After nearly a decade, freelance resource Yahoo! Voices is shutting down.
One of the freelance resources that I have long recommended to aspiring online writers is Yahoo! Voices (formerly Associated Content). The great thing about Yahoo! Voices is that you can use it to make money immediately, and that residual income comes in as well, based on pageviews.
However, Yahoo! Voices is shutting down. Recently, I received this email from Yahoo! Voices:
It's true that it's been years since I've written anything for Yahoo! Voices. However, I'm sad to see the site shut down. I joined early on, when the site was known as Associated Content and new and fresh. This was the freelance resource that provided me with my first “big break” in the world of professional blogging.
What made Associated Content unique was that you could submit pieces for review and receive up front payment for them (or publish them immediately and just rely on traffic for revenue). Not only could you be paid up front, but residual income was part of the deal. In fact, even though I haven't written anything for the site in years, I still receive a monthly payment because of the pageviews. Of course, that comes to an end with August's payment.
Even after Yahoo! bought Associated Content, the site continued to provide me with revenue. I even wrote a few pieces for the site after Yahoo! took over. It was the ultimate freelance resource for the writer who really wanted to get paid while trying make it work.
Even though I was sometimes ashamed of the time I spent on a content farm, I have to acknowledge that Associated Content/Yahoo! Voices played a huge role in my success. This site assured that I could always make rent — because I could write as much or as little as I wanted.
It's also been my safety net. I've long said that, in a severe freelance emergency, I could always fall back on writing for Yahoo! Voices to shore up my income. That option is about to disappear — and I feel a little less safe as a result.
Rely More on Your Own Blog
Yahoo! Voices was the last freelance resource of its kind, as far as I can tell. What other site out there, content farm or no, will pay you for a post and then let you earn revenue based on traffic to boot? There aren't many. While it's a deal I've struck with other sites in the past (I'll accept a lower fee if I can get a traffic bonus or a share of the ad revenue), it's not really something you see when you go write for most content sites with low barriers to entry.
This means that it's time to rely more on my own blog. Indeed, the fall of Yahoo! Voices means that monetizing your own blog makes more sense than ever.
I often used Yahoo! Voices as a way to make a quick buck, and then reap the residual benefits over time. It's not a bad way to go, since you know you'll get paid. Without this freelance resource, though, it makes more sense to focus on your own blog.
Build up your freelance portfolio by posting more on your blog, and promoting what you write. With Yahoo! Voices gone, the main competitors are sites like HubPages and Squidoo. Sure, you can submit what you want and earn for traffic/ad revenue. But you're still building up someone else's site. If you're going to scrounge around for a few bucks a month, you might as well do it while building up your own brand and site.
Of course, the main advantage to participating in these big content sites is the fact that you have the chance to benefit from random clicking around on a site that sometimes occurs. Someone who ends up on HubPages or Squidoo reading something someone else wrote could end up on a story you wrote, and it could benefit you.
However, you need to weigh that possibility against the reality that you are providing content for another site, and there is a possibility that you aren't going to earn very much. On top of that, you might not feel good about sending a potential client to a content farm to see your samples.
Yahoo! Voices provided a measure of somewhat reasonable (if still not very good) compensation up front for high quality pieces submitted to the site. As a struggling freelancer, that's important, since at the early stages you probably need money if you're really going to make it work.
That's gone now, and that means some online writers will need to change their game plans.