A lot of pay per view writing sites are closing down or changing their payment structures. Some are no longer paying writers at all, while others are changing their payment models in a way that is turning writers off in droves.
This isn’t a new thing. Back when Google Panda was first released, Suite101 changed it model and then shut down. Yahoo closed its pay per view model back in 2014, while Bubblews initially changed the way it paid and then just disappeared without notice. A few years ago, Blasting News writers faced a drop in pay and Examiner has closed its doors entirely.
It begs the question over whether pay per view as a payment model for writers is dying?
My honest opinion: Yes and no
I don’t like to be too negative about pay per view writing sites as they can be beneficial for some. In fact, I still may a lot of money from some. But this model is dying in a sense.
It’s not really about the model but about the way it works—about the way it’s implemented. When Google Panda struck, the sites had to be willing to adapt. That meant better quality writing, more work on the off-page SEO, and positive changes overall instead of trying to game a system.
It’s also important for writers to look at the way they’re using the model—the way they’re treating the business.
I’ll use Hidden Remote as an example of this, and it actually is about the FanSided brand as a whole). When I first started at the site, I was making just $20-$30 per month if I was really lucky. Most of the months I didn’t even make $10. Then after a year, I started making $100+ per month. I put it down as a fluke at first but it kept happening. My views continually grew and I don’t put any extra effort into the pieces I write or the number of pieces I write.
Sure I now have a backlog of pieces written and they continue to gain views. Hidden Remote doesn’t have a cap on when you stop earning on your pieces. Something I wrote in February 2017 is still making me money now. But there are constantly newer pieces taking the top spots.
My Hidden Remote pieces continually show up well in Google search results, both normal and news. This tells me Google has good opinions about the site. In fact, a number of FanSided sites will show up, so it’s the brand as a whole that’s doing well.
Before I quit Blasting News, I tried out a few things. I’d test out TV shows on both Blasting News and Hidden Remote. Shows that did well on Hidden Remote did nothing on Blasting News. Nothing was working on the latter site. It was clearly a problem for the site as a whole. Google favored the FanSided-branded site over the other. And I wasn’t surprised when I looked at the poor quality, click-bait content coming from the latter of the two. People hate click-bait, and so does Google.
Sites have to keep adapting
Sites that refuse to adapt continue to shut down. Those that adapt in positive ways, working with the Google changes rather than trying to cheat the system, continue to grow and expand. My articles on HubPages continue to bring in money, despite the fact that I don’t put any new content up there. Content on Wizzley still brings in views and I haven’t written there since 2014!
Hidden Remote and other FanSided sites are growing considerably. All these brands have worked with the Google changes, focusing on ways to offer excellent content to readers instead of cheating a system.
That tells me that sites that work with the changes are going to keep the pay per view model alive.
It’s also time to start your own site
One thing that I have also noticed is that my own blogs are growing. That’s because I’m working with Google’s changes rather than trying to play a system. The earnings aren’t amazing, but they increase each month.
This tells me that now is definitely the time to start your own site if you really want to make money. Don’t expect the results to just role in. It takes work and effort. I believe that work and effort are worth it.
If you don’t, then you need to find the pay per view writing sites that are willing to make the positive changes. Don’t just look at the rate they pay. Look at the way the sites look, run, and adapt. Read writers’ reviews about their experiences and learn more about the brands, not just whether they pay a good amount for 1,000 views. You may be surprised that a site that pays $1 per 1,000 views will net you more on a monthly basis than a site that pays $5 per 1,000 views.
Do you think pay per view for writers is dying? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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