Is (Helium) a scam?

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Your Articles Earn is a website that pays you to type up short articles about anything of interest to you. You can type up articles about sports, politics, cooking, parenting or whatever your heart desires. It's one of the few places where you can actually get paid for discussing topics you have an interest in. Personally I wrote this review because I think Helium is a wonderful way to earn money. Oh by the way it's totally free to join and participate!

However people seem to shy away from sites like and because it requires that you write to get paid.

Well people I'm here to tell you don't need to be a professionally trained writer to earn money with these companies. The Internet is a wonderful place in that people want to read content from regular folks like themselves. They don't frown on your articles because you didn't graduate from some Ivy League University majoring in English. (Lord knows I didn't as you can tell.) This is the reason why blogs are so popular. Because anyone can write a blog.

The same applies with If you've ever written an email then you can easily type up a short article for Helium. It's not that difficult. Anyone can do that. Either way you will earn money for doing it. The cool thing about Helium is people even rate your articles. For some this alone can be a pure high to know that your articles have been rated favorably. (For me, it's the money. lol) In either case, it's probably a good idea to write about something you're passionate about. And we all have interests we're passionate about so don't tell me you can't write for! Because you can!

The Bad pays its users based on the money they earn from advertising. So they actually share some of their profits with you. Imagine if sites like or did that with you? After all the reason those sites are making money is because of visitors like you. understands this concept and shares their revenue with you when you write articles on their website. The more you write, the more you can earn. Now granted initially you won't be making large sums of money but it does add up in time. If you're writing emails everyday you can type up a short article on everyday. And think about this, are you getting paid to type up emails? So the reason I say their pay structure is bad is because it will fluctuate from month to month depending on how much they earn. And from what I can tell there isn't an accurate way to measure this.

The other thing is you need to earn at least $25 to get paid. They have a user area that tells you how much you earn per month. But again because this depends on how much they earn you'll see fluctuations in your payment from month to month. The best thing to do is to type up as many articles as you can while being a member and your income should increase over time because you just have such a large body of work out on their site.

I think is a great way to get paid to type articles. But don't expect to get rich or make a large amount of money doing it initially. It's one of those programs that should be supplemented with other work at home opportunities and work at home jobs. If you couple all these things together then you can actually earn a good amount of money from home. But I've yet to find anything by itself that can earn you boat loads of money that wasn't an affiliate program or a legitimate home based business and from what I've gathered, most of you avoid these like the plague. So would be a good alternative to make money from home. So go and get started people! Why go an type emails that don't get you paid when you could spend your time more productively
typing articles on that will make you money!

141 thoughts on “Is (Helium) a scam?”

  1. Helium is a scam. Once you submit an article to them, they can do whatever they want with it. It’s a TERRIBLE company! Similar sites don’t ask that you give up rights to your work. Perhaps this is a reason Helium isn’t popular among writers. If they changed their business model in the aspect of article ownership, I bet they would see better profits.

    • Oh Helium sure is a SCAM! I wrote numerous articles and stories, most of them rated in the top 2%. Every single one that was “sold” never paid, one one penny. I called and spoke to one moron after another. They pay thru Pay Pal which is a scam in and of itself. I earned some srious money while I was unemployed and could have used it, but as I never saw any of it, Helium can suck it. Just remember karma is a byotch!

    • Hey Janet,

      I didn’t even know this site still existed. Sorry to hear you had a crappy experience. That does suck. Paypal is definitely not a scam. They process millions if not billions dollars every year for many years. If they were a scam they would have been shut down a long time ago. I’ve used them many times to pay people and to get paid. Now that said they can be a pain in the ass sometimes depending on the situation. And if you’re on the crappy end of that, it can suck. But it doesn’t make them a scam. Thanks for chiming in though.

  2. I had 847 rates and Helium said I didn’t qualify for the rating bonus of $3. They were nasty when I emailed them. The site doesn’t pay even the pennies it owes!

  3. Thanks for sharing your rant…. I mean experience. But seriously in general I think a lot of these sites are screwing writers over. That’s why I’ve always argued it’s better to have your own blog and learn internet marketing. This way you call the shots! But on these other sites you’re at their whim and their terms and conditions protect them and screw you.

  4. Sadly, with the changes to Helium recently what was once a marginally good site has went down considerably. You can no longer write on the subject you want and the odds of actually getting paid for something you write has went down considerably and most articles pay less than they used to.

  5. In response to Dan. Yours is a 21 Century comment.
    I don’t mean that badly, its just that it is seldom if ever “good business” to attempt to bring yourself up by bringing someone else down.
    I’m as sure as you are that it works in politics where everyone seems to do it, but in the “real world” there are still lots of honest, hardworking people that just want to voice their opinion about a company or product in a constructive way. A sincere effort to save someone else the mistakes we’ve made.
    Lets hope no one here is using this wonderful forum for anything other than that.

    Besides, I couldn’t be sure that driving them from Helium would necessarily bring them to me. :o)

  6. In this season of crazy political attack ads, I suddenly thought — if you worked for a Helium competitor,say one of the ones mentioned above, wouldn’t it be good business to try to steal their current and future writers by discrediting them?

  7. I was accused of plagarism, which is a completely false allegation and when I defended myself, I had 5 more of my articles removed and my account terminated. This happened this morning and they haven’t removed my biography or picture from their site. They also owe me $45. I reallly don’t care about the money or the articles being lost, which is a total of almost 100. I want my association with these SCAM ARTISTS removed from their site, but since I can’t log onto it, what can I do, if anything? They own the stories, but not my image, biography, or my name and I wrote them and told them this and I have yet to get a reply back.

  8. Helium is definitely a scam the owners are incredibly rude and dismissive.

    Please file a complaint with the state attorney general’s office in Massachussetts where the main office resides.

    If the attorney general receives enough complaints there will be an investigation for fraud and they may file suit.

    Helium used to operate under another name and writers claim they went out of business owing many people money. They then reopened as Helium

    If no on files a formal complaint the attorney general can not investigate. They can only investigate when a large number of people complain.

    So send a letter return receipt asap.

    Rev. Rex is one of the very rude stewards at Helium. People have complained that they have been stalked and harrassed by Rev Rex after complaining about something at Helium.

    If you receive correspondance from Helium stewards that is rude and dismissive, please save it.

    When I talked to the attorney general they said they needed more complaints before they could investigate, but they did agree that some type of fraud was taking place, based on the complaints they have already received.

    • How funny. There have been exactly four complaints filed with the BBB, and all were satisfactorily resolved. Weird, huh? Guess your argument falls a bit flat.

  9. I also write for for fun. I knew that I would not make a lot of money, but, I did not expect a big payout on a free internet site. The problems I have with other peoples articles is that most of them are not sited. I have a master’s degree in English and I expect articles to be written nice and provide the names of sources. My college prof’s always said that information, facts and statistics come from somewhere. People just don’t hold facts and numbers in their brains. Most articles use facts and statistics from other websites and articles that are not sited correctly which is downright plagiarism. When I do come across an article when rating I do flag the article because plagiarism is wrong and an author needs to be acknowledged for their work and writings. If a writer an any level cannot site sources in their writings then they don’t need to be writing anything on the internet.

  10. Interestingly, Google is funding a huge chunk of Demand Media Studios upcoming IPO, leading many to believe that they are taking a completely different approach to content mills than they led many to believe.

  11. Will: What a wonderful illustration if we were all trying to ride Roller Coa$ter$.
    However: Out here in the scribbles world, there are those of us that are looking, No longing, for readership.

    As an old prostitute once said:”It isn’t always about money.”
    “Sometimes even the “worst ” of us would just like to find someone that will value and appreciate us, as we are.”

    Are you suggesting there is no place for we “amateurs” on the internet unless we reach “sale able” quality.
    I certainly hope not, but will keep your thoughts in mind should my scribbling improve.

    As your thoughts pertain to Helium’s future, you may be right on.
    They’ve kept my “junk” for months.

    Good luck with whatever you try.


    I think the question will be, what quality level will the mass production be able to achieve. There will be a limit, and sites that take a more authoritative view and give trust a boost within their content (like does) and pay their writers more for better content will win in the long run. I guess it’s the different between a mass produced car and a hand crafted car. Which will last longer and have less issues? I put my money on the hand crafted vehicle. I think the same is true with the large sites that rely on mass but have little quality behind each article. We recently saw this with QA sites and will soon see it with content farms that don’t live up to Google’s and the users standards.

    • Will, I sort of hear your argument.
      I don’t necessarily equate mass production with poorer quality per se in all situations especially not cars because there are a lot of people driving mass produced cars that have been fine with them for many years now. That being said, mass production in terms of writing is a different matter. Some of these sites do actually have some quality articles so I don’t want to discount that just because they happen to be in the mass production business. But there are so many more sites like helium coming into play that I do feel that Google may tweak their algorithms to favor sites that actually specialize in a given niche rather than a mall type of writing site that specializes in none. It would be safe to assume if your whole site is about a given subject you’re probably are more of an authority than some random writer that just picked it because it was profitable to write on and doesn’t really have the passion about the niche to add much value. So I do hear your argument to a certain degree.

      That being said, there are some quality writers on sites like helium so let’s keep that in mind. Thanks for chiming in.

  13. @Grace:
    What are my chances of having my whole creative writing account deleted off of Helium?

    I was just crawling back from total non-participation in the outside world and Helium seemed like the easiest way to post and submit and do something to enter the literary world, but, of course, now I regret it, though I have posted stuff as recently as yesterday!
    Talk about compulsions running against long term plans!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.



    • Hi, Pual!   My name is Amy.   I used to write for for a few months.   I started to have major problems with the people I dealt with because they do show unprofessional, unethical, and abusive  behaviors.   The problems since late May 2011.   I just made a request to the content department to have to remove all of my articles since I am longer interested in writing.     I even sent the  copy of the  email to new president  RR Donnelly.   I also posted my comment on writer’s review on   Helium:  Is it worth it?

      It is not right  for to keep  writer’s work if  the writer requested the articles, profile, etc. to be removed from the website.   If they refused they are actually  violating human rights and human freedom.

      I think contacting the attorney general’s office  is also a good idea since many  former Helium writers have  countless incidents with


  14. One more thing I’d like to point out…

    A cornerstone of professional journalism is the ability to avoid burning bridges. There is a stark difference between getting what you’re owed and truly burning bridges – and sometimes when you burn one bridge, it can singe the others in your network.

    What I mean by that is it’s okay to be angry, and it’s okay to try to get your just due. However, it’s NOT okay to be unprofessional. When you act unprofessionally, especially in the freelance world, you can affect your career’s future in a horrible way. If I’m an editor, and you’ve submitted something to me, I’m likely going to try to verify your credentials and see some samples of your work which you haven’t provided to me through tearsheets or ‘Web links.

    I’m going to google your name.

    And then I’m going to find unprofessional rants against other writers, companies and all manner of other things. (If I find unemotional, clear and concise reviews, it’s one thing – but unprofessional rants are another animal.) I’m going to think, “Jeez – if this guy acts like this because he’s mad over a couple hundred bucks, what happens if I have to pay him a kill fee because I didn’t like his article?” Magazines work on much higher pay scales than does the Internet – a kill fee could be in the range of $500… so if you’re so angry and threatening legal action for something smaller, an editor will likely shy away from working with you at all.

    You’ve got to be really careful what you put out there for the world – it’s great to get it off your chest, but do it in a professional manner. Exercise a little wisdom, forethought and above all, concern for your own future as a freelancer.

    Just a tip from one freelancer to others… do with it what you will.

  15. Angie: Thank you for bringing some “bright light” to this on going ” discussion.
    Yours is a bit more positive.
    We always enjoy reading the success stories.
    Thank you again for sharing.

  16. Wow, this is a long thread.

    I’ve been participating on Helium for almost three years – it was just a baby when I got on board. I knew when I signed up that I wouldn’t make a million dollars, because I browsed the forums and did my own research first… so I didn’t have wild expectations.

    Now, however, I do make a good deal of money from Helium. I am not paid to be a steward, nor do I enter contests any more; all I did was learn how to promote my own name and write with search engines in mind. Using Helium as an online portfolio, I can submit work to magazine publishers and in other online venues and give the editors something more to look at than the few magazines and other sites I’ve been published on.

    The bonus? The money I get for having posted articles three years ago (and haven’t touched or even thought about since) takes my husband and I out to dinner a couple of times a month. It will continue to do so – and the articles I’ve sold to magazines and other online sources won’t.

    When I first started out, Helium was exactly what I needed to bolster my confidence and get my name out in the wide, wide writing world. Now, if I have a piece that has been rejected by a magazine (too broad, too narrow or whatever else) I can sell it on Constant-Content for usage rights and post it on Helium to get that residual income. There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s better than having it sit on my hard drive NOT making any money!

    I think it’s wise to do a lot of research before you attach yourself to ANY online venue.

