SEED.com is a fairly new “get paid to write” site, launched in the autumn 2009 by AOL Inc., a big company in internet media industry. Writers and photographers have opportunities to get paid for their articles and photos respectively at this site. Here I am going to review SEED.com, mainly from a writer’s perspective.
Brief Summary of SEED
Who can join SEED.com and get paid: Only US residents aged 18 years of older
Payment methods: Paypal, Check and Bank direct deposit.
Pay scale: $0.10 per word (on average)
Payout threshold: $10 for Paypal, $25 for Check and Bank direct deposit.
Payment types: Upfront or Revenue sharing
Article right: Exclusive
Mixed Feelings for SEED.com as “a get paid to write site”
Writers have mixed feelings for this site as a freelancing income source. The main reason is that your payout at SEED can be very unpredictable, because you have to compete with other unknown writers to win the writing assignment.
How to get paid writing articles on SEED.com
Let’s take a look first how SEED.com works. After registering as a writer at www.SEED.com, you can start to accept currently available writing assignments. Each assignment is also called “a seed”, which explains where the website’s name comes from. You are free to choose the topics you are interested in, as long as they are in the currently available assignments, and you have no obligation to work on certain assignments. When you see the assignment and you will get the information including the title, keywords requirement, keyword density requirement, word count requirement and the amount of money they want to pay for it. After finishing an article for an assignment, you submit it before the deadline, but there is no guarantee that your article will be accepted. It will take 5 days for SEED editors to review your article and let you know whether they want to accept it or not. If they accept your article, you will get paid by cash via paypal, check or direct bank deposit and meantime they gain the exclusive right of the article which means you can not publish it anywhere else.
SEED.com review with pros and cons:
Pros of SEED.com
1. SEED.com is a legitimate company, and they pay people to write articles. SEED.com is not a scam and it is owned by AOL inc. a big company you can trust. Recently SEED.com is featured on Good Morning America, a popular TV show. I know someone who has been paid by SEED.com with $250 of an article with 1000 word counts.
2. Anyone living in US aged 18 years of older can write at SEED.com and get paid potentially, except AOL employees. You don’t need to be a professional writer to join SEED.com. They don’t even ask you for writing samples during the registration, which is unlike other “get paid to write” sites such as suite101 and TextBroker.
3. SEED.com pays decent amount of money for articles they accepted. There are two types of payment at SEED.com: Upfront payment or Revenue sharing. For upfront pay articles, on average they pay $0.1 per word, which means you can make $100 from a 1000 words article. But the pay scale varies with different assignments, sometimes you get less and sometimes you get more. You can see the payment information when you request the assignment. For revenue sharing, it depends on how much earnings your article generate. If your article is popular, get a lot of page views and generate good advertising revenue, you will be paid more money. But SEED did not give the detailed information on how they are going to share their ad income with their writers. This is similar to eHow. But it is different from many other “get paid writing” sites such as Bukisa ($3.5 per 1000 page views), Associated Content (upfront pay and $1.5 per 1000 page views), Xomba (share 50% google adsense ad revenue), and SheToldMe (share 100% google adsense revenue).
4. Writing on SEED.com is good to build your writer’s reputation. The articles accepted at this website will be published on popular AOL network and partner websites, which will be easy for you to gain more exposure and build your own brand. If you are really good at writing, you may become famous quickly.
5. SEED.com provides interesting writing topics. You can find many unique titles in SEED assignments, some of which you may never think of yourself or hear about. Some subjects may fall outside your knowledge range. If you are curious about new things and want to challenge yourself, you can try them out, widen your knowledge during the process and make money as well.
Cons of SEED.com
1. SEED.com doesn’t pay international writers currently. If you are not living US or a legal resident of US, you can’t get paid to write at SEED.com. You should look for “get paid to write” opportunities somewhere else. But don’t feel frustrated. I know a lot of places pay international writers well for their articles, for example Bukisa.
2. A Social Security number or tax ID is required to join SEED.com. Not everybody is comfortable with giving out their SSN number or tax ID because these are very sensitive personal information. If this information falls into criminal hands, you could be the next victim of the identity theft. If you are uncomfortable with it, just don’t join SEED.com. But it is reasonable for SEED.com to ask for your SSN or tax ID, because they are legally obligated to make sure you will pay tax for the income you earned from them.
3. You don’t have 100% freedom to choose your topics to write about. You have to choose subjects from their currently available “Assignments”. At other “get paid to write” sites, such as eHow, Associated Content, Bukisa and Hubpages, you can write whatever you want and get paid, but at SEED.com you cannot.
4. The acceptance of your article is not guaranteed at SEED.com. When you writing on an assignment, you are competing with other writers. You have no clue how many writers you are competing with. Even though they accept multiple articles for a single assignment, you don’t know whether you are going to be paid for your article since at this website, all the articles are subjected to SEED editors review before publication and purchase. You will get nothing fromthem if your article is rejected, even though you may have spent hours researching and writing it.
5. SEED.com gets the exclusive right of your article when they accept it. SEED has strict “exclusive policy”, and they only accept unique articles specifically written for SEED which cannot be previously published somewhere else. If SEED accepts your article for upfront payment or revenue sharing, you cannot publish it anywhere else, nor can you edit or withdraw it. Basically, your article has been sold. If your article is rejected, you have the freedom to publish it or sell it at other places, for example, ConstantContent. The worst scenario is that your article is accepted as a revenue sharing article at SEED.com. In this situation, you may only earn pennies slowly from the ad revenue and lose the exclusive right to SEED.com so that you cannot publish or sell the article anymore.
6. The review period varies. According to SEED.com guidelines, it usually takes up to 5 days for their editors to review your article but on many freelance writers’ forums, people complain that they had not heard anything from SEED for weeks after submitting their articles. But when they contact SEED, they did get replies. FYI, SEED.com doesn’t allow you to publish the article you have submitted to other places during the review period.
7. SEED.com requires writers to publish with their real names. Unlike most other “get paid writing” sites, SEED doesn’t allow you to publish articles with a pen name or pseudonym. You have to write and publish with your real name in their bylines. But if you really want to use a pen name instead of your real name on SEED, you can negotiate with them by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. SEED.com doesn’t have firm criteria for accepted articles. If your article is rejected by SEED.com, it doesn’t mean your article is bad. It just means your article doesn’t meet SEED’s acceptance criteria. SEED’s editorial algorithm is mysterious and nobody knows how it works. They do not give guidelines for writers to adjust their writing styles or content to meet SEED’s standard. What they do is to either accept or reject articles, leaving writers a black box to play with. So if you feel competitive, confident and lucky, you should give this website a try. If you are not, you may want to pass.
If you want to publish your works on SEED, you should read SEED’s Contributor Guidelines, Photography Guidelines and Publishing Agreement carefully before any submission.
SEED.com pays handsomely for accepted articles, but the outcome of the article review process is unpredictable.