"Master Dayton" might be humorous, (I mean if Ph.Ds are called "Doctors," shouldn't MFAs be called "Masters?") but in all seriousness I have made a living freelance writing and after several years I have tons of information I want to share to help out my fellow writers, regardless of age, experience, goals, situation, or background. This blog isn't pretty-but it will help if real freelance writing information is what you want.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Associated Content Review

Freelance Writing Reviews: Associated Content Review

There are many different online freelance writing sites, and Associated Content is one of the better known ones. AC has been around for several years, and there are some definite advantages to writing for Associated Content, although it's not a site I would put all of your efforts into, mostly because the chances of making a full time living from AC alone are nil to none, but that doesn't mean that AC can't be a solid stream in a multi-stream plan for writing income.

There are a lot of writers who say that they don't like Associated Content at all, and that's fine, everyone has a right to their opinions, but I find I like AC as a working supplement to my main writing sites and my main writing projects. The first thing you need if you're going to write for Associated Content is a PayPal account. Opening a PayPal account is easy enough, and we shouldn't have to go into many details beyond that. If you're completely new, then follow the link and that will help.

Associated Content offers several different rights for articles, and they occasionally also have "calls for content" that writers can fill and get paid for. If you have a digital video recorder, there are also video requests and this can be a great way to get some investment back for that camera and be a niche you can help to fill, as there is less competition there.

Up front payments generally range from $3-5 in my experience, which isn't a lot but you have a lot of freedom in what you write, and there is also a PPV (page per view) bonus that gives you a chance to make passive income, which is always a huge bonus for any freelance writer, in my opinion. For every 1,000 page views you get a bonus - whether anyone clicks on any of the site's advertiser's or not. This starts at a $1 per 1,000 views and moves up in increments based on your "level" until 10 where you get $2 per 1,000 views. This passive income is a nice benefit of AC, and applies to articles that are even "Display Only" rights.

Exclusive rights are said to pay the most, though I've never noticed a major difference, and no matter how much I like a site, I can't justify selling exclusive rights of an article for an extra 75 cents or something equivilant. Go for the non-exclusive rights, which allows you to re-use and re-publish the article down the line to earn more income. If you're a freelance writer, you learn to sell and re-sell as much as possible.

If you have a good base of articles based on evergreen topics, then you can do quite well. The best way to probably approach AC, based on some very recent adjustments I've made, is to go for articles that coule get a lot of traffic, but don't necessarily convert well for product sales or Adsense (because here is traffic you can get that has far less competition). List articles also do well. Getting $4 up front isn't bad, but getting $8 a month from here to eternity for a single article you wrote years ago is even better. Like this article on post apocalyptic films, which nets me about $8-9 a month, every month, and I wrote it in September of 2007.

I'm confident in sharing that because for one, it's an article I've been able to get some very good keyword relevant backlinks for. What does this mean? It means it will stay near the top of Google for those search terms. It's also an AC article and not a blog, meaning a liar can't call Google and get it "Google Slapped." If that sounds scary, it's something you'll have to learn about later, especially if you get Adsense, but don't let it paralyze you - early on it doesn't mean anything and you can make a full time living writing online without Adsense.

But I digress. The point is, for an article like that, it's $8 a month for an article that took all of two hours for me to write. And it could have been quicker if I wasn't watching "The Simpsons" at the same time. So 16 months since it was written times we'll say $6 a month (just to make the math on the safe side and to take into account when my PPV was lower), and that's $96 ($100 with up front payment) for an article that took two hours to write.

So instead of having one single article a month that makes $8 a month without any more work, what if you had 20? 50? 100? 250? Will it take time? Definitely. And work. Everything in life worth doing takes both. Once you get that many articles with Associated Content that get traffic, the articles continue to work for you.

There are literally tens of thousands of search terms that get a thousand or more searches a month online and have virtually no competition because there's no advertising competition, no product that converts to sales, etc. So most online entreprenuers who are in to Adsense drop it and move on. Associated Content has Google's respect. Write an article, and with a minimal amount of gathering backlinks (and sometimes this part is even unnecessary) if you've done good keyword research, your article will be on the first or second page of Google, sometimes even at the top.

Some seasonal articles do very well for me, as well. A couple of mine tend to get around 10,000 views in two months, but only during November-January.

Aside from the PPV and passive income that comes with it, I've also received freelance writing assignments from people contacting me after seeing one of my Associated Content articles. This has actually happened several times, and has earned me some pretty good side cash via PayPal. This is another benefit of AC: the readers and the attention it can bring as you try to build your freelance writing reputation.

So Associated Content shouldn't be the mainstay of your online freelance writing efforts, but when used correctly and in conjunction with other websites, this can be an effective stream of income. Happy writing.


  1. Thank you for your review of the Constant Content program. We appreciate you sharing your opinion and doing the research needed to fairly evaluate the service. We have seen fit to link to this article in our independent Constant Content Reviews section. Anyhow, keep up the good work spreading truth.

  2. Thanks guys,

    Really appreciate the link and I do my best to always give as far and honest a shake as I can to any online freelance writing website I'm reviewing. Thanks again for stopping by.


    Shane "Master" Dayton