Review of Helium.com: Is it Worth It to Write For Helium?
Note: This post was edited Jan. 24, 2012
Time for another writing site review. This time, popular writing site Helium gets a turn.
Effort Involved: Medium to High-Medium
Pay: Medium to Very High
Do You Retain Right To Your Work: Yes
Judgement: Worth It for a beginning writer, but there are better opportunities out there :)
The jewel in Helium’s crown has to be its variety. If you get bored or writer’s block writing for Helium, there’s no way you’re cut out to be a writer, because they really do make it easy. There are thousands upon thousands of titles to write to under a wide variety of subjects, making it easy to browse for inspiration, and there is a title finder that helps you out if you already have an inkling of what you want to write. There are debates about sensitive and current issues, so you can write an article to support a point you’re passionate about, and there are many writing contests each week, with great cash prizes. There is also the Marketplace. Once you have proven yourself by earning a writing star, you can put in an entry for articles wanted by publishers. If yours is chosen, you reap some high rewards. Articles on the Marketplace pay from $5, up to $200. The highest I have personally seen in a few months on the site is $64, but $24 and $32 for 300-600 word articles are common. You also earn bonus payments for rating articles, where you compare two articles written to the same topic and indicate which is better.
Helium does not require an application or writing sample — you just sign up. If you’re interested in doing so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you an invite to join up under me. I’d appreciate it!
Earnings from Helium are
very good compared comparable to other pay per impression sites. I have almost 200 articles on the site, and find that I make about $20 $7-$10 a month in passive earnings from those articles. Since the titles are crafted to tickle search engines, you will get more views than if the same article was published on another site (unless you are an SEO wizard.) (Update: with the latest changes to Google Algorithms, some of my highest-paying articles are no longer earning so well.) Once you have writing stars, you also get paid for writing to a title that has fewer than 5 articles, with an extra dollar bonus for each article you write that is the first to its title. Writing 2 Helium articles a day, which is not difficult with a 400 word minimum and no real formatting or content restraints, makes me $90 a month. I could easily write 5 or 6 articles a day if I were not writing for other sites, and could easily manage ten a day if it weren’t for the adorable baby gobbling up my attention! (Update: this is no longer true. Changes have made it MUCH more difficult to earn highly on Helium.) You can also earn from the writing contests, of which there are many each week. $50 for first place, $30 for second, and $10 for third. I have seen publishers in the Marketplace paying as high as $64 for a chosen article, with many paying $24-$32 for 300-600 word articles, and the site claims the Marketplace goes as high as $200! My first month that I wrote a little for Helium every day, I made $80. The next month, about $125, and last month, $175. Your earnings will increase as you publish more articles and watch your ratings go up! (Update: I no longer write for Helium on a regular basis, since I am back at work full-time and having more success freelancing for private clients.)
The rating system is both fun, and a drawback. All the members on the site are rating articles for their end of the month bonus, just as you will. A pair of articles written to the same title are shown (without the author’s name) and you have the option to pick which one is better, which causes it to rise through the ranks. The more articles you have in the top 25% of their respective titles, the better. Getting a certain percentage of your titles to the top 25% is what gets you your writing stars, which is what gets you your upfront payments and Marketplace privileges.
I myself have three stars out of five, and do not devote nearly as much time to the site as I could, yet I still earned $175 last month! (Again, I no longer write for Helium on a regular basis.) This rating system also determines contest winners. The drawback is that a truly well-written piece is sometimes just not popular, for whatever reason. It may take some time to learn just what Helium readers are looking for, which will increase your rankings and earnings.
In conclusion, Helium is fun and easy to write for, and is worth the small time you have to invest each day to end up with earning like mine. The earning potential is actually much higher, especially for dedicated writers. Enjoy!
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