(A) they decide how much of that "share" that they'll give you
(B) they decide how much money you have to accumulate in your account before you can "cash out"
(C) they can ban your account before you reach the "cash out" line so they don't pay up
...so, it's probably not really worth your time to work there.
Signing up to these "content mill" websites are free, however, as it takes a lot of time to produce "content" (even if you are just engaging in blatant "copy and paste" plagiarism) and that they get the lion's share of the ad revenue, it's clear that these websites in question end up profiting. It's a rather exploitative relationship.
What's curious however is that some of these "content mill" websites want to get a leg up on the competition and are willing to pay for 'referrals'...and their referral systems looks rather suspicious. Generally, they go along the lines of this:
We have designed a referral program where you earn extra 10% of the earnings earned by your referrals for the lifetime. For example, if you referred a columnist who earns $5.00 for every thousand views that his column generates, then you are automatically entitled to earn $0.50 for every 1K views from us. And there is no limit on this. You can refer as many columnists and can earn as much as you want to.
I don't want to name the website (if only because I don't want to accidentally engage in commercial advertising and violate the TOS of this website), but you can Google that above text to find it.
This system concerns me a bit. On one hand, it does make some sort of sense to compensate people for referring others, and I could see why some of these websites would want to differentiate itself from the competition.
However, the exact method of the referral program seems...bad. I would have liked a flat fee contingent on the person starting work in the program: if someone made $1 from the program, you get your $0.10 referral fee, and then that's it. Receiving "lifetime" payments make it seem that the referrals are actually 'downlines'...even if there is only one layer of downlines.
I also read an article on Yahoo! Voices that claims, "[T]o have any real success with any of these earning sites a person needs to have referrals, and the more the better." That also concerns me. As the only draw to contributing to these websites in the first place is to make money, it seems that a system where the only way you make money is bringing other people into the program...would be ultimately unsustainable. Only the people on the top will make money, just like in an MLM, after extracting as much "content" as possible from the 'downlines'.
As I do not know whether this system is legitimate or not, I decide to ask you guys (who had experience with other MLMs). Is the type of referral marketing I described above a 'MLM scam'?