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Residual Writing: Work Smart, Not Hard

First of all, I want to apologize for not adding new posts here at NJFM. The weather is getting nice and the real world is taking precedence over my virtual world. I’m sure we are all pretty swamped with birthdays, graduations, weddings, proms, spring/summer gardening, aging parents (oops, sorry to let that one slip, but man oh man, if you think raising kids is a tough job, raising elderly parents is a lot tougher).Graduation

With summer in ¾ swing (it’s not full swing until the kids are truly out of school); I realize I really have to work smarter than ever. As a result I spent a little time analyzing my writing venues. As you know I’m a numbers junkie, but I felt it was necessary to engage in this little mathematical journey.

My Summer Writing Efforts

This summer I’m going to place my writing where I get the most bang for my buck. Since writing time is limited I really need to make it work for me. I write for two reasons, the joy and the money. With that in mind there are 14 sites/blogs that I write for on a somewhat regular basis.

I analyzed each and decided to continue writing regularly for the top three money makers (regular writing to me means one new piece a week). On the other two days of my 5 day work week I’ll write a new piece for two of the remaining 11 sites. In other words, the 11 remaining sites will get new content on an irregular basis until the summer is over.Summer Writing Schedule

Why I Truly Like Residual Income

After doing a bit of analysis, I came up with my top three residual earning sites. When I came up with the top sites, I calculated the earnings in two ways. First I calculated the number of articles I’ve written over the entire time writing for the site and divided it by the total amount of dollars earned over the several years. Then I also calculated the number of article I wrote in 2010 and divided it by the amount of money I earned in 2010. My per article earnings for my top sites are as follows (earnings do not include June 2010 income/articles):

Site Total Earnings/Article 2010 Earnings/Article
Suite 101 $46.22 $80.09
eHow $25.96 $188.43
(can’t write for them anymore)
Blog I started Last Year $19.98 $27.74
Long Standing Site $12.33 $23.05

For the remainder of my sites/blogs my cumulative per post earnings range from .20 per post to $9.96 and my 2010 annual per post earnings from $.53 to $17.08.

Caveat: The earnings I list for my own sites/blogs are understated because I only calculated the earnings based on income I receive from Google AdSense. I also use Infolinks, Chitika (although Chitika has changed things and I don’t earn nearly as much as I used to from them), a couple affiliates and Amazon.

Residual Income is the Way to Go

Fortunately, my eHow earnings are still picking up and coming in regularly. My eHow earnings plus writing one article each a week for my top 3 5 K Racerevenue sources plus my ‘round robin’ writing for the remainder of my sites should bring in enough income to hold me over during the summer.

Think about it, I get to write one article a day (or, if I’m particularly prolific one day, I can write all 5 in one day) and I get to spend the rest of the time doing non virtual stuff (like training to run my first 5K – barefoot ). Ahh, the beauty of residual income!

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Emory June 9, 2010, 1:38 pm

    I imagine aging parents can be difficult but they’re still a blessing. My father passed away when I was a child. I’d give anything for him to be an “aging parent” right about now. 🙂

    • Felicia June 9, 2010, 2:56 pm

      Emory, sorry to hear about your father. Aging parents are a blessing. I’ve got one left and one aging in-law left. I’ve got to tell you, between the two of them they keep me on my toes.

  • Elizabeth June 9, 2010, 4:24 pm


    You are such a wise sage. Congrats btw on being rated one of the top 100 writers on Suite! That’s pretty prolific.

    My ADD sometimes prevents me from sticking to a formulaic method for writing success. I do however think it’s good for me to have a loose framework with ideas for making my work time more productive. Working smarter is a great goal and is the only way to really succeed at this game. Thanks for the reminder and the great advice!

    • Felicia June 9, 2010, 8:50 pm

      I’ve got to say, Elizabeth, that I was surprised to see my name on the list (I barely made it).

      As far as finding a writing formula, as long as the writing gets done and the money comes in, then the formula works. 🙂

  • Aimee Larsen Stoddard June 10, 2010, 1:18 am

    I love your systematic, no-drama approach to web writing. You’ve helped me gain perspective on the ups and downs of being self-employed.

  • Shane June 10, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Life can definitely get in the way, and I fully understand about the nice weather. I’ve been getting less done because i want to fish, camp, or just walk around. But I agree on the passive income being great. I’m not where you are yet, but I’d be going nuts with all the extra work I’d have to do if it wasn’t for the $900 a month or so I have coming in on residuals. Enjoy the summer, and try to find a little time to keep up the good work 🙂

  • Julie-Inspired to Write June 10, 2010, 10:31 pm


    You rock and are STILL my mentor! This is actually helpful advice and motivating. I have been in the middle of looking for residual and I can’t find anything as good as eHow or Suite. I am really disappointed the new DS eHow format. I am not sure how I feel about it. Anyone else have thoughts?? Thanks for this!!

