Why would anyone write....

I am just wondering why anyone would write an instructable here, when you can actually get paid to do it at other websites such as eHow?

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randofo7 years ago
This isn't particularly a site for freelance writers.

The people on this site actually aren't professional writers and are more interested in sharing how to make and do things that are meaningful to them. In my opinion, that makes the content on this site more valuable, as the people care about what they are publishing about and the pictures attest that someone has actually done these things at least once. Albeit they may not be experts, they have some additional value to add to the instructions they post.

On sites where people get "paid," the only way for them to make any money is to write thousands of articles. This benefits the site in terms of SEO, but lowers the quality of the content being offered once there, as it is unlikely that the people writing the article have done, or even versed, on thousands of things.

In fact, I would venture to say that the people posting 1000's of articles on E-how are being exploited. The amount of money they are making off of their content and the amount of revenue being generated by ehow from these thousands of articles are not in fair proportion (for actual freelance writing rates - assuming that is their objective).

Here is an interesting article about a business that generates content for sites like ehow by unfairly compensating their employees:
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_demandmedia

All of the said, Instructables is not adverse to exploring models that compensate top authors once the site becomes profitable. Although, Instructables does not see paying users a minuscule amount of money to generate tons of mediocre content a good road towards profitability, nor in the spirit of the site.

This is fundamentally a site the enables people who make/do things to share how they made/do them. It is centered around enabling this community to connect. This is fundamentally different from sites like ehow that are centered around drawing in tons of transient visitors from search looking to do one very specific thing and be on their way.
Kiteman randofo7 years ago
"Instructables is not adverse to exploring models that compensate top authors"

Some people occasionally put me in that group.  Whilst the prospect of "compensation" is, naturally, tempting, I would like to register my disapproval in advance regarding any model that includes a "pay-per-view" or "pay-per-click" criterion.

Admittedly, I can't think of an alternative system off-hand, but an eHow or Metacafe type model would seriously harm the nature of the site.


I kinda looked into the business models after reading this persons posts, and I have to say that i wasn't impressed.  First, most ehows seem to be stock images with some three sentence descriptions that look like they were churned out in a sweatshop.  Secondly I checked a couple of author's forums and people were saying things like "I make $18 per year per article, that's good money"(!?).  It seems like the actual pay, even with residuals, would never exceed pennies per hour.
Brennn107 years ago
eHow and Instructables have two entirely different platforms.  On eHow, pictures aren't really a necessity for a well written article, but here, the pictures are one of the most important aspects of the step-by-step instructions. 

Teaching someone how to build a CNC 3-Axis Cutting Machine would be fairly tough on eHow.  Instructables provides the perfect interface for this.  eHow has lots of articles that are related to solving every day problems.  Here at Instructables, we have the ability to teach someone how to solve an everyday problem, but we also have the ability to teach someone how to utilize everday materials to make something awesome.

Instructables inspires the Do-It-Yourself spirit, and provides the perfect platform to do so.
HSSchulte (author)  Brennn107 years ago
True at eHow the pictures aren't necessary, but the interface still has the ability to ADD a picture to each and every step. Come to think of it so does a Squidoo lens. So, again I ask, if you can post your picture rich content elsewhere and get paid for it... why do it here for free?
Some of us aren't in it for the money, though.

I'd question just how much you get paid for it, anyway.  Pennies?
The amount that users get paid is very nominal.  I had a friend who wrote a couple articles and gets about $1.50 a year.  Very nominal.




HSSchulte (author)  Brennn107 years ago
Actually, I get about $12.00 per year per published piece. I've been there two years, so they are still earning. $24 each over the past two years beats 0 over the past two years.

But, thanks for the note about the prizes. At least that is something.
Going by industry standard magazinepublishing rates, you are being ripped off.
HSSchulte (author)  Kiteman7 years ago
Publishing in a print magazine often requires a lot of work in the submission process, which drives up the time invested, as well as the overall compensation expected.

If earning $24 over a two year period for an article published online is being "ripped off" then what is publishing here for free?

I liken it to a professional painter that comes across a website where people are giving away their art for free and asking why they do it. I mean the people here no harm. I was simply trying to educate them that their quality work is valuable and that they don't have to give it away for free. If they wish to continue to do so, then so be it. It don't mind at all.

Blessings to all. <><

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