Writing articles…

While waiting for my book to get through the beta reading stage I’ve been working on another manuscript. I’m hoping to get to the point of having it sufficiently polished that I can wave it under the nose of some agents to see if I can garner any interest. I’ve lived with the thing for so long though that I decided to take a little break and do something else.

In searching out a way to get some articles published, I came across a few web sites that offer to pay for submissions – mainly via Google Adsense and pay-per-click schemes. I thought I’d try one out to see if it was worthwhile, though I didn’t expect to make a fortune at it. I just assumed that it would be like blogging but with a bit of quality control and a higher rate of exposure. I ended up signing on with Triond.com a few weeks ago, but didn’t get around to writing anything until recently. The idea seemed to be that they would place articles into different websites, thus increasing your writing profile and, being a budding author, I figured that this might not be a bad thing.

To say that the whole process has been a disappointment is a big understatement. I didn’t think that I’d make the comments section of The Guardian or anything like that, but what instead happens is that your posts are fed into the system and then spat out into sites that you’ve never heard of (and that nobody seems to visit!). The sites are part of one big ecosystem of pages that Triond runs and as an author, the only way to increase hits (and thus income) is to befriend as many people in the system as possible to click on your links and to hit your ‘like’ buttons. It’s a reciprocal thing – what someone less kind might call one big electronic circle jerk.

On top of this realisation, the main admin site is terribly slow to load, corrections take hours and the formatting on the pages that you produce often contain strange indents and spacing. There seems to be no quality control whatsoever, with nearly everything that I wrote going live within minutes of submission. I’m pretty careful with my proofing, but the few typos that did slip by went unnoticed until I corrected them myself. I wrote seven articles in total, but the experience was so dire that I’ve not even bothered to link them back here.

There are a few sites that offer similar ways to get your articles published, but from what I can see, they are all pretty much the same. They are nothing to do with promoting quality writing, they are about generating revenue from clicks and ad placements. In fact, surfing with Adblock switched on, I didn’t realise how many ads that they’d managed to shoe-horn into what I’d written. What looked OK if not particularly professional before suddenly looked like one of those poor quality search results that Google is always trying to eliminate from its search queries.

Perhaps I was a little naive in signing up to the site, but at least it didn’t cost anything but a little time in writing the articles, but I thought I’d share my experience here for anyone who might be considering doing the same thing. If you’ve got the time to write every day, to whore yourself out to fake friends and to constantly try to link everything back to all your other articles, then you can probably make some decent pocket-money.

You will not, however, expose your writing to a wider audience of appreciative readers. If anything, you may even damage whatever reputation you might already have.