Blasting News is just one of the latest news sites that I’ve heard about for writers. It’s something that I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve tried but at the time I wasn’t ready to share my thoughts. Well, now I’m ready with my honest and open Blasting News review.
Just a note that these are my own opinions and thoughts on the site. I’ve tried both the U.S. and U.K. versions of Blasting News and my opinions are the same for both of them. I only ever review something that I’ve personally tried and tested, because I want to make sure I only recommend writing sites, services, and products that I truly believe in.
So, where do I start with this Blasting News review? Why not with some information about the site itself?
Blasting News: Another news residual income site
Blasting News is another one of those social journalism-type sites. Very similar to the likes of the Inquisitr and Hidden Remote, it is set up for writers to create content around topics that are currently in the news. Writers have full control over the types of topics they write about, as long as there is a news slant.
It was created back in 2013 in Italy and has since grown to versions around the world. As I mentioned, I’ve written at the U.K. and U.S. versions of the site. The writers are called “Blasters,” and they are paid through views.
So, the more views you get, the more money you will earn. That is to a point and we’ll get to that later. The point is one of the downsides I’ve found writing at Blasting News.
Who I would recommend Blasting News to
Let me start my opinion part of the Blasting News review by saying that it’s not all bad. I don’t highly recommend the site, but those who want to get started and get their byline out there could benefit in some ways from using Blasting News.
It’s very much like a content mill. You’re writing to make someone else rich, and that is definitely the way with the way the payment model is set up. But what I will admit is that if you use it to your advantage, you could make sure you come out on top. You gain some experience in writing news-slanted content and can cover a range of topics to find your preferred niche.
By the time I’d started at Blasting News, I’d already developed my niche. I knew where I wanted to grow and started using the site as a way to further my position within the niche. Whether it’s been worth it or not, I’m not sure. There’s more on that later.
This can also be beneficial for those who already have a strong social media following. You get paid more for the social views than for Google search views, and it is possible to make a decent amount of money for a 400-word piece. It’s building that following, though. Of course, writing and social media followers can go hand in hand.
The positives in my Blasting News review
There are certainly good aspects of the site. The first is that no experience is required. Remember that I’ve said that this is good for those who are just starting out and developing their craft and niche.
You also get to write the news that you want. If you prefer to focus on politics, then that is an option for you. If you love to write about The Walking Dead but hate the reality shows, there’s nobody there pushing you to cover a topic that you don’t want to do. This is something that I like about a lot of sites like this.
There’s the option of developing your following and your niche. It makes writing fun, so that’s certainly a plus that Blasting News has.
For those who don’t yet have the social media following, there is the Social Blaster program. This is set up so people with the social media following can share the content that they find interesting. They and you get paid for the views, although you get a lower pay than if you were to bring in the views yourself.
The benefit of the Social Blaster program is that your name gets out there. People start to read your content and they can follow you to find out more. As you build your social media following, you can then join the Social Blaster program to boost your income.
There is also the option of moving into the editing side of things. You get paid more by deciding which pieces need publishing and the ones that need sending back to writers.
Blasting News sometimes offers bonuses for content in certain niches or about certain TV shows. They are $5 bonuses for X amount of articles written within a certain time frame. They’re good if you want to quickly earn some money but they’re not the greatest. I’ve utilized the bonuses a few times.
What I have found is that they’re hard to track. You get an email to confirm the bonuses, but then there’s no confirmation once you’ve been paid those bonuses. And I’ve found that I didn’t get a confirmation even though I met the terms and I’m still chasing up on where those bonuses are. Needless to say, I’ll get to the (lack of) communication at the company in a few minutes.
Finally, there is the Blasting News Facebook groups. There is one for each site, officially run by the company. Other writers will be there to offer tips and ideas to get your articles seen by more people.
I’m a member in the groups but never found them overly beneficially for me. They’re good for those who are just starting out and finding their feet. The downside is that the posts are moderated before going live. If you ask a question about being paid, it’s not going to go up live for others to see and you’re not guaranteed to get an answer from anybody. I’ve found this with personal experience.
