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Best Revenue-Sharing Writing Websites
The criteria for this list are income potential, user-friendliness, quality of articles, look of the articles and helpfulness of admin, staff and community.
I've been writing online for money for a little more than two years now. I'd say it took me at least a year to seriously tackle the problem of driving traffic to my content. Before that, I wrote about what I know about and what I care about. Not that you can't do that to some extent and get traffic, but I've focused more of my efforts on keyword research lately so that I can get decent traffic to my work. Otherwise, it all becomes a wasted effort. I'm getting more and more economical with my approach to this whole thing.
At this point, I wanted to share a list of what I consider the best revenue-sharing websites for writers. The criteria for this list are income potential, user-friendliness, quality of articles, look of the articles and helpfulness of admin, staff and community.
In terms of writing for money online, Hubpages (HP) is my first love and, consequently, where I've done most of my work. Fact is, it is the best site I've found and meets all the criteria I mentioned above. I have found true residual income potential here and the income I make from the site is growing as I add my work to the site. I have two accounts here; one is my main and original account which has a lot of material I wrote before I knew anything about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), keyword research (finding low competition keywords that are searched for on the Net) and SERPs (getting your articles high in Search Engine Results Pages). It does get relatively decent traffic because as I went along I started learning how to get traffic while I published on that account. However, I have another account where I only put articles that are optimized for keywords and traffic. Within two months, that account already gets twice the amount of monthly traffic that my original account receives after its two-year run so far; and with a fifth of the content; my original account has more than a hundred articles on it, but this optimized account has about 20. So, I really learned a lesson in keyword research and its importance.
Point is, you can get decent income from your articles on HP if you do some keyword research. It doesn't hurt that they pay per impression too, not per click. But you get to hook your Adsense account up so you'll get paid per click too. Kind of a win-win thing.
The site is very user-friendly, it's very easy to create an article; they have plenty of tools to add images, videos, polls, tables, etc. There are never glitches and once you get the swing of it, it's very easy to publish on HP. It's a lot of work, because you can really add lots of media to an article; but the tools they have make it all possible.
I also like the look of articles. I think of them as fashionably minimalist; not too loud and busy but look sharp. Love that aspect of the site.
The admin are helpful and so are the staff. The community here has taught me much of what I needed to know about such things as creating a website. Helpful community, no doubt.
One of the main good things about HP is that your articles move up in the SERPs rather quickly. I can get at the top of the SERPs for keywords I've used within 2-4 months, more or less. Google is good with HP at this point. This also means if you post relevant links to your other work, it will get decent traffic to that work and boost its rep.
The quality of the work on HP is good too. They've put in effort to make sure submissions are top quality. I think the process is fair. They ask for quality without micro-managing writers. So, they're good to the writers but keep the content high-quality.
One final note: You can earn money through Amazon and eBay on your articles. Another good note about the income potential there.
I consider Wizzley the second-best site I've used online. I haven't made money there yet, but I've only been there for six months and have eight articles on the site. It's rather early to tell anything about income potential there.
What I really like about Wizzley is the look of the articles. They are dang pretty. I really get a kick out of looking at one of my articles there after I've published it. They look beautiful, I think. And not gaudy. They have features that allow you to adjust the look of the article with designs, colors, fonts, etc.
There is also a high-quality standard there. I think your first three articles are moderated. Then they let you go free to publish to your heart's content. It's a system that works because I haven't read a bad article on there yet.
Like HP, the admin there are very smart. I also got a very warm welcome from the community when I started, lots of love and comments on my work early on. Seems to be an air of wanting people to succeed there.
At this point you can monetize your articles through various means: Adsense, Chitika, Amazon, AllPosters and various other affiliates. I currently only use Adsense, Amazon and AllPosters.
Generally, it sounds like it takes time and lots of content to make money there and money is made through sales on affiliate ads is what I understand. People also use Zazzle and other online stores to make money on Wizzley. Writers have started making income there.
The site is fairly new, a few years old I believe, but it's clearly going to be one of the top sites for rev-share writing. It's been well-established in that regard already. Some of the best writers on the Net have chosen Wizzely as another source of income and writing platform.
Finally, one of my favorite things about Wizzley is how easy it is to write an article. It's similar to Hubpages in this regard. They have plenty of features that are easy to use in terms of creating an article. Can't complain even slightly. Good stuff.
Update: November 2014
I still like Wizzley, it's a friendly environment. But I have to say, I think the site is designed for people who like to make sales and are good at it. The traffic to the site is minimal, and getting traffic is the main way I've ever been able to make money. I usually write informational and instructional articles, rarely a sales article. I might still write there, just because I like the site, but the income potential is not good for me on the site so I will probably spend most of my time where I know I can make money. It's a practical matter.
Update: The Bubblews site has shut down due to being unable to sustain their business model.
Bubblews is top-notch, to me, for three reasons: Freedom, income and philosophy.