  17. Helium is a total scam. As a dissident who pointed out on Helium forums how corrupt their system is, I notice an interesting matter. If I submit an article, it rises to the top or near the top very quickly. After some days or weeks, it suddenly falls. Of course, this is due to the fact that Helium stewards can select which articles to rate. I am pretty well convinced they have a cabal working to downrate the work of dissidents. Actually, I can’t give a toss. I find my articles earn equally well wherever they place. Also, I no longer waste time on original articles for Helium. I simply spend 5 minutes or so rewriting a couple of paragraphs from a better written article for a more honest site. I then toss it into whatever Helium slot best fits. It is easy pennies for practically no work. I smile whenever I hit the payout button on Helium. The work I submit to them is s__t, but then it is well known that s_t will always float to the top.

  18. I’d like to share my Helium experience, as well. I have been a Helium writer since October and I managed to cash out the very first month. All it takes is some consideration put in the article and a bit of effort (it takes about 30 minutes to write a 400-word piece). I have been writing an article or two per day and my earnings have been going up each month. Yes, you do not make lots of money through page views but there are many additional bonuses that a writer can make use of. In addition, Helium does not discriminate against people who are not US-citizens. For me, Helium is a wonderful option to make some additional money without spending too much time on writing.

  19. And to Jimmy, NO Associated Content does NOT neglect to mention you have to be a US citizen or resident to get upfront payments. It’s in their FAQs and their Terms of Service – you just didn’t read it obviously!

  20. Helium is an absolute scam. Having to rate other writers just so you get paid is a gross way to treat writers and the amount of money they pay out is pathetic. Examiner, Textbroker and definitely Associated Content pay out much more money and treat their writers well. Anyone who touches Helium with a 10 foot pole is crazy. I wrote 5 articles there and left as, in the time it takes me to write one Helium article and then rate a bunch of writers I couldn’t care less about, I’ve earned $12 in upfront payments on Associated Content or other sites.

    Stay away from Helium, unless you like spending your time for no profit except theirs.

  21. Just a quick question, does Helium require you to be a US citizen for you to get paid (like AC does)? I see that AC neglects to mention that so you’d only find out when you’re waiting for your money!


  22. Hi I came here looking for info on heliump2p, which claims to put computers in peoples homes and pay them for allowing the computers to put out ads on the internet supposedly to
    have an alternative way to have server power without paying too much for server hosting.
    I wanted to find out if this was true and if they were an honest and real company and yet what I find is this site where they supposedly pay you for writing articles so which is it and does this show that the company I was seeking, is fake?

  23. @Smac:
    Thanks for the lowdown, Smac. I ended up on this site because I read a Helium job posting for writers that sounded fishy to me. The posting actually says: Professional journalists must provide copies of 3 print clips plus an editor’s name and email for quick verification. A journalism degree is not sufficient, but some work in the field is required.” A four year journalism degree is “not sufficient” to write recipe articles and 500 word blurbs about arts and crafts projects? After examining the content of the site and learning about their meager and weaselly pay, I am glad that I didn’t waste my time with them. Their job posting is deceptive and implies that they have very high standards which is obviously not the case. I guess I will have to take my “insufficient” journalism degree somewhere else.

  24. Where do I start…? is a scam and certainly not the place for writers or readers for that matter. It has a preschool star rating and writing system and no editors, earning money is based on content and the cash reward is cent and nickel. But despite that they have a very good reputation at reeling you in, softening you up and getting you to feel important – so basically it is vanity press, with one big problem, they have first rights to anything you write on there! Be careful, be wary, do not get sucked in – one good article is all they need to boulster their bank account and leave you slopping up the lees. And when you eventually come to your senses what do they do? They ban you… they take your pittance and turn it out for themselves. Yes there are a meagre few who seem to earn on this site, but methinks they actually run it, so they are a little, teeny bit partisan. They are the ladies and gents that become appalled if you question anything about Helium on their community forum, these are the same people who seem to win all the competitions, the same people who seem to own the ‘companies’ in the ‘marketplace’ the same people who delete your ill advised (to them) questions at their forum and eventually ban you from their site for no adequete reason at all, suffice as to say they don’t need one, they change their TOS more abruptly than the Irish weather and they keep your content all to themselves, greasing their oily palms with any sort of content that they can steal and sell on. These people don’t care about how good that content is by the way, so don’t be fooled that just because you like you are a brilliant journalist, with a golden future, no they will take any sort of rubbish, no editors see… it is easy. Yes I too am partisan, I have had many articles stolen by and recieved no payments, so I feel I have reason to be. But regardless of that little act of plagiarism on the part of, I have now been given my golden opportunity to tell all who are interested and even those that aren’t not to darken the door of ~ Where knowledge rules and where knowing counts, so if anyone here is in two minds let me make it clear, write for fun, write for the warm feeling, write for diary, write for helium – write for you, your readers, write good, and deserve decent monetary reccompense? Please go elsewhere. Helium is as light as the gas it is named after, and would you really trust your words when they are pitched upwards at such an annoying frequency…

  25. @bugsey:
    Ms. Or Mr. bugsey: To answer your first question: It may be “possible” to make some money, but I never have. To answer your second query: Before I could accept you offer, I’d have lots of questions and so would my lovely wife. Do you have lots of money? Would we live at your place or ours? Do you have a boat and motor? Does the motor start easily? Well, I won’t go further now, our friend EDDY ain’t runnin’ no dating game here. ‘o) Keep in touch. I should warn you, that’s a very old sketch I used for my “avatar”.

  26. I never like Helium’s pay scale in the first place. If you get a star, they give you lesser amount of money compare to Associated Content. Eddy here knows that I favor AC compare to Helium.
    I recently got a email about another residual income writing site that sure beats AC, Bukisa, and most of them out there.
    The pay is that when you reach $10 each month, you get paid by paypal. How this works is that if you get the first 500 unique page visitors, you get $5. But you get paid up to $20 for each time you get 1080 views. And that will give me more than what Ehow have gave me so far.
    At ehow, I already have over 26k visitors and yesterday checked that I have over $11 something.
    Even though Ehow pays me somewhat more than AC does for residual, I like the fact that they give you upfront payment plus performance payment but it sucks they give you $1.50 for every thousand page views.
    If anyone is interested in this invitation to write for a better paying writing site, let me know. Would love to spread the word about it.

  27. @Barbara Whitlock:
    The only reason why I came back to this post is to THANK Helium for locking out 300 of my articles. I have found that the best revenge is living well indeed! I get Odesk articles NOW for 5 bucks each )teh start is not bad with one dollar per 500 words). I also have an ebook project at Odesk that paid me 1780.00 in two weeks… See? Move forward, Helium isn’t worth it!

    @Ray — with your humor, you can make money yah know? .. will you marry me?

  28. Wendy: I don’t have any good advice for you, I’m merely an internet “Jester”. I also worship “part-time” at the alter of Eddy Salomon.
    It really makes my face red when see all the enthusiasm in your writing. With your energy and Eddy’s help, you should go a long way in the “work at home” world.
    I’m a lazy, retired, blue collar worker that likes to talk about “work at home” but has never gotten started.
    I’m also a disenchanted Helium scribbler.
    I’ve also heard good things about Laurie’s recommended site – Associated Content.
    Good Luck Wendy, with what ever you end up doing.

  29. Eddy, coming from you means a lot to me and yes. I do believe that Helium is a waste of time. I do not know anyone that actually succeed with the marketplace for writers that they claim where you have to have at least a star or more to qualify.
    I prefer writing somewhere else such as at Associated Content where I would be get paid more than what Helium thinks. I know that everyone have their opinion about things but Helium but never my cup of tea.

  30. Hey everyone. I just thought to put in my two cents in. In my personal opinion, it is a waste of time to write for them because if you looking at how much they would pay you for per stars which ranges from fifty cents for one to $2.50 just about for four or five stars. I only have one article there and haven’t written anything for them ever since. One source I talk to on mylot told me that it took him about a whole year to get that $25. I was able to make more than that in one month at Associated Content. If you want upfront payment, write for associated content. YOu also get performance payments too. I got two so far for August and September of 2009.

  31. Hi Eddy,

    I read the whole thing. (pointing to the long discussion about Helium). I’m glad I did.
    I like to write. I keep several journals both on and off line. My mind is a blaze most of the time with thoughts, and if I didn’t write, well, sometimes I think my mind would explode.
    I only mention that because since I washed out of a class that was more of a pressure test than anything else, it was connected to a 9 to 5 job that was 40 hours a week that would have been sort of great because it ment more experience. The theory is the more experience you have the more opportunities you have access to.

    Anyway, I have tried in the past to work from home. And after being so overwhelmed by so much out there and the sorting process a person has to go through to find enough work to be able to stay home and work too, that I’ve had to go back to working outside the home to pay the bills and eat two.
    A long discussion like what I’ve just read through helps someone like me because in truth the time I have to invest is worth something, and that something has to bring a return of some kind.
    Making the decision to try something and then finding out that it’s got lots of kinks and problems after the fact is in truth rather expensive. The headaches, frustration can make a person bitter. Bitterness is counter productive no matter how you look at it.

    In the light of enlightening here are my experiences so far this time around in trying to work from home, I signed up for jobstop and the job boards are great, except many of the jobs require so many years experience in a field to get into them, many of the lead to home web sites and from there the extensive list of requirements is overwhelming. Then there are the telephone gigs,, thoes require hands free head sets which are expensive.
    It has been wall after wall. But what is $24 dollars in light of an education and access to a huge job board anyway, I’ve spent more in running all over town to chase down jobs that were closed by the time I got there.
    I figure I’ve got a life time subscription to the site and who knows what will show up maybe today, or tomorrow or down the road. I look at it as a resource, because that’s what it is.

    Then there is amazon. I figured that a penny earned per job, there are hits on the site that you can make more at, but a penny is still better than spending hours not making any money. So I signed up and followed the instructions and hit a wall.
    I’m still trying to find the place where you set up the account. I went over and over and over the instructions and back to the sign up page again and again and again, and still haven’t found what they say is there. Until I do, it sits in limbo.

    I looked into affliate marketing, and it’s nice that they are offering a trial run for a buck. But with as slow as I am because of how overwhelming all of this is, a week’s trial isn’t long enough for me.
    I’ve signed up for Fusion cash. Once I got into the site I started looking at the options because I need to make money here. What I found was that without fail every single one of their groups or lists ends up costing time and money because in order to get the payment you have to sign up for two or three of their sponsers and thoes end up hooking you up to memberships which are designed to start syphoning off a bank acount because the free trial they offer runs out before you can discontinue the memebership. Funny how it’s designed that way.
    I looked into the pay per hit and clixsense and got tied up in trying to figure out how their version of getting paid works.
    Another moment of education here, to make money even from several things at once there are alot of hoops to jump through before you finally get the hang of it so you can start making money.

    Inspite of all the education in all of this and the walls I haven’t given up. I am still determined to work from home. I like the idea of not having to dress for the weather, or deal with traffic or wait for the bus or get up when it’s still dark out to go make someone else rich off my hard work. I’d like to make me rich, or at least sustainable.
    I’ve had jobs out there pulled out from under me, which is another good motivator for working from home. The problem I’m having with it, is trying to get started at all.
    I figure that I need one of thoes work from home for dummy’s books for me to figure this stuff out.
    Now mind you, I’m not stupid, although I’ve wondered since I keep hitting walls all the time in trying to work from home. I’ve had my own business for a few years. It was fun because I took on different kinds of gigs, everything from being a private cook for a couple to organizing a quilters stash of fabric into color order, to making custom clothes for a while. The problem was there was never enough consistant work to enable me to keep the business open.

    Anyway, I wanted to say that this long thread about helium has saved me alot of time, and alot of frustration ahead of time. I am greatful.

    This site and all your hard work in helping us who are out here wanting to be free of having to go out there to make a living is much apprecated. I have learned alot. I still have along way to go.
    I spend alot of hours reading on this site and following links and doing more reading, and at the end of several hours I’m still not working. I haven’t given up. Every day is the same though, thinking maybe today I’ll find a job I can actually get started doing. Esentially going out there and putting in applications is alot like what I’ve been doing in trying to work from home. The difference is I’m not spending money in gas by trying to work from home.


  32. @Grace:
    Grace, I must agree with your balanced commentary about how Helium works. All writers still own the copyright. They just can’t sell exclusive rights to the posted work.
    I enjoy using Helium as a morale booster to sit me down in front of the computer and just do it – just write. It’s far better to have material posted on Helium where others may be inspired or informed rather than having it sit in a desk drawer covered with dust.
    You won’t make millions there but it gives you the opportunity to spread your writing wings and to learn from others.
    ~ bsmith

  33. ‘m sorry you did not receive notice when the other writers did. I’m more sorry you did not save your own articles that you own copyright for off site. These are not retrievable because there is no back up on deleted articles.

