We’ve all done it: we’ll find a site that promises to publish our short articles and pay us either a small flat fee or from some sort of advertising scheme. These sites are content with 400 word articles and don’t care too much about style, as long as there aren’t obvious typos. Some can even provide fairly solid income streams — not millions of dollars but checks every week.
Are these sites bad?
I wouldn’t want to rely on any of these sites for a full time living. Even if I could just crank out repetitive articles, all day, every day, I wouldn’t really want to. And I’ve run into lots of issues of plagiarism that makes me wonder if content sites are really going to be around for the long haul.
A lot of the payment schemes give me hives, too. “Post your article, and if someone likes it, maybe they’ll give you a nice shiny nickel.” And a share of the advertising revenue? That’s just a fast way to make no money at all.
Are these sites good?
My complaints aside, working for some of these sites can be a good thing. Some offer flat fees for your articles, and while they might only be $10, if you can crank out 400 words fairly quickly, you can make it worthwhile. It can be nice to have some reliable income, as well, to augment larger but less frequent paychecks from your freelancing career.
In my opinion, content sites can offer freelance writers a starting point to start earning some money, but for freelancers with a little experience and a few clips, it can be better to chase bigger jobs.