'Get paid to blog' sites are a rip-off, so don't Digg them!

Having blogged about click thru ad busting and related issues in the recent past, I’m now moving along to take a look at so-called ‘get-paid-to-blog’ sites. The bottom line with these frauds is that a bunch of suits use content you create to attract an audience for click thru ads. There are many different companies running scam sites of this type, and among the better known are Triond, Helium and Associated Content. It should go without saying that the sweated labour which monetizes such rip-off schemes is conned into thinking they’ll be ‘rewarded’ for their graft; but if they see any money at all, they only get a tiny percentage of the click thru income they’ve generated for the swindlers raking-in the real profits. The idea is that other people get rich at your expense!
If you really want to try to make money from producing content that generates click through advertising, it is obviously more sensible to set up your own websites and blogs on which you run Google AdWords. While most of those doing this report very low earnings, their income is nonetheless far higher than if they’d allowed a third party like Triond or Associated Content to rake-off the lion’s share of this advertising revenue. My own view is that only a fool would try to make money from producing click thru content, but you’re an even bigger fool if you chose to work in this way on other people’s sites rather than your own. I regularly receive emails asking if I’ll accept click thru on this site, and I ignore them all because click thru screws up the web.
There are a lot of articles online advising you how best to write copy for sites like Triond and Associated Content. One of the key pieces of advice most of them contain is that you need to dumb down. Looking at them, I frequently came across rhetorical questions like ‘when was the last time you clicked on an ad?’ The proffered ‘advice’ then usually proceeds along the lines of: ‘since you’re obviously not dumb enough to think ads offering you the chance to meet Russian girls are worth investigating, and you only make any money if people click on the ads, you need to tailor your content for idiots.’ But then only someone with their brains housed in their asshole rather than their head could be fooled into thinking that generating click thru content for idiots, and further cretinising themselves in the process, will be financially remunerative. This is very definitely a case of dumb meets stupid.
Another piece of advice you’ll find in many web articles about ‘making money’ from ‘get-paid-to-write’ sites is that you should favourite your own efforts on Digg, Delicious and Stumble Upon etc. So you’re not only working for peanuts, you’re also on the case 24-7 generating traffic for the likes of Triond or Associated Content. Obviously you’d do much better putting all that effort into a blog you actually control, and why not help raise the general level of human intelligence and knowledge instead of actively playing a role in lowering it? Basing what you produce on the search engine optimisation (SEO) rules that ‘get-paid-to-write’ sites drum into their ‘content providers’ is a sure-fire way of diminishing both your own humanity and that of your readers.
According to James Boswell, Samuel Johnson once quipped: “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” Today this line should run: “No one but a blockhead ever wrote a hundred articles a year and spent several hours a day generating traffic for ‘get-paid-to-blog’ sites in return for the price of a cup of coffee.” The stark truth is you’ll spend more on the electricity to run your computer as you generate content for ‘get-paid-to-blog’ sites than you’ll earn for your efforts! So remember kids, if you want to have fun on the web only favourite and link to sites that don’t carry click thru ads!
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by Christopher Nosnibor on 2009-06-30 09:20:09 +0000

Well it’s no secret that I do from time to time bung pieces out via Triond, but for the simple reason that I either get sick of waiting for ‘proper’ payiong places to reject my work (or, as is more common, ignore any queries, proposals and the like) or simply want to get stuff out there – it’s not about the money. Which is perhaps as well, because the pay is sod bugger all.
Triond insist on having ‘exclusive’ content, and do actually search for and reject pieces that have already been published. So I tend to put pieces out there, then elsewhere (i.e. my own page) a day or so later. While on one hand such duplication may irritate some, I don’t think there’s much audience crossover, which means I’m doubling my audience potential, or otherwise generating a greater sense of ubiquity, in that my name (and hence my work) crops up in increasingly unusual places that it never would have otherwise done so. Is that playing them back? I don’tknow, but I’ve found that some pieces I’ve put out that have been intentionally ridiculous have have some interesting responses, usually from people who clearly can’t tell when I’m taking the piss. My Michael Jackson piece (which I’ll not link to here, tempting as it may be!) has received more hits than anything else I’ve ever done (funny that), but unusually, no-one seems to like ot or has commented. Stunned silence? Hard to say, but again, as an exercise and an experiment which will inform a more useful piece later, it’s serving a purpose.
Ultimately, once a piece is on the ‘net, one has only limited control as to how it gets linked to and really what happens to it more generally, so while these pay per (dozen or so) click sites are turd, and click thru ads really aren’t cool, there is fun to be had in certain contexts.

