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If You Want To Earn Substantial Online Income, Don't Write for Ehow
For those just starting in the passive residual income world, Ehow is often the very first moneymaking website they choose to get involved in. Type in “passive residual income” or “residual income stream” into a search engine and what pops up? Ehow? Shocking.
Ehow works by allowing writers to write “How-To” articles and then paying those writers a percentage of the revenue their articles earn through Google Adsense ads that are placed on the page. Of course, this “write and get paid through Adsense” model is the backbone of almost every passive income stream.
Ehow is great for getting your feet wet with residual income and learning how to properly research keywords and build traffic. Ehow, however, isn’t what it once was in terms of a moneymaking opportunity online and internet writers certainly shouldn’t count on retiring on their Ehow earnings.
With Ehow, You’re Competing With Big Business - Not Other Users
That’s right, I said it. They’re against you and they have every right to be. When Ehow first started up, having the random person stop in and write an article or two was free money for the website. The writer gets paid a portion and Ehow keeps a portion - without doing any work at all. It’s a win-win situation. Right? Maybe not.
Over time the big wigs over at Demand Media, the parent company for Ehow, discovered that much more money could be made if they owned the articles outright and never had to pay the writer a residual portion. Think about it this way, if an article makes an author $1 a month and sits on the website for 4 years, that Ehow article has brought in almost $50. Keep in mind this is only the writer’s portion. If we assume that the writer is making 50% revenue on his work, that one Ehow article has brought in almost $100.
So Demand Media opened up Demand Studios, allowed writers to apply and poof! The Demand Studios writers are paid $15 per 400-500 word article that they churn out. The article, of course, is posted on Ehow, pays for itself within months, and goes on to earn a killing for the parent company.
Changes to the Ehow System
Once the new business model was in place, Demand Media slowly starting making changes to the Ehow system. One large charge Ehow users noticed was the fact that their articles were now labeled “User-submitted articles”. This label will suck credibility away from your article, don’t think it won’t.
Yet another change that infuriated the Ehow community was the fact that user articles no longer appeared on the Ehow homepage. Having an article selected for the Ehow homepage was once an award of distinction. A writer with a place on the homepage could expect his ad clicks to skyrocket on the designated day. And its no secret that more ad clicks = more income. Those spots, however, are now reserved for the articles Demand Media pays its specialty writing team to produce.
Ehow Users Lose Articles in Frequent “Sweeps”
Yet another frightening change to the Ehow system is the “sweeps” that occur to the system. During sweeps, articles are deleted in droves and purged from the Ehow system. Any articles that don’t fit the strict Ehow guidelines may be deleted. Unfortunately, numerous users report that Ehow has deleted articles that do adhere to the guidelines and were high earning articles.
Ready for the scary part? Once an article is deleted, it will still appear in search engine rankings, but if you click on the article title, you will be immediately redirected to an article owned by Demand Media on a similar or identical topic. Ehow users are strictly prohibited from ever attempting to revive a deleted article, even if that article is rewritten to meet Ehow’s standards. This is grounds for being banned from the Ehow publishing tools.
Affiliate Links on Ehow Are a Thing of the Past
Ah, the good old days. The days when Ehow users could boost their earnings with Amazon and eBay affiliate links. What? You didn’t know you couldn’t do that anymore? Oh, well, as much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news….you can’t.
With the possible exception of Suite101, affiliate links are an optional (and smart) tool that most passive income sites offer to help their writers earn extra income writing online. Affiliate links, however, have this nasty little habit of directing readers away from the site and to some product or service that they then have the option to purchase. Ehow doesn’t want users directed away from the site - then they might *gulp* not click on other articles that lead them to other ads that allow the parent company to make money. It sucks for writers, but is a smart business move for Demand Media.
Ehow Earnings Bugs Will Cost You Money
Pay the Ehow community forums a visit and you will almost surely see users posting furiously about the latest bug. In 2009, a particularly nasty bug prevented all users that joined in the month of August from making any money. Let me rephrase that - They were making money on their articles, but their earnings pages remained at 0. A solid month of emails to the community manager and angry forums posts finally resulted in Ehow acknowledging that there was indeed a problem and reimbursing the individuals who were affected. Were the accounts reimbursed fairly by Ehow? Only Ehow knows.
Another bug in January 2010 resulted in Ehow’s U.S. writers losing money due to their earnings and the earnings from the new Ehow U.K. site being confused. Writers were reimbursed yet again for this snafu, only to discover that a $50 loss equated roughly $7-$10 in reimbursed income.
While bugs and glitches in a system are to be expected, most passive residual income sites aren’t going to stand by for several weeks and refuse to acknowledge glitches or permit glitches to cause members to leave the site in droves. Earnings glitches don’t even come close to the publishing glitches on Ehow which are ongoing and maddening.
You Don’t Know How Much Adsense Revenue You Are Entitled To
Everyone likes to know how much adsense revenue that he or she will be entitled to before starting to submit articles to a online writing website that offers a steady stream of passive income. Xomba offers 50%, Infobarrel offers 75% and Ehow offers….wait…no one knows what Ehow offers.
That’s right, you have no idea how much of your article’s earnings you are actually making. This is all part of Ehow’s “secret formula”. For the longest time, Ehow led users to believe that article comments, the number of friends they had and how their articles were rated by other users contributed to their earnings. With the popularity of writing for passive income online increasing, users have since gotten smart enough to realize that the only thing that affects their earnings is ad clicks. Unfortunately, they still don’t know what percentage of the revenue they are getting.
Ehow Doesn’t Need Users to Make Money
Residual income sites don’t make money until the writers make money. That is how the system works. Ehow works differently. With Demand Studios fueling the articles, Ehow would be an extremely profitable business model with or without user contributions. Thus, don’t expect any help from support should you be unable to edit your articles, or if your links are redirecting to other articles. For all you know, e-mails to support go into a folder somewhere on a lonely computer on an island in Tahiti. Want to leave? Go ahead. Ehow doesn’t need you.
Once upon a time, Ehow was the way to go. Ehow users could toss up 50 articles and laugh all the way to the bank. Not anymore. I recently saw a blog in which the writer was ecstatic because he used backlinks to boost his Ehow earnings from .05 each in a month to 0.20 each in a month. That. Is. Sad.
I Don’t Hate Ehow, But I Don’t Love Ehow Either
Let me just state for the record, before the hate comments come rolling in, that I don’t hate Ehow. I am not some bitter ex-Ehower who had articles deleted or lost money in either of the big earnings glitches. I still have articles up on Ehow and they still earn consistently.
My purpose in writing this is to prevent some poor soul from pouring his heart into 100 Ehow articles when that time would be much better invested elsewhere at another passive residual income site. This is also written in the hopes that those with articles on Ehow will at least consider expanding those articles and posting the new versions on other sites for a simple comparison of the residual earning opportunities their work may present on another site.