    Again, I’m sorry,


    @Barbara – you mean Helium has no back up too? Why wasn;t I informed that those articles would be deleted? That was all I wanted and I kept writing as per your advise and I get no reply.
    I also got in touch with THE Pulitzer and there is no “connection” between THE Pulitzer and the one Helium calls The Pulitzer. In fact, the real Pulitzer wrote back to disclaim any connection with Helium.
    As I said Barbara, I am NOT interested in getting paid. I am sure that since your “opps” department as you call it, seems so efficient, it might find a way to get back my articles.

    • Hey Bugsey, thanks for the link!

      Let me just chime in about the 300 articles lost. As much as I don’t agree with many of the things I’ve heard about Helium, I must say Barbara makes a good point regarding saving your work. It’s just a good practice especially in situations like
      this where you’re placing your hard work on a site you don’t own. I own my site. My hosting company has a back up of my files. So if God forbid I lose the digital copies I have on my Mac I can contact my hosting company and have them provide me a back of my site where all my articles are hosted. So the lesson that should be learned is that you should always have a copy of the work you place on sites you don’t own and read the terms of conditions on these sites. I know most of us ignore them but as we can see there are ramifications for that.

      What you might want to do to retrieve your old articles is go to They have a search box there where you can enter the url of a site or page you would like to see looked like a while ago. You may be able to recover some of the articles that way if you remember their exact urls. Hope this helps.

  34. Chavie, Once the articles are deleted from Helium they are gone. I’m sorry you did not receive notice when the other writers did. I’m more sorry you did not save your own articles that you own copyright for off site. These are not retrievable because there is no back up on deleted articles.

    Again, I’m sorry,


  35. @Eddy – Thanks! lol.. I always stood for freedom of expression. You’re in my blogroll and my twitter. The problem we have with online scams is that understandably, there are people who will say this “thingy” is a scam and others who will offer contrary opinions.

    @Barbara – As I’ve said buddy, you can keep your money. As you know already, I am cool about the money. What I want back are my articles and I haven’t been given notice that they would simply ALL be deleted. These aren’t just a few articles by the way but more than 300 which is why I feel Helium has a LOT to explain. What’s so difficult about allowing me to SEE (not log in..see I’m cool?) my work and copy it ? You KNOW my request is a reasonable one.

  36. Chavie, I have been looking into this. As I mentioned, Helium at times faces viral traffic from IP addresses that bring in a large volume of low-quality content. Because we have an open-publishing portal we on occasion have to block IP addresses. We are working on adding more preliminary filters to prevent this. I discovered that if someone’s IP address was blocked, and their access to Helium was prevented through no fault of their own, we remove the content as a principal of fairness. I also found out that all the writers affected were sent notification 30 days prior so they could copy their content before it was deleted. As I mentioned to you yesterday, you said you were not receiving emails from Helium, and I suspect your spam filter picked those up or you selected to block emails from coming to you on your account setting page.

    Helium also specifically informs writers: “We don’t want you to lose your article (for formatting or other tech glitches)…so we strongly advise you to write your article in Word or another word-processing program and save it on your computer.” And again, in Helium’s Writing Standards: “we strongly advise you to write your article in Word or another word-processing program. Then save a copy of your final version.” As the writer who owns copyright one should always save and date online articles on your own files.

    So Helium did not steal your content. We returned it to you but you did not seem able to access that information. I apologize.

    And to say that stewards are horrible people is really disrespectful. Stewards are a subset of Helium volunteers who give extra to help writers and staff on the site. All of them are regular people, and come with their own warts and personalities along with their good intentions. I’m sorry if you had a disagreeable relationship with one steward, but that does not make them all bad.

    In general, not everyone who participates on Helium will be able to compete effectively, earn the highest possible dollars and be able to speak anyway they want. We are a writing community governed by a culture that requires respect. We are a publishing business that has to make decisions to preserve integrity and quality on the site.

    Barbara Whitlock
    New Member Outreach Manager

  37. @Jay – I ENTIRELY agree with you. You see the “penis” incident was hilarious! The community board at Helium has this religious zealot (Islamic) who was defending WHY women “needed to be protected”.The discussion naturally flowed to WHY did he even think that women in the 21st century needed “protection” and a rather oppressive dress code. I mean, tell me if it’s okay for any woman to go around wearing a porta-tent??.. then this Dr. Ali (hey, another funny Helium steward/Islamic affairs – lol!) alluded that women were inferior to men which made me say “You mean you’re better than I am because you were born with a PENIS?” Ooops! that made Grace Alexander (who has a penchant for trolling at discussions) say that I NEEDED to be reminded to be sensitive. Of course, I wanted to dare her to walk around with a tent over her face but I recognized that was their blog and evenmy response about the “penis” (Bwahahahahah) was deleted.
    @Barbara – Yes, you were telling the truth that we did talk yesterday but you still have no answers WHY my articles were stolen — they’re not THERE and I can’t copy it. Yes, I bought Heliumasia dot com but it hardly talks about Helium more than holistic cancer cures. The problem with you Barbara is that people do not “get” you because you try to help but Helium, as a business, has frankly the most corrupt “online work system”. How do I know that my 300 plus articles were not “stolen” and sold in stock? I still want my articles back Barb!
    Also, your stewards are blatantly horrible people.

    • Hey Bugsey,

      1. Yes you can add me to your blogroll. By the way, you never need permission to link to a site you like otherwise search engines like Google wouldn’t exist and the web would be a scary place again. 😉
      With that said I’m not sure if you’ll want to link to me after you read my comments below. But I do appreciate that you do find enough value in the site that you would want to link to it.

      We live in a free country and as such we do have the freedom of speech. After all, that’s what makes this country great. It’s also the reason I encourage comments from folks like you that provide both sides of the story on a given company. This way other folks can filter through the truth and mere opinions that may be based on personal vendettas. With that said, I think its’ very important to have intellectual debates without resorting to name calling (i.e. Port-a-tent) or being disrespectful to someone’s cultural or religious beliefs. Last I checked this country was built on people of differences of race, color and creed that came together to build the great country we have here. So that should be respected and not ridiculed because someone may have an opinion that is contrary to yours. Seems to me, you’re smart enough to show them the error of their ways by merely pointing out facts or using your wit.

      Since I own and control my blog, I have the right to delete comments that I determine to be inflammatory, negative or provide little value to the conversation. Is this censorship? Probably. But I’m tired on being on sites where people aren’t able to express themselves without resorting to being belligerent. It’s great to have differences of opinions. That’s the spice of life. But its another thing to attack or belittle others because of their opposing views no matter how ridiculous they may be.

      Yes, some times folks are just totally out of line or just plain idiotic. lol But I think we’re all intelligent enough to argue a different point of view or show someone the errors of their logic using good old fashion wit or facts. So if Helium deletes comments that are inflammatory, ignorant, hateful or add little value to a given topic that’s their right as the owner of their site. Now with that said, I don’t think comments where people make constructive criticisms regarding their practices or a company as a whole should be deleted. If they’re smart, they should take that feedback and use it to improve their site. At the end of the day, they’ll never be able to please everyone. But I’ve read some great constructive feedback here on this post that have brought to light some issues that they should try to address rather than suppress. Fortunately we have mediums like this blog and others that don’t suppress dissenting feedback.

      On a personal note, I’ve had a few negative comments thrown my way. If they were constructive and expressed in a respectful manner, I’ll approve them and respond. In some cases I’ve even made adjustments on my end based on this negative feedback because the folks that expressed it made some valid points that I couldn’t deny. But I would have been less inclined to do so if they’re being disrespectful or just negative for the sake of being negative. And trust me there are a lot of people out there like that. They’re miserable in their lives and seek nothing more than to spread misery any way they can. Its a free country and they have a right to do that. But if I anything to do with it, it won’t be on my platform. If that makes me a censor, so be it. My goal its to help people make some money at home while educating and amusing them in the process. It’s not to make everyone happy.

      So with that said, I think its just important to focus on the facts. I think that holds a lot more weight with most people. There seems to be a big movement against Helium by many people and that’s fine. Seems to me Helium does have some explaining to do and has a lot of room for improvement. But let this movement be based on facts. That’s speaks volumes instead of name calling and being rude. Just my two cents. Take it for what it is. I do encourage folks that can express themselves in an intelligent and respectful manner to continue to air out the facts and their experiences with Helium. Hopefully it will force some much needed change instead of canned responses. Thanks Bugsey for chiming in. I hope you can understand my point of view.

  38. Chavie and I had many exchanges yesterday to get to the bottom of her problem.

    Helium houses the largest writing community in the world, and the competitive nature of the site means not everyone will succeed there. We also enable an open spirit of respectful dialogue. Those who can’t compete well or refuse to abide by the respectful online culture we’ve established may leave (or have to leave) and end up angry.The web is open to the complaints to be aired expansively. There are a few folks who keep at it. Readers should beware and find out for themselves.

    Helium has an explicitly clear user agreement, which every member signs before entering. Unfortunately some sign without reading carefully. At Helium all writers retain copyright and Helium holds content but non-exclusively, meaning writers can republish their Helium content on other non-exclusive publishing venues. Helium is also a writer’s coop and requires minimal writer participation in the rating process, to help sort for quality among the vast content on the site. Writers can maintain the one required rating star by rating as little as 10 minutes twice a week.

    Helium is an open and empowering site to writers, who have further opportunities to participate in editorial oversight volunteer-type roles. Helium is popping up as a leading site for freelancers. Some call it their writer home and others use Helium opportunities on the side. In a competitive freelance world Helium is one option to consider among many, and it can easily complement other publishing opportunities. If anyone would like to ask me questions directly my inbox is always open:

    Barbara Whitlock
    New Member Outreach Manager

  39. They Complaints Board is getting a lot of flack about Helium, but no mention of the penis yet. This just in:
    Posted: 2009-03-05 by Migel

    Online fraud

    Complaint Rating:
    Company information:
    United States

    I knew there were many internet scams out there but I never expected to encounter one of this type. At first glance it seemed to on the up and up with many helpful people encouraging others to write their butts off and also to rate as much as possible. I soon realized that things weren’t what they seemed.

    I found out some stewards (who were touted as mere members volunteering to do free work for Helium) were paid to push any new rules changes which Helium came up with. If anyone complained the paid cheerleaders would naysay any complaints and talk up the new changes. Some of the paid volunteers are downright arrogant and rude to members calling them malcontents and other names. This was to quell any dissent from members and it works well on some.

    But not for me obviously. I emailed Barbara Whitlock, one of CEO Mark Ranalli’s main cronies, many times and was lied to on a regular basis about the status of the stewards. After exposing the truth about the steward program and causing Barbara to admit the truth about them getting paid some who weren’t getting paid were very hurt and dismayed to learn the deception. I also informed the members about the special rating system the sub-stewards and stewards were permitted to use allowing them to rate in all channels, not just the ones they wrote in like the common members have to use.

    The rating system is faulty anyway but allowing some to rate in any channel they choose can skew the rating of regular articles, marketplace articles, and contest entries. This could explain the numerous complaints by members about the rating system. How all of this works is a secret of course. A trade secret according to the cheerleaders. In fact, almost anything important to the members is a secret.

    Now a member has to have enough ‘quality rates’ to have a rating star at the end of the month or the money your articles have earned will go to someone else on the site. Coincidentally, many seem to lose their rating star right before pay out time and lose all the money they have worked for the entire month. And besides, not one person, steward, staff, Barbara, Rex, or anyone else on the site can define a quality rate. Believe me, many have asked. So you see, they are asking members to do something which no one on Helium can define in order to collect their money.

    I caused Barbara and Mark to admit their untruthfulness so they banned me and kept my 109 articles which are still making money for them. They are not required to prove I violated the user agreement so they can steal my work and make money from doing so. Pretty neat set up wouldn’t you say. There’s no telling how many other members have had their articles stolen by these despicable people.

    There are some great people trapped on this site who are afraid to speak up about the problems because they have hundreds if not thousands of articles on here they could lose. It is a type of extortion by Helium, holding the writers articles hostage in case they decide to speak out about the corruption on the site. These are bad people running this site with no sense of loyalty to their writers. Stay away from this site.

  40. Hey Eddy.

    I am a member at helium but only have one article there. I don’t like helium structure with the pay thing since I don’t see how anybody can really make any money at all.

    I write at ehow and made some each month on there which I love but wish they give upfront money like associated content does. I know for sure that AC is not a scam but need to get myself writing again so then I can make money again and at the same time fatten up my paypal.
    Textbroker is another place to consider when you want to make money. A friend of mine whom I convince to be a freelance writer read that there were other moms making at least $600 or more a month at textbroker. The most I made was $175 at one time. Well, thanks for your honest opinion about Helium as well. I personally wouldn’t waste my time there at all. There are sites much more better than this one for writing.

  41. Edy, You are obviously operating as an agent of Helium, posing here as an objective journalist, but that is the problem with so-called citizen journalists nowadays. You yourself should chill, dude, appreciate the value of criticism, and stop acting like Helium’s censorious flunky!

