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Writing and Uploading Articles for Triond, Helium and Associated Content

Friday I challenged myself to go through the process with Triond, Helium and Associated Content. Over the weekend I wrote three short articles – less than 1,000 words each – on getting rid of credit card debt and learning to live debt free.

Actually what I did was write the first, then rewrite the original into two additional articles, each original and with slightly different facts, but alike enough so I could do them fairly quickly. I edited them this morning and began the submission process.

Associated Content – I had significant trouble even getting signed up. I don’t know if it was because, at first I was using Google’s browser (Chrome) or what. Monday morning after a couple of tries I was able to reset my password and I think everything will be okay from now on. Once I got logged in, publishing an article is fairly simple. Oh, they want things like no paragraph indents, and single spacing. They also have places for keywords, takeaways and other marketing items. Now that I know they’re there I’ll plan ahead.

I gather there’s some approval process because my account page shows I’ve submitted the article, but that’s all.

Helium – I had no problem registering and logging onto Helium. My problem was it took a long time to figure out how to submit my article. It’s not intuitive. You’ve got to work through their menu of topics and find a pencil icon which, when clicked, will take you to a submission place. Although it may not have honored my numbered points, I’m not sure because after submission I was taken someplace where I need to rate article. I rated the first one, skipped 4 and with 6 skips left, or was it the other way, decided to quit that time waster and see what happened. Double checking the directions on submitting articles I didn’t find any reference to rating others.

When I went back, the article is there and according to my account has already received 32 ratings out of 61. I don’t know how that’s possible given the short time it’s been up, but who really knows. Also, Helium didn’t actually let me pick my own title. Instead, it was derived from the category I chose.

Triond – dirt simple to submit because you can upload directly from your computer. You can also cut and paste. Nice to have the choice. You’re asked for tags or key words and a description of your article, but it’s the easiest submission of the group.

The article is now in my pending file, awaiting approval of some sort.

As you can tell, I haven’t spent a whole lot of time reading the rather extensive instructions and explanations available on each site, and none of the three make it easy to discover exactly how much I can earn. In fact, I have the sense that each site should consult with a couple of actual writer/users so they can make the whole process much more understandable.

I’ll keep you posted.

Also in this series: Checking Up On HeliumAn Offer From Associated ContentWriting and Uploading Articles for Triond, Helium and Associated ContentAnne To Try Triond, Helium and Associated ContentTriond, Associated Content, Helium – One More Time

Recently added: Checking up on Examiner.com

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{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Interesting and helpful review and comments. Of these three I have only used Associated Content – and I have been using them off and on for a couple of years.

    I notice you report having trouble on AC with Google Chrome. I use Chrome a lot these days and actually had trouble uploading images for a slide show on AC tonight. I logged back in using Firefox and everything worked fine again. So apparently most of AC works with Chrome but there are a few areas that don’t play well together.

    I believe AC requires approval for articles if you have not had at least three published previously. That’s probably why your article did not publish right away since it was a new account.

    Robert Witham’s last blog post..Rocky Bowl Chili – Nature’s Best

  • Yes, good idea!

  • admin

    Thanks for the clarification… maybe you can figure out how to get this in a table so it’s easier to figure out for newbies.

  • Hi Anne, some stuff jumbled here — sorry for adding confusion.

    1. Marketplace: Paid gigs for set amounts for exclusive use by our publishers who purchase it. If your article is selected you earn the full amount and your article is taken off Helium. If you are not selected you earn a kill fee and your article transitions to the site and begins earning ad revenue share if you maintain one rating star (only takes 10 minutes a week for most). You earn on page views relative to the ad revenue value of a given page on the site. Advertisers pay higher for topics in science, health, finance, business, computers and technology than softer, feature articles. But all earn ad revenue share.

    2. The rest of the site is for non-exclusive content. That means you can republished previously published non-exclusive on Helium or republish your Helium articles in other non-exclusive venues.

    > Except for creative writing all articles earn ad revenue share.
    > 20 of the 24 channels qualify for upfront payments too. We try to encourage informative rather than mere opinion-based writing. The upfront payment rate increases as you contribute more high quality articles to the site.
    > From those non-exclusive articles one may be picked up by a publisher for one time use, and you get an extra approximately $20 in your account.

    > 10 or more contests (more seasonally plus paid creative writing contests) run every week. You can earn $75 for each one you win, with other prize money for top winners. These articles written to contests also become part of our regular content, can earn ad revenue and may get selected for occasional stock content.

