Writing for eHow – One Year Later

| September 28, 2009 | 31 Comments

Time sure flies when you’re having fun. It’s been one year since I signed up for eHow. I placed my first article on their site on September 25, 2008. Since then it’s been an interesting journey.

I’m going to share with you a few things I’ve learned in the year that I’ve been writing for eHow.

Ready? Here it goes:

Quality vs. QuantityQuantity is not better than quality. When I first started writing for eHow I was determined to bang out 100 articles in a month. I did manage to accomplish what I set out to do, but in doing so my article quality did suffer. It’s not that I wrote grammatically incorrect articles; let’s just say that the subject matter was of little benefit to the general eHow public. With titles like How to Maintain a Clean Closet and How to Complain with Effectiveness, I’m surprised eHow let them remain on the site.

Traffic is key. I have articles that have little traffic and articles with lots of traffic. Articles with lots of traffic make lots of money.

Socializing is nice but not necessary. eHow is a very social community. Initially, I would spend a lot of time in the forums reading what people were saying, commenting on articles, adding friends and getting caught up in the social aspect of the site. I did learn a few things, but most of the time I spent in the forums was not productive time for me. This is not to say that forms are bad. It’s just that I had to learn to limit my forum time.

Social CrowdRead rate and comment is not absolutely necessary. eHow has RRC groups (read, rate and comment). It’s nice that there are folks that like to read, rate and comment on fellow member articles, but it has no bearing on earnings. My highest earning article has no stars and no comments. My second highest earning article has one star and I’m not sure if it has any comments.

Writer gig’s book was a tremendous help. eHow author Maria O’Brien (who earns in excess of $1,500 a month with eHow) has a book,  How to Earn Passive Income at eHow.com: Residual Income for Web Content Writers. After purchasing, reading and implementing the recommendations in her book I noticed a marked increase in my eHow income.

There are other books by eHow writers and I understand they are just as good and the writers are just as qualified to offer sound advice. I’m of the thought process ‘if it aint broke, don’t fix it.’ Maria’s book worked well for me so I stuck with that one only. However, if you’re looking for additional information on how to make money on eHow check out Janet Ford’s or Anthony Delgado’s ebooks. I’m sure there are more ebooks, but these are the ones I’ve heard of the most.

I like diversity. I can stomach writing “How to” articles for a limited period of time. After writing my initial 100 articles I suffered a strong case of eHow burn out. It took me 9 or 10 months to write the next 200 articles. Now I only write one or maybe two a month. If a ‘made for eHow’ article topic pops into my head, then I write it. Otherwise, I write elsewhere.

eHow gives and eHow has the power to take away. Because some of the eHow Sweeparticles on eHow did not quite follow their guidelines, they removed them. The removal of these articles is lovingly known as an eHow article sweep. I’ve had 11 such articles removed. This brings me to the next thing I learned in writing for eHow…

Backup any article written for the internet. I’m rather meticulous with tracking what I write and backing it up. Therefore, when the sweep occurred, all I had to do was reformat the articles and place them elsewhere. Several of them are doing very well on my on site.

eHow is great for backlinks and affiliate sales. I’ve found that the right affiliate link inserted in the resource section of an eHow article can be profitable. Similarly, using a previously written article as a resource and linking to it can drive a nice stream of traffic to the article.

It’s an easy way to earn money. In the one year of writing for eHow I’ve earned $2,691.63. It’s not a huge windfall, but as my dad would always say, “It’s better than a stick in the eye.”

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: eHow, Legitimate, Opportunities

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 (31)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Meg says:

    Thank you for the great information! It was just what I was looking for.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Excellent article. I think I could apply this to my non-eHow writing gigs, too!

    How do you get started with eHow? I’ve searched and searched on how to sign up to become a writer. I can’t find a link anywhere. Am I missing the forest for the trees?
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Fix Firefox Problems =-.

  3. JR says:

    I wrote to Ehow and asked them to delete my first article, since I cannot access it to do it myself. do they own my content now, or do I?

    Can I now publish it somewhere else (like on my own blog)?
    .-= JR´s last blog ..Plant Fowers in the Wintertime, Enjoy Them All Year Long =-.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just a heads-up: eHow is banning affiliate links on all new articles. The latest is that existing articles will be grandfathered in.

  5. Ann Marie,

    I am with Felicia… I hardly write for Ehow just because I am busy but I still earn money. As a matter of fact, my earnings have gone up without me writing additional articles! Passive income! You really need to have quite a few articles to start seeing earnings.
    .-= Julie – Inspired to Write´s last blog ..Creativity Portal Writing Prompt – Unfolding of Wonder =-.

  6. ann marie says:

    I’m not quite sure how I stumbled across your blog, but I love it! Thanks so much for your information. I still can’t seem to grasp how ehow pays…I don’t understand the criteria or how and when article payment is received.

    I’m probably over-cautious and worrying too quickly — I’ve only written one article so far, but I’m the type that always wants to understand everything about my undertakings.

