There are a plethora of new sites popping up on the web where freelance writers can sell their content. This is in addition to older sites that have become very popular, eg, AssociatedContent.com, Constant-Content.com, Helium.com, etc.
New Sites That Allow Freelance Writers to Sell Content
I reviewed one of these new sites on my blog last week, TheSyndicatedNews.com. One of the things I like about pay-for-content sites is that you can sell your content in a variety of ways, eg, you can sell all rights or limited rights.
For the most part, I don’t believe freelance writers should sell all rights to their content. Before we discuss this though, following is a brief overview of two types of writing rights.
Two Types of Writing Rights
Exclusive Rights: This basically means that you sell all rights to one publisher. For example, the content I produce here on BloggingTips.com can’t be published elsewhere. It belongs solely to this blog.
Non-Exclusive Rights: Non-exclusive rights means that you can sell (or give) the content to more than one publisher. For example, I write articles for AssociatedContent.com (AC). Sometimes I publish these same articles on my blog and distribute them to article directories. This leads me to the main reason I don’t think freelance writers should sell all rights to their content.
Freelance Writers: The Main Reason NOT to Give Away All Rights to Your Content
As writers, it’s our job to figure out how to make what we write as profitable as possible.
When you sell all rights to an article cheaply, that’s time you can never get back. So, if it takes you half an hour to write a piece and you got $3 for it from AC, for example, double that and you’re making an average of $6/hour – which is below the U.S. federal minimum wage (currently $6.55).
Not to knock sites like AC, but most of them pay very little. In the case of this site, the rate per article ranges from $3 to $40. The most I’ve ever gotten from an article I sold to them (non-exclusive rights) is $9. FYI, I have close to 600 articles published on AC. So, why do I submit content to them?
Freelance Writers: How to Make Your Writing Do Double and Even Triple Duty
I don’t submit content to AC to earn what they term “upfront payments” (eg, a one-time payment for an article). I do it to drive traffic to my website and blog, where I sell ebooks and freelance writing seminars. The fact that they pay for page views allows me to earn a nominal amount in passive income each month. This is simply an added bonus.
In essence, the articles I submit to AC do double — sometimes triple — duty in that I also distribute them to numerous article banks and publish them on my blog and website. Hence, the time I spend writing one article for AC serves me in a number of ways.
Note: AC used to offer upfront payments for non-exclusive content. They no longer do. But, you can still earn payment for page views (as of this writing, $1.50 for every 1,000).
Freelance Writers: Maximize Your Time to Increase Your Income
As a freelance writer and web entrepreneur, time is the commodity I trade for income. In order to maximize my income, I must maximize my time. This starts with owning my content.
The Value of Fresh, Unique Content
Every webmaster wants fresh, unique content for their site. It’s what drives traffic and increases online sales. Sites like AC make a lot of money from naïve writers who blithely give away full rights to their articles. This drives the pay scale down for all freelance writers.
After all, why should a webmaster pay $25 for a well-written, 400-word SEO article when they can pay $3, $4 or $5 for unique, fresh content from new writers who don’t realize their worth?
So the next time you put pen to paper, realize your value as a freelance writer. Good writing is a skill that is rarely reflected in how much writers get paid. Hence, it’s up to us as freelance writers to change this. And, it starts with retaining ownership of the content we produce.