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Why Revenue Share Shouldn't Be Key To Your Retirement Plan

By Edited Jul 11, 2015 6 25

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.



Nov 2, 2011 4:41pm
Fabulous article Irene! Something that definitely needed to be said and is not said very often!
Nov 2, 2011 4:43pm
This is very true, I was a victim of Panda. I swear I am not a spammer though so I thought oh hey it won't affect me... well it did in a BIG way. That's why I am trying it out here now. Best advice from someone who has been in the game for a little while (I mean a little while) is if you want this to be for retirement, put your earnings in investments to make you more money in the future... then IF your articles are making money years from now or not you still have that money making you more money! :D
Nov 2, 2011 4:52pm
I agree too. Ehow taught me this even at 36. I did think ehow was going to be around a long time. But in the end after the monthly income plus the buyout I made 24 bucks an article after about 1 year. Not bad. Nothing that gets me to retire rich. But it did get me thinking about the web and where I wanted to be in the next 10 years. Infobarrel is teaching me the same.

Hopefully people won't do what they've done even as it relates to stocks, "putting all there eggs in one basket".
Nov 2, 2011 5:15pm
Most people are extremely careful about their investments, research the companies, and are ready to sell when things go south. The same people will invest thousands of hours on a website just because they believe in promises of future success, and it's free to write anyway.
Nov 3, 2011 1:57pm
"Most people are extremely careful about their investments, research the companies, and are ready to sell when things go south."

Im not sure this is what has always happened. The market is more volatile than its ever been. And Im reading all the time that boomers and (i cannot never remember that generation right before??) will have to work longer and some for the rest of their lives.

I say all that to say..I think the beauty in all this is that the internet has opened up many people's worlds. There's more than one way to skin a cat, make money online, start a business, etc. The internet makes reinvention possible for ANYONE, with very little barrier to entry.

Some eggs make better sense. Because the internet is rapidly changing people's eggs are gonna have to get way more nimble, highly more diversified and open minded. just my two cents.
Nov 2, 2011 5:12pm
Great points and nothing controvercial about it. It is nice to dream but a little reality check every once in a while is good.
Nov 2, 2011 5:14pm
You should see the amount of people who accuse me of crushing innocent's dreams every time I say anything like this on a forum. Hence the controversial :)
Nov 2, 2011 5:19pm
Good article on revenue sharing and the need to not put all your eggs in one basket. Things can change at anytime. Keep all your articles so if something goes under you can transfer them to other sites. Use a backup drive too in case your computer dies, you don't want to wipe out all that work!
Nov 2, 2011 5:33pm
Yea hah I know I had hopes of yea know... 1,000 articles running at about a nickle or dime a day on average that's anywhere from 5.00 - 10.00 a day now I bet with a little keyword research in there that could go up to 20+ like I said with little effort and just writing (which isn't hard for me its just finding what to write about right?) but things like what happened to eHow did scare me into being more organized. I save all my articles on my hard drive, if this site was to collapse I would move it all somewhere else since I didn't give them exclusive rights. However as it goes right now it seems like InfoBarrel will be around for a while I would say 10 years AT LEAST. So nothing to fear there I don't think.

Though I do wonder at times if it would be better to make an all article site kinda like what we do here on InfoBarrel and I think that's what you are hinting about mostly. Being if you put everything on a site like this which you have no control over then if it tanks you are left with nothing. I dunno, been kicking around the idea but yea know it will be a lot harder to get things started =/ ehh. What are your thoughts on the matter?
Nov 2, 2011 5:37pm
I prefer to mix my own niche sites with IB and other revenue sites. Just imagine if, for whatever reason, you are kicked out of AdSense. If you write for IB is ok, because you could just get your articles deleted and move them somewhere else that doesn't use AdSense. But is still a risk.
I like the benefit of networking and writing about a variety of topics on sites such as Infobarrel, don't get me wrong. But I believe that some people are very naive when they believe the hype about "In 40 years, this article will still making you money while you are retired and sipping cocktails in a tropical paradise!" which is so prevalent in other sites.
Nov 2, 2011 5:35pm
Love this article! You are 100% on the mark. TheWriterChick75 says "putting all there eggs in one basket". Any revenue sharing website can simply pull the plug, disappear or change the payout. Amazon has done it to many of their associates and the pay per click publisher networks can do it too. Here one day and gone the next.

I will share that I have not felt the financial security I feel now in my life and it's all due to finding opportunities online. Using revenue sharing website platforms to write led me to expand, grow and not to put all my eggs in one basket.

Weekly I work on my growing websites and blogs and write at many revenue sharing websites. There are times I feel as if I'm spreading myself thin but then I've said to myself, don't put all your eggs in one basket Michelle. Opportunities are available on the web but if one fails or goes South I have many other avenues to keep me afloat.

