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How an eHow Experiment Helped Me Earn a Couple of Bucks

At the end of 2008 I took inventory of my online writing. I went to each site, looked to see which articles were popular and which ones were not. I also looked to see which ones brought in the most money (with Suite 101 I could only look at article popularity since they don’t share the per article earnings).

I decided to let eHow be my guinea pig. I went through my articles and sorted them by earnings. As I looked through the higher paying articles I decided to create a blog to see if I could capitalize on the eHow success.

So, I registered a domain name that incorporated the keywords and created a blog. It’s a simple blog on which I placed Google AdSense, Chitika Ads, AdBrite (which has not been very lucrative for me) and a few Amazon links.

A Year Later

At the end of 2009, I reviewed the blog. I didn’t post frequently. At 26 posts (with very few of them exceeding 300 words), I averaged a little over two posts a month. The traffic was not very impressive either. As I review my numbers on StatCounter the blog had about 14,000 views. That translates to less than 40 views a day (not impressive by any standards). I guess if I had enabled the comment option, I might have received more views, but I didn’t want to moderate comments there so I turned the option off.

I then looked to see how much I earned. My numbers are as follows:

Chitika: $39.50
Amazon: $3.47
AdBrite: $2.24
Google AdSense: $309.21
InfoLinks: $62.96
2009 Total: $417.38

When I subtract $15 for domain name registration, I profited $402.38.

It’s not a lot of money, but when you consider that I wrote infrequently, didn’t promote or ‘socialize’ the site, it’s not too bad. When you think of it, earning $402.38 on 26 posts is about $15 per post, the same amount of money Demand Studio pays.

eHow saved me the time of keyword searching and testing the market. Maybe you should take an inventory of your online writing to see how you can turn it into additional cash too.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Kidgas January 11, 2010, 8:07 am

    That is such a wonderful idea. This is why you are the professional. I will have to look into this for sure, but likely will wait toward the middle of the year.
    .-= Kidgas´s last blog ..Passive Income is Working Well =-.

  • Julie @ Write for eHow January 11, 2010, 10:32 am

    Felicia, that is so cool! Thanks for sharing your experience.
    .-= Julie @ Write for eHow´s last blog ..Year-End eHow Earnings Review =-.

  • Julie January 11, 2010, 10:52 am


    That is a great idea! I still think for a brand new blog, 40 a day is not too shabby. I don’t get that much on my blog I have had for a few years! Most of the views come from blogexposion.com anyhow. I am thinking about doing Google Adsense for my blog… thoughts on that?

    • Felicia January 11, 2010, 12:55 pm

      Julie, I would give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose.

      If you find that you don’t like Google AdSense on your blog you can always take it off later.

  • prerna January 12, 2010, 6:38 am

    Wow, Felicia.. You, totally, rock. I’ve been wanting to start another blog and you’ve given me a great tip. Will keep you posted on how it goes!
    .-= prerna´s last blog ..Choosing a Preschool Made Easy =-.

  • jen January 12, 2010, 11:13 am

    Wow! What a great experiment! I like to take high earning ehow articles and make suite 101 articles using the same keywords – you just took it to a whole other level! Good Job!
    .-= jen´s last blog ..How to Make Money with a Blog- OIO Publisher =-.

  • Samantha January 13, 2010, 11:00 pm

    Thank you for the insight Felicia!

    Felicia, over the course of the year on your not-so-loved blong, how long did it take you to start seeing income?

    I’ve started a small experiment writing on different topics on different blogs/sites and noticed some small differences in keyword searches and income but I’m not sure what kind of time period to use as a reference point.
    .-= Samantha´s last blog ..Cadmium in Jewelry? What? =-.

    • Felicia January 14, 2010, 8:02 am

      Good for you, Samantha. I’m glad you’re doing your own experiment.

      I don’t remember exactly when I started to see income. Could have been a few months before I noticed anything.

      When I start a new experiment, I try not to think about it until about 3 months or so later. I try to keep busy with other projects so I won’t drive myself crazy wondering if it works.

      I’m in the process of starting two more experiments. I’ll let you guys know next year how these work out.

  • Linda January 17, 2010, 10:11 am

    Sorry if this isn’t the right area for this question.
    Can anyone tell me if it’s possible to post a link to my own website on articles I would write for ehow? For instance, I have a site on sleep. I would like to write some articles on sleep disorders, so the site would be a natural resource. Is that allowed? Thanks, Linda
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..Nov 20, best dogs for children =-.

