Thursday, August 20, 2009

Choosing Your eHow Keywords

There is an art to choosing keywords, but it's a science as well. When you are relying on ad revenue, you want your content to match closely with ads that people will be interested in. To do that, you need keywords that are relevant to ads that people will want to pursue. But, if those keywords aren't popular enough, your intended audience won't get to the article in enough numbers to make the article lucrative. The answer then is to choose keywords that interest people in learning more about the topic and that bring lots of people to the Internet to search.

The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a great resource for finding popular keywords. It tells you not only how popular each keyword is with Google searchers but also how popular it is with advertisers. There's a lot of other data there, including how much the ads are sold for, and that's an important factor in choosing the most lucrative topics and keywords. But, when you want to write a quick article, using Wordtracker is a quick way to find popular keyword phrases. Some of my most popular eHow articles have come from Wordtracker searches.

Sometimes when I'm in searching mode I'll plug in a topic that I'm interested in and take a look at the most popular phrases that come up. Then, I start several eHow articles as drafts, each with one of the popular phrases in the title. The drafts will stay there as long as you like, so you can come back and write the actual articles when it's convenient. If you have plenty of drafts built up, you will have plenty of article titles right there in your account to choose from. Anytime you want to write, just open a draft and begin.

eHow articles allow up to five keywords, so use them wisely. You don't have to optimize your articles to use all five keywords, but a good article can easily utilize the three to five that the template asks for without making the keywords sound forced. Using your phrases two or three times in your article is enough to bring in people who are searching for it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to Market eHow Articles

One of the best things about writing eHow articles is that they don't require much marketing to make them successful and lucrative. There are some people that spend a lot of time marketing their articles, but that often serves to lower their hourly wage without helping their articles long term. IF an article earns a modest amount but takes only 15 minutes to write, that's a good use of time. Spending three hours to market that 15 minutes of work is not.

eHow has a page rank of 7, so it gets plenty of traffic from search engines as well as from eHow writers that like to look at other people's articles. If you choose never to market your articles, you will still get steady traffic to your articles. If you do want to engage in online marketing to get more Web traffic, here are a few ways to do it:

Bookmark your articles with a few different social bookmarking sites. I use Digg and Xomba primarily. The great thing about using Xomba as that not only does it give you a link to raise page rank and drive some traffic to your article, but you also get a portion of the Google AdSense income form each of your bookmark pages. Xomba has been my largest AdSense earner this month, and I do see a decent amount of traffic from it.

Other bookmarking sites are available right on each eHow article page. I recommend choosing one or two of them and then using that quick link to bookmark each article once it has been written.

Link to your eHow articles on your online portfolio or writing sample site for an additional link and a little traffic.

Use a signature link when you participate in forums. Choose your profile page, or choose one or two articles that pertain to the forum topic and put link to those articles in your signature. That sends targeted traffic to your articles without spending a lot of time on marketing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What to Write About on eHow

The question that I get the most about eHow, other than how much money you can make there, is what eHow writers should write about. The answer is really that there is no one answer. There is no one topic that's any better than any other to write about. Even if you do have a writing niche, it's a good idea to cover several different categories in order to keep your income steady and diversified. Interest may flag in one category during parts of the year, and if you have several categories covered, you may not notice that difference in terms of revenue.

Here's where I come up with ideas: searches, life experience and Niche A Day.

Searches for eHow topics are done through keyword tools. To use them, just come up with something you want to write about any type it into the search box. Unless it's a very obscure topic, you will likely be presented with dozens of phrases related to the topic along with how many people search for each phrase each month. This will give you a lot of ideas about angles to cover in different articles. Instead of doing one overview, the ideas you generate with a keyword tool may give you the ideas for 10 articles that covered different aspects of the topic.

Life experience is just that- what you do in your everyday life. If you're stuck for a topic, just ask yourself what you know how to do. I have a lot of candle making articles on eHow because I know how to do that and can write those articles quickly. You may know how to crochet a blanket, fix kitchen plumbing, grow vegetables, surf, run a retail store, etc. All of these make great how-to articles.

Niche A Day is a free subscriber service that sends you an email every day with a different niche topic and the high PPC bid price. That's the price that advertisers pay for those ads. While the PPC price is useful, what I have found more useful is simply an infusion of new niche ideas every day. While Niche A Day does send some spam along with the daily emails, I have still found it worth it. Quite a few of my eHow articles started from an idea from their daily email. Each day, I look at the email they send and decide whether I could write an article on that topic. If so, I save it to an email file that's just for those emails. Then, anytime I'm stuck for an idea I just look through the file and choose one.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where Does eHow Revenue Share Come From, and How Much Is It?

People who write for eHow under the Writer's Compensation Program are sharing in the revenue that is made from the ads that are on the article page. So, you write an article, and that article is given its own page on eHow. That page has several ads on it, most of which are tied to the topic of the article.

There are some people who believe that the volume of articles determines the amount you make, or that rating articles or receiving a lot of comments will make them money. None of that makes any difference. It's purely a matter of the income made from the ads on the page.

How Much Money Can You Make With eHow?

There is no upfront payment from eHow through the WCP, so there is no one set amount that is made for each article. If you want to make upfront payments for articles written for eHow, you can write for Demand Media. I write for both Demand Media and directly through eHow. Demand Studios offers an upfront payment with no residual payment for most of its articles, while writing directly for eHow offers only the residual payments.

Sometimes that's a great thing- I have an article on eHow that has made more than $90 through the WCP, while Demand Media pays only $15 per article. Sometimes, it's not so great. I have a few articles that have made nothing at all. I've heard of people who make anywhere from .50 to $5 per article per month. In my case, it was about .70 per article last month. It sounds pretty paltry, and there are some that will balk at a small amount per month and assume that it's not worth it. However, let's take a look at the math:

.70 per month x 12 months = 8.40 per year, on average; 16.80 for two years; 25.20 for three years

After two years, the amount is higher than the upfront payment would have been with Demand Media. But, that's just the beginning. Not only are the articles going to keep earning for as long as they are on the site, as many years as that may be, but you get to choose the article topics and the depth of the information.

That usually makes an article written for eHow take about half the time that an article written for Demand Media would take. An article written for eHow usually takes about 15 minutes. That makes the hourly wage for eHow articles about 33.60 for one year of revenue, and double that after two years. I usually make a steady $30 per hour writing directly for Demand. So, not only does the money end up being higher when writing for eHow, it's also far less stress.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What Is eHow and How Does It Work?

If you haven't been to eHow before, you might want to take a look through to get an idea about how the overall content of the sites. There are several different types of articles that are freelance written, but only one type can be written by any U.S. resident who wants to write about whatever they want and earn money doing it.

The Writer's COmpensation Program is the program that allows U.S. residents to earn from how-to articles of just about ever type. They don't allow most "adult" topics, and they don't allow promotional articles. They have some standards of skill and content that should be met in order to keep the articles on the site. Ones that aren't written well enough to meet those standards are generally removed, though it can take time for that to happen

Earning Money From eHow

Once you sign up for the site, make sure you sign up for the Writer's Compensation Program. You don't start earning until you do so. The money you earn by writing through the site is entirely earned with a share of the revenue for each article. The income for each one you have written can be tracked in your account each day. I have a few that have earned nothing at all, many that have earned upwards of $20 so far, and one that is closing in on $100. The keywords and topic you choose have a lot to do with how well each article earns.

I plan for this blog to go into depth about how income can be maximized when writing eHow articles, easy ways to promote the articles and other ways to make money from the site besides the revenue share. No one makes a living writing for eHow, but it can be a great place to make some easy money writing about whatever the heck you like.