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!
Want to write on Elephant? Don’t want to read the below? Click here to begin.
Update: we are sweetening the pot, value-wise, significantly—adding gifts from our mindful sponsors to winning writers.
Last month’s update: the Ecosystem, which will enable readers to pay into a pool from which we pay writers, is nearly here. Here’s what your Ecosystem Rating looks like:
(Click the above image to see the new design, if so inspired).
When you click the rating, this opens up:
Write for Elephant, change the world, get rich! 1. Be Consistent. 2. Share with many Readers.
Each month we pay our consistent, most-read
15 writers. Elephant was one of the first major sites to pay some writers, and one of the first sites to come up with a “paygate”—a metered subscription for readers (we did this before the NY Times launched their ground-breaking one).
A top writer is defined as:
3) and quality
…not just one of the three.
Secondly, we pay team players: those who support one another with advice, likes, tweets, comments, and shares. Healthy competition is welcome, but collegiality is welcome too. We help one another out, we all rise (you get paid far less if Elephant shrinks—see below).
Here’s how you get paid.
First, bonuses. If your article…
…was an editor’s pick, tell us & we’ll “add” 10,000 views to the final value that we use to qualify. We will not add actual views—those you earn.
…was on a desired topic, tell us which one & we’ll add 10,000 “views” if we agree 108 percent. If it’s on the edge, spare us the time:
green, non-partisan politics, meditation, yoga, equal rights, animal rights, recipes, environment, adventure, gentlemen are subjects/issues we don’t have enough of and want more of.
….has 15+ real comments (on the blog itself—your own are appreciated and can spark further comments, but aren’t themselves included), tell us & we’ll add 10,000 “views.”
We measure all readership numbers (3.7 million readers/month) through Google Analytics.
To qualify for one of our monthly bonus, fulfill three criteria:
1) Consistency: eight or more blogs a 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 from receipt of your submission to posting will be a few days or more, unless labeled “timely” in the submit form. We are overwhelmed as it is—do not procrastinate.
2) Quality: you blog consistently, and your blogs are of sufficient merit that our editors accept them and are inspired share them up. You are always welcome to push for your article to be named an Editor’s Pick or Today Only—but we may not do so. We do not owe you any help in this regard.
3) Popularity: this is the main one you have power over. Share via email, newsletter, facebook page, twitter, DMs on Google or Facebook, Instagram story swipe up, instagram bio, instagram caption. Treat your article like a genuine, non-pushy campaign to connect with your community—much like a mini-Kickstarter.
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. We don’t look down on clicks or views: they represent readers, and communicating with readers is our reason for being.
We pay the top
15 most popular folks who submit their list of articles and view counts by noon MST on the last day of the month—a little early is fine. If you submit your view count even one hour late…~
If our team of writers helps Elephant grow in any given month,
> Elephant’s #1 writer for the month wins $1,080.
If the #1 writer gets more than 2,000,000 readers (views), dingdingdingding…a bonus of $500!
> #2 – #9 win a free gift subscription to give to a friend or family
> If Elephant doesn’t grow in any given month,
> Elephant’s #1 writer for the month wins $500
> #2 – #9 win a free gift subscription to give to a friend or family
New: our mindful sponsors have put together mindful gift packages for you, our mindful authors! Each package has a value of ~$200, which we’re happy to pass on to our best, most popular, and consistent authors.
“Shambhala Publications is dedicated to creating books, audio, and immersive courses aimed at improving lives—in ways big and small—in the hope of contributing to the development of a thoughtful, kindhearted, and contemplative society. In the words of our first author, Chögyam Trungpa, ‘Enlightened society has to be real and good, honest and genuine.'”
“YogaToday is your personal online yoga studio filmed in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Access classes anytime, anywhere. Start your Practice for Life™ using our high-quality online classes.”
“Backpack Buddha is a small company focused on good karma, fair trade, and eco-friendly original products. Our goal: to create unique mala beads, self guided enlightenment journals, and spiritually conscious tools that truly help people.”
“Chuao Chocolatier (pronounced chew-wow) is the first Venezuelan Chocolatier based in the United States and Southern California’s premier artisan chocolatier. Co-founded in 2002 by Master Chef Michael Antonorsi and his brother Richard, Chuao Chocolatier is on a mission to share joy with the world through deliciously engaging chocolate experiences.”
July’s Winning Writers.
Read them! Emulate them! Learn from them! Share them! Pin their writerly posters on your wall!
One more author received a prize from our sponsors—thanks to her quality, consistency, and popularity in July:
For a grand total of cash and in gifts (not including what we pay elsewhere) and a big, sincere, appreciative thanks to Waylon. ~ Waylon
Via Waylon Lewis: 15 years ago, the public paid for media. Media, in turn, paid writers. And advertisers advertised.
Now, advertisers spend money sponsoring cool videos, most of us expect to read for free online, and Craigslist killed classified revenue…so 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 important because it reduces quality original information—real journalism—for we, the people.
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 writer, trained journalist, and founder of Elephant Journal, I believe in paying writers for quality work—and my “paygate” (“Reinventing journalism in a new media context,” which I created in 2009, before the nytimes.com model was launched), which allows readers to read free then pay optionally, and which has since become the popular meter all over the U.S.—enables most Elephant readers (subscribers) to pay our best writers and editors to do good work for you.
Despite the fact that we make very little off of ads—about 1/50th other sites our size, because we only want to work with mindful advertisers—I pay the equivalent of several staff salaries a month to writers who are consistent, quality and popular.
Note: we get 1,000s of unsolicited submissions, and share our writers up on our huge platforms, and edit your articles. These are valuable, and expensive services. We can’t possibly pay every one of these thousands of authors, given our income. But we can reward those who do the best, are consistent, and share quality to our readers. And that’s what we aim to do here. ~ ed.