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How Writers Make Money at Associated Content

With this post I’m asking Associated Content writers for their input and opinion. I had signed up with Associated Content but never really did any writing for them. It was my full intention to publish a few articles, but time constraints and frankly absent mindedness stopped me.

Lately I’ve been reading quite a few posts in forums about Associated Content and how people are earning anywhere from $75-$300 a month with them. Of course, when you hear someone earning $300 a month in residual income from a writing site, it peaks your interests.

Earning with Associated Content

As a result, I went over to the Associated Content site looked at their payment structure and got a little confused. From what I can glean, according to Associated Content they pay an average of $1.50 per thousand page views. Therefore, any person who has several articles on Associated Content and accumulates 5000 views in a particular month will earn a base of $7.50 (I hope I have this right).

In addition to the $1.50 performance payment, writers can earn a bonus depending on their clout level. Once your clout level exceeds a level 6 you earn an additional bonus, depending on the clout level. Currently it appears that the clout level maxes out at $2.00.

A Little Calculation

Now, if I understand the performance payment correctly, if I miraculously achieve a clout level of 10 and manage to garner 15,000 views per month, I would earn $30 for the month ($2.00 x 15).

Now, taking the same Associated Content formula, assuming I’m at the top clout level, I’m going to apply it to my last month page views at Suite 101.com. Last month from August 1 to August 31, 2008, my articles generated 20,586 page views. I honestly don’t know if that’s a good or bad figure, but that’s what it was.

If I were at Associated Content at the top clout level my 20,586 page views at $2.00 PPM would yield $41.17 for the month. I guess that’s good, but when I compare that to my actual earnings on Suite 101 of $153.94 for the same number of page views, I think I’m better off sticking with Suite 101 (Not too bad for writing 10 articles every three months).

(Image removed – Apparently Suite 101 doesn’t allow for sharing such info.)

Associated Content Added Bonuses

I understand that Associated Content offers added bonuses in “Calls for Content.” I’m not very familiar with the process and I guess that’s where writers really earn the money. Suite 101 doesn’t offer such bonuses.

In order for me to earn additional bonuses at Suite 101, I would have to become a Feature Writer instead of a Contributing Writer. Not wanting to ‘graduate’ to a Feature Writer, I’ll have to be content with my 10% bonus I received after I surpassed the 50-article milestone.

Where to Go from Here

I know first hand that freelance writers have to spend their time where they can get the most bang for their buck. I considered writing more for Associated Content and less for Suite, but after looking at the numbers, I think I’ll stay where I am.

I know there are Associated Content writers earning a nice income from them. I’d love to hear how you do it.

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • Alyssa September 5, 2008, 11:44 am


    Stay where you are with Suite 101. So far, I’ve written one article for Associated Content, and I’m deliberating whether I should consider writing more.

    Regarding Calls for Content, these are a waste of time for any writer – AC doesn’t make upfront payments for the articles. Most of the calls generate income only from page views, so basically you’re paid zilch for your effort. Those who claim to generate hundreds of dollars per month must have some sort of marketing machine that cranks them out and then publicizes them in areas such as MySpace.

    In the end, I received only $5.83 for a non-exclusive article. It was a no-brainer, but like you said, you need to concentrate in areas that give you a better payment rate.

    You might want to check out Helium. The level of writing there is better than what I find at Associated Content, and they have “MarketPlace” where clients post their requirements and you can then write article that meet their guidelines. It’s not extravagant pay – it usually averages around $40 – $50 for 400 – 500 word articles. In comparison, this is more appealing than AC.

    I’m willing to hear from others on this. I have more article ideas, but I’d like to find the right market for them.

  • Felicia September 5, 2008, 11:54 am

    Hey Alyssa,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with AC. I see you’re experience is similar to mine. I just couldn’t quite figure out how folks are making so much money with them.

    I ended up submitting one article that I had previously published elsewhere, but they turned it down for upfront payment because at the time I submitted it, the original piece had a page rank of 4 (it’s now down to a 3), and a page rank of 4 was considered competition. I understood their reasoning, but I just didn’t have the time to write an original article at the time so I forgot all about Associated Content until I read the post about $300 a month.

