Short version – be careful! I use sites such as HubPages as a way to create content on a different IP and to provide free backlinks to my own sites. To honest I started with HubPages because I liked the community and now I stay because I liked the community, and because I can get free backlinks to my own sites – I think HubPages is OK with it – they make money from (some) of my hubs and I contribute to their community.
Back in October I got excited – I found a new site – today dot com- which seemed a bit like HubPages except that you applied for your own blog rather than published random articles like you do on HubPages. I got quite excited – back then I could start 2 blogs and get paid a $1/post for each blog. Now the conditions have erroded for paid blogging at Today – again I don’t have a huge problem with that – after all the economy is not looking healthy – and there is no guarantee that any good thing will last forever.
In mid April I was cut from the paid program for both of my blogs. I wasn’t surprised about one -but my Australia blog was then about 40th of all today blogs in terms of traffic. I headed over to the forum to find out what was happening – what was happening was that there were bloggers who were in the top 10 who had been cut from the program! OK so it was worse than I thought – but again I wasn’t personally insulted and I could understand that a business that cuts costs hard and fast is more likely to be around tomorrow than one that doesn’t.
I did feel sorry for bloggers who had given their heart and soul for their blogs – in some cases for almost a year. They didn’t understand that they had built their blog, their passion, and in some cases a bit of income, on a rental basis, on a site that they had no control over. They were angry – there were angry threads in the forum, they got deleted – maybe fair enough because they had got fairly heated. A notice went up telling bloggers not to leave “unprofessional” posts on their blogs redirecting readers to another, non-today blog. Now in some cases, again, this was justified and I thought little of it.
But then it got a little crazy – I posted a fairly restrained comment on someone else’s thread in the private forums saying the reason the forums had died was cause most people don’t like censorship – it got deleted. I stopped posting on the forums. So, it appears, did a lot of people.
What made me write this post about whether today dot com is a scam is quite simple. I belately saw a post on my friend’s Hospitalera’s blog about how today closed down my blog. Now I’ve known hospitalera on several sites and everywhere she is helpful and pleasent on the forums – and she’s a bloody good blogger too. But she was locked out of “her” blog – with no notice. She was paid out what she was owed – so strictly speaking, Today is not a scam – they aren’t defrauding people. BUT they are pissing an awful lot people off, and therefore I am more than happy to post – here on the great Internet where we have free speach, that for a successful blogger to be banned from a site because she put a post up saying she was taking a few days off – she after was going on holiday – is pretty bloody unreasonable. She had no contractual obligation to post more than once a month afterall.
I do have concerns about the longterm viablity of Today though – the advice that the admins were giving bloggers in the forum was of dubious value for getting posts ranked in the serarch engines and generating traffic. I tried to discuss SEO but the admins were all about Entrecard and stumble traffic – traffic which is notorious for not clicking ads which is what was paying Today’s expenses, or not as the case may be. Ironically at the same time Griz’s Make Money with Adsense today blog was providing the information they themselves badly needed to know!
Today kept on changing the rules. They rewarded posts which had images (by featuring them on subject pages), but then they cut payment for traffic from Google images! They told people to blog about their lives, their passions, and then started telling people to try to get sales from affiliate product links.
In summary Today didn’t really seem to understand that to grow a successful site you need to have your bloggers on your side, not against you. You need to teach them how to get targeted traffic to their blogs.
Now to be honest I don’t really want to lose my today blogs – and no I won’t comment on blogging at Today on those blogs – neither of them are about blogging after all – so here on MY blog where I do talk about rip-offs and scams is my:
Mesage to Today Management
The Internet is a big place and you can’t control the messages that get out about your company anywhere but on your site. You had the absolute right to cut pay rates – it was in the contract – that obviously a lot of bloggers didn’t read. But if you keep on changing the gaol posts – people get pissed. Your forums are private, restricted to only bloggers, not visible to advertisers and others (well that’s what you tell the bloggers I hope that is the csae). Its their space – you have to let them talk – that was all it was harmless talk – until you escalated it and started throwing people off the blogs they had developed and promoted.
