My best advice for anyone considering blogging at today.com is – don’t do it. I decided to share my story, so that others can make their decisions to join, stay or leave with some insider advice. First, my decision to leave was self made, I was not kicked out like a few others. I also did not lose my blog, it is still standing and I can still post on it (at least as of today – May 12, 2009). I will guarantee that once google picks up this post, I will no longer have access to it. Which is fine by me.
So let’s start from the beginning. I started blogging for today.com in May of 2008. So one year ago. My first post was May 11, 2008 and was simply an introduction and a who I am. I followed it with one of my favorite Creamy Garlic Green Bean recipes. I was brought into today.com when they were offering $5.00/post. For many months, I made $150 extra per month blogging for today.com. This was great because it was an easy income and getting readers back then was a bit easier. I won’t lie, I actually enjoyed blogging for them back then.
In August, I was given the opportunity for a second blog at $1/post. Again, an easy $30-$31 extra per month on top of my original blog. But it was then that we started to notice subtle changes that the PTB (power’s that be) at today.com were starting to make. We were told who we could and couldn’t link to. We were told that all templates were going to one standard template and we were told that this was because they were competing with other sites (excuse me? – I’ve been on the ‘net long enough and I cannot think of ANYONE who has a huge blog hosting site that all use the exact same template… period) – we later found out that it was a lie – it was because they were going to start placing ads all over our websites. I did offer up my blog as a test site for the new template…. I wasn’t impressed. The ads overwhelmed the blog and made it look so cluttered it was difficult to see anything on the side bars. I had quickly gotten discouraged. I didn’t write as much, and really only did it when I had time. Yet all this time I remained in the top 10 blogs on today.com with my original blog. My second blog made it as high as blog #21 at one point.
In December, just before Christmas, I was ecstatic to find that I had won the editor’s choice award. I had been discouraged by this before I won, because I was the first blog they featured when they began featuring blogs on the front page, yet obviously I felt my blog wasn’t good enough to win an award for anything. It was bothering me, but I pressed on. In December, today.com made me get excited about blogging there again when I won the November Editor’s Choice award. I got a special recognition on their blog and a $250 bonus. Very cool and it couldn’t have come at a better time before Christmas.
So fast forward a few months, and one day while browsing the forums, I discovered that today.com had just placed an ad in a print magazine. There were four today.com blogs featured in this ad, and mine was one of them. Imagine, I couldn’t have been more proud. Twice in three months, I had been excited to be blogging for today.com. I proudly told others to join, not even giving my referral link, just telling them to do it. I wasn’t trying to make money off getting others to join, because I was excited.
So, later the day that I found out about the ad, I receive an email from today.com letting me know that my rate had been dropped on my original blog. No more $5/post – now it was $1/post plus $2/1000 visitors. Except here’s the kicker – they get to keep ALL my content… for $1/post? HA! And they CHOOSE which visitors are important enough to count as one of those 1000 visitors. Think I’m kidding? Think again.
Here is an excerpt from another today.com exile:
Today.com’s answers to repeated questions about traffic pay rates has been, “we’ll get that right to you”, “working on it”, “sell toasters”, and my favorite, “it’s a complicated algorithm that can’t be explained.” In other words, we’re not going to tell you because you are a bunch of stupid bloggers that we have absolutely no respect for. We want you to sell our crap you morons and get your friends and family to pay for advertising on your blog. Better yet, why don’t you advertise on your own blog, for fun?
Seriously. They cut entrecard but now allow it as long as you don’t choose paid ad’s (which I don’t anyway) – they cut several other great traffic building sites as well. I’ve been a member of linkreferral for a couple of years now, and while I am 100% positive I get traffic to my today.com blog from there, it doesn’t show on the traffic stats and it is one of the places that today.com unwittingly denies having a problem with – yet we don’t get paid for visits that come from that site. There are several others like that.
It was so interesting to me, that they chose my blog to showcase in an ad for their pathetic site, yet they felt the need to cut my pay/post. Hmm… plus it is seriously interesting to me that I have seen the owner of today.com complaining continuously about losing supporters, having people back out, etc. Think that might be because most backers wouldn’t have been happy with the way your bloggers were treated Dave?
So unfortunately last month was my last post on my main blog and the beginning of February was the last post to my second blog. It is my decision to leave today.com and I feel really good about it. It’s simply not worth it blogging for today.com and in case you think you will qualify for $1/post and that is okay with you? Think again – they are hiring at $2/1000 page views, which again I repeat – they decide who is worthy enough to qualify as a page view. YOU do all the legwork for getting your blog out there and getting readers and it is certainly not worth the $2 you MIGHT earn in a month. Plus, the payout is $50. They hold your payment until you reach the $50. Isn’t that fun?!?
I was smart though – I knew I was leaving as far back as late February and early March – I began collecting my content (in case today.com goes under), I chose posts that were general enough for the last few and I removed pages that were unpaid for, links that were helping them, and I changed my blog header so I could use it at the ORIGINAL website (I owned before today.com, but let go to blog for them).
So that’s my story – any questions?
P.S. Read other today.com exile stories by visiting http://todayexiles.blogspot.com/