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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

“Are There Ways of Making Money with AOL’s New Seed Program”?

“Are There Ways of Making Money with AOL’s New Seed Program”?

Question: “AOL is supposedly hiring freelance writers, journalists and columnist in droves. The new AOL CEO Tim Armstrong (and former Google hotshot) and seems to think they’ll be a major media player. What’s your view? Are there ways of making money with AOL’s new Seed program”?
T.M. Bloomington MN

7:44 AM

Dear Entrepreneur:

AOL has been in the news lately because they bought the blog network Huffington Post.AOL has also been promoting their new project.

I’m not enthusiastic about AOL’s prospects or the potential for entrepreneurs and freelancers.

And don’t forget….

AOL started as an adult chat room….they would prefer people forget about stuff like this.

AOL launched the program about a year ago. It was touted as a “new” way for freelance writers, journalists, designers and photographers to make money.

The is free….and so the downside risk is pretty low.

But AOL’s program is a content farm….nothing more, nothing less.

Don’t get me wrong….

There’s nothing wrong with growing content.

But growing generic, irrelevant content is NOT the “wave” of the future.

Most heavy Internet users are sick and tired of generic information, articles and content. The only exception would be “news”….which is super-generic.

Get this….

AOL’s current CEO Tim Armstrong used to be a major player at Google. I’m confident Tim understood Google built an empire around “relevant” search results.

But my first impression of AOL’s program is not great.

First, you have to use your real pen names or pseudonyms.

That's a joke.

I've been writing under pseudonyms for more than 29 years. And so have thousands of other (successful) freelance writers and entrepreneurs ….Mark Twain was a pen name for God’s sake!

But pen names are a minor point.

A major problem at is the approval process for new articles and stories.

An "approval" can take up to a month, if you’re lucky enough to get a response.

And then….

When an article is "rejected" -- AOL editors do not offer any suggestions, comments, ideas, insight....nothing. Your article is thrown into the trash.

Here is what a no-name “customer service” person at Seed told me:

"Yeah, no feedback or suggestions is a problem. But we can't provide any feedback at this time – sorry.”
                                                                               Seed Customer Service

Come on.

AOL is supposed to be reshaping the world as we know it. Tim Armstrong brings a major skill set to the table.

But I think he’s bound to AOL corporate mumbo jumbo.

Keep in mind….Tim has never run a company and I think that’s a big deal.

What’s more, I think luck, the law of accident and political clout (later on) has a lot to do with Google’s rise to world domination.

The bottom line is…. may be the greatest media platform since the "blog".

But there are better and more lucrative ways to make money as a freelance writer.

One way is by going direct to publishers who need relevant content.

Actually, I would focus on publishers with a track record of paying freelance writers accurately and on time.

There are tens of thousands of viable publishers in the world today, and millions of website publishers. Most of them need relevant content…but only a handful of them would qualify to my clients or receive MY content.

I suppose is worth a try but I think it’s a joke.

AOL’s dirty little secret….

Thousands of writers are providing millions of pages of content for pennies on the dollar. This is the real AOL/ business model – cheap content.

I haven’t met a single writer, journalist, editor or columnist with glowing reviews of AOL’s program.

If you've had a different experience I’d like to hear about it. There’s no cost to try.

I hope that helps.

Until next time…..

Your humble host,

Marc Charles

PS Google is crucifying the stuff produced by redundant content farms. This means irrelevant…”cut and paste” content is DEAD when it comes to Google search results.

PPS Long live fresh, personalized, relevant content!

 (Ed Note:  Marc Charles is referred to as "The King of Business Opportunities" ....and for good reason. He should be known as "The King of Legitimate Business Opportunities"...because he's launched, bought, sold reviewed and advised on hundreds of businesses and money making opportunities. He understands legitimate opportunities. Marc has agreed supply League of Power members with crucial updates regarding legitimate business and money making opportunities.)

***** Action Strategy *****

Check out AOL’s Seed Program for yourself here. Tell me what you think!

But keep your options wide open if you want to make money as a freelance writer, editor, developer or photographer.

Check out these sites for great freelance writing opportunities:

*****Valuable Resources*****

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I'm Jamie, the Director of Outreach for which is a marketplace for business to hire freelance writers. Just went through your blog and saw that you mentioned about writeraccess. We just recently launched and have a similar offering and would appreciate your thoughts!