If you’re a writer or a content creator and you haven’t heard of Vocal, then sit back and read on because I think you’ll see the beauty of this network.
Vocal is a social publishing platform unlike any other. Comprised of dozens of niche categories, it offers content creators a way to share genre specific works within a community of like content. Beyond this, the platform is uniquely designed to generate exposure as well as income for its writers. Let me explain…
- How to get your work seen.
- How to get paid for it.
This is useful for those who do not wish to deal with the process of running a self hosted blog, as this process entails a lot of back-end work such as obtaining a reliable hosting service, creating a domain, maintaining a website, etc. Vocal instead works like any social media platform – it provides creators with their own profile as well as all the tools necessary for creating individual postings.
This can also be useful for those who do run their own domain and website because it brings in a new avenue of traffic. Creators can provide a stream of articles via Vocal and participate in community challenges to draw some extra attention.
Vocal offer a couple of different methods of monetization.
- Monetization via “Reads.”
- Monetization via “Tipping.”
- Monetization via “Promotion.”
For clarification, this is how Vocal explains the first one:
“Vocal rewards its users on a CPM (cost per thousand) basis; more commonly known as “reads.” The more reads your post receives, the more you are compensated. Therefore, the more you promote your post through our community, your social networks, friends and family, the more reads you’ll have in your account. Once you accumulate $35 in your Vocal account, you can withdraw the money via Stripe (more).”
As for tipping:
“Tipping allows your readers to pay you directly for your posts. These are micropayments that go straight into your Stripe account (we take out a small % for the transfer fee). This is a great way to raise money for a cause, your book, music, writing, and more!” (more)
The promoting of products, videos, classes, and other links to services or goods is also allowed to be included within relevant articles on Vocal. This actually provides creators with a third level of possible monetization.
Okay, so here are the need to know points to get started with Vocal:
- Anyone can write for Vocal media so long as they are age 13 or over.
- In order to sign up, you must have a valid e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or Google account.
- Per TOS, each creator is allowed only one account.
- Creators can provide content under a pseudonym or name of choice.
- Vocal uses Stripe for all pay-outs, so creators must set an account up with Stripe as well or use one already set up. Don’t worry – they walk you through and make this easy.
- Creators must follow Submission Guidelines for postings.
- If a post is not accepted, creators are given a chance to make edits.
- Creators retain ownership of their content.
- Vocal does not accept content that is already published elsewhere.
Here are some of the communities you can write for on Vocal:
Convinced yet? Here’s how to join Vocal (via the steps they provide):
- Create an account: https://vocal.media/signup
- Connect Stripe to your Vocal account: https://vocal.media/resources/connecting-your-stripe-account
- Make sure to read our resources for help on structure, images, titles and more: https://vocal.media/resources
- Create your story!
Get even more information and advice straight from the source on Vocal.
Pretty simple, huh?
Need some extra convincing? I did a little test when I first learned of Vocal via an Instagram Ad. I joined the site using my e-mail and followed the instructions for linking my Stripe account. Then I uploaded an image and description to my profile and included a background banner that displays my website address.
Following this simple setup process, I went ahead and published two posts to the “Poetry” community that was hosting a contest for National Poetry Month. Those who submitted poems to the contest were encouraged to share those submissions on Instagram using the #Vocal_NPM. I did this even though there were only a few others using the tag at that point. I only did this with one image with which I included the tag and link to one poem submission. Here is what I learned:
Although I had made no attempts to share my posts on Vocal or my Vocal profile with anyone, aside from that one post on Instagram that got around 50 likes by the time the contest came to a close, I actually did see activity on my account. I got about 30 reads (.11 cents) and 1 tip of $2.00. One of my poems was also featured in one of Vocal’s Instagram stories regarding the contest. To some, this may not seem like a lot. For others, who can see the forest for the trees, they will understand how actually incredible that is.
But what does this little test reveal to me? Something very much worth mentioning. If I can post two poems and get 30 reads, a mention on a network, and a tip – as a newcomer to Vocal without doing anything much to promote myself and accomplishing this in only a week or so, imagine what I could do if I actually put effort into my presence there. Imagine what you could do.
I’m just your average Instagrammer – having, at the time of this posting, under a thousand followers and receiving an average of 40 like per post. I utilize hashtags, but I never over-push my own work. So, posts to my blog or links about my particular works on-line or for sale are infrequent. This is not because I don’t want to share my work or be successful – it’s because I still believe in the original idea of social sharing sites, where people show themselves in an authentic light and are reciprocal in their exchange, and in general most people are put off by too much advertising or pushing of products. So, I try to keep it as real as possible. Chances are, if I shared a post on Instagram, it is something that truly interests, inspires, or brings me joy and I’ve found a way to share it with my followers. Try taking this into account as you think about what I did with two poems on Vocal.
