What I have learned as a helium writer

@Canellita (12058)
United States
June 3, 2009 8:29am CST
When I first signed up at helium I only wrote to empty titles. I didn't understand the rating and writing star system and I felt there was no point to writing to titles that already had articles. As I started learning about helium and earning and how the site works it was a bit tedious and frustrating at times but I gradually gained a new perspective. The one plus of helium I have discovered is that you are not limited to writing to niche topics. It is a common practice in writing to establish yourself as an expert in a particular area or specific subject which theoretically increases your worth and contributes to better earnings. The problem with only writing to something you are an "expert" in is that if you are the only one writing to articles in a particular category you can't get rated. If you are a good writer and have a track record for being published it can only help to have your articles rated next to others on the site as not all helium articles are created equal. The more you rate the better you rate. Aside from the $3 rating bonus, the more time you spend rating articles on helium the more opportunities you will see for yourself to write to competitive titles or suggest titles that may not exist. Helium is a very slow way to earn but unless you have the luxury of freelancing full-time you are not likely to earn very much for your writing the "traditional" ways unless you already somewhat established and already have sufficient bylines. Hmmm... maybe this should have been an article.
4 people like this
7 responses
@scheng1 (24813)
• Singapore
3 Jun 09
Hi Canellita, I treat Helium as a training ground for newbie. Readers do judge a book by its cover. I went to the library just now to borrow a few books, I judged the book by the cover, especially the back cover. Those few words at the back should make me keen to read the books. The same concept applies to Helium, the first few paragraphs are very important. And the first few paragraphs should adhere closely to the title, and appeal to the readers. There are some writers who make the bulk of their income from Helium, especially when they could sell a few marketplace articles every month. Some Helium writers re-post the articles in Constant-Content for usage rights, and post in AC for display only content.
3 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
3 Jun 09
I have been trying to not judge by only the first couple paragraphs when rating articles but it is sometimes difficult. Earlier today I emailed someone who had written about fried okra. In the first paragraph the writer noted that okra was a fruit but they didn't know why. My message was about the difference between fruit and vegetables being learned in elementary school science class and that how stating a lack of knowledge for the difference in the opening paragraph of the article hurts the credibility of the writer and the article.
2 people like this
@scheng1 (24813)
• Singapore
4 Jun 09
haha, that's funny, I think the writer should write about the difference between a fruit and vegetable then. To be realistic, people do judge a book by its cover. If you are selecting a book in the bookshop, you can't possible read half the book before deciding to buy. You have to judge by its covers. So I think, to be practical, we have to learn to write an appealing first paragraph.
3 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
5 Jun 09
People like the person who submitted that article make me nervous when it comes to rating articles. I am not completely confident that they know what good or "correct" writing is. I worry that some may rate emotionally. Did you receive email from helium this past week asking if you had free time to volunteer on the site?
2 people like this
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
5 Jun 09
I gained confidence from Helium. I also learned to put spaces in my paragraphs, not to use the word I unless it was an opinion piece and always double check before posting. But the most important thing, I learned from Helium was that there was someone else out there who actually liked my writing enough to pay me for it. LOL
3 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
5 Jun 09
Good for you! Have you found any particular channel on helium to work better for you? So far my best "paying" article is one on finding chrochet patterns, I think. (Or maybe it was the one on scrapbooking.)
2 people like this
• United States
5 Jun 09
Actually, my top earner is about household mold.
3 people like this
@Trensue (5247)
• United States
6 Jun 09
My top earner is how to build a dry stack wall - I didn't know there was such a need!
2 people like this
@Sandra1952 (6052)
• Spain
6 Jun 09
Funny you should say that! Since I've been on Mylot, I've expanded a few of my responses into articles for Helium. Like Mylot, it takes a while to work out how to maximise your earnings. You're right in that the more you rate, the more you seem to earn. I read a response here a few weeks ago, and the responder suggested spending 10 - 15 minutes a day rating on Helium, and that would be enough to get you to 5 rating stars and keep you there. I'm up to 4 at the moment, but I should have 5 before the end of June.
@Trensue (5247)
• United States
6 Jun 09
I have turned into a Helium junkie, but since it pays I can not complain that much.
2 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
6 Jun 09
I have five but I haven't rated much the last few days so I hope I don't slips back down. Still only have twp writing stars though.
1 person likes this
@ch88ss (2270)
• United States
6 Jun 09
good luck and keep up the good work. I tried Helium before, but it was too tedious for me. With a full time job, I have little time for it. so I turned to other sites that have done well. I am glad Helium worked for you.
3 people like this
@Trensue (5247)
• United States
6 Jun 09
So where did you find your success?
2 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
8 Jun 09
I have a part time job that extends beyond the hours I am physically at work (teaching). It's hard for me to put time into helium as well. I haven't had much time for other sites either.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39922)
• Canada
3 Jun 09
I tried helium once and I did not like it, I actually prefer associated content because you can write about anything you want. I just takes too much time to establish all new friends on all these sites so the read your stuff. I don't have that much time available for that.
3 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
3 Jun 09
I don't worry about establishing friends to read my stuff. Most writers are busy trying to turn out work. I have plenty of people in the offline world I can send my articles to.
2 people like this
@Jemina (5784)
4 Jun 09
Ah, finally, an expert advice. Thanks for shedding more light on this. I have always wanted to know more about Helium and how to make the most. I am so confused about so many things. But unlike you, when I realized how overwhelming it was to know about everything, I left. I felt by myself. There was no one to go to for help. Someone who could give me a simple ABC of things. I used to have all the time in my hands. But now I'm a little busy and have not much time to write articles. But I think I would still give it a go. Thanks to you.
2 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
5 Jun 09
I was really frustrating for me in the beginning because I was so excited about a site where I could post my writing and not have to worry about paying for a domain name and everything else to establish and maintain my own site. I quickly turned out the first article from an "empty title" that about finding a job helping to rebuild New Orleans and qualified for the $5 bonus but then I wasn't earning anything and it took me a while to figure out why. Scheng1 and Heartbreaker08 have been very helpful to me in sorting out the way things work at helium. They have both written to helium titles on how to make money with helium and Scheng in particular has been very encouraging. If you do not have helium listed in your myLot interests under "websites that I regularly visit" you should add it because you will find other discussions related to helium that might be helpful and you can establish a dialog with the other writers.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Jun 09
On LinkedIn, Helium has a forum, and one of the Helium adminstrators, Barbara Swaford, will answer any and all questions you may have. She has been an enormous help to me via that forum. Karen
3 people like this
@Jemina (5784)
7 Jun 09
How do I write an article on an "empty title"? I can't seem to find the link to it. I was really disappointed when I wrote my first article and not have my own title in it. Thanks for those inputs. I will try to check them out.
2 people like this
@PeacefulWmn9 (10424)
• United States
3 Jun 09
I love Helium. It is one of the most professional and helpful writing sites out there. I have found some good success with writing and selling outright for their marketplace section. I also do a lot of rating and writing to regular titles. It does take a while to grasp the ins and outs, but is worth the effort. Karen
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
3 Jun 09
How long have you been writing at helium? How can I read your articles?
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jun 09
I have been on Helium for almost two years, truly got serious about it the first of this past year. I can't post links on MyLot yet, but you can find me under my name, Karen Chaffee.
2 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
5 Jun 09
Just added you to my favorites :-)
1 person likes this