When to do revenue share

How can you tell if you’re looking at a great revshare opportunity or a time-waster that will earn you pennies? Here are a few important things to look for:

Big traffic. Find out what monthly viewers are. Check on Alexa or one of its competitors and benchmark your prospect against other, similar sites. There are loads of startups that claim they’ve got traffic, but don’t. I’ve had sites pitch me that writing for them would give me “huge” exposure, only to check and see that this blog gets more traffic than they do.

Engagement. Social shares and comments are a sign that people don’t just click to the site and then immediately realize they’ve made a mistake and leave (like I do every time I find myself on eHow).

Great reputation. As you can see above, my revshare deals were for solid-gold names. Ask around about the place in the writer community. Google “sitename sucks” and see what you get. If it’s somewhere with such How to earn money Revshare site a crummy rep that you couldn’t use the clips in your portfolio, think hard about whether you want to do this. It’s probably a gig writing for search robots to read instead of for people, and that’s not going to help your freelance writing career.

Flexibility. Revshare should include the ability to set your own schedule and post or not as you desire. This is one of the things I love versus my pay-per-post gigs, which all committed me to definitely post X number of times a week or month on a rigid schedule. Now, if I’m busy, I can make a decision to blow off my revshare gig in favor of other projects and earn less from Forbes that month. Per-post pay gigs usually don’t offer that freedom.

Pay for traffic, not ad clicks. These two metrics usually relate to each other, but you don’t want to be tied to ad clicks. Which ads they put up and products they decide to hawk are totally beyond your control, so you don’t want that to be a pay trigger.

Some base pay. The company should have a successful enough business model to be able to offer you some guaranteed money for your time.

Substantial upside. Watch out for caps on how much you can earn if your post goes viral. You want the potential to really cash in if you have a good month.

I’m fascinated to see where the world of revenue share goes next. But if what I’ve seen is any indication, business bloggers should work hard on learning how to drive traffic. Likely, the size of your future freelance paychecks will depend on it.