    • Yawn…. One, I don’t work for In fact I was kicked out as an affiliate of this company. So if anyone has a gripe against them then I would. But fortunately I’m level headed person and don’t allow my emotions run me. I wish I could say that about everyone. But that’s obviously not the case as demonstrated by your eloquent comments. I’m all for criticism but it should be constructive & respectful. I don’t doubt some of the claims made by some of the individuals on this post. I know that there are always going to be people that slip through the cracks or wronged by a company. It’s just a fact of life given the size of a company and the number of people it will serve. Does that dissolve the company of responsibility? No.

      But I don’t see how being rude or abrupt is going to resolve your issue. That’s like cursing out waitress who is serving your food. That’s a perfect recipe for getting some “special sauce” added to your meal. But if that’s the type of reaction you want from a company then by all means be as rude with your criticism as you want.

      The thing is though, you “ain’t” going to come into my house and start calling me names. This blog isn’t about disrespecting each other. It’s a place to share different opinions about companies and topics in a constructive way. Obviously this may be too difficult for you. So guess what? You’ve lost the privilege of doing so on this blog.

      What I find ironic about your claims of me being a censor is that I’ve allowed tons of comments above that have constructively called out Helium for some of their questionable practices. But yet I’m a “Helium’s censorious flunky”? Go figure.

      In any event, Good day to you sir. Hopefully your approach will get everything you want in life. But it won’t be happening here.

  42. @Barbara
    I wrote you a one liner twice. I am not into writing LONG letters as you may probably know. Again, I want to know why my account was deleted without notice which is fraud.

    • Dude you may want to chill out. I think the fact that she has responded to your inquiry warrants a little more respect and an actual discussion then just shooting off one liner emails. You catch a lot more flies with honey then you do with vinegar. I understand you’re frustrated but there is a way to go about things so you get a desired result.

  43. @Barbara Whitlock:
    Barbara, I dare you tell me exactly why my account was deleted and to tell the truth. Oh, why haven’t you been replying to my letters? You can’t figure out what to say? When do you guys pay me btw? You still owe me. Chavie Cyn

  44. Helium pays you as long as they want you but they did lock my account after 200 plus articles with NO NOTICE at all. I suspect they did so because I purchased the domain name heliumasia dot com and other “heliums” “hellium” etcetera… It is a SCAM in the sense that they can be terribly nice to you UNTIL you sell about 9 markeplace articles like I did 🙂
    They also do not give you any notice. They aren’t a decent site too. I found out that they actually have no REAL connection with THE real Pulitzer and Helium has a penchant for misrepresenting or overrating itself too much.
    It’s a dishonest site. Their stewards are “taught” to SOUND like they’re “in the know” but really, has anyone read Grace Alexander or Rex Trulove’s articles? Helium’s stewards are suspect because they can rigg contests, determine if your stars rise or fall — a pompous bunch really. Like Helium, it’s stewards suffer from delusions of grandeur.
    Do they pay? At first. If they begin to owe you too much they close your account without notice.
    Strictly speaking Helium is a SCAm. Go to Odesk instead. At least you know you get paid after the job!

  45. I finally got 300 dollars built up with a lot of hard work and because of alleged plagiarism (which was deleted so I could not rebut or defend myself and my work) I was cut off and they don’t have to pay me for May or June. This is in the terms of service, yet I never thought they would accuse someone of plagiarism without the author at least having a chance to see what they thought was plagiarized! They simply deleted it and deleted me, except they still use my articles as features on their site!!! Maddening.

  46. Thanks, Eddy, for providing your views along with an opportunity to comment. I can understand why you do not want to harp on Helium any longer. Helium for me is only a particular representative of greater issues. I’ve sent along my files on the subject to Senators Kerry and Inouye. You and your colleagues might be interested in viewing them at:


    David Arthur Walters

  47. @Colleen: Colleen, I noticed that you were livid at Helium’s conduct and I don’t blame you. Actually, other writers have had worse happen to them for protesting against Helium policies. They have had their names removed from their confiscated work and replaced with numbers. Helium routinely deletes articles it does not like even when they are seemingly favorable because a bad light might somehow in theier judgment be cast on the operation, or because of the political prejudices or downright ignorance of its stewards and channels and editors, yet it refuses to to otherwise delete articles because essential to its scheme is the exploitation writers for content on the cheap. Of course it pays its professional writers fairly well outside of the rating system – which of course the adhesion “agreement” explicitly authorizes..The tragedy with all this is that if Helium does not change radically it will go down the tubes with its investors’ millions and all the work “contributed” to the cause will sink into the abyss, so I hope all the helium heads are backing up their work. David Arthur Walters

    • Hi David,
      I’ve sat quietly and allowed both sides of the coin to battle it out here in the hopes of sparking intellectual debates. Mission accomplished! I think folks reading this article will have a a better representation of Helium because we’ve heard from real people on both ends. However at this point the conversation has become more like a monologue. I think we all know where you stand and totally appreciate your point of view. The information is out there now and ultimately it’s up to the folks that read these comments to process it and make a decision that’s right for them.

      As a past affiliate I’ve had my own personal negative experiences with Helium but I think it’s a waste of my energy to harp on it regardless of how I’ve felt they’ve wronged me. I think there is more productive use of my time and just as in dating there are other fish in the sea. So let’s leave it at that.

      Thanks again for the great information and insight you’ve provided. You’ve brought up some great concerns that should be considered. No company is perfect but there definitely sounds like there is a lot of room for improvement.

  48. @Candace: “Candace” I see that my previous response to you has been lost, so I reply again: Contrary to your May 29 statement, I read your May 24th post, and that is why I asked you for your full name or the penname you use at Helium and your average monthly earnings. I noticed that you said you’d posted 900 articles in 31 months, but figured that might be a mistake. I also asked if you are an agent or employee of Helium – and I add to that, are you Barbara WhitlocK?. As a Helium writer on the “face of the publishing revolution,” I’m sure you can appreciate my concern with the Facts. Again, I do not take issue with your personal enjoynment of Helium, despite the fact that several serious issues have been raised by a number of writers that do not reflect well on the Helium administration. Again, the User “Agreement” is not a valid contract. David Arthur Walters

  49. @Ray Buck: Thanks for defining “prescient.” As you know, the most reliable foresight of the future rests on the knowledge of what is going on now – then one can imagine its continuation – but then there are big surprises or punctuations that might lead to something, say frogleaps into unknown pools, that not even the best prognosticator can accurately predict except by divine intuition (pardon the redundancy here as the prognosticator I think is one who has SPECIAL knowledge of the future). Of course to know what is going on now in order to predict the future, one would have to know something about past events. What do you predict for Helium? David Arthur Walters

  50. @David Arthur Walters:
    This is a reply to Dave’s use of the word “prescient”.
    For those of you that hung around the same pool halls, biker shops, and penny arcades that I did as a kid, you may not know what that means.
    I looked it up, and I think it’s a sort of “mystical” word for “seeing into the future”.

    To remove ourselves from politics for a moment, a great (paraphrased) quote from Gross’s book that shows real “prescient powers” is this:” As the years progress, men will seek relief from anxiety from more than just a few beers and a ball game, the more traditional escape mechanisms, but also through sex, drugs, madness, and cults.”
    Was that the 21st Century, seen in 1980 or what?
    I don’t mean to sound like I have prescient powers, but possibly some of “you readers” future favorites may be listed there. ‘0)

    Now back to our normally scheduled programming……

    Is Helium the right thing, or the wrong thing ? ‘0)
    Please feel free to jump in here anytime……..

  51. @Ray Buck: Hey, Ray, you are correct, there was a clearer difference between business and government when that book was written, and it is the increasing con-fusion of the two that renders the author prescient. I was amused by the so-called socialist scare raised in response to President Obama &CO’s twist on business-as-usual. As you know, “fascist”would be a more appropriate term, but I suppose we must not get into the difference between fascism and communism here, although the former is relevant IMO to the management style of Helium – and by “fascism” I do not mean to say they are sending helium heads to the showers after they strip them of their gold teeth and so on. Corporatism is perhaps a better term – take a look at the background of the Helium board of directors. Of course that might lead to a discussion of the difference between corporatism and blessed federalism. If we are here merely to trash Helium (that would be fun), I beg everyone’s pardon for tossing in a political term or two. David Arthur Walters

  52. David,
    Thanks for paying so much attention to my post before asking questions that are all answered in it. If you pay as little attention to contracts you enter into as you do what you read here, I can see why you have so many issues. Just an observation. I’m not trying to be sarcastic, I really don’t get your full deal other than you feel as if you have been violated because they won’t change the rules for you. That is what this all sounds like, you made an agreement they don’t want to let you break and you’re mad so you badmouth them here. Ray is right, move on and focus your energy towards something positive and productive. Everyone that lives long enough feels screwed sooner or later, but it isn’t worth letting it eat you up inside.

    Yes I do like my little Helium cocoon because it gives me a great place to re-post content I sold elsewhere on the occasions that limited rights allowing me to do so revert back to me after a specified period of time. Why not take advantage of earning extra revenue? There are other places that pay more, but not for content that has appeared elsewhere already. I like my Helium cocoon because sometimes it pays me to write about something I enjoy writing about that isn’t very marketable elsewhere. I also like I can use it to practice writing about specific things. I have been trying to get into writing about autos lately so I have submitted a lot on that area just to see if I rate well enough against the good writers in that area to try some queries outside of helium on those. It would never be a place I looked to make a living at, I’m not sure anyone could, but for what it is it’s an okay place. That is why I stick around.

    As for Ray, yes I was giving you some praise! I liked your poetry.

  53. @David Arthur Walters:
    David: I don’t mean to clutter Eddy’s blog, or this Helium “string” by injecting politics but you did mention the Bertram Gross book, Friendly Fascism.
    A better question might have been, have I read the book lately?
    Through 21st Century adjusted eyes.
    Example: When Gross wrote those words, nearly 30 years ago, there was a much clearer line between “Big Business & Big government”.
    Within the last 120 days that line has become terribly blurred. :0)

    Let me just sum up my feelings about today’s political, social, and economic situation by saying, and I quote someone here, but I don’t know who:” I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” “Today we need that dedication to opposition toward today’s politics and politicians that rob us as we sleep OR live with apathetic acceptance of it, thus making our worst nightmares a self-confirming prophecy.”
    This is paraphrased, and is meant to be as non-partisan as it can be.

    Again, I apologize to Eddy and anyone that thought this would only be about Helium Pros & Cons. but I can’t pass up an opportunity to shout to anyone listening.

  54. @Ray Buck: Say, Ray, Thanks for getting your 2 – 3 cents worth in. When your account exceeds $25, may you enjoy it! Actually, money is not my main issue with Helium – as I have said elsewhere and tried not to repeat myself, I wanted to disassociate my name from the site lest I be disgraced by the association, particularly after I bothered to actually read the TOS and the many complaints. However, I am concerned that even the most scurrilous of scriblers who want to scratch out a living be given a fair shake for the money – and not upside down. As for being more disgruntled than you, I don’t think so, although I have not actually heard your grunts. Of course my style usually indicates that I have strong feelings (at least according to my critics). Anyway, this is not so much about Helium but about The Future of Journalism. Oh, re right-wing corporatism, it’s the F-type, and by that I don’t mean Friendly – say, I wonder if you’ve read the book FRIENDLY FASCISM? David Arthur Walters

  55. @David Arthur Walters:
    Mr. Walters: I have read, with great interest, of your continued concern over the “unfair” way Helium has treated you and others, However: It would seem it might be to your best interest to just “move on” David, and put some of this behind you. I’m sure it is upsetting you far more than it is anyone at Helium.
    You are allowing their “ghost” to occupy far too much of your time and space.
    But that’s just me. I’m a “lover” not a hater. I’m a quitter not a pusher. I’m a monkey not a lion. and of course, More of a dove than an eagle. ‘0)

    It is interesting to know that Barbara is also “The Mysterious Candace” but I don’t know what to do with that bit of information? Maybe I can use that in one of my silly rhymes.

    I must congratulate you on your comment about Helium finding it necessary to display your $1.15 worth of articles as the “hinge” on which their entire platform hangs. I thought “pure hogwash” given your normal feelings, was a very mild response. :o) I do share that feeling and that response with you.
    I am however prejudiced because I also have 2-3 cents worth of material that I foolishly placed in their “perpetual” care.

    Lastly, I ask, if you would, please give me greater definition of the phrase:
    “The Current Right-Wing Corporatist Attitude”.
    I am a Right-Wing Capitalist, gun packin’, Bible carryin’, Jesus Freak and wondered if that means I also suffer from this “attitude” or if this is something all together different?

    Thank you for your time, David.
    I wish you better luck in future “writings for profit”.

    From a far less disgruntled, yet former Helium submitter
    oldbuck, retired blue collar worker.

  56. Just to clarify to David and others: To register for Helium each member signs the User Agreement, which they are encouraged to read thoroughly.