Comment by Jack Shamash on 2009-06-30 09:34:32 +0000

I have two points that I would like to make. Firstly the internet is very boring and we should all communicate by carrier pigeon. Secondly, my brain is now housed in my trousers and I feel a great deal better for it – althought it is rather hot today.
Peace and love and Neil Young good vibrations

Comment by Thomas “The Cat” Cat on 2009-06-30 10:11:21 +0000

I found a slow worm today

Comment by AAA Kernow on 2009-06-30 10:13:33 +0000

Digg the Space Cornish version of this blog!

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-06-30 10:48:32 +0000

Mr Nosnibor, point taken, in fact originally I was going to raise the issue of how these sites might be subverted… But then I thought I’d kinda parody the style of article needed to get hits by keeping it simple…. I also originally entitled this “The return of Grub Street, but do you Digg it?” but then figured the kind of people who were conned into working for get-paid-to-blog sites thinking they’d see an income from it wouldn’t have a clue what Grub Street was, and since I thought this subject deserved a wide airing and I found the idea funny, I kept it simple in the hope of eventually raising the level of intelligence in the world. So while you’re at it why don’t y’all Digg, Delicious and Stumble Upon this post?
It is amazing that by doing searches on this subject, I wasn’t easily able to find anything overtly critical about all get-paid-to blog scams, many posted on get-paid-to-blog sites ranked very highly in searches and weren’t exactly critical of the places they were placed… And what criticism I found was usually of rival sites being a rip-off but this one is cool and you’ll make $$$! WTF? You’d be lucky to make a dime!
The criticism is of people who try to make money from rip-off get-paid-to-blog sites, if others are able to subvert them then that’s cool. And you’re right, once something is online you can’t really control it, which is mostly good – although I don’t like the frequency with which I find certain stuff of mine reposted by scam sites……

Comment by Rev. Triond Rip-Off on 2009-06-30 12:34:33 +0000

Top blog bo$$$. Avoid the con merchants, you really can’t earn anything worthwhile by writing for our sites or those of our rivals. Pull the wool over your own eyes, blog and block up your nose to avoid the stink, and get hip like the three wise monkeys!

Comment by Christopher Nosnibor on 2009-06-30 12:38:05 +0000

…now that is truly scam-dalous.
What irks me is that most of ultra-popular frequent bloggers are clearly lazy scammers themselves, rehashing cut ‘n’ paste list items (‘The 10 best websites to find god,’ ’10 celebrity websites you abolutely can’t live without,’ ‘The 10 best songs by Nickelback’ (obviously a blank post would be most fitting there, but they’re all written completely straight, which is a worry) with next to no content over and over. What’s more they are practically illiterate (Grub Street would indeed be lost on them). So these sites perpetuate a culture of illiterate bozos writing for illiterate bozos. And of course, like any ‘earn $$$ for just a few hous a day’ scheme (online or off), the only people who make any money are those running them…

Comment by Christopher Nosnibor on 2009-06-30 12:41:07 +0000

Obviously the missing words and parenthesis in the last post were entirely intentional in order to make my point, but you all knew that already, right?

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-06-30 12:48:29 +0000

Right! And since the get-paid-to-blog content providers are near illiterates, they won’t notice anyway!

Comment by Harold Pinter on 2009-06-30 15:25:58 +0000

get-paid-to-blog here

Comment by Fucked off on 2009-06-30 16:04:26 +0000

What I hate is rich fucking artists who pay people to work for them so that they can have tantrums. I hate their sell-out motives, their enormous endless egos, their idea they are sex-gods and belief that Wacko Jacko made a smart move in death as his sales have gone up so much and ‘wouldn’t Jacko the opera be a great moneyspinner- afterall you’ve already got the music and plot?’ So as I bow down to such crap I have a suggestion: wouldn’t it be good if all the rich and famous artists got together in a suicide pact?

