My Experience with Online Writing Site Associated Content
Can Associated Content Make You Money?
Associated Content Pros:
Writers can earn money through up-front article payment, from $2-$30/article.
AC offers helpful writer forums where issues such as online jobs, increasing earnings, and improving page views are discussed.
Partner assignments are offered to seasoned writers, with a single assignment paying up to $30.
Page view trackers display the popularity of individual articles, as well as how much money they have earned.
Featured Contributors make $10 for writing articles in their field of expertise.
Associated Content Cons:
Beginning writers need 500,000 total page views before they reach the $2 per 1,000 page views category.
Writers need to establish credibility with AC (i.e., publish ~20 SEO articles) before being offered higher paying partner assignments.
If you are considering making money by writing online articles, there are several good writing sites that offer cash for articles. One of these sites is Associated Content (AC): The People's Media Company. This site has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, I highlight my own experience with the Associated Content online writing site.
I've been writing and submitting articles to AC since early 2007. In those four years, I've seen it grow from a relatively small content mill to a much larger and rather well-known Yahoo! affiliate. I've also learned a lot about the site, including how it operates, how to can earn money by writing articles for Associated Content, and how to obtain some rather high paying assignments.
AC started in 2004, and has since that time rapidly risen in popularity and Alexa rank (its current rank in the US is 540). After the site was purchased by Yahoo!, it became even more prominent in the online community, developing partnerships with The Huffington Post, AT&T, Intel, Oral-B, etc.
Associated Content's Key Selling Point: Upfront Article Payment
Unlike many online writing sites which pay only via page views, AC pays its writers upfront for their submitted articles. Most of the time, submitted articles that are written "free-form" earn the writer no more than $4-$7. However, as the writer continues to submit articles, AC starts tracking the author's preferred subject matter. Inevitably, higher paying writing assignments are targeted at that writer and can net him or her up to $30 per article. Because AC now partners with high paying clients like AT&T and Creditcards.com, a writer might suddenly become inundated with several high paying assignments in a single week (e.g., 4 AT&T articles each netting $25/article). Such articles are published not on AC, but rather on partner websites, which means that the writer has now acquired some terrific portfolio builders. Other partner sites include Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! TV.
Associated Content pays for page views too
I first started writing articles for AC because I'd heard that the site paid up to $20 for an article. I submitted several articles and was paid anywhere from $6-$14. I never did obtain more than $14 for a "free-form" article. However, I did obtain page views after the fact. AC's page view payment scale ranges from $1.50-$2.00 per 1,000 page views. At first, those page view payments did not amount to much; I'd make $4-$5 per month. Now, however, with over 450 articles on AC and 600,000+ page views on my account, my monthly page view payment is about $35.
Associated Content's Partner Content Program
Over the years, AC has started partnerships with a lot of outside clients. Some of these clients are quite well known, such as Oral-B, Intel, The Huffington Post, etc. The partner content requests took a while to start up- but once they did, the money rolled in. I would write very specifically requested content for CreditCards.com, for example, and make $25 for a 500 word article. The only hitch was that there were to be no page view payments on these articles; once released, they became the sole property of the partner site and no additional money was paid.
During some months, when working between 2-3 AC partner requests, I'd make around $300/month. Coupled with earnings from other online writing sites (e.g., Constant Content), I actually made over $1,000 per month by writing online.
AC also offers some great writer forums. I met several writers through the AC forums and was able to either collaborate with them directly or work with their recommended writing sites (e.g., Examiner). The forums also had tutorials on how I could improve my page views, article titles, SEO, etc. I learned quite a lot about writing online and about attracting an audience while perusing the forums on AC.
Featured Contributor Program
Roughly two years ago, AC introduced another high-paying program called Featured Contributors. Basically, AC writers who are experts in a given category can apply and write content for specific categories such as Movies, Real Estate, Food & Wine, etc. I applied for three such categories: Business & Finance (citing my financial blog), Technology (I am in the biotech field), and Health & Wellness (I'd written many articles already on health). AC accepted my applications and offered me three article writing assignments from each category each month. Each article paid $10, resulting in a possible $90/month. The featured contributor program was recently changed, and I am currently only writing Business & Finance articles to the site; however, I can write as many as eight $10 articles per week if I so choose (resulting in a possible $80/week).
My summary of Associated Content: I love it
To sum things up, AC is a great place to hone your writing skills, make some decent money, and learn about other writers and writing sites. I've been with AC now for over four years now, and in that time I've made over $6,000. It's certainly not money that I can retire on, but it does come in handy for paying bills and buying groceries. Likewise, I wasn't always writing at my full potential on AC (in lieu of other writing sites and private clients); besides taking off as much as six months at a time from writing to AC, I also let a lot of writing assignments slip past. Had I kept up on all writing requests from AC, I'd probably have banked double my earnings by now.
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