I've been a creator with The Odyssey Online for about six months. I figured six months was long enough for me to see if it's right for me or not. I was really skeptical when the editor-in-chief of the chronic and mental illness section on here asked me to be a content creator. I'd heard that The Odyssey Online was a pyramid scheme (it is). I'd heard that "real writers" don't write on here. I'd heard that it was just a site for dumb people to voice their opinions. But...I said yes, and I'm glad I did.
I'd just started my blog Survival is a Talent, and I didn't know much about blogging or even writing for the internet. Most of my thoughts were kept hidden in the 20+ journals that have accumulated in my closet over the years. I knew that some people would scoff when they saw that I wrote for The Odyssey.
Some might think I was being taken advantage of. Others might think I wasn't a "real" writer. I thought it might tarnish my reputation. And it bothered me, honestly. But the people closest to me told me that it was an opportunity and I should take it. They told me that people will judge you for anything, so you might as well do what you want (they were right).
And ultimately, I told myself what I knew to be true: I am a real writer so what anyone else thinks doesn't matter. I am a real writer because I write, and I love it. No matter what I write about, how often I write, how many things I have published, how young I am, my level of education, or what websites my writing is on, I am a writer. And if you love to write, so are you.
I was a content creator on here for about six months, and these are the seven things I want to share with anyone considering writing for The Odyssey Online:
1. You meet other content creators that you can collaborate with on your own projects, whether that be videos, blogs, podcasts, etc. I have met many other people on here that have mental illnesses like I do and understand what I'm going through. The friends I made on here are worth the time I put into The Odyssey.
2. You have direct contact with an editor-in-chief who shares ideas and inspiration on what to write about, as well as encouragement and tips for getting views!
3. You get your writing out there, even if you probably won't make any actual money. And your editor might even send out incentive-based prizes (Mine gave out gift cards)!
4. You will most likely never make any actual money. You have to get an obscene amount of views to get paid. If you already have a huge online following, channeling that to get views might make it easier.
5. My managing editor was laid off, along with a lot of others, and her emails had the most useful information in them on how to get views, write good headlines, and produce good articles in general. I would have stayed as a content creator on here just to keep getting those emails with such valuable information to me as a freelance writer and blogger. When they fired her, 99% of my reason to stay at The Odyssey was gone. And it gave me a bad feeling about the company as a whole.
6. I was a content creator for the chronic & mental illness section. I don't think this is a very popular section on the website. I rarely see my community's articles trending, and I frequently wanted to write on other topics, but they didn't fit in with chronic and mental illness. If you decide to be a content creator, pick the right community.
7. I have pieces up on several websites, and The Odyssey rarely drove traffic to my blog. The Mighty , Niume, and Thought Catalog are just a few websites that sent plenty of traffic to my blog. I usually included a link to my blog at the bottom of most of my posts, but only saw The Odyssey as a referrer to my blog once or twice. Ultimately, I decided it was no longer worth it to post any content on here when I could be focusing more on my blog, and writing for other blogs or websites that actually pay or drive traffic to it, such as Niume and PuckerMob.