Comment by Dissociatied Content on 2009-06-30 17:23:46 +0000

No content = $$$ for us and next to nothing for you. Believe the hype, coz you know you wanna be ripped-off. Being conned validates your existence. Until you let us screw you you’re just nothing. You KNOW you want it!
That is how we make money. We use AdSense to match relevant ads to your content. As you ought to know AdSense is an advertising service run by Google, it is the most successful click thru advertising operation on the web. At Associated Content we get ads from Google and display them on pages with your content. Now the great thing for us is we get a lot more money from those ads than we ever pay you. For every 1000 views of your articles you receive $1.50. Google pay us $0.2 and upwards per click on their ads and so a click thru rate of 3%, generates 1000*3%*0.2=$6. However, what we get per click sometimes goes as high as $3. So our worst-case scenario is we make $6 and pay $1.50, giving us 4 times more from your work than we pay you. But in exceptional cases we can make $90 and still only pay you a buck and fifty cents. Mostly what we make falls somewhere between these two extremes. But whatever way you look at it we’re screwing you.

Comment by The Helium Kid on 2009-06-30 21:40:40 +0000

Life is a gas when you’re raking in the profits, but not if you’re the sweated labor! Ha, ha, ha, our content providers are smucks and I’m laughing all the way to the bank!
Here’s what some of the suckers we roped in on our scam have to say about us. I think they owe us a lot and ought to be thanking us for teaching them a few basic lessons about life:
Sucker 1: Helium is worse than terrible – they are scam artists. First, they don’t pay much for content. Second, if you raise issues (such as plagiarism on the site) they ban you to keep you quiet. They even *officially* don’t allow people to flag inaccurate content – they claim that bad content will sink to the ‘bottom’ of the pile automatically, but I have seen articles with false content as high as in first place out of 223 articles!
Sucker 2: Helium is awful. After 6 mos and 20 articles I’ve made a whopping $5.00 which I can’t collect until that reaches $25.00. Its also interesting to note that I have to keep posting new articles and participate in the rating process or I will lose the little I’ve already earned. So despite their claims that you can earn for perpetuity, that only applies if you keep cranking out new work. People who complain are banned or their articles stop earning any income at all.
Once you start writing for them you become trapped. Keep producing for peanuts or lose everything. Its a very one-sided arraignment.
Sucker 3: Helium is the worst site to work for. They steal your articles and will not let you remove them from the site ever. They are late when it comes to payments, which usually take a year or more to earn. They also delete posts that shed a light on what they are doing. They have fake publishers that go by fake user names. If you go into the Writers Market for say Time magazine, they will tell you it is Time magazine. In the Helium marketplace, there is not a real magazine or another publisher. It is all fake and several of the publishers are OWNED by Helium. It is only a gimmick. Please be warned. It is a scam!
Sucker 4: Helium’s main objective is to make BIG profit with Google ads. That is why they want as many articles as possible. Every article gets them more money, in particular if it is written in a particular way, which is like at Reader’s Digest, or a local newspaper. Opinions are not welcomed, especially political ones, unless they reflect main stream opinion, and are written without much flavor and tone. That explains why some very poorly written articles are ranked very highly, and some very well-written ones sink to the bottom. If the writer refrains from expressing a politically challenging opinion and writes like a “journalist”, s/he will be in the higher rankings. Helium is a bit like a cult. You must do exactly what they want from you, else you crawl around on the bottom always and get 1 Cent every 4-7 days thrown at you, if you are lucky (to insult you mainly). You can write like a retard and make more money, provided your political opinion reflects theirs.
Sucker 5: Having written 165 articles for Helium over the past year, I can tell you with no uncertainty that you will starve to death waiting to make money there. Out of those 165 articles, one half of them are in the number one position in their respective categories. The rest are either numbers 2,3,4, or at the very least the top 75 per centile. My writing rating is three stars with a 76% rating at the moment, and my rating stars are four with an 80% rating. So no one can say that I’m not making money because of a lack of skills or the subject matter. Know how much I’ve made off of Helium in 18 months? $13.76. Helium is a scam and any one who says otherwise either works for them or is too stupid to know when they’re being raped
Ha, ha, ha! I’d love to share more of these with you but I’m afraid I’ve got to get off to the bank. Ha, ha, ha!

Comment by raymond anderson on 2009-06-30 21:48:33 +0000

Am I the only one who think that delicious, like heart, just doesn’t cut it as a verb?

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-07-01 00:14:04 +0000

Hey Ray, I take your point, but I think it depends who is saying or singing it. When Shampoo sing it, and only when Shampoo sing it, then it sounds so right!
Running wild in the city late at night
Powder pink don’t you think we’re outa-site
Feels so right!

