There are a lot of ways for a writer to make money online these days, and while I’m a big advocate of starting your own site so you can maintain complete control (and keep 100% of the earnings for yourself), that can be daunting if you’re not sure where to start.
What if you’re not ready to launch your own blog and you haven’t decided which “niche” you’d like to cover?
You may want to start out writing for a big site such as eHow, which pays you a percentage of the income your articles earn. There are no rules about niches–you can cover whatever interests you on any given day.
Joining eHow is what one Writing for Your Wealth reader chose to do, and a year later she’s pulling in over $1,000 a month.
Maria, who goes by WriterGig on eHow, agreed to answer a few email questions and offer her advice for other writers who may want to get started this way.
1. Would you like to share a bit about yourself and what made you start looking online for ways to make money? And what led you to eHow?
I’m been a work at home mom since my oldest son was born in 2003. I left the newspaper where I worked to be home with him, but kept up freelance writing and then started grading high school English papers for a homeschool curriculum part-time (from home).
I began to move into online content writing in the spring of 2007, which paid better than grading. I heard about eHow’s Writers Compensation Program from Rich, the community manager at eHow, when he posted about it on the WAHM forums I frequent. I decided to try eHow as an experiment and when the money was good, and I realized the awesomeness of residaul income, I stayed.
2. How does eHow work as far as writing for them and making money goes?
Writers submit original how-to articles via a simple article submission tool. Earnings are determined primarily by Adsense revenue sharing, but article popularity, ratings and views may contribute to the algorithm used.
3. What kind of money are you making and how long has it taken you to build up to that?
I earned nearly $900 in September 2008 with about 200 articles. I have 223 article on eHow today, and have already earned more than $1,500 for October. I expect to see similar earnings in November and December. I have already earned over $24 per article (on average), and the money increases each month. I have been a member on the site for exactly one year.
4. How many articles have you written? Do you have to promote them yourself, or do you get a lot of traffic naturally since eHow is a big authority site?
I have written 223 articles on eHow.com under the Writers compensation Program, and while I do link to some of my best articles through my blog, I do very little social promotion of my articles. One of the best things about eHow is that it receives a ton of traffic and ranks great with the search engines, so I imagine most of my traffic comes from Google.
5. Do you focus on one niche or area of expertise, or do you write about anything that strikes your interest?
I enjoy writing about personal finance, health, home and garden, and seasonal topics. But I will write on just about everything that I know something about.
6. Any tips for writers who may be interested in making money through eHow?
Write original titles. If the same or nearly identical title has already been written, think of something else. Google won’t index more than 1-2 articles with the same keywords on any given site. Learn basic SEO, and concentrate on quality content for each and every article you write.
Okay, that’s it from Maria!
If you want to learn more about her strategies for making money from eHow, you can check out her eHow ebook. Her Work at Home Mom Blog is another resource you can check out, and here are a couple of her eHow articles you may find useful:
Update (Maria had a few comments and clarifications she wanted to add after this went live):
I wanted to mention, though, that I don’t see eHow just as an alternative to having one’s own site for those getting started –it is a powerful money-maker AND traffic generator for all online writers, even and especially those who do have the skills to write their own sites (I have four websites and four blogs as well as my eHow, HubPages, BrightHub articles).
My earnings per article on eHow far outstrip my personal website article earnings thus far and there are several reasons why:
- eHow has a page rank of 7 — very hard to get! My eHow articles are indexed in a matter of hours and many hit the first page or so of Google pretty quickly.
- eHow has monthly traffic of 25 million visitors
- The community features on eHow (and there’s more to come) are a huge boost to article promotion
Anyway I just wanted to kind of clarify that because from what I have experienced, eHow is really a cut above the other content/ revenue-sharing sites and I believe it has great potential.
Thanks so much for interviewing me!