Sunday, January 9, 2011

Writing Jobs, Online Copywriting Jobs: Yahoo! Voices (Associated Content, Yahoo! Contributor Network)

Update: After a long run, Yahoo! Voices was discontinued. You can find more information about the Yahoo! Voices discontinuation on Wikipedia.

Work From Home with Yahoo! Voices (Now Defunct)

My second "get paid to write" opportunity was Associated Content. In 2008, I submitted well over 90 articles to the platform and thoroughly enjoyed getting paid for my writing, even if it was only pennies on the dollar.

Associated Content quickly began receiving bad press from writing critics.
Slate technical writer Farhad Manjoo summed up this criticism thus: "Associated Content stands as a cautionary tale for anyone looking to do news by the numbers. It is a wasteland of bad writing, uninformed commentary, and the sort of comically dull recitation of the news you'd get from a second grader." - From Wikipedia
Farhad Manjoo was honest in his criticism, as poorly written content and uncited "evidence" could be found in the hundreds across the platform.

Associated Content eventually changed it's name to the Yahoo! Contributor Network and later to Yahoo! Voices. Shortly after the Google algorithm changes in 2011 which cracked down on "content farms," Yahoo! Voices announced it's closing.

Once upon a time, I really enjoyed writing for Yahoo! Voices. Times change, however, and I soon realized that I would be better off writing elsewhere and for more cash. Despite this, I still held Yahoo! Voices in high regard, as it allowed me to build a basic writing resume. It was a way for me to earn money online while also trying to establish myself as a freelance writer.

* Yahoo! Voices is no longer in operation, so the information below no longer applies.

How much can you earn at Yahoo! Voices?

Before the Google algorithm changes, I was earning around $15 per month in royalties. Obviously, this was chump change, if that. Two years after the algorithm changes, my income dropped by nearly 90% and I was counting pennies. Yahoo! Voices suffered, and probably rightfully so, but wasn't the only "content mill" that was affected by Panda algorithm changes.

Yahoo! Voices offered upfront payment for articles that were original and informative. These articles also received a monthly revenue share. The highest upfront payment that I ever received from Yahoo! Voices was a measly $4 for a 500-word article. Back then, I didn't mind, but in hindsight, I realize that it was slave wages. At the time, I was a beginner, so I tried to make the most of it.

One of the main reasons why I stayed with Yahoo! Voices was because it had a strong sense of community. I was also pleased that they accepted creative work, such as poetry, song lyrics, and short stories. I always found myself browsing the site, reading the work of others, and leaving comments on articles and in forums. I met quite a few aspiring writers on Yahoo! Voices, many of whom I've kept in touch with, even after the website was shut down.

When does Yahoo! Voices pay? What payment method do they use?

When Yahoo! Voices was up and running, payment for upfront articles was made within two weeks of publishing. Performance payments were released around the 10th of each month for the prior month's earnings. All payments were made via PayPal.

How can I earn more with Yahoo! Voices?

Since Yahoo! Voices is now defunct, you can't earn anything at all.

However, back when it active, earning more with Yahoo! Voices took a lot of work. You would have to spend at least 5 hours per day on the website to earn a decent amount of cash, but even then, the amount of work you'd have to put in wouldn't have been worth it.

People who consistently published high-quality, original content and kept their keyword density at no more than 7% on each article had a better chance of success. Staying involved in the community was also a necessary part of earning, as it helped writers build readership.

The earning potential was not substantial. You could expect to earn a couple hundred dollars per year, at best. In my opinion, it was best to save your time for higher paying writing gigs.

Did you write for Yahoo! Voices? Share a story in the comments!

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