I'm sure this article will help many see the real light not just the light they hope to see.
Nov 2, 2011 6:16pm
Hmm honestly I have taken into account different sites, and now (HOPEFULLY) algo changes in search engines... but not getting kicked out of Adsense. I HONESTLY DUNNO WHAT I WOULD DO! I mean I know there are CPA and other things which I have done with limited success but.. Adsense is so much more free.
Nov 2, 2011 7:29pm
I totally agree, and I think it is realistic not controversial. I wrote a paragraph on this a few weeks ago when writing my earnings article, I figure any money I earn from home is a bonus! I used to sell on Ebay but their cut got larger and larger, it really made a difference. Websites can change their policies anytime, you are right, better to own your own sites. Well said. Voted up
Nov 2, 2011 8:56pm
This article is spot on! Like skeffling, I used to sell on Ebay, but lost interest when they became "Feebay". I thought that would be my SAHM job, not writing online! In the new year, my own websites will be my focus, because I need to diversify more than I already do. What people should do is take their earnings, save and invest!
Nov 2, 2011 8:56pm
Excellent topic and advice. Everything changes in business and on the net, sometimes when you least expect, it happens. If you want to continue earning, always have several sources (or more), and invest wisely, rather than expend the income. No one really anticipated the eHow gravy train was going away so soon...so it pays to be prepared.
Nov 3, 2011 1:52am
Dedinitely a reality check but hey here is another possiblity to consider. The revenue share sites stay up and incease in populaity and your income from them remains stable
Nov 3, 2011 12:07pm
Thanks for the reality check... I have only begun to see some clicks AND I know the content's not 'evergreen' so I already feel it's a short-term effort. I want to write for a longer timeframe, but sites and policies do change. It's pretty scary. I feel empowered by what I've learned here since the summer to make a good try making money ONLINE another way if I had to.... Thanks... My 'Wealth Trickle Plan" all along has been to earn passive online and buy more dividend paying stocks for the long-term....
Nov 3, 2011 12:53pm
I agree that you shouldn't rely solely on revenue sharing income for your retirement. However, if you start to save most of what you earn and invest it properly, it can definitely accelerate your move toward a stable retirement.

Earning just a couple thousand dollars per year in extra online income is enough for anyone to start an IRA or up their contributions to an account. It's critical to work on several streams of online income too, rather than putting all of your income in one basket. Just like investing, to be sure.
Nov 3, 2011 1:17pm
"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."

I think it also depends on your expectations. Everyone starts out small, earning pennies. The biggest error in thinking a lot of people make is expecting immediate earnings. In reality, making money online is NOT AS EASY as it sounds. Success takes more than writing skills.

The internet is ever evolving. Uncertainties live in every career. Unfortunately, changes like Google Panda were necessary, in part, because people try to cheat the system.

I don't have a 10 or 20 year plan, but I do have a 1-2 year plan that gets revised as I go. I stumbled onto this whole thing on sheer accident. I've saved a nice chunk of money and learned a lot.
Nov 3, 2011 1:30pm
I think people here at IB are more realistic and approach this more of as a business than the target audience for the article ;)

Investing is good. Learning a new craft is good. Making money from revenue share is definitely possible. Buying a home with your online revenue is awesome (Yes, I am looking at Mr. $2000 per month).

Believing that your 2011 articles will generate income for you from 2031 to 2061 without you moving a finger, as it's implied in some revenue share sites telling writers to "build a portfolio and forget" is naive.

It's just like when programmers were offered "equity" on dotcoms, in exchange for a measly salary. Remember the 2000s bubble? Yes, some became Google but most of them found out they had worked a lot for barely nothing.
Nov 3, 2011 2:09pm
"Believing that your 2011 articles will generate income for you from 2031 to 2061 without you moving a finger, as it's implied in some revenue share sites telling writers to "build a portfolio and forget" is naive."

Are people really saying this though??? I think JP and a few others have the right idea. Let's be real, the stock market isn't even as stable as it was 30-40 years ago. As someone wrote up thread nothing is guaranteed. I've never read anyone say not even on ehow when ALOT of people were making 600-2000 a month that ehow was going to be around in 2065. I always read counter stuff on the threads..people worried ALOT.

Ehow was around as a rev share site for what 5-8 years. In internet speak, thats a nice run. And it got tons of people talking about building their own sites etc. Now I'm hearing more evolution, alot of people don't even like to fully rely on Google. They're directly at social online relationships. In the end all of those answers/positions are right.

More realistic than ehow as a rev share site surviving my kid's kid's, is that it would be around 5 -8 years (buyout is a plus ALWAYS), move to another site(s) 5-8 years, and then another etc.etc...

On top of which retirement to me means death. Do I want to do the 9-5 everyday office grind in 30 years. Nope. Will I be working at something that makes me happy and earns me money AND keeps me active YEP.

Will it mean that I will have been on 10 or 12 inforbarrels and ehows...probably too. LOL but if the past is any indication of the future. I'll take that ..many times over.
Nov 6, 2011 6:46am
Great article, it definitely puts things into perspective and made me think.
Nov 6, 2011 10:08am
Thought provoking touch with reality to balance out all the hype about passive income substituting a day job. Thanks!
Nov 21, 2011 1:37pm
Very informational. I have Tweeted this article for the benefit of my content writer friends there.
Nov 21, 2011 5:00pm
Great article! it is easy to believe that you will make easy money on the internet; however, it is harder than what many people think and even if you are successful for a few months or years it doesn't mean you will be in the long term, as you mentioned in your article, many things are likely to change and affect the earning potential of your articles.
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