BTW this blog is currently ranked position 5 for “site build it scam” – you might wnat to check out why – on this post – oddly enough hosted on today … SEO, Keywords and Backlinks.
58 replies on “Is Today Blog a Scam?”
So glad you posted this review of Today.com blogs, I recently was approved to start a blog on Today.com but had put it off in favor of working on more established supporting sites like squidoo, hubpages, and wordpress.com. Glad now I didn’t put a lot of effort into a Today.com blog that would get pulled for apparently little reason.
Andy’s last blog post..Quit Smoking Through Hypnosis
Thanks for your kind words, Lis, means a lot coming from you! Just one tiny correction, today hasn’t paid me my outstanding earnings yet, they only promised that they will pay me coming the next payout date. We will see, I don’t hold my breath, SY
hospitalera’s last blog post..Looking for a Prague insider tip? Try Karlin!
It seems like Today.com was a good idea that went awry. It sounds like they didn’t really think their business model through very well. This is not good because people do not like to have the rules changed in mid game especially when it involves money. I have a Today blog but I got in late enough to realize what they said and what they did were two different things so I never really expected to get any pay.
You are correct about how they could have helped their bloggers and made a lot more money. It is amazing how many people really don’t get how the internet works for making money and who spends money. I’m glad I found Griz, Vic, and Court the Three Musketeers of Internet Marketing. If the administration of Today.com knew what they were doing they could build there service into a powerful money generator. Oh well. Another one bites the dust.
Agrande from Network Marketing Leads’s last blog post..Network Marketing Leads To Build Your Business
Today has never made sense to me from the beginning. Why would anyone want to build a blog there for the long term. You could never monetize it to its full potential and they can kick you out anytime.
My blog there is kind of experimental and I will eventually leave it alone or use it as a support. I will not spend much time with it, that for sure.
bk’s last blog post..Don’t Ever Buy an E-Book
I, too, got started with Today.com but my posts have trickled to a minimum. Before I reached pay-out, they reduced revenue, so now it will take some doing to reach even the target amount–if I’m not banned.
I’m putting my energies elsewhere, over working hard so that Today.com capitalizes on my efforts.
Athlyn Green–freelance writer’s last blog post..Writing for Bukisa
I tried to get them to close down my blog and pay me what they owe me but they said no. I have earned about $30 so far and I’m just counting the days until I reach $50 if the company lasts that long.
I was posting every day for a while but it’s down to about 4 times a week now. As soon as I reach $50 I am out of there.
I’m a bit annoyed that they seem to make it sound that if you don’t earn $50 a month with PPV then you aren’t trying hard enough.
Susan’s last blog post..Raymond Chandler, Mystery Writer
Oh they would see your blog as viable because of the potential for affiliate sales of books/CDs etc related to the books you review. If you stop posting for a month they will automatically close your account and send you the balance. There is nothing wrong with posting less – I am very hapazard posting and the traffic keeps building up – particularly on the Australia blog! As I always used today blogs as support for my other sites I have no problems at all with keeping them open – but I won’t be chasing affiliate sales – they don’t really fit with my blogs anyways.
I’m another one of the group of bloggers who were all kicked out on the same day. I asked them to pay me, immediately, any money they still owed me, and they said they won’t make any payments until next month.
They then “offered” to have ME pay THEM — 110 percent (!) of everything they have ever paid me, including PPM, PPP, bonuses and payments not yet made, plus any lost advertising revenues — in order for them to remove my work from their site.
I leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Ms Terri’s last blog post..The Mystery of the 3.2 Million Dollars is Solved!
Hi MsTerri – I had to dig you out of Askimet – not sure why – weird stuff happens with Askimet sometimes. Today owns your content -whether it was PPP or paid for traffic only – it was in the contract you signed – they are under no obligation to allow you to buy it back for any price. However they do not own your ideas or your writing style- you have a great style – go and write some and get paid more – good luck!
I’ve stopped posting stuff for sale on my Today blog. It doesn’t fit in.
