Friday, October 15, 2010

Earn Money and Get Backlinks with InfoPirate

Get Backlinks and Earn Money at InfoPirate

I recently started using a bookmarking site called InfoPirate.  On InfoPirate we are allowed to use our own Google Adsense ID # to share in their revenue from our bookmarks and blogs.  There is a blog platform there that they want people to post to every now and then to increase the site's worth and so forth.  Although I don't think it's a strict requirement of joining it is nice to do something to help the company that enables you to earn money and get backlinks.  InfoPirate is an 80% revenue share with its members.  Just for bookmarks.

Since starting to use InfoPirate I have noticed a few things:
  1. Increased income.  I have already earned money on InfoPirate, but have only submitted a very small number of bookmarks.  I have earned over $5 in the 2 weeks that I've been at InfoPirate.
  2. Increased traffic.  Submitting the bookmarks to InfoPirate has allowed me to get backlinks to my articles on InfoBarrel, Hubpages, and a few other places.  I've only submitted articles that I could pay special attention to in order to see if InfoPirate made a difference.  I think it does help increase traffic.
  3. Increased earnings on articles.  I submitted a couple of old InfoBarrel articles to Infopirate to see if it would help bring traffic to them.  With a day after submitting an article to InfoPirate, I had earned.  Overall, my earnings on all of my residual income writing is increasing. Over the past three months, I have doubled then tripled my InfoBarrel earnings.  My September earnings rose by 211% over August.  Infopirate is going to help make earn money, get backlinks, and make October my best month writing so far.
Those are the three main positive points that I've experienced from joining up at InfoPirate.  I did it on the recommendation of a few other trusted writers and it has paid off so far.  I also wanted to build some backlinks to my InfoBarrel articles. When you bookmark an article on InfoPirate you get dofollow backlinks.  Being able to earn money and get dofollow backlinks is very good and can help increase the page rank of your articles, website, or blog.

If you are trying to earn money then InfoPirate is a great place to do it.  I think it is a reasonable part of an residual income earning plan that includes writing online.  I hope you join.  Let me know in the comments what you think about Infopirate and whether you join.  I'll be curious if you're earning.  It took me a couple of days to start to earn money at InfoPirate, but it did happen and much quicker than expected.
Give it a try.  Join InfoPirate! Start Earning. Today!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How to Make Money with Google by Writing Online at InfoBarrel

Make Money Writing Online

Working at home.  For many it's a dream and for some others it is reality.  If you are looking for a way to supplement your income because of unemployment, disability, stay at home mom or dad, or any other number of things, try online content writing.  The most legit work at home job I found is writing online content for my own website and revenue share sites that enable me to earn money through the internet giant, Google.  (If you know about Google Adsense and want to know about InfoBarrel skip to the bottom.)

Google runs an online advertising program that anonymously matches publishers and advertisers, Google Adsense. Simply put, a business like Home Depot signs up with Google.  Home Depot pays Google to show their ads around the internet.  The opportunity for earning online comes in because Google and Home Depot want as many places as possible to show relevant ads to customers. Google Adsense facilitates the advertising and publishing process of the ads.  

By signing up for Google Adsense you can make money on the ads on your blog.  Ads will be served to your blog based on its content and you can earn a piece of the billion dollar online advertising business.  The blog or online content must follow Google's strict publishing content policy.  There are many businesses who use this and it's one of the most ingenious programs out there because it allows the non-tech blogger to make some extra money.  If you are serious about making money then you can sign up for websites that want to publish online content.  These are called revenue share sites.

How Revenue Share Sites Make Money with Google

Writing online is one of the easiest ways to make money using Google.  It takes a lot of work, but once you learn all the strategies it is possible to generate a great income.  If you have blogging experience or you know website building then you can create a website in your own niche.  Marketing your website and online content is a lot easier if you choose a niche with smaller competition.  For an excellent web host try iPage, a site with the best customer service and many options from building an online store, writing and much more.

Revenue share sites are the other choice for those who want to make money with Google.  Writing online at a revenue share site means that you provide content (keeping the copyright in most cases, but read the terms), and in return the revenue share site will split the ad revenue with you. Sites vary with the split and it can be anything from 50% and up.

The Best Revenue Share Site:  InfoBarrel

For the best long term earning opportunity with transparency, check out  Less than two years old it is quickly climbing the ranks and standing out because of its commitment to members and quality information. Writing online to make money through Google is like making a financial investment. InfoBarrel shares 75% and you can earn up to 90%.  It is important to realize that writing online is not a get rich quick type of gig. Many freelance writers try their hand at making money with Google by writing online at InfoBarrel or similar sites only to be disappointed because the money is not flowing in.  There are skills and things that you need to learn in order to earn money and be really successful.

Revenue share is not up front pay.  Some freelance writers balk at the idea of writing something for free, but the overall potential of earning money through passive income or residual income opportunities, like writing online, is huge.  It is repeat earnings over time.  If you join InfoBarrel and write an article that earns you $1 per day then you can earn that $1 per day for years.  The more articles you write the more potential earnings.  There are writers who make anywhere from 0 to over 20,000 month.  Content writers need to learn their craft and they can make money with Google by writing online content at Info Barrel, personal sites, and others, for a long time. The idea of residual income is that it comes in over time instead of taking a low one time payment. This enables you to earn more on one article that anyone would ever pay you.  The difference is when you get payment.

Online Writing Skills:  Search Engine Optimization

The difference between writing online and making money with Google by writing online is learning how to write for the internet.  There are special techniques that you need to learn to make money writing.  If you are new, or if you are writing now without success, then you have to learn more about search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research skills.  Writing an article that is optimized for the internet is a bit different than just writing a regular article, but it's really not that much different.  As with anything there are some specific things that you should apply to give it a chance to earn money.

Anyone who like to write or wants to earn extra money can sign up with Google Adsense, sign up at InfoBarrel or any of the other revenue share sites, and start writing.  It probably seems overwhelming at first, but over time it becomes second nature.  InfoBarrel is a helpful writing community so if you sign up with them make sure to check out the forums.  There is a lot of good information about how to make online money in those forum threads, so taking some time to read through those, or the ones on Hubpages or eHow can also help you get an idea of what writing online content means.

Writing online is not a fast income strategy.  If you need money now then this is probably not something that will work, but it is something that you can build up and it does pay out over time.  It's just like building a house.  You cannot wish for the house and then it's complete and decorated.  It takes laying the foundation, blueprints, and hard work, but the final product feels pretty darn good. Money making at InfoBarrel will get better over time as the website grows.  They have already grown tremendously since I've been writing there.   Of all the sites like this, InfoBarrel has the best layout, admin, active forum group, revenue share (75% to 90% with InfoBarrel contest participation), plus other tools to help you succeed.  It is still a relatively new company so the earnings potentially will grow with them.

Online Writing Article Income Example

If you are on the fence about writing online to earn extra money then let me leave you with an example that can show you that it is possible to earn residual income over time and make money writing online using Google. One article from a content site has been viewed over 30,000 times and earned several hundred dollars.  Another article has earned over $300 itself with less than half the views.  There are many keyword optimization strategies and other things to learn to become successful.  If you give yourself the permission to learn how to make money with Google by writing online, with all its learning curves, then you will be satisfied once you start to see earnings coming in.  The best thing about writing online for extra income is that eventually you start making money in your sleep.  Literally.  Every morning, I wake up to earnings. The example articles were written in 2009, but they still earn me money almost every day. 

{edit:  12/20/2010 -- Over the past several months my earnings have been growing exponentially.  Check out my article about seeking internet wealth to see that earnings are possible.}

Making money online can become a full source of income after you learn the steps to grow your library successfully.  It's is a life changing step to start writing online.  The extra income you make can make the difference between unpaid bills and a little bit of comfort.  After learning steps to write you can also earn money becoming an Amazon Affiliate, a program that offers commissions for selling products through them. There are all sorts of cool things to learn and with the rise in social media and social networking capabilities there is no telling how far you can go, especially if you already have an audience.  The sky is the limit.  Writing online content is fun, and also a slow and often tedious process, but if you follow the guide of some of those successes then you will also be an at home writer making money.

