I remember the moment. I had searched for a topic I no longer remember, and opened a blog I no longer remember the title of by someone I don't remember the name of, and started reading an introduction. When I clicked on the "Read more" link, I was directed to an article on Yahoo Voices.
Somehow in discovering that blog, I discovered a writer who made a decent income writing as a member of the Yahoo Contributor Network. Whatever information I originally sought from him was forgotten as I read his articles on how he made money writing on the Yahoo Voices site. I did some research and was hooked.
I joined the Yahoo Contributor Network July 4, 2013, and it was a decision I have never regretted, and don't foresee any reason to although they announced their closure almost a year to the day (July 2, 2014) later. I ended up only publishing a handful of dollars there and made just a little over five dollars, but it was the most productive five dollars I have ever earned.
I will always be eternally grateful that the Yahoo Contributor Network was my first paid writing site. Before I ever tried submitting an article to Yahoo Voices, I paced myself through all three levels of their online Academy. The Academy not only taught me what Yahoo expected of me as a writer as far as content, quality, and submission practices, it taught me so many things about writing online for any platform. Things that were sorely lacking from my 1983 Media Writing class in college (imagine that!). I'm not sure I had ever heard the term "Search Engine Optimization" before then, but by the time I completed all the courses, I had a basic understanding of it and how to apply it to writing content for the internet.
My first article for Yahoo was published on July 15, 2013 and netted me an upfront payment of $3.23 (plus performance pay from views). I was now a "real" writer. A "professional". I had been paid.
You can read it here, but read it quick. The Yahoo Voices website will be shut down July 20, 2014.
The photo is of my cat Guiness. Guiness' diabetes was the subject of my first article, and he's still one of my most profitable topics.
He's also a "real writer" himself. He posts his own feline spin on life on "The Guiness Blog by Guiness the Cat", in addition to frequent "The Guiness Blog" journal posts on Bubblews.