Yahoo announced today, July 2, 2014, that YCN will be closed down. They will no longer offer upfront payment for unsolicited stores, and all previously published content on Yahoo Voices will be removed at the end of July.
I have been writing for Yahoo Contributor Network, also known as Yahoo Voices, for just a short time. While it is not a way to make a full-time living right off the bat, it was the start of my writing online in order to receive monthly residual income.
What is Yahoo! CN looking for?
If you are an American citizen, Yahoo Contributor Network is looking for you! They want you to write about a variety of topics from your personal point of view. Do you like writing about traveling? They want an article that describes the sites, culture, food, etc. as you experienced it.
How about politics? There are tons of articles being written every day about US politics. Yahoo wants to know how politics and political decisions affect you personally. Were you laid off because of the March 2013 sequester? Are you someone who couldn't get medical insurance because of a pre-existing medical condition, but can get it now because of Obamacare? Yahoo will publish it. Yahoo! CN also accepts creative writing, but you will not receive upfront payment for it. Poetry and stories are strictly on a pay-per-view basis.
How much do they pay?
Yahoo will make an upfront offer on content if they believe it is marketable. The upfront pay is based on Internet SEO and reader interest. The pay will be from $3 -$20. The higher pay is generally for doing a special "assignment". Assignments are offered to all contributors periodically, and you can choose to accept and submit it by a pre-determined deadline. Accepting and writing the assignment does not automatically guarantee acceptance, and most routine assignments do not receive upfront pay. Everything is explained in the writing assignment details.
Yahoo also pays $1.50 per thousand page views on Yahoo Voices (where most of your content will be published), $1.25 for articles published on their Yahoo! News site. The pay-per-view rate increases as you become more successful and garner more page views. The pay rate is much less then what you can earn on other sites like Hubpagess. At Hubpages my cpm has never been below $3.00 and often is much higher.
Yahoo! CN also has regular featured contributors, but I do not how to become a featured writer or how they are paid.
Is it worth it?
It depends on what you put into it. A few articles aren't going to earn much unless you get lucky and hit a hot topic that doesn't have much competition, or get "featured" by the editorial staff. The most successful writers have 1000's of articles and millions of page views. If you want to earn a nice residual income, plan on writing many articles and being patient. It will take time to build up a following and for the search engines to find you.
Networking is a helpful when you are first starting out. Utilize Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Introduce yourself in the Yahoo forums and make connections with the other writers. Not only will you grow your audience, but you will introduce yourself to many unique writing styles.
Utilize the Yahoo CN learning center
Yahoo! CN has an academy specifically for learning to write for the internet and Yahoo. I would recommend doing the academy even if you decide not to write on the site. It has information on punctuation, grammar, and spelling. The academy teaches you how to use words for search engine optimization (SEO), which is critical for getting the search engines to find you. It teaches you how to grab a reader when most people only take a few seconds to decide if they are going to read your article or move on. You will learn how pictures help garner attention, why tags are important, and what keywords are and how to use them. I knew basically nothing about internet writing when I started - it is definitely not the same as writing for print media.
If you do decide to give it a whirl, unless you are submitting creative writing, I suggest always choosing the non-exclusive, up-front pay option when submitting your work. You will retain your rights to your work and can republish it elsewhere. It takes a little longer to have your work reviewed by the editors, but if you can earn a few extra bucks, go for it.
To see some examples of my Yahoo writing, click the links below. Happy writing and earning!
White House Petitions You May Not Know About
Radiation Exposure: Who's Taking Your X-ray?
It has been approximately 4 months since I started writing for Yahoo. I have earned about 70 dollars in upfront pay and PPV. I have been neglecting Yahoo and concentrating on HubPages since the pay per thousand views is so much better. There is also a lot of upheaval at Yahoo with many old-time contributors losing their regular beats.
My views have not picked up. I probably average 15 views a day, and I have 31 articles. Contrast that to Hubpages where I have 38 articles and I average about 90 views a day - and the views are growing! But everything I have read says it takes a good 6 months to start seeing regular search engine traffic. I won't hold my breath as I knew so little about SEO when I started writing at Yahoo.
I'm sure I will keep submitting the occasional article for Yahoo, but I see HubPages as a better bet for long term growth. That and my blogs. :)