What are you waiting for?
Get started writing online at InfoBarrel and sign up here.

Leave a comment if you have questions.  Good luck!


How to Get Cheap Website Hosting and Domain for a Residual Income Writing Site

Get Awesome Cheap Web Hosting

A lot of people want to make their own website to make money online.  If you have never built your own website then it can get overwhelming, so choosing a company with good customer service is important. Cheap website hosting and free domain name registration is also important. I write for revenue share sites and maintain my own website that is hosted with iPage. An affordable web hosting company like iPage, an award winner for excellent customer service, helps make the process easier.

My first website was frustrating and I paid too much. I didn't know anything about building a website when I bought the domain and web hosting plan, and as a result, I paid too much and ended up using a company that fell short on customer service. Now I use iPage, a website hosting company that is quick to respond to my questions and cost less than any other web hosting company, including Go Daddy. When I made a mistake with my FTP files and locked myself out of my own website, I contacted iPage through their online customer service. The iPage online customer service rep worked with me via the internet for over an hour until he fixed the problem I'd created -- free.

Along with affordable web hosting, iPage offers several ways to build the website, so you can code it from scratch, upload a Wordpress theme or use their other website building options, including a Weebly drag and drop website building function. Another great feature is the website usage statistics that provides you with analytical data of your website.  Even though you can use something like Google Analytics, the data provided by the web host is very revealing.  The words "cheap website hosting" might conjure up the idea of "getting what you pay for" for some people, but iPage delivers.

Revenue share site writers working for residual income do not have to deal with the hosting, site building, and the bugs and glitches that go along with maintaining a website. Buying a website is a personal choice.  There are also free blogging platforms that allow monetization. Website building is a task that needs time dedication. However, once you learn how to build a website yourself then you gain insights that help with earning residual income. The main reasons people buy their own website is for control over content, design, backlinks and reaping 100% of the revenue. Monetizing a website exactly how you want is a better option for some people who use the internet to earn residual income. Quality website content should always remain the #1 goal of anyone who is earning residual income from writing online.

Cheap Website Hosting and Free Domain

Starting a website as cheaply as possible is what I needed so iPage worked. The web host cost at iPage is  $4.50/month and comes with a free domain name.  Website hosting companies are tricky so read the fine print. Most website hosting companies offer great deals to get you started, but when it comes time for renewal that's when the domain and website hosting fees increase.

Since iPage constantly works on creating new feature for their customers you get access to a lot of other perks once you sign up for iPage website hosting. Google webmaster tools are integrated into the iPage control panel and there are ways for the novice to the expert to build a site.   because of their customer service and all of the different methods of website building.  I recommended iPage for website hosting because of their customer service. The iPage customer service is quick and they work with you until you understand the problem or until it is fixed.  For those who want an online store, iPage has one a free online store that comes with the price of website hosting.

When the times comes then you know where to go for cheap website hosting.  Using your own site complements your work at revenue share sites.  Whether you're ready to sign up today or you want to keep iPage in mind for future reference, just don't forget about them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Make Money Writing for InfoBarrel: A Positive Review

InfoBarrel is a site where freelance writers can put up content.  You don't have to be a professional writer.  There are some people making around $100 or more per month, but it's not necessarily the average. was one of the leading residual income sites, but they closed their Writer's Compensation Program, so many writers are looking for other places to put up content and earn money.  By writing for InfoBarrel you can make money on articles ranging from how to, reviews, videos, and general information.  If you want to make money writing for InfoBarrel you will need some patience because it is not an immediate money maker.  However, if you are willing to invest your time into a project that is going to pay off again and again for as long as the website is live then InfoBarrel is the place to write.

To make money writing for InfoBarrel you will need to write a lot of articles.  InfoBarrel utilizes Adsense, Chitika, and Amazon as methods of monetizing.  Your ads will show with your Adsense ID 75% of the time.  InfoBarrel's Adsense ID will show the rest of the time.  You will have to sign up for Google Adsense if you want to make money writing for InfoBarrel.  It's a simple process.  Make sure you put in accurate contact information so your payments don't get held up.  In order to make money writing articles for InfoBarrel you will need to make your writing stand out somehow.  One way to do this is to avoid grammar and obvious spelling errors.  For exampe, a very common mistake is the word "a lot".  It is never, under any circumstances, spelled "alot" and when you make simple mistakes like this it does diminish your perceived knowledge about the topic. 

The best way to start making money writing for InfoBarrel is to get writing.  If you are new at this then know that you are going to need patience.  I have been writing at InfoBarrel for several months now, but have still not cleared $100 with them.  But, I am seeing an increase in money each month.  Writing for InfoBarrel is advantageous.  You are allowed to place links to other articles (limit of two) within your articles, so if you have a website or blog or other articles you can provide backlinks to them and vice versa.  InfoBarrel is not a scam and the environment is very positive and helpful.  They have a friendly forum and the staff is very responsive to questions, concerns, and inquiries. 

If you have never written online content before then writing online for InfoBarrel might seem intimidating at first.  When I started at eHow, I didn't really know much more than writing is my passion and this was a way of sharing it.  To make money at InfoBarrel you will need to have some knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO).  For a brief overview of writing quality content you can click those underlined words.  It's a little bit about SEO and what to do. 

Make sure to utilize all that InfoBarrel has to offer.  Sign up for all the ways to monetize your articles.  You should also put up some kind of bio with a link to your website or blog if you want.  InfoBarrel lets you put a signature on your articles.  You can have more than one signature.  The best advice to make money writing for InfoBarrel is to go slow and steady.  Learn from the articles that make money and use your Analytics information to write better or more. 

You can sign up for InfoBarrel by following this link:  Sign up for InfoBarrel here. If you sign up to make money writing for InfoBarrel through my referral link then I will be as much help as I can.  You can contact me through the comment section if you have any questions. 

Good luck and happy writing!
Sunday, June 6, 2010

How to Link Google Adsense to Google Analytics

What is the Difference Between Google Analytics and Google Adsense?

Google Analytics and Google Adsense are two programs used to make money online and track earnings and other stats.  Google Adsense is a pay per click internet advertising program.  Advertisers pay Adsense to display their ads on websites.  An Adsense publisher can make money displaying the ads on their website or blog.  Adsense is free for publishers.  Google Adsense account numbers are called a Publisher ID and begin with "pub-". 

Google Analytics analyzes website traffic.  Google Analytics provides stats like keywords, time people spend on the site, bounce rate, referring traffic, and a lot of other information.  Google Analytics account numbers start with "UA-".

Why Should I Link Google Adsense to Analytics?

Google Analytics will show you all of the keywords that people used to find your articles or website.  Google Analytics uncovers important statistical information about your articles with the exception of earnings stats.  The only way to discover Google Adsense earnings stats is by linking Google Adsense to your Analytics account. 

Linking Google Adsense to Google Analytics uncovers a gold mine of information that you can use to optimize your articles and increase your overall online earnings.  If you are serious about making money online then linking Google Adsense to Google Analytics is essential.  Adsense only shows Adsense ad impressions, ad clicks, ad click through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and the ad revenue per thousand impression (RPM).  After linking Adsense to Analytics the available stats are much more informative and include Adsense revenue, Adsense ads clicked, Adsense page impressions, highest and lowest earning articles, keywords used to find the articles, keywords that made money, click through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), top referrals, cost per million (eCPM), total Adsense earnings, and more.

If I want to know how much money I've made for the day I check Google Adsense, but when I want to know HOW I am made that money I check my Adsense-linked Google Analytics.