You can write what you want at Bubblews. You only have to write four-hundred characters (about a hundred words) a post. You get paid when the post is viewed, liked or commented on. The money comes rather quickly. When I was most active on there, I made at least a hundred dollars a month; for short posts that take little time to write. I was very active there then, though; so that tells you that it can take up a lot of time and energy if you are driven to make it a source of income.
However, I've found that my posts rank high in the SERPs if I make any effort at using keywords at all. I just checked a post I wrote about a week ago and it's already on page eleven of the SERPs; that's pretty quick for a post I just wrote about a week ago.
As you can imagine, it's possible to get a bit of passive income there if you're smart about keywords. Some time ago I started mysteriously hitting the payment threshold within a few days and I came to find out one of my posts had thousands of views. I looked for it on Google and it was at the top of the results for the keywords.
I also truly appreciate the philosophy of CEO Founder Arvind Dixit. The whole point of the site is to be fair to people who are members of a social site and give them a piece of the pie that they help make. The site is open to everyone. People write about whatever they want, what's on their minds, etc. Many things I like about the basic philosophy of the site.
Update: November 2014
Recently Bubblews has gone through some changes: You no longer are able to view stats on your traffic and they've lowered the amount you can make. Now, you get paid according to what country the viewer is from. What this means is lower pay. I've noticed my "passive" income has dropped considerably. I used to make at least a dollar or two a day even when I wasn't active on the site, now I make pennies. They have also made it so that you can only redeem every 30 days and have to wait at least 60 days to get paid. Personally, I've pretty much quit using the site. If you like the social aspect, have at it I guess.
Update: November 2014
I hardly write at Bubblews anymore and activity there has slowed way down generally and earnings are very slow too. I've calculated it would probably take me at least a year to ever reach the $50 threshold to cash out. Consequently, I devote very little time to Bubblews. Also, admin are conspicuously quiet and everyone there is wondering why. Not sure what's going on with the site, time will tell.
What I noticed, though, is the very encouraging and warm treatment from staff.
I haven't learned how to make money on Squidoo yet. I've only recently started doing any serious writing there, back in November 2013. What I noticed, though, is the very encouraging and warm treatment from staff. They chose a couple of my articles for their special subdomain for movie reviews and a few others were featured too.
Squidoo has some really cool tools to make great articles. I'm still learning over there and hope to build up my number of articles there soon.
I also dig Seth Godin, Squidoo CEO and Founder. That guy is cool. Google him, find out what he has to say. Love his philosophy.
Update: August 15, 2014
Unfortunately, it looks like Squidoo is no longer an option. The good news is, HubPages is acquiring Squidoo's featured articles, so you will see much of their content and writers here at HubPages. Squidoo will be closing down after that content has been transferred to HubPages.
I'm leaving this section about Squidoo here as a tribute. It was a great site and lasted for nine good years. Here's to Seth and the Squidoo staff and writers!
So, I just joined Infobarrel a few days ago. Admittedly I don't have enough experience with them to give a thorough review. My initial impression though is that they are the micro-managers of the rev-share world.
Your first ten articles are moderated seriously. I have my first article sitting over there right now, for the past few days, waiting to get reviewed. They already rejected it once because they said I put an Amazon ad too high up in the article. I can live with that. I changed it and resubmitted and still waiting.
I can see why they do this but I'm certain they chase away a lot of good writers with this policy. I agree with Hubpages and Wizzley's approach to do a little bit of moderating but not so rigidly; those sites have found a nice balance between freedom for their writers and ensuring quality.
However, the upside is that Infobarrel is likely guaranteed to have quality articles on the site, which is good for traffic, etc.
Hopefully, they will soon see that I write quality articles and I'll be able to get past this unfortunate newbie place I'm in over there. I'm not new to this. Hopefully they'll see that soon enough.
I have to say, the site is the epitome of not being user-friendly. It is not easy to create an article. It's rather complicated. Don't know what else to say about that at the moment. Let's just say, it's frustrating. I do have other sites that I write on that are easier to use and where it doesn't take quite so long to put together an article.
What I've read about the site, though, is that it does well in search engine results and there is good income potential there.
Update: May 22, 2014
I wanted to give an update on Infobarrel. For one thing, my original review (above) was a bit harsh and also based on very little experience. I still have very little experience on the site, I've been there about a week, but it's been long enough for me to get an article approved and to learn a bit more about the site.
My original criticism about the review process was based in my general dislike for excessive control; particularly excessive control in the creative process. I think everyone who creates feels this way, if they take it seriously. However, I do understand why admin at Infobarrel are careful about what they allow on their site, considering that Google penalizes sites for having low-quality content. Fair enough.
I submitted an article for review on May 12, 2014 and yesterday, on May 21, 2014, my article was approved and published. I'm okay with this process. You can go on and write other articles while another is in review so the process is not really all that intrusive or obstructing. Considering this, and the fact that the site has a good web reputation and Google is good with them, and also that some reviewers have testified that there is true income potential there, I really feel this is a worthwhile site and I, for one, will definitely continue to publish articles there.
