How much time will you spend writing something if you know the pay is minimal?

@vivasuzi (4127)
United States
September 24, 2009 11:52am CST
Background: I write articles at a blog site where we get paid based on hits and a few other criteria. Since my category is about TV shows, I write as I watch and usually post within minutes after the show finishes. This means it takes me an hour to write about an hour long TV show. I'm going to watch the TV show regardless, so the time element isn't even really a factor for me. I do not expect much pay for these articles. I've been lucky a few times where Google News picked me up, but overall I can expect anywhere from 1$-8$ a day depending on if I posted that day. Let's assume I make 8$ off of every article... that would be 8$ per hour, not quite a good salary. On this blog site, I have heard from other users that they spend hours and hours writing and days and days researching. They have told me their hits and they are about the same, if not less, than mine. Question: Would you spend hours and hours and sometimes even days on an article knowing that you probably won't make more than 5-8$ off of it? Even if you enjoy writing, as I do, do you think it's worth it to put that much effort into something knowing there is little chance you'll make more than a few bucks? My Answer: No way! I actually used to write more for this blog site until the pay started dropping off. Now I only post about 1 per day (if that) because I found that when I posted more I wasn't making any more money. I enjoy writing but find that if I spend too much time on an article, I get disappointed when I don't get a lot of hits. This in turn makes it's harder for me to write the next one. What about you??? Thoughts on why someone would spend so much time on something that earns them nothing?
1 person likes this
11 responses
@Sandra1952 (6052)
• Spain
16 Dec 09
These days, I do most of my writing on Helium. The pay isn't fantastic, but it builds up into a nice residual monthly payment. One article, which took me kess than an hour to write and is ranked 3 of 3, earns more each month than the rest of them put together. I'm concentrating on building up my article count there, as other, more successful Helium members say it's possible to earn more with more articles. I usually spend up to an hour on a 500 word article, though I have been known to dash one off in about 20 minutes if it's something I'm very passionate or knowledgeable about. Recently, I wrote a series of 10 SEO optimised articles about corporate gift giving. (Keyrings, pens, etc) I had to research, as I knew nothing about the subject, but I earned $50 for the series of articles, and I was paid immediately. It was a bit low for the amount of work, but hey, $50 is a useful sum. If I want to write something, I'll do it without giving much thought to the payment, but if I need to do a lot of research, I wouldn't bother unless the pay was over $15 per article.
@vivasuzi (4127)
• United States
20 Dec 09
I'd love to check out Helium. Send me a referral link if you have one :) No promises but I'll take a look. I've been seeking new sites to try out. I'm considering dropping most of my sites in 2010 because I'm not happy with the way they work. I definitely don't make 15$ an article now! I get paid per hit and even when I get thousands of hits, I don't get paid that much. Currently I make about 100$ on one site in a month... but is it worth it? A lot of times I think I could just skip going out to eat 2 times a month and save 100$ that way! So I really don't know what I will do in 2010. I'll always keep mylot b/c it's fun to chat, vent, and ask questions here.
1 person likes this
@mommaj (22872)
• United States
24 Sep 09
I stopped writing as faithfully, when I noticed my pay dropping too. I decided though, I'm not a professional writer, no one hired me of yet, so I was probably making pretty good money for someone who was a stay at home mom. Everyone wishes they made more money. LOL I know I do. I think I have to settle for what I can get until I become accomplished. I have people stealing my articles and changing them so I think I am really close to making it big time. LOL
1 person likes this
@vivasuzi (4127)
• United States
25 Sep 09
Yeah that is true and I do say that to myself all the time. I'm not a pro, this is a side job for side income! I think many of us "writers" are looking for a get rich quick scheme. I never was, but once I started randomly getting a TON of hits on certain articles, I got sucked in! I've had my articles stolen before, does that mean I'm big time? lol I have a friend who wishes to earn enough writing per month that he can quit his real job. I'm not thinking that way at all. To me, the writing income is supposed to go toward vacation. I would love to be able to say I earned enough writing to pay for my whole vacation! Currently my writing pays for about 1/3 the vacation each time.
@mommaj (22872)
• United States
25 Sep 09
If they are stealing your articles than you have made it. LOL I also see link backs to my articles which I am really proud of. I think that is almost like they are hiring me. LOL I know I got a 1099 last year and I made the 1099 early this year. I guess I better start coming up with some really good expenses. LOL I don't feel like I made that much, but numbers don't lie. LOL I would love to have this as a job. I demand an office though, so I don't have to deal with the kids for that many hours. LOL I can hide there until it is my turn to come out even if I don't write any articles. LOL
@cripfemme (7713)
• United States
11 Dec 09
It depends on a couple of factors. One, do I care about the project at all. If yes, I'll put more time into it. If no, I won't. Two, am I trying to impress these people so that they will give me bigger and better assignments and better pay? If yes, I'll put more time into it. If no, I won't. And lastly, does this assignment possibly improve the world in some way? If yes, I'll put more time into it. If no, I won't.
@vivasuzi (4127)
• United States
15 Dec 09
Good points all around. Sometimes it's worth it to spend more time on a few articles if you are trying to prove yourself to someone so they will offer you more work. I get paid per hit for my blog, so I guess the people I'm trying to impress are the readers. Although at times I have a lack of motivation as I won't get many hits on certain articles and lots on others. I think it is the inconsistency that makes me lose motivation really.