How to Link Google Adsense to Google Analytics

Linking Google Adsense to an Analytics account starts with making a new profile in Google Analytics.  Every website you track with GA must have its own profile. 

Google updated the Analytics interface, so some of the steps

  • Log in to Google Analytics. 
  • Click "add a new profile" from the Google Analytics Overview page. 
  • Follow the instructions on the "create new website profile" page.
How to Make a New Website Profile in Google Analytics

From the Google Analytics Overview page:

  • Click "edit Adsense linking settings"
  • Choose all of the profiles you want linked, click continue.
  • Choose InfoBarrel as your primary account*, if you can.
  • If another site is the primary account, that's fine, just continue through the steps to link Adsense.
  • Linking Adsense to Analytics creates a short script.  InfoBarrel automatically adds the right script, so you don't have to edit any HTML. (If you have your own blog or website, you will need to add the script to your website code or use a plugin).

The new Analytics code tells the site to start tracking Adsense and display it in Analytics. As long as you've made a new profile for the website in Google Analytics and added the correct account number on InfoBarrel then you don't have to worry about changing any actual code.  Once you start your own website then you get to learn how to add Analytics code to HTML.

How to Add the Google Analytics Number to InfoBarrel

InfoBarrel is a revenue share website that splits 75% of Google Adsense ad impressions.  Pre-approved InfoBarrel members can use Google Analytics to track article stats.  To add Analytics to InfoBarrel follow the steps below.
  • Log in to InfoBarrel, go to "my account", "advertising profile", and add your Google Analytics account number. 
  • Make sure you add the new Analytics number that has a profile number, UA000000-1, not the generic Analytics number.
  • Once the accounts are linked and you've added the right number to InfoBarrel, go to the "content" tab to see Adsense stats.  

Troubleshooting - Analytics Wont Show Adsense

The most frequent mistake people make is adding their general Google Analytics account number.  Do not forget to make a new profile first.  Once you make the profile, you have to add or change the account number on InfoBarrel.  If linking Adsense to Analytics didn't work, repeat the process to make sure you didn't miss a step.

Wait at least 24 hours after you link your Adsense and Analytics accounts.  You may start receiving data right away, but sometimes it takes a day or so.  Change the date on the Analytics calendar to today's date.  Once you get a page view then you should know whether the linking worked.

Writers who want to earn money and improve article performance need to dig into their Google Analytics stats.  Google Analytics has a lot of settings.  Dig around in the Analytics data to discover important stats and uncover converting keywords.  Google Analytics is a great place to research keywords.

 I definitely recommend using Analytics, linking Adsense, and taking advantage of the stats.  You can use the information to optimize your articles and make more money.  Leave a comment or look for jpwriter on InfoBarrel if you have questions.

*You should not have to make InfoBarrel, Hubpages, or Seekyt as the primary account because they have the code already set up for users.  Some revenue share sites offer Analytics, but they do not have the script written correctly.

Looking for a good keyword research tool?  Take the MS 12 day free trial and keep the free keyword tool.  Try Market Samurai for free.
Saturday, May 22, 2010

Follow Up Review of Writing for

In January, 2010, I started to enhance my portfolio by writing for, a new company by AOL.  My previous evaluation of writing for has not changed a whole lot.  However, the biggest change since then is that I have had a few pieces of writing accepted by Seed!  One of the tricks that I try to use when writing for Seed is to pick a topic that has a deadline that is coming up soon.  Of course, not every topic can be written this way, but there are a lot of assignments that do not take a lot of time.  The downfall to this is that the writers do not know how many people they are submitting writing against, maybe one or 100. 

There was one pro that I listed in my first evaluation of writing for Seed.  This was that they had fast editor turnaround.  Actually, it isn't that Seed has a fast turnaround on accepting or denying assignments, but rather that it is more accurately based on when the writing assignment was turned in relative to their deadline.

Some simple guidelines for writing for Seed:

  • Write succinct.  Extra verbiage is not necessary.  Follow the word count rules.  
  • Remember that you are writing against others whenever you submit writing to Seed.
  • Seed has a very limited number of assignments available.  They have both writing and photography assignments, but still both lists of assignments are short.
  • Try writing one of the tips for travel for Gadling.  Make sure to read the expectations and check the site for its current information.
  • Use rejected articles on other sites like Info Barrel.  
Writing for Seed is not a full time option for me.  I don't know how many people actively write for Seed, but there are just not enough assignments for me.  The lack of assignments plus the long waits for acceptance make Seed low on my list.  I do like the upfront payment.   Seed is a great place to sign up for and check once per week for new writing assignments.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

eHow Stops WCP, Forces Writers to Work for Demand Studios

On April 5, 2010 eHow stunned members by announcing the end of the Writer's Compensation Program or WCP.  During the eHow UK fiasco eHow community managers Julie and Rich assured members that the WCP was not going away.  I have very mixed feelings about eHow cancelling the WCP and giving writers the boot. Julie claimed that eHow's decision to stop the WCP was partially based on their inability to salvage the publishing tool.  I doubt that's it.

Writers are still compensated for the articles that are on eHow, but no one can add more unless it's done via Demand Studios.  Some eHow writers were automatically approved to write for Demand Studios.  I am pre-approved to write for Demand Studios although I'm skeptical about writing for a company that displayed such disregard for their writers. Hindsight is 20/20.  Demand Studios likely planned to end the WCP at eHow to quite some time, but they failed miserably when it came to transparency.

Essentially, eHow sent a pink slip to thousands of people, but it wasn't their first shady move. Article sweeps were suddenly routinely done to get rid of articles that didn't conform to their rules, but they failed to tell members about the changes or notify anyone that their articles were on the chopping block. 
Now, eHow writers need to start looking for other revenue share sites like InfoBarrel, HubPages, Seekyt, and other up front sites like Seed or Textbroker.   

To all of the writers who are still reeling from the news my sympathy goes out to you.

(note:  eHow stopped paying members for their articles on May 5, 2011)
Monday, April 5, 2010

eHow Stops the Writer's Compensation Program

Look out freelance writers, eHow is at it again. eHow announced today that it is stopping the Writer's Compensation Program or WCP, the part of eHow that enabled people to become freelance writers by earning residual income on how to articles. Now, what has been a long-standing argument within the eHow community -- whether or not eHow would stop the Writer's Compensation Program -- is over. I hope that somebody won.

For the past month, I have been sick and had surgery. Being out of commission is not recommended when you are writing online content and tracking the goings on of internet companies. For many, eHow was a steady stream of income and a semi-guaranteed writing gig that just folded. eHow writers are cancelling launches of updated eBook editions and many are probably scrambling to understand just what no WCP means for them.

Now that eHow has cancelled the Writer's Compensation Program, the only way to publish on eHow is through Demand Studios (DS). Demand Studios is eHow's parent company who also publishes on a variety of websites. The catch is that not everyone gets to make this transition. The amazing thing about eHow's WCP is that literally anyone could write and there was no editing process. It looks like some eHow members will be pre-approved to transfer to DS, but others will have to go through their application process. As for me, I have no idea because I still have not received an email that all of this is happening. I have not been able to get email from eHow for some time, but I also cannot edit my profile to update to a new email. Those of us waiting are supposed to receive a message on eHow's PM system.

Perhaps now every eHow writer will cease being a lousy "member" are start being a writer. That would be pretty cool.
Sunday, February 14, 2010

Results of the Short Survey: Do You Write Online Content or Articles?

When I started this residual income writing blog, I decided that I would do a short little survey because I could.  One of the things I am interested in most is where people write at and how successful they are writing there.   In hindsight, I would have included many more writing sites.  This is one of the things that I learned from doing the survey although even before this I knew there are many more places to write than just the few that I threw up there. 

Here are the results.  In one month 35 people responded.  Also, I let people choose more than one answer because I think that provides better results.  Surprisingly, not one person said that I am crazy!

