Looking at Things Differently

| May 12, 2011
Good Old Days

Good ol' Days

In the good ol’ days (pre-panda and pre-WCP closure), I used to write articles based on what I was doing. When I was reformatting my computer and ran into a problem, I’d find the solution and write an article about it. When I figured out how and when to transplant a hydrangea bush, I’d write an article about it. Oh, wait, I never did write that article. I have yet to successfully transplant a hydrangea bush.

I’m getting a little off topic but you understand where I’m coming from. With the Google algorithm change, Suite 101’s revenue dropping and eHow’s WCP kaput, I have not changed my basic plan. Quite some time ago in my journal I wrote that I wanted to write my life and nothing has Roadmapchanged.

Same Plan Different Implementation

While I still sprinkle my life’s experiences around the Internet, the way in which I do it has changed slightly. I say slightly because the groundwork was laid prior to the recent changes. I now sprinkle my life around the Internet through my own websites/blogs.

I have over 20 blogs/websites (28 at last count). Each of the sites are on topics that I am either currently investigating, have investigated, or enjoy writing about. The topics of my blogs are very similar to the topics of my eHow articles. As a matter of fact, some of my blogs were eHow inspired.

Looking at the Digits

When I used to sign into my eHow account, I noticed there were several articles that earned quite a bit, some barely earned and others earned steadily and moderately. My blogs are no different. Some blogs earn nicely, some not so and others bring in a steady moderate income every month. The same goes for traffic, although we all know that a heavily trafficked site doesn’t mean that it’s a money maker.

Winners and WinnersWinners

Some folks may look at my blogs and categorize some as winners and some as losers, but I think all of my blogs are winners (well, except one).They’re winners because they do just what I want them to do. They allow me to express myself through my writing and earn money. Some are not very popular but they are lucrative. Others are popular and not lucrative at all. All of them, in my opinion, are successes.

I think as online freelance writers we get caught up in the financial/traffic metrics of an individual article or site. As I look at the progression and growth of my blogs, they somewhat mirror the progression and growth of my eHow articles. Some of the blogs takeoff right out of the gate while others are a bit slower to gain readership. My eHow articles were no different.

Another Slight Writing Strategy Modification

In the old days, writing in clusters was encouraged. In other words, select a topic, write several articles on it to address the topic from several angles. Once all of the articles were completed, interlink them in an attempt to gain additional traffic and readership. In the end you have a small cluster of 4 or 5 articles that provide an in-depth discussion on a particular topic.

Now, instead of writing clusters for a content site, I create a blog. My blogs are usually more in depth than 4 or 5 articles. I now have a blog on which I can continue to discuss the topic for as long as it holds my interest. I enjoy blogging more than writing for a content site because I set the rules. I know which topics my readers like because I have full statistical data (info that content sites cannot provide).

Keep WritingI get to see how readers find my sites and the questions they used as their search terms in an attempt to find the answer on my blog. As I review the search queries, I know in an instant whether they found the answer or not. If it’s a valid question that I overlooked, I’ll then take the time to research and write about it so the next person with the same question will definitely find the answer on my blog.

What Am I Saying?

I’m saying that these are the Good ol’ Days. Okay, I know we all suffered a temporary financial setback as a result of the changes, but it’s only temporary. It only becomes permanent if we spend our time dwelling, mulling, wallowing and complaining about it. Heck, 50% of my residual income flew out the door (more details on my current financial standing in a post to come), but I can’t sit around coaxing it to come back. I’m off to find new and more exciting venues.

The bottom line is the plan is the same but the implementation is a little different. If we modify our writing habits in accordance with today’s climate, I think everything will work out just fine.

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Category: eHow, Motivation, Suite 101

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (15)

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  1. ShelleyD says:

    I have taken those blogging courses, followed their suggestions, used twitter to gain exposure, written (and still am on occasion) for article marketing sites, editorials, feature articles, etc.; but you are the one person I have found who is doing exactly as I was doing and thought I was all wrong. I can’t thank you enough for this site!

  2. ShelleyD says:

    I got to thinking maybe I shouldn’t have let my blog go after all. I wrote about my own blogging experiences as well. One time I changed themes and one of the plugins didn’t work which resulted on getting me locked out of my blog. After a short panic, I searched WP Support/Forum and found someone with a similar problem. After going to my CPanel and doing some trial and error, I was able to rectify the problem. It was quite an ordeal, so I wrote about it.

    Over time, I felt as though I wasn’t really offering anything unique, so I let my hosting service run out. What I’m now realizing is that I should keep going and let it develop on its own.