    I’ve heard of Helium, but haven’t tried them as yet. I’ll check them out.

  • Cat September 6, 2008, 12:22 pm

    I post on both Suite101 and associated content. I make higher earnings on suite and that is my primary medium. Suite had a great editorial staff that helps me to write better and promote my content. However, suite doesn’t publish fiction or poetry, so I post those on AC. Occasionally AC puts out a paid call that I’m interested in writing and I take those as well, the advantage is instant pay for my work on calls. But when you want to write non-fiction informative articles, suite is the way to go.

  • nicklas May 25, 2009, 1:28 pm

    u have to be an usa citizen for making money with assiocated content, they have this thing called upfront payment where they pay u 3-20$ for each article u sumbit to them

  • Brandon October 2, 2009, 12:03 am

    It is not a matter of ability to make a good income, but rather simple math. Averaging $1.50 for 1,000 page views in a month does not sound attractive. However, when you do the math, it isn’t rocket science that you will make excellent money with AC.

    Here’s the math:

    Assume you are able to crank out 25 articles per day 5 days per week. That amounts to about 5 articles per hour. With the upfront payment exclusive option giving you around $2 per article, you can make $1,000 per month with the above numbers of articles. In addition to the upfront payments, you can earn $1.50 for 1,000 page views. So if you have 2,000 articles with each bringing in at least 500 page views per month (realistic), then you have around $1,500 or so in residual monthly income.

    The same residual method applies if you publish on your own blog(s) that utilize Google Adsense. Google pays not only per click, but by CPM (1,000 page views) also. Adsense is how AC makes their money by the way. So imagine that AC is making more CPM than they are paying you which is how they can afford to pay you.

    It is not a matter of if you can make the money. It is a matter of how many articles you can crank out in a short period of time.
    .-= Brandon´s last blog ..Creating a Wealthy Lifestyle on a Working Man’s Salary =-.

    • Felicia October 2, 2009, 8:26 am

      Brandon thanks for your comment. It gave me something to chew on.

      I’m going to use your math to explain why I prefer writing for Suite 101 over Associated Content.

      Writing 25 articles a week translates to 100 articles a month. Let’s say you get $2 up front pay for each article ($200) plus the residuals. Using your figures with 2,000 articles each bringing in 500 page views per month (understanding that 500 page views per article a month means about 17 page views per article a day) at a rate of $1.50 per page view, you can earn $1,500 in residuals plus the up front pay.

      That means Associated Content would pay you $1.33 per article per month plus the one time up front pay. Not too shabby.

      Using my Suite 101 numbers, I only have 179 articles at this point and I do not get up front payment. My page view numbers range anywhere from $9.00 to $12.00 per 1,000 page views. Additionally, with 179 articles I average a little over 45,000 page views a month (this translates to about 8 page views per article per day).

      So, if I were to crank out 5 articles a day 5 days a week and place them on Suite 101 to the point where I have 2,000 articles (a fantastic feat to say the least), my earnings could conceivably be $4,320 a month using the lower $9/1,000 rate.

      That means Suite 101 would pay me $2.16 per article per month in residual income, over 60% more than what I would earn at Associated Content.

      There’s no doubt that according to your numbers, writers can earn a handsome income writing articles for Associated Content, but I’m at the point in my writing career where I don’t want to work harder, just smarter. Suite delivers the page views and the attractive revenue rates. If we were to do an apples-to-apples comparison, I believe Suite would be the more lucrative option.

      Thanks for giving me something to chew on this morning. 😀

  • Cassandra James November 10, 2009, 6:29 am

    Yes, you can make significant money on AC. I currently make over $1,200 a month from AC and all that requires is for me to write approximately 4-5 articles a day, which takes me a couple of hours max.

    I get paid $5.50-$6 per article, and AC buys EVERYTHING I write. I’ll also make around $350 from page views this month, and that goes up by at least $50-$75 a month now.

