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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Last Updated on June 12, 2019

    Top 10 Ways to Lead More Effectively with Humor

    Top 10 Ways to Lead More Effectively with Humor

    Humor and laughter provide so many rewards. Studies have shown 20 seconds of laughter yield the same benefits as 3 minutes of hard rowing. A Robert Half International study reported 84% of executives believe a worker with a good sense of humor does a better job. Incorporating humor more effectively in the workplace allows you to defuse difficult situations, reduce stress, create attention for new ideas, build rapport, and be a more approachable and memorable leader.

    With those benefits, it behooves you to hone your workplace comedic skills. So in the tradition of David Letterman, here are the top 10 ways to more effectively lead with humor!

    #10. Look for Joy in Life

    An important step is continually looking for joy throughout your life. This happens in a variety of ways:

    • Focus less on yourself and more on helping others. Need help? Read “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” the classic by Dale Carnegie.
    • Laugh more – kids reportedly laugh 400 times per day vs. 15 times for adults. Aim for laughing 40 times daily to be at least 10% of your former self!
    • Regularly read humorous comic strips and look for quips and funny comments in your reading.
    • Even in challenging situations, hunt for something funny or humorous you can take away.

    #9. Learn What Makes You Laugh

    If you’re trying to laugh 40 times daily, it’s important to know what makes you laugh and have ready access to laugh-provokers. Figure out 107 things which make you laugh. Unrealistic? Hardly! Why 107? Because 107 is funnier than 100! Here’s a recipe for listing what makes you laugh by simply identifying:

    • 13 Movies
    • 11 TV Shows
    • 5 Words or Phrases
    • 19 Personal Stories
    • 5 Cartoons
    • 7 Audio or Video Pieces
    • 11 Comedians
    • 7 TV Personalities
    • 7 Funny Photos
    • 7 People You Know
    • 15 of Anything Else
    • TOTAL = 107 Funny Things

    Collect & save these humor starters in a “Smile File” when you quickly need a laugh or comedic inspiration.

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    #8. Use Your Own Comedic Material

    Personal experiences are the most genuine humor sources for effective leadership. Look for humor in situations from your own life:

    • Funny things you have said or others have said to you
    • Pratfalls, be they mental, interpersonal, & physical
    • Embarrassing moments or unexpected happenings
    • Times of change or learning
    • Difficult life events (yes, even these can be humor sources)

    When turning personal situations into comedic material, remember lessons learned from a childhood humor staple: Knock-Knock Jokes. These simple jokes work because the knock-knock structure highlights familiar situations, uses only essential words and phrases, and clearly signals a laughing opportunity. They also demonstrate how humor springs from surprise. The laughs come from not knowing who or what exactly is behind the door based on the initial response to “Who’s there?”

    #7. Adapt Somebody Else’s Material

    Beyond your own experiences, there’s a tradition of “borrowing & adapting” (I didn’t say stealing) funny stuff from others. That’s why old-time comedian Milton Berle was called the “Thief of Bad Gags.”

    Part of borrowing successfully is using easily accessible humor sources in ways many don’t consider. Beyond simply Googling “funny” in front of quotes, one-liners, definitions, pictures, or videos, here are two other common sources you can adapt:

    • Cartoons – You can use cartoons in various ways by showing one in a presentation, telling the cartoon’s story (potentially making yourself a character) without any images, or using its punch line as a starting point for new humor.
    • Comedians – Mainstream comedians’ jokes or catch phrases are another source to modify and adapt to your personality or work situation. Watch lots of comedians and learn how professionals do it so well.

    #6. Understand Your Audience

    Using humor in a leadership position requires understanding boundaries on its proper use. It all starts with really understanding your audience by:

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    • Paying attention to top management’s attitudes toward humor.
    • Knowing the audience’s composition – this directly affects which humor types are appropriate.
    • Loving your audience as much or more than you poke fun at them.
    • Inviting others into humor since you can’t assume they share your same humor sensibilities.

