Monday, April 13, 2009

Why I won't write for

When I first heard about, a popular blogging network, it didn't sound like such a bad idea.

Considering that the company was paying at that time $1 a post, that shows how far my standards have fallen during the recession. But the posts took me minutes. And I got to write about whatever I wanted. Because I was running two blogs on at the same time, I usually made about $60 a month from the company.

Again, because my standards have fallen so low, that didn't seem so bad.

When Today fist burst onto the scene, it advertised like mad for writers. In fact, many freelance pros wondered just how legitimate the company was since it seemed like they'd accept any writer who bothered to apply. I remember reading on one online writers' forum about writers who filled out gibberish -- incomplete sentences, tons of grammatical errors -- on's application form. Invariably, these writers got accepted.

And, yes, once I began writing for, I noticed that there was plenty of terrible writing on the blogs the company ran.

For some reason, though, I liked that guaranteed $60 a month. It was insignificant when compared to my regular monthly writing income. But the short blog posts -- I believe required every paid blog post to be 100 words or more -- were the perfect break between "real" journalism or scheduled phone interviews.

Then came the change. The powers that be at changed the pay structure for blogs that weren't generating thousands of page views a month. That included mine. Each of my blogs generated about 400 views a month. And they were rising. sent me a very poorly worded message that my pay structure was changing from $1 a post to $2 for every 1,000 page views. To generate my $60 a month, then, I'd need 30,000 page views combined for my two blogs. Sorry. That was not going to happen.

So I ended my time at

Now, a blogging network has the right to change its pay structure. It would have been nice, though, to have a more coherent explanation as to why. It also would have been nice for to acknowledge that it takes time to grow a blog's traffic. I was pleased that my blog's traffic was inching upwards every month. Apparently, though, it wasn't moving up fast enough.

Also disappointing was the extremely defensive tone taken by the people behind when bloggers questioned the pay changes to their blogs. The powers-that-be seemed amazingly offended that any blogger would be upset. After all, all bloggers had to do was spend 40 hours a week promoting and writing their blog. Maybe then they'd get that $60 a month.

So here's another recommendation: Stay away from It's just one more blogging network that cares little about quality of writing., like most other blog networks, cares only about page views.

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