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Would You Write if You Weren't Paid

Updated on December 5, 2015

Do You Write For Free

This article grows out of a discussion raging on a forum. It is a basic issue that those who write on line confront.

This is not the ancient days where one wants to see their name ‘in print’ and as writing for the High School newspaper, to spread information or have the boasting rights, this is a decision persons who publish on line have to make; that is ‘Would You Write onLine if You weren’t Paid?


Most online publishing sites pay very badly; that is if one is actually paid.

Some are simply scams.

Every day some trickster creates a 'writing site' promises to 'pay' runs to Adsense or a similar entity, opens an account, and then, loads the site with ads, using the writing of other people as the wall on which to hand the ads.

Usually setting a 'redemption threshold' of something like $50, it is clear this site will persist for a few months before the writers reach that threshold, meaning that the trickster's pocket is now filled.

Easy Scam

As is evident, the Trickster can juggle the 'earnings' of the writers. There are many scams so that those who join might see their coin moving towards the 'redemption' threshold, and then some how, 'stuck'.

This is because many Tricksters will implement a kind of application so that where the pay for views is something like 1c for 10 views; as one reaches half way to redemption it is now 1c for 100 views.

Many Tricksters may pay a handful of 'Shills' who have brought in fresh blood, but leave the majority unpaid.

'Good' sites gone Bad

Some sites which have a decent history were injured by Google, which, to implement its Unpaid writing platform, Knol, attacked sites that paid. This plan was to force closure of paying sites so that those who wanted to see their name 'in print' would write for free.

As few even glanced at Knol, it collapsed, and the anger of Google continues to this day with its smacking down of what it calls 'Content Farms'.

This means, if you write an item on Hub Pages with a distinctive name, and pop that into a Search, items from other sites will precede your Hub Page's article, Even Though all the words are not there.

This action has caused a number of sites to collapse, to change their payment levels, so that where on Triond it was 1c per 6 hits, it is now 1c for 600 hits.

The Blog

Persons who write on line and have something to say, can create their own Blogs, use their own Adsense account, and post what they like, when they like, how they like.

They don't have to be concerned about 'spammy elements' or 'too commercial' or 'links' to other sites, or words in 'bold' or the political views of moderators, etc. The fact they don't earn very much, if at all, the fact they have few ads on their page, is not the primary 'get'. The Get is to write what you want how you want it.

To Join non Paying Sites

To contribute to a writing site which doesn't pay is not particularly enticing.

Firstly, there are the rules of the site.

In British English the word 'fag' means a cigarette or a small piece of wood. In American English, it is labelled 'hate speech'. This is discomforting.

To write dialogue and be slapped down for 'misspellings' is annoying.

To write and need to refer to other articles on paying sites so as to earn money on those other sites, using the non-paying site as a 'referral' is a total waste of time.

To Join Paying Sites

Some sites appreciate the fact they are paying pennies so don't ask for too much. Others think they are 'Experts' and demand a College Thesis that takes time to prepare, to annotate, and verify, but also pays pennies.

Some sites may make that first or even second payment, then start the 'You Broke The Rules!' so as to allow them to steal your work and not pay for it.

A few continue with the 34c a month style.

One is virtually writing 'for free' although they are getting 'paid'.

Writing for Fun

Some people claim to write for fun. They don't care about payment. Fine. Go to a site that doesn't pay and write your fingers off. Network your stuff so people will, possibly find it. But consider that you have a far better chance of being seen on your own Blog which is NOT labelled a Content Farm, then on a public site which is so defined.

Writing for Fun on non-paying sites is like coming over to clean my house for fun.

The free sites have lots of ads so get all the money, and you get nothing. These free sites are not charities, they aren't doing any kind of publish service. They are giving the owners free money.

Exactly why do you want to give these unknown owners free money?

You paid for the computer, you pay for the Internet connection, you pay for the electricity. So why are you making this contribution to another person who does absolutely nothing at all whatsoever?

If you write for fun, write in your own blog. Further, you won't be infringing your copyright.

Many free sites have a peculiar 'I agree' policy, and can take a clever article you wrote, translate it into another language, and publish it on a pay site. You don't know your item, (under the owner's name) is getting 1M hits and raking in the coin.


It is your time, these are your thoughts. Do they have any value? Are you being read by people you don't know, gaining a following, or are you invisible?

Giving away your work is fine if you write nothing of much value, keeping a kind of off hand diary or a stress venter.

The question is for you to decide.


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    • qeyler profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      What I like about it, is that after a time when an item is unfeatured I can take it and publish it elsewhere without fuss.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      3 years ago from California, United States of America

      Good examination of the issue. I personally don't spend too much time writing on sites that don't pay. I have but really don't do it much anymore. I do like Hubpages because I like the platform, tools and admin, and it does pay some residual income. I also have my own blogs which is great because of the freedom and that you can choose various forms of revenue streams. I will say that Hubpages is the only really good rev share site in terms of tools, look and income potential.


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