By in Business

So Many New Paid to Write Sites!

With earnings at Bubblews down to almost nil, it seems everyone and his uncle has decided to start up a paid to write web site. It used to be such sites were fairly few in number, and those who ran them at least had seed money to start from when they first hung out their shingle. But just in the last year, close to half a dozen new sites have set up shop without benefit of investors. And it's already obvious that several are struggling.

One site opened and then closed again in less than two weeks. Another site had to change their web host after just a few weeks, and endured several days of technical issues and downtime as a result. One site has a mere handful of users and posts, none of which seem to even conform with the site rules. And that site hasn't even started to put up ads, let alone to pay its writers their revenue share.

Revenue sharing is a great way for the average user to earn a little something for her contributions. And user-generated content is a great way for an entrepreneur to build up site content and traffic quickly. But just because it can be done fairly painlessly, doesn't mean just anyone should be launching a paid to write.

  1. Launching without seed money means the site owners have to pay expenses out of their own pockets;

  2. A number of newer sites have copied site design, concept, and even the text of another site's terms of use directly, because owners were in a rush to open shop;

  3. New site owners are often working with a timeline that is only days or weeks long, rather than with a solid plan that covers the first one to five years of operation. This tends to result in owners retracting early promises after a brief period of initial operation, which then raises the question of the site's legitimacy.

A rush to launch leads to the site owners making mistakes, taking back initial promises, and generally looking unprofessional. That, of course, makes all revenue sharing sites look bad. Even when the site's owners have everything well in hand, too many options results in users spreading themselves too thin. The quality of writing will tend to deteriorate, as users attempt to hedge their bets by writing everywhere at once. No site benefits from poorly written content. And both writers and sites suffer, when the site loses traffic.

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Image credit: Hurried entrepreneurs by Gerd Altmann/ Pixabay ( CC0 1.0 )

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rosepetal wrote on January 20, 2015, 4:11 PM

I'll be interested in how many of these sites will survive. Quick to make a buck, but if they want to succeed they should have a 1 to 5 year plan. I'm just wondering, has there been any repercussions on the site who copied another site's terms directly.

MarshaMusselman wrote on January 20, 2015, 4:15 PM

I noticed some problems on a few of the place I checked out already and one of them I don't intend to pay any future visits. Cours, I don't make my way here too often and I've not been back to EV since I first joined and that isn't for the same reason.

Bubblews is still shooting for the moon in the hopes of bringing out a better site and some other technical thing in the months to come. Course, what was supposed to happen by months end looks like it might be postponed for another 30-60 days, something we've seen over and over again. I think enough people are hanging out to visit with friends that may keep the site afloat for a bit longer. Time will tell.

maxeen wrote on January 20, 2015, 4:16 PM

I can understand the ones who have seen sites be untrustworthy to writers, wanting to have a go themselves, and as the free enterprise system seems to be accepted by all ,people have to use their own judgement in selecting ones to write on.

AngelSharum wrote on January 20, 2015, 4:24 PM

I don't even know how to look the sites up. I only hear about them from y'all.

AliCanary wrote on January 20, 2015, 5:17 PM

Which are the sites that closed in two weeks and the one that had to change the web host? I can't imagine it would be a problem to name names. Was Post Any Article the latter one? I know people had a hard time getting in there for a while.

Ruby3881 wrote on January 20, 2015, 5:19 PM

That I'm aware of, there were at least 2-3 sites that copied the TOS from another and then just changed a few details around. They tend to rewrite their TOS once they're up and running, so it's possible the site they "borrowed" from never noticed. But if I did, chances are other writers did too. Doesn't bode well for a site that is telling its users not to plagiarize!

Ruby3881 wrote on January 20, 2015, 5:37 PM

Thanks for updating me on the Bubblews situation, Marsha. I haven't really been over there in a while so I'm out of the loop quite a bit.

I haven't been over to EV in a bit either, but I do intend to keep my account active. I've been resting a lot for health reasons, so my writing time is really short at the moment.

Ruby3881 wrote on January 20, 2015, 5:39 PM

Unfortunately, it's a gamble either way. We can hang back and wait for a site to prove itself. But if too many do that, we take the risk that the site will never get off the ground. Or we can contribute to a site and hope it will turn out OK. But that could result in losing time and work to a site that flops, too.

Gina145 wrote on January 20, 2015, 5:47 PM

I can see how the initial success of Bubblews would make other people want a piece of the action, but I think anyone who starts a site like that is really brave. It's so easy for things like spam and plagiarism to get out of control if the management aren't quick to act on them. And sadly there are loads of former bubblers who are far more interested in making a quick buck than in producing quality content.

Shadi wrote on January 20, 2015, 5:56 PM

I am yet to see something original like Persona Paper. Most those new sites just copy everything from Bubblews, even the layout.

kcmaice wrote on January 20, 2015, 6:04 PM

Which is one reason (among many) that I hold off on joining or writing on new sites. One of the other main reasons is because I need to work on my writing in general ;)

UK_Writer wrote on January 20, 2015, 6:20 PM

They think it's easy, but it's not.... so they enter the marketplace ill prepared and a shambles. Shame on them. They think all you need is a CMS with a multi-user interface and a host and Bob's your uncle. It's a massive undertaking to set up a writing site, find the right ad networks, cut the deals, get the cashflow forecasts accurate, do stress testing on the revenue share and the technical systems. Clueless a lot of them.

