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My Review of Associated Content

November 9, 2007 15 comments

Jerry Allen asked me about Associated Content (a.k.a., The People's Media Company) in a comment, and I thought it would be better if I answered his question in a post, because there may be others reading wondering the same thing. Jerry asked, "Tell me about AC. IS it a pretty good gig?"

Well, Jerry, to be totally honest with you, it is a nice place to earn a little extra money, but I wouldn't recommend trying to make a living off of it alone, and you're certainly not going to get rich.

I've been a content producer for AC since February of 2006, and since that time -- not including the performance payments, which they just recently started -- I've earned a grand total of $1,019.31. In the beginning, I wrote more often for them, because their one-time offers were a bit higher than they are now. In fact, when I first started writing for them, I got quite a few $10 offers for my articles, but since they've introduced the performance payments, their one-time offers decreased. As I've said before, the performance payments are a nice addition, but I think it was more of way for them to decrease their one-time offers without looking bad.

Since I've been struggling financially lately, I figured up how many articles I would have to write a day for AC to contribute to the bills enough to keep hubby happy. Nevertheless, to be honest, at the rates they offer, there are times when I find myself uninspired to keep that commitment to myself because of their low offers. And this is where I'll admit that I sometimes miss a day of writing for AC, because I don't want to feel uninspired when I write… I believe it hurts my writing when I'm not inspired and just write, and because I don't want to shell out low quality content, I choose not to write for AC at all on those days. Instead, I write query letters and submit them to markets that pay fair rates. Believe it or not, I feel more inspired writing query letters and submitting them to well paying markets than I do writing an article for AC… even if they may be rejected.

I have refused offers from AC, because I have set a minimum amount on what I'm willing to accept from them, and if they don't offer me that amount, I'm more than happy to submit the article to a better paying market. Moreover, 99.9% of the time I only give them non-exclusive rights. You have two options with AC on rights: exclusive or non-exclusive, and if you give them exclusive, then you're signing away ALL your rights, and for the offers they make -- even with the performance payments -- it's not worth it to hand over all my rights for such low pay. At least with non-exclusive, I can sell the article as a reprint and earn more for it later down the road.

So would I recommend AC to you, Jerry, or to anyone else? Yes, I do recommend them as a side job. AC is the only one I know of on the Internet that will make you a one-time offer and pay you for performance (page views) too. There is no obligation to accept their offers either. If you don't think the offer they make is fair, then refuse it, delete your article and submit it to a trade magazine or other publication that will give you a fair rate for your hard work. The offers AC seems to be making right now range from $3.00 up to $7.00, and their performance payment is $1.50 for every 1,000 page views.

Best wishes!

PS
Since the performance payment was released in February 2007, I have earned a grand total of $185.90 for those. Not too bad, eh.

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15 comments: to “ My Review of Associated Content so far...

  • Amy Derby 1:31 PM CST
     

    Hi Misti,

    I am happy you posted a review of Associated Content. I get a lot of questions about AC, too. I actually just answered a poster's question at another blog about this.

    I haven't used AC to the extent you have, but my experience has been similar in receiving lower offers since they introduced the bonus payment program. I averaged $12 per article (non-exclusive rights) before they rolled out the bonus program. I submitted a few articles after that and received an offer of $4 for each.

    Even though I previously only submitted there when I had articles that I'd already previously published elsewhere (usually on article directories), I've given up on them since their upfront payments decreased.

    I'd still recommend AC to new writers who wanted to earn a little extra cash on the side writing about whatever they want to write (sure beats Helium), but I'd say it probably isn't worth the time of someone who wants to make a real living freelance writing. Of course, this is just my opinion. :-)

  • laura 4:53 PM CST
     

    Misti!

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, "it is a nice place to earn a little extra money, but I wouldn't recommend trying to make a living off of it alone."

    My own experience is that they pay quickly, but that the pay is rather low. On the other hand, I like having the (albeit tiny) bonuses come in even during months that I didn't submit anything.

    My total with them (including bonuses) is less than $400. My total articles submitted is less than 40.

  • Jerry Allen 12:19 AM CST
     

    Hmmm...thanks for posting this (I fell special...I had a post, a WHOLE POST on a question I asked...). Anyway, I think I might just see what this is all about. If they pay me and I can exposure, Im all for it!

  • Jeanne Dininni 5:08 PM CST
     

    Misti,

    You must have quite a few articles at AC to have earned as much as you have in both up-front and performance bonus payments!

    I must admit that I've become somewhat less enamored with AC--despite the performance bonus payment program--since they've lowered their up-front payments, which were already very low to begin with.

    I now almost exclusively use that market for posting and hopefully making a few extra dollars from reprints. Often, I don't even bother to do that because I'm busy and, to be honest, because at times it hardly seems worth the trouble. (I think I've only ever sold exclusive rights to AC for one article that I felt I'd never want to use again.)

    I have always appreciated their prompt payments, though, as well as the rather professional look a writer's articles can have through their template--provided the writer is very careful to input everything accurately and without typos or errors in spelling or grammar.

    I do have to confess, however, that I don't mind at all receiving those frequent, though small, bonus payments!

    Thanks for a great post!
    Jeanne

  • Jessica 7:31 AM CST
     

    Hello Misti, this is my first time at your blog. This is an interesting post..I had recently got lower offers than normal from A.C. at the beginning of the year and stopped posting almost indefinitely --and just making money off of the 1,000 articles I have up or so --- I did get a $50 offer once, and a few $25 but mostly low low offers. Great review --and a great reference for me to point someone to when they ask me what A.C. really is about.