Is Blasting News a scam?
Yes, there are plenty of positives but there are also plenty of negatives. It’s these negatives that have pulled me away from the site. I need to be somewhere that is worthwhile for me financially and don’t put my eggs where they’re not utilized properly.
The pay at Blasting News isn’t that great. Let me say something though: yes, Blasting News pays its writers. The pay isn’t always on time, but the company does pay. Communication around the pay isn’t always the greatest, either! For two months straight (the first two months that I wanted paid) there were excuses for no payment on time. Needless to say, I made my disappointment known in the comments on the Facebook threads in the second month. These couldn’t be deleted.
You’re only paid for the first 30 days that your article is online. You want to get all your views within that time or you don’t get paid anything. And you will only start earning once you get the first 150 views. Now these 150 views can come from social, the Social Blasters, or search engines, but you still need to get a cumulative 150 views per article to start earning from it.
I didn’t realize this at first and nobody could tell me why a couple of articles hadn’t earned anything at all. Once I realized this, I only started writing where bonuses were available. What’s the point in writing something that I might not get paid for? The articles remain on the site after the 30 days and the site earns from it, so why shouldn’t the writers? And why don’t the writers earn from the start like other sites offer?
And to top it off, the pay isn’t that much. There’s a cap of $150 on the U.S. site. The U.K. site I think is £150 or 150 Euros. Either way, you can only earn a certain amount of money for each article that you write. Chances of you getting to that cap are slim, unless you have an excellent Facebook following. I can get 1000s of views but still earn less than $100 for my work.
The articles are extremely easy to write, so some writers will tell you that the pay and the cap are worth it. I don’t think they are. I think sites need to pay better wages. So far, the Inquisitr comes out on top still when it comes to paying writers for their views.
Getting bonuses can help but they’re only any good if you have an interest in the topic. There are some that I’ve just looked at and thought “well, maybe if I have time” or “not a chance, I’ll leave them for others.”
While you can write on any topic you want, so can anyone else. You can’t own a show or a niche, like you can with some other sites. For example, at Hidden Remote and The Daily Voice News I’ve committed to writing recaps for certain TV shows and I’m the only writer who will do them.
There’s no duplication policy in place, which means three or four people can cover the exact same story. This causes issues for views and makes the site look poor.
I also don’t really like the way the articles are laid out. No outbound links are allowed at all, even though these strengthen pieces. That means if you’re planning to use a site like this for your backlinking strategy, then think again! There really isn’t any point and there are plenty of other sites out there that pay better for that. HubPages and Wizzley come to mind for backlinking strategies.
You must link to two other Blasting News pieces (even if there is nothing already written in your topic) and you must have an image. The site pulls images itself for you to use, but I’ve noticed that some of these images are copyrighted or Getty images and there is nothing in place to cover you for legal action that could be taken, to learn how this can affect you, check this freelance email copywriter course. I still always grab my own images if I write there now. As for the other two links, they can be yours so it’s worth finding a way to add two previously written pieces in. I’ve had to get creative at times!
Some words have to be bolded throughout the piece, too. These are keywords, something like a TV show name, actress’ name, etc. This makes the pieces look SEO spammy in my opinion, but others like it. I guess it’s each to their own on that case. There are other style aspects that I just don’t like, but I think they’re more personal taste than anything else.
While there are editors, they’re not the greatest. I’ve noticed that mistakes have been added into my pieces and I can’t edit once the piece is published. Sometimes videos have been taken out with no explanation why. Yes the word “[Video]” will be left in the title, even though the video will be removed for no reason—and usually when the video is a necessity for the piece to make sense!
As I’ve mentioned in the positives, I had to get in touch about not getting bonuses email confirmations. Trying to get an answer to questions is sometimes almost impossible. In fact, the U.K. site I got an email asking why I hadn’t written anything recently. I get that this was likely generic but I replied to the email with my reasons of lack of communication—why write if I don’t know if I’m going to get paid?—and asked my questions again. The email was completely ignored. I had to go onto the chat on the site to make them aware of the problems and I was still ignored.
