Friday, December 31, 2010

Changes at Suite101

Suite101 remain one of the best places online to write and earn money. The requirements have undergone some changes lately, so I wanted to be sure to tell everyone.

Suite101 finally did away with the minimum article requirements. They were requiring 10 articles a quarter. Now, they just allow you to write there whenever you wish. You can't go inactive. I've been saying for years that minimums aren't necessary. If you give writers a quality site to write and earn, they will flock there. You will not need minimums.

Suite101 has also tightened up their requirements for citing sources. They used to let articles without sources slide through and they have warned that it is a requirement for all now.

For those of you interested in writing at Suite101. Here is a little more about what you can expect as a writer and the application process.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

BrightHub's Commissioned Content

At the beginning of this month, I was very excited to receive an email inviting me to write commissioned content for BrightHub. What is commissioned content? According to the invitation commissioned content is a separate BrightHub channel.

You don't apply to this channel as you do to all the other BrightHub channels, you must be invited by the managing editor. The content written in this channel doesn't get published on BrightHub's website either. It is published on a 3rd party website. To me, it is like Helium's marketplace. BrightHub offers chosen writers the opportunity to write for other websites at a higher rate.

What is that rate? $20 for 400 words. Not too shabby. I normally prefer residual payment, but at 5 cents a word, who could resist? It's an amazing opportunity and I'm proud to say that I'm one of BrightHub's current 59 commissioned content writers. Just one more perk of writing for the big green Hub! For more information on applying to write at Bright Hub, visit: "How to Start Writing for Bright Hub."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Writing Reviews for Epinions

If you want to get paid to write reviews, is one of the most popular consumer opinion websites online. For those of you that plan to write a lot of reviews, this is a good site to do it. For those of you that want to write reviews only when the mood strikes you, I don't recommend Epinions. Why? They are notorious for deleting accounts that they consider "inactive." I've had several accounts with epinions and all of them have been deleted for "inactivity," because I let 4 months slip by without logging in. All your profits go with it! Here is the blurb I get when reactivating:

"Since your account was deactivated any unredeemed Eroyalties were removed. However, your account maintains the same ID, password, reviews, and comments. Your Epinions account was deactivated because you had not logged into your account in over four months. If you have any questions please refer to the User Agreement or contact Community Care."

It is a very convenient way for Epinions to avoid paying for reviews, in my Epinion. :)

If you don't think you'll have trouble logging in every 4 months, here is the link to sign up: Epinions. They occasionally offer $10 for 10, meaning you get $1.oo per review plus additional earnings if your reviews are rated very helpful.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Writing for Break Studios - Review

Break Studios is a website where you can write web content for upfront payment. The site publishes your writing on their well-known internet sites:, MadeMan, Holy Taco, Cage Potato, Screen Junkies, and Chickipedia. Some of these sites are... well .... not my style, yet I do find some articles worth writing. Break Studios has a lot of "How to" titles available for the MadeMan website.

Signing up requires a resume and links to previously published web content. It isn't difficult to get hired with Break Studios if you've written anywhere else online. They have an editorial process and each type of article is expected to meet well documented guidelines. The guidelines are available after being approved as a writer.

The articles you are asked to write for Break Studios are short and easy to write. Most are a minimum of 250 words and pay $8.00 each. If you are in the mood to write quick and easy posts for upfront pay, this is the writing website for you. If you don't mind writing, "10 Beautiful Indian Boobs," then this is definitely the writing website for you.

Articles are short and easy to write
Editorial process is relaxed
Upfront payment for quick cash

Some assignments can be considered distasteful

Follow this link to sign up for Break Studios, or find more writing sites at 101 Websites for the Freelance Writer.

Flixya - Review

Flixya is yet another social media site where you can get paid to blog, upload videos, or photos. One of the advantages of blogging for a social media site is that it already has visitors and traffic, unlike your own blog where it takes a considerable amount of effort to draw in visitors and get the blog noticed. Flixya has done this for you. All you need to do is post to your blog and you will enjoy 100 percent of the advertisement revenue.

To sign up, you will need to have a Google Adsense account. If you don't already have one, do not fear it isn't difficult to sign up. Flixya will help you network and make friends. You can also invite your current friends by sending Flixya invites to specific email addresses if you wish to do so. Get the word out and let people know you've joined! Then confirm your registration and you are ready to start blogging! Of course, you can also add videos and photos to your blog.

Your blog URL will look like this and all your blog posts are organized together in one place if you wish to promote your Flixya blog.

