering into the contest in a message here at NetBuilders.

There are prizes too!
First Place: $1,000
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $250

OK, this may seem slightly frivolous so late in the day but one interesting comparison is whether all those newly registered "sulumits retsambew" domains will beat more established websites with articles or features using the keywords. Is the domain name more important than the content? Some of the websites I've peeked at don't have much meaningful content at all and yet rank highly on Google. In one sense this shows that SEO is vital to get noticed... and content is crucial to get people coming back!

Writer’s Digest - 101 Best Websites for Writers 2009

Introducing our 11th annual 101 Best Websites for Writers. This year we sifted through more than 2,700 nominations and pulled the best of the bunch. The list, which features more blogs and free market listings than in years past, has been divided into eight sections: Creativity and Challenges, General Resources, Agent Blogs, Publishing Resources, Jobs and Markets, Writing Communities, Genres/Niches and Fun for Writers.

Strangely, no category for best online revenue sharing websites, although Helium gets a mention in the jobs market category.