I feel as though a decision is coming. Continue at Associated Content or just use this blog or set up my own site. Help me weigh the pros and cons, would you?
Pro AC: It’s a much wider audience. It comes with a “built in” readership and has 40k+ members that will potentially be exposed to my work.
Con AC: It seems that as the membership grows the average mentally shrinks. It has turned into a pay-to-blog site only without one important component, pay. If you want page views write fluff for no money. If you want money, write “how to” and “product reviews” that will slip away to obscurity. Those really aren’t my writing strengths.
Pro AC: For all its faults and bugs, I like the site and concept. And maybe it’s the help desk analyst in me, but until lately, I enjoyed the forums. Answering questions and interacting with fun people was a nice diversion.
Con AC: Lately the forums have become a pain. It seems like everyone has a chip on their shoulder. No one has a sense of humor. People have started playing childish games like creating fake accounts just to stir up trouble and hash out questions that have been addressed 100 times. I’ve seen it before on other sites. It is the harbinger of doom.
Pro AC: Most of the people there are good folks. I’ve met and keep up with some good writers and sharp minds.
Con AC: Nothing says I can’t still keep up with those folks from a far. For some reason the level of writing is on the decline. There are so many pop-topic pieces being published that it’s like reading People or The Star. I’m just waiting for something like the Bat Boy series to pop up as an Editor’s Pick. I guess that sells, but it sure doesn’t pay.
I recently posed a question to AC’s forum “moderator” that went unanswered. “If AC pays me that’s a win-win. If AC doesn’t offer me money, why not just set up my own site and reap the AdSense revenue?” However small, it would be more than AC offered.
More and more it looks like if you don’t produce articles that will get 10k+ hits per month, AC doesn’t care if you stay or go. The problem is they don’t pay for the kind of topics that will garner 10k+ hits.
I just submitted an interview with a little-known band. Then I find out that AC is offering prime dollars for exactly what I already submitted. I wonder where they got the idea to run a special offer for local bands? Now instead of being a stand-out article, it’s going to look like I jumped on the special-offer band wagon. Timing is everything.
Donna was just saying “Internet drama is so 1998!” Boy did she hit the nail on the head. I’m getting too old for this. I guess that’s why nice guys always finish last. The trouble is, I really am a nice guy. I guess that doesn’t come across the wire.
So how do you feel about it? To AC or not to AC? That is the question.