Saturday, October 2, 2010

2 Big Reasons Why Your Articles Should Be Display Only on Associated Content

A Protoss warrior, as displayed in StarCraft II.Image via Wikipedia
If you treat writing for Associated Content like a second job, granting AC either exclusive or non-exclusive rights to your articles may seem enticing. After all, even if you make a couple of bucks off it, you're that much richer, right? However, there are a few reasons why you might want to consider passing this opportunity up.

1. You can't change articles after publication: The first question that would come to most authors' minds when I say this is, "Why would you want to change your article after publication?" My answer would be that it depends entirely on the type of article you're writing. However, there are some notable exceptions. For example, one of the things that I like to do for my Associated Content articles is to write a series of articles about a particular topic. For example, I have been playing the new Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty game for a few weeks now, and I really like it. With over 4 million copies sold so far in 2010, I'm guessing that other people like it as well. Here is a scenario that I've had happen with other articles where not being able to change an article after publication sucks. Lets say that I write ten articles about Starcraft 2 for AC. Out of those, lets say that the first article I pulish (a general overview or something) starts receiving a huge number of hits per day. From my end, what would happen if I wanted to go back and link all of my other articles (which are under performing) to that first article? Depending on how many hits per day I'm getting on the main article, I could be losing dozens or even hundreds of hits per day for my secondary articles because AC doesn't let authors edit exclusive and non-exclusive rights articles.

Even if I'm not interested in linking other articles to my earlier articles, there might come a point when I want to update the information in the first article so that it is more relevant to readers at a future date. For example, a well established article about wireless services could continue to be relevant for years (and continue to generate hits) if I update the article every so often -- all without the time investment of writing a new article.

2. You can't remove articles: This is a subtle point that is more difficult to explain. Again, taking the example of a series of Star Craft 2 articles, lets say that I write a series of 50 articles about Starcraft 2. Lets also say that I put a lot of effort into these articles, so much so that they start generating massive hits -- maybe 5,000 per day. "Well, great," you would probably say, "that means 10 dollars per day from these article for me alone." If the only place you publish is to AC, I would say that your reasoning is correct. However, lets say that you wanted to start a Starcraft blog. 50 articles of this caliber, in a profitable niche like Starcraft 2, could potentially generate a very high click through rate for ads on a blog -- making two bucks per thousand impressions seem like peanuts in comparison (I would say as high as 20 dollars per 1000 is not unreasonable in situations like this). It's too bad you can't revoke AC's rights to the article, isn't it?

For most people, accepting upfront payments for your articles on Associated Content is probably the way to go. However, I have outlined a couple of situations where accepting upfront payments may not be in your best interest.
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