The Facebook groups are a little better but they’re still no perfect. I’m at the point where I’ve given up talking to anyone there. The Facebook group and email managers change regularly anyway, so it’s not like I’d be able to get straight answers without having to go back over issues in the past.
Finally, the site as a whole looks and feels clunky. The homepages don’t seem to be updated that often and there is just far too much information to look at in one glance. I like the layouts of Hidden Remote and The Daily Voice News when it comes to getting information. The backend site isn’t that easy to use either and sometimes I find it difficult to get back in once I’m on the home page!
Blasting News pay changes in 2016
I wanted to keep this separate in the Blasting News review. This is the main reason I completely stopped writing at the site and started putting this review together.
In late 2016, we were all sent an email about a change to the payments for views. Let me just start with saying that the payments were already low. The payments from views from Western, first-world countries was going up but any views from third-world countries was going down.
I don’t agree with this type of payment structure. Sure, the ad revenue would be lower but every single site has to factor that in. We have no control over where our views come from and certainly have no way of tracking something like this. This seemed like a dodgy way of making sure writers would be paid much less without being able to argue something—how do we know the views came from the first world countries?
Other sites have found a way of averaging the pay. It doesn’t matter if you get a view from Australia and then 1000 from India, you will still get 1001 views and be paid a flat rate.
I don’t support a site that doesn’t support the third world countries or their writers in third world countries, who are likely going to suffer more because of this payment structure.
I’ve also found out recently that the affiliate link doesn’t pay out if you don’t write an article every 30 days. I don’t agree with affiliate links needing those types of requirements. It’s not something I would have included here anyway, but what’s the point in recommending it if I’m not going to benefit from recommending it, unless I really really recommended it? The links to the sites that I do recommend here aren’t affiliate links, by the way. I just recommend them for various reasons.
Blasting News review: My final thoughts
Blasting News isn’t for me. I tried it and gave it a good go, but I just can’t support it any more. The pay was already too low and the current change has made it worse, especially for the writers who write on some very niche news in their third world countries.
I also don’t like the payment caps or view requirements to even start to get paid. I’ll stick with the likes of Inquisitr and Hidden Remote. Other sites aren’t perfect but they’re better than I’ve experienced with Blasting News.
Is Blasting News a scam? Not quite, depending on who you ask because there are plenty of people who say they haven’t been paid since September 2016, but it isn’t the greatest. It’s a lot of work for little pay.
I hope you found my Blasting News review helpful. Have you written at the site or do you intend to? Share what you think about it in the comments below.
Update Feb 2017:
I like to make sure you’re aware of any changes. Unfortunately, the changes, in this case, are not positive. On Feb 19, 2017, Blasting News shared that it would start a new promotion, paying $10 per article guaranteed. There were no view minimums to meet. It sounded positive and it certainly seems to have been popular.
Less than 48 hours later, Blasting News decided to cut the guaranteed payment in half to just $5 per article. While it is more than just views alone, the announcement was made just hours before the changes would happen. Writers had planned their week around the idea of getting at least $10 per article — just 10 articles that take 15-20 minutes to write would net $100 — and instead are now questioning the legitimacy and reputability of the site. I’ve been in touch with Andrea Manfredi, CEO of the Blasting News brand but I am yet to get a reply on the matter.
It is certainly not a positive outlook for the site and suggests that there is some lack of planning, poor communication, and lack of funds to support such a long-term payment system.
Update Mar 2017:
The site has since introduced a $3 guaranteed payment for all articles published. The residual income system is still in place and will be on top of the $3 minimum. The $3 will be paid weekly, when you have earned at least $15 — the payments roll over until you have $15 for the week. All residual income is accumulated and paid out monthly if you have reached $50. No minimum views are needed to get the $3, although residual earnings only start once you get 150 views on an article.
Update October 2017:
The payscale has changed yet again. Rather than add to this Blasting News review, here’s a new post with my thoughts about it.
What do you think of Blasting News? Share your thoughts in the comments below.