Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Worries at

I wrote for for about two months. During this time, I never even reached the $25 necessary to receive my payout. I quit writing for Examiner not because I was misled, but because it wasn't working for me. There wasn't enough money there to make it worthwhile.

And, really, unless you have the perfect topic, I don't see how anyone can make enough money writing for to make it financially worthwhile. When I was writing for the site, Examiner was paying a penny a page view. I was averaging a very pitiful 70 or so page views a week.

You could argue that I should have spent more time promoting my stories. But for what? An additional 10 page views a day? That's still only 70 cents more a week. Is that really worth the effort it takes to promote your writing?

It looks like has just gotten even worse to write for financially. Several Examiners online are fretting that Examiner is no longer paying even a penny a page view. Instead, if you get 50 page views on a day, you'll earn something like 26 cents. (Just an example.)

Now, this does stink. It stinks even more because Examiner -- which I'm sure has the right to screw around with its pay system however it wants -- doesn't seem to have explained the new pay system to its writers. There's no excuse for that. If you're going to screw your writers, at least tell them why.

By the way, if you want to read some fun stuff about Examiner, check out this blog post and this one, too.

I've read plenty of forum posts from writers thrilled to be "hired" by I wonder why. Why would anyone be happy to be paid even a penny a page view? I also cringe when I hear forum writers say that the people complaining about are dinosaurs who don't recognize the future of reporting or journalism. I certainly hope -- with no fact checking or editing and such awful pay for writers -- isn't the future of journalism.

Look at it this way: Even if you promote the living daylights out of your stories and generate 1,000 page views a day -- pretty unlikely -- you'll only earn $300 in a 30-day month, if my math is right. Think how much work goes into that $300. It's a shame.


  1. glad i never bothered with them.

  2. While I am the first to admit that it doesn't work for everyone, I have had a great stint at Examiner and am still thrilled to work with them. Thus far I have made about $8 per hour of work I have put into my site. Though low, these articles continue to generate clicks and comments long after they are posted.

    Even at their new rates, I am still averaging about $9 per 1000 PVs. I don't find that to be a bad rate at all for a content site. However, it isn't a flat rate -- session length is now taken into account. If you can keep your visitors on site and interested longer, your $ will improve.

    For me, the key to Examiner is mixing in plenty of evergreen content with the local angles. Like with Suite or the other content sites, you want your articles to be useful in the long term. One of the first things I did was to create a base of general knowledge articles that related to my topic. Now I link new articles to those pieces and I still get new comments on them months later, so someone must be reading.

  3. Hi, Anonymous:

    Thanks for commenting. I'm glad Examiner worked for you. Like I've said before here, I tried Examiner and wasn't thrilled with it. It just didn't seem worthwhile financially. I wouldn't be too thrilled with $8 an hour, actually, though that is above the minimum wage.

    I prefer getting paid a set rate for every story I turn in. Of course, in the long run it's hard to say what's better: It all depends on how much your Examiner stories keep pulling in during the months or years. The big question, though, is this: Do you think will stick around for several years? Or will it simply shut down before you do earn enough from your stories to make decent money.

    Look at it this way: Last month, I pitched a medical magazine and earned an assignment from them that paid $750. How long will it take for a single -- or Suite 101 -- article to make this much money? Five years? Seven years? 10 years? Will be here in 10 years? Personally, I don't think so.

    Again, though, thanks much for writing and ready, and please stop by again.

  4. I made $400 my first month on less than 20 articles. I realize my experience isn't equal to everyone else, but I do get somewhat upset when I see people saying that writers for Examiner are selling themselves short. My goal was to use Examiner to promote other writing. My first month has been great so far.

    Will my success continue? I don't know. I don't promote really. I posted a link or two on Twitter and Facebook, but that's it.

    Maybe Examiner won't be here for 10 years. Maybe Suite and AC and About won't be here, either. With technology constantly changing, there's no guarantee that the web will be the same as it is now.

    I'm not worried about it, but I do wish that people would stop lumping all writers for Examiner into one big, ugly lump. Like I said, I realize it could all go sour in a minute and that there are some horrid writers on there, just like there are on most content sites (with or without editors), but I think it's unfair and untrue to say that all Examiners are just going to barely scrape by. It's just not true for all Examiners.