I stumbled onto AOL's content production site, Seed.com, while researching new freelance writing job opportunities. Of course, Seed.com is somewhat vague in terms of payment, unless you sign up. Being the friendly Guide that I am, I decided to go through the process and report back to you, as their pay levels and practices should factor into whether or not you spend time signing up and writing for them.
Seed's sign up is fairly simple and straightforward. It was non-exclusive, meaning anyone who can navigate the web can be a "writer" for Seed.com.
Seed.com operates on a model much like Helium's "Marketplace", in which editors post wanted articles and an up-front pay for those articles. Pay ranges (at the time of this review) were generally $30 for 500 words, although a few were $105 for 500 words.
However the most important thing to keep in mind about these articles is that many writers could be working on them at one time. Even though Seed provides the writer a button to "claim" the article, "claim" means nothing. The article is consistently open and available for any writer to write.
After you complete "your" article using Seed's content production system (that is-- "fill in the boxes"), one of many things can happen.
- The Editor could choose to buy your article and send you the payment as agreed.
- The Editor could choose to buy your article and other writers' article, and send you all the payment as agreed (you would still get the full amount).
- The Editor could decide that your effort was not good enough, and not choose your article. He or she may then choose and pay a different writer.
- The Editor may decide, for whatever reason, to choose none of the submissions, and therefore will not pay anyone.
In theory, and likely in practice, the writer ends up with nothing to show for the hours worked.
Other points about Seed.com:
- You may also choose to receive no up-front pay whatsoever, and instead take a share of the revenue. This is somewhat like other content production sites Examiner and Suite101.
- Early Seed complaints indicated that they were not approving or disapproving articles in a timely manner, meaning it might take a month to get your $35. (At least Demand Studios pays twice per week.)
- Like most content mills, Seed is dependent on keyword heavy articles. This means that you must be able to successfully load your article with SEO, or risk the dreaded decline.
Bottom line? Unless you are brand-baby new to freelance writing and web writing, your time can be better spent elsewhere.