Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is eHow Worth It?

Okay, so this blog is supposed to be all about Associated Content but like I've said before, most contributors write for other sites, too, so I'll tidbit here and there about other sites. One of the most other popular sites to write for is eHow. The articles are easy to write and some people make descent money over a course of time writing for them.

However, their recent article sweep has left many people angry and insulted. I myself had an article pulled for the reason of "Common sense" yet it was my highest page view earner. This reasoning was insulting. If it was such common sense then why were there people searching for this very topic? The article was pulled not for a violation of submission guidelines but instead was pulled because of someone's opinion which is the wrong reason to pull an article.

So instead of putting up with this insult, I decided to pull all my articles and close my account. There were a number of reasons why. First, I did it because I didn't have much on eHow to begin with. I'd have had more articles on there but publishing on eHow was full of glitches and errors that it typically took me switching back and forth between browsers and waiting a day or two to finally get an article to publish. Secondly, eHow has no clear cut way to pay. You could have hundreds of page views but only make a penny. I made triple on another site with the same amount of articles over a two week period then I did on eHow. Why focus my energy and talents on something that is so unclear when I can focus on another site and make more money?

In other words, eHow is NOT worth it in my book. There were many more people that had a good bit of articles pulled and therefore lost revenue and page views. So glad that wasn't me. There are way better sites to write for.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Issues Cleared Up (Somewhat)

Image removal issue: Apparently I didn't pay enough attention to the rights on the image. At least that's what my AC buddies in the forum tell me. It's hard for me to believe that after so many months of putting pics on articles that I've suddenly started doing something wrong when the guidelines haven't changed since I've been with AC.

My only gripe with this is I had to get help from the forums about this issue. In response to the email I sent to admin, I got a very vague and weird response. The responding email simply said, "Hi Pamela, Photos were removed from items in that particular assignment. Thank you." Um, duh? That's why I wrote in the first place. The assignment was a targeted one to me specifically and stated nothing about not being able to put an image with it. But it isn't worth my time to spend more brain cells on this particular issue.

My latest article about breast reduction published without the image I put with it also. I got the image from morgueFile so I know the rights were appropriate to use. I can't see where a woman's covered up chest area would be considered off putting unless it was someone who viewed the whole article different from what it was intended. Let's face it; we live in a day and age where a woman can't even feed a baby in public without someone getting offended because their mind is always on the sexual aspect of breasts instead of thinking of health and other issues. But I'm not gonna push the issue. I'll just choose a different theme of picture for my next breast reduction article.

As for the article I mentioned in a previous post about being declined for upfront even though I'd done the necessary research to ensure that it was unique; I got a nice little letter that stated they agreed the article was worth a second look. This was followed by an offer for upfront payment. So that not only gives me a little bit of faith in AC, but it also tells me to trust my gut. It was a standard medically related topic that was highly focused. I'm glad I questioned it instead of taking the decline.

In the meantime, I have one assignment due that I have to get done today as I'm having surgery later this week and need to prepare. But AC seems to be full of glitches this morning. Nothing really unusual. Just sucks that writers' time is being spent on waiting for glitches to be fixed instead of working. eHow has been the same way for over a week as well.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Very Own Twitter Challenge

Because I'm having surgery this week and I've been worried about maintaining my page views, I decided to do a challenge of my own reminiscent of the late AC Twitter Challenge.  No, I'm not giving a netbook away so don't get excited.  Basically, I'm asking for help in promoting my articles while I'm gone both preparing for and recuperating from my surgery.  Those who tweet my articles while I'm out will get the same promotion from me upon my return.

If you'd like to participate in this challenge just read the mission statement by clicking below.  The directions must be followed in order for this to go smoothly.

The 'I'm Having Surgery, Help a Sister Out' Twitter Challenge
I'm going to be out for several days this and next week. While I'm out, I decided to do an experiment to see if my page views can be maintained even when I'm not proactive in promoting them.
Read More

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Declined-for-Upfront Article and Image Removal

There are hundreds to thousands of pieces of content that go through the AC reviewers every week.  There will be mistakes and, as this blog has demonstrated before, there will be inconsistencies.  But when it happens to you, it ticks you off.  After all, if it is your content, they should be paying attention, right?  While in a basic sense that sounds rather narcissistic and silly, in another sense, everyone should be as concerned about the quality and appearance of their work to care when something is declined or "altered".

Having said that, when I submitted my latest short story, "A Persistent Journey", I had with it an image of Earth as seen from outer space that I'd found on Wikimedia.  The story is science fiction and is all about the main character getting back to Earth for her children.  Granted, short fiction and poetry don't do well page view-wise but I enjoy participating, nonetheless.  Even so, images attached to articles tend to raise page views, even if only slightly, so I take the time out to try to include photos with every article.  I'm very careful to adhere to all the guidelines and giving credit as required.  But when the story published (it was an assignment that had to be reviewed before publishing, otherwise I could have published it automatically), it published without the image.  I wrote AC yesterday with links and titles in hopes that they will replace the picture I had with it.  I will update when I've heard something from them.

Then yesterday, I had an article declined for upfront.  Anyone who read my last post here (or who has been experiencing these declines and low offers on a personal basis), knows that AC is like the government trying to cover up Area 51 on this one.  AC doesn't acknowledge that anything has changed.  But something has changed and the contributors know it.

I've been keeping a better eye on what I chose to submit for upfront lately.  Before I submit, I search for the topic both on the WWW and on AC.  If it is a saturated topic on either spectrum, then I won't even try to submit it for upfront.  So imagine my surprise when I get a "this content doesn't differ enough" feedback with my decline.  When I searched the topic, I found no other article that came close to focusing on the one aspect of the topic that I chose to write.  I even asked in the forums and had another contributor (thanks, Rose!) who had more experience and expertise in these things then I do take a look at it.  She found no problem with the article other then I might could add a keyphrase to it. So, I'm taking a wild leap and I'm going to plead my case.

I am irritated, yes.  At this point, I would be likely to be just as well submitting everything as Performance Payment only.  But that would be right up AC's alley.  They wouldn't have to pay upfront then.  Upfronts are a great incentive but if they are going to tell future contributors that they will pay upfront but then don't pay attention enough to what they are reviewing to fairly pay, all it creates is ticked off contributors who feel like they are being ripped off.  Not a good thing for a company who relies on contributors to increase their bottom line.

I will update when and if I get a response.