24 Sep 09
Then why not start your own niche website? Why write for someone else when you can do it for yourself? earn the whole, not the part. Online writing is a lot of effort and initially you don't see a great return but once you work it al out and realise that writing isn't so much hard work as smart work, you're off to a flying start. I spend a considerable amount of time writing and initially there was little in paid return. Now I can see the results - and spend a good portion of my time adding to my portfolio of online written work. The way online writing works is like this: when you write for 'you', and have sussed out the SEO stuff and the search engines find you, so do the surfers. Add in a couple of affilliates and you're away. Best of all, once you start earning you'll keep earning. Give the search engines what they want - top quality unique content - and they'll find you.
@roadki11 (34)
• United States
24 Sep 09
I left textbroker for this exact reason. The pay is about four dollars for 450 words. I got bad ratings because the textbroker editor found two typos. They rated me 3/5 for two typos in an article that garnered me $4. I ended up at helium. I made $16 for the first article I wrote for them, exact same word count. Even just starting out writing online, where I am mostly just practicing, some expectations versus pay scales are just personally offensive.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (72390)
• India
25 Sep 09
Hi vivasuzi, I come here to know more people, to look at things from their perspective, and to understand other cultures. I also come here to look at solutions to some of the problems that have dogged me throughout my life, and I never found a solution to them. Its a pity that this site came so late in my life. :( I could have received such valuable piece of advice as some of the people out here have given me. Like I used to be perturbed, one lady told, that is what is intended. So dont let them get away with satisfaction. It struck me yes, how true. But I cant go back in time and correct a situation where I'd reacted. I can though ensure that in future when such problems come, I will remember the words of the wise one. I dont think earning is as important as getting hold of that peace of mind. But may be, it is easier for me to think like that considering the fact that my career is almost over. I can only say, I feel the happiness I get when I participate in discussions out here is more valuable than the monies. I dont want to struggle and get monies that I will be paying to the surgeons and physicians! Oh what is the use of that much of tension, and blood pressure! I just want enough for my food, clothing, shelter, and medicine, and of course, enough to compensate anybody who looks after me. Other than that, I want nothing. So money is not the criteria for coming to this site. I have, however, done some tasks, and god bless Sharon Bucks, she has paid me well as well. But I did it because I thoroughly enjoyed knowing new things! And of course, thoroughly enjoyed the movies that she wanted me to review. And I will continue to do these tasks, as it will keep Alzheimers as far from me as possible. Our motives are different, aren't they? But then, u might be young. U need to work real hard before 45 to get as much as possible tucked behind u, so that even if u dont earn enough later, u have something to fall back upon. Blood pressure, and heart attacks, and diabetes are mostly age related problems, so as long as u dont have them, work hard. Happy earning.
@vivasuzi (4127)
• United States
25 Sep 09
Please read my whole post. I am not talking about this site. I'm talking about writing articles for payment.
@vandana7 (72390)
• India
25 Sep 09
Hi vivasuzi, i meant to say any writing that doesnt pay good amount, this site was just an example. I did read ur whole post, and I did realize that u did some television program reviews.:) Thanks for responding anyway.:) Have a great day.:)
• Malaysia
25 Sep 09
I like to write blog for the fun of it. I write my thoughts. I copy reports and paraphrased them and give it my own twist and interpretation and flavour.I also journalised any important happenings in my life.
• India
25 Sep 09
My Lot is paying me minimal. I am not really satisfied, but I still write long paragraphs because I enjoy mylotting. Even if I am not paid enough I still write because I like to write and it is a kind of soializing for me.
@pillusch (1148)
• Mexico
25 Sep 09
If it would be JUST for the pay, no, I wouldn't do it any more. I made about $ 15 a day 3 years back for writing three short articles, but since I was new at that, it took me all day. Writing just for the money, no way. But how about branding yourself? For example, here at myLot. I couldn't for the heck of it imagine doing it for the money. However, and that applies to article writing as well, I'm making new friends and contacts, people begin (hopefully) to trust me, and they might look up my businees link in my profile. And THAT'S where the money is. Lots of people write articles to make themselves known to the Internet world, maybe they are selling a product and want to establish themselves as experts, or they are building an organization in a network marketing company and want people to trust them s as sponsors before they sign up. The money in writing in my humble opinion is a minor incentive (not even thinking of the money here at myLot, where it's more a token of appreciation from the owners of the site towards it's users. Good luck to you.
@anurag3786 (6273)
• India
25 Sep 09
I write not so long.. but write..solid things...but the pay is minimal.. i write 3-4 line for answers..to every questions.. i know..it's difficult to say..how they paid for that..
@scheng1 (24710)
• Singapore
25 Sep 09
Hi Vivasuzi, I think you are fortunate to live in the US. If you live in Singapore, I doubt you can make money writing review about the TV show. The market is too small, most probably nobody will know what you are talking about. If want to watch TV from other countries, have to pay more for cable TV, and watch the show at odd hours. Another thing is that news articles and TV reviews get a lot of hits in a short period of time. The long term earning potential is very minimal. For some article, such as hair loss or weight loss, the passive income is slow and steady. It's very likely that the evergreen blog post will still make a few cents per day after a year.