I’m feeling a little tired this evening and I need to retire early. But first I must keep a promise and give some tips about Helium. Don’t forget though, that these tips are just what I’ve picked up in my few weeks of contributing there. If any more experienced Helium writers disagree, please leave a comment and give us the benefit of your greater wisdom.
1 Writing to a title. If you have already written articles or short stories and still own the copyright, you can submit them and earn a few extra cents or perhaps a little more. To get your stars, you need to make them fit a title that already exists with at least three articles already posted. Then you have a chance of being rated in the top 25%, which is needed to get a star and get paid an up-front amount. Alternatively, pick a title and check out some of the articles on it. If you think you could do an equally good job, or better, write a new article to submit. You can also submit a new title, but if there is no competition, it won’t qualify towards your star. It’s a good idea to do a bit of promotion of your articles to get people to click on them.
2 Entering the writing contests. Titles for these are issued every week, giving a deadline two weeks away. Points are awarded according to the ratings on each article you write; they can also be deducted for a poor rating. You need to write on several titles in the contest to have a chance of winning one of the three prizes; I reckon it probably needs about six. At the minimum word count of 400 per piece, that is 2,400 words. And if you win first prize having written six pieces you’ll receive $10 dollars per article. You can check your progress on the site page for the contest and see if you are in the running for a prize.
3 Writing for the Marketplace. Pay offered is not too bad here, but competition can be fierce. You have to write to a publisher’s spec and it’s very important to follow all instructions carefully. Just recently Helium has introduced a kill fee for all articles that are not selected and paid for by the publisher. The unsuccessful articles then revert to the site for public consumption.
4 Remember to rate. Helium sets great store by its policy of peer ratings. Everyone is expected to do this, and to get the most return, you need to get rating stars as well as writing ones.
There’s more to Helium than all the above, but that’s where I am right now. And it’s probably enough for anyone considering Helium to start out with.
As with any of the showcasing sites, don’t expect to earn lots of bucks from the word go. For serious freelancers, it can only be a sideline. For those with another income, it can be good fun.
By the way, I got my star back with my next article, Returning to College During Middle Age. It's currently rated number 12 out of 67.
Note to fellow entrecarders – I’m going to be away for a few days so my dropping will tail off. Back again next Wednesday.