Write for money online series Part 3 - eHow.com

by Xin Lu on 3 February 2009 13 comments
Photo: eHow logo

So far, I have covered two pay for content sites called Bukisa and Associated Content in part one and two of this series.  Both of these sites allows a wide range of content, but the pay systems vary.  You also have to do a fair amount of promotion to be successful on these sites.   Today I am reviewing an extremely popular site called eHow.com where you can receive a share of ad revenue for writing short how-to articles.
 

Website Use and Feel

The eHow website is fairly user friendly, but there are some ongoing bugs right now. For example, there has been issues in the update of earnings and pageviews recently.  Additionally, sometimes when you submit an article there is a bug that prevents you from submitting.  So my advice is to save your articles in a program like Notepad or Word first. The website can also be quite slow in the mornings when everyone is checking their earnings.  If the kinks are worked out then eHow is actually a pretty decent website.

Allowable content

eHow allows specifically "how-to" articles, and the format is laid out.  First, you need a short introduction, and then at least three steps describing how to do something.  You can add more steps if you have more.  Then you can add tips and warnings to your article and also pictures to the article.

Copyright

According to the eHow FAQ, you retain all rights to your articles, but you do grant them non-exclusive rights to your articles when you post them on their site.  You can republish the articles anywhere you want.    You can also request to remove content from eHow by written request.
 

Payment details

Right now eHow is only issuing payments monthly to writers based in the United States.  You need a Paypal account and the minimum payment is $10.00. The method as to how eHow calculates earnings is somewhat of a mystery.  According to eHow they use a secret algorithm to decide your article's earnings based on page views, ratings, and ad clicks.   So it is a little unpredictable how much your articles will earn.  Some people have hundreds to thousands of articles and they could earn hundreds or thousands per month.

I joined the site just recently on January 26th and wrote 19 articles so far because these articles are very easy to write.  I can write each one in about 10 to 15 minutes.  So far, my earnings totaled to $2.13, which is an average of 11 cents per article over 8 days.  This sounds pretty pitiful, but if I leave the articles there and they continue to earn around  $2 a week then I would have $100 in a year.   In other writers' experiences, their eHow earnings increase with time as the articles are indexed in search engines and more random visitors find the articles and click on the ads.  The advantage to posting these short articles with eHow over your own website is that Google ranks eHow articles fairly high for many keywords.

Conclusion

I like eHow mostly because it is a lot of fun.  I am writing articles about things that do not fit into Wise Bread and my other blogs.  Additionally, the community at eHow is very friendly and a lot of people read my short little articles and give constructive comments.  This is definitely not a place for people who want a set payment for each article because it is unpredictable which articles would be earning a lot of money.  Some writers research the keywords they write  to optimize the amount of money they would earn, but that cuts down on the fun.  There is also a sense of quantity over quality because more content could bring more ad money, but I have found many useful and well written articles on the site.  I think you should definitely try out eHow if you have a spare 15 minutes and a "how-to" idea.  It could be as silly and simple as, "How to drink lemonade".

 

 

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Myscha Theriault's picture

I'm seriously enjoying this series, Xin. Keep 'em coming.

Guest's picture
Beth

I'm enjoying the series as well!

I was skeptical about the first two sites, but eHow looks pretty good (and I noticed they've got a BBB Reliability Program seal too). I've used eHow before, but didn't know you could write for it. Huh.

Guest's picture
Candy

Thanks for the great heads up!

Guest's picture
joe23521

I can probably find this out at eHow.com, but I'm too lazy.

What happens if I have a how-to idea that's already been written about but I feel I have more to add?

Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

you can write a new one.  There is no limitation.

Debbie Dragon's picture

I think the trick to earning money with sites like ehow is to pick the right topics.  Since the payment is calculated based on page views and ad clicks (and whatever else goes into that secret formula), it would make sense that if you write about topics that are in high demand, you would make more money.

One thing I found on ehow that you didn't mention is the section "write a requested article". You can access it once you log into your writer account, on the right underneath your page view count (if you have any articles published).  Here they list topics that have been requested by readers, and you can even see how many people are interested in a how-to article on that particular topic.

Guest's picture
Guest

Is this considered passive income?

Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

Well, if you write 200 articles and leave them there and do not do any extra work, then any new income would be pretty passive I guess.  Still, it's not completely passive because you have to initiate the work.

Guest's picture

I just started with eHow and am looking for all of the info I can on the website. I am excited to see what happens with my articles there.

Best of luck to you and your eHow articles!

Guest's picture
Cindy

I enjoy ehow, and it's been the best online writing site I've found for ease of use and decent payment amount. I would say most people average $2 per article per month. Some more, some less.

Guest's picture

Another great post! Thanks for writing this article.

I joined eHow in November 2009. eHow is my first pay for article site. At first I was very skeptical that someone would pay novices to write, but when I received my first payment it all went away. When I first started out, I posted my articles in my social networking groups; and while most people on eHow will tell you views mean nothing, that is how I earned. The more views I received, the more I earned. Once I started connecting with eHow members who rated and commented on my articles, I noticed an increase in payments. However, people say that has no bearing on earnings.

I earned more on eHow in my first month than on AC (even with one upfront payment of $2.56)
Here are my eHow earning thus far (I don’t use any SEO or keywords “yet”):
1st month - $3.65 with 2 articles posted
2nd month – $1.70 with 7 articles posted (one article that earned was deleted by eHow and I lost earnings)
3rd month - $5.97 with 12 articles posted (most articles written towards the end of the month)
4th month - $8.00 with 16 articles posted (again, articles written towards the end of the month)

At present, my highest earning article is at $5.00. I have heard of people who have $200 articles with 5k views) I have been told that if I start focusing on Google keywords, then my earnings will increase.

Please keep in mind that I am new to writing and to eHow, so you cannot base your decision on my earnings. Other people claim to make $2,000 a month in earnings. I am not sure how much they write to pull that off, but I can barely come up with something unique once a week. It takes me a long time to write and a long time to decide on my topic so it is a slow process for me.

I hope this helps.

Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

Just an update to this.  I'm making around $30 to $50 a month now on eHow with 33 short articles posted.  I write a lot about personal finance so I guess the keywords pay pretty well. 

Guest's picture
Molly

I've been considering writing online for money for quite some time now, but wasn't sure how to get started. I think eHow looks like a good fit for me, and I'm excited to give it a try. I have a couple of questions though, that I'm hoping someone who has written for them can answer.

I'm a little concerned about the application process, though. First of all, I have no formal experience with writing. I love to write for fun, but I don't have anything on my resume in that field. I've been in the healthcare field for the last five years. Will this negatively impact my chances of getting accepted? My second concern is the writing sample. They say they want a "clear, concise" style ("Think encyclopedia" is the term they use). Most of my writing is short story, creative, or stream-of-consciousness style. Should I come up with a completely new how-to style writing sample, or would one of my short creative writing samples be sufficient?