They did say in an email that if I stopped blogging at Today I would relinquish the money they owe me.
Susan’s last blog post..Raymond Chandler, Mystery Writer
That’s weird -they are sending mixed messages on that point – though that wouldn’t be the first time!
@hospitalera – as far as I know they have paid people what they are owed – so here’s hoping
@bk – today pitched itself to anyone who wanted to write a lot of people didn’t want to ‘monetize to its full potential’ – or would even know what that meant! They are the upset ones because they feel real ownership of a something which they only ever rented.
@Athlyn especially for a “flagship” blog you must have it somewhere ou can control it! Nice blog BTW
Which is why it is much better to blog and write for your own website if you are serious about making money.
Agreed Mike(finally yeah I know it took me a while 🙂 ) especially for flagship blogs and money making sites, but sites like today are good for anchored backlinks
For links is fine, but you will never make money for producing content for other sites.
Mike’s last blog post..Another Australian arrested on drug charges
I have been watching Today dot com ever since Griz went there. I guess this is the issue with “renting” space from someone else when they are just a start up.
Of course, you hit the nail on the head when you said that sites like Today need bloggers on their side. I don’t know if today is a scam, but it certainly sounds like it is not run properly. And I think it is HILARIOUS that they think Entrecard traffic is good traffic! LMAO!!!!
thanks for a very balanced Today blogging review, Lis.
Don’t hurt yourself but problogger is being held up as the example to follow in the forums … BTW I NEVER said today was a scam there is a question mark in the title you know …. There are quite a lot of pissed off ex-bloggers out there, fortunately they are more focused on getting their content back (they can’t because they signed over the copyright in the contract they didn’t read), rather than the SEO. To be honest I don’t want to bring the company down – as someone once said “don’t confuse incompetence with maliciousness” – or words to that effect. As always its buyer beware – unfortunately most new bloggers think that they are being under-paid by being paid for $1/post while you and I know that to make that $2-$3 the company needs to cover that cost is pretty darn impossible from an unfocused, non-SEOed, well-written blog.
Hi, Lis. I wonder what I wrote that got me stuck in the Askimet filter. Maybe it was those words in all-caps, which make me look like I’m hyperventilating. 😉
Just because Today *says* they own our content, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s so. There are certain formalities that have to be followed to transfer copyright from one person (or company) to another (just as there are certain formalities that have to be followed when you sell a house in order for the sale to be legally valid).
For one thing, we didn’t actually “sign” anything. There’s a big question about whether a click-through is equivalent to a signature for the sake of copyright transfer, and it probably isn’t. (Intellectual property, like real property, is treated differently from most things. Most things don’t require signatures. Property transfers do — and copyrights are considred property.)
This is something from Columbia Univ. Law School:Keep your copyrights — work for hire At best, it’s unclear whether they have any ownership rights in our work.
Also, even if they did own it, the price they are charging would be outrageous. Blog posts are often very timely, having the most value immediately after they are written. So they’ve already wrung most of the value out of our blogs. To charge us MORE than what they paid us, for work that is now worth less, makes no sense. And considering that they FORCED us to give up our blogs, it starts to look very scammy. The real value, to us, is in have them take down the posts so that they won’t outrank our new posts on the same subjects — and they are charging prices that are basically a form of arm twisting. It makes me sad that some people have paid them.
Ms Terri’s last blog post..Evangeline Lilly talks about Josh Holloway and Matthew Fox
Fixed the link 🙂 I totally believe that copyright is different from the rest of law! About 3 years ago I worked in the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand which administrators copyright, patents and registered designs for the country. I was in the IT side of things but from what I learned from the people who did copyright – it was a very weird branch of the law- and the most boring place I have worked in! That reference explains why I wrote some flagship hubs for hubpages ($ in exchange for copyright) I had to sign and send back the images of the documents – I thought it was insane at the time!
The Today domain does have great authority- its about the only reason I still blog there! But if you slightly change your keywords and get more backlinks to your new domain you will eventually do just fine – it will probably just take 6 months or so – well it does for me anyways!
