I started a page on Examiner.com in February 2011, and I haven’t updated it since then. It’s one of those websites that brags about paying you for your contributions. They hook young adults and stay-at-home moms in with this ploy, but there’s only one catch: You have to be an SEO genius. And I don’t mean passing Social Media 101 with flying colors. That’s intro stuff.
You can write about whatever you want, they boast, and get paid for it!
HA. Just kidding.
Payment Method Madness
You are first instructed to set up a PayPal account, if you don’t already have one. I was leery about that at first, because I’m one of those paranoid people who still don’t do online banking. But I did it. I needed to make money, because my part-time job wasn’t providing me with enough hours to survive on my own.
Then Examiner.com explains what your pay depends on. Your articles have to get a certain number of hits, and the viewers have to stay on the page for a certain amount of time. You can post links to your articles all over the internet–Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.–and you’ll get paid. This is the sole reason I created a Twitter account. I swore I’d never do it, but I broke down and did it. Why? Because I was broke.
You don’t receive your first payment until your articles reach a certain popularity level, a particular number of views to get you at least $25 (three years ago…I don’t know what the minimum amount is today). I wrote two articles about being a Christian. I splashed them all over my social media sites begging people to read my work. I made $0.02. I never got paid.
Closing Your Account
Yesterday, I finally decided to make a move. I logged in, went to my account, and searched up and down, left and right for a “Deactivate Account” option. Nothing. I Googled how to delete an account on Examiner.com and found the answer: You can’t. I found a website explaining that there is no option but it is possible to email the company about it at email@example.com.
When you ask them to delete your account, however, all they do is delete your profile picture and change your name and expect you to accept that without question. Therefore, your articles still exist but as written by “Jane Smith.” That absolutely screams “Plagiarism.”
In the end, it’s more of a hassle than a helper. If you’re looking to make money writing about what you’re interested in, don’t bother with Examiner.com.