Every writer who has ever written at content farm (which means most of us!) has been met with challenges and probably has a funny story (or two) to tell. There is no doubt whatsoever that most sites took a beating when Google released the Panda update and some writers have been able to bounce back while others have just thrown their hands up and given up. However, I’d like to take some time to look at what I see is the comedic side of some of the complaints that I’m seeing everywhere around the web – and you don’t have to agree with me, I’ll still approve your comment
You expect me to ……
Give up rights to my work for a year – Are you writing the next great novel? If so, please don’t post it online or you won’t get it published anyplace! What is it that you are planning to do with your masterpiece that says that you should not give up your rights for a year? When you can answer this question, we can talk!
Leave it published here forever – Why……? While it’s true that many sites do not have this requirement, some do! If you don’t want it sitting there forever, don’t publish it there. Simple answer, publish it someplace that doesn’t have that requirement. This argument has always flustered me because frankly, I was really dumbstruck a few weeks back when I stumbled over something that I wrote in 1992 – yes 1992 - still sitting out online. I have never made a dime off that particular piece but you want to hear something VERY interesting – I was hired to do a business plan earlier this month. Suffice it to say that it made me a fair amount of money. OK so maybe that’s a bit overboard for some of you, but I’m still entitled to my opinion.
Payment is too low – Yep it probably is. With that said, I’d like to ask you to take a look at your AdSense (and whatever other affiliate schemes you have on your website or blog) and see how much money you made compared to how many posts you have. Yes you probably lost some up front payments after Panda (rolling my eyes) I know that I lost about 1/2 of my regular monthly income so I’m sure there are others who lost as much (or more) than I did. I’m still making at least revenue share, and writing on some of the micro-sites (which I do) for about the same thing to give up 100 percent total control and rights (in fact someone else is putting their name on the work!). So it’s not great, I agree. I (like many others) write for a living. But, you have to decide what your goals are and post your work accordingly.
I write for (now or in the past) Bright Hub (who now owns all of the work I posted there forever with no revenue share and no upcoming assignments), Suite 101 (who deleted some of my articles claiming they were “sub-standard”. I’ve now posted those articles elsewhere and made more than I made in a month than all the time they were on Suite), Demand Media (who screwed writers big time with their “First Look” program – they claim to have PLENTY of work but First Look meant plenty of work for a few writers and none for new writers, TextBroker – where I lose all rights to my work for about 1/2 of what I’d charge customers, Writer Access (where I do very well!), Helium where I have been earning steady income since 2010, Hub Pages (where I’m starting to do better) and Squidoo where they “take” your earnings if you don’t cross a specific payment threshold after six months, never to be seen again.
No writing site is perfect. If you have objections to giving up your rights, you don’t want to market your work or you don’t want them sitting out there forever, then do yourself a favor: Start a blog, add AdSense to it and put your work there. Trust me, it’s not worth the blood pressure boost to whine about this stuff. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: Terms of Service matter! Also, one other thing in this: Don’t bash other writers that decide to continue on a site that you use to write for an no longer have an interest in participating. This doesn’t make them your enemy, it’s a personal choice!