Do you write online content or articles?

Yes'm, I'm at  --  16 (45%)

Yes, I write at Associated Content -- 20 (57%)

Yep, Helium -- 6 (17%)

Yes, I write at Associated Content -- 5 (14%)

Yes. It's not listed. -- 14 (40%)

You're crazy, there is no money in writing. -- 0

No, I'm deciding if it's worth my time. -- 2 (5%)

I stopped. It's ridiculous. --  4 (11%)

What I did find to be a little bit frustrating is that there are four people who have stopped writing altogether because they think it is ridiculous.  This can mean any number of things, of course, but I think it is too bad that people are stopping.  I would like to know if you are one of the people who has stopped writing online content, why did you stop writing?  I know personally that the past several months have been frustrating with all of the things going on at eHow and just the effort that it takes to build new libraries at new writing places.  Also, if you don't write, I am very interested to know whether or not you blog instead or what you do with your writing.  Looks like it's time for another survey!  But, I think this one will focus on what people really want to much do you make...

Leave a comment.  Let me and others know the places you write that are not listed and what else you do.  I'd like for this to end up being a place of resources and information.  Thanks for your help.
Saturday, February 13, 2010

Update to ChaCha Guide and Expeditor Training

Just a quick update to the ChaCha expeditor training evaluation post a few days ago.  After I received the email from ChaCha that I did not pass the expeditor readiness test, I was a little frustrated about the whole process.  What frustrated me most is twofold.  First, I felt a little misled because I didn't read anywhere ahead of time that I would have to pass a test after watching all of the videos, at least not until the last video.  In all fairness to ChaCha, if this information was available and I missed it then, of course, that's on me.  Secondly, I was more frustrated because I had filled out a bunch of personal information for them, including an IRS tax form.  I found this to be too much information for an unsure deal.

Ok, now to the ChaCha update.  I emailed them and asked what they are doing with my personal information and let them now that if they weren't going to offer or give me the opportunity to apply for a ChaCha guide position then I wanted them to destroy my information.  After reading the privacy policy it was not clear what they used the information for, so asking them to destroy it seemed like a fair request.  Today, I received a very short answer.  They have opened up the ChaCha Guide Generalist/Specialist positions.  I know that I was given an email or reference number to give out to people, but I tell ya I cannot find it.  Their website is so full of information that it is going to take some time to get used to it all.  Anyhow, I made a request to take the Guide test.  I have not heard back from them yet, but I am curious to see how this process goes.  It certainly is a more drawn out process than I anticipated when I signed up last weekend.

On a side note, I found out today that one of my eHow articles was used by ChaCha as a reference for a question.  I noticed today that I had increased earnings on a particular article so I looked it up in Google and found that they used it as a source.  This was great news.  It's nice to have my writing recognized in any way that is positive.  I'm always up for feedback, but who doesn't like good news.  The article they cited was about the number of times a person passes gas during a day.  What an article to choose!

I'll be looking forward to hearing from ChaCha regarding the Guide position and testing.  I can only assume I will have to take a test for that as well.  Just a clarification:  I think it's great that they use testing as a quality control measure.  In case anyone doubted that I thought this was not a good thing. 

How to Make Money Writing for Info Barrel -- Earnings Explained

Make Money Writing for Info Barrel

Info Barrel is a content site started in 2008.  With all of sites popping up lately, I think that writing for Info Barrel has the most potential to make money. The Info Barrel earnings platform is an Adsense profit revenue share.  When you sign up for Google Adsense they assign you a number.  You make money writing for Info Barrel because they show your Adsense ID number 75% of the time.  Most writers are confused when they first sign up because Info Barrel advertises that you can make money writing by earning 75%.  Myself and others think that there is a 75/25 revenue share split so that we are always earning on every ad click.  Instead it just rotates.  You do make money writing for Info Barrel and that way of splitting earnings is common.  The only exception is that InfoBarrel actually pays more than most other sites. 

If you're a skeptic on the earnings rotation then you can check it to make sure that your Adsense ID is showing up on the ads.  I learned this trick on the Info Barrel forum.  On one of your Info Barrel articles right right click on the ad.  Make sure you do not click the ad on accident.  Right click then click view source on the window that comes up.  Look for your Adsense number.  Refresh the browser a couple of times then you'll see that the Adsense ID # changes.  You make money writing for Info Barrel when someone clicks on an ad when your ID# is up.  When it's not then Info Barrel earns.

Earn Money Writing

Info Barrel does not have the search engine power like some of the other content websites.  Yet.  Because of this it is really important that you learn to write quality content involving strategies such as keyword research and search engine optimization.  As with most sites you should write a lot of content before assessing the website's worth.  If you are branching out your writing portfolio from a site like eHow, you will quickly see that the earnings algorithm of Info Barrel is very straightforward whereas eHow's is muddled with, well, algorithms.  As explained above you potentially earn 3/4 of the time your articles are shown.  You earn all of the money when someone clicks on your ad.  This makes writing for expensive keywords appealing to some writers. 

To make more money writing for Info Barrel join in the monthly fun and write for the contests.  Every month that I have written there has been a contest.  During this time they announce a writing theme for the month.  If you write articles that fit their contest criteria (theme based and over 500 words) you can increase earnings.  For January, I wrote a few articles and this month instead of the 75%, my Adsense ID is now showing up 83% of the time.  You can earn up to 90% of the time.  As with almost all of the content sites the way that people make money is through a reliance on ad clicks.  The Google Adsense program is one of the biggest things that enables us to earn money writing online.

Info Barrel also gives you the chance to earn money using Chitika. Chitika is another ad based website similar to Adsense.  They target words a little different and I notice that sometimes when my ads do not match up from Adsense they do with Chitika.  My thought on this is that so many people use Google that it is ultra competitive, but not as many people use Chitika.  This allows them to deliver better targeted ads which means a higher click through rate (CTR).  Of course, a higher CTR means more earnings potential for you.  I strongly suggest you sign up for Chitika.  When you are prompted to enter a website use the Info Barrel URL.  Adsense income will likely earn you more money than Chitika however it is better to have more than one stream of income on your articles.

In closing, I believe that you can make money writing for Info Barrel.  It is a good ground floor website to join. The staff is friendly and they maintain good quality control on the site.  If you ever see a problem with an article you can email the staff and they will fix it.  Get signed up at Info Barrel and start making money writing.

**If you sign up through my affiliate link I will do my best to answer questions and help you so you can start earning money on InfoBarrel.  Just sign up, leave me a comment here, start writing articles, and comment if you have questions.  The forum is great, too.
Thursday, February 11, 2010

eHow Compensates Writers for UK Articles with a Slap in the Face

eHow "Compensates" Writers for Using Articles on eHow UK Site

The "generous compensation" eHow paid for article misuse is in January earnings.  eHow decided to compensate content writers for the misuse of their articles on the eHow UK site.  A small group of eHow members kept pressure over months until eHow was forced to admit that they used member articles on a cloned-mirrored-money-stealing-traffic-pilfering eHow UK website.

I am almost at a loss for words, but as a writer, there is something to say.  This is ridiculous.  The eHow compensation payment is a slap in the face, especially because eHow was caught lying after they were caught in ass-covering lies after six months of diverting member articles to the eHow UK site. Rich, eHow's community manager lied to members, telling them that eHow UK had nothing to do with their decreased views, earnings, and even went as far as telling people to "write better articles."  I am not the only one who thinks this stung. Even tried and true members call the eHow compensation a slap in the face.

eHow's General Manager Admitted UK Articles Impacted Earnings

If you read the transcript of eHow's official response to the UK deal or you watched eHow's video response, you know that eHow did admit that the UK site impacted earnings for over six months.  Their admission that the UK site affected earnings for six months means that they were caught inflating their true size (and possibly worth since the idea of an IPO has been whispered).  They stole, misguided, and misled their members who are full of work and stay-at-home moms and dads, retired and disabled people, students, freelance writers, and those who needed to supplement their income and trusted eHow.  Not only did they admit eHow UK hurt earnings, but Greg, eHow's general manager said, "we’ve gone back and we’ve generously estimated uh those earnings."  Straight from the GMs mouth.

