There are countless ways to earn money on the net. The VG Wort payouts are a good way for online entrepreneurs with their own blog or website to earn some extra money. For those who already have a well-frequented blog with many contributions, the regular annual payouts can even represent a (partially) passive income.
Table of Contents
1. What is the VG Wort?
The Verwertungsgesellschaft Wort -VG Wort- (Wikipedia) is, according to self-disclosure, a legal association by virtue of conferral founded in 1958 and based in Munich, in which authors and publishers have joined forces for the joint exploitation of copyrights.
It manages royalties from secondary exploitation rights in linguistic works in Germany. A portion of these royalties is distributed annually to authors and publishers who have registered with VG Wort and meet certain requirements.
Since 2007, the VG-Wort department METIS (Meldesystem für Texte auf Internetseiten) also remunerates texts on the Internet. This gives bloggers and website owners in particular the opportunity to build up additional income with little effort.
Due to the regularity of the payment and the relatively low effort, VG Wort income can be classified as (partly) passive income.
2. Requirements to receive VG Wort Payments as a Blogger
In order to receive payouts, the registered texts must in principle meet 2 basic requirements.
- A text, e.g. a blog post, must currently consist of at least 1800 characters (including spaces). This should not be a problem as texts that are too short can be added to reach the minimum number of characters. For comparison, this post has more than 10,000 characters.
- A blog post must have at least 1500 hits in a calendar year (between 01.01.-31.12.) (exception: for posts with more than 10,000 characters 750 hits are sufficient). However, this is the biggest hurdle, especially for young blogs.
3. How much Money will I get?
The amount of the distribution per text is always determined at the end of May/beginning of June at the annual general meeting of members of the year following the census for the previous year.
The payment itself takes place in the second half of September.
This means that the quotas set at the 2023 meeting will count towards the 2022 meeting.
Conversely, this means that if you register with VG Wort now, you will not find out the amount of the distribution until around the beginning of next June. You will not receive the distribution itself until September.
Note: If you have registered in July of the current year, for example, you have only 6 months left to reach the minimum access number for this year!
The table below shows the quotas from METIS based on the 2021 (i.e., for 2020) and 2022 (i.e., for 2021) assemblies.
The distribution amount in the case of regular distribution is now €45.00 and has increased again compared with 2020 €40.00) .
Update: As of 2023, the distribution amount for 2022 is €43.86, down slightly from the previous year, but still very high!
In addition to “regular distributions”, there are “special distributions” and other special cases. In the extensive documentation “METIS for authors” of the VG Wort, the way to the distribution, including all exceptional cases, is described in detail.
4. Registration Process
Here, the registration process for website operators using METIS at VG Wort is described step by step.
4.1 Register with VG Wort
Go to the VG Wort website in the T.O.M. (Texte Online melden) section.
Click on “here”.
Click on “Register new now”.
Select the type of registration (author or publisher) and click “Next”.
Enter your personal data.
The field “Card number” can be left empty. When you register with VG Wort for the first time, you will be assigned a card number.
Check the address you entered and click “Next”.
Fill in the fields under “Registration of the perception contract”.
As a blogger and website owner, you can enter under job title “Author”. After you have filled in everything, click on “Next”.
Next, enter your account information and then click “Next”.
Now you will receive a summary of your access data. Check that all the information is correct and then click on “Submit”.
Once you have clicked on “Submit”, the “Registration checklist” window will open. You have successfully completed the first step, the entry of your personal data.
Next, download and print the contract documents. The documents consist of a reporting system registration, the perception contract in duplicate, an occupational group form and the collection order for foreign countries in duplicate.
The documents must be signed and sent by mail to VG Wort.
Note: The documents must reach the collecting society within 3 months after the online registration, otherwise the registration will be deleted and the procedure has to start all over again.
Also note: Do not staple the shipping documents together!
4.2 Dispatch of the Contract Documents to VG Wort and Activation of T.O.M.
After you have sent the contract documents to VG Wort, you have to wait and see.
As soon as the contract documents have arrived at VG Wort and have been processed, you will receive a notification to your specified e-mail that your T.O.M. registration has been activated (T.O.M. = online reporting system of VG Wort).
Now you can log in to the T.O.M. area with your chosen username and password.
In addition, you will receive a countersigned copy of one of the perception contracts (as well as a collection order for abroad) back by mail.
You have been assigned an individual card number, which you can find online in your T.O.M. area as well as in the countersigned perception contract.
For me, the T.O.M. access activation did not take 10 days, but that is probably different for everyone.
5. Download and Installation of the VG Wort Counting Marks
5.1 Downloading the Counting Marks
After the registration at T.O.M. was successful, the next thing you do is download counters.
What is a counting mark, you ask? A counting mark is an individual pixel with specific code that you include in a blog post. This determines the number of hits on the article and communicates them to VG Wort. This tells the VG Wort when an article has reached the minimum number of clicks required for payment. Articles that have not been assigned a tracking pixel are not eligible for payout.
To download the counters in T.O.M., click on “METIS (regular distribution)” and then on “Order counters”. There select the number of counters to be downloaded. You can order a maximum of 100 counters per download.
By clicking on “Order counter marks” you can download the counter marks directly to your PC as a PDF file and/or CSV file.
5.2 Installation of the Counter Marks
You must include an individual counter mark in EACH post that is to be reported. That is, 100 individual counters are built into 100 posts.
The installation of the tracking pixels can be done in different ways.
The manual installation of the pixels is relatively time-consuming, the installation is done using an Excel list. By using Excel classification, you make sure not to include the same pixel multiple times.
Installation by WordPress Plugin
There are several plugins that make it easier to include VG Word pixels in WordPress posts. I myself use the free plugin Prosodia VG Wort.
This also allows the integration into existing older contributions without any problems and quickly. Since the counters retain their function in subsequent years, you only need to include counters once for each contribution.
6. Reporting of the Texts
In the following year after registration with the collecting society and the installation of the tracking pixels, you will receive an automatic request from VG Wort (usually to the e-mail address you have provided) to submit notifications.
Now you look at the articles in which you have installed tracking pixels and report each article individually to the VG Wort, if it has reached the minimum number of hits (whether the minimum number of hits has been reached is displayed in the VG Wort portal, in addition you should track the hits via Google Analytics).
You can read in detail in this step-by-step guide how to make the VG Wort notification. This is also well described in the following video.
If you are an author with your own website, you have to submit your entries by July 01, if you are a publisher, the deadline is June 01.
7. Payout of the VG Wort
If everything has gone smoothly, you will receive the longed-for payout to your deposited account in the second half of September for all entries received correctly and on time.
Note: By default, VG Wort pays you a net amount. If you are subject to VAT, you must inform VG Wort by e-mail of your VAT identification number (USt-IdNr.) so that the VAT can be paid to the tax office.
The distribution amounts have risen steadily since 2015. The current €45.00 paid to authors per post can -alongside advertising and affiliates- provide a lucrative side income for bloggers and website owners.
The necessary minimum access number of 1500 has fortunately not been raised (constant since 2007) and is doable even for beginners with enough perseverance and diligence.
The effort involved in registering with VG Wort, installing the counting marks and reporting the texts is kept within limits and requires hardly any technical understanding.
If you don’t register with VG Wort despite having reached the minimum number of accesses, you are potentially missing out on a lot of money!