Also, one of the main advantages to publishing at Infobarrel is the fact that you do not need an Adsense account and you are paid per impression. I feel there is very good income potential at pay per impression sites, especially since you can also use affiliate ads to make money. Like Hubpages, Infobarrel has the best of both worlds in this regard: Payment per impression and commission from Amazon affiliate sales.
I also like the fact that the site pays you directly, straight to PayPal.
Update: August 14, 2014
I was going to wait to address this issue to see if things changed or it was just I was having a few bad days or what-not. But after quite a few incidents, I've decided to include this particular critique of InfoBarrel. The community on the site is generally not friendly. I've interacted with a couple of friendly people there, but I've had a couple people treat me in a very rude way and I've witnessed on the forums people being abused. I commented on an article, basically complimenting the author for the information he shared and he basically degraded what I said, showing no common courtesy or tact whatsoever; totally condescending with veiled insults. I thought it was an isolated incident, but it just happened to me again, with another writer.
On the forums, certain members will degrade new-comers when they ask honest questions; try to make them feel stupid and burdensome for asking questions. Or they try to scare them if they ask about the assessment process of getting articles approved by admin. Once someone told a newbie that admin will take even longer to approve an article if they complained it was taking too long. Another time, a member basically made fun of a writer's grammar. No attempt to help him, just degrade him.
It is the most unfriendly environment I've seen among writing communities on the Net. I think that other sites take measures to deal with bullies or they only attract kind and polite people. However, on Infobarrel, you can expect some rude treatment from their community, just letting you know my experience.
So, what I've decided is that I won't comment on articles unless I absolutely know about the writer and that they're okay people and I won't participate in the forums at all. You might have a different experience, but my experience so far is that the community leaves something to be desired.
Update: April 14, 2015
I'm updating this section on Infobarrel mainly to talk about the review process. For me, thus far, the process has been easy and pleasant. They tend to review and approve articles I've written in a rather timely manner, usually within a day. Also, they approve edits to already published articles rather quickly too, about the same amount of time or quicker. So, I like this aspect of the site.
Also, earnings there are comparatively decent. HubPages is the only site where I've earned enough to write home about and InfoBarrel comes in second to that. I only have 16 articles up at this point, so the earnings aren't significant because of that, but considering I've only got 16 articles it's not bad. I can't get into specifics about earnings, but I'll just say it's better than what I make on my own websites so far.
I'd also like to say that I like the admin. They are responsive to writers and also write very interesting articles themselves. Ryan's last article about immunizations was very well-written and interesting.
I also mostly like their choices for featured articles. I like that they choose some articles that have meaning in terms of subject matter and also choose a fairly diverse array of articles too.
So, as an addition to my income generation online, InfoBarrel is a decent element.
How You Earn Through These Rev-Share Sites
HP Ad Program pays per impression
Can hook up Adsense or Chitika Accounts to earn per click
(Site has shut down, content acquired by Hubpages) Paid from Ad Pool According to Rank of Your Articles
Do Not Need an Adsense Account and Cannot Use Affiliate Ads or Links
Pay Per Impression
Requires Adsense Account to Earn through Ad Program and Earn Also Through Adsense
Can Hook Up Amazon to Your Wizzley Account to Earn by Selling Amazon Products
Paid for Clicks on Text Link Ads
Paid Per View, Like and Comment Directly From Bubblews
Do Not Need an Adsense Account
Earn through selling Amazon and eBay products
Variety of Affiliate Programs Can be Used to Earn
Paid Commission for Selling Amazon Products and Can Place Your Own Affiliate Ads on Articles to Earn Money
The Bubblews Site has Shut Down
Paid Directly from Infobarrel
Do Not Need an Adsense Account to Earn Money
I write for
So, those are my favorites, in order of favoriteness. Hope you enjoyed and got something out of it.
If you already write on a site and are looking to diversify your streams of income, it would be worth it to check out the sites I've mentioned here. If you're new to the whole online writing gig, of course it would be valuable to explore these options too. If you know of any more good writing sites, you can write about them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and good luck in all of your endeavors.
Update: September 22, 2015
Thought I'd give an update about my approach to this Internet writing thing and my views on a couple of the writing sites I've reviewed in this article. Basically, I've given up on InfoBarrel and will no longer be publishing there. The interface is too difficult and the site is not user-friendly, especially when it comes to publication. But, mostly, their review process has proven to be more frustrating than it's worth. I tried to publish some articles awhile back and their "corrections" on the articles were basically incorrect. For instance, they claimed I hadn't credited photos I used, which is not true; I gave photo credits for every photo I used, I always do. Not sure who their reviewers are, but at least some of them are not doing their job correctly.
So, those articles that InfoBarrel reviewers essentially blocked, I've moved to Wizzley who has a much more friendly admin and community anyway, and also a very easy and clean interface too. Wizzley has now become my alternative to publishing when I'm not publishing here at Hubpages or one of my own sites.