I left Today.com willingly. I was very disappointed in their payout. I was downgraded even though I was featured blogger almost daily and often the most discussed blog.
I found out that what I thought Today.com was about and what it really was about were different. Once I could see that clearly I simply didn’t want to blog there anymore.
They were paying me (when they were paying me) 50 cents/hour for good work. That was kind of silly when I thought about it. Why in the world was I willing to work for that?
So, I raided my blog and quit posting. They figured it out pretty quickly and dropped me – or at least I think they dropped me. My blog, minus it’s last post, is still up and collecting cash for them. I doubt that I will see my share of the money.
Marilynne’s last blog post..Queen of All Things Awe-Summm!!! Award
Hi Marilynne – yeah the contract you agreed to allows them to retain your material on the blog – and I think they deleted “goodbye” posts with forwarding urls. Yes I do think their advertising was a bit misleading they gave the impression that you could write about anything and get paid where the reality is that it doesn’t quite work like that in the real world – I always figured that their business model was dodgy
You don’t have a problem with scammers wasting people’s time BECAUSE it’s a recession. Right on..
buy penny stocks’s last blog post..Solar Penny Stocks
That’s not what I said- I said I had no problem with terms of service being revised when the initial payment structure was always only for 30 days. From the start I advised people to make sure they blogged hard out for the first 30days so they would meet the minimum payout within the month – most of course didn’t bother.
They aren’t scammers but they do seem to be a business in trouble – caveat emptor
Hi Lis, I had the seo addon activated in FireFox as I browsed your blog and it seems that all comments/ keywords are nofollow? Did you by accident de-activate the dofollow plugin? SY
hospitalera’s last blog post..Blog News and updates
No I’m a bigger idiot than that – I didn’t install it – I thought commentluv included it – obviously NOT! But do you like my cool social sharing thingies at the bottom of the posts – they are very cool Do follow now fixed!
They are cute! Do people use them? SY
hospitalera’s last blog post..Blog News and updates
I’ve no idea they’ve only been on a a couple of hours! You have to though really – they just want to make you click surely 🙂 BTW for those who have no idea what we are talking about I installed a plugin called “sexybookmarks” which is what is giving the very cute social bookmarks at the bottom of the posts where you can twit, stumble, reddit my posts because you know you just want to click them!
I don’t think they are a scam in the true sense of the word. I think they simply don’t know what they are doing and as they learn the hard way what doesn’t pay, they change the rules to exclude it.
IMO they were mad to pay per post (or offer to pay per post). They should have always linked payment to profits they made they way Hubpages and Squidoo do. They are learning the hard way what doesn’t make a profit eg the entrecard stuff you mentioned, hits from Google images, hits from Reddit etc. Everytime they learn a harsh lesson they change the rules. But they should communicate to the bloggers why they have made their decisions.
Too many bloggers seem to think they are just owed a living for their blogs regardless of whether the blogs earn anything. I also read that Grizzly guy’s post – he was trying to tell a blogger where they went wrong and they were grandly responding that you could lead a horse to water but couldn’t make them drink. What do you do with people like that? They simply don’t understand the basics of business and are then surprised when they don’t make any money.
make money online in a recession’s last blog post..Re-writing hubs to produce better ads
Making Money Online in a Recession – are you me? I could have written that comment – I totally agree! Yes I could not quite believe my eyes when they said they paid per a post AND allowed dofollow links in the content – for the first month they paid me $60 for doing my own link building LMAO! No they are not a scam – but as a business they didn’t really seem to understand much about SEO which is pretty scary for their long-term futrue – whether they make it or not is still a very open question in my view.
And then the bloggers – the “I’m not in business, I don’t want to be told what to write and I want to total control over the design of my site – but why haven’t you paid me crowd?” To be fair today ran a series of ads suggesting that you could write about anything and get paid – but still the concept of business just misses a lot of people. Which is fine but if are being paid you are in business and you need to learn it real fast!
Thanks for commenting
Today.com is most definitely a major SCAM – they deleted my blog when I had a $38.00 balance – I have written to them regarding my feelings and am going to make banners exposing them for the scam site they are!!
