In the article Make a Living Writing for Associated Content the author lists all the ways content producers can “make a living” writing for Associated Content. While the article is certainly inspirational, encouraging and positive, there are some factors and details the author did not address.
This article is simply meant to shed light on how it is more difficult for people with more responsibilities to make as much money on AC as someone living the life of a student.
The introduction mentions that some content producers have posted in the forums that it is “impossible” to make a living on AC. Associated Content is indeed a place where writers can make money, get paid very quickly, and get paid for writing on almost any topic (except for humor and opinion). However, the point some have tried to make is simply that compared to writing for print sources and some online sources, especially magazines, AC does not pay even close to the going article rate.
This does not mean that they don’t like AC. This does not mean they will stop writing for AC. It simply means that is takes more time to make money from AC than it does from other sources. This is what makes it difficult for people with limited time to actually make a living at AC. The quantity of articles written needs to be very high in order to make the same money one could make from an article published elsewhere. Of course, it is easier to get published on AC, and the pay schedule is faster than any other writing venue anywhere.
What It Means to “Make a Living”
The one confusing aspect of this article is that the author states she is able to make a living, which she defines as paying her bills. She is also a student. In most circles, “making a living” means being able to be completely financially independent.
For a student, making a living would mean paying all of bills including tuition, college fees, textbooks, rent or dorm fees, plus transportation costs including car insurance, plus utility bills, health care costs, grocery bills, and any other incidentals.
For most people, it may not be possible to make enough money from AC to pay rent or mortgage, renter’s or home insurance, a car payment, cost of public transportation, cost of parking, cost of tolls, the cable bill, telephone bill, cell phone, bill, Internet service, food, home heating costs, hot water heating costs, snow removal costs, garbage removal, grocery bills, health insurance, clothing, toiletries, plus all the additional costs associated with raising children.
All About Content
1. Promotions: Yes, it is true that content producers should always take advantage of the content promotions. As to only spending half and hour on each one, that depends on the writer. If an article is too general and has no details or substance, it may not be specific enough the the average Internet reader.
2. Wanted Content: Writing articles for the wanted content list does result in decent offers from AC.
3. Write What you Know: Writing what you know and love is a great way to produce more content in less time. Write what you know does not always match up with promotions and wanted content. If you want to write promotions and wanted content articles on subjects you do not know that well, it will take more time (#4).
4. Time: Eight hours a day devoted to Associated Content, is a noble dream. For some of us, typing in five minute intervals between taking care of a family is the best we can manage. Yes, I can usually sneak in another couple of hours after everyone goes to bed, and I have been up until 2 am writing for AC. For writers without family responsibilities, finding 8 hours may seem like a breeze, for the parents, it’s a bit more difficult, because our “real” jobs are 12-16 hours a day, and we do need to sleep some time. Plus, there are those middle-of-the night duties for the infant and waking baby. For example, in the midst of writing this article I made breakfast, changed a diaper, cleaned up after breakfast, changed another diaper….
Also, it may take half an hour for some to write an article, but it take a little more time to fill out the takeaways, interesting facts, resources, and locating a photo. Filliing out all of the fields will increase the amount offered for the article.
5. Keywords: Keywords are absolutely essential to increasing offer amounts and raising page views. However, even keywording won’t take a $7 article up to $15.
The Freelancers Dirty Word: Taxes
The article makes no mention of that dirty little word all independent contractor’s hate: taxes. If you make under $600 for the year, you will not receive a 1099 and do not have to worry about taxes. However, nobody can live on $600 a year.
Personally, I think we are producing a product and are selling it to AC. Unfortunately, the government and AC consider us “independent contractors” and for those of us making more than $600 a year, which you need to do to truly make a living for AC, we will have to pay taxes.
The problem is that the taxes are not regular employment taxes. When you have an employer, your employer pays half of your social security tax and you pay the other half, in addition to federal tax, and in most states, state tax, and in some places, local tax.
While it is not impossible to “make a living” on Associated Content, it is not realistic for many content producers. Associated Content, is, however, a great place to make a supplemental income.