What is it like to write for Patheos?

I searched all over for the answer and here’s what I found.

DJ Chuang
3 min readOct 29, 2018

As a person of faith, I was wondering whether or not to write on their platform, or blog more frequently at Medium, or keep my content at my own domain name.

Intel’ from How Does Writing for Patheos (Catholic) Work?

We sign a contract that says we’ll try to keep swearing down to a minimum, not use images that we don’t have the right to use, and to try to write 2–3 times a week; and Bob’s your uncle, we have a blog hosted on Patheos Catholic. And that’s exactly what it is. In that sense, a writer for Patheos Catholic is very little different from anyone with a wordpress account. We just have better advertising and can reach a generally wider audience.

… We who write at Patheos Catholic are not rolling in the dough. Best case scenario right now for making money as a Patheos Writer is as follows: First be designated a tier 1 writer (I have no idea what tier I am). This means you will be paid $3 per 1000 views. Of course, you don’t receive any actual money until you’ve earned $50, which means you’ve reached just over 16,666 views total.

Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC, about his blogging at Patheos —

… I’m part of the Catholic channel. Even within a particular channel, there is wide diversity, not a single editorial line like most publications. Instead of the editor approving each article, each columnist receives some guidelines — mainly about things such as no profanity or libel — then they can post articles themselves. With such freedom in posting, Patheos pays authors per thousand views rather than per article.

What Patheos cares about is not what you write, but that you write regularly, present interesting stuff, and have a decent readership.

There are hints that some bloggers get more compensation than a few dollars for page views. One freelance writer got an offer she couldn’t refuse —

Recently, I received a bit of a promotion as a blogger. I was approached by the editor over at Patheos Evangelical and asked to come blog for them. It’s a great opportunity, and I’ve decided to accept the offer. I signed with Patheos last week and hope to move my blog to their site later this month.

What about freedom of speech

As for editorial boundaries, the contract binding writers changed when Patheos was acquired by Beliefnet in September 2016 and concerns were noted in the article, Why Did Over A Dozen Bloggers Leave Patheos?

The most problematic part of the contact had to do with new editorial controls. The new contract allowed Patheos to edit any of posts “without limitation.” Writers were explicitly prohibited from using profanity (with some exceptions). The contract required that the “tone” (a very subjective term) resemble that of other online media with which Patheos compared itself, like Slate and Huffington Post. The contract also prohibited advertising or “self-promotion” (another vague term). And Patheos could delete any post it deemed, in its sole discretion, to be “offensive” (yet another ambiguous term).

How to decide

I suppose it depends on how you want to reach your audience — through a content network of many faiths, a content network of paid & free content, or find your own audience without any tie to a network. And, I’m doubtful that the content I want to write would garner the larger size audiences required for monetization.

That’s all I have to say about that, for now. What do you think?