    • Felicia January 18, 2010, 7:28 am

      Linda, you can put links to your site in the resource section of the eHow article. When writing your article, the resource section is located near the bottom of the page.

  • Cheri January 20, 2010, 4:17 pm

    Thanks for this great article Felicia!

    I am going to try the “experiment” and I had a few questions before I get started:

    – I was wondering if there’s minimum article length that you’ve been using.

    – Also are you using software to generate keywords? I’ve been using Micro Niche Finder and it seems okay. Most of my stuff is too new to determine success yet.

    – In terms of keyword density, what do you prefer?

    – When you set up an entire domain name with the key words, do all of the articles have the same keywords? …or are they just related to the same general topic?

    • Felicia January 20, 2010, 8:02 pm

      Hi Cheri,

      There’s no science or standard for my experiment.

      Word Count: The number of words in my articles range from as few as 200 to as many as 500 (on rare occasions), just as long as I can cover the topic to my satisfaction.

      Keywords: As far as finding keywords, I don’t. Usually with eHow I write about what I know. If I find it’s a money maker, I write more on the same topic.

      Keyword density: I don’t pay too much attention to that as long as the keywords appear a few times in the article.

      Domain name: When I have a domain name, I write articles on the general topic. I would become burnt out after the 2nd article if they all had the same keywords.

      Cheri, if you’re going to give the experiment a try, remember that it is an experiment. Play around with it to see what works for you. Give it some time to see whether it works or not. Once you find something that works, repeat it. If it doesn’t work, drop it. And since it’s an experiment, have some fun with it.

  • Cheri January 20, 2010, 9:10 pm

    Thanks so much for reply Felicia! I am going to follow your advice and really consider it an experiment.

    I tend to be so anal about these things, especially when it comes to the templates… lol. I am really going to have to try not to go overboard with all the tweaking that I usually do on my sites. Just keep it simple… I’ll have to keep reminding myself of that… lol

    Again thanks for sharing this wealth of information on your site!

  • Master Dayton January 23, 2010, 2:51 am

    Thanks for the great blog post, and I agree with you that using the natural strength and ability that eHow has to rank for keywords makes them a great way to test out certain niches, and then follow that up with more profitable blogs and passive income on your own. This is one of the same strategies I’ve used to really work on increasing the passive income and avoiding dumping hours and hours of work into a niche I either won’t rank for, or that doesn’t convert. Great experiment to share with the writing community!
    .-= Master Dayton´s last blog ..50 Things Beginning Writers Should Know =-.

  • Sharon March 14, 2010, 7:12 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while so a comment from me is WAY overdue! Thank you for all these wonderful tips!

    How do you generate traffic for a blog you don’t actively work on? It seems that 40 page views per day is actually quite a lot for passive blog, so I’d love to hear your methods.


    • Felicia March 14, 2010, 7:56 pm

      Hi Sharon,

      I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to comment (I too am a lurker on several blogs and forums).

      I think the reason for the number of page views is keyword positioning and topic. Since eHow has already done the topic research for me, when I write a post, I choose a few keywords and repeat them about two or three times in the post. My posts are short so two or three times is plenty.

      For example, if my eHow article tells me that “Chardonnay Wine” is a great topic (I’m pulling this out of the air), then I’ll grab the domain http://www.stuffaboutchardonnaywine.com or http://www.aboutchardonnaywine.com and start writing. Let’s say in one of my post I concentrate on the proper wine temperature. I might use the keywords “chilled chardonnay” at least three times in the post, once in the beginning, once in the middle and the again at the end. For some reason, this seems to work.

      I can’t say it will work all of the time, but it has worked for me. Spend some time experimenting to find what works for you.

  • Sharon March 14, 2010, 9:23 pm

    Thanks for your response Felicia 😉

    I have been better about keywords on my main site as I have been learning all this over the last few months. However, wow, getting web traffic does seem much harder than I thought it would be!

    • Felicia March 15, 2010, 9:07 am

      Sharon, you’re right. Creating the site and finding the keywords is the easy part. Getting people to read it isn’t as easy. Check out my latest post were I discuss this in a little more detail.

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