  • Mandy June 11, 2010, 9:04 am

    This summer I will definitely be busy caring for a parent, and you’re right, it’s a full-time job itself. But I think a time will come when I will treasure the memories when that is all I have left.

    E-How is still open to user-generated articles, is that correct? You are just choosing to not write for them anymore?

    Suite 101: I haven’t applied for them yet. Are they tough to get accepted into? Any tips? Once there, can I write on any topic I want?

    Does anyone have suggestions for a revenue-based site that’s a potential money maker, but does not require an application process?

    This summer I want to start writing my own articles online. Most of these will probably be about legal issues around caring for aging parents and estate planning. While I want the most money-making potential for my work, I’m not excited about applications.

    I only time to develop one residual source. Any suggestions for the best bet? Has anyone had any experience with the user-generated demand studios articles? I’m already accepted into them. I’d prefer not using the how-to format because I also want to build a portfolio for potential clients. But, there’s a time for everything.

    Thanks for your input, everyone!

    • Felicia June 11, 2010, 2:37 pm

      Mandy, eHow shut down its user generated content. If you want to write for them you have to do it through Demand Studios.

      As far as getting approved for Suite 101, check out Tashana’s comment and replies.

      I guess I’ll have to defer to my readers for input on worth while residual revenue sites. I list a few here on the blog but I’ve decided to spend more time on my own blogs/sites. Although, if the DS revenue share articles pay anywhere near what eHow paid, then it might be a viable option.

  • netlexis June 11, 2010, 11:00 pm

    I like your analysis, Felicia. It’s something all us writers should do on a regular basis so we know where to put our best efforts.

  • Kevin June 15, 2010, 12:26 pm

    So you have to accepted by DS to write for eHow?? DS turned me down so I guess that leaves me out. Too bad becuase my other efforts are falling flat at the moment, can’t seem to get past a 3 at TB but at least it’s some money coming in.

    • Felicia June 15, 2010, 8:40 pm


      I’m sorry to hear about DS. Did you try Associated Content? I understand that they pay up front and residuals. Also, what about Constant Content? Check out the NJFM Database. There might be a site or two that might interest you.

  • Kevin June 18, 2010, 1:51 pm

    I’ve looked at Associated Content but , and I can be a little slow on the uptake granted, I don’t see from reading their website how any upfront payment would work.

    Constant Content seems like you put all the work in to writing something then have to hope someone buys it– Maybe when I get a little more income rolling in on a more regular basis I can devote a little time to rolling the dice.

    Right now I am just focused on getting enough to get out to California and visit my niece, that’s my overriding goal at the moment.

  • Lauren Nelson @ Part-Time Diva, Full-Time Mom June 29, 2010, 1:50 am

    Quick question for you. I know you’re trying to bring your residual earnings to well over three thousand a month, and you’re making progress everyday. As of right now, how many articles do you have published at your own site and others? Just a raw number.

    • Felicia June 29, 2010, 8:47 am

      Hmmm, that’s a good question. I have 228 on Suite, about 300 on eHow and a several hundred on my own sites. NJFM alone has over 300 posts (although this site isn’t a money maker).

      Although quantity helps, its quality that really brings in the money. My earlier articles were pretty pitiful when it came to SEO so they’re not performing as well as my more recent stuff.

  • Lauren Nelson @ Part-Time Diva, Full-Time Mom June 29, 2010, 12:33 pm

    Impressive numbers! Thanks for the point of reference. I think sometimes, when we start out, we get caught up in the income numbers, forgetting the hours of work and piles of articles that fuel them. Awesome reminder that it takes a whole lot of time, blood, sweat and tears for passive income to start adding up in a meaningful way!

  • Todd P. July 17, 2010, 12:39 am

    Hello, Felicia. Sorry if this has been discussed already, but now that eHow is strictly Demand Studios, do you have a favorite alternative for posting pieces you wrote for Demand and are either rejected or the rewrites aren’t worth the effort?

    I’m starting to do some research into this but could use a head start.

    I was just starting to make use of eHow when the big policy change was announced.


    • Felicia July 17, 2010, 7:27 am

      Todd, I usually place my DS rewrites on one of my own sites.

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