December 12, 2012 by Brian Rock
It’s funny. Yahoo! Voices (previously Associated Content) is one of the first places I ever wrote online. I’ve had bouts of productivity followed by lulls of inactivity, but my account has been open since 2007 (see my Yahoo! Voices Profile).
In the beginning, I was pulled in by the promise of upfront payments and performance views. I liked the idea of being guaranteed money per view. But, in the end, I realized it was chump change, and I traded up for “real blogging.”
But I still return to AC (it still seems weird to me to call it Yahoo! Voices or YCN) from time to time. And there are two reasons I’m glad I’ve kept my account active there.
Number One: They Have SEO Staying Power
Yahoo! Voices got hammered initially during the Penguin and Panda fiasco, I’m pretty sure. Some people viewed them as a content mill, and some articles were pretty spammy. Most of my stuff was honestly well written, though.
For the past three or four months, my daily page views at AC have been growing – suggesting that the rankings of my posts have been increasing as well. A very old and outdated post about CSS/HTML Tooltips, for example, ranks #2 for “how to create tooltips in html.” Despite being written in 2007 and using five year old HTML/CSS methods (which are pretty different with HTML5 and CSS3), this article is still at the top of the rankings.
And it pulls in about 40 page views a day or a little over 1,000 a month. With my current clout there, that’s about $2 to $2.50 per month ($15 to $20 per year) from this one article I wrote almost five years ago.
And there are plenty of other articles like it, across different niches. I wrote some stuff about car repair, computer repair, video games. There are even some pieces related to teaching that I wish I could edit to include links to my ed tech blog. Cause I could sure use the traffic boost to jump start the project.
In short, AC is a great place to write an article to target some long tail keywords. Thanks to the PR power of my profile and the general power of the Yahoo domain, these articles float to the top of some low competition results without any SEO work on my part. And as of November, I’m up to $40 / month from my performance views.
I had almost given up on them, but I can conceivably see a situation where I’m bring in $50 to $100 in passive income from articles I’ve already written. Granted, it’s taken me five years of writing (~175) articles to get to this point. And many articles (maybe 50 to 75%) get relatively few views. But, this is a good example of how SEO and publishing is sometimes a long term game.
If I had kept up a heavy publishing pace and put out a dozen or two articles a month, I’d have nearly a thousand articles published. And conceivably, I could be earning a few hundred bucks in performance views. Some of the top contributors do have millions of page views in total (I got about 20,000 to 25,000 last month), and with more articles I could have been there.
Number Two: The Assignment Desk
I get e-mails and notices all the time about the assignment desk from Yahoo Contributor Network. Basically, if you have an active account, they send you assignments. Some of these offer up front payments and some offer performance view payments. But, they’re articles that the team have determined should be popular. Essentially they did the keyword (or social) research for you.
For some reason, I usually ignore these and I’ve rarely ever submitted pieces to the assignment desk before. This week, I happened to check out the assignments and saw one about home renovation. It asked you to describe a home renovation project, break out the cost, and submit a few photos.
As it happens, I built a firepit in my back yard, did most of the work myself, and I had pictures of the before and after. So, I decided to take the assignment. I spent about a half hour writing up the article, formatting it, and submitting photos. I might have spent an hour on the whole process, including revisions that they asked for.
And the end result? I got a $15.00 up front payment, and I’ll still get performance payments if the article is popular. It’s no $300 magazine feature article, but this was also a quick one hour (or less) article that didn’t involve any research. I’ll take that any day of the week.
And hopefully they send me some more assignments in the future.
Besides income potential, there are some other benefits of having an established Associated Content or Yahoo! Voices account. In the future, I’ll write about some of the SEO benefits of writing here. But, let’s save that for another day because I’m already approaching 800 words…