I’m looking at content sites through a different pair of sunglasses this go ‘round.
When I first started writing online I looked at contents sites strictly as a source of income. It gave me a chance to hone my writing skills and make money at the same time.
With the recent changes, my view of content sites has changed quite a bit. I now look at them merely as a method for backlinking. Any money I earn is an added plus.
Re-Evaluating Associated Content
My new use for content site makes me reevaluate my opinion of Associated Content. Quite some time ago I did a comparison between Associated Content and Suite 101. The reason why Associated Content ended up on the short end of the comparison was because of the payment model and rate of pay.
Suite 101 pays based on ad revenue and Associated Content based on page views. If you look at my earlier comparison, you’ll see why I came to the conclusion that I did.
In my opinion, Suite 101 still has a better payment model but it doesn’t work if the site doesn’t get any traffic. No one is reading the articles to click on the ads.
Real Life Eye Opener
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wrote articles and place them on Associated Content, HubPages and Squidoo. I was shocked and surprised at how the Associated Content article took off. Between the publication date of May 11 and yesterday’s update of May 16, my Associated Content article earned 555 page views (for the record, I did not promote the article, no Twittering, Facebooking or any other type of social networking).
In that article I had 2 to 3 external links. The external links were to sites that would further improve the reader’s experience by providing additional detailed information on the subject matter. One of those external links linked to my new site.
Even if only a fraction of the readers clicked through to my site, I consider the article a success on more than one level. First, it’s doing exactly what I wanted it to do in driving traffic to my site but as a side benefit I’m also earning money from the article.
I could not do the same experiment using Suite 101 because they do not allow self promotion. Therefore, the benefits in writing for Suite 101 are limited to income and article exposure where Associated Content provides income, article exposure and backlinks.
Serving a Purpose
Pre-Panda I looked at content sites as a viable means for building income. Now I look at them as a means of back linking with the serendipitous benefit of earning a few dollars in the process. While I’ll still write the occasional article for Suite 101 and HubPages, it seems that I’ll get the most bang for my backlinking buck if I place articles on Associated Content.