    In addition, every single time a writer posts an article they must check off that they understand the terms, which are repeated for them at the bottom of every single article submission page. Here is the text:

    “Helium Writers Agreement
    By checking this box I agree to:

    This article is my own creation and not copied from anyone else’s work nor is it a duplicate of another article of mine on Helium. I certify that I own all rights to this material and grant Heliumâ„¢ a license to publish it according to the terms of the Helium User Agreement. I understand that my account will be deleted if I copy another member’s article or if I am found guilty of plagiarizing any content. I also understand that I will not be able to delete the article after it is posted.”

    Just trying to share clear information so those who have not submitted articles to Helium realize how clearly we spell out the User Agreement, one writers need to confirm again each time they submit an article.

    Barbara Whitlock
    New Member Outreach Manager

  57. @Marisa Wright:Marisa, So Maxwell found a way to beat the system? How did that work? What technique did he use? I congratulate you on speaking out – as you must know, Helium personnel – probably Rachel included – routinely delete criticism they feel might somehow injure its business, even positive criticism, and remarks about competing sites (its PR claims it is the ONLY such site). And of course when one of their own gets wise, they derogate him or her ala “she performed poorly and is just a disgruntled employee.” The current right-wing corporatist attitude will eventually destroy Helium – millions of dollars put up will be wasted on doing business badly. Of course they might wake up and change. The first thing they should do is realize that negative criticism can be a gold mine; listen up and provide the Power-to-Delete, and then treat their suppliers well. I post only about 10% of my work on the Web, but that is quite a bit of stuff. I rarely delete anything anywhere, especially when people treat me right. People who treat me right are righteous; they’re all right, cuz they treat me right. David Arthur Walters

  58. Barbara, Thank you for responding to my post. It had occured to me that you are the Mysterious Candace who posted the Helium PR above – I was one who advocated the release of the Unibomber Manifesto early on because I believed someone might recognize the author via his style – that finally dawned on the FBI. I respond here to your here although the Helium officer you put me into contact with when I phoned your office threatened to press charges against me if I contacted you or anyone else at Helium – my email and telephone call simply asserted my opinion that the Helium User Agreement is legally invalid and that Helium is therefore involved in copyright infringement in respect to the many persons who want Helium to discontinue the display of their intellectual property. Your response here is boilerplate publicity, evades the facts about Helium’s changing adhesion “agreement” and deliberately avoids the serious allegations that are being made not only here but on several blogs about Helium. Your claim that Helium must display the few articles I posted, valued by Helium as worth $1.15 that would never be paid, in order to preserve the Helium platform, is pure hogwash. As I have said to you before, I believe you must feel personally shamed by Helium’s conduct, as it appears that you have sold out your journalist-conscience.. Nonetheless, you are doing your professional job very well, and in a relatively inoffensive manner, which makes you a gold star in comparison to the dumbed up corporate officers at Helium. David Arthur Walters

  59. Helium creates opportunities for all kinds of writers. Busy freelancers and professionals may dive into opportunities at Helium to moonlight after hours or fill in some extra or gap income between gigs. Helium is not all-sufficient for earning needs, but it has additive value. Also, many new and recreational writers have found Helium a good training ground and spring board to better opportunities. Print writers transitioning to Internet writing find help at Helium as well.

    Like all communities, Helium is has a rule structure, rules that ensure members treat each other respectfully, compete fairly, as well as rules that protect the business. All members enter into clear agreement with Helium through the User Agreement they must sign to participate. Non-exclusive articles remain on Helium, but can be published on other non-exclusive venues. This gives Helium a consistent asset base to attract investors and advertisers.

    Thousands of writers participate on Helium, but not all succeed. Helium is a competitive model. And we have rules that require respectful behavior. The rules are clearly spelled out. The Internet is a wide open place where anyone can say anything, but writers should be discerning when they read others’ views. Dig deeper and explore a wider perspective before considering. Or try your hand at a Marketplace article or a non-exclusive article you don’t mind not having for exclusive use. See for yourself.

    Barbara Whitlock
    New Member Outreach Manager

  60. Yes, Rachel is a senior steward and there’s a good chance she is being paid for her services, either as a steward or as an editor. That may explain her $500 – though I know she does very well at Marketplace, and she also has a ridiculous number of articles on the site.

    Maxwell did not get his $800, nor should he have. He used “illegal” self-promotion tactics to earn it, so I don’t think he’s entitled to it. What he SHOULD have been given was the slate wiped clean, and a second chance to earn pennies by legitimate means, because it’s very obvious that he still doesn’t understand what he did wrong, so it was an innocent mistake.

    I take great exception when Heliumites say I’m disgruntled with Helium because my writing’s not good enough to earn decent money. I earn far more per article on HubPages than I ever did on Helium, and that has nothing to do with the quality of my writing – it has everything to do with the transparency of the site over the way they share their earnings.

    I suspect that most of the writers who declare they’re happy with their earnings on Helium have never looked above the parapet: there are many, many writing opportunities which earn far more than Helium. Of course, you may have to make a little more effort, and risk some rejection or failures, and some people are too comfortable in their Helium cocoon.

  61. @Rachel:Rachel, I see that you are a senior steward at Helium. Thank you for your revelation that you are earning $500 per month at Helium, as this information will be useful. Would you mind providing more details, a breakdown of your earnings? For instance, are you receiving upfront payments for your work, or payments for being a steward, or a regular montly stipend? How much for contests? And I wonder if you did anything as steward to help the person who said he had $800 ripped off by Helium, other than to look at his file at Helium, imply here that he is a liar, and say that an email to Helium always resolves such matters? I mean, considering that you are a senior steward, I would think that you might have had someone at Helium look into your colleagues account. Also, I understand that stewards are entering and winning contests at Helium – do you believe that is fair? Thanks! David Arthur Walters

  62. @Helium has strange priorities:“I won the money but my article is deleted? Huh??? I am totally serious, is just really weird. And it’s true that all the same winners are Helium stewards, which should be illegal.” Say, “pm”, that IS pretty weird. Has Barbara Whitlock or other Helium officials fully explained these matter to you? As for the stewards winning contests, it reminds me of a site run one Cap’n Bob, who charged writers for high ratings, and then awarded prizes to his OWN false identities. When writers complained and deleted their work, he restored their deletions from backup and barred them from entry, then criticized them directly in the body of their articles. I kid you not! Despite all that, he had several friendly writers on site who occupied themselves with praising his site and cursing anyone who bothered to speak the truth about what was really going on. I think he was eventually arrested for child molestation. David Arthur Walters

  63. @Candace: I appreciate your perspective from one side of the story. What is your full name or the penname that Helium has authorized you to use under its User Agreement? Are you an employee or agent of Helium Exchange Inc? How many articles have you posted at Heliumj, and what is your average monthly earnings thus far? Thanks, and good luck with your writing! David Arthur Walters

  64. @Phil: Thanks, Phil, for the info. $12.50 is not much to write home about, and then you will have to pay for the postage as Helium does not pay out less than $25. I understand that you must stay active even to maintain that unpaid $12.50? How many articles have you posted? By the way, Hey, I’m glad you’re pleased with Helium – I have no probelm with that. David Arthur Walters

  65. @Candace:
    Candace: As an example of how desperate some of us “less talented” writers might be, I picked up on your “Nice Poems Ray” comment and of course immediately thought it meant “ME”. On the one in a million chance it did, I offer below, free of charge and with no obligations, one of my scribbling attempts. And it might add some levity to a rather tense bit of blogging here. :0) oldbuck
    Our Cat, Named Kitty

    We have a stray cat,
    We call her Kitty.
    She’s always outside,
    It seems such a pity.

    We were feeding raccoons,
    Out with our bird seed.
    When we noticed this cat,
    Had come also to feed.

    We feed 3 loaves of bread,
    From Sara Lee’s store.
    And if they cleaned that up,
    Next night we’d leave more.

    For now snow was deep,
    Little field mice asleep.
    How would this nice cat,
    Her health now to keep.

    Well this cat had fed itself,
    She’s not the least lazy.
    But my wife couldn’t stand it,
    She made her bread and gravy.

    We’ve now even added,
    A nice white milk bowl,
    We keep adding features,
    To our daily food dole.

    The trick now it seems,
    Would prove to be timing.
    For if cat didn’t get here,
    The coons were imbibing.

    They loved all the treats,
    My wife lovingly prepared.
    One coon would come in,
    If he thought he had dared.

    We eat lots of chicken,
    We like it fixed many ways.
    But one thing with chicken,
    When gone, the bones stay.

    Well there seems to be nothing,
    Our gang will like better.
    Than a large pile of those bones,
    They all come soon to getter.

    An entire turkey carcass,
    We can’t believe in one night,
    Disappeared from out back,
    Not a scrap now in sight.

    A small group at Meth-Wick,
    Now add to supplies.
    They count on us,
    To be now their eyes.

    They get their meals furnished,
    Of course for a price.
    But what they can’t eat,
    They save, and that’s nice.

    They can’t stand to waste it,
    They’ve heard of our need.
    And think it’s just great,
    To furnish wildlife with feed.

    They have a small freezer,
    In the hall on first floor.
    Where they stock this stuff,
    Till I get back to their door.

    To pick up their goodies,
    Extra toast, maybe ham.
    Sometimes there’s a sweet roll,
    Coons count that “A Grand Slam”.

    We’ll our audience has grown,
    From birds with snack habits.
    To 3 big cats, 4 furry coons,
    And “big mama” rabbits.

    We buy bags of cracked corn,
    Too keep our birds happy.
    But the coons like to munch it,
    They’re a little bit sappy.

    I’m not sure that a coon,
    Gets much energy at all.
    But I can’t shut them out,
    That would be a tough call.

    So we put it all out,
    Like Bonanza’s buffet.
    And who’s going to get what,
    Is impossible to say.

    But at any given time,
    As I sit in my chair.
    There’s something outside,
    Seems to not have a care.

    Having their lunch,
    Or just a quick snack.
    For later that day,
    I’ll see them come back.

    The birds start my day,
    At just about dawn.
    A couple times this winter,
    There’d been a yearling fawn.

    But the deer now have grass,
    We’ve not seen them in weeks.
    And when they are here,
    With great care, catch a peek.

    For they aren’t as trusting,
    As fast birds or stray cats.
    Raccoons and rabbits,
    All sense where we’re at.

    But I’ve strayed from my tale,
    Of one little cat.
    But that’s how it’s grown,
    Out on our back mat.

    So if you’ve something hungry,
    That comes to your door.
    Take grandpa’s advice,
    Don’t run cross the floor.

    Just keep watching T.V.
    Or how you pass time.
    Don’t start bringing out food,
    Or you’ll be writing a rhyme.

    Written by oldbuck, March 28th2009
    About the fun they have feeding wild life on their patio out back.

  66. To David Walters

    I’m sorry but i will not be supplying my full name or my Helium username. However, i can assure you that i am not a Helium employee and am not associated with any of the Helium staff.
    To be honest i have made $ 12.50 so far and i\’m happy with it, because as i said i only write casually for them.

    Thank you

  67. It is funny that people love crying sour grapes because they can’t follow the rules they agreed to. That may sound mean but just because you are signing up for something on the internet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put the same care into reading the contract, or in this case user agreement than you would when you hand sign any contract in the physical world. If you don’t like the terms, don’t sign up. It’s that simple.

    If you post something and take money for it as happens with the up front payments and all that why does anyone think they are entitled to take it back? You give the first run rights up and cede to the site that they get to keep the article up in exchange for giving you that money and/or exposure. Why shouldn’t they keep what they paid for? Even if helium removes an article from the site it is still in a cache at places like wayback so you still can’t sell first or exclusive rights to it, so why all the whining?

    I’ve been at Helium for 31 months and have posted over 900 articles, hopefully I will have the chance to post many more. Is the site a scam? No, not at all. But it is something that is only going to give you something good if you put in something good. I never see any day I will get rich there or be able to quit work, but I make enough to cover some decent bills every month, and no David, I will not disclose my financial details to you so don’t ask. Also I am not a helium employee, just a member that saw this thread when checking on another site here before joining.

    If you want to do well at Helium all you have to do is write and rate regularly, and write about things people want to read. Your memoir about your first kiss or dance class might be really neat, but it isn’t going to earn like an article about refinancing your mortgage. Poetry is awesome and I think it is a beautiful art form (Wonderful poems Ray!), but it isn’t going to earn much money. If you aren’t making money at helium you need to look more at what types of articles you are submitting than wasting time trying to rationalize poor earnings with weird plots against you.

    I have cashed out every single month since May of 2007. I have never been paid a penny less than I earned, if anything they have overpaid me a little twice when I tied for a spot in a contest. Instead of combining first and second place money and splitting it, they gave us both first place money. I’ve never had an article deleted, I’ve never had an unkind word spoken to me by the staff there. That’s all possible because I log in, I rate what I need to, write my article(s), and log out. Maybe if more people used the site as it was designed and paid attention to the contract they agreed to when signing up there wouldn’t be so much badmouthing the site.

