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 changed.
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 Winners
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).
I 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.