    I also write for other sites, but AC pays me very well. I looked at Suite 101, but with no upfront payments, that would be like me losing over $700 a month from the same writing on AC – not a smart option for me 🙂

    • Felicia November 10, 2009, 6:48 am

      Cassandra, I think what impressed me the most about your comment is your productivity!

      It’s quite obvious that AC works well for you (if it ain’t broke, no need to fix it). 🙂

  • Donna Hinton December 29, 2009, 2:15 pm

    Thanks for doing the math! You have doubtless saved a lot of us from spinning our writing wheels doing countless articles for a less lucrative site. I signed up with A.C. but will now post the article I had in mind for them on Suite 101.

    Thanks again. I appreciate the stats.

    Donna Hinton
    .-= Donna Hinton´s last blog ..Christmas memories =-.

  • Danny Cox January 24, 2010, 1:49 pm

    I recently started writing for AC after writing for Examiner.com for the past month and a half. AC looks to have a lot of promise actually with up front payments as well as page views.

    Just from page views alone on Examiner, I’ve made $400 in the past month. Not to mention that on Examiner, my articles are mostly viewed by local readers. With AC, I can write the same types of articles and put them out on a broader scale to a bigger audience getting me even more page views on top of up front payments.

    I tried Suite 101 and wrote about 3 or 4 articles for them before getting tired of the nitpickiness. I’m someone that will take criticism as harsh as you can give it to me. I’m not an accomplished writer yet but any means, but a little credit would be nice sometimes. I don’t like to have my work DESTROYED for even just ONE comma being out of place. And yes, that has been the case.

    Not to mention that I’ve read through the forums at Suit 101 and saw some writers being so thrilled with pennies off of their first couple articles. Over on Examiner, I’m making between $15-20 a day on one article if not more.

    The future payout for AC looks even brighter with the up fronts.

  • Lisa Musser February 9, 2010, 9:49 am

    I also write for other sites, but Associated Content is the only one I know of that pays upfront payments. Although the page views may seem low compared to other sites, they do pay upfront for things like product reviews, local area events and revues, and some calls for content. I mostly write for the upfront pays because if I can write so many articles per week its like getting a weekly paycheck.I have personally been paid upfront payments recently for product reviews on henna hair dyes and anti-wrinkle creams and other reviews for eco-friendly products. Although I don’t make a fortune on page views, I do make pretty good in upfronts! I would recommend researching the types of articles that qualify for upfronts, it is listed on the AC website and write just for upfront pay.
    .-= Lisa Musser´s last blog ..Surya Henna Cream in Chocolate – Product Review =-.

  • Damon Ray March 7, 2010, 10:08 pm

    Thank you Felicia for sharing the knowledge. your comments and experience will certainly save me some disappointment.

  • Shirley A. Mandel May 12, 2010, 9:58 pm

    As a Christian poet who suffers from a mental disability, I think AC is the best thing since sliced bread. Commercial book publishers don’t routinely handle poetry, and university presses give inspirational poetry the cold shoulder, but AC has given me a nationally renoun venue through which to showcase my work. And after earning two BA degrees in English, I have worked hard to be able to write good poetry. It would be nice if one could make a million dollars by writing million dollar poetry, but that is not reality. I’m just happy that I can reach people with my own original Christian literature, and obviously I’m not in it for the money. God will see to it that my ship comes in someday in due time.

  • Grandma May 13, 2010, 9:51 am

    Shirley, try putting together an anthology of your work and sell it online as an eBook. Price it at $15, $20, $25…something like that. Then all you need to do is find a place to sell it, maybe on a poetry or Christian blog. Or to a traditional book publisher.

  • Lauren May 13, 2010, 11:59 am

    Grandma, Felicia, or anyone who knows…

    Any chance we could get a post pertaining to publishing eBooks? Or does anyone know where some good information on the subject can be found?
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Constant Content? No Thanks =-.

    • Felicia May 13, 2010, 12:16 pm

      Since Grandma just published an ebook, she can share her experience with you. I’m still in the process of writing mine (I’ll get it finished sooner or later), and am using Open Office to write it and convert it to .pdf (it’s free).