    I hope those of you that have real problems there through no fault of your own get some help, but judging from what I’ve seen in my time there, if you have problems that cause your account to be closed down you did it to yourself.

  68. @Phil:Thank you, Phil. I am collecting information with a lawsuit in mind, so your cooperation in supplying facts will be deeply appreciated. What is your full real name or the penname authorized by Helium as per its User Agreement, and exactly how much money have you made on what number of articles and contests and publishers – monthly average over the last 12 months? Are you or do you consider yourself as an employee or agenty of Helium Exchange Inc? Warm regards, David Arthur Walters

  69. Hello

    I am a Helium writer and I must say that so far I have not had a single problem with Helium. As long as you understand and obey the rules, then the staff at Helium have no reason to ban or delete your account.

    What a lot of people fail to understand, is that the internet is usually not a “get rich quick” opportunity; and Helium is not an acception. It takes time and a lot of hard work just like in real life to earn a descent living.

    Committing fraud by using traffic programs of websites to get more views of your work wont get you far. The staff at Helium aren’t stupid and instantly detect what is realistic and what is not.

    If you would like to earn more money on that website then write more, enter weekly contests that number in the hundreds sometimes, and market your work.

    Over time your hard work will pay off and you will begin to make a reasonable income. However, you cannot live of Helium. As this website is more of a part time hobby. For the serious writer who intends on making a living from writing, other sources should be considered.

    I have been following the rules and have made a good amount of money. So to sum up patience and perseverance pays of.


  70. Helium is not a scam, but I would never recommend it to anyone because the earnings are so poor. I have over 200 articles on there and was an enthusiastic member for several months, until the scales fell from my eyes!

    To answer some of the points made in the comments:

    – Yes, I know there is debate over duplicate content, so some people claim that Helium keeping first rights to your work really doesn’t matter. Tell that to my friend who has the chance to publish an anthology of her work out in the real world for real dollars, but can’t use any of the poems she has on Helium for copyright reasons.

    – Maxwell could well have earned $800. I’m pretty sure the reason he got banned was that he posted a link on a traffic exchange without understanding what it was. That will get you banned instantly on Helium because of the effect it can have – large numbers of fraudulent clicks, which could earn a huge amount of money in a short time but could also get Helium banned from Adsense.

    I write on HubPages now because it earns far more than Helium and I keep control of my articles.

  71. David Arthur Walters to Barbara
    April 15, 2009

    Barbara, I see that Helium Inc has locked me out of “my” account because I objected to its one-sided terms and insisted that my property be removed from the Helium Inc site. This refusal of access emphasizes that there is really no contract, and that Helium Inc and its officers, directors, and agents are engaged in the theft of property i.e. violation of copyrights. David

    We’re sorry your account is in a state that cannot be altered.
    Login: REFUSED
    We’re sorry your account is in a state that cannot be altered.
    Login: REFUSED

    David Arthur Walters to Barbara
    April 15, 2009

    Barbara: You have been very helpful with one exception, and I hope you are being well paid for your sacrifices. The Help Desk is unhelpful. My request is very simple: remove my work from the Helium site immediately. David

    On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 7:18 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    I’m sorry for any frustrations, but I hope you’ve tried to work with the help desk folks. My part in this is simply to offer you the help and support to help encourage you to stay and get the most out of writing for Helium. I really can’t help on the issues you’ve raised here.

    Best wishes,


    Barbara Whitlock
    Community Development Manager

    From: David Arthur Walters
    Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:15 AM

    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Re: Please delete my account immediately

    Barbara, I had not invested much time in Helium, and I was really shocked when I read some of the unconscionable terms of the adhesion TOS – which appeared to have changed somewhat since I last saw them – but what really set me off was the scads of complaints from relatively innocent Helium writers, and the fact that Helium’s top executive is unwilling to politely delete the account of someone who has received absolutely no financial consideration at all, consideration being a sine qua non of a valid contract. Some complaints out there claim that Helium is not paying its bills, for example suddenly marking an account down from $30 to $4 in earnings so it will not have to pay, and is otherwise fraudulently manipulating the numbers; of course these claims may be unfounded, which will be determined after the records are subpoenaed. I recall one promotion where I adopted an orphan title and my account was not credited nor was my inquiry about it responded to – not that such a picayune event was world shaking. Anyway, I am beginning to receive quite a bit of information on this issue, and perhaps I will get some nice tidbits from insiders via blind email etc. I hope you had a few nice days off, and are actually getting paid for your good services. David

    On Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 8:15 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    I’m not sure what you’re asking on this one? David, I’m hoping you’ll stay with Helium and I can create a title to which you can resubmit your radical love article. Any chance or do you still want your account disabled?

    From: David Arthur Walters
    Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 1:06 PM

    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Re: Please delete my account immediately

    Dear Barbara,

    To what address may service of process by delivered to Helium?



    On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 6:23 PM, David Arthur Walters wrote:

    Thank you, Barbara, I’ll examine Helium’s TOS for more info on that subject, and get back to you on an ideal title (my title is RADICAL LOVE). I am an advertiser too, and do not like to have good links broken, especially on highly ranked goods. BTW, I encountered a peculiar situation four years ago or so – the editor of an ezine had phony identities that he was awarding writing prizes to (he was charging entry fees), and when I uncovered his scam, he locked me out of the site and refused to remove my material, which he proceeded to negatively criticize in the body of the text itself. Eventually the authorities dealt with him, for the investigation revealed he was wanted on a warrant for child abuse – he catered to children on his site too. What a world! Have a great weekend. David

    On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 6:34 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    Let’s just make a custom fit title for this. Send me suggestions, I’ll seed it and send you the URL. Then you can resubmit.

    Thoughtful piece!

    From: David Arthur Walters
    Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 6:29 PM

    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Re: Please delete my account immediately

    I think someone on your staff took political or religious offense, perhaps at this, just for instance:

    “I have neither religious nor political sermon to preach, as I am an optimistic skeptic who places his blind faith in Nothing. Nevertheless, I confess that Jesus’ name has been repeatedly bandied about and abused. I admit he was a radical reformer who was tried twice: once in the ecclesiastical court, where he was apparently adjudged innocent of spiritual offenses, of blasphemy and the like, that carried a penalty of death by stoning, and once in the political court, where he was tried and convicted of a trumped up-political charge, of treason, that warranted a penalty of death by crucifixion. I admit he was an advocate of genuine love instead of empty ritual. I deny that he invented love. I opine that he inherited love, as the son of the originally good part of humanity, if he was not Love incarnated as the gnostic son of that god who was once called the Stranger because he was previously unknown on the plane presided over by the selfish god of the Garden of Eden, the jealous and wrathful god who was hell bent on punishing mankind forever for stealing a few apples from his orchard. We might expound on any religion that liberates the individual from selfishness, and still speak of love. I personally view religion as the love of absolute power, the power of life that would endure forever if it could, and politics as the relative or mundane distribution of that power. The so-called original sin is the accident of individuality, but the sin is forgiven in the universality of the category of one, the unity enjoyed by everyone despite their differences. I see at the center of every religion the celebration of the natural sacrifice of the individual for the common good, by which love the individual is made even stronger radical religion is, in a manner of speaking, virtual suicide, by means of which the glorious hereafter is made present now.” FROM RADICAL LOVE

    On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 5:23 PM, David Arthur Walters wrote:

    Barbara: Thanks for getting back to me. When I get a moment, I’ll dig up a copy and send it to you -. What I’ve always wondered – if you cannot get into the account, why cannot I delete all the articles in my account instead of asking you to do so? David

    On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 7:39 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    I can’t view a deleted article. Is it on the site still? If not, can you copy and paste into an email so I can look at it?

    It may be that the title was not very effective. If you can think of a good title for your piece I’ll just create one and send it to you, and then you can resubmit.

    Sorry for the frustrations,


    From: David Arthur Walters
    Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2009 12:56 PM

    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Re: Please delete my account immediately

    This was the link to the article:

    Four great ideas in history – by David Arthur Walters – Helium
    by David Arthur Walters. On Love, perhaps the greatest idea in history! … For instance, when President Barrack Obama, during the latest bust phase of the … – 36k – Cached – Similar pages

    I recall it was highly regarded – when people click on it, they discover they have wasted their time, and I do not need that kind of “advertising.” I believe Helium has some sort of clique of insiders such as I have encountered elsewhere. Anyway, I am very hurried right now as the dead line approaches. Catch you later. David

    On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 8:16 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    Do you have the article you could share with me, and perhaps I could craft a very focused title to it, and you could resubmit. Would this interest you, or am I just delaying what you really want, which is to disable your account? I hope not, and I apologize if my appeals are tiresome.

    Just let me know and I’ll proceed how you choose.

    Warm regards,


    From: David Arthur Walters
    Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 6:44 PM
    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Re: Please delete my account immediately

    Oh, I had one piece on the subject of Love deleted with a recommendation to put it elsewhere, which I did, in four great ideas in history, which is was actually about, but then it was deleted again with a message to the effect that Love is not one of the four or whatever – and mine was on RADICAL love, i.e. one of the most revolutionary ideas of all time. Anyway, working as I am 60 hours a week, and getting such email, I just don’t have time to fool around with it – I figured perhaps some reader complained, as how could Helium be so absurd? I noticed that a couple of deletions said to be off subject were actually ranked in the top quartile, so what does that mean? That Helium is top-down subjectivity instead of bottom-up subjectivity? Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend. Ciao. David

    On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 8:14 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    Hi David,

    I’m shock to hear this. Can you tell me what happened or forward the email to me so I can investigate?

    I’m afraid, as per the User Agreement, when we disable a member’s account it merely blocks their access to their content. The content does stay on the site. I hope we can find some solutions instead of seeing you go. I’m out for the mid chunk of the day, but I’ll be back later in the afternoon to follow up.

    Warm regards and apologies,


    From: David Arthur Walters []
    Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 6:26 PM
    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Please delete my account immediately

    Hi, Barbara!

    No offense, but I can no longer tolerate Helium’s nonsensical content modeling. Every couple of weeks or so, I receive a rejection notice that is usually so absurd that anyone except a complete idiot would find it annoying. Not that I don’t wish you all well. Just remove all my content, immediately, please.


    David Arthur Walters

    # #

    Sat, 11 Apr 2009 5:24 PM
    From “David Arthur Walters”
    To “Mark Ranalli”
    Subject Versus Helium, Inc. et al

    Dear Mark,

    Yes, I am the “guy” who did not threaten legal action until my request for deletion of my account was greeted with prevarication. I asked very politely to begin with, and my request was not honored and the point was ignored. Your adhesion TOS is invalid. I would have went my merry way with due consideration, but absent that, I took some time to actually read the TOS and the many complaints against Helium out there, and was astonished. Since it is clear that you are indeed the person responsible, and you have decided to continue to display my work against my wishes, behavior that may be in violation not only of civil law but the computer crimes statute, I shall conduct a background investigation and proceed accordingly against your firm and its officers and agents. That is not a “threat” but a promise.

    If on the other hand you can settle this matter amicably, by removing my property from your site, let me know, and in any event, have a Happy Holiday, if Easter is your observance.

    David Arthur Walters

    Sat, 11 Apr 2009 11:09 AM
    From “Mark Ranalli”
    Subject FW: Is this the correct info? (from guy threatening legal action)


    I’m sorry to hear that you wish to cancel your account with Helium. Helium’s user guide and terms are very clear regarding your rights to your content and the rights that you grant Helium when you submit your content. These terms are the same for all of our members. Our terms are clear, valid, legal, and consistent with the norm of web publishing sites. I’m sorry that you don’t like the terms of service.


    Mark Ranalli

    Mark Ranalli | President & CEO

    Date Sat, 11 Apr 2009 10:21 AM
    From “David Arthur Walters”
    Subject Legal action versus Helium for copyright violation

    Mr. Ressler,

    I am considering taking legal action against Helium, Inc. in connection with its refusal to remove my work from its Internet site. I believe that Helium’s adhesion contract is invalid and that it and its officers are intentionally violating my copyright for commercial reasons, which may be a criminal as well as a civil offense.

    Please advise if the information below is accurate for service of process.

    Thank you!