    In case you’re contemplating using ad lib humor, completely knowing your audience is even more vital. Ad-libs have the potential for going horribly wrong because audience sensibilities have been misjudged. It’s very beneficial to actually plan and rehearse ad libs. It may sound odd, but identify common work situations you encounter and think through what usually goes wrong or provides a source for potential humor. Work out some “safe” funny comebacks to use as “planned” ad libs.

    #5. Know the Rules and Boundaries

    There are blatant humor no-no’s in the workplace which are quite acceptable for an onstage comedian. At work, avoid harmful practical jokes or pranks, heavily sarcastic comments, and humor rooted in religious, sexual, ethnic, or racial themes. Think you know your work setting well enough to tread on this dangerous ground? Here’s some advice: DON’T. The way questionable humor will be perceived by a workplace audience is too much of an unknown to take big risks when your career is at stake.

    Use this checkpoint to actually see if your intended workplace humor is SAFE. To pass the SAFE test, all of these statements need to be true regarding your joke, comment, or image:

    • I can Say/Show this to my mother.
    • It wouldn’t Anger me if I were the butt of the joke.
    • This wouldn’t trigger an FCC violation
    • Everyone in the audience will be able to get it.

    With even a hint of one false answer, dramatically modify your idea or better yet, abandon it and start over.

    #4. Get over Yourself

    Effective leaders don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re comfortable laughing at themselves and letting others be funny as well. Leaders should become adept at appropriately using self-deprecating humor, i.e., self-directed humor downplaying your own talents, stature, or accomplishments

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    You don’t want to use self-deprecating humor on simply any topic, however. It’s most effectively & appropriately used in:

    • Situations where you’re comfortable & self-confident
    • Areas where your credibility & competence are clearly established
    • Ways that fit your known personality & sensibilities

    Remember – when trying to borrow someone else’s self-deprecating humor, you need to share that person’s perspective & situation. If not, it’s simply deprecating! I once heard a decidedly non-technical Marketing VP call out “data geeks” in the audience. While that’s what they called themselves, she wasn’t a part of their group, and her comment, intended to build affiliation, fell completely flat.

    #3. Need Humor Ideas? Just Look Around

    The workplace is filled with situations lending themselves to comedy. Humor springs from exaggeration, wordplay, misunderstandings, ambiguity, contradictions, paradoxes, pain, and inconsistencies. If you work in any type of business or organizational setting, there are plenty of these situations to go around!

    As a leader, it’s your role to use the proper opptunities to encourage and employ humor successfully by ensuring that:

    • Your humor makes others feel good about themselves.
    • Hurtful fun isn’t made of those less tenured than you in the organization.
    • You don’t use humor when agitated since it can lead to apparent meanness.

    #2. Surround Yourself with Joy

    If you’re looking for more joy and levity in leadership, surround yourself with joyful people. These are people who are funny, easily spur laughter, and routinely cheer people up through their presence.

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    Cultivate relationships with these types of people. Spend time with them, learn from their successful uses of humor, and emulate elements of their approaches that work for you.

    Beyond basking in the joy these people create, select 3 or 4 of them to be an informal comedy team. As your comedy team, solicit their opinions to help you generate and refine humor ideas. They can also provide perspectives on potentially questionable humor material that makes it through the SAFE test, but still feels like it might not be right for a workplace audience.

    #1. Dive into the Fun

    Ultimately, the most important part of successfully using humor as a leader is actually sharing it in the workplace. Here are a few final tips to keep in mind:

    • Practice your humor in appropriate, low-risk settings to find out what works before trying it out with a bigger audience.
    • Signal a laughing opportunity through your words, actions, and tone. It’s also a good practice to give people “permission” to laugh in the workplace.
    • Finally, be earnest in using humor; don’t focus on laughs so much as lightening and adding fun into work settings.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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