Did eHow Compensate to Avoid Copyright Lawsuit Violations?
From what I have seen on the forums, eHow "generously" compensated content writers with about two days worth of earnings.  This was supposed to be for six months of use.  The eHow compensation for the UK article fiasco is pathetic, plus is potentially muddies member-lawsuits against eHow. There are some people who are saying that accepting the UK article compensation forfeits the right to sue under alleged copyright violations and contractual violations by eHow.  The payment is not easy to reject though since eHow very slickly lumped the compensation with January earnings.  The compensation was NOT sent as an independent amount, and it didn't state "here's the money we owe you for stealing your views, money, articles, and lying to you for months -- thanks for your contribution to our bottom line."  I do not know what the law says about the right to sue and the need to refuse the small compensation because eHow pays through Paypal, an automated acceptance of earnings.    You don't get to accept or reject this pathetic little slap of a compensation effort.  If anyone knows whether or not the assessment of lawsuit information is correct, please comment below. Perhaps only a lawyer can answer.

Were eHow UK Articles Removed or Redirected?

To top it off, eHow has not removed the articles from the UK site as they said they would.  Rich (community manager) made a statement that the articles were removed from the UK site. The truth is that eHow said they were going to redirect UK articles back to the US .com site.  It seems that if the solution was so easy as to apply a redirect that eHow should have know

I am dumbfounded by eHow's greed.  It's not that I expected a large amount, but their choice of compensation is just wrong.  I think they would have done better telling us all to bugger off than throwing this small amount at us and having the nerve to call it generous compensation.  My compensation was $11.  I can only imagine how newer members feel about either not getting any compensation or only receiving pennies.


After discussing the compensation issue with other eHow memebers, I have been asked to show some interesting data by an eHow member.  CWilliams was an avid eHow writer making payout almost immediately and going strong until the eHow UK disaster hit.  Posting her thoughts in the eHow forums almost got her banned because of a new rule that says members cannot post earnings. This is the first time I have ever heard that rule. eHow makes it up as they go, encouraging earnings posts when they want to look good.  Since the earnings post relates to the low ball eHow compensation, suddenly posting earnings is against the rules.  Go figure.

"With 3 articles(out of 48) that make $660.60, there is no way that 6 months of damages, and compensation for use of my work equaled $9.19. I want everyone that does write, or is considering writing for eHow, to see that while my figures might look great they are not the norm. I have actually had pms asking me why I bother to say anything at all because I make so much."

Now, here is another place that I have a problem.  People are getting reprimanded for speaking up.  No one should write this person saying shut up because she makes money anyhow.  This is NOT the point.  Feeling like the compensation was a slap in the face comes from the devaluing of our writing and the illogical means for coming up with compensation.  How does two days of earnings compensate for six months of the eHow UK diverted views and lost earnings? That accountant should be fired.

Image credits:
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Taking the Test: Evaluation of the Expeditor Process for

Last weekend ChaCha popped into my head and I decided to give it a shot.  Several months ago there was a buzz about it on the eHow forum, so I knew this was not a scam.  At that time, I had checked out the website only to find all of their posititions were full.  Enter Friday evening. When you go to the ChaCha home page they say they are hiring for guides.  This is actually only half-true.  They are hiring for expeditors.  When I read the role of the expeditor it was not something I was interested in doing. But, I like doing research and learning new things, so the guide position seemed a fairly natural fit. Or, so I thought.

Here is the process:

You sign up for ChaCha giving them all of your personal information, including filling out a completely unnecessary IRS form.  After completing all of the personal information you have to watch several videos. Sprinkled throughout the videos are little tests.  Pay attention to the tests!  Although you will have a chance to go back through them, it is for some reason more difficult the second time around.  You will be evaluated before you can begin the expeditor process

I failed the expeditor test.  It stung.  While I am not top of the class, I am not used to failing.  I believe that I put out quality work on a consistent basis.  This being said, I do have weaknesses and one of them is quick decision-making under pressure when the information is not clear.  ChaCha is all about answering questions very fast and they have a pretty fantastic system in place to accomplish that mission.  The videos don't answer all of the questions.  I think it would be more effective if they specifically showed the process of a question coming in and how long it takes to answer it and so on. 

In the video prep for the expeditor training they slowly show you the possibilities of each question.  Slow is not at all what you will deal with when you take the expeditor test.  Because of that I can only assume that doing the real thing is much faster. After watching all of the videos, it is only toward the very end that you hear you will only have one shot at the expeditor test.  You will have a time limit for individual questions on this expeditor test. 

Taking the expeditor test for ChaCha

  • Stop after the first question if it times out or you think you get it wrong.  You can set your status to away.  Do this and go back through the videos.
  • Do not apply if you do not want to give ChaCha all of your personal information without being sure that you are going to be working with them.
  • Pay specific attention to how to "succinct" or clean up a question. 
  • For the first timed test you must read through the beginning information because you'll be asked pertinent business questions.  If you fail this first timed test then you will not move on to any of the process above.
  • Pay attention to the steps.  You only have one shot at taking the test.
Good luck.  If you have more questions, leave 'em in the comments and I'll try to answer them.  I emailed ChaCha after the test to ask them what they do with our personal information and inquired into why they get our information without telling us the expeditor work is an unsure thing.  I have not heard back from them yet.  Maybe I will hear from them at a later time regarding working for them as a guide. That's the position I wanted anyhow.
Sunday, January 31, 2010

Transcript of eHow's Video Blog Response About the UK Site and Earnings Issues

eHow recently responded to its members regarding their use of member articles for a six month period to build their UK website.  They are now calling this website the "beta" site.  I imagine there are legal implications if they do not admit that there was testing going on.  But, I am no lawyer.  For anyone who does not have speakers or who just wants to read what the reply was I have transcribed it.  I draw different meanings from things after I hear them a few times and especially once I read them. 

What do you think of eHow finally absolutely admitting that the earnings drop was indeed caused by the UK website?  Does this close the door on the issue?

The following is a transcript of eHow's video blog response about the UK site and earnings issues:

Hi eHow community. This is Rich the eHow community manager. I know many of you had some questions about the eHow UK website. I thought the best person who can answer this question is our general manager here whose name is, I kinda want to get some tidbit um surrounding your history with eHow.

Greg: sure yeah. I know you’re in the community every day and you’re really the voice for our community and I have been working for eHow for four years now. I was actually the first full time hire by our parent company Demand Media purchased eHow back in 2006 and it’s been fantastic to watch the journey. Um. We’ve really grown into a site where we have millions of readers coming every month and a lot of that is because of our community and the articles that they’ve written and contributed…so uh, I’d be happy to answer questions.

R - Great. Um so like one of the main questions I keep seeing on the forums is uh why did we uh release this uh UK beta website?

G - uh yeah no that’s great question. We really followed the same tradition that we followed that we release every product here uh at eHow. We’re trying to build the best user experience. We want to get feedback on new products uh that’s why we launched the test beta site. We’re doing the same thing on mobile right now. We just released the new android application and we’re really getting feedback from our mobile users and we just launched another project which is eHow logic tool [not sure right name 1:12] and that’s more of an application so it really came down to us to uh thinking about hey we’re a big website in the US and we want to expand internationally and uh our friends over in the UK are a great place because they’re reading English articles and we started with that and uh we got a lot of feedback.

R - Great. Um It’s good to hear um another like second question I hear a lot is and I think is like the one I hear the most is

G - Sure

R - did the um UK um website, this beta website that we have, did it somehow impact the user earnings ?