      You can get a free ebook here from Pat Flynn of The Smart Passive Income Blog that tells you all you need to know about creating and marketing an ebook.

      Maybe when I finally finish my ebook I’ll be able to write a knowledgeable post on the topic, in the meanwhile, I’ll defer to the experts who have already done so.

  • Grandma May 13, 2010, 12:36 pm

    I have always had book publishing on my mind since I was about 10. I have a half completed romance novel somewhere that I started about 30 years ago but never finished, about working at radio stations. I sold some long articles on eBay about making money on eBay (now turned into one of Grandma’s Little Black Book series) and another one on Internet Gambling. The Textbroker ebook came about sort of as a way to make a little residual income while offering some real help to other writers, and because Felicia got after me. Now I am trying to prod her to finish her ebook because I know she is full of valuable information.

    Get the .pdf converter, it is fun! Then find a place to sell the ebook. You can also deliver it on a CD-ROM. Sell on Amazon, eBay or other places. EBay will only allow you to advertise in under “Everything Else – Other” unless it is on a physical CD. Then, get creative. I just put up a special website for the series a day or so ago, and will be adding to the two ebooks and e-report already there. Who knows, maybe the unfinished romance novel will finally be completed in ebook form.

    The best thing about ebooks is that they are eco-friendly, no paper or ink needed, no mailing costs, instant delivery time, and Paypal is wonderful to use for payment.

  • Lauren May 13, 2010, 1:03 pm

    Thank you, Grandma, for the inspiration and information, and thank you, Felicia, for pointing me in the direction of that blog and e-book. I’m feeling excited and inspired 🙂
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Constant Content? No Thanks =-.

  • Shirley A. Mandel May 14, 2010, 3:05 pm

    Thank you Grandma for the wise advice. You can’t go wrong with advice from Grandma! I have already published my anthology entitled Midnight Flower: An Anthology of Contemporary Christian Poems on lulu.com and is available on that site as an e-book for a little pittance. Lulu.com is a site on which one can self-publish his/her book for 0 dollars, but promotion is the responsiblity of the author. This is another long-shot to success, but it beats paying a $10,000 subsidy fee. Books are printed as they are ordered by either the author or the public. I wish you well Grandma.

    • momfourboys August 27, 2012, 3:18 pm

      Hi, Shirley! When you went to lulu.com to self-publish your Contemporary Christian Poems book, did your publishing them provide you with copyrights to all of your poems, too, without submitting them and applying for rights via the Library Of Congress?

  • Shannon May 18, 2010, 11:08 pm

    Who knows what it’ll mean, but Associated Content is being acquired by Yahoo! Just wondering if NJFM readers were aware. Here’s the official press release:

    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Save Money on All Car Insurance =-.

  • Andrea October 28, 2010, 1:33 pm

    I have been following your blog for a couple of years and am surprised I missed this post.

    Anyway, I have been writing for AC since 2005-6.

    I make about $10 an article, give or take a few cents. I get from $225-$500 a month in page views.

    To get to this point, I did have to get to clout 10 and write alot of articles. I have 1500 articles published over the years. My pay rate has held steady for the past year.

    I have tried examiner and DS and I like AC better.

    Just my two cents.

    • Felicia October 28, 2010, 2:49 pm

      Wow, 1,500 articles. That’s an impressive number of articles.

      Have you ever tried Suite? Suite is undergoing a few issues right now, but I can’t help but think that with an article base of 1,500 you might earn a little more at Suite. Just a thought.

  • jeshudas November 5, 2010, 2:08 pm

    do AC accept the member from indonesia. im very intersted on your topic but i don’t know to start it? can you help me please?

    • Felicia November 5, 2010, 2:53 pm

      Jeshudas, you should go to the Associated Content sign up page. The sign up page lists Indonesia as one of the contributor countries. I’m not sure if I can be of much help because I don’t actively write for Associated Content. You can find all of the answers at Associated Content.

