Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why I Decided to Start Writing for eHow for Free

eHow currently won't let me participate in their Writer's Compensation Program because I'm outside the U.S. This means I can write but I won't get paid. But, I've decided that I'm going to write for them anyway. Why? Self-promotion, article marketing, and in the hopes that eventually they'll change their mind.

I've written for eHow in the past. A little over a year ago I wrote about 100 or more articles for their site and was paid $10 a piece to write them through a writing company that was contracted to provide content. Because of that, I had to learn about their preferred style. In those few months I did a combination of choosing articles in a queue and suggesting titles I wanted to write. If only I'd known then what I know now..

You see, I have quite a few HIGH TRAFFIC articles on eHow that don't have my name on them because I sold the copyright. I wrote a lot of great how-to articles for the site about subjects I know a lot about and subjects I know are in demand online.

When I submitted titles for approval I chose titles that I knew would bring eHow traffic (because I'm all about bringing value to my clients) and as a result I'm sure I'm earning them a pile of money from those articles. I write my own niche blogs and today I find that I'm regularly outranked by eHow for page one Google results with some of the eHow articles I ghostwrote. My point is, this site can get you great search engine results!

eHow Writer's Compensation Plan

eHow has a writer's compensation plan that I've talked a lot about in the past. In fact, I refer many of my readers to an eHow earning guide by Maria O'Brien (a.k.a. WriterGig) who spells out in a step-by-step format how she makes over $1k a month in residual income from eHow. I reviewed Maria's book a few months back and it is very well done. I was jealous when I reviewed it because I wanted to implement many of her techniques and blend them with what I know about the site and SEO. I know I could be making great passive income with them on a monthly basis!

I know many writers who have implemented her techniques who are now earning a few hundred a month and their monthly amounts climb continuously. That's the thing, once you get a lot of traffic to the article, it can bring you money indefinitely. eHow has monetized their site very well. I can only dream about how much money those 100 articles I wrote would've paid me by now rather than the $1,000 flat fee I earned. Sigh.

eHow, owned by Demand Media, currently only pays U.S. based writers in the WCP (writer's compensation program) so it probably sounds like it doesn't make sense for me to write for them. But I've decided that it does. Here's why:

-I get a byline. My name goes on the articles so this works well for writing samples and for building credibility in my niches

-I can put links to my own sites in the resource section of the articles. This brings traffic to my websites and that traffic could convert from a visitor to a buyer and also improves the SEO of those linked sites due to backlinks from a high ranked site

-I can put affiliate links directly in the resource section of the articles which could result in even more income through affiliate marketing. Due to the traffic gets, this is a powerful tool for article marketing and I already do put articles on other non-paid sites for this purpose

-At some stage, eHow may change their mind (they told me they're looking into it as I've been hounding them just a little ) in which case I might start getting some decent passive income of my own. This could work well if I've got high ranking articles that suddenly get a switch turned on for earning!

In the last week I've posted just a few articles which are already getting me traffic to my websites so that tells me my efforts are definitely worthwhile.

Dear Ehow...
If you're reading, this little blog is getting a lot of traffic based on search terms that come from writers interested in writing for you and I say wonderful things about you on a regular basis!

Doesn't that suggest that you should consider letting Canadians into your Writer Compensation Program? I also have some U.K. friends who I know would love to write for your WCP programme as well. Seriously, we can fill out an IRS W8-Ben form and you don't need to worry about the taxman.

How to Videos & Articles:


Anonymous said...

I'd try out - same idea, but a Canadian site, paying worldwide (and paying better than eHow)

Dana Prince said...

Hi "Anonymous",
I'm pretty sure I applied for Suite 101 last year and they declined my application without giving a reason. eHow doesn't require an application. I haven't seen any discussions about the earning potential of Suite 101 but would be interested in hearing of some user experiences.

It's great that they pay writers anywhere and I might be willing to go through the trouble of applying again if I had more info.
Thanks for stopping by :)

Lori said...

Dana, is there any way you can set up an American-based account through TDBank? We have branches here, too. I'd ask your local branch how to establish a US-based account that can be transferred (either automatically or over the Internet) to your Canadian account.


Set up an ING account. Why not? They're totally Internet-based, aren't they? And just have eHow direct deposit. Or PayPal, or....

Dana Prince said...

Hi Lori,
It's not just a matter of a US bank account as they want US tax forms filled out. Thanks, Dana
(I'm sure they'll eventually open up the program because I bet I'm not the only one nudging them :)

Writers Journey said...

I'm British and looked at EHow and gave it a miss when they said USA only.

I write for Helium, and have found them to be great (especially their Marketplace).

Dana Prince said...

Writers Journey, I wrote for Helium in 2006 and hit payout once and then stalled at $19 forever but haven't written anything in ages. I haven't really checked out the market place as I thought the writing was on spec. Maybe I'll take another boo.

Thanks :)

RachelB said...

I hope you enjoy writing for eHow. Perhaps one day they will change their current policy about only paying U.S. writers. I hope they do, for your sake and for the sake of so many other talented writers who live outside of the U.S.