BlastingNews.com Review: Get Paid to Publish News Articles
Blasting News Review
Update July 8, 2015: I have published a few news articles to Blasting News. While I have not yet reached payout, the money does seem to add up based on page views. The average article has earned an average of $4 to $6, but this amount largely depends on traffic. I will update this post later on.
I recently stumbled upon a news-based website I hadn’t heard of before, BlastingNews.com.
This source was advertised on several prominent job boards, asking writers to join and contribute news pieces for money. As an avid reviewer, I immediately applied and thoroughly inspected the website to see some of the things it has to offer.
Let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly in this Blasting News review…
Initial Impressions and Getting Started
BlastingNews.com is a crowd-sourced website that relies on independent journalists to publish news around general subjects. These include business, tech, lifestyle, pop culture, sports and other categories.
The homepage serves as a landing page for writers rather than showing the latest news articles. It provides stats such as the amount of content published over the past week, the total number of journalists available, compensation potential and general editorial guidelines.
From a marketing perspective, I personally consider this a smart move. It successfully grabs writers’ attention and tells them everything they want to know right off the bat.
Signing up was a breeze, as it didn’t require anything fancy like a cover letter, resume, or a redundant field asking “why I would be a good fit.” There was also no waiting or approval process to join.
This really sounds heavenly so far.
Contributing to the Site
Blasting News isn’t very clear about the amount of news articles you can submit at any given time, which gives me the impression that everyone can publish new material until they fall over or their eyes bleed.
Journalists, also known as Blasters, go through three publishing levels:
Junior Blasters: This level requires your submission to be reviewed by an editor before being published.
Mid Blasters: You can now publish an article without someone else having to review it first.
Senior Blasters: You can publish and review Junior Blasters’ articles. Despite having more responsibilities, the site doesn’t mention much about Senior Blasters making more money or gaining any other privileges (as of this writing).
Can You Make Money with Blasting News?
Like many other websites, Blasting News pays writers through a pay-per-view system; the more page views your article generates, the more money you make. In fact, they claim that a truly successful article could earn you $150.
Despite some nice potential, your published pieces will only earn you money during the first 30 days. But this is fine, considering that no news article remains evergreen or fresh for very long.
The Blasting News homepage has an attractive calculator that tells you how much money you should expect depending on the total amount of views per article. For example, a news piece that generates 5,000 views should make you 20 Euros, or roughly $22.37 USD (as of this writing).
Considering that writing news articles is somewhat straight forward, the amount of money could potentially translate to a part-time or full time income.
Blasting News pays once a month via PayPal; you can request a payout once you reach $50 (defined as EUR in the Blasting News contract form).
I had a brief chat with one of the staff members, and these are some of the things she said about the overall payment structure:
Me: Once we request payout, what day of the month do we actually receive the money?
Staff: If you request up to the 3rd of every month, you’ll get the money up to the 15th of the same month. If you request after, you’ll receive it up to the 15th of the next.
Me: Do Senior Blasters have any benefits for the added responsibility of editing people’s work?
Staff: Senior Blasters are paid $0.3 for every piece of content they check (approve, reject or send back for editing) and 10% of whatever that article earns, thus encouraging the Seniors to check content and improve it.
Now let’s look at some of the bad or questionable things about Blasting News.
The main homepage, BlastingNews.com, allows you to update your public profile from the upper-right portion of the screen.
Clicking on “Write an Article” takes you to the meat of the dashboard where you can publish a text-based story, record an audio piece, submit a photo gallery and the future ability to upload a video.
However, I noticed that all these options merely took you to the same exact article-publishing wizard, thus rendering them unnecessary and misleading. This may as well be a temporary glitch, but I am merely stating the facts as I see them at the time of this writing.
Your main profile screen (where you enter your Bio and picture) is separate from the screen that holds your sensitive information (more on this later) – which is fine, except that there is no easy-to-find link to switch between the two, which may confuse new users.
Again, this could very well change for the better in the future, as this review will not be kept updated in real-time.
Easy Access is a Double-Edged Sword
Earlier in this review I mentioned how easy it was to join Blasting News, which definitely feels like a breath of fresh air when compared to the rigorous application process that other websites make you go through.
Additionally, their editorial guidelines are short and to the point. This goes against most conventional websites where the guidelines can easily reach over 20 pages and the staff is overly anal (cough! Demand Media).
While I appreciate the speedy procedure, it also makes me question the overall quality that the staff are inviting and ultimately accepting. That being said, I won’t sit here and nag about this relaxed approach, as this is merely an observation on my part and nothing more.
In this modern internet era, a small minority of websites (including Writer Town) are more relaxed in nature and allow people to express themselves as they see fit (to a point).
I am personally a big believer in this type of freedom: As long as you deliver the goods with an acceptable quality level, it shouldn’t matter if your publishing style is passive, conversational, humorous or conservative. Of course, this freedom still requires a casual editorial process before an article gets published — but again, I am glad they aren’t taking themselves too seriously in that regard.
While entering my personal information, I expected to see some common questions such as my full name, home address and PayPal details. Instead, the website needed a little more than that, including:
Place of birth
Social security number
Drivers license; or
I am quite okay with providing some of the above details, as these are often required for tax purposes (such as the W-9 form that Writer Town asks for). However, I admit this is my very first time dealing with a website that asks for my passport/license ID and place of birth.
The amount of information changes slightly based on the country you enter while filling out this personal information.
Question: What do you personally think about this? I will remain neutral and informative here, merely presenting the facts as I see them.
Blasting News in Other Media
After noticing the above details, I naturally searched around to see what the word on the
street Web is.
Blasting News has appeared on Forbes and a few other sources, providing detailed information about its background and its CEO, Andrea Manfredi. The fact that it’s being covered on such a reputable outlet puts me at ease, I must admit, but I would still like to conduct more research over time and keep adding to this neutral review.
The Social Journalism Revolution?
The type of news you publish (and the promotional effort involved) will ultimately determine your ability to make money with Blasting News. However, there are clearly some things that may worry new contributors – mainly related to privacy/security as explained above.
I won’t jump to drastic conclusions or make accusations at this point, as this Blasting News review is meant to be informative and remain unbiased.
How safe do you personally feel about contributing to Blasting News? If you’re an existing member, what has your experience been like?
I will update this review over time depending on your personal experiences and the details I uncover.