I have written for Helium and Associated for the past 6 months. On Helium I have 84 articles, but on Associated Content I only have 2 articles. Why so much difference?
Associated Content does not offer competitions to earn $2-$3 per articles. In terms of payment, Associated Content pays $1.50 per thousand views. On this blog I have a click rate of 5% meaning that out of 1000 visitors, around 50 click the ads and are interested in my ads. The average pay per click is determined by a lot of factors, and some of them are quality of your site, traffic you get, etc.
But I manage to get around $0.30-0.45 per click, which adds upto $24 for 80 clicks. This payment is only for this blog, more valuable sites such as Associated Content could get upto $0.80 per click which means you make them $30-$35 and then they return $1.50 for this favour. As you can clearly see, this is a ridiculously high profit margin.
This is one of the biggest online scams I have ever seen, because it is a scam where you get scammed by getting paid the least amount. The amount of writers that get sucked in by these sites is in thousands including me as well for writing two articles which have earned me $0.80 after writing and editing them for a good one hour. Now you might be thinking that it is impossible for you to get 1,000 visitors to your own site, but even if you could get 100 people to visit your site, you would make more than what AC pays you.
Go ahead and look for writers on Associated Content with around 100-300 articles, most of them have total views of around 50k-75k which means they got paid $112.5 for writing 300 articles!
That is less than 50 cents per aricle, and a quality articles takes atleast half an hour to write. I am a writer who has written for both these sites, and in my opinion Helium is far superior to AC.
Now let's talk about the quality required. Generally speaking AC rejects a lot of articles if they don't suit their "advertisement targets", but Helium does not reject articles at all, no matter how poor the quality is. Often they will recommend you to submit another article, but never will they throw your work in the trash and reject it upfront.
AC's upfront payments attracts a lot of articles, but who is eligible for upfront payments? Only U.S. citizens who write tourist guides, travel guides, etc. Even the best writers on the site have earned only a couple thousand dollars for spending hundreds and hundreds of hours writing.
Helium is also not worth writing for if there were no reward-a-thons. But atleast in terms of quality their expectations are less, and also there are publishers who will pay upto $300 per article if they choose to publish your piece.
If anyone wants to argue against me, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Helium Marketplace can earn the top writers a full time job, but never can this be achieved on AC. Helium also lets you post your articles on your blog and if I ever write an aricle on making money at helium, I can simply put the same article here and earn money on two sites from the same piece of article. AC is strictly against this, they will ban your account if they find the article anywhere else, leaving you with $1.5/1000 or $2/1000 impressions if you reach a higher clout level. Imagine this in a physical world. Thousand people came to an exhibition to see your article for which you earned one and a half dollar.
If you want to really showcase your writing, the best place is your own website or become a full time writer for sites such as About.com which genuinely offer good payment. This article should save you atleast twenty hours of writing that you would've done at AC earning 10 cents per hour.
Be smart, be creative and be original. Do something for yourself and stop giving away 90% of your revenue to multi-million dollar sites and write only during competition times, because even Helium doesn't pay as much you deserve.
Don't lose confidence and keep promoting your work through a blog or a website and you will see more earnings than you see on AC accounts. Writers are worth a lot more than what they get paid.