Advertising
Advertising

Your Expertise is Worth Money: 5 Sites You Can Write For

Your Expertise is Worth Money: 5 Sites You Can Write For

    Plenty of people start blogging with the hope of making some money off their expertise. But it can be difficult to turn a profit on blogging: until you’ve built up a significant readership, you can expect only a few cents worth of Google AdSense revenue. There are certainly easier ways to earn money by writing about your area of expertise.

    There are plenty of sites that will pay for your short articles, although several have some drawbacks. The upfront payments are often pretty low, but many will pay you a portion of advertising revenues — and they get far more traffic than most blogs do. The sites listed below make a habit of paying writers at least a little more than they’ll make starting out with a blog: if you’re looking to see some cash fairly soon, these sites can provide a decent return.

    Advertising

    Associated Content

    Associated Content has been online for almost four years. It’s a pretty simple set up: you have to create an account but you can choose to write on just about anything you can think of. You can also respond to the site’s ‘Calls for Content,’ which are requests for specific articles. They range from “Top 5 Front Load Washers” to “Cheap Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Tween Nephew.” Associated Content also pays for video, slide shows and audio.

    You must have a PayPal account to receive payments from Associated Content. The site offers two types of payment: Performance Payments and Upfront Payments. The main moneymaker on Associated Content is a Performance Payment. For every 30,000 page views your article gets, you get $45 — and you can pretty much do whatever you want to promote your article and make more money. Articles continue making money fairly indefinitely. Associated Content also offers Upfront Payments for some articles, based on their own discretion. If you submit an article for an upfront payment, and it’s accepted, you can earn anywhere from $3 to $20. It’s a bonus on top of whatever your article might make from Performance Payments. Payments are only made to account holders over 18 years old, who are citizens or legal residents of the U.S.

    Helium

    Another fairly well-known site that accepts articles is Helium. Helium actually offers a variety of ways to sell your articles: there’s a ‘Title Finder’, where you can write an article to match requested titles, or the Marketplace, where companies partnered with Helium can post their jobs for writers. No matter which tactic you want to pursue, you will need to set up an account on Helium.

    Advertising

    Helium also makes payments through PayPal and will only pay out if your balance has reached at least $25. Articles are generally paid a revenue share, calculated in part based on your article’s quality, its traffic and advertiser interest. You also receive Upfront Payments based on ‘Writing Stars’: if you have one Writing Star, you receive 50 cents per article published. If you’ve reached five Writing Stars, you receive $2.50 per article published. Articles published through the Marketplace, if selected by one of Helium’s partners, receives between $16 and $200.

    myLot

    If you don’t want to write a full article, you can earn money on myLot by participating in discussions on the site. Payments are based on how often you use MyLot and respond to discussions. You can also raise your earnings by posting content the generates discussions. For any friends you refer to the site, you’ll also earn a bonus equal to 25 percent of their earnings.

    The model that myLots uses to calculate its payouts is proprietary, although I can tell you from experience that the payouts are definitely lower per post than you might get from an article on Helium or Associated Content. All payments for myLots are handled through PayPal or moneybookers, and the minimum payout is $10.

    Advertising

    Suite101

    Unlike the previous three sites, Suite101 requires prospective writers to apply. If a writer is hired, he or she will receive a share of advertising revenue for any articles as long as they are up. Suite101 has been around for 12 years and is very reliable. There is a requirement that, if you write for Suite101, you complete 10 articles every three months in your chosen subject.

    Once you have 50 articles live on Suite101, you receive an additional 10 percent of ad revenue — and you get another 10 percent after you publish 100 articles. While Suite101 doesn’t pay per page view, the site says that they’re averaging about $4.20 per 1,000 page views.

    BrightHub

    BrightHub is another site that will require you to apply to write, and writers with a knowledge of technology are definitely preferred. There is more of an editorial process on BrightHub than many other sites that pay for written content, but the site offers payments to its writers in a variety of ways.

    Advertising

    For the finished article itself, writers immediately receive $10. For each relevant backlink to an article, BrightHub pays one dollar. And writers receive 80 percent of the ad revenue of their articles.

    My personal opinion

    While I’ve spent time on all of these websites, I’ve had the best experience with BrightHub. It has a better payout for writers than most of the other options. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the easiest site to make money on: not only do you have to pass the application process, your content has to pass editorial approval. In my experience, the easiest site to actually get an article up and earning money is Associated Content. Just by posting the link to an Associated Content article in a couple of places, you can often push up your revenues to make it worth your while.

    More by this author

    50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time 8 Replacements for Google Notebook 5 Sites Where You Can Sell Your Photos 7 Tools to Find Someone Online 19 Entrepreneurship Websites Worth Checking Out

    Trending in Featured

    1 Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide) 2 How To Start a Conversation with Anyone 3 Where Am I Going? How to Put Your Life in Context 4 How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day 5 5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

    Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

    Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

    Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

    This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

    The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard. Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

    Curiosity

    Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

    People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

    Patience

    Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

    Advertising

    When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

    Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

    A Feeling for Connectedness

    This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

    A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

    The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

    With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

    Advertising

    1. Research

    Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

    Learning the Basics

    Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

    Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

    What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

    Hitting the Books

    Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

    Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

    Advertising

    Long-Term Reference

    While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

    My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

    2. Practice

    Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

    A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

    Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

    3. Network

    One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

    Advertising

    These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

    Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

    4. Schedule

    For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

    Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

    Final Thoughts

    In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

    If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

    At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

    More About Self-Learning

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

    Read Next