    Thanks so much for any assistance. It’s wonderful to find another paying market for a writer…

    ann marie
    (tylertoo)

    • Felicia says:

      Welcome Ann Marie,

      eHow pays once a month once your earnings have reached over $10. How they calculate the earnings is a mystery to me. All I know is that whether I write for them or not, I still continue to earn money on my old articles.

      I stopped writing for about a month or two and still earned in excess of $300 per month. So, if your concern is whether or not they are legit, they are.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Hey Felicia,

    I’m glad you’ve been having such great success with eHow. I am starting to get a little concerned about writing for them though. I have been hearing some very discouraging things about eHow. I had 103 articles on the site and now I am down to 94. They removed articles with no explanation and I have heard that they have been replacing residual articles with DS articles. This is so frustrating. I am thinking I might just forget about eHow and focus solely on Suite 101. I’m so disheartened, but I’m glad I didn’t have even more articles than I did. Have you experienced or heard anything about any of these eHow problems?

    Thanks,

    Elizabeth
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..I May be My Own Boss but Man am I a Slave Driver! =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Hey Elizabeth,

      Oh, I’ve heard the grumblings and have felt the sting of the eHow sweep. I’ve also heard that eHow has substituted eHow member contributed articles in favor of DS ones. Here’s when I pull out my serenity prayer:

      “God grant me the serenity
      to accept the things I cannot change;
      courage to change the things I can;
      and wisdom to know the difference. “

      In the month of September, I wrote a total of 1 article and earned $391.32. With numbers like that, I think I’ve been “granted the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”

      While I may be annoyed with the way in which eHow decided to clean up their site, it is their website and they can do as they wish. I realized early on that I had to have an arsenal of money making venues so that I wouldn’t spend too much time wondering what eHow was going to do next.

      It’s great that you have the opportunity to write for Suite. At least you know that once an article is accepted there, it’s accepted for life.

  8. Wendy says:

    Hi Felicia!

    Thank you, as usual! Do you mind answering this question?

    Is the information on Suite 101 much different from the information on the eHow ebook you bought?

    I am **so** cheap sometimes!

    Just curious…and sorry to bother you with such a nit picky question…
    Thanks again

    Wendy
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Another day, another… =-.

    • Felicia says:

      The book I bought does cover some basics, but it’s geared for eHow. There are examples and specific information on how to improve your eHow earnings.

      The investment paid for itself many times over in my eyes.

  9. Lisa says:

    Another reason to use pictures is to sneak in awkward keywords that readers are searching for, but don’t “feel right” in the text. Other than that, yes it is a waste of time. I agree about the social aspect, it’s really a waste of time.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..NEVER miss these opportunities =-.

  10. Felicia says:

    Not wanting Demand Studios response to get lost in the comment section, I created a new post sharing their response to Avrind’s question.

  11. Deanna says:

    Hi Felicia,
    Happy 1st Anniversary at eHow! Even though my “Member Date” on my profile states I’ve been there since Feb. ’08, I really didn’t start writing articles there until the last part of May ’09. Today I published my 50th article and am so happy to finally hit that milestone! I agree with you that quality means much more than quantity and they do earn more money. I’ve been slow in adding articles by some eHower’s standards, but so far I’ve done really well there. My September income will be triple that of August’s, which makes me very happy! Thanks for always sharing your thoughts – it keeps us all motivated. 🙂
    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..Daily Article – Writing Site Review =-.

  12. Crystal says:

    Hey Felicia! My eHow earnings for Sept are .95! I know with less than a dollar, I’m a long way from your success but am now even more encouraged. I posted just 5 articles in late July/early August and haven’t done a thing since. Haven’t even been on the site as it was so glitchy there for a while that I temporarily gave up. Anyway, sorry to take up so much of your comment space but I just had to share! Again, I SO appreciate you and your blog. Almost everything I know about making money online, I learned right here.
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Early Retirement – What Makes Me An Expert? =-.

    • Felicia says:

      eHow has a few glitches every now and then, but if you put up enough articles, it does pay off.

      It makes me feel good to know that I’m able to help you in your writing career. I only offer the tips, you’re the one that is doing all of the hard work. Keep at it.

  13. Barb says:

    Thanks, Felicia, very informative.

  14. Crystal says:

    An unrelated question that just came to mind – why does the comment area sometimes display a link to my most recent blog post and sometimes not? Can’t figure out what I’m doing differently, if anything. I’m sure it can’t be just random, right?
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Early Retirement and Social Security =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Hmm, that’s interesting. I’m not sure why that happens.

      I use the WordPress plugin CommentLuv. Maybe there’s a quirk with the plugin.

      I’ll take a quick look, but I don’t really think I have the know how to fix it.

  15. Crystal says:

    Wow Felicia! Thanks! I wondered about the importance of the social aspect. Tried to get motivated to add friends, participate in the forums, etc and just couldn’t. Relieved to hear it isn’t necessary! This eHow update has given me a needed kick in the pants to get back to work on my How To articles. In your post, you don’t mention whether you think pictures are necessary. What has been your experience this past year?

