Those who write for Associated Content generally fall into two categories: People who write for money & people who write for non-monetary reasons. No matter where along this continuum you fall, there are still valid reasons for submitting articles to Associated Content for free. Technically, it’s never for free since AC pays 0.0015¢ per page view.
Those who are 100% about the money tend to be professional, freelance writers. They’ve been paid serious money for print articles and/or books. Often this type of writer has a very low opinion of AC. They had their ego stroked by seeing their byline in print and can’t fathom why AC would only offer $5.00 for their work.
Those at the other end of the spectrum tend to be hobbyist. They’re just happy as a school girl to get any kind of payment for their writing. They may be bloggers who found out that AC’s page view bonus is more than they were making from AdSense. It’s definitely more than they are making on a free blog.
No matter which camp you’re in, sometimes it is appropriate to publish an article on AC for no up-front payment. Putting something on AC for page view payment only has to match your writing goals. Here are a few reasons to publish for free at AC.
You know absolutely that AC isn’t going to make an offer.
If your article is an op/ed rant about why dogs are better than cats, AC isn’t going to pay. If it’s a short story (prose), AC isn’t going to pay. So if you want to get it on-line and still make a small return on it, free is the only way to go. If you think you can sell it elsewhere, more power to you, but don’t post it on AC until after you get accepted at the other site. The other publisher will want first rights.
It never hurts to try for the up-front offer, but if you do receive a rejection, paste the article into a new template and submit it for free. The resubmission option doesn’t not publish immediately and when the content manager sees the article again they often don’t notice the “PV-only” selection. The result is a warning to stop resubmitting the same article. Either the managers are over worked or just plain blind.
Your article is time-sensitive.
Even submitting as news takes time to publish. If you have something hot, it may pay more in page views to have it on the net quickly. Waiting around for a $4.00 offer may make a difference of $10.00 in page view bonus. Being first is sometimes better than being the 99th person to blog something.
You want the instant gratification that comes with instant publishing.
Sometimes you just don’t want to wait. You’ve written something, maybe more for fun than money, and you just want it out there. People who do this tend to be more on the hobbyist side of the house, but that’s okay. If it meshes with your on-line writing goals, go for it.
You are hurting.
It is a fact that AC will stop making up-front offers based on your past performance. If you are churning out articles and no one is reading them, AC considers that as part of their offer formula. If your average page view per article is sinking below 300, you might consider putting out a few zingers for free. Boosting your average will pay off down the road.
Often an article that will generate massive page views is not something AC will pay for. It might be that it doesn’t align with their advertising or any number of reasons. But writing that freebie could really give your average page views a huge boost and put you back in the good graces of the up-front-offer gods.
It all boils down to your goals. Associated Content and on-line writing in general is a different experience for each writer. Which brings us to the rant portion of today’s broadcast.
Warning! The following is not completely fictional. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead is purely intentional.
Some of the AC community hold an awful high opinion of their writing. They tend to be in the “making money” camp. The annoying part is when they post little temper tantrums about how unfair AC is because AC wouldn’t pay what they think they are worth. The uber-annoying part is when the CP doesn’t read and comprehend the rejection notice. Poor wording or not, a rejection is a rejection. If AC rejects your article with the stock, “We can’t offer up front payment but feel your article has social merit. You are welcome to submit for page view bonus only,” it means just that. You don’t get to whine because you disregarded the rejection notice and submitted for upfront payment a 2nd time and got rejected again.
The scenario above is real. That particular writer ignored the part about submitting for free because he has a massive ego and truly believes his shit don’t stink. But his 3rd resubmission for payment was met with the blaring “stop resubmitting the same crap or we’ll flag your account” message.
Side bar on that point. Is the message rude? Some what. Is it over the top? Maybe not. It was created for just this situation. Some mangers used it at the wrong time and that is frustrating, but some people just don’t comprehend the message that the article they think is worthy of payment (due to the simple fact they wrote it) may not be something that AC wants or needs. The old saying is true. “Everything is worth what the buyer will pay.”
There is another old saying, “I wish I could buy you for what you’re worth and sell you for what you think you’re worth.” Rarely a day goes by when someone doesn’t post “I’m not giving anything away for free. I’m a professional writer and deserve special treatment befitting my ego.” Get over yourself. Everyone has an off day. Not every article you write is golden. So what? Move on. You got one rejection out of 20. You’re doing better than most.
Insisting that everything is the other party’s fault is just narcissistic. It also prohibits one from learning and growing as a writer. Take your lumps, learn your lessons, improve your writing, tailor your articles to AC’s needs, and quit whining.
Just so you know where I fall on the spectrum . . . I’m about 75% hobbyist and 25% money. I haven’t reached professional writing status. Can I write well? I’d like to think so, but that’s for the reader to decide. Can I write well enough for AC to pay me? When I try, yes. However, many of the articles I write don’t fit the up-front payment mold at AC. The difference between me and the deluded professional writer-whiner is that I’m not delusional enough to think my crap is a casserole.
Rant off. Y’all have a great weekend now. Ya hear?