    > Journalism prizes also are based on titles (submitted by our partners) to the regular site. If you are selected you still stay featured and earn on Helium, but you get added exposure, awards and sometimes you can earn as much as $125 for a selected article.

    You can predict how much you earn for informative articles you contribute. The upfront payments and kill fees are set amounts. On top of that you can earn extra depending on the options above. Our top earner on just upfront payments alone pulled in $700 in December. Ad revenue comes in addition to that base pay for articles. And our ad rates are soaring right now.

    Does this help clarify?


  • admin

    Barbara, thank… let me double check my understanding about how to earn there:

    1) Market Place, where publishers ask for specific content by
    title and by amount to be paid if the writer satisfies their needs.

    2) General Writing 1 – (i’m making this one up because I don’t understand) write what you want and you may receive upfront pages. If your article rises to the top, you’ll be paid on the basis of page views – revenue share. Unpredictable amount, but you can track your earnings in your account.

    3) If your non-Market Place article is picked up by a publisher you’ll receive an extra $20.

    4) We offer many contests some with a payout as high as $75 to the winner.

    5) We also offer some exclusive partnership arrangements with publishers. Writers who win in this category may earn as much as $125. (how is this different than a contest, except for the pay?)


  • Terrific Peter — I look forward to hearing from you!


  • Hello Miss Whitlock,

    Your post is very informative, ma’am. Thank!

    I may explore Helium once more!

    Peter Allan Mariano

    peter allan mariano’s last blog post..Counting Valentines Roses

  • I’d hire you in a second, Anne, but I don’t have budget line options:). We are coming out with some better ways to help members. Our User Guide really does take you step-by-step on Helium. You can find the link to it on the bottom of every site page (and the folks who create this want it in a main menu link-again).

    Here’s the section about rating: http://www.helium.com/user-guide/how-to-rate-articles

    Here’s the section that guides you through navigating Helium: http://www.helium.com/user-guide/navigating-helium

    Helium does seem complex because, unlike other writing sites, we have many different ways to earn (5 actually):

    (#1 )Our Freelance Writers’ Marketplace features gigs for titles submitted by our 100s of newspaper, magazine and web publishing partners. We do all the haggling and contracts with publishers, so our writers can write and earn more. Some professional writers just check back on the new titles posted daily, and concentrate earning efforts there.

    Most writers explore and participate more broadly — for more earning sources and more publishing freedom. (#2) Contributing non-exclusive articles to the tens of thousands of titles (or suggesting new ones to add) enables writers to write what they want, without editorial interference or waiting periods . What you publish gets on the site immediately. You don’t wait for an editor’s whim to give you a chance. At Helium everyone has open opportunity, but not all success. The best rise to the top, get recognizes, featured and earn more. Others move to less competitive writing venues. All informative articles earn upfront payments plus ad revenue share. Your upfront payment rates increase as you contribute more high quality articles on the site. And our ad rates are soaring.

    (#3) Your non-exclusive content may be picked up for one-time use by another publisher (with byline credit), and you get an extra $20 in your earnings, plus further exposure and links back to your Helium page.

    (#4) Many members enjoy the thrill and challenge of our weekly contests. We have 10-11 running every week, with others added in different seasons. You may participate in as many as you have time for, and pocket $75 as top winner (with increments for other winners) in each of them.

    (#5) Helium has some exciting exclusive partnerships with journalism outlets who honor, give byline credit, provide further exposure and some pay our writers $125 for winning articles. We have exclusive relationships with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, Center for Responsive Politics, Sunshine Week, One World and others. Helium is the only site where our successful members can apply for National Press Club membership as citizen journalists.

    So, the many different (and complementary) earning opportunities do create more challenges for how we guide our members.

    Helium adds to that a bigger promise , something you won’t find on any other site: We promise not only hassle-free open publishing (and earning) opportunities, but we promise that our fair and systematic rating process will help promote your articles for higher page views on the web. We’ve got a page rank of 7, which puts us on a path to breeze past many other 10+ year writing sites.

    I have some easy “first step” documents I share with our members too (bwhitlock@helium.com). We have a Quick Start menu too, with handy video explanations as well: http://www.helium.com/quickstart

    OK, so I get pretty excited about Helium. It may sound like marketing jibber, but I’m a writer too. I feel passionate about all we are doing to expand opportunities for writers. I hope I haven’t spilled out too much passion in my post.

    I’m enjoying this discussion very much!


  • admin

    Veronica… I won’t get there until tomorrow to check… today is simply nuts.

    Peter, I suspect you’ll always do better finding your own clients. I sure do.