  • hank December 25, 2010, 12:52 pm

    It took a while for me to start making good money off of Associated Content but I finally got better at getting my articles to show up in Google. I made 11 dollars about 3 months ago, 30 last month, and I should have 50 for December and this is off 160 or so articles (85 of which get me no traffic). Like anything it takes lots of work everyday to see results but I hope to be pulling down hundreds from AC soon.

  • Angela January 16, 2011, 11:50 pm

    Hi, just received a rejection letter from Suite 101 🙁 .This is my second time applying with them, but no luck so far. Any suggestions?


    • Felicia January 17, 2011, 6:30 am

      Without having read your sample article, it’s hard to say. Check your work to make sure it’s tightly focused and written in top down order. Start your article with a strong introduction and then provide supporting information throughout the article.

      Refrain from writing in the first person and always remember to check your spelling and grammar.

      Read the article out loud to yourself to see how it reads. Is it forced and wordy or does it flow freely? Read it to someone else. If they fall asleep during the reading, you have your answer. When you’re done reading, they should either want to hear more or give a response like “Really? I didn’t know that. That’s good to know.”

      Hope that helps.

  • Angela January 17, 2011, 1:12 pm

    Thanks Felicia!

    By the way, I just found your site by accident and I’m glad
    I did. I will visit often. I read your free ebook from beginning to end today, lots of good stuff, thanks for all the info. You’ll make an excellent motivational speaker. I’m motivated 🙂 Thanks again!

  • IM January 31, 2011, 1:47 am

    Thanks for all the great info Felicia. I am new to this but I joined TB and Suite101 this week because of you. I am grateful for your advice because I could easily get lost in the day to day writing and your experience helps me see a long term path. Kudos and THANK YOU.

    I must take the time to read this blog in full. Right now my head is spinning from all the figures.

    You may have seen the RV guy’s blogs on writing for AC. After reading his blog I did some research and that’s how I found you. I occasionally look for RV’s (don’t know why) and he is a FT expert RVer. He blogs on RV topics and his passive income from AC is $200 a month after 3 years of writing short articles on a laid back casual schedule, and $500 a month if he works at it. He is working toward a residual income of $1,000 a month from AC.

    I made a whopping $5 last night with two articles and an impressive $4 tonight. Lots of room for improvement and speed. I get impatient but slow and steady wins the race. As a freelance writer for a newspaper (pre-internet) my first writing job in 1991 paid $160 per article.

    • Felicia January 31, 2011, 6:35 am

      IM, welcome to NJFM.

      Actually, I haven’t been to the RV guy’s blog. I’m off to find it now. He sounds like he’s living the type of life I’d like to try for a while.

      There are a few “high-paying” gigs to be found on the internet, but they’re usually private clients and are not always easy to come by. By high-paying I’m talking $60 to $80 per article. That’s not considered high-paying in the off line world, but it’s a good rate for online writing.

      You sound like you’re off to a good start. Don’t let my figures overwhelm you. I’m a numbers junkie. 🙂

  • IM January 31, 2011, 2:04 pm

    I’m glad you’re a numbers junkie – I AM NOT AND WILL NEVER BE. I take that back, I’m a numerology junkie.

    There is such a stigma to FT RV-ing – hold off on that one! I like reading about the Japanese and European made RVs. American made RVs are overpriced thin plastic buckets compared to theirs.

    – a Chai drinker (no coffee for me)

  • John February 8, 2011, 6:40 pm

    Im confused, whats wrong with using all of these sites to make money? just give non-exclusive rights?

  • Elizabeth Danu October 19, 2011, 10:41 pm

    I have been writing for AC for a couple of months, and I am already making $15.00 per month in residuals as well as up-front offers of $6-$15. The trick is to become a Featured Contributor. Paying assignments appear more often, they’re fun, and they are on topics that get page views. I’m not getting rich on AC yet, but I can see the possibilities. I’m having a great time writing about things I’m passionate about so I’ll continue to focus here for awhile. Felicia I love your site. Thanks for what you’re doing here!

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