MegL wrote on January 20, 2015, 6:29 PM

So true, all businesses need a plan.

wolfgirl569 wrote on January 20, 2015, 7:15 PM

I have checked out a couple of others but I really like the layout here.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on January 20, 2015, 7:23 PM

It's a very tough market right now. In the past years, we've seen former powerhouses like Yahoo Content Network and Squidoo close. Any new start up had better have a good plan, be willing to work hard, have adequate finances to last until they are established, and be willing to invest more than just ego.

bestwriter wrote on January 20, 2015, 7:35 PM

Thanks for the dope. I have no plans to start a 'paid to write' site. I would rather be a 'write and get paid' candidate emoticon :tongue:

Nar2Reviews wrote on January 20, 2015, 7:41 PM

Some good points here. However, i feel at pains to point out that an online business is not the the same as offline. Whilst companies should have a business plan in mind, the Internet is often precarious and not as stable as offline business. That said, if you can find a site that seems to have a good reputation as well as being easy to use without much of a hardship then it takes care of other issues like Adsense and other admin tasks that members have to undertake even before they get to submit a post.

I joined up to two other sites after I was chucked off Bubblews for no valid reason. I have seen no revenue from the one I've been on (Treasurepen) whilst DTC was just a bit too confusing for me to get my head around. Persona Paper has been a breath of fresh air where general usage and ease of writing is concerned.

johnmariow wrote on January 21, 2015, 2:55 AM

I think anyone starting a new site should first examine the sites that failed to figure out why they failed. Then they should look at sites that succeeded to figure out why they succeeded. Armed with this knowledge, perhaps they could build a successful Internet business wherein both writers and the business prospers.

McIntire wrote on January 21, 2015, 10:14 AM

Good article, and I believe every word. Making a living at writing sites doesn't fly, as so many people imagine they can do. I know of 2 people who spend all day, from very early in the morning to very late at night, writing for sites that can afford only to pay very little, in order to help pay bills. I just couldn't do that, physically. Nor could I come up with that many different topic to write about.

FreyaYuki wrote on January 21, 2015, 2:07 PM

Wondering which sites you allude to in this post. The ones I've heard of are Elite Visitors and CGP Gallery though haven't tried either. Also saw one that was similar to that other site. Some of these sites seem kind of fishy and unprofessional so always want more info before even considering them. They need to get their rules, terms and policies in order too so that things will be clear for their users.

mrsmerlin wrote on January 21, 2015, 4:31 PM

I have never thought of joining lots of typical 'social media' sites at any one time, I would run out of things to say for a start lol. I am thinking of doing a blog but that would be centred around something entirely different to any posts here.

BodieMor wrote on January 22, 2015, 2:13 AM

As usual, I'm impressed by the commitment to writing and finding sites to write for that so many people here profess. I can barely keep up with PP.

CoralLevang wrote on January 22, 2015, 6:38 AM

Ruby3881 As I've mentioned elsewhere, once I took more than 800 things off of Bubblews three weeks ago, I also joined EV and CGP. I have since asked for deletions of both those accounts, as I found them difficult to maneuver and did not like the "feel" of either of them, though I did like one more than the other. I started at PP last summer, but did very little here, as I had some initial trust issues. But over the months, the integrity has shown through. I think this is "home" for awhile. I am also looking for other, more specific places to write freelance articles, etc.

shaggin83 wrote on January 23, 2015, 3:12 PM

I loved mylot and gather and bubblews. In that order! I am sad to see bubblews no longer paying. It is what brought me here. I like to write but I want to be paid for it so I won't be sticking around bubblews any longer. I hate wasting time on sites that wind up not paying. I think of all the time I wasted on bubblews for nothing now.

rana199426 wrote on January 24, 2015, 12:20 AM

Yeah, now no body cares if they get suspended from Bubblews because it's a complete scam lol...

nerdieeds wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:04 AM

I have seen that site opened two weeks ago. I registered. Submitted four contents, and it was gone when I decided to visit. Indeed, people managing the sites should be ready before the launch.

Deelark wrote on January 28, 2015, 10:29 PM

Bubblews has lost so many members lately. I am still with them but rarely write much there lately.

grandma20121 wrote on January 29, 2015, 2:58 PM

i think i know which site you might be referring too, its quite true that they start up without enough money and promises that are not kept makes poor bussiness

Ruby3881 wrote on January 29, 2015, 7:38 PM

Apparently, they are also cooking up excuses to delete anyone who complains to the BBB. For their part, the BBB has taken down all their Bubblews info and is in the process of reviewing their rating. I suspect BBB will either blacklist them, or they'll have a serious downgrading in their rating.

Ruby3881 wrote on January 29, 2015, 7:46 PM

Is this the same one that has decided to close until its official opening in April? I think they hurt themselves with the "false start." Not sure anyone will want to write there, in the future.

Ruby3881 wrote on January 29, 2015, 8:04 PM

Even one of the more established sites is having to lower their rates after close to a year of paying out of pocket for expenses and revenue shares. Honestly, at this point PP is the only site that has been open long enough to be stable and that is increasing its rates and growing, rather than losing both money and members...

HappyLady wrote on February 12, 2015, 10:50 AM

i thinki it is all starting to get ridiculous. Maybe those of us who are serious about writing should just decide on one site and use that as our place to bring the standard up?

thisnthat wrote on February 24, 2015, 8:00 PM

Good read. I think it looks like easy money to a lot of people, since it looks like you can just quit on all your members and not bother paying them if things get tough. At least, I think that's what some people think when they jump in with both feet, instead of thinking things through. Of course, that "model" has worked for some. They'll pop up again somewhere under another name, no doubt, and do the whole mess all over again.

While it's hard to get things started, and hard to keep people around when money is tight, taking your time to develop a good community and the trust of your members goes a long way.

nbaquero wrote on March 14, 2015, 9:13 AM

rosepetal Well I think in just a few weeks since you made this comment, some sites have already dissappeared, you were right!