This will be my first mention of Vocal or my profile there since the Instagram post.
If you’d like to see my profile and works there, here is my link… I’d be honored if you’d follow me there.
Every now and then services will upgrade their offerings and alter the way their service works, their TOS, and other things about their site on the web. While everything mentioned in the original opinion article above remains valid at this time, Vocal has since made some changes that I’d like to update you on now. In some ways, this does change my recommendation for using Vocal and I will explain that specifically as I go on – so keep reading.
Vocal now has a Plus feature that will dub you a “Founding Member.” For a cost of $50/ per year, any member can upgrade to receive higher payouts and a “Founding Member” badge for their page. Here’s the added features you’ll get with the upgrade in service:
As far as price goes, this is not bad. I do feel like it could be worth it, for the lower payout threshold and higher potential earnings features, IF you post regular content and push that content consistently through your email networks and social media accounts. So, all in all, I see this added feature as another potential benefit of utilizing the Vocal network.
Here’s what I’m not so wild about…
Although I did read the TOS when I initially joined Vocal, I cannot remember everything they had written there. But I do recall it being somewhat shorter in length and I don’t remember seeing this passage:
I published my article here on April 25, 2019. The Vocal TOS as they read now say they were last updated May 22, 2019. So, this could be something that was newly added or something I may have missed the first time (though I doubt that’s the case as this is always the first thing I look for when contributing my works on someone else’s site/platform).
This was pointed out to me by my husband recently when I suggested he post some of his articles on Vocal that didn’t quite fit in to his blogging topics. He read the terms of service and raised this issue of concern to me. When I looked and saw the language – that they can “Keep your content” even if you decide to delete your account, I was taken aback. It’s not that this is necessarily unexpected or all that uncommon for sites like Vocal. What was concerning about it is how Vocal’s FAQ section seems to contradict this portion of the TOS, at least in part – which gives me pause.
So which is it? Can I delete my content or can Vocal keep it regardless of if I even decide to remain in their creator network? I know official legal terms are often created to be complicated, but as a creator I can also understand why this is disconcerting.
Just for a little more clarification here – in case you were wondering – here’s the part of their TOS / TOU pertaining to the creator’s Intellectual Property. And, I believe, it reads as expected for a service of this kind.
If you think that one day you may not want this work publicly viewable or connected to you as an author, then perhaps consider using a pseudonym – Vocal allows this!
I have some other strategies for a better way to utilize platforms such as Vocal and will be making that available in an upcoming post – so please subscribe and keep watching for new articles!
One more thing for now – I see a lot of articles out in the blogosphere talking about how Vocal doesn’t allow you to edit your work once it’s published. Well, that’s sort of true. While they do make it somewhat inconvenient to edit, in that you do not have the ability to click on an edit post feature and make changes yourself to then publish, they do provide an option for altering the work.
So, that’s the complete story about how Vocal handles edits to published work. A bit inconvenient, sure, but I think they may impose this process because of their human moderation process that they explain in their FAQ helps keep the community safe with regards to published content.
Some may argue that they actually allow lower quality content than other similar services. I might respond to that by pointing out the Vocal community, unlike any other I’ve seen, allows writers as young as 13 to upload their content and benefit from the service. In my opinion, that’s outstanding. As a homeschooling mom, I applaud the support and recognition given to our younger writers!
Some may also argue that since Vocal offers an erotica section, entitled “Filthy,” that it doesn’t seem like the best place to allow younger writers to contribute or be a part of. Well, that’s a personal choice based on opinion… much the same as anything else. I will say that erotica as a whole tends to be another group often left out in services like this – mostly because there seems to be little distinction between pornography and erotica in the eyes of many out there.
So, personally, I find it refreshing how inclusive Vocal tends to be to all voices. To help set your mind at ease, though, here is some of what Vocal has to say about erotic content or nude images and the protection of minors on their platform:
It looks to me like they do take any harmful content very seriously, which is the bigger point here – in my view. But all of this should be taken into account if you choose to write for Vocal or if you have a teenager who’d like to write content for this particular creator platform.
I do hope this information proves useful to you. Remember to watch for my next article concerning strategies that I recommend for writers who put their work out onto social platforms such as Vocal.
Grow and Monetize Your Fan Pages on the 10 Biggest Social & Blog Platform! Learn How!
Let me know what you think! Have you tried Vocal? Have I piqued your interest? If you’re on Vocal now, drop me your link! I’d love to take a look and I’m happy to help you spread the word about your content!