  1. Flixya is quick, easy to use and can help you start blogging immediately without the time consuming task of setting up your own blog. It takes only a few minutes to sign up and get started.
  2. Blogs with lots of videos seem to do well there.
  3. It is completely free and you can earn some extra money if you attract an audience. Like with all online writing, be sure to use original content.
  4. Flixya's status as a well-known social media site means people will read your blog without any promotion work on your part.
  1. Less flexibility than you have with your own Blogger or Wordpress blogging account.
Here is the link to sign up with Flixya.
You can find more sites to get paid for writing online at 101 Websites for the Freelance Writer.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

101 Best Websites for the Freelance Writer

People frequently ask me how to get started working from home. The answer to that question, is right here. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can get started working from home today.
101 Best Websites for the Freelance Writer

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Latest Gig

Where are you writing these days?

I was hopeful that the Demand Studios publication platform would be as profitable as publishing directly from the eHow site. I was wrong. My suggested titles haven't done well at Demand Studios. For those of you that do not know, eHow accepted user submitted articles and paid royalties on these articles up until last April. At that time, many eHow users were offered paid writing positions through Demand Studios, with the promise that these articles would earn a comparable amount of money.

That hasn't been my experience. My articles published for residual payment, or royalties through DS are not performing well at all. Likewise, some articles I published at Experts123 for revenue sharing are not performing well either. So, what is left? Squidoo, Bright Hub, and Suite101, that's what!

My Suite articles only earn 50 cents a month. But, when you consider that is $6.00 a year and $30.00 over a 5-year period, it is still better than writing for upfront payment. Also, because I choose my own titles at Suite101, I can usually crank out articles in 45 minutes. This is quite different than being assigned a title and researching it. That type of writing takes considerably LONGER!

Bright Hub
Another interesting website for writers is Bright Hub. My Bright Hub articles are currently earning me 30 cents per month, or $18 over a 5-year period. Not a lot, until you consider they also pay $10 upfront. That is increased to $15 upfront for senior writers. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to write a Bright Hub article. If you write for Bright Hub, or are considering writing for them, look me up: Heather Schulte | Bright To reach senior writer status, you must publish 20 articles and have 250 views per month accredited to each article.

I continue to find Squidoo lenses profitable and a great way to backlink to my Bright Hub articles. Bright Hub pays $1.00 per valid back link.

Good luck with your writing!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Writing for Experts123 - 21 articles in 21 days

I score aptitude tests in the spring from home. I have taken a break from scoring though, because I failed to pass the test for the one I had scheduled the first few weeks of May. All I can think is thank goodness I failed. I have been grading tests for almost 2 months and I am really burned out on it. Plus, I've missed writing. Now, I have a few weeks to write before the next scoring session begins.

Experts123 - New Opportunity
I got an email from Experts123 announcing their 21 articles in 21 days opportunity. They are willing to pay an additional 50% of the normal payment IF a writer submits 21 accepted articles in the next 21 days. The email began with flattery, saying it was being offered to "elite" writers and that anyone who got the email was in the top 10% of their current writers. Okay, I'm a sucker for flattery. I agreed to do it! Now, it seems I have myself committed to writing 21 articles at Experts123 of the next few weeks. It should be fun, I enjoy their website.

Experts123 Hiring Featured Writers that Choose Their Own Titles
They recently hired me to write as their "work at home" expert, meaning I can choose my own titles at Experts123 as long as it is in the category of working from home. I am their "featured writer" in this category and for this fame and glory, I am required to submit 2 articles per month.

There are many other topics available for "experts," so if it sounds like something you are interested in head over to Experts123 and apply to write in your expertise. To be an expert you must first be accepted as a writer. Then you must apply individually for the expertise, providing additional information as to what qualifies you as an expert writing in that area.

Happy Writing!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bright Hub to Change the Way They Assign Titles!

Bright Hub is changing the way they assign titles. For those of you that do not currently write for Bright Hub, it is a wonderful site for writers with one huge downfall: It can be almost impossible for new writers to be assigned a title. This is because each channel assigned titles differently. A "channel" is a topic area in which they hire writers. I currently write for the Google, Green Living and Special Ed channels. Some channels are editor managed and some are self-managed. Self-managed is what BH calls it when you don't have an editor. The self-managed channels don't offer upfront payment.

