Note: Sorry if this paragraph sounds like an advertisement. It's not. I only make money if you read one of my articles and I don't expect more than one or two clicks.
Helium is a website, similar to Associated Content or Demand Studios, that lets you publish articles from 400-1500 words in length and pays you everytime somebody reads one of your articles. There's also the possibility of upfront payments for certain articles. But, they're changing the rules on that and I won't know much about the new assignment system until they release it later this month.
Helium does require you that give them exclusive online rights for one year for any article you publish to the site. When that rule change went into effect, I was a little worried about it because I thought, "What if I want to publish it to my blog?" But, Helium requires that you write in the second- or third-person. And most of my blog posts are written in the first-person, are heavy on the photos, and light on information. So, there shouldn't be any conflict. And I can always link to an article from here.
The only other problem? Nobody ever writes to the channel! I'm the author of the last ten or so articles published to the Minneapolis subchannel. That's probably true of most of the local guide channels though. And Minnesota doesn't have a huge population compared to some other states like California or New York. So, it's bound to be a little quieter.