    • Felicia says:

      I think pictures are more for the reader’s experience.

      Personally, I find an article without pictures a bit boring. On a site like eHow some pictures are worth a thousand words while other pictures break up the monotony of the wording.

      I usually only insert one picture with the introduction. If I think a picture will help to explain my “How to” then I will insert more, otherwise I only use one photo. Just my personal preference.

  16. Arvind Arora says:

    Hi Felicia,

    Thank you a ton for so readily responding to my request and sending them a request even before my eye could blink!! Now that’s what I really like about your attitude towards budding freelance writers, and I really see this as a source of your power!!

    I’m really really very much thankful to you for writing to them, and hope your effort on our behalf will not go unfruitful!

    With heartfelt thanks and regards,

    Arvind Arora

  17. Arvind Arora says:

    Hi Felicia,

    It was real fun soaked with loadz of vital info reading your article, as usual :). I really really appreciate the way you’re trying your best to help and support the fellow freelance writers, so that they too can earn at least mentionable amount of money doing what they love the most.

    As much as I’ve come to know about eHow from your site and other sources, I find it to be a pretty nice source of residual income for freelance writers. Still, at the same time it really disappoints you to the core when you end up finding yourself ineligible for the site, just because you’re not from the U.S.

    I would just like to ask you, would it not be really nice that you, being a well known personality in the arena of freelance writing, place a request at eHow on behalf of all of us Non-U.S. writers, to let the writers from other parts of the world too make some residual money from the site, as their U.S. counterparts are able to do?

    Although I am not intending you to bother them in any way, still I think it could make a difference if you made a request to them on our behalf. To say the least, you’re in a much much mightier position than all of us put together, and definitely are one of the selected voices that are bound to be heard at eHow, or at least I prefer to believe so.

    Please respond,

    With thanks and regards,

    Arvind Arora

    • Felicia says:

      Avrind, you are too kind and give me too much credit.

      I’m not so sure that Demand Media, the parent company for both eHow and Demand Studios would agree that I am in such a mighty position. However, your request did not fall on deaf ears.

      It is my opinion that their reason for not accepting international writers has to do with US tax laws/filings and possibly other legal issues that most of us are unaware of, but, rather than make assumptions and guesses, I decided to go to the source.

      I submitted the following inquiry to Demand Media:

      This inquiry is about international writers. I often get the question on my blog regarding international writers writing for eHow and/or Demand Studios.

      I have a small following and some of my non-US readers have asked that I contact you on their behalf to inquire about whether or not your company will offer writing opportunities to international writers.

      Although your company does not owe me an explanation, I would like to be able to explain to my readers why they either can or cannot write for your company, or if it’s something on the table for discussion and could possibly be a reality in the future.

      My readers give me far too much credit as to my power and pull on the internet, but I’d rather approach you to get a clear answer than offer an inaccurate, incorrect reason for your company’s decision.

      I thank you for your time and look forward to reading your response.

      Regards,

      Felicia A. Williams
      http://www.nojobformom.com

      The minute I get a response, I’ll share it with you.

      Update: I decided to create a separate post with Demand Studios’ response to my email. Check out this post: eHow/Demand Studios: Opportunity for Non-US Writers?

  18. prerna says:

    Hi Felicia,
    Each time I read about your eHow success,I wish for them to start accepting and paying non U.S writers, a la, Suite. However, till then, will enjoy reading about your eHow successes!Do share your journey with Suite as well and if you ever think of writing a e-book on succeeding at Suite, I’ll buy the first copy!Blessings
    .-= prerna´s last blog ..Being a Mom : Healthy Moms Guide to Potty Training- A Review =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Thanks for kind words Prerna.

      I don’t think I’ve got the know how to write a book on being successful at Suite 101. I think the young lady who earned just shy of $5,000 in one month should be the author of that book. 😀

  19. Rachel says:

    As this is my fourth month on eHow, I have noticed many of these things as well. Great review and good advice to those just starting out!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Suite earnings reach payout =-.

  20. Kidgas says:

    Thanks for this update Felicia. I just started writing at eHow at the end of July. The last sweep really crushed my motivation to write for eHow. I didn’t have any articles affected but the “how to” format has gotten difficult of late. I have 39 articles and will try to eventually push to 100 but it will take awhile.

    And I always save my stuff. It didn’t take me long to figure that out.
    .-= Kidgas´s last blog ..Best Day For Earnings Yet! =-.

  21. Julie M says:

    Felicia,

    I agree with many of the things you said. I started writing in the forums and found out a lot of it was people complaining and I just starting having flashbacks of the high school locker room all over again. And, it was NOT productive. I also got busy with life and have not written an article in months, but still earning passive income. I like eHow, I just ran out of ideas. I intend to go back and write more, because it is a great source of passive income. I am coming up one my one year as well!! Good luck on your next year and thanks for the tips!!
    .-= Julie M´s last blog ..Inspired by Kindness and Compassion =-.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *