This was one question posted by James Mowery over at Performancing. He wonders if all blog networks are the real thing, or if some just want to waste your time producing content for them at practically sweatshop pay rates.
Well, some of these sites put on a great first impression. They look like great places to work. Sleek designs, flashy graphics, and text from other members contributing. They are all getting paid for their hard work, right?
Many of these sites state that “you will be paid for your content” and similar. However, there are catches: for one, there is no guarantee they will actually feature your work, and I’ve seen sites that claim the rights to your content even if they don’t feature it (they essentially get your content for free without pay); next, these sites usually determine how much you will be paid on an article by article basis, and this just doesn’t seem right as the writer should set the rate; finally, many of these sites don’t have a chance of making it to the big time and won’t promote your brand in the process.
I would say it’s unfair to characterize blog networks as scams. In general (most) blog networks are legitimate businesses and most likely if they’re still running after a year of operation they are likely doing well, in terms of revenues and even profit. Sure, there may be some fly-by-night outfits out there that might be a waste of time, in terms of earning opportunity.
In this case I would say brand matters. If a network runs great sites and have great readers and writers, who form a good community, then in all likelihood they’re legit, and they can afford great talent. But if it’s not so, then better do more research. I agree with James that you should do research, and you should always read the fine print before committing to something.
I’ve been working with and for blog networks for more than three years now, and I’ve mostly had positive experiences with all of them.
Some resources you might want to check out (mostly our own):