    • Felicia says:

      ShelleyD, I guess experience is the best teacher. As you can see from NJFM, I don’t offer anything unique or new. I just share my experiences and share my take on things. I’m sure your blog shared your experiences with your take on things.

      After letting your hosting run out and looking around the internet, it sounds like you realized that you indeed had something to offer. Because I’ve been around the block a few times (there are definite benefits to growing older), I’ve come to appreciate my oddities and eccentricities. Those very same oddities and eccentricities make NJFM what it is. If I had locked myself out of my website, I think I would have a grand time sharing my mistake. LOL.

      I like the fact that you were willing to share your problem and allow others to learn from your experiences. It is truly unfortunate that you didn’t maintain your site and allow it to grow into whatever it was meant to be.

      Oh well, you live and you learn. If nothing else, I hope you now realize you have something to offer.

  3. Spring says:

    Hi Felicia,

    I’m so glad I found your blog because I am a mom who has been looking for work, to no avail. I’m a freelance illustrator and I love to write too, so I signed up for AC and DMS. I’m also thinking of Examiner for promotion of my blog.
    How do you promote your sites? Do you make much from affiliates?

    • Felicia says:

      Spring, welcome to NJFM. Look around the site because I share all of my tactics.

      I don’t really do a lot to promote my sites. I do a few backlinks as I see fit, but I don’t do much in the form of social networking. As far as affiliates go, it’s a new arena for me. I’ve earned a few dollars from affiliates but it’s an area where I need to improve. Check out Ken’s site for more info on affiliate marketing.

  4. kidgas says:

    Amen. You have written another great post. I am amazed by the number of sites but if many don’t have content, I am only slightly less amazed. Keep writing and encouraging us.
    kidgas recently posted…eHow- HubPages- and Future PlansMy Profile

  5. Gwendolen says:

    Felicia,

    Do you find that your sites do better than your blogs? I thought that Google preferred sites over blogs that don’t get updated regularly. Is one better than the other, earnings and page-rank wise?

    Thanks!

  6. Ken says:

    28 blogs Felicia? Nice. Now all you need is $5 a day minimum from each one. LOL. You are adding blogs and I am considering deleting a couple. Funny.

    The landscape has changed…dramatically. I like your take on the search queries and giving your readers what they want. It is a lot more fun writing blogs than for content sites, and Lord knows a lot less stressful. Once you begin to have fun again, you’ll never work another day. 🙂

    I look forward to hearing of more success from you as you continue building and growing your blogs.
    Ken recently posted…The New BlogMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      I keep telling my hubby that the only “work” I do is around the house. You know, cleaning, cooking, etc. This writing stuff is my vacation. 😉

  7. The best “revenge” is living, writing and doing well no matter the circumstances, and you’re obviously doing just that.

    I also have several dozen domain names, but only a few sites that are earning enough to count. Over the next year, I’ll hopefully bring them all online with 5-10 pages/ posts each and build up from there. The most successful sites will of course receive the most attention.

    Best of luck to all working on their own properties now!
    Maria (WriterGig) recently posted…WriterGigs Residual Income sans eHowMy Profile

  8. Crystal says:

    I like your take on this, Felicia – these really are the Good ol’ Days. And it just keeps getting better and better, despite the changes that keep creating new “opportunities” for all of us. So on your dormant blogs – do you buy custom domain names for them all right away? Or do you wait until you’re ready to go live with them?
    Crystal recently posted…How Flexible Are YouMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Crystal, I usually set up the blogs after I have a domain name. Sometimes an idea will come to me so I’ll go over to GoDaddy and secure a domain name. On my “I don’t feel like writing” days, I play around with setting up the template. I usually add the Privacy Policy page, download my favorite plugins and leave it until I have the time, inclination or inspiration to play around with it again.

      Other times I’ll come up with a sure fire hit (or so the Money Matrix http://www.nojobformom.com/2011/04/13/learning-by-trial-and-error/ says), so I’ll register a domain name and set up the template. No matter what the inspiration, I usually register the domain name first and set up the template afterward.

  9. Will says:

    28 sites! Impressive. May we assume that you’re not putting undue pressure on yourself to write an article for each blog every day?

    • Felicia says:

      Oh no, LOL. Of the 28 blogs, 8 or 9 only have the WordPress template with no content (haven’t quite gotten around to adding anything to them as yet). About 4 or 5 have one or two pages of content and the rest I add content when I’ve got something to say.

      The great thing about blogs is that whether they’re updated regularly or not, they always seem to bring in a few bucks. I’ve got some that haven’t been updated in months and they continue to earn.