One of the disappointments of being an online writer is that occasionally earning are not as good as projected. At the moment, one of the sites that is disappointing me is Helium. Earnings are down for everyone, outside of those who do well in the marketplace and contests, about 90% based on comments on the community forum, which are matching my own earning drop.
(Ok, maybe, it is not everyone, but there is enourgh to be concerned about.)
Helium has been doing their best to soothe concerns about the drop. They point out that Helium is "revenue-sharing" which means that if advertising income is down, writers earnings also will be down when viewed as a whole.
One of the ways that they are trying to help out the writers is to award a bonus to those writers who maintain both a writing and a rating star. Unfortunately, this leaves three quarters of the writers still in the cold; a writing star is earned by having your articles on average rank in the upper quarter of their titles; considering that not everyone can be in the upper quarter, someone will be a loser with that bonus program.
So is this going to cause me to abandon Helium? Probably not. My view of Helium is a long view, and I am treating it as a long term investment. And the articles that are in my speciality, Wicca, pagan and Golden Dawn, are still pulling in money, though at a slower pace than I would like. Those articles, which I would write anyway, are still viable for me to write.
It is only those articles with a short and limited economic life that are no longer worth writing for Helium; fortunately, I have an outlet for them: Associated Content.
To illustrate how low earnings have dropped on Helium, the articles that I have on both Helium and AC are earning more from page views on AC than they are from revenue share on Helium.
So I will probably be focused on writing for Associated Content for general articles, with Helium only getting articles in my speciality until the ecomony improves. It is the only way that I can justify my opportuntiy costs at the moment.