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    Are Pay-Per-Click Sites Worth the Effort?

    The Ailment: I've heard quite a lot on the Internet about pay-per-click sites. What are these and are they worth the effort?

    The Cure: Pay-per-click websites such as Themestream, Epinions, Ciao, etc. pay you each time someone clicks onto your article. At around 2-3 cents per visitor, it is a very slow way to make money - unless you are writing about a very popular topic. The other drawback is that each visitor only registers once - so even if they read it again on a different day, you will only be paid the first time the reader visits the article.

    There are tricks however. If you can manage to get people to visit your site and read your articles, then you can make some money from them. For example, Themestream allows you set up a Column. If there's something you are particularly interested in, consider a weekly column, or even a daily one. If people subscribe to this, they'll return each time you post a new article in your column. A good way of finding out what people are interested in, is to put the keyword of your proposed column into Yahoo's mailing list search engine, and see how many groups are listed for it. Then take a look at the groups and how many people are in each one. If there are many groups, and most of the groups are between 100-1000+ members, then you probably have a good topic on your hands if you promote it right (see last month's column on "Site Promotion").

    Another way of getting people to return is to have either a cliff-hanger so that visitors want to come back, or a diary where they want to know more about what happened. Or how about something like a daily joke, horoscope, tip-of-the-day, news round-up (serious or funny!) or recipe-the-day? If people enjoy what you write, the site is easy to access and doesn't have an excessive download time - they'll come back. You just have to let them know it's there!

    Regardless to what many non pay-per-click writers may say on this subject, it is possible to make money at them if you are prepared to do the initial groundwork to see what will be popular, and then the promotion to ensure that people know your site is there.

    Good luck.

    Copyright © 2001 Katie Gustafsson

    Katie Gustafsson is an English freelance writer/translator/poet who lives in Sweden with her soul-mate/husband (whom she met online), Mikael, and their baby son, Jake. Her writing credits include print and on-line publications in short stories, articles and poetry. Recent articles include work for Amateur Chef magazine, and Dreamguide.com where she is the guide for the USA for Foreigners section. She is owns the Wake Up Writing site.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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