One of my primary professional goals since my late 20s has been to get paid for my writing. Of course, we know how that worked out. I found advertising and we’ve made discordant and sometimes beautiful music together ever since.
Another goal that I’ve been focused on more recently is my desire to pay writers. Therefore, this story on paidContent about how financial site Seeking Alpha is paying an elite corps of its contributors a total of $1.2 million by the end of this year caught my eye.
While most of the site’s 4,000 contributors write their posts for free—in exchange for the promotional value to an audience of investors and analysts—Seeking Alpha is looking to add to its current 550 “premium contributors” over the next few months.
The site’s revenue sharing program pays bloggers $10 per thousand page views, far from the kind of money professional journalists make. David Jackson, CEO of Seeking Alpha, commenting on paidContent, says that average payout to a premium contributor is just $58 per article.
“The most successful contributors are averaging significantly more than that per article, and are writing significantly more articles than the average,” Jackson notes. “That’s exactly how a program like this should work: for some people, it makes a real difference, and for others, it just provides welcome incremental income that they weren’t getting before.”
Felix Salmon begs to differ, but I like the move by Seeking Alpha. It’s a good will gesture, and at the tune of $1.2 mil, it’s a significant gesture.