Felicia at No Job for Mom has written a post about how she evaluates which sites are worth writing for. Her system of analysis is intelligent and worthy of consideration. Go check out “So many writing sites – how do I choose.”
I want to reiterate a point I’ve said before, and that Felicia echoed ( a little bit)
Go to the forums. Before you write anything, go see what the writers are doing. Are they sitting there complaining about the editors? Are they complaining that they’re not making any money? Or, are the offering helpful advice to one another, sharing the bliss of cameraderie?
At Suite101, for example, the forums are the most positive, uplifting and helpful place EVER. Sure, there are a few people on the site who aren’t making much money, but it’s because they’re writing for fun. Everyone knows that certain topics don’t generate income, and the writers there are the first to say “I know I’m not making much on adclicks, but I love my topic,” or “I’ve generated a lot of interest in my book.” They’re happy, that’s all.
On another forum, I see people writing terrible articles, then complaining on the forum that they’re not making any money. Instead of people posting “Let me peek at your articles and see if I can help” People just chime in with “Me neither, this is a scam” and talk about all the other places they could be writing.
So anyway- to get an overall feel for the “culture” of the site, check out their writer forums. If they’re overall supportive, stick around and learn from their big-earners how to make the most of the site. If the forums aren’t supportive, it doesn’t mean the site is bad, or that there’s no money to be made, it just means you’ll need to learn the best way to “work it” without much social support. Find a few positive and serious writers elsewhere to learn from.
If you go to the writer forums and discover that no one is making a dime and no one can spell or read then by all means, close the window and scream.