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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 most online media can’t afford to pay writers.
And this is serious stuff. Journalism is meant to serve as the fourth estates—the watch dog of government, and our corporations, a check of power and a beacon of honesty or transparency on behalf of the commonwealth.
And 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 several staff salaries each month to writers who are:
2. quality and
Our system is intended to: 1) establish clear goals for you writers every month and 2) create a cooperative, team-effort system that encourages writers to support one another through commenting, sharing, community.
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 advise, likes, tweets, comments and shares.
We measure total elephant readership numbers (currently at 8.7 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 not just 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.
> Writers are directly incentivized to support one another with comments, shares, tweets and likes, shares to reddit, stumbleupon etc.
10 Most Popular Writers.
I’d like to reward our
10 most popular bloggers each month. This month we’ll pay 15 top writers beyond the above-mentioned unlimited incentive of $50 for all writers. I’ll be able to pay 15, then 20, 30 popular writers, etc, as elephant grows, and makes more money.
To qualify for one of our 10 monthly bonuses, 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 as we may not get them up in time,
3) popularity: reach beyond the choir to keep individual incentives 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 a payment or bonus this month, you must submit your total WordPress view count for that month (as in the past) by noon of the last day of said month. Be on time or early: no exceptions.
Here are August’s Winners:
Michelle Margaret Fajkus: 10 articles, 52,588 views for $108!
Hannah Hilton: 6 articles, 3,779 views for $50!
Saraswati J.: 8 articles, 84,746 views for $450!
Erica Leibrandt: 17 articles, 58,109 views for $108!
Yoli Ramazzina: 12 articles, 12,448 views for $50!
Yaisa Nio: 5 articles, 9,498 views for $50!
Kimberly Lo: 12 articles, 80,470 views for $450!
Lynn Shattuck: 5 articles, 42,112 views for $108!
Megan Ridge Morris: 5 articles, 3,613 views for $50!
Kim Haas: 5 articles, 18,258 views for $108!
Jes Wright: 9 articles, 13,687 views for $50!
Sarah Harvey: 5 articles, 7,027 views for $50!
Brenna Fisher: 6 articles, 1,180 views for $50!
Kathryn Muyskens: 5 articles, 14,369 views for $108!
Michael Mark: 5 articles, 2,990 views for $50 plus a high five.
Tammy Stone: 5 articles, 17,633 views for $108 plus a hug.
Guenevere Neufeld: 5 articles, 9,464 views for $50!
Ruth Lera: 9 articles; 16,223 views for $108!
Janne Robinson: 8 articles; 475,970 views for $1,000! Janne gets carried around the biergarten on our shoulders while we sing songs of olde.
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