I happened upon Vocal around a year ago and signed up with the free account. Later, I brought some articles over from my blogs and tried it out.
Interestingly, my golf article did the best, earning me 12 views and 5 cents. This amount added to 2 cents made from another article has made me 7 cents total for my now 5 articles published here. With the $10 given to start, I have $10.07 total.
Four of the articles I published here are syndicated from other sites; they are my articles, yet shared here, which I happened to be accepted by the time I did this -- before then it was exclusive only. The other article is one I've written exclusively for Vocal.
With all the pros and cons of Vocal, the one con I can't get over is the non-editing function for free users. Even for paying members, editing is limited to the body of the article -- if the title and pictures are to be changed this needs a support ticket.
Honestly, this and not being able to delete our articles without submitting a support ticket have kept me away from Vocal.
I have only one subscriber (me) and only 18 views for 5 articles, yet not having the ability to edit or delete my articles without going through the laborious process of submitting a help ticket is too much for me to handle. Even then, it is out of my hands if these things will be done.
I could understand if I was making a hundred or so with every article, yet I'm making pennies if I'm lucky.
These two things are probably why Vocal is now over 43k in the world Alexa rankings. Just a month ago it was around 35k, so almost a dip of 10k.
Keep in mind, the only reason why I'm suggesting these things is because I like the site and want to see it do well.
Another issue I see is the price for membership is too high. I realize the pay is better with the upgrade and you then get the ability to edit partially, yet $10/month for a writing site that I can hardly get views with isn't very alluring.
The main competition with Vocal is Medium, which charges only $5 a month at the moment. The main reason why this is alluring is that it allows people to read as many stories as they want, which is needed for most people to grow their audience with interaction -- it also opens up many good articles for the subscriber to read.
Vocal doesn't have to copy Medium, yet doing some things similar would help them attract more writers.
About the subscribers. There are benefits of not showing how many people subscribe to writers, yet subscriber/follower counts do help people recognize how established the writer is at the site. Having visible subscriber counts for the writers would help the social side of Vocal.
This is coming from a regular online writer, the same type of person who keeps sites like Vocal and Medium buzzing with activity. We don't make a lot of money, but we want to share our writings and have the possibility to make some and build our audience for other ventures.
I write on HubPages, Medium, my blogs, and my eBooks. I would also like to write on Vocal, yet these issues prevent me from finding the motivation. The non-editing and non-delete functions are the biggest impediments. The other things mentioned I could handle if these were corrected.
I would like to write exclusive pieces for Vocal every once in a while, yet the jury is still out on whether the site will improve and change these problems. I'm guessing other writers are thinking similar things.
If there are some mistakes in this article, sorry, I can't edit, nor can I delete the article without submitting a help ticket, and even then I don't know if it will happen. See what I mean?