I blogged at today too ,until I was kicked like everyone else.I think they are just clueless about seo..
Anyway ,didnt know your site had do follow comments lis ,makes commenting more fun and enjoyable 🙂
Bsnl broadband cheats’s last blog post..Airtel giving 16 MBPS broadband connection
As you know, I signed up for today.com after reading your review, Lissie. I didn’t do much to get readership so I got cut from the paying program the moment the first month was up – so I stopped posting, and now my membership has been removed (but the blogs are still up). It hasn’t worried me – I thought I did well getting paid $60 for that month (two blogs), because almost all the posts were recycled from old, deleted blogs.
I, too, thought they were crazy to invite people to write about non-commercial subjects, and guarantee $1 per post. I also agree that sites shouldn’t keep moving the goalposts – that’s what has pissed off so many members at Helium, too.
Marisa Wright’s last blog post..Does Diet Coke Make You Fat?
And now you have your own blog – that’s real cool! I started to have serious doubts about today when I realised that I knew more SEO than the mods on the forums – that was a scary moments! Thanks for commenting – don’t be a stranger
I was told my Today.com account was being closed down and that they would not reinstate it because my blog had “excessive” affiliate and personal links in it.
I went back and looked closely at EVERY post… There wasn’t even one single affiliate link on the entire blog. Not one! And there were exactly 3 personal links total to other blogs of mine.
I guess zero affiliate links and only three personal links is “too many” and therefore grounds to shut down my blog.
Of course, they didn’t reply to my email that explained this to them.
They won’t last long!
Trent’s last blog post..Why You Won’t Become a Successful Internet Marketer
That’s so weird Trent – I have a lot of posts on Today which are all about links to other sites – but I still have both blogs!
I blogged at Today as well, but I was only in it for the backlinks. I just have to ask – have they gone bankrupt yet? Because the people behind it are completely clueless as to how to run a successful business…
I mean, paying people to blog is a nice idea, but the reason they’ve found it so hard to make money with it is the fact that there’s no accountability on the blogger’s side of things. It’s a welfare system – Get traffic and get paid. Easy enough. Unfortunately for Today, this means that they have to bleed out money to pay people who bring them nothing of value (i.e. money). If they want to survive they should really consider abandoning their failure of a business model and try to emulate what Hubpages does – offer someone their fair share of the profits that they EARN. This way the people who bring in money to the site get rewarded and the people who just want to write about what color their poop was yesterday can feel free to do so but not expect to get paid for it. Boo hoo for them.
I would have loved to post this on their forum where maybe the owner of the site would read it and get a fucking clue already, but they locked me out of my accounts awhile ago and my blogs were fairly spammy so I don’t want to press my luck and get them deleted as I quite like the backlinks. So I guess I’ll just post it here.
Well, that’s the end of my rant.
– The Ice Cream Bunny
.-= Susan Boyle´s last blog ..Susan Boyle’s CD =-.
Oh hey, by the way, how do I get one of them fancy picture things for my comment? That default one looks so… anonymous. LOL.
BTW I edited your comment – I don’t like people “signing” as a celebs name when they are clearly not that person. The pics are gravatars go to gravatar.com and link the pic to your email addy
Oh, OK, fair enough – I guess I can see how that could seem a little skeevy. Sorry. I wasn’t trying to pass myself off as Susan Boyle or anything… :[
No problem – I actually thought of doing a site myself and realised I’d have a problem anchoring on the keyword LOL
Actually, getting links wasn’t really that hard – I caught wind of the Susan Boyle craze kind of late but still early enough where the few blog comments I did (first and last time I’ll ever go that route for backlinks) didn’t seem to raise any eyebrows. I really just used my own sites, social bookmarks, and some article links for most of my backlinks though, which managed to get me ranked pretty well (I was on page one of Google for “susan boyle” for awhile but last I checked I had slipped down to page 2; I think I’m still on page one on Yahoo though) – The problem is that it’s just not a profitable niche AT ALL. At least not with Adsense. I’m hoping that when her album comes out I’ll be able to make all of that hard work pay off in Amazon sales. Here’s hopin’…
By the way, if I comment again I think I’ll probably do so as “The Ice Cream Bunny” for continuity’s sake as that’s the same name that I use when commenting on Ben’s site. Just so you know. I’m not really too crazy about the name “GoGoP”…
Curious, I’ve started getting emails from Today.com, urging me to sign on and earn rewards – not sure if they’re spam emails or if Today.com has just forgotten they kicked me out. Anyone else having the same experience?
