February 3, 2015

Write for elephant, Get Paid. (January’s best Writers!)


Want to write for elephant? Click here.

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 for free online, craigslist killed classified revenue, and most websites can’t afford to pay writers.

This is serious stuff because it reduces quality original information for you and me.

Journalism is meant to serve as the fourth estate—the watch dog of government, and our corporations. A check on power and a beacon of honesty and transparency on behalf of we, the people.

As a lifelong writer, I believe in paying writers for quality work, and elephant subscribers make it possible. Despite the fact that we make very little off of ads—about 1/35th other sites our size—I voluntarily pay the equivalent of several staff salaries a month to writers who are consistent, quality and popular.

Our system, detailed below, 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, & sharing tips.

Elephant Journal’s Writer Payment Plan:

Our incentives will reward writers who are

1) popular,
2) consistent
3) and quality

and not just one of the three.

Secondly, we pay team players: there’s direct financial incentive to support one another with advice, likes, tweets, comments and shares.

We measure total elephant readership numbers (we’ve reached 17.3 million sessions/month) through Google Analytics, not individual numbers through WordPress (WP numbers can be fuzzy) to ensure that our incentive payment system rewards both group effort and individual achievement. Writers are directly incentivized to support one another with comments, shares, tweets and likes, shares to reddit, stumbleupon.


If elephant grows at least 10 percent: 

Everyone who writes and shares five or more blogs (with quality sufficient that our editors accept) in the month gets paid $50. The most popular among you will qualify for the bigger most popular writers bonus below, instead.

If elephant doesn’t grow at least 10 percent:

> Everyone who submits five or more blogs in that month gets a year-long gift subscription for that month to use or give to a loved one, and the most popular among you may qualify for the most popular writers bonus below, instead.

Most Popular Writers.

Additionally, I’d like to reward our 15 top writers beyond the above-mentioned unlimited incentive of $50 or gift subscription for all writers. I’ll be able to pay 15 popular writers, etc., as elephant makes more money.

To qualify for one of our 15 monthly bonuses, fulfill three criteria:

1) consistency: 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,

2) quality: not only do you blog consistently, but they are of sufficient quality and merit that we share them up.

3) popularity: reach beyond the choir to keep individual incentives alive.

I’ll pay the top 15 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. No excuses, no exceptions.

If we grow,
#1 writer gets $1,000 for that month,
#2 and #3 get $450, and
#4 – #15 get $108 each.

If elephant doesn’t grow,
#1 gets $250,
#2 and #3 get $108, and
#4 – #15 get two free subscriptions for themselves or a loved one.

If you think you may qualify for a payment or bonus this month, you must submit your total WordPress view count (with links to the articles) for that month (as in the past) by noon of the last day of said month. Be on time or early: no exceptions.

PS: no exceptions.

In January, we paid our writers a total of $4,014! Here are the winners:


andy charrington thumb incentives   Andy Charrington: 9 articles, 251,551 views for $500


Kimberly Lo-1812




Kimberly Lo: 10 articles, 89,361 views for $108





: 6 articles, 131,445 views for $150



ruth lera thumb




Ruth Lera: 6 articles, 45,645 views for $108


Hilda Carroll Incentives Thumb   Hilda Carroll: 9 articles, 22,228 views for $108


Keeley-Milne incentives thumb




Keeley Milne: 5 articles, 191,718 views for $250


megan ridge morris incentives thumbnail




Megan Ridge Morris: 5 articles, 9,601 views for $50


alexsandramyles-100100 incentives    Alex Sandra Myles: 30 articles, 262,129 views for $500


Peter Schaller    Peter Schaller: 5 articles, 14,013 views for $108


Janne Robinson




Janne Robinson: 12 articles, 283,250 views for $1,000


Jes Wright-1993




Jes Wright: 7 articles, 9,478 views for $50


damien   Damien Bohler: 5 articles, 28,785 views for $108


Sarah Harvey thumbnail incentives pic




 Sarah Harvey: 11 articles, 175,055 views for $250


toby isreal thumbnail incentives    Toby Israel: 10 articles, 30,111 views for $108


Stacy-Porter-100100 incentives    Stacy Porter: 7 articles, 5,599 views for $50


Kathryn Muyskens Author pic1




Kathryn Muyskens: 5 articles, 8,240 views for $50


rachel astarte thumb 100x100




Rachel Astarte Piccione: 8 articles, 163,683 views for $250


Michelle Fajkus-1607




Michelle Margaret Fajkus: 8 articles, 5,670 views for $50


tammy stone




Tammy Stone: 8 articles, 24,104 views for $108


Daniel Scharpenburg




Daniel Scharpenburg: 5 articles, 16,328 views for $108




Photo: Chase Elliott Clark/Flickr


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