    David Arthur Walters

    Contact: Andrew Ressler
    Company Address: 300 Brickstone Square, Andover, MA 01810
    Primary Phone: 978-474-5074 Primary Fax: 978-474-6435
    Corporate Officers: Mark Ranalli, CEO and Andrew Ressler, Vice President, Sales & Marketing and Martha Collins, Vice President, Advertising

  72. @Eddy Salomon:
    I don’t mean to belabor this, but just be glad your mom didn’t name you Francis, after another great talking “equine” animal. :o)
    I’m delighted you enjoyed my silly rhyme.
    I have many, many more, if you ever have the time.
    Just let me know and I could send some of them along.
    As the Great Jimmy Durante used to say: ” I got a million of “em.” oldbuck

    • Ray,

      You’re too funny!
      I hope you continue to participate on our blog. I think people would appreciate your insight, humor and poetic prowess. 😉
      So go on with your “bad self”! lol


    • Helium sucks.   As a matter of fact, right before I closed my account from them, I changed my pen name to HELIUMSUX so it’s at the top of all of my articles.   They advertise themselves as a web site for writers, you do nothing but read and rate and the content that is contained on their website is for the most part, overworded rubbish that some 13 year old kid eating cold pizza and drinking flat code red mountain dew randomly flips through and haphazardly assigns a rating just so that he can get the million or so ratings in to earn the fraction of a percentage of $0.01 for the millions of hits.   It’s absolutely rediculous and I simply want my material back so that I can post it to a better web site and get paid for it appropriately.   In addition, I do not want any of my material, my pen name, or my pay-pal account associated with Helium.   So what did they do?   They kept the articles, kept their money, and removed my access to make any further changes to my account.   Crooks, criminals, and no-goodniks hiding behind their terms of use which is the only thing that is actually well written on their web site.   Raping honest writers out of earned money.

  73. Mr. Ed: Thanks for the words of encouragement to all the unschooled, non-professionals out there. However: by my age, writing as poorly and as much as I do, I’ve long since, risen above criticism to inner peace. :o) It’s important for some to realize that some writers just want someone to read their thoughts as they have scribbled them down on paper. Everyone that writes doesn’t always do it for any return other than to bring a moment of enjoyment to others. That probably sounds silly, but at least in my case it is true.
    Here’s a little rhyme I wrote that says it all for me:

    I want to say thank you
    For what you just did.
    You took my rhymes,
    Makes me feel like a kid.

    You’ll find I’m no poet,
    They really just rhyme.
    Thing’s needn’t be perfect,
    All of the time.

    I don’t ask for money,
    Or rich’s or fame,
    I just like to “make” fun,
    And life’s a long game.

    So if when you read this,
    If you get a big grin,
    If you laugh or giggle,
    I’ll feel I did win.

    For that’s the real goal,
    Of the time I invest,
    A world filled with laughter,
    Is the aim of my quest.

    If you’d like to comment,
    Or could stand to read more.
    My names written here,
    But I’ll warn you before.

    Any comments you send,
    Whether positive or not.
    Will add to my ego,
    My head, it may pop.

    I love adoration,
    But here I confess,
    Most of that’s offered,
    Under duress.

    So thanks once again,
    For saying you’d read.
    It’s folks just like you,
    For which my heart bleeds.


    • Isn’t Mr Ed a horse? lol
      Ray Buck, I think this has been one of the best comments I’ve read on my blog! That poem was wonderful! I was rolling over here.
      I feel the same way you do about writing. I think it’s a great exercise in personal expression and freedom that everyone should be able to enjoy. For awhile I lost that when I was “doing my time” in Corporate America. I had one of those perfect English managers that made me feel like a turd for my writing style. But once I broke free and starting blogging, I realized that people enjoyed my voice & didn’t mind reading it even with all my grammatical mishaps. In any event, thanks for that comment. You really have a talent there! Well that’s just my non-professional opinion though. lol

  74. Quoted from Ethan’s rant:” FACT 9: When you see many articles in all the categories ranked number three or higher that would not escape the desk of any second grade teacher without a big fat red F on it for grammar, punctuation and badly fragmented sentences you know something is gravely wrong.”
    Using the word FACT here reminds me of : Forsaking All Clear Truth :o) but that’s just me. My only comment is: Now that you’ve pointed out the obvious weaknesses in my work, possibly you could help me get them off Helium. :o) I didn’t realize my “far less” than perfect writings would be so “critiqued” when I offered them up. I believed this was mainly for fun. It is getting to be less fun with each such critique. :o) oldbuck

    • Ray Buck,

      Don’t let the critiques get to you. I’m not a “professionally trained writer” and have been pegged by others for my awful grammar, punctuation, etc. I think professional writers are hateful on sites like Helium because it allows the average joe to write articles & get paid to do so without the merit of professional training or “good” English. lol. I understand their frustration because they spent a lot of time, effort, money and schooling to become professional writers. Now here comes an idiot like me that just blurts out what he feels & makes good money doing it. (Independently & not using sites like Helium. No disrespect intended.) Furthermore, with their type of professional training the kind of money that sites like Helium offers is a smack in the face.

      But my argument has always been that sites like Helium aren’t meant for professionally trained writers. These folks should be doing freelance work for magazines, newspapers, etc. They should be on freelance sites like elance, odesk, guru, etc. Or if they’re really smart, they should be blogging independently like yours truly. Complaining about sites like helium is a waste of energy. Now with that said, I’m not defending helium. But like so many companies online and offline alike, they all have their issues. Airing that out is one thing. But complaining about things that are in your control as a professional writer just seems counterproductive.

      But what do I know….

  75. I just love the obvious Helium employees on here falling in line with the company protocol and dutifully lying to the masses. FACT1: Helium does NOT allow the author the ability to remove content from the site under any circumstances. The only entity with that right is Helium. FACT 2: Helium, contrary to one of the latest posts, does indeed have a required $25.00 minimum before they will pay out. FACT 3: Unless you have nothing to do in life other than live on that site writing your butt off and rating some of the most awful trash you ever read it will take months and perhaps years to earn just the minimum to get paid. FACT 4: Helium claims that “they pay writers because it is the right thing to do.” Check it out; it’s actually on their site. Personally I would rather be slapped in the face and called a crappy would-be writer than be told a quality well-written article I just took an hour and a half to write paid me a penny. (Yes, you saw that; a penny. The highest amount any of my material earned was a nickel despite having five top-ranked, three second ranked and two third ranked in highly competitive categories.) FACT 5: Given any negative feedback or trouble is only too happy to immediately shut you out from your ‘alleged’ account because it means they get to keep your money. Figure it out folks. Shut down a hundred dissatisfied people a day or even a week at ten bucks a pop and you have some real cash flow. FACT 6: Upon shutting you down says they keep your work and use it however they see fit with no compensation to you, the author or so much as acknowledgement of the true author. For a site that claims to be hell-bent anti-plagiarism this smells. FACT 7: Any company that handles complaints like Helium does by shutting down the complainer should be shut down themselves. Internet research has revealed that we all get the same spit-out corporate speak responses when we approach Helium with problems and issues. When that does not work, you get closed down and watch your paltry earnings disappear. FACT 8: Helium’s rating system is beyond flawed. Frankly it is corrupt and admissions from some of its own members to that effect are all over the Internet. (See “Speed rating on Helium.”) Helium contests can be classified similarly and the members who use this alleged feature have learned to corrupt the system and tilt it any way they wish. FACT 9: When you see many articles in all the categories ranked number three or higher that would not escape the desk of any second grade teacher without a big fat red F on it for grammar, punctuation and badly fragmented sentences you know something is gravely wrong. It makes liars out of Helium staff who claim the site accentuates and encourages writing well. FACT 10: Any true writer out there who knows they write well and wishes to be treated with respect and dignity would do well to avoid at all costs.

  76. @Barbara Whitlock:
    Ms. Whitlock: I’m not sure why JJ? has brought this up again, however: since he has, I had responded to this discussion in Jan. My “problem” with Helium is that my work, as I’ve painfully learned, isn’t of a quality or quantity that will ever generate any funding for my charity. It gets little or no readership and is just languishing away in their files. I would think they would be more than glad to have me remove it. But my understanding is that they won’t. Maybe you could give all of us (both of us) some insight into this policy of keeping sub prime writings forever. Thanks for any help you might be. oldbuck

  77. I am on staff at, and I’ve been apart of this organization since its pilot days. The biggest problem with Helium is that Helium offers so many different kinds of opportunities in this multi-faceted publishing platform that people can get confused. I see much confusion in this thread.

    Helium has additive value to a writer for lots of reasons, but it cannot replace full-time work. Freelancers often piece together a variety of earning streams for their income needs: Helium can provide one of those, but not all, if you are focused on earnings exclusively. There are loads of opportunities to add to your Internet exposure, and many of our writers have landed full time jobs with the help of their Helium portfolio and references Helium staff and fellow writers share on Linked In.

    Helium pays out to writers with pinpoint integrity. We have a User Agreement that all too many writers do not read before signing. When you write for Helium the writer retains full copyright but allows Helium non-exclusive use rights to the content. Writers want maximum flexibility to come and go as they choose, but for Helium the articles are our stable asset base. If writers could pull them at whim Helium would not look good to investors or advertisers. That is the reason for the policy, not to prevent opportunities for writers, but to add to them. Any article published on Helium outside of those selected in Marketplace can be resubmitted to non-exclusive publishers.

    Helium offers tons of opportunities for writers. Professional writers can focus exclusively on our Freelance Writer’s Marketplace for direct-pay gigs with the 100s of magazines, websites and — increasingly — newspapers partnered with Helium. You can earn from Marketplace without participating further in the site.

    Most writers enjoy participating further — writing articles in content areas that interest them, competing in contests, creating Helium Zone pages where they can have their own blog, earning journalism awards and prize money, getting published in local newspapers, and more.Helium offers upfront payments for informative articles in addition to ad revenue share. There are many other earning opportunities as well.

    Writers who come to Helium and have a chance to connect with our supportive writing community rarely leave, because they get their questions answered quickly and move from skepticism to trust, and often addiction.

    Anyone who wants to find out about Helium, get questions answered, etc. can always use my hotline:

    Barbara Whitlock
    Community Development Manager

  78. I’m not angry at Helium, and I don’t hate them either. My assessment of their service is truth from my perspective. I’m not trying to run them out of business (not within my power), BUT writers considering writing for Helium or any other content site should know exactly what writing for them involves. I have no doubt that there are thousands of eager people out there who would be perfectly happy just to get published anywhere. Of all the possible venues like Helium it is probably in the top 10% of sites of its kind. My problem with these kinds of sites is that the rights of the writers are always secondary. In fact, the whole industry is banking on the fact that people are almost desperate to get published. For some it’s a lifelong dream. Sites like Helium pander to that passion, and in return they are the ones that benefit most from the transaction.

    You assert that I don’t understand “double” content. Well, you don’t have to take my word for it ask any legitimate publisher how they feel about duplicate content. In fact, I don’t want anyone to take my word for anything. The best advice I can give any new writer is to DO THE RESEARCH. There are no instant winners, folks. Freelance writing isn’t easy no matter how many times you read “make easy money while sitting at home in your fuzzy slippers.” If you’re serious about becoming professional you’re going to have to work your butt off. AND you’re going to have to be smart about where you sell, display and publish your work.

    I don’t use hubs at all, as a matter of fact, but I did check out the site, its policies, talked to the writers and DID THE RESEARCH. I have nothing to gain by telling writers about Helium or any other site. My goal, believe it or not, is simply to give potential writers the heads up about what to look for. It has taken me several years to learn my way around the wild and wacky world of freelance writing, and I made plenty of missteps along the way. There are hundreds nay thousands of people out there ready to exploit writers and their work. Why? Because it has real value to them. The writer should be able to benefit the most from their own work. They should be treated with respect, and they should most certainly have control over their own work.
    Certainly people should have an open mind, but their shouldn’t act like a babe in the woods or they’re going to get the shaft. And THAT is the truth.

  79. @JJ:

    JJ- obviously you are very angry, and feel like Helium has been not a good thing for you or someone you know. I would like to point out a few things.

    * I know of very few members being ‘banned’ as you put it. It takes a LOT to get banned from Helium. Just visit the boards and you can see how far people can go in denouncing the site – they let a lot of people stay who I am surprised weren’t banned a long time ago, seeing as how they try to take down the site from within.

    * The statement about not being able to resell articles is not true. I have sold articles I have on Helium, and so have many others I know – both through Helium as stock content, and to private buyers. Also, you don’t understand duplicate content – people make it out to be way more important than it is.

    *The policy changes in the past year benefit the members at least as much as they do the site. I know there are a few people screaming right now about the unfairness of having to remain active on the site to earn ( rating a little) but most members are happy.

    *Obviously you like Hubs better – That’s fine. Hubs is a completely different site, with different rules. Helium’s rules have ALWAYS been that you cannot remove content. That has never changed, despite some people’s attempts to circumvent it by deliberately sabatoging their articles in an effort to force Helium to comply with their wishes.

    *You do have to reach $25 to cash out. That also is the same, and while some people don’t devote the time to reach that quickly, a LOT of people cash out on a monthly basis.

    *Helium is actually becoming a better source of linking as time goes by and the lower quality articles are being cleared from the site. Article sites are no better and no worse than many other sources of links. It depends on what you are linking for. Like many sites, a lot of stuff is no-follow anyway.

    *The rating system is actually good enough that other sites would love to get their hands on the algorithm. It is like many other things – when it works, everyone is happy, and when it doesn’t you hear about it – they constantly tweak it and it works well much more often than not.