.-= marisa wright@Belly Dance Oz´s last blog ..Emma Basc =-.
Yeah me too – I started getting a note saying I had 60 ‘reward points” and then I got itagain, and again – unsubscribed now! Idiots dont even know how to run an email marketing campagin!
Nops, not me, but I got one a while back urging my to buy advertisement space. I think I wrote a rather harsh email back, and from then on I heard noting more. Lis is right, they don’t have a clue! SY
.-= hospitalera@Blogging´s last blog ..Is the money still in the list? =-.
I’ve not heard about Today blog, thanks for the notice though, I’ll keep my wits about me if I run into it.
While those sharing type sites are free and great, this kind of thing happens and there is little we can do. Owning your site lets you control it all and not have to deal with this stuff. Most people want the quick money that the site strength can provide. I do not think that is the best choice. If you work harder now you can reap the rewords later. It is not easy and should not be. Now, if you use them as link building and expect nothing then they are great, just do not be greedy.
Oh, and just a little update from my part, today.com banned my ip-address from accessing any blog on the network, I can see the main page but that’s about it. I wonder if they really never heard about anonymous surfing, free proxy, taking the laptop for a walk, rofl, SY
PS Before you ask, I have done nothing worse then blogging about my experiences with them and that in a quite civilized matter compared to others 😉
Interesting story found surffing over from one of your other posts. I’ve not tried today personally and now I will not.
I’m interested in doing an interview with a former today blogger for my innovativepassiveincome.com site. My blog examines both the good and the bad in passive income ideas and it is getting good traffic. If you are interested in being interviewed and getting some links to your work, let me know.
Today.com appears to be dead. They sold the domain name to MSNBC for the Today Show!
So NONE of my content is duplicated. They’ve given up.
Is that what happened – at least now I can reuse the content!
I reused all of mine straight away – they messed with the XML export, but being incompetent didn’t do so well enough to stop me importing the lot. I got a couple of weird blog comments but nothing else, pretty clear they were utterly losing their grip on reality by that stage.
The thing is, though, the people behind today.com were bad pennies for years. I fully expect to see them back again.
I have just submitted to Google a sitemap.xml that contains the notnews.today.com versions of every URL on my site. So that they’ll all be marked dead in Google. DEAD DEAD DEAD. 😀
Just an FYI, today.com may have sold the domain name but they moved the whole she-bang of blogs to blogdog.com
I had a blog on today and it was in the top 20. They moved it to blogdog.com and now I can no longer write posts for it. I can log in but that is it. Boy do I feel duped.
From now on I will not join any community blogging sites and just stick to my own. That was the first time I had ever joined a shared commission blogging platform and I must say, my last time.
Check if the new urls are indexed Frugal living – for example my http://australia.blogdog.com/ is not – so from an SEO point of view you can always reuse it …
You really have to savour their tagline “blogging has gone to the dogs”. Nothing more to say. SY
Many bloggers make the mistake of thinking they can just throw some posts up there and expect to get traffic. There is a lot more to it than that! You need to make sure you are looking at the keyword data to find terms that are getting a lot of searches.
I just noticed that blogdog.com has disappeared – the domain looks like it’s parked.
It doesn’t surprise me, considering every single blog would have lost all its link juice in the transfer from today.com. I’m sorry for the people who were still plugging away there, but for those who had content tied up there, it’s probably good news!
Oh that’s good news – I can reuse some of that content!
I am glad that they seem to have gone for good! Have to dig around a bit and see if I can re-use some of my old content now, or if it is too outdated, SY