Fortitude Magazine, as many people well know by now, is a writing site dedicated to paying “supporters” for writing articles, poetry, and stories for a reward of anywhere between $10 and $50, without having to be concerned about keywords or writing where a topic is readily found on search engines. Fortitude “publishes articles designed to please human readers, not search engines.” Why then, with a site so designed to allow a writer to write more freely with a fairly decent reward for their efforts, is this site losing “supporters” rather than gaining them?
Because Fortitude Magazine pays you to join them. When I joined in September of this year, I paid a yearly membership fee upfront for $23.88, lured in by the promise of possibly making $10 to $100 for a single article. This is where the site gets a bit deceiving. In order to get paid at all for your submitted work, your article has to go through a “democratic reviewing process”, where other writers of Fortitude Magazine rate your articles on a scale of 1 to 10 in likability. It’s a bit difficult to gage what’s going to be readily read and accepted by your fellow “supporters” of the site, when the main incentive to rate articles at all is the $.05 payout per review. Even I tend to rate every article I skim through at an average 7 just to get paid a few pennies.
When Fortitude Magazine relaunched in October, their payment promise declined from $10 to $100 to $10 to $50, and since then they have published 4 online magazine issues, giving only 5 published front page articles a payout of exactly $10. There are currently 229 “supporters” of the site, with 5 articles getting published for a payout of $10 out of possible 20+ submissions in the last month. A few days ago, there were 231 members, and the site was hoping to get 700 members by the end of the year. It doesn’t look likely.
Why the decline in “supporters”? Fortitude Magazine, at their relaunch, raised their membership to join the site and write for them to a monthly fee of $4.99 a month. “Supporters” pay this fee monthly in the hopes of getting their articles published on the front page to get a trivial $10 for their hard work, with no guarantee of how their articles will be rated amongst their peers, and even if they do manage to hit the front page and get paid, they have to wait 45 days after requesting a payout, or forfeit 20% of their earnings to get paid right away.
This week alone I have reviewed just one article. There has only been one submitted article in a week’s time, which means that the likelihood of Fortitude Magazine publishing an online issue anytime soon is pretty slim, since they only publish an issue (and pay their “supporters” for the front page) when the site managers believe they have enough quality substance to issue an online issue. To date, their last issue was on October 30th. Fortitude Magazine, before relaunch, had an online issue out nearly every day, giving “supporters” higher hopes of their articles hitting the front page, and actually getting paid.
With most of the writers’ incomes coming from article reviewing from the site, and no real incentive to write since you’d have to wait 45 days to receive a payout if your article gets reviewed well by your peers, and if your article hits the front page, it’s no wonder that Fortitude Magazine is not only lacking in submitted articles, but also losing “supporters” as well. If the site were free to join, the incentive to join might be more massive, but with no guarantees that you will ever be paid for your efforts at all, it’s not a surprise that Fortitude Magazine is not only losing members, but not getting any real written submissions as well. There’s just not enough drive to write for them.
Note: To date, I have made a whopping $2.35, and this is entirely based off of reviewing other peoples’ articles for $.05 an article. Since I paid $23.88 to join the site, this isn’t even profit.