Wednesday, February 29, 2012

*UPDATE* Let's Review A Freelance Writing Site: Examiner.com

*UPDATE*
I haven't updated this Examiner review in many years, so I figured now would be a great time. Things have changed a lot with Examiner since I first started. I was actually beginning to get some subscribers and readership. Unfortunately, something changed that ruined Examiner for me. 

I had one relatively good month. Back when Diablo 3 first came out, I wrote an article about the error codes many were experiencing when trying to play online. It was the only article I wrote that was promoted by Examiner on their Facebook, Twitter and featured pages. It was also before their site-ruining changes. I earned $150 that month from that article alone. Unfortunately, I would never again see cash from Examiner like that. 


As far as I can tell, Examiner or Google or both changed how writers' articles were crawled and prioritized. Before the change, all I had to do was write a newsworthy article, share it on my social networks and it was immediately in the top 5 on Google search for my chosen keywords. Now, I'm lucky to get in the top 1,000. There are a few articles out there that go into more depth about the changes, but that's not the scope of this update. I just felt it necessary to give everyone a heads-up. 

The bottom-line? If you're an established contributor writing in a hot, trending topic, then you have a chance to still earn decent money. However, if you're a new writer, or you write on a topic that isn't so popular, you'll have a hard time making any kind of decent cash with this freelance writing site. My advice, look for other ways to make money online as a freelance writer. There are far better opportunities available than Examiner.
*UPDATE*

So, I have been a member for four days now. I haven't had time to go over much of the videos and university information, but there are a few things that I have learned. I would like to cover some of the topics from my freelance writing video review and a few new things I have learned. As I get more involved with the site, I will be able to add additional information. So, subscribe, follow or bookmark this site as I am very interested in helping aspiring writers and, of course, making money while helping.

Alrighty then, let's get started. If you watched my video then you know a little bit about how the site works. However, I do unscripted reviews and miss many things that I end up covering in my written reviews. I would like to start with a very important one that I missed. The following is quoted directly from Examiner.com:

How is my freelance writing pay figured?

Here at Examiner.com, your pay is based on a rating that considers a number of factors, including advertising revenue and the quality of your audience. This includes things like frequency of publishing, subscriptions, page view traffic and session length. Pay may fluctuate depending on any of these and other factors. Examiner.com makes no guarantees as to minimum payment. Focusing on providing robust, useful, topic-specific content that grows your readership and encourages your readers to want to read more than one article is the surest way to maximize your earnings.

Now I realize that is pretty vague so,  I looked around their forums and found some useful information. What I saw were a number of people saying they made between $50 and $100 per month to as much as $1000 or more. However, the average of the 30 figures that I calculated came to around $350 per month. The one major point all of the big money makers made was that it took a lot of time and energy to achieve those numbers. But this is typical with any job.

One of the cool features I learned while browsing the forums was that most contributors receive freebies. And not just T-shirts; although, T-shirts are frequently given away. They also send Examiners laptops, iPhones, bicycles, modems, games, gaming consoles, gaming PCs, etc., etc. Now, some have to be returned after a set amount of time, but most of the comments mentioned keeping brand-new laptops; among many other items. That is just amazing to me. Of course, you have to contribute articles and reviews consistently and complete their e-mailed projects, but if your staying at home with nothing better to do, then write about what you know. 

I missed covering localization benefits in my freelance writing review so I will quickly cover it here.

Basically, it doesn't pay any more than a regular article or review. What it does is create a page that will drive more traffic (cash) to your content. It's relatively easy and they have a complete video tutorial on the site. 

So far I have made .34 cents on the site. I have been with them for four days now and have two articles published. One affiliate is in the process of verification, which requires a W-9 form and sometimes a background check, and Examiner will pay me $50 for that referral. 

From what I have seen so far it is a fully legitimate freelance writing site and I endorse it. I look forward to writing about things I like while getting paid to do it.

Until next time, this is Freelance Mike signing off!

8 comments :

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Gary London said...

About examiner.com. I've written articles for two years with them now My feeling is they totally take their writers for granted, don't pay them sufficiently, and don't care to engage in customer support or assistance. Just today, I discovered that their "page view" count, upon which my pay is based, is incorrect on the low side. BUT THE WORST PART IS THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE. THERE ISN'T ANY. ON THE MANY OCCASIONS OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS I HAVE NEEDED AND TRIED TO CONTACT THEM WITH QUESTIONS, ISSUES, ETC, THEIR "SUPPORT CENTER" DOES EVERYTHING IT CAN TO AVOID YOU. EVERY OPTION APPEARS EXCEPT HOW TO EASILY JUST ASK A SIMPLE QUESTION AND GET A SIMPLE ANSWER. I'VE CALLEDD NUMEROUS TIMES OVER AND OVER. JUST ENDLESS MENUS. ON TWO RARE OCCASIONS WHEN SOMEONE DID ANSWER, THE RESPONSE WAS..."JUST SUBMIT A TICKET" I'D ABSOLUTELY NEVER RECOMMEND EXAMINER.COM TO ANYONE WITH WRTING TALENT. MY EXPERIENCE WITH THEM HAS BEEN ONE IN WHICH THEY TOTALLY TAKE THEIR WRITER FOR GRANTED.

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