Many online writers consider writing for revenue share as a long term investment that will bring money in for years after that content has been written. Some even refer to it as retirement money, when they are nowhere close to an age when people usually retire. The truth is, writing for pennies now in the hopes that in 10 or 20 years you'll have enough articles to bring in a decent amount of money is very risky for several reasons.
The Internet Keeps Changing
If you are retiring next year this doesn't need to apply to you, but otherwise keep on reading. Websites come and go. Your revenue share website where you have 2000 articles may not be in business in 5 years, let alone 10 or 20. Just ask those who were writing for any of the victims of Google's Panda algorithm where their investment is. If you are looking at writing for money as a way to save up money for retirement you will need to weight your options and consider which sites have a chance to survive for a long time, such as those owned by great corporations such as Google or Yahoo, but to be honest 20 years is a very long time in terms of the Internet. You may be better off investing the money you earn from writing on other high yield alternative investment options, or even put them towards your pension plan.
And Revenue Share Sites Change Too
If that isn't enough of a reality check, just look at that useful ToS agreement you signed when you joined up: Did it say anything about changing payment terms whenever they see fit? Yes. It probably does. If you signed away permanent rights to a particular site you may not even have a right to move your articles somewhere else where they are profitable for somebody besides the site owners. For example, all those international writers who had content in Associated Content got this surprise when AC announced that they weren't paying revenue share to non-US writers anymore.
Not Many Articles Are Evergreen Forever
Unless you are the only person writing on a particular subject (highly unlikely as there are millions other people publishing content at the same time as you do) you will still need to keep your articles up to date and refresh their contents. Search Engines love new and fresh content, so writing for revenue share is not just a fire and forget make money fast and easy scheme. Of course updating an existing article is not so much work as writing a new one, but with a large portfolio you should expect to be kept busy. You must also remember that you'll need to promote those articles, be it via backlinks from new sources to replace old ones that went offline, or using Social Media.
How To Use Revenue Share Sites Safely
If you really think of content writing for advertising money as a way to supplement your retirement income, the best way of doing that is by making sure you control the content that it's making money. This means learning how to use a CMS such as WordPress to create your own content site, or at the very least only writing for sites that give you 100% control over your content, such as Infobarrel. If you can delete it and edit it at will, at least you can avoid being stuck with a site that doesn't pay or content that is no longer current. You could also use a combination of the two, using revenue share sites to create backlinks and promote your own websites, but if you sign away all your rights for a promise of a lot of pennies in the long term future you may discover that too many things are out of your control and those promises never materialize.