Editor’s note: all instructions below on how to win money while writing are old new! See more info about our new Ecosystem here and check the sidebar of any of Elephant’s pages or articles to see a current list of winners!
Write for elephant, change the world, get rich!*
15 years ago, the public paid for media. Media, in turn, paid writers. And advertisers advertised. Now, advertisers spend money on cool videos, the public expects to read online for free, and so most online media can’t afford to pay writers.
But as a writer myself, I believe in paying writers for quality work, and elephant members (our subscribers) make it possible. Despite the fact that we make very little off of ads—about 1/40th other sites our size—I voluntarily pay the equivalent of three staff salaries each month to writers who are: 1. consistent, 2. quality and 3. popular.
Our system is intended to: 1) establish stable goals for writers every month 2) create a cooperative, team-effort system that encourages writers to support one another
Elephant Journal’s Writer Payment Plan:
Our incentives are founded on 1) popularity, 2) consistency and 3) quality, not just one of the three.
We’re paid as a group for group success, so there’s direct financial incentive to support one another with likes, tweets, comments and shares.
We measure total elephant readership numbers (currently at 8.5 million/month) through Google Analytics, not individual numbers through WordPress (WP numbers can be fuzzy). This has the effect of ensuring that our incentive payment system rewards group effort, as well as individual achievement.
$50 or one annual gift subscription
> Everyone who shares five or more blogs (with quality sufficient that we accept) in the month gets paid $50… If we grow.
> If elephant doesn’t grow at least 10 percent a month, everyone who submits five or more blogs in that month gets a year-long gift subscription for that month to give to a loved one. (Basically, it’s like pooling tips.)
> Writers are directly incentivized to support one another with comments, shares, tweets and likes, shares to reddit, stumbleupon etc.
10 Most Popular Writers
Additionally, I’d like to reward our most 10 most popular bloggers each month. I’ll be able to pay 15, then 20 popular writers, etc, as elephant grows, and makes more money.
To qualify for one of our 10 monthly bonuses, you’ll have to fulfill three criteria:
1) 5 or more quality blogs that we accept and probably are inspired to share up through our social media
2) consistency: as mentioned, five quality blogs, or more, published in the month—note: do not wait to send in blogs toward the end of the month, we may not get them up in time,
3) popularity : reach beyond the choir to keep individual incentive alive.
I’ll pay the top 10 most popular folks who submit view counts by noon MST on the last day of the month—if you submit your view count even one hour late, no payment.
> If we grow, #1 writer gets $1,000 for that month, #2 and #3 get $450, and #4 – #10 get $108
> If elephant doesn’t grow: #1 gets $250, #2 and #3 get $108, and #4 – #10 get a second free gift subscription for a loved one.
If you think you may qualify for our top 10, you must submit your total WordPress viewcount for that month (as in the past) by noon of the last day of said month. Based on the viewcounts from submitted numbers, we’ll determine the top 10 winners. Be on time or early: no exceptions.
Here are June’s Winners:
Janne Robinson: 8 articles; 730,800 views for a bear hug of $500
Michelle Margaret: 9 articles; 154,473 views for a salute of $108
Jennifer White: 14 articles; 145,140 views for a besos of $108
Anna Jorgensen: 8 articles; 76,266 views for a smashing $108
Ashleigh Hitchcock: 8 articles; 32,680 views for a you rock! of $108
Erica Leibrandt: 16 articles; 27,245 views for back flip of $50
Kathryn Muyskens: 8 articles; 26,978 views for a yeeahaw of $50
Rachel Astarte Piccione: 8 articles; 26,560 views for a high five of $50
Tammy Stone: 8 articles; 15,971 views for an oh la la of $50
Yoli Ramazzina: 8 articles; 14,867 views for a deep bow of $50
Cora Ison: 9 articles; 13,357 views for a deep bow of $50
Kim Haas: 8 articles; 10,281 views for a smooch of $50
Ruth Lera: 9 articles; 9,632 views for a gassho of $50
Daniel Scharpenburg: 8 articles; 9,425 views for a Shambhala bow of $50
Brenna Fischer: 8 articles; 6,758 views for a beautiful $50
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Editor: Renée Picard