G - Yeah uh that’s a great question. I know there’s been a lot of chatter about that and yes the uh the our beta UK website did actually impact the earnings and we value our community a lot and we’re going to go ahead and compensate our users for that so I know they’ve been quite vocal about that and um I saw a couple of posts that you responded to you know at the time we launched the beta UK site we didn’t have the ability to automatically pay our members every month like we do in the US um but we’ve gone back and we’ve generously estimated uh those earnings and we’ll be paying out those earnings uh with January’s payment early February.

R - sweet I think that they would uh that’s some good news. I’m pretty sure that they’ll be happy about that um so this is our like first video and it’s you know just something

G - yeah

R - a good opportunity if you have anything else to tell the community

G - yeah no I love it. I think this is a great format to talk with our users and reaching out and uh I hope we do more of these. Um it’s really been just fantastic over the um past four years watching our little website turn into quite a big website. A lot of that is because of our community and really the passion that our members have and uh to be there every day and to be involved in the dialogue and to be creating articles and information that millions of people are searching for and helping them complete their every day projects so um we’re going to continue to fulfill that mission and uh we really look forward to our community to be a huge part of that.

R - sweet. You know I really think definitely has a great format for us to like get the community to get some insight into what’s going on at eHow and I think we should probably do more of these video blogs and I’m looking forward to doing more of these and telling the community about what’s going on at eHow and uh just want to say to the community as well that uh Julie and I we’re always available on the forums um if you have any questions we’re there to answer those questions for you um if you want to write or message us and ask us like any questions about the site or it you know any future like product releases or you know just get some sort of like insight into what’s going on the site you’re more that welcome you know to message us um but uh thanks for tuning in and we hope that when we post up our next video blog that you’ll tune in as well. Thanks.

eHow Apologizes and Disables UK "Beta" Site: Damage Control Compensation, a company owned by Demand Media, has had itself in a little bit of hot water lately.  The problem is that they created a duplicate site for the UK with the hopes of cashing in on freelance writers in the UK who are laid off and willing to write for an untold amount of money.  Now, this is assuming that they are going to offer the UK writers the same deal as the US folk get, which is writing for a secret algorithm that determines the worthiness of your writing and therefore the price.

Six months ago when eHow launched it's "beta" UK site they did so by using all of the content produced by the writers here in the US.  It took a solid group of people to steadily keep at eHow demanding answers to why the new UK site was ranking higher in the search engines than its US copies and were we getting compensated for the writing they were using for free.  Not only were they using the writing for free, but they lied about the slow in traffic and decrease in earnings blaming it on Christmas and, at times, just flat out lying to its members.  Finally, with enough pressure, eHow answered its community with a promise to remove the articles from the UK site because they said it was not fair if they couldn't pay us for using the content. 

eHow responds to writers by redirecting the UK articles, but doesn't respond to the question of payment.  For six months they used our content for free raking in suspected millions while some long term dedicated members left eHow because the money just wasn't there anymore.  After six months of deception they have come clean, disabled the UK site completely, and responded with a semi-apology and an answer to the issue of compensation in a video blog:  YES, it did affect your earnings.  Yes, we don't want to be sued so we will give you damage control compensation. 

Here is eHow's official answer and apology where they say they will pay compensation to the writers in the Writer's Compensation Program (WCP).  This link opens up to eHow's video blog.  Notice the eHow UK site is now being referred to as the "beta" site although that's the first the members have heard of it.  If you want to read a transcribed reply go read it at transcript of eHow's video blog response about the UK site and earnings issue
Sunday, January 24, 2010

Create Back Links and Adsense Income Using

Freelance writers need to be concerned with optimizing their articles.  While we focus a lot of attention on using good search engine optimization, it is also important to get links to your articles and blogs.  I read that Google will favor content that has an .edu extension linking to it.  Apparently, if someone in education thinks your content is worth reading then Google does, too.  But, we can't all get back links from an .edu extension.

I just discovered a new website and earning opportunity several days ago:  If you have an Adsense account then you can make money by posting content on their site.  You retain copyright.  By using SheToldMe you can create back links and earn income on your content and articles.  SheToldMe calls their articles or submissions "scoops". The goal of posting to the site is not only to generate Adsense income, but to create back links to your writing and increase your exposure.  Like Digg, you can vote an article up or down all the way to the front page and you can leave comments on other people's content.  A perk is that your article will show up as a related link on many articles if the keywords are similar.  You can make 100% of the ad revenue on this site if you sign up for an Adsense account.  However, it is not necessary to have Adsense to sign up.

Positive points of using SheToldMe:
  • create back links to your website, blog, or individual articles
  • earn 100% Adsense income
  • earn income using Chitika (sign up here if you don't have it)
  • community of bloggers and writers = more potential exposure for your writing
  • lists your website on each "scoop" submitted
  • increased my presence in Google
  • can post just for back links if you don't have Adsense
  • multiple ways of exposing articles

Here is a tip when you sign up for SheToldMe.  Make sure to fill in the section that asks you why you are signing up -- the motivation section.  You will be rejected if you do not fill this out.  My first application was rejected because I skipped that section on oversight.  Whether you want to create back links or Adsense income using SheToldMe, it can't hurt your writing to have another place to post.  Spreading out your writing will increase your readership. 

You can set up an individual channel in Adsense to track the views and earnings.  You should also use Chitika as an additional form of ad revenue.  It also shows ads on a website or blog and can be used with Adsense.  Using both Chitika and Adsense increase your chances of making more residual income. 

Overall I recommend using this website.  I expect that it will be another source of residual income in the days and years to come.  Good luck! 
Saturday, January 23, 2010

Moving Forward: eHow Responds By Redirecting UK Articles

eHow UK Site Impacted Earnings - Redirects Articles Home

eHow has taken action to move forward.  They redirected the UK articles to the US articles supposedly as of January 21.  While I think it is interesting an entire day went by without the action being reported, I am glad something has finally changed.  I do still have some suspicions that are actually fueled in part by the way eHow has fixed the situation.  As much as I wish I knew programming, I don't.  I do find it interesting that they could remedy the UK situation by simply redirecting our articles.  To me, this means that the intent with the UK site was clearly one of gathering views and making free money.  eHow made a lot of money in the past half year by diverting viewers to their free mirror site.  They clearly did NOT pay or compensate us in any way for any action over the past five or six months while using articles and lying about the real impact of the UK site.

If the solution to this UK situation is simply redirecting the UK articles back to the US articles then eHow absolutely had full awareness that the UK site set up unfair and direct competition.  For members who supported eHow through this entire UK site charade, I just wonder if they realize what eHow UK did to members, them included. The multi-million dollar company built by community members made a mirror website with our content, without our permission, likely violating intellectual property laws, and then has the audacity to make a statement about communityI wonder what an intellectual properties lawyer or online copyright law attorney thinks about this blatant misuse of content.  One thing is certain. Online content writers need to learn about copyright law, including how to report plagiarism when bloggers and scrapers use content without permission.  The internet should not be a place without morality.  I am going to read up on copyright law and suggest go to the library, search online, or read some books about copyright law and licensing.  

Rich Says eHow Did Not Deceive Members - Can't We All Just Get Along

I am not a lawyer. I want to know what rights, if any, were actually violated in the process of them using my eHow articles on a cloned UK site then covering it up and not paying members for it.  Rich, eHow's Community Manager commented:

"Look, everyone will have their own thoughts.  However, I think few folks are really caught up in the fact that we intentionally tried to "deceive" our members, and that's not true.  And, I'm being honest about this. I just need to butt in when I read such things because that was definitely not our intention.  Our commitment is to our community and it's a team effort to tie up any loose ends that may have been over looked.  You can't change things if everyone keeps having that mentality of "you vs me."  If you want eHow to be the best site possible and a site that you can be proud of, then we need to work together, collaboratively, to make that happen.  -Rich"

If the eHow community is going to move forward from this UK fiasco, eHow is going to have to make some kind of concession that they made a mistake. Although I suspect they legally cannot do that without admitting some sort of fault that can land them in hotter water. The community is asking for compensation*.  Some people are talking about lawsuits.  eHow "solved" the problem with a simple redirect of our articles. When Google crawls the site again it will read all the new code further directing it away from the UK site.