Anyway, all the channels have a different, well-kept, secret location for their spreadsheet where they keep the next months content plans and titles. If you are a new writer and you can locate this spreadsheet, my hat is off to you because sometimes it seems they don't want you to find it! Of course, I am joking about that, but seriously the current process is so cumbersome. I finally found the spreadsheet for Special Ed and sent several messages to my ME about the titles I wanted to write. I didn't get a response. Hmmm.

Finally, I realized that the spreadsheet was managed like the one in Green Living, you simply type in your own name rather than waiting for an "okay" from the ME to write the title. All this is more confused by the fact that I write for Google, where not only is it a HUGE no-no to self-assign a title, but we must submit an article outline before they will consider assigning the title to us. (No, I'm not kidding.)

If all that made you dizzy, yeah, it should. I am happy to announce that Bright Hub listened to it's writers and has made plans to revamp that process. By the end of April 2010, available titles will appear in our pub tool, according to a message from my ME today. Hooray!

Oh, and one more thing for those of you that don't currently write at Bright Hub, the upfront payment is $10 for editor managed channels AND they pay residuals that turned out to be much higher than I anticipated. Bright Hub is a great gig, if you can just figure out what to write. :)

If you are interested in writing for Bright Hub, here is the information you'll need to get started.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where to Earning Passive Income by Writing

With all the transitioning going on for eHow writers, a lot of them are asking where else they can write. I personally feel transitioning to the DS format is worth it, but if for whatever reason you didn't get your acceptance, or you simply want to write some where without an editorial process, here are some great sites:

1. Squidoo - Squidoo has no editorial process in place. They do flag spammy lenses. Many people get to Squidoo and find the publication tool confusing and give up. After figuring out the publication tool, I didn't see it as a worthwhile place to write until many months had passed. I was there about 6 month with 10 lenses before one started earning. A year later, I have 77 lenses and earn about a dollar a month per lens. Those numbers are a bit skewed, because half of those lenses are new and it takes a lens a while to get into it's groove and start earning. Four of my lenses that I put work into and promoted are earning $14.00 a month, so you can see that most of my income comes from those 4 lenses. If you put work into a lens, you can easily earn $150 a year from one. If you have questions about the Squidoo publication tool, leave me a comment.

2. Bright Hub - Bright Hub has an editorial process, but you can choose to write for self-managed channels, meaning you opt out of the editorial process. I currently only write for the edited channels, so I can't speak as to the earnings for self-managed channels. However, in addition to the upfront payment I receive of $10, I also earn residuals on my BH work. My residuals through the edited channels average 45 cents a month per article. From what I have read, the self-managed channels earn at a similar rate.

3. Info Barrel - I have 10 articles published here. There is an editorial process but it is not a complicated one. They are simply checking to ensure your writing abides by their standards regarding linking, photos, etc. How much can you earn here? My experience is it's on the lower side, but you will likely earn more writing here than on your own blog because of the community.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

eHow's Writers Compensation Program - Is It Ending?

I usually enjoy my brick and mortar job, but Monday I was toying with the idea of resigning. My earnings working at home have been up and frankly I was annoyed with some things that were going on in the office.

At 2pm, Monday, April 5th, 2010, I logged into eHow and promptly got a message saying the Writer Compensation Program (WCP) was closing. My heart sank! I went to the forum to see what was going on and I learned that we had one week to publish on eHow through the WCP.

After 1 week, some writers would be able to publish eHow articles through the Demand Studios website, but that was only if you were approved. I got very nervous because I've been rejected by Demand. In fact, Demand Studios is one of the few places that has every rejected my application as a writer. I was trying to figure out what to do next, when I got the preapproval email to write at DS. Thank goodness! They based the approval on your track record as an eHow writer.

I logged into the Demand Studios workdesk and began checking things out. I learned that we now have to submit sources with our work and our articles will all go through an editorial process. I write for other sites that have an editorial process. I can't say that I am crazy about the idea, but I realize that it will cut down on the number of errors in the articles. For those that don't want to publish through an editor, Bright Hub and Squidoo have the highest residual payments I've found without an editor.

Back to eHow, I was still a little nervous and gulping down Easter candy when Julie from eHow called me. She asked if I had any questions. I asked about the new payment structure and whether the eHow forums would remain open. She said the residuals we would earn through the DS publication tool would be equivalent to what we were earning at eHow's WCP. She also said the forums at eHow would remain open and they were also planning some advances to the eHow community. Great! She also mentioned that the publication tool at DS was soooo much better and they were simply tired of fixing the broken one at eHow. She said it was like doing surgery on a 90 year old patient. He He.

