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The Big List of Residual Writing Sites for Freelance Writers
Writing for residual sites has always been a controversial subject of discussion among wordsmiths. Everyone seems to have their take on the issue, which seems to reflect the many different experiences each of us has had. Some writers have done exceptionally well writing for them. They are able to get their articles featured, earn a modest living and enjoy the fruits of their labors. But what about the rest? The question is, how common is it for a residual income writer to be successful?
Out of the several thousand people who write for these sites (I'm just guessing) it would appear an impossibility to pay everyone, regardless of the compensation scheme. Taking a realistic look, it does appear to be an unsustainable business model. Residual writing sites come and go like the wind. One minute they are sailing along then suddenly they make a move and the site shuts down. In most instances, it's the writers who are getting the shaft, in my opinion. Many often go without being paid and are left out in the proverbial cold. So I began to take notice and I got curious.
I started doing a little digging, as many of us writers tend to do. I wanted to learn about each residual writing company out there and what they had to offer, not just the basics of being a contributor, but more about the individual businesses. The World Wide Web is vast and people can easily scam, hide and be anonymous. This list is the result of my curiosity. I have just started out and hope to keep adding on to it as I continue to gather more information.
What writers like about HubPages: HubPages Earning Program, the online community, look and feel of the site, the learning center and article templates, earning through Amazon and Ebay, and also traffic received via backlinking to the writer’s own pages and blogs.
What writer’s dislike: High article word count for featured articles, high payout threshold, and not being able to use affiliate links other than Amazon and eBay.
Founded in 2006 by three guys who worked for Microsoft, HubPages has been one of the principal mainstays of rev share writing sites. Writers earn through ads, eBay, Amazon and the HubPages Earning Program at a 60/40 revenue split in favor of the writer. Payout is currently $50.00 and sent directly to the writer’s PayPal account. Although not an absolute word count mandate, HubPages recommends that articles be approximately 1100 words each. In addition, articles should have several other elements incorporated in the hub to increase Google search traffic and ranking. To learn more about this company, see meet the team.
A new company started by a couple of former Squidoo writers, Writedge recently went from paying writers ½ cent for each view ($5 = 1000 views) on their articles down to $1.50 per 1000 views. Writedge requires articles to be 400 words minimum. They pay via PayPal each month and writers reach payout when they’ve earned $5.00. What writers like: a wide variety of affiliate links are permitted, writers keep 100% of Amazon earnings, and they like the low payout threshold. Contributors also appreciate the look and feel of the site. What writers dislike: payment decrease to $1.50 per 1000 views. They are also not very fond of the 30-day payment lag.
Daily Two Cents
This is the sister company of Writedge. With this platform, writers write shorter articles of about 200-300 words. It’s the same set-up and pay scale as for Writedge. What writers like: low word count minimum, affiliate linking permitted, and they like the low payout threshold. What writers dislike: Just like Writedge, pay was recently reduced to $1.50 per 1000 article views.
BubbleWS is a social networking site where its members are compensated to post, like or comment. When it first began in 2012, it quickly became a top online writing site, paying posters $.01 for each view (like or comment) received. One cent might not seem like much on its face, but it was a pretty good egg to have in the basket as some writers were earning hundreds and even quite a bit more every month. Pennies do add up.
All that has now changed. BubbleWS announced in late 2014 that posters to the site will continue to be compensated, but only through a share of ad revenue, and what’s worse is posters won't be paid outstanding monies owed them. Despite these abrupt changes, many continue to remain loyal “bubblers” in hopes that they will be paid…one day. What writers like: BubbleWS social networking platform and receiving payment through PayPal. What writers dislike: 50% rev share, having to wait 30 days to get paid after request and, of course, not getting paid at all.
There are two ways that InfoBarrel stands out from other residual writing sites. First, a Google Adsense account is not required, and contributors can write for charity. InfoBarrel writers make 75% of residual earnings from ads placed on articles, and payout threshold is $60 via PayPal. What writers like: Not having to sign up to numerous affiliate programs separtely (Adsense, Amazon, etc.) and earning 75% of ad revenue. What writers dislike: the high payout threshold. InfoBarrel is based out of British Columbia and has been around since 2008.
Wizzley writers earn strictly through affiliates and Adsense ad clicks. The revenue split is 50/50, but the affiliates permitted are quite numerous. Wizzley writers can opt for Amazon, Zazzle, and All Posters, and also have the choice of using Chikita ads in place of Google Adsense. What writers like: the variety of affiliates they can use, one of them is Vigilink, a site that links affiliates with several different types of companies. Writers keep all product sales earnings. There is also a writer’s community that many find helpful, and they also like using their Wizzley articles to link to their blogs, articles, and websites. What writers don’t like: the 50/50 rev share split is a bit on the low side, and not being able to earn from page views in addition to advertising and product sales is discouraging to writers.
