This month, I will be on Simily for a year. What has changed? Does it still have promise? I talked about this site in a previous post.
A lot has changed on Simily in the past year. A major change that happened in August is in order to read a story on the site, you had to make an account. I understand that this change was more focused to mitigate bot traffic. It has been something the site has always struggled with.
Though, since this has been implemented, reader traffic has come to a crawl. Before this my work was barely getting views, now I’m lucky my last post on Simily even received two views. A rumor among users is external links no longer count as views. This used to be the case. I don’t have enough data on this to confirm or deny that the rumor is true.
The site also claims that the view counts are updated every 24-48 hours. Which I know used to be true. Now, it no longer seems to be the case. Others on the site have been noticing stories they have with comments and reviews still have 0 views. You are unable to leave a view or comment on the story without clicking the link. So, there should be views.
Another thing working against the writers right now is external links. If someone clicks a story link, they immediately go to a login screen making people sign up if they don’t have an account. After an interested reader makes an account, they are redirected to the main page; not the story they clicked on. I know if this was my experience with a website, I wouldn’t bother coming back.
The minimum cash out on the website is still 500 views which equals 10$ on their current 2 cents-a-view business system. Even though I have been on the site for a year, I am only 1/5 of the way to 10$. Some writers are saying they are not getting paid. Others are saying they are. I can’t give my opinion on this either since I still can’t cash out.
One change they made recently is changing the recommend button to reviews. It’s similar to five-star ratings on other websites for books and other products. This change I like and so far, I have not seen any user backlash on it. With it being new, few people have used it yet.
Though, I did notice that if your story had recommendations, it no longer shows how many times it was recommended. This is unfortunate. I had some kind readers in the past hit the recommend button and it helped bring views. Now those few recommendations are dust and no longer exist.
When first using the site, it used to be impossible to spend a lot of time on it with the number of server crashes. Other times I would be in the middle of figuring out what tags I should use, and the site would crash. Is it perfect? No, but it’s more stable than it first was.
So far, I have been very lucky to post on days when the servers are not dealing with heavy traffic loads. On days when it’s unstable, people still lose all progress on what they were doing. Simily does have autosave when you’re working on drafts, but I learned early in my writing days to ‘Never trust autosave’.
The Worst Part
The community of writers on Simily is still better than some other spaces. With all the changes being made and several of the most helpful or supportive writers leaving, it’s hard to find anyone active enough to talk to. The few that remain are nice and won’t roast you over silly things.
Something that has come to my attention is how some are being banned. Yes, I said Banned.
The founders can ban anyone at any time. No explanation and you also won’t get paid any money for your views.
You may be wondering, why are people getting banned?
The ones I find the most alarming are the ones that question view counts. Others are getting banned for saying they aren’t getting paid. Within a day of the post, they are suspended and then by the next day banned. Every post they have ever made is wiped from the system. Even the posts that got them banned.
This behavior concerns me the most. If the founders know what they are saying is not true, why not confront the problem in the open? So, then the rest of us know what’s going on. What it seems like is they are burying the problem. Can’t speak for all users but it makes me if I still want to contribute to the site.
Another writer and I were discussing view count out in the open just a couple of days ago so I wonder what will come of that. Neither of us was nasty nor attacked the founders so, we’ll see.
I’m unsure how much longer I will be posting stories or articles to Simily. It’s been a year and I’m still not at the minimum payout. I think maybe my content isn’t a fit for the site overall.
A lot of people I used to interact with have gone on to other platforms. It’s how I found out about Medium. The website over the past three to four months has had more articles than fiction stories. Anymore, it’s hard to find people that write only fiction. The search feature sometimes isn’t helpful on Simily either.
Does the website have promise?
If your main goal is to get paid quickly, No.
With readership being low as well, I’m not sure either.
Simily compared to Medium is still very young and evolving. I’m not sure if I want to stay if people are losing their accounts for just voicing opinions.
See you all next time!
These are the latest posts on the blog. Be sure to check them out!