    Barbara, can you point me to the url where this rating thing and the need to do it is posted? Or would you hire me to set up some instructions for people new to your site? 😉 It’s not intuitive by any stretch of imagination and explanations are missing… or at least simple easy to follow ones are.

  • PS – Anne

    I took a quick peek at your article. It is now ranked 7 out of 62!!!

    I forgot to mention that when rating the author is hidden from the viewer so the rate is based on merit.

  • Hi Anne,

    Delighted to have you join Helium and have you share direct information with the writers who follow you. Your feedback is also valuable to us.

    The easiest way to find an article to write to is to click the “write” button on the main menu. You’ll see the “title-finder” tool, so you can search by a specific topic to find quickly a title which fits.

    If you don’t find a title that fits you can use the “suggest a title” tool on that same page. Usually our editors process new title suggestions within 24 hours.

    While publishing at Helium is quick, the process of sorting quality takes some time. Helium does more than just warehouse a writer’s article: Our members assess, rank and position your article best for web searches. Higher quality ranks higher and earns more.

    Your new article entered at the 50% mark in the title group, triggering a fresh round of ratings for that entire title group. Within a few days you should see where our writing community places your article among those with which it competes for prominent feature. I’ll bet you rise quickly in rank.

    I’d love any other feedback, and to offer any help to you or other inquirers: bwhitlock@helium.com.


  • Hello Guys,

    During the early days when I was just starting out on freelance writing, I signed up for all these article submission sites, but after performing careful investigation, just like what Allena did, showed me that you really need to be a “veteran” of some sort to really earn from these sites. Newbies have no chances at all. I am an engineer and a technical guy so I got qualified for freelance marketplaces like oDesk, Elance, Prospect Solution, Essay Writers, etc. They do offer higher pays per article, but then again you have to bid and compete with all the other “veterans” in the sites. As a newbie, you definitely have a very slim chance of landing a job.

    So I tried contacting clients directly, including those in job postings like what Anne is religiously doing for us, and I finally landed some jobs. I believe this is the best way to go if you are a freelancer.

    Article submission for me is great for making your online presence felt, since you retain copyright and your signature is what readers see. I did a lot of ghostwriting, and I still do, but the pay is good and sustaining so I don’t mind it at all (although I do feel bad sometimes when I see my some of my best works posted in some site with a name other than my own as the “author” of the work.)

    Enough of my ranting! Thanks to all!

    Peter Allan Mariano

  • Hi Anne,

    The purpose of rating is to place the other writers in order of ability and is the one stipulation on Helium in order to earn shared revenue. Everyone must participate in this way as a group effort.

    It takes several days to fall into place. You did not have 32 rates but were placed in a position of 32 out of 61 articles. Right in the middle as all new articles are placed when submitted. Your article can move up by the co-op effort of others reading, rating and deciding if it is better against another. This process takes about 2 weeks for your article to fall into a higher category.

    It is just one of those places where you must read the guidelines.

    Many people come in with the expectation of earning right away with just one article. I have been submitting to them when I am not engaged in a gig on and off for over a year.

    It took me a while to learn the ropes. Even though I may not be posting an article, I do try to sign in each day and rate for at least 10 minutes. If I find potential in another writers article but a typo or something incorrect, I will contact them as such. Rating pays off for me because I obtain residuals every month for doing so by earning Helium stars. The more stars the more revenue and now I have to deal with a 1099 from Helium for last year.

    Hope this explains it. I know with all the new techie stuff (like twitter), it is a whole new world out there form old fashion print.

  • admin

    Star, you shouldn’t have to be techie to use these sites imo

    Allena, love it!

  • Allena

    I had a woman write me at about.com regarding how her income was passive and earned her 20 a month with “no effort” on her part. When I questioned how may articles, she said she had a total of 73 up! She said “oh but I put those up last year” . I asked her how long it took her to put them up. “I don’t know- I did it over the course of the year.” I asked what they earned last year. “Nothing, they just really took off this year, I had to work on people rating them.”

    So her no effort became a year of effort and some time “marketing” them so people would “rate” them.

    When i pointed out that 20 a month “passively” was $3 and article, and places like Demand Studios pay 5x that, she never wrote me back.

  • I went round and round with Helium–for some reason, even though I had read things, I wanted to try it…Finally took myself off. I have a real live person to email with and she was walking me through, but I didn’t get the badges stuff, didn’t know what I could earn, didn’t know what rating things and being rated meant….ack, finally left. In their defense, I can only say I am not very technical. I am sure someone will write in and say they make $1000 a hour in a slow week.

  • I’m watching your experience with enormous interest. Thank you for sharing.

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