I have to tell you I still feel a little sad. Why? Because I know the changes mean I will have to work my butt of to publish an eHow article, just like I do at other places I write with an editorial process. No longer can I slap up a quick piece of 20 minute work and earn a tidy sum of money. Yet, as I write that I know it was wrong to try to churn them out quickly anyway. I probably should have been going the extra mile all along and making my eHow articles just as good as I will now be forced to make them. :)

Honestly, I'm just so grateful to still be able to write for eHow. I do love that website.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What are the Best Places to Write Articles Online?

I spend quite a bit of time researching new places to write online. In fact, I have a list of 101 best websites for the freelance writer, published on Squidoo. It seems to be a popular lens.

What I've found from listening to other writers, is that some websites are clearly favorites, but each writer will have their own favorites that just work best for them. So, here are my top 14 places to earn money writing online. They are 14 sites where if you can't make money, you are doing something very wrong. You don't have to know SEO. All you have to do is read the guidelines and publish some unique content according to the guidelines and you will earn. Of course, knowing SEO will help you earn more. Here are the sites:

1. eHow - straight forward how-to guides - anything you want to write - minimum 200 words
2. Suite101 - Factual and professional 3rd person writing - anything you want to write - editor reviewed - minimum 400 words
3. Squidoo - Long pages of anything you want to write - lots of backlink and selling potential
4. Type-A-Mom - Blog about being a mommy
5. Bright Hub - Suggest your own titles to editors - Upfront payment plus revenue sharing - 400 + words
6. Experts123 - Upfront payment ($8.00-12.00) or revenue sharing depending on the article chosen - Select from a list of titles.
7. - Select from a list of titles ($20-30) upfront payment
8. Textbroker - Select from a list of titles (.01-.02) per word
9. eCopywriters - Select from a list of titles (average .02) per word
10. eXaminer - Write whatever you want about your expertise in your local geographical area - About 1 cent per view
11. Info Barrel - Earn percent of adsense on articles of your choice. (Not the most lucrative out there, but it is something.)
12. Associated Content - Pays a very small upfront amount ($2.50 - $5.00) per article and then revenue sharing on unique content. Write requested titles or create your own. Editorial process exists.
13. Your personal blog where you can earn 100% adsense if you can generate traffic. :)

Where are you writing and why?

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I came across a new website for freelance writers called Experts123. They are accepting applications for paid contributors. Writers are said to earn up to $20 per article. I applied and was accepted the next day. Writers receive upfront payment for submitted work and do not retain rights to the work. Most of the articles I found in the queue were offering $8.00-12.00. If you are looking for an upfront payment writing website and you don't mind writing very technical articles, (most are legal, tax, computer etc.) this website may be for you. Here is how to go about applying:

  1. Go to the application
  2. Read it.
  3. Join Experts.123
  4. Once you have entered your email address, username and password to join, you will be taken to the application screen.
  5. Send a sample file along with links to 3 published articles with your application.
  6. Once you have applied, you will be taken to a screen where you can go ahead and complete your profile. Green check marks should appear beside each section of your profile.
  7. After you receive the welcome letter (usually the next day) you must log in again and activate your account. You will have to complete your profile now, if you haven't already done it. You will then be able to see all titles that are available. To get to them, go to your profile page, a new tab titled "assignments" will be there after your account is activated.
I wrote my first article for Experts123 on March 28th, 2010. After submitting my first assignment I noticed that you can not accept new assignments while your first article is pending editor approval. I received approval for the article on March 31st, 2010, so it took 3 days. After my initial article was approved, I was able to select new article titles immediately. There was no waiting period while the recently submitted articles were in editor approval.

101 Freelance Writing Websites

Friday, March 26, 2010

Type A Mom

I spent an hour today, writing my first article for Type A Mom. The article publication tool is a little hard to work with. It isn't user-friendly at all. I made it through and clicked "save." The publication tool promptly logged me out of the website.

Frantically, I hit the back button hoping to recover my work. It didn't happen. I got a blank form. I have browsed the site a little and know it requires frequently login if you are idle. I didn't think it would log me out while publishing. Now, I know better.

If you begin writing for Type A Mom, always save your work in a separate document first!

Writing for Bright Hub

I was hired to write for Bright Hub back in November. It has taken me until February to figure out how the site works. It is a confusing place to write and they've been doing some restructuring in addition.

