How to Really Make Money on Vocal Media & The Pros and Cons of Writing on Vocal Media in 2021.
Want to make money writing on Vocal in 2021? This is the article for you.
Vocal Media is a writing platform similar to Medium that allows you to write and publish stories, articles, poems etc. as well as make a bit of money off of them. How much money comes down to several important factors, but right off the bat the majority of your everyday story aren't gonna make much. They just aren't. But luckily that doesn't mean all is lost. Vocal was designed for those who love writing, with the money being a lucky plus.
But that doesn't mean you can't make any money. In fact, here's how I made quite a bit.
(If you want to read this on my blog, Coleman Reviews, click here.)
I've been writing on Vocal for over half a year, going from posting pretty much daily to a couple of times a month. And I've experienced quite a bit of success on the site, the majority of which coming from a 1st place win in their 'Perfect Pairing Challenge' in November 2020. The first place prize was $2500 which has accounted for the vast majority of money I've received off of 'Vocal'. Outside of that I've made almost $200 in the past seven months, making my total earnings off of Vocal to be close to $2700.
The Reality of Earning Money From Reads:
Here's the thing. The vast majority of your earnings on Vocal won't come from reads, if any. Hell, I still haven't reached my $20 Vocal payout from reads, and that's with several Top Stories.
Have a look here:
The reality is this: 90% of writers on Vocal won't meet their $20 payout from reads. This is partly due to the $3.80 per 1000 views (Vocal+ members get $6.00 per 1000 views) writers get and mainly due to Google SEO and analytics and other boring things that mainly entail your stories aren't going to be seen. The reason your stories aren't going to rank very high on Google is because Vocal has very little domain authority.
Blogs and personal website addresses with '.com' will rank higher than publishing a story on a site like Vocal. This is, unfortunately, just the way it is, and one of the ways Medium, a similar writing platform, outdoes Vocal. Publishing on Medium will provide you with a far greater likelihood of ranking high on search engines, meaning you'll get more clicks and such, more money.
This is easily Vocal's biggest downfall. The main way your story is going to garner views is through becoming a Top Story or through self promotion, both of which, far less enticing than ranking higher on Google and making the big bucks. I've had around ten articles be Top stories and only one has neared the 1000 reads mark.
So How Do I Really Make Money on Vocal?
There's a couple of ways you can make some serious cash on Vocal. Here's the main few:
The quickest, most lucrative, but least reliable method would be trying your arm at a Vocal challenge. First place in a weekly challenge will get you $1000 and some challenges go up and over $20,000. This comes with its problems however, as some challenges can have over 1000 entries.
It's not always easy, but here's a few tips from someone who won a challenge to help you give it your best go:
1. Be Unique
As generic as it sounds, you have to stand out amidst the crowd. On top of having decent pictures, regular breaks in your story, the most important thing you can have is a unique spin on the challenge guidelines . For example, my winning story 'Pairing Wines to My Top Songs on Spotify Wrapped 2020' followed the guidelines of wine pairing while putting a swing within those restrictions.
Very few competitions let you re-enter so be sure to take full advantage of this. I entered my winning challenge three times and it was my 3rd entry that got me my first place and $2500 award. Each entry only boosts your chances of winning. On top of this enter as many challenges as you can. At the very least you'll learn from each entry.
3. Keep Trying
This is the most important tip. I entered challenges before I won and I've entered ones since. It can be unbelievably discouraging to try so hard, put your heart and soul into a challenge just to lose and get nothing. But put it this way. I've entered, say, ten stories into separate challenges, nine of which got nothing more than a few cents. Ten, 800 word stories for $2,500? Seems like a fair enough deal. See each lose as a catalyst to victory and pay attention to the winners and what they did differently.
4. Don't neglect the weekly challenges
As alluring as the big bucks can be, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is ignore the weekly challenges and only focus on the big money. $1000 is a lot of money too! It just doesn't look that great beside 10 or even 20 thousand. The best part is that so many people make that mistake meaning far, far less try to win the weekly challenges. This widely improves your chances of winning. Try and get ahead of the curve so your idea isn't taken and enter, enter, enter!
Vocal Bonuses and Tips
This can be a lot more lucrative than many think. For every Top Story Vocal gives you $5 and they give out $5 for stories they really like too. You can also make a few dollars off tips too, mostly from other creators or just people who really liked your story.
Here's an article I wrote that will give you everything you need to make more tips on Vocal:
The best way to get both more Tips and Vocal bonuses is to focus on writing stories and articles of value. If you're looking to write on Vocal and make a bit of money, you have to write content people can learn/get something from, particularly if you want to get tips.
Nobody's gonna give you money for any old content. They need to learn something of value to give you a tip. I've made $55 on Vocal from tips and the majority of them came from informative articles. I've also made well over $100 from Vocal Bonuses.