This company has been around awhile but hasn't generated much of a buzz. There's nothing unique about Triond, and it appears to take writers an eternity to make payout; if at all. One writer states that he garnered 50,000 views and made a whopping $1.02. Writer compensation occurs strictly through advertising at a 50% share, by the way. Not much to say on this one, as a matter of fact Triond seems to be one, gigantic waste of a writer's time.
Like Wizzley and a few other rev share sites, Xomba does not pay writers directly. Xomba writers are only paid for Google Adsense advertisements at a 60/40 split in favor of the author, and affiliate links are not permitted in the articles published on the site. However, writers can write bookmarking blurbs directing readers to other articles, pictures or videos on the web. Besides Xomba's active social networking community, the bookmarking feature is the main attraction for writers to this platform. It proves to be a useful promotional and branding tool for article contributors. What writers dislike: there is only one way to earn on Xomba and that’s through Adsense. No affiliate linking, no Amazon or eBay. Having been on the rev share scene since their 2006 launch, like Hub Pages, Xomba seems to have staying power.
A pretty straightforward system, Wikinut writers simply contribute and are compensated for their efforts based on ad revenue of which the writer earns 50%. Money is also earned by referring others to join the site. Affiliate links are not allowed, however.
New Players on the Residual Writing Scene
- Launched early 2014
Wordsmiths drafting articles for Persona Paper exchange views for "coins," which can be cashed in for payouts of at least $20. Money earned is either received as an Amazon gift card or deposited into a PayPal account. Compensation is based solely on unique page views to articles and writing comments. According to the company website, payments are received within 72 hours of request. Persona Paper is quite different from other residual writing sites in that potential members are required to apply and be approved. This is done to ensure that content contributors are English-proficient. Links are permitted, except for affiliate links.
- Launched late 2014
Just as BubbleWS was experiencing its woes, CGP Gallery, a company out of Bangladesh started up a rev share writing site with a model nearly identical to BubbleWS. As the former company began to struggle to stay afloat, BubbleWS contributors quickly flocked over to CGP but, unfortunately, have not received payment as of this writing in March 2015. Site operators have informed contributors of an issue with their payor, PayPal which does not process payments in Bangladesh. That CGP stands for "Connect to Get Paid," is comical indeed. It is now frequently reported to be a scam.
What attracted writers to CGP Gallery? Pretty much the same things that drew contributors to BubbleWS: the social networking platform, $.01 per action, low payout threshold and PayPal payments. Very little is known about the company or its founders. A Twitter page set up with the company name has not been updated since early December 2014. The company's contact page took me to a blank page.
- Launched mid 2014
- Owner: Chris Desatoff, fellow writer and bloggist
Standing out considerably from the residual writing website crowd is Pukitz, currently the only site not compensating contributors according to ad clicks, traffic views, likes or comments. Every approved article earns $.50 each month whether they garner lots of readers or none at all. Contributors are paid to write unique, Copyscape passable articles, 800-word minimum, or 500 words for reviews and how-to articles. Authors can publish only one article per day, however. Pukitz contributors are approved first, must have a blog of their own and are required to commit to a single niche area for at least the first 30 articles. What writers like: low payout threshold of $25, receiving pay via Paypal and guaranteed passive income on all articles each month. What writers dislike: external links in articles are not permitted, 30-article minimum before a link to writer's blog is permitted, contributors must be the creators of the images in their articles. Not even Creative Commons images are allowed on Pukitz.
Do you think writing for residual sites like HubPages and Writedge are profitable, or a waste of time?
What I've Discovered Thus Far:
The residual writing website business is a fly-by-night affair. This industry is not immune to scammers. Some residual writing sites cannot withstand the ups and downs of the business model and they fold. They miscalculate fluctuations of the business and find themselves fledgeling to stay afloat. It became evident to me that many things can affect residual writing sites and their sustainability, many of which they have no control over (Panda). What I mean to say is that, the writers who painstakingly contribute go out on a limb and are in turn affected by it as well.
With that said, contributors must choose wisely and do thorough research on residual writing websites before making a commitment to write. If a company has no "about us" page, legitimate address or other contact information be weary. It's not wise to jump on the bandwagon of newly formed entities. Take a moment, do the research, wait and observe.