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. Despite this, I genuinely enjoyed the sense of community that Associated Content maintained. I also enjoyed browsing the site, reading the works of others. I loved that they allowed creative works, such as poetry, song lyrics, and short stories. I met quite a few aspiring writers on Yahoo! Voices, many of whom I've kept in touch with, even after the website closed down.

Before closing, Associated Content would rebrand twice. It became the Yahoo! Contributor Network and then Yahoo! Voices. Shortly after the Google algorithm changes in 2011 that cracked down on "content farms," Yahoo! Voices officially announced its end.

How much could you earn at Yahoo! Voices?

On occasion, I would write upfront posts for Yahoo! Voices. These articles received a flat rate and revenue share. The highest upfront payment that I had 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 those are slave wages. I was a beginner, however, so I tried to make the most of it.

When Yahoo! Voices was still up and running (before the Google algorithm changes), I was earning around $15 in royalties. Obviously, this was chump change, if that. Two years after the algorithm changes, my royalties dropped by nearly 90% and I was counting pennies. Yahoo! Voices suffered—rightfully so, I'm sure—and it wasn't the only "content mill" that was affected by Panda algorithm changes.

When did Yahoo! Voices pay? What payment method did they use?

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.

Back when Yahoo! Voices was active, earning money took a lot of work. You would have to spend at least five hours per day on the website to earn a decent amount of cash. Honestly, the amount of work you'd have to put in wouldn't have been worth the small amount of money you'd receive.

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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