Bright Hub offers $10 per article for writers in community managed channels. Community managed channel means that you have an editor and have to have all titles approved before writing them. In addition to the upfront payment writers are given ad sharing revenue. The website claims it is 60%, but sixty percent of what? It seems to be a very closely guarded secret. Some of my first articles have over 500 page views and I haven't seen a penny from revenue sharing. I've seen other writers claim to be earning $70 a month from previously written articles. I plan to keep writing and see how that works out, but I have other sites, such as eHow and Suite where I can earn a lot more per article. From what I have read, I estimate that most writers earn approximately 10 cents a month in revenue sharing per article at Bright Hub.

For those that want upfront payment, it is a good option. However, in the long run I think you could earn more elsewhere. I earn $1 per month/per article at eHow and 50 cents per month/per article at Suite. Here's the math for a three year period. (Three years isn't unreasonable because all my articles are still earning after 2 years.)

Amount Earned per Article
Bright Hub Editor Managed Channel - $10 + $3.60(10 cents a month X 36 months) = $13.60
eHow - $36 (1 dollar a month X 36 months)
Suite - $18 (50 cents a month X 36 months)

For writers in self-managed channels, there is no editor and no title approval. However, writers earn strictly revenue sharing. As Bright Hub says on it's website, the reason you might want to write for a self-managed channel is because it probably pays better than writing for your own blog.

I currently write for the Google and Green Living editor managed channels. Yesterday, I applied to the Special Ed channel also. The Special Ed channel is editor managed, as well. Once hired for Special Ed, I am planning to write for a self-managed channel (parenting), to compliment and link back to my writing at the special ed channel. So, you can do both and use them to draw traffic to one another.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Getting Paid for Creating Backlinks

Do you like to surf the internet? I know I do. Several years ago, I stumbled upon the Squidoo website. Like all web surfers, I was accustom to creating bookmarks for the webpages I found online that I liked. However, my internet bookmarks were often overflowing and pages got lost in folders never to be seen again. Squidoo solves that problem, because now when I find a page I like, I link to it in a lens.

Recently, I was surfing for ways to reuse paper online. I gathered my favorite ideas in a Squidoo lens: "Ways to Reuse Paper." Now my links are published online, in one webpage, and when I want to revisit the ideas, I simply pull up my Squidoo account. In addition to linking to my favorite ideas, I often use Squidoo lenses to link to my own articles to help get the word out about them. Squidoo actually pays users who develop these lenses. To learn more about publishing on Squidoo, see "How to Earn Money Writing for Squidoo."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Keyword Tools

If you are not earning from online writing, you may want to take a look at keyword tools such as Google's. A good keyword tool can help you find the phrases that people are typing into the search engines (Yahoo and Google) to find articles. This is helpful to know, because you can write spectacular articles that are never found if you are not using the correct keyword phrases.

Using a Keyword Tool

Begin by having your own idea for an article. Type into the keyword tool a few words you are planning to use to title your article. Two words is best. After you search for phrases, you will get a list of commonly searched for terms. Choose a term, or phrase, that most accurately relates to your article. Try to find one that has low to medium ad competition. I have good luck with the ones that return a high GSV and "not enough data" in the LSV.


A few words of caution about using a keyword tool. You can spend a lot of time researching, but if you don't write anything, you won't earn any money. Try to get what you need and not over analyze. Then, get started writing.

Also, if you want to earn a reputation as a great writer, you will stick to what you know. Don't try to write articles about things that you aren't experienced with simply because it has a high keyword phrase associated with it.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Squidoo and eHow send out 1099s to all contractors that have earned over $600 in the year. I haven't reached the $600/year threshold for Suite101, but I have read that as a non-US company, they don't mail out the 1099 and you are responsible for reporting earnings over $600 to the IRS yourself.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Do You Know Where to Publish Online?

After a few years of publishing web content, I've gathered a collection of places that I like to publish online. When I have an idea for an article, I take a little time to imagine the overall look of the completed article. Some questions I ask myself when deciding where to publish are:

1. Does it require detailed photos? (Squidoo)
2. Is it a how-to? (eHow)
3. Is it a scholarly article that requires credibility? (Suite101)
4. Is it news? (eXaminer)
5. Is it a review? (Epinions)

It is important to consider the layout of the published work on a site before publishing there. I bet you have a few places where you like to publish online that work better for certain article categories. If I were to write a tutorial on how to crochet something, for example, I would consider putting it two places: eHow or Squidoo. If I felt that I could clearly explain the article without large photos, I would put it on eHow, because I earn more there. But, if I felt the article needed large clear photos, I would put it on Squidoo. Squidoo also allows videos to be easily embedded in the content.

I also do a little keyword research. If I have