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The Not So Bad Newbie Mistake

When I first starting playing around with web design and creating websites, I utilized free article sites like Ezine Articles and Article Database for content. At first I wrote 100% of my content. Then I started adding free articles so the ratio switched to 50-50.

Over time, I think the ratio changed a bit more to 60% free articles to 40% original stuff. It’s probably at 75% free articles and 25% original now.

Google Drop

I’ve mentioned many times here that Google doesn’t like my Tidbits site and I’ve learned to live with the fact of not getting Google traffic to it. I believe my mistake was using so many articles from free directories. I’ve learned my lesson and have not done that on any other website or blog (although I still add free articles to the Tidbits site since the damage is already done).

The Profitable Mistake

The other day I was looking at a few of the channels in my Google AdSense account. From time to time I’ll track particular URLs to see how well they’re performing. Over the past couple of years one of my Ezine articles has brought in close to $600 and continues to earn. Other free articles earn at varying rates. Unfortunately, with over 400 pages I haven’t tracked each individual URL.Tidbits and Stuff

It’s been my experience that if you carefully go through some of the free article databases and select well written informative articles that are in line with the website topic, it can be worth while financially.Income Growth

Catch-All Website

Tidbits has become my catch all website. I’ve used it to get writing assignments and it’s always there for me to post articles that weren’t accepted elsewhere. When I want to experiment with new code, ads or affiliates, I test it out there. There is a sense of freedom because the site is already in the Google sandbox, so I don’t have the fear of losing income or ranking. The interesting thing is that my Tidbits site is my one revenue source that continually brings in AdSense and affiliate income month after month.

I you find that you have a break in your writing assignments, I highly recommend creating a catch all website.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Jessie Heekin June 19, 2009, 4:51 pm

    A catch-all website? With all the talk about niche-ifying? Could you provide more information on how another writer could go about this? I mean, you provided some data about your own Tidbits website, but how can another writer duplicate this idea in a way that will work for them?
    Thanks in advance,

  • Felicia June 19, 2009, 5:31 pm

    Hey Jess,

    My catch-all website happened because I created it before I knew what a niche site was (sad to say). I was learning HTML and was thrilled that I could actually create a website so I created one with no less than 11 of my favorite topics. You really can’t get any less niche than that.

    I enjoyed making sites so much that I started earning a couple of bucks making sites for other folks. I never realized that I could earn ad revenue money from it. Once I found out about Google AdSense, I put it on the Tidbits site and earned 63 cents the first month.

    Not thinking anything of it, I was really more interested in creating websites and writing a few articles on topics of interest. Once I realized there was a possibility of making serious money on the internet, I started trying my hand at freelance writing. I would search for sites/publications that fit my area of interest. Before querying them, I would read the writers guidelines, produce a piece in the topic area according to their guidelines and place it on my Tidbits site. I would then use it as example of what I could do. Fortunately, I was able to land quite a few writing jobs as a result.

    My initial goal in creating the site wasn’t for earning money; it was a labor of love that turned into a goldmine. I call it a catch-all site because it breaks all of the rules for creating a lucrative website. The value of my Tidbits site isn’t so much how much money I earn each month, but the lessons I’ve learned and the opportunities that I’ve been able to take advantage of because of it.

    I’m not sure if I can give advice on how to create a catch-all that will work for you. The one thing I can say is don’t go into it looking to earn money. Let it be a place of learning and experimentation. Over time the money will come. Oh, and another thing that I found is that as a website, it earns more money than all of my blogs combined so I recommend actually building a website rather than creating another blog.

    I hope this helps.

  • Jessie Heekin June 19, 2009, 5:46 pm

    Your comment is very helpful to me. I have a blog that I would like to work on: it has an “a to z” concept about a very broad topic. I wrote its executive summary with little understanding of what a writing niche could be.

    I now see that it could be an opportunity for a catch-all portfolio. I think that you are on to something here. This is a unique way to build my writer platform. I will be able to query publications with relevant samples following this advice.
    Thanks again for the additional commentary.
    Have a great day,

  • Eve Lopez June 23, 2009, 7:06 pm

    Thanks for the advice to create a website rather than another blog — none of my relationship articles are selling very well right now, so I’d like to create a niche website for that topic, but setting up a web site is not one of my strong points. Looks like I’m going to have to learn. 🙂
    .-= Eve Lopez´s last blog ..My Review of 8 Online Freelance Writing Sites: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly =-.

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