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I’ve been seeing advertisements about Vocal, a media platform that takes submissions from authors writing about topics that range from politics, to music, to poetry. It’s fairly small, but Jerrick Media is a well known and seemingly respected outlet.

Vocal is interesting because it pays writers based on their content views. Vocal doesn’t advertise the algorithm they use to determine payment, but here’s a picture from Matt Cates on Why are You Still Working?


As you can see, the rate is set on per thousand views. So, if you have a killer social media presence or a massive blog following, you could be making some decent cash online, writing about the topics you love.

Yesterday I decided to try Vocal out with a new poem, “Flesh to Feed”. You can read it here.

I wanted a place to write and publish contemporary poetry and social commentary poems, where a dynamic audience was growing. Again, Vocal seems to be new. They only have about 1,500 followers on Twitter, which I am positive will change very soon.

My thinking on this matter is related to the fact that no one outside of the poetry community actually reads literary magazines. Of course, if you make it into Ploughshares or The Paris Review, you’ll get more exposure. But still, that exposure will come from other poets and writers.

Here is my question: how can a writer become published in a way that connects to the general masses? In other words, bridging The Island to The Mainland. In addition, where are the poetry websites that pay? Does that kind of support for the literary arts exist? Okay, so I have a lot of questions.

My hope is that a platform like Vocal can be that bridge and support, that it can create accessibility and popularize poetry once more. In the age of 140 characters and short-form, why couldn’t it?

Anyways, this is how my dashboard looks thirty minutes after my poem was approved and published. Nothing intensively impressive, but if magic happens and money appears, I’ll make sure to share. Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 1.20.34 PM.png

If you or anyone you know has written for Vocal and would like to share tips and experiences, comment below! It would be much appreciated!


2 thoughts on “Flesh to Feed: A Poem

  1. I would just add that Vocal probably has very few social media followers because Vocal itself is only, as you said, a submission platform. It’s just used to submit to any of the almost 20 sites Jerrick Media is now running, some of which have larger audiences. I’m up to about $600 from my articles, but…nearly all of it comes from 2 articles, and I have written several. Luckily most were written back when they paid per article versus per view count. My old articles were grandfathered into Vocal when it came online. I was one of the first testers of it. I recommend using Vocal as a means to get some publishing credits, but 1) it’s pretty do it yourself, 2) when your piece is live you cannot edit it unless you go through their editor, 3) you probably won’t make much unless you really write a good SEO article about something people search for and/or you promote yourself aggressively. All in all, I suggest at least trying it. Their staff is very friendly, in my experience.


    1. Awesome feedback and tips, Matt! Thank you. I find the website aesthetic and accessible and I feel as though the literary arts in need of a refreshment. Could be through sites like Vocal, could not. But I’m wondering if more writers looking for different platforms will lean toward self publishing. We shall see! I hope it can be expanded beyond articles and how-to’s, and into creative writing, as well.


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