“It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?” ~ Charles.
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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 for free online, craigslist killed classified revenue, and most websites can’t afford to pay editors or writers because readers don’t pay to read and advertisers don’t advertise and classifieds don’t exist and…
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 my “paygate”, innovate means of refueling journalism in a new media context—enables passionate elephant subscibers to make it possible. Despite the fact that we make very little off of ads—about 1/50th 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
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 17.7 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.
Payment: Rule Changes this month following talks with Janne will be better for everyone! Plus, next month, the Eocsystem launches!
…which will enable writers to “tip” articles and authors they like, the money goes into a pool, the pool is disbursed to top writers at the end of the week. Instead of getting paid 10%, as with book publishers, or measly amounts writing for magazines, writers will get paid clear amounts each month. But that’s next month! This month, I’m paying much more than last few months since the last rule change (which was asked for by a writer for good reasons, but didn’t work out well for some writers):
> Everyone who writes and shares five or more blogs (with quality sufficient that our editors accept) in the month gets a year-long gift subscription for that month to use or give to a loved one, and the most popular among you qualify for the most popular writers bonus below:
Most Popular Writers.
Our 15 top writers get paid a bonus (see below). I’ll be able to pay 20 top writers, and up, as elephant makes more money.
To qualify for one of our 15 monthly bonuses, fulfill three criteria:
1) consistency: six 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 and they won’t count. Turnaround is a week, often.
2) quality: not only do you blog consistently, but they are of sufficient quality and merit that we accept them and share them up. If they are quality, your community on your FB, Pinterest, Instagram etc will respond and support with likes, reads, shares.
3) popularity: reaching beyond the choir to all those who don’t yet know they give a care about “the mindful life” is a part of our mission.
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. I promise.
> If our team of writers helps elephant grow as a site,
elephant’s #1 writer for the month garners $2,000!
#2 and #3 writers get $1000, and
#4 and #5 receive $500 each,
#6 and #7 win $250 each,
and #8 – #15 earn $108 each.
> If elephant doesn’t grow as a whole (the team player incentive),
Everyone gets the above minus $108 (the bottom tier gets gift subscriptions to give away).
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.
Daniel Scharpenburg: 5 articles, 2,863 views for $50
Yoli Ramazzina: 6 articles; 12,043 views for $50
Kimberly Lo: 10 articles; 44,721 views for $108
Hilda Carroll: 8 articles; 27,996 views for $108
Garrick Transell: 5 articles; 34,020 views for $108
Keeley Milne: 7 articles; 53,800 views for $108
Monika Carless: 18 articles; 73,443 views for $108
Alex Sandra Myles: 24 articles; 719,290 views for $1,000
Megan Ridge Morris: 5 articles; 1,718 views for $50
Peter Schaller: 5 articles; 22,474 views for $50
Ruth Lera: 8 articles; 115,729 views for $150!
Khara-Jade Warren: 6 articles; 449,318 views for $750
Janne Robinson: 9 articles; 109,392 views for $108
Crystal Davis: 7 articles; 8,756 views for $50
Sarah Harvey: 14 articles; 105,158 views for $150
Toby Israel: 10 articles; 49,971 views for $108
Kate Rose: 6 articles; 240,586 views for $450
Brenna Fisher: 7 articles; 27,648 views for $50
Stacy Porter: 5 articles; 2,497 views for $50
Kathryn Muyskens: 5 articles; 120,333 views for $150
Carmelene Siani: 15 articles; 42,127 views for $108
Erica Leibrandt: 15 articles, 213,742 views for $250!
Michelle Margaret Fajkus: 6 articles; 14,072 views for $50
Tammy Stone: 5 articles; 11,961 views for $50
Photo: Carl Mikoy/Flickr