The con's of this is that it's a great way to acquire money over several months, like I did, but it's not very practical for making money fast. Still, if you're planning on writing on Vocal for the long haul it's a great way to slowly make a bit of cash. Here's a look at the most recent Vocal bonuses I've got.
As you can see the payments are varied and inconsistent but this is a major pro of writing on Vocal, not found on other writing platforms. I've made almost $200 from random bonuses and tips which have come without anymore effort than writing the stories themselves.
The vocal landscape has changed in the past few months. From half, to the majority, to knew pretty much all challenges require you to be a Vocal+ member. From a Vocal challenge winner this was a fair trade and starting out at $1 a month, I find the pros of Vocal+ definitely outweigh the cons. Of course, the experience is different for everyone but I highly recommend giving it a go for a month. It's only $1 and you have access to several challenges as well as improved services such as :
- $20 Vocal Payout instead of $35 Vocal Payout.
- $6.00 instead of $3.80 per 1000 views
Give it a go here.
The cons of Vocal:
A Lack of Reads.
As I said earlier the reality of reads on Vocal is that you're not gonna get a lot. There's a few success stories here and there but for everyday writers like you and me, the view counts are gonna be pretty low. My biggest story still hasn't broke 1000 reads and it was a Top Story. Here's a look at my best performing stories, all of which were Top Stories:
Here's a list of my worst performing:
Yeah, not exactly a goldmine. Definitely don't expect to make any crazy amounts of money from reads.
You Can't Edit Your Published Posts
Put some time into making sure your posts are free of any spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, etc.cause Vocal doesn't let your re-do any of them. This was one of the more annoying elements of an otherwise smooth publishing process on Vocal, as we're all bound to make a few mistakes here and there.
Vocal are planning on updating this which I'm delighted to see but until it comes into effect its still gonna be annoying.
The Payout Threshold
Vocal+ has a $20 Vocal payout threshold that stops you taking money out unless you've reached $20. This stops a lot of people from even collecting the few dollars they've made from reads which I feel is a bit unnecessary. At the very least they should lower the threshold to $10 as this is a far more accessible feat for most writers on the site.
Here's an article I wrote that'll also help you get your first payment from Vocal.
The Pros of Vocal:
Easy To Use
Vocal has a simple setup with a clean interface that doesn't require a lot of time to figure out. It's the perfect website to practise writing - you can see which stories perform better than others and don't have to pay a fee to use the platform. Your story's usually out within a day of sending it in to be published, which is pretty quick. There are a lot of communities giving your story a better chance of not being lost in the crowd too.
You can post as many stories as you can write and Vocal rewards you for it. Not just like the $50 bonus I got for my 50th post, but with more likelihood of being a Top Story, winning challenges and being chosen for special tasks like starting new communities.
Strong Sense of Community
Unlike Medium, Vocal has strong sense of community, with creators supporting each other through tips, likes and shares. The Vocal community has exploded in size in the past few months but there's still a lot of support shown for new writers. On top of this, Vocal has a wide array of topics called 'communities' that allow you to read and engage with writers who love the same stuff as you. It's easily one of Vocals more endearing elements, not found on similar platforms.
Vocal is a relatively new platform and has made a few slip ups on their journey to the site they are today. With that in mind, they are constantly improving and taking new steps to better themselves. They're also pretty vigilant and keep the site's challenges and Top Stories running smoothly.
Should I write on Vocal in 2021?
Absolutely. It has its flaws (what site doesn't?) but it is a great site to write on, whether or not you're looking to make money.
It boils down to this.
Are you looking to make money and do a little bit of writing?
You're probably better off trying your hand at a blog or freelance writing but I'd still recommend Vocal for practice and for the challenges. As I said previously Vocal+, starting at only $1 a month to enter prizes with rewards up to $22,500, is a steal. You should absolutely give it a go and enter as many contests as you can.
Are you looking to write and make a bit of money?
Then you should absolutely write on Vocal. They reward you for writing whatever you want - you don't even have to try and rank high on google searches. You'll get some money for small and big milestones and get to practise writing. If you're tight on money you could use it how I did - a stepping stone to investing in this blog. I've used the money I've got from Bonuses and Tips to fund my own blog.
Overall Vocal is a great site, but don't go into dreamy eyed. It takes time and effort to amass any kind of money from it so take full advantage of this post from a guy who's been plugging away on the site for over half a year. You can make a neat amount of bucks for basically recreational writing but don't expect a steady income quickly.
Finally, the only way you can truly make your first $100 on Vocal is by taking the site and your work seriously. Whether you're writing for fun or for money, keep a consistently high standard of quality in your work to get the most out of the site.
(PS. A solid, coherent profile page makes you and your work look a lot more professional and will only benefit you in your journey to earning tips)
Use this link to get your first month on Vocal+ for only $1.