    70K page views later, I'm not ashamed I have worked with them -- however I'm more disappointed they haven't evolved to offer more $$$ to the writers who have helped them raise to fame.

  • Misti Sandefur, Novelist/Freelance Writer 1:11 AM CST
     

    I'm going to answer everyone's post in one comment, so be prepared for a lengthy comment. ;)

    Amy,

    If you get any more questions about AC, feel free to refer them to this post. I hear ya on averaging $4 offers from AC since the release of their bonus program. Offers I've been averaging (with a clout of 9) are some $3 offers, which I refuse, and like you, $4 offers which I sometimes accept (depending on the length), and $5 to $6 offers. These offers are also for non-exclusive rights.

    As for Helium, I don't recommend them at all. Personally, I think Helium is a waste of time for any writer. If a writer wants some extra spending money, they are much better offer joining and submitting to AC.

    Laura,

    Yes, AC does seem to pay rather quickly, and it usually takes them at least one week to make me an offer on my submissions. I agree, the bonuses are a nice addition, but I still think they could offer writers more in terms of one-time offers. Just my two cents. ;)

    Jerry,

    You're welcome, and I'm glad I made you feel special. (*Blushing*). Do let me know how you're experience goes. If you like, these articles may help you get started with AC:

    "Increase Your Clout at Associated Content"
    www.associatedcontent.com/article/33149/increase_your_clout_at_associated_content.html

    "Give Them What They Want -- Popular Content"
    www.associatedcontent.com/article/30320/give_them_what_they_want_popular_content.html

    Jeanne,

    Yes, I have published quite a few articles on AC -- over 100 I believe, but as I said before, I wrote for them more in the beginning than I do now. And hey, if you're too busy with better paying markets to bother with AC, then I'm cheering you on all the way. I'd rather hear about writers making more with the better paying markets than AC. After all, we deserve it.

    Jessica,

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you come back again.

    Wow! Congratulations on the $50 and $25 offers! You must have done something right to get those. The highest AC has ever offered me was $10, and that was back before the bonus payments. Also back before bonus payments, I did receive $50 on an article, but it wasn't a $50 offer, it was for winning a contest on the most page views. Needlesstosay, I was happy.

    Like you, I'm also not ashamed to be a content producer for AC, but I also agree when you say, "I'm more disappointed they haven't evolved to offer more $$$ to the writers who helped them raise to fame." This is so true, because if it weren't for all of us writers, then they may not be where they're at today, and, yes, you would think they would show us writers more appreciation, but I won't hold my breath.

  • Michele 4:24 PM CST
     

    This might help writers decide:

    I came across this article on a blog about AC

    Thought it might help writers form their opinions ;0)

    Smiles,
    Michele

  • Misti Sandefur, Novelist/Freelance Writer 4:39 PM CST
     

    Michele,

    Thanks for sharing the link. I discovered this blog a while back and found it very interesting. It's just a shame they stopped updating it. I really wanted to read more about this author's experience with AC.

  • Jon 12:27 PM CST
     

    Misti,

    I'm a new writer myself and am looking more for qualified exposure than money in the bank at this point. Are sites like AC (and Helium, etc) worth the time as far as recognition goes, or would I be better served working toward real trade submissions? That is to say, does anyone in the industry CARE that I submitted on AC, etc?

  • Misti Sandefur, Novelist/Freelance Writer 7:50 PM CST
     

    Jon,

    First, let me thank you for dropping by my blog, and, of course, I invite you back any time.

    Now, to answer your questions... a few writers from AC have reported selling an article from using AC as a clip in their query letter, but if you truly want to build your portfolio to have a chance at some of the more well known markets in the future, then I'd suggest you begin with writing for trade magazines for your clips. AC's ok if you want to gain some extra money, but for building a portfolio, I recommend sending query letters to trade magazines in your niche. A couple other magazines to pitch are local and regional publications, also within your area of expertise.

    Regarding Helium, I gave them a try in the beginning, but no longer write for them. The pay is WAY too low and not worth it. For extra pay , stick with AC, and for exposure to build your portfolio, sell to trade, local and regional magazines.

    If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to leave another comment or contact me privately at info(at)mistisandefur(dot)com (replace (at) with @ and (dot) with a period).

    I wish you the best with your writing and your family (yes, I dropped by your blog) ;)

  • Anonymous 1:23 PM CDT
     

    If you can tell me how I can sell articles to other websites please email me at richjasonjones@aim.com so that I can have an alternative way to sell my articles which I submit to AC. I have been writing for them for a little bit now and they basically pay $4 for articles they want (and do not already have similar ones) and that is pretty low so I would like to find a place to submit articles elsewhere.

  • Blogey 2:04 PM CDT
     

    I was wondering if I should recommend this to some of my writer friends. Thanks for the AC review. Answered all the questions I had about them, with numbers to back them up. It still looks like a good place to submit some random writings that are not targeted to any particular market.

  • Metallman 5:33 PM CDT
     

    Hey there. I'm a new addition to AC and I agree completely with taking it as a side job. I can see someone making a pretty penny if your content is getting plenty of page views, but even then, you would need a lot of content and a lot of readers. Later!

  • mamma 12:52 AM CDT
     

    thank for being so honest and providing the facts about your personal experiences.

  • fatcartman091 7:54 PM CDT
     

    I've been writing articles on AC for a couple weeks now and have earned an average of $2.00 upfront payment per article. I just want to pubish a couple thousand articles and have performance payments for life. I'm only 18 so I don't need to make a living off AC I just want some extra income. You can see my profile here if your interested http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/605595/bradley_mcclain.html