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With so many writing sites out there, it’s important to know that they’re worth your time. Before I join any type of revenue share writing site, I do my homework.
It’s important that a site is financially viable. I’m not putting hours of effort in only to find out the site is a scam.
And I’ve learned the hard way. I’m sure many freelance writers have, although not all will want to admit it.
To make sure I don’t make the mistakes again when joining a new writing site, I take these four steps.
Check out the writing site itself
This is the big one for me. I have to feel like the site is professional and reputable.
If the site can’t make the links point in the right direction, why would it be bothered to do the best for writers? Would it even pay out when it needs to?
While there, I’ll look at content shared. If there are hundreds of articles from the same person, it tells me that either the site is looking for ghostwriters or that the site is new or possibly scraping content. If there are other writers there, it fills me with a little more confidence.
I’ll also take a look at the number of ads on the site. Too many ads is a turn-off for readers. But we know as writers that we need some, right!
Now, I do have ad blockers but I’ll be able to tell where an ad is supposed to be. There’s usually a blank space, or the adblocker tells me how many ads have been hidden.
If there’s access to a forum, I’ll check that out. This is a great place to find out what other writers say. This is where I usually find out if a site has failed to pay on time.
Check Google for reviews
I’ll then go to Google and try out a few phrases. The main ones I try are:
- [site name] scam
- [site name] reviews
- [site name] fake
They tend to bring up the results that I want. They’ll tell me if other writers have tried them and been paid. Sometimes I’ll find articles written on other blogs about them.
This isn’t always foolproof. If a site is new, there may not be any reviews or blog posts yet. I’ll always write something if I decide to try a site or not. You’ll usually find them on this blog if I’ve tried something or decided to skip something over.
Also, there is the chance a site hasn’t shown its true colors. There’ve been times I’ve given a site a good review only for it to completely change a few months later. That happened with Guardian Liberty Voice and is happening with other sites.
It’s just a good step to take.
I’ll talk to other writers
I know plenty of other writers through social media. This is why I love challenges like the 30 Day Blogging Challenge and the Article Writing Challenge (I took part in that a couple of years ago).
I’ll usually know at least one writer who has heard of the site and given it a go. There are a couple of writers I know who will only recommend a site if it pays on time and pays well, so I’ll ask them if they have tried it out.
That’s how I ended up writing at Blasting News. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the most positive of experiences there, but it’s not a complete scam. It’s just badly managed and laid out.
If other writers don’t have much to say about the site, I’ll find out why. It could be that it’s too new. So, I’ll wait it out a little longer and keep an eye on the site. If they just have negative things to say, I’m not going to bother.
I’ll give it a go
Sometimes you can only find out if a site is any good by trying them out.
If I’ve gone through all the above and still aren’t sure, then I’ll sign up and try it out. This is only if I’m on the fence and leaning towards the idea that it’s possibly a good idea. I don’t do this if I get a dodgy feeling about a writing site.
I only usually ever give a site a month’s trial. That is usually enough time to tell me if the earnings are good enough and they pay on time.
Sometimes I’ll give it two-three months if the earnings are growing but not quite where I want them to be. The site may show some potential.
If after a month to three months I’m not happy, I’ll drop the site. There are some sites that I’ll drop within a couple of weeks. I did that with Seraphic Insights when it proved to be dodgy. I’m not even sure what it’s like now.
So, those are the steps that I take to decide whether to try out a writing site or not. They’ve served me relatively well over the years.
I don’t always stay with the sites, even when they initially prove to be good, but I don’t think of that as wasting my time. Many sites I view as stepping blocks leading me to something bigger and better.