Comment by James DeVere on 2009-07-01 01:03:30 +0000

Hello – some great swipes at Triond here. I have been with Triond for ten months. Not much income but I am happy with them.
As for Google AdSense – their terms are far stringent that Trionds. They pay out at $100 (who will ever reach that!) and they have been know to cancel account just before they have to pay the blogger. They also have a condition where they charge the blogger for any amounts they feel. Triond doesn’t do that.
Triond offers a forum for writers and are great fun. Cheers . JamesDeVere

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-07-01 10:12:37 +0000

James, if you’re not going to make $100 (US $ I presume, but worth even less if we’re talking Australian dollars), then this is a hobby not work, and that’s exactly why Triond and other so called ‘get-paid-to-write’ sites are a scam, because they pull many people in by fooling them into thinking they’ll make worthwhile amounts of cash. Since most of these ‘get-paid-to-write’ sites rely on Google AdWords for their income, that is still where whatever money you get ultimately comes from, and if as you claim Google aren’t reliable, then all you’re doing is putting a third party between you and a massively reduced amount of money; making it even less likely you’ll get paid.
You retain the rights to your work if you run Google AdWords on your own site. The overwhelming majority of professional writers will take smaller amounts of money upfront to retain rights because they take a long-term view. Given a short-term choice between making more money immediately and retaining rights, or making less money and losing the rights to a ‘get-paid-to-write’ site, only a rank amateur would opt for working with a rip-off operation like Triond.
Due to poor sentence construction it is difficult to disentangle the exact meaning of your sentence: “They also have a condition where they charge the blogger for any amounts they feel.” While you can never know exactly what you’ll be paying for Google AdWords, it runs on easy to understand calculations and you can place limits on your spend. If you haven’t placed a high enough bid on getting your ad shown or chosen your key words well enough, your ad might never come up; in that case Google won’t charge you anything. There is nothing mysterious about this, Google provide a very clear explanation of how their AdWords business works and it isn’t exactly rocket science getting your head around it.
Likewise, the articles on Triond are of extremely low quality, they are largely worthless from any objective perspective. It is not the sort of place the overwhelming majority of professional writers would want to be associated with. It is looked upon as an embarrassment. Triond is also useless as a source of information, and judging by the contents of your comment it looks like you get a lot of your (mis)information from ‘get-paid-to-write’ sites. As I’ve said, the world would be a better-informed place without them.

Comment by Christopher Nosnibor on 2009-07-01 21:24:17 +0000

Chucking in another by-the-by from Pedant’s corner, shouldn’t that be ‘their terms are far MORE stingent that Triond’S’ (capitalisation used for emphasis, juat to be super-clear here. I know my typing’s a bit shirt, but my grammar and punctuation’s not too shabby).
And this made me smirk:
‘The controversy around a young website called Associated Content boils down to perspective.
Does it exist to game Google search results and generate revenue through Google’s AdWords advertising service by displaying contextual ads next to the copy? Or is it a new kind of media site, chock full of original articles written mostly by average folk about everything from presidential pardons and karaoke to smoker’s guilt and ventriloquism?’
‘Game’? Huh?
Perhaps a degree of stringency is no bad thing. And I say that as a defender of self-publishing and so forth.
In the words of Beavis and Butthead, I rest on your face, your honour.

Comment by THE BASTARDIZER on 2009-07-01 21:27:39 +0000

That maybe sounded a little harsh: we’ve not exactly shown James much ‘wuv’ have we?

Comment by Shashank Shekhar on 2009-07-14 03:07:46 +0000

Hi, couple of things were really valid…having your own blog or website and run ads on it and those who own the revenue sharing websites definitely earn more or rather huge.
What I suggest is to use different variants of programs along with blogging on your own. For example, if you are writing 50 articles for your own website, then try writing 20 for others. It will widen your earning options as well as you can generate some backlinks also, which are equally important.
In addition to this, writing should not be done only for making money, it’s for sharing your passion as well. And, you can not deny from the fact that these sites are good options for those who are not aware of website making basics. Many writers across world have really made their living from these sites and it’s not always necessary that if some thing has been worked out for others then it should work for you as well.
So, friend, every site has its own purpose…

Comment by Shashank Shekhar on 2009-07-14 03:09:03 +0000

One of the replies were based on duplicate contents, one who posts his contents firstly on helium and then on his own website…search engines will mark such contents as duplicate and may never index it…

Comment by mister trippy on 2009-07-16 01:51:58 +0000

My article is a fake. I digg these sites and I’m an ass. HeHAAAAAAAAA!!

Comment by resentful ideological knickers on 2009-07-16 07:24:07 +0000


Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-07-16 09:10:31 +0000


Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-07-16 09:18:21 +0000


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