    * You can complain about policy quite a bit actualy – like I said, I am amazed at the amount of Helium directed venom they allow on their own boards in the spirit of fair play, open mindedness and transparency. Again, you have to be pretty bad to get banned.

    JJ, I’m sorry if Helium didn’t work out for you. I’m sorry you are so obviously down on the site. I hope that others will approach Helium with an open mind, and decide for themselves if they want to participate.

  80. Helium isn’t a scam…exactly, but it is a much better deal for Helium than it is for the writer. *You will lose all earnings from your articles should you fail to keep adding articles or continue rating. They will continue to generate income from your work.
    *They can ban you at a moments notice at their discretion and you lose all potential income, while your articles continue to make them income.
    *It is nearly impossible to sell an article that has been published on Helium elsewhere. First rights to publish are a big deal online. For example, spiders (search engine robots) penalize duplicate content on multiple sites. This means that the articles won\’t generate any more money than you get from helium. They can be used as samples.
    *They change policies in their favor without regard to the writers. If they change a policy and you disagree, your only recourse is to stop contributing AND lose all future earnings from your income. One example of this change of heart is when they decided that you will only earn money when you actively participate. Their prior tos said you earned money in . perpetuity That was ammended again to say you only earn if you rate every month etc. etc.
    *Your articles can NEVER be removed from the site. EVER. Similar sites will remove articles per writer’s request. Hubs are an example of a more reasonable policy according to writer’s rights.
    *You can’t get a pay out till you\’ve reached $25.00 and despite claims to the contrary that can take a very long time and literally hundreds of articles. If you get frustrated and give up after article199 you lose your money.
    *Content sites such as Helium are not a good choice as a source of links for potential customers because they do not exercise editorial oversight and thus have a poor reputation to publishers. There is an article about such content sites on I believe it is under freelance writing on the forum.
    *The rating system is very flawed. All one has to do is spend some time reading the articles and their placement to see this. And of course if an article is rated low, the potential pennies you can earn from the article (that’s right, pennies) dwindle to nothing.
    *if you complain about policy, you can get banned.

    If you are not serious about your writing and simply want a place to publish Helium may fill the ticket. However, if you are serious about writing for a living, there may be better venues.

  81. Isn’t wonderful when folks can come together and have an intelligent discussion about a company without jumping to conclusions, making generalizations and can present all sides of the story (Good and Bad).

    Thanks Ray & Grace for sharing your feedback. It’s was very refreshing.


  82. Thanks Ray.

    I try not to sound like a mindless drone… there are things that need to be improved at Helium, and believe me I am vocal in those discussions too, onsite; I just hate to see something with a lot of good points pigeonholed because of one or two bad or even just misunderstood ones.

    I completely understand that a lot of people do try the site, decide it’s not for them and wish they could take their stuff elsewhere… I can totally get that. I posted one poem, after having read the users agreement carefully, and understanding it – felt it would be a non issue.

    Later I found a contest that would have been perfect for the poem… but there was a clause which stipulated that only work never before published anywhere was acceptable. Whoops. I think it hurts more for creative writing pieces, because we all have that deep connection to our works of that nature.

    Best of luck in your future endeavors!


  83. @Grace:
    Grace, thank you for your thoughtful response and clarification. I realize the technical differences you mention but to some of us it “spiritually” feels like we’ve lost control, “given them up”. So many that post on these sites seem just full of hot air, you seem to be “full” of Helium. :o) You are certainly a front line advocate and supporter. I salute you for that.
    I would predict you will soon rise to great heights with that group, if you haven’t already.

  84. Hey Ray.

    Just for clarification for those who might read this:

    You don’t lose your work. You still own the copyright; all Helium gets is teh right to display your work on their site as long as they see fit. They don’t get all rights, they don’t get exclusive rights – they don’t even get first rights! You can submit stuff there that has been previously published elsewhere, and you can take your stuff that you submit to Helium and publish it elswhere and even sell it – the buyer just has to be OK with it being previously published.

    Just so everyone knows that Helium doesn’t ‘own’ your work and you don’t ‘give it up’ when you publish there!


  85. I’m not very smart about computers, or blogs, or any thing internet. Over the last year, I have submitted 17 silly rhymes to I won’t be adding to that list. Not because of anything “bad” except I feel uncomfortable loosing control of my writings. I can’t ever get them back. Yes I read the rules, but they didn’t mean anything to me then. I didn’t realize the significance of “giving them up”. Now I do. Therefore: I simply will respond by not “wasting” any more. I hadn’t expected to receive anything except exposure. I question if I even got that. :o) Thanks for “listening” to an old man’s whine while being offered no cheese or crackers.

  86. Hey, it’s me, Grace, again.

    The marketplace has absolutely nothing to do with the ratings. The publishers can pick the article rated dead last if they want to – and have, on many occasions!

    And as for the winners all being stews – that’s just not true. And spam their writing? How?

    I’m sorry if you are angry about your article being deleted, but that is what happens when you sell a MP article – the publisher has BOUGHT it. The unpurchased articles stay on the site.

    People need to read the rules of the site!

    And hi Sarah! I hope if you ever have any confusion or concerns that you will directly contact those who can help. The amazing thing about Helium is that the CEO is even available to members – he posts on the community boards and has even gone so far as to contact members directly by phone to clear up a misunderstanding.

    I’m Grace, and I run a small collaborative at Helium, helping freelancers expand so they can make a living off of their writing. I am always happy to help anyone who asks. I got my start at, and I make a full time living off of my writing now – granted, not off of Helium alone, but I would never have even tried if I hadn’t gotten my feet wet there! It’s a great training ground for people who would like to get serious.


  87. What I find weird is that one of my articles was sold through Marketplace, but it never made the top ten. I was paid 45.00 or something like that, but now it’s been deleted (about a year later); however, the “top ten” articles are still up. This doesn’t make any sense. I won the money but my article is deleted? Huh??? I am totally serious, is just really weird. And it’s true that all the same winners are Helium stewards, which should be illegal. And during contests, people spam their writing at the last moment so they can get the highest ratings.

  88. I’m a recent member to join Helium, so I have not yet been able to say that I have seen anything unjust, besides what I have read about here. In my personal opinion, I feel that if you are going to publish your work via the internet, they you need to know that people out there will try and rip you off. The internet allows you to do as you please namelessly, so often people will fear not the concequinces of there actions. It much easier for them to do this, instead of if they were stealing writing or money right in front of you.

    What I’m trying to say is, don’t expect too much out of Helium. If you make some extra money on the side, that’s great. And if not, such is life. If you’re going to write on a website to actually support yourself, then I suggest doing it in a manner that allows you to meet with someone face to face. That way, you have an actual person you can badger for your money, not just a computer that can delete your complaint message without a second thought.

  89. I’ve wrote for Helium as well as several other online sites, and while I wouldn’t say that Helium is a scam, my honest opinion is that it isn’t worth most writers’ time. The pay is so measly that if someone is making even decent money off Helium, that person is probably more than talented enough to make a small fortune writing for other sources, and their time is better spent that way, IMO. So is Helium a scam? No, but it is the equivilant of a mental sweat shop, and writers have far better options elsewhere on the net, as I pointed out in my blog’s review (should be linked to my name, if anyone’s interested, otherwise just ignore my two cents). So that’s my thought, for what it’s worth.

  90. Hi Grace,

    Thanks for chiming in.
    Honestly this is why we have this blog. I’ve seen this happen to often with other opportunities that I knew were legitimate and made money with. Too often when people don’t follow rules, don’t read material or simply if they can’t make money with a given opportunity they run around calling everything a scam.

    I’ve learned from my years of experience to filter out a lot of noise to determine what is a scam and what is just personal gripes for whatever reason, justified or not.

    So that’s why we try to have a balance of comments so that folks can do the same.

    So I’m happy you chimed in. I know there are a few cases where folks didn’t do anything wrong and they do get punished without justification or the ability to argue their case. I know this for a fact because it’s happened to me with some other companies. But there are a lot of folks that are guilty of what you’re saying.

    So that’s why it’s important to have these dialogues so work at home seekers get all points of view.

    And I would really encourage folks to read our scam section:
    I think people will have a better idea of what to look for in a scam if they watch the video listed there and see what type of real scams we have been to identify.

    Thanks again Grace.


  91. I have been on Helium since February. The main complaints I have seen on the web (I researched the site carefully) are the same posters over and over griping.

    In the case f the guy who said he was owed $800, he used banned promotional tactics to get extra pageviews, and he didn’t follow tyhe guidelines of the site.

    In the cases of people who wanted to pull their content, well, you should have read the user agreement! That is the main problem, that they don’t pay attention when they sign up.

    Helium only requires that any articles posted remain posted on the site at THEIR own discretion. They only have non-exclusive rights, which means you can use the articles again anywhere that accepts non-exclusivity.

    For those who claim that they could sell the articles if they could only get them deleted – the time they spend telling everyone how horrible helium is could be spent writing a new, original article!

    It’s sad when a site like Helium ends up getting bashed simply because people don’t care to follow or even read the rules…

  92. As far as the Helium writing site is concerned in my opinion it is a great place to write, if you are not worrying about money. No I have no money, but I do love to write. I never signed up for an account to be paid into. I have written almost 2 years with nearing 200 articles and many number ones, twos, and threes. My problem is that I write books as well but no I’m not a best seller either just a little hometown author with a few sales under my belt, and I decided that I wanted to use some of my articles or parts of them in my next book and I am going to do so. I asked them to delete my account to which they say they can’t take my articles off, however they can delete them whenever they feel it is in the wrong place or not up to standard. I have earned nearly 25.00 in the 2 years and I do not want it. I feel the articles are still mine by rights and I want no money from them. I have read articles and rated and was told I rate too many. After 2 or 3 stars were removed one by one, I quit rating and quit writing. I have friends who write there and I’m glad they are happy there. I would love to still be writing there but I think we should have a choice as to whether we want our articles deleted and have a better understanding as to why some are rated so high with only a few articles like under ten with two or three writing stars while others like me with several #1’s and nearly 200 articles have no stars. There are flaws in the system but I love the concept.

  93. I’ve had a really hard time with lately. I made about $0.20 from their site and decided that I wanted to use my articles somewhere else (magazine wants to pay me $50-$100 for some of them) but I couldn’t have them posted anywhere else. I emailed helium (at and at 3-4 times and never received a response.

    Soooo…. In an (immature) attempt to get my profile deleted I purposefuly published inappropriate content then reported my inappropriate article thinking they might pay attention to that.

    Well instead of deleting my articles and my profile, they made me one of their premier writers giving the articles that I want to use elsewhere even more exposure. Not only that, but they have locked me out of my own account so I can’t post new work or edit my existing work and profiles. I’m absolutely livid. They don’t have rights to my work (by their own admission) and so I’ve taken to writing nasty things about them all over the internet.

    I recommend that everyone just stay the hell away from They have absolutely no respect for writers and their artistic rights.

    Not only that, but writers should be getting anywhere from $10-$25 per page for their work. Why would you work that hard and not get paid fairly for it? Rankings on don’t pay the bills!

  94. I can’t say that I have ever had a bad experience with Helium. I earn around 500 dollars every month and have always been paid for that work. If anyone does have problems, an email usually sorts it out as they are very responsive indeed.

  95. By the way, when I checked, he has only 14 articles. That would not have gotten him $800 unless they were ALL chosen by the Marketplace. And, his articles are badly rated most of the time.

  96. I agree with Maxwell. I have lost earnings, rather than gained them. Sometimes I have logged on to see an amount, and then in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, I will log on again. This time my funds are actually lower and will not ever gain it back. Helium really is a scam and recommended Associated Content over Helium. AC doesn’t hurt the people that provide for them.

  97. I agree that it will take a few honest good “apples” to earn a decent living online. I suggest that once you have earned the minimum required amount in order to be paid, to ask for payment of your current balance every time you hit that certain number. This will hopefully prevent you from losing any money.

  98. Hi Maxwell,

    Thanks for your comments. I don’t necessarily think your experience is common for the majority of people that join helium. In my experience there is always these weird anomalies with companies where they do something outrageous like this. Because if it was the norm, the word would get out really fast and the company wouldn’t be viable anymore.

    Nitroclicks and paidresponse is a perfect example of this. So I don’t doubt what has happened to you. I’ve seen big companies like Google do the same thing. But to me that doesn’t mean it’s a scam because they do in fact pay people. But sometimes they screw people out of money and sadly they don’t give any explanation. So I think it’s fair to say Helium is not perfect, neither is Google and various other companies.

    Needless to say that sucks what they did to you. It’s really frustrating with companies kick you out of their programs when they owe you money and don’t tell you why. I know it’s happened to me as well so I sympathize with you.

    Sometimes we as users unknowingly have violated some rule but the parent company fails to tell us anything until it’s too late. So I feel your pain. Thanks for sharing the experience and your site.


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