Associated Content Looking For More Content
Rallying existing and potential new troops, online publishing service Associated Content on Monday will debut a marketing campaign featuring its most prolific and highly compensated contributors. "In terms of our growth, it's critical to encourage more freelance talent to join our community of regular contributors -- and help us in delivering even more premium content for our users, as well as our advertisers and partners," said Patrick Keane, CEO of Associated Content.
Like Helium and Gather, Associated Content has sought to fill the gap between professional and amateur content online by offering freelance writers and video producers a small share of ad revenue in exchange for their work.
Presently, the company claims about 250,000 regular contributors of text, photography, and video editorial ranging from weight loss programs for new mothers to Bollywood dance lessons.
After about three years of operation, Associated Content has amassed a library of over 1.1 million pieces of content, which drew 9.3 million unique visitors in May, according to comScore.
Traffic is largely driven through search engine optimization closely tied to Google, Ask.com, Yahoo, Bing, and the like.
"With 90% of our editorial viewed at least once a month, clearly our organic search strategy is working," Keane said. A former CBS Interactive executive, Patrick Keane was appointed CEO in March.
Likewise, the company attributes its early success to its policy of giving contributors an up-front payment based on a Google-like algorithm, which calculates the likely popularity of a submission.
The so-called "yield management system" determines a one-time up-front fee anywhere between $4 to $20. Contributors then receive roughly $1.50 for every 1,000 page views their work generates.
Responsible for over 2,800 articles and 4.4 million page views, Steve Thompson of Houston, Texas earned over $50,000 with Associated Content. Not only does that make him one of the site top earners, but a featured contributor in the new ad campaign. Originally backed by Tim Armstrong -- Google's onetime North American ad chief who was appointed CEO of AOL in April -- Associated Content is the brainchild of his former college roommate, Luke Beatty.