Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Financial Status

It's not often I post about the 'richer' part of my goals...but I've had some relative success with my writing lately, if you consider a piddling to be relative:)

I decided that I really needed to put more time and effort into writing articles on The way to earn money on this site is by having writing and rating "stars" - the more stars you have, the more cents you earn. The higher rated your articles are, the more cents you learn. So I have been taking the time to revise some of my lower-rated articles (known on Helium as leapfrogging) and was pleasantly surprised to see most of them then climb up a few notches, in some cases by leaps and bounds.

In addition, Helium now pays you an "upfront" payment each month, calculated by the number of new articles you've written (low-rated or not) and how many writing stars you have. I currently have 2 writing stars (out of a possible 5 or 6) and this month I wrote 7 articles. So, $7. If I were to write 20 articles in a month, I would earn $20 (probably more, since writing that many would up my star level.)

Helium also has a Marketplace section, where publishers list specific titles they need an article for, and then you write for it. You are able to see how your article ranks numerically among the others, although you can't read the other submissions like you can with regular Helium articles. The publisher then picks an article to purchase. This month I sold an article written about how to take care of pregnant dogs. It sold for $24.

The final way to earn money at Helium is to participate in the writing contests. Every two weeks there are topics, and within each topic, 20 titles. For each title you write to, you earn or lose points based on how well your article is ranking. The contests can be lucrative, with first prize for each topic being $60. This month, one of the topics was Babysitting (think: "How to Hire a Babysitter" or "Leaving Your Child with Their First Babysitter). I wrote to about 8 of the titles, and 6 of my 8 articles were ranked number 1. Meaning, I was winning the contest!! I have since been booted to 2nd place (grrrrr) and the door for writing is closed, but there is still one more week of rating left. So its possible I could move back to first or down to third (or lower.) Still, it's a lot of fun and a good way to exercise my writing muscles. If I should win 2nd place, I will win $40. Which would make my total earnings from Helium about $70 for this month. It's not a living by any means, but it's something. Especially when you consider that's from an average of 1 hour of work a day, maybe 15-20 days of the month.