What then was the purpose of the UK site.  Where do we go from here?  If they can direct the UK back to the US then didn't they have to first direct the readers to the UK?

(update:  eHow admits fault and compensates writers, sort of)
Friday, January 22, 2010

Until Further Notice: Writers Strike Agaisnt eHow Until UK Resolves

The heart of any community is palpable by their passion.  For some of us, writing residual articles online is a necessity because of the economy.  Writing online can produce a potential lifetime of earning residual income if the situation is right.  I learned how to write online for money over at eHow, but I am also now learning that I have a voice.  I do not agree with them posting our articles on the UK website as fillers until they get themselves together, if that even ever happens. For a multimillion dollar company I am dumbstruck at their lack of organization.  Why I expected more I am not sure.

The arguements that have risen out the the forums on the eHow website are tender.  Behind a computer screen some folks are destructive and others will defend what they want to believe is the truth.  I do not want to see a community of writers split over a situation that was perpetrated by a corporation.  Last night, I was discussing the issue of going on strike.  We talked about the ways in which people try to make laborors feel like they should just work and stick it out, keep their mouth shut, and not assert their right to speak up.  I feel like a laboror who is striking because their company will not pay fair wages.  Yes, I did sign up for eHow knowing that I may never make a dime and without knowing what they actually pay out because they are not upfront about payment.  So what?  When did signing my name to something seal my lips to injustice?

I have virtually gone on strike against eHow because I will not be writing anymore articles there until the publishing situation with the UK is resolved.  I have my reasons.  Some eHow writers say, "if you don't like it here then leave" as if that ever solved a thing.  That is a negative solution to the problem.  There are plenty of writers ready to take my spot, but worse than that are those who do not care that they write for a company that bends their vertebrate into dollar bills.  Leaving a company is good in some situations.  In this one, I think it is an easier cop-out just to say to someone, "shut up and leave". 

I read a forum post that insinuated  that the writers "striking" against eHow by not writing are doing it to cut their competition.  This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard (and I am not even sure what it means).  Okay, not the most ridiculous, but damn close.  Why would that even make sense to someone?  I have been searching through the posts trying to find the person's response because I just cannot understand why or how someone could taint others in the fashion.  The thread was was probably deleted as per the usual way eHow runs on certain matters.  If it's not deleted I apologize for the insinuation.

Perhaps we all cannot take this stance.  I actually understand that some people cannot afford to stop writing for a couple of weeks to assemble, to write letters to eHow demanding that their articles are removed.  But, it is the people who claim that the character of others who are doing this is anything but integrity with whom I have a problem.  I am speaking up to an institution to make it a better organization for all writers. 

It has been almost 2 weeks now and nothing has been done about the UK site.  Our articles still automatically post to the UK.  I do not believe that they have no control or that it should take this long. 
Saturday, January 16, 2010

What is the Big Deal with eHow Posting Articles to the UK Site

After looking at the forums on eHow and especially after seeing a reply by Rich, the eHow Community Manager, I realize there are so many people who do not understand what the problem is with eHow posting articles to the UK site.  So, for those of you who are confused and so on, let me explain.

What's Happening: has branched out their business to the UK.  They are doing this because the journalists in the UK, like the United States, have been hit hard and there is a high rate of unemployed writers.  Until now, eHow has only been available to writers in the U.S.  I do not think the UK site is actively accepting new people, but I'm not positive.  According to Steven Kydd of eHow their goal is to "recruit at least 1,000 paid freelance contributors in the UK by May 2010...[the] UK expansion is the priority now."

eHow launched the UK site with articles that are written by the U.S. members.  This is not inherently bad.  The problem is that they are not compensating, in any way, the writers who retain the copyright to this content.  Every person who writes for eHow agrees to a Terms of Service contract that gives eHow the right to publish our content.  This does include a statement about using it worldwide. The UK site has been live for over five months.
As a writer on eHow, I am thrilled that they are expanding.  I have had friends outside of the U.S. express interest in writing for eHow, but frankly we aren't always trying to write for free.

What is eHow's Pay Based On:

They have a Writer's Compensation Program that is a mysterious mathematical algorithm that figures several things and determines worth.  The eHow Community Manager commented on an article at The Business Insider stating:
"WCP participants are compensated based on the quality and popularity of their articles. While a member may submit several articles per month, they may not earn any money from these due to a variety of factors, such as title popularity and uniqueness, viewership, rating, writing quality, etc. An article’s earnings can vary month to month and it will continue to create passive income for as long as it generates interest from visitors."
This is about the closest and best answer anyone is going to get regarding payment.  Because eHow's algorithm considers "interest" and "viewership" it is imperative that an article can be found.

The Heart of the Issue for Members:

So, what's the big deal?

When a person searches in Google a list of results from all over the internet show up.  If you've searched for something you know what I'm talking about.  Search results.  Good writers try to write their articles so they rank higher in the search results than a competing article.  This is done by using keywords and search engine optimization tactics.  Suddenly Google results started showing mainly results from the eHow UK site. The only difference in articles is the extension at the end of the URL. The UK site is mirrored. When a person clicked on an article that has the UK extension then no credit goes to the writer.  eHow had not figured into their payment algorithm to pay writers when the article was viewed via the UK site extension.

The short answer is that they used member articles to fill the site, those articles ranked extremely high with many outranking US articles so much that they did not show up, and then they did not compensate anyone for these articles.   Remember when I mentioned "interest" earlier?  If a UK article is read again and again then "interest" is not being shown because the algorithm does not include anything UK.

I Don't Believe It.  Let Me See an Example of Search Results:

I searched for my blog by keywords "write fierce morals ehow".  It is listed first.  The second result just happened to be an eHow article.  Fifth is an article from eHow...UK.  The results are fairly typical and prove that the search produces results from both countries.

The Heart of the Problem Again:

The fact that any results are showing up in Google from the UK site concerns the writers because they are not being paid at all for anything UK.  Rich has postulated that this phenomenon has been caused by the members looking up their own articles and now Google has a "personalized" search feature.  Absolutely irrelevant.  As long as there are results showing up from the UK site writers are losing money, eHow is making it. 

In Closing:

eHow is wrong and it is disheartening to put faith in a corporation to have them build their brand off your backs.  They have promised to take down these articles from the UK site within the next few weeks.  This probably means several months.  No matter what anyone thinks of the quality of articles on eHow, I certainly try to stand out and write good stuff.  I contemplate the impact of writing about this UK fiasco.  It's my goal to lay out the facts as seen from a writer's perspective.  If we could unify I would strike and refuse to put new content up until the articles are removed from the UK site.

Hopefully this helped anyone who didn't understand the situation to grasp it a little better.  I welcome comments and ideas.
Edit:  June 2, 2011 - As of May 5, 2011, will no longer pay residual income on WCP articles still on the site. eHow offered up front payment to many members. It's a good idea to break eHow backlinks if you have them.
Friday, January 15, 2010

A Quick Evaluation of Writing for

After another long day of searching for new ways to reinvent myself and my writing, I end frustrated.  I tried a new website for freelance writers,  I find the work at home forum to be really helpful and I found some articles about Seed.  What Seed does not mention specifically is that you might be one of one hundred people (made up number) submitting on the same topic.  I grabbed a title then wrote a good article.  It did have a due date that I slid right in under.  I thought I might have missed it.  The message I received from their editors said that they appreciated my content, but it just wasn't a good fit and I should try again.

After the rejection I started to wonder just how their system works.  After a little bit of investigating I found that several others had been frustrated as well.  I have not heard of anyone that has been successful at getting published there, but that doesn't mean people aren't out there. I did only just hear about it.  I admit I am not a fan of AOL.  When they were my internet service provider I felt like I had a virus on my computer because I could never get rid of it all the way.  Regardless, I don't know if I will spend my time writing for Seed. One thing I did not like is that once I accepted the title I could not see the instructions again and had to go by memory on the keywords and topic.  This was very frustrating and may have led to me not writing the article to specs.  I suppose the best game plan is to write one or two more articles for them. After all, I do write articles for eHow and wait for residual income to trickle.  I also write for Info Barrel and have not seen a whole lot of success there yet, but I believe the potential is great. 

Pros of Seed
  • fast turnaround by editors
  • upfront pay if accepted
  • clean user interface
  • options to submit articles or photos
Cons of Seed

  • unclear payment structure
  • feeling of being solo without a lot of guidance
  • no specifics when articles are not accepted

However, I just read a post on the WAHM forum that says that Seed is relatively new and they are, oh dare I say, "fleshing" out their site.  I think signing up and throwing a few more articles their way is in the future for the following week.  I'll keep you posted.

I would love to hear from anyone who has had any experience writing for this site.

EDIT ON February 21 - I submitted another article to  It was rejected.  I think that I have figured out when they approve their articles.  Both of the articles that I submitted were due that day, so I got prompt rejection.  I am impatient, so even though my articles are not getting accepted at least I know they are not taking them.  I emailed them asking for further information about their licensing policy, but never heard back from anyone.  Since they did not accept the articles, I will publish them elsewhere.  I am not going to waste a perfectly good mismatched article. 

The letter that they send is a form letter.  I am going to give writing for Seed one more try with an assignment I accepted last night.  If you don't want to wait around for a long reply I suggest looking for fast expiring writing assignments.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Moral Battle of Writing for - Should you Stay or Remove Articles?

Like some other freelance writers, I find myself in a moral battle of writing for The debate over the latest fiasco has pitted many against each other and harsh words are being spewed from all corners of the internet and forums.  What's the debate?  The legal and moral standing of eHow's decision to expand their brand to the UK.  That itself is an excellent idea.  The trouble is that they cloned the US site and filled the UK library with these articles.  eHow is denying that the articles were cloned.  According to Merriam-Webster online clone means "one that appears to be a copy of the original form: duplicate".  I think posting our articles in full sounds like a clone whether their legal speak deems it such or not.  The main issue is about compensation and the loss of earnings and views created by the competitive US versus UK Google rankings.

eHow does own the UK site, but writers did not give up all rights.  eHow has decided to remove the articles from the UK site citing their concern over preserving the community.  I cannot help but believe that somewhere they hung themselves with what appeared to be a legal loop hole. 

The moral battle is deciding whether to continue writing for a company that seems to belittle their members with subtlety and turns a deaf ear often enough to dizzy some of their hardiest supporters.  Do you follow the money or hang up your laptop?  Many folks are so angry that they are deleting all of their articles from the website.  A lot of wriers are starting to write for Info Barrel, a newer content site that has seen a huge spike in members over the past several months because of problems on eHow. For people who have lost trust in eHow and want to write for Info Barrel, I'll be posting information on that site soon with some advice.

An review pointed out that eHow has trouble communicating with its members.  There have been many things that I don't agree with since I started writing there.  But, I don't own the company and frankly, eHow's business model is one of secrecy.  They are not upfront about their payment methods and some people call it a scam.  Not me.  I do not believe that eHow is a scam.  But, I don't agree with some of their decisions.

Here's the bottom line:  money is eHow's bottom line.  Not everyone has the ability to pull their articles and this is not what I advise.  As long eHow has their Writer's Compensation Program it is a good place to earn residual income.  Freelance writers should have a diverse portfolio.  There is a lot to learn writing for eHow. I'm not happy about all of the things that have occurred, but legal mistake or legitimate move, they are removing the articles from the UK site.  I doubt there will be rectification of earnings and it is likely only a class action law suit could even attempt to find out the truth behind earnings.

The absolute best thing to do is make yourself stand out as a content and freelance writer.  Whether you decide to remove your articles from eHow because of the UK debacle or stay and ride the wave is ultimately your decision.  It is critically important for you to not be influenced by other people to pull your articles and run.  Don't make a decision in the heat of emotion.
Sunday, January 10, 2010

How to Stand Out as an Online Content Writer

If you want to be a freelance writer you are going to have to stand out from the crowd.  With the downturn in the economy online sites are flooded with aspiring writers and people who want to make a quick buck.  However, writing online for residual income is a process that does not produce overnight success.  If you have the patience to build your library and work hard without seeing money in the beginning then you might be able to thrive as a content writer.

Standing out from the other content writers isn't too difficult, but it does take a lot of hard work and dedication.  The following tips will help you set yourself apart from other writers.

Ways to stand out from other content writers online:

  • Develop a unique voice.
  • Write about a variety of topics to develop.
  • Use facts in your writing and quote reputable sources.  This is important.  Some people do not consider places like,, and other content websites as reputable sources.  If this is where you write it is imperative you make your writing stand out.
  • Always check your spelling and grammar.  A great article can crash because of of simple spelling and grammar errors.  
  • Capitalize your titles correctly. 
  • Watch your online presence.  When you post in forums they are found in searches.  Complaining about company policies can present you in an unfavorable light if you swear and make wild accusations.  It is okay to voice your opinion and stand up for what you believe by asking questions, but make sure to keep in mind that a potential employer may be reading.
  • Develop a niche and make your voice unique. 
  • Consider your name and writing as a label or brand.  When you make a brand you want to promote it and make it successful.  Keeping the same username across sites can help you expand your brand.
  • Learn how to write about sensitive topics. For example, people make mistakes when writing about addiction by using photos.
Learning how to make yourself stand out as an online content writer is important.  You can be successful writing quality articles and content online making residual income.

Photo credit:
    Saturday, January 2, 2010

    Can You Really Make Money Writing Online?

    You bet!  Okay, I used to think that all of these work at home and write online sites were just a bunch of b.s., but then I started writing for eHow.  Now, I don't claim that they are the best residual income site around.  I didn't even know what the heck "residual income" meant until I started writing online. There is so much to learn when you write online.  That is if you want to learn all the ins and outs of creating good, quality online content.

    In case you don't know either, residual income is defined as "royalty income that accrues to the owner of an intellectual property, such as art, books, lyrics, music, patents, etc." This includes freelance writing.  When you are a freelance writer you make residual income, so writing articles that pay nothing upfront but have the potential to earn money in the future is the basis of being a residual income writer.
    The first year I started writing online I made less than $300. Most of that money was made from a lucky article about going to President Obama's inauguration.  Overnight, I had a hit article that pulled in 40,000 views.  I actually thought that the system was broken.  Sometimes, you can hit a hot topic. I had no clue that I discovered a great topic, but instead had been watching the evening news and thought some people might want to know.  Sadly, in the great eHow sweeps, I lost my highest viewed article.  While it was a historical article, it was also outdated. 

    In 2009 I made a lot more. Writing online content is not going to make you rich.  But, it will pay some bills.  Or you can invest it or use it as savings.  One mistake that I see a lot of people make is to become dependent on this income. If there is one certainty in writing online it is that nothing is certain.  Yeah, I hate sayings like that, too.  But, I have found it to be true.  Although I can average what I make each month and have a rough expectation that I will at least make that much next month anything can happen.  If you can write with the attitude that the money you make writing online will add to your overall income then you will be able to write with a better sense of freedom.

    Start writing!  You will soon get addicted.  It's kind of crazy.