Another Outlet for Freelance Writers to Make Quick Cash Bites the Dust

I received an email from Helium this morning; woke up to it in my Junk mail folder (I’d forgotten that I’d even signed up for an account with them, so the email didn’t come to my inbox). After 8 years, they’re closing up shop.

Hmmm, they’re not the only ones making changes these days.

What Is Helium?

In case you don’t know, Helium was one of those pay-for-write sites where freelancers — experienced and newbies — could sign up and pretty quickly start earning money. Many earned hundreds, in a few cases, thousands of dollars per month on the site. Ahh, the good ole days.

I stopped writing for sites like this back around 2009 or so. I detail why in this post. The main reason though is income diversity, as I explained this way in the post I just linked to:

I advise freelance writers all the time to develop multiple revenue streams — never, ever depend on one (or a few clients); writing outlets; etc. for your living. You set yourself up for a downfall when stuff like what’s happened with eHow / Demand Studios happens.

And lest we forget — it’s their business; they can change the rules on a dime. While it may not be fair, it’s life; it’s business.

I hope this helps many freelance writers to take stock of their careers; ie, to diversify — whether it’s creating your own info products/ebooks to sell; building minisites for passive income; finding 10, 15 or more clients who can give you work; or creating e-seminars, etc.

Another reason I stopped writing for sites like Helium, AssociatedContent.com, etc. is that I got tired of losing control of my content (which I explain in this linked-to post).

Closing Up Shop Email from Helium

Following is the email Helium sent me, and I’m sure every other writer who’d signed up to the site.

May 14, 2014

You are receiving this email because you have been identified as either an active or inactive Helium Publishing community member.

NOTICE: The Helium Publishing 360 sites will be available on a read-only basis effective May 21, 2014 and will continue to be available on a read-only Helium.com Closing Up Shopbasis until December 15, 2014.

During this period, if you have an existing Account, you will continue to have access to your Account and accrue potential earnings, but you will not be able to add more content to the Helium Publishing 360 sites or create a new Account.

If you have attained the Minimum Payout Threshold, which currently is set at $25.00, we strongly encourage you to withdraw your earnings because the Helium Publishing 360 sites will terminate on 12/15/14 and you will no longer have access to your Account. 

Dear Helium Community,

After eight years and well over one million articles, we regret to announce that Helium Publishing will be closing. Here are the key dates that impact you:

May 21, 2014

  • the Helium Publishing 360 sites will become “read only” and no article changes or revisions will be possible
  • no new work can be completed or created in the Helium Network dashboard
  • new member registration for Helium Publishing 360 sites will cease

December 15, 2014

  • advertising revenue share will cease
  • you will no longer be able to access your Account
  • all 27 of the Helium Publishing 360 sites will shut down and your articles will not be available via the microsites
  • access to the Helium Network dashboard and your ability to retrieve your Helium Publishing articles, message others, and request payment will be terminated

What about my earnings? Your Account will be accessible until December 15, 2014 so that you can view and (if applicable) request a final payout. Your tax ID and a valid PayPal account are required to process and receive payment. Details about accrual and earnings can be found in the FAQs, available in Announcements and in the Helium discussion forum.

What about my open assignments? The workflow portion of the Helium Network will be disabled on May 21, 2014, and you will not be able to work on any assignments.

What happens to my articles? You may download your work by following the instructions available in Announcements and in the Helium discussion forum.

What if I have questions? You’ll be able to reach us through the Helium HelpDesk and Helium discussion forums. In addition, an FAQ is available in the discussion forum and in the Helium Network dashboard.

For many of you, Helium Publishing has been more than a place to hone your writing skills; it’s been a place to call home, a community to connect with friends and like-minded creatives. Thank you for making Helium a nurturing space for new and emerging writers. It’s been an amazing and gratifying journey, and we’re grateful you were part of it all. Good luck in your future writing endeavors.

Very sincerely,
The Helium Publishing Team

My thoughts on this closing …

The Future of Freelance Writing

Here’s to diversification freelancers! I’ve been saying it for years, but it bears repeating … having several income streams is the only way to ensure income security as a freelance writer / freelance business owner.

P.S.: Did you know that the average salary of SEO writers is $66,000 as of this writing? That’s $15,000 above the median household income in the U.S. right now.

SEO Copywriting Training: Course Discoun

P.P.S.: Remember, when you learn how to write SEO content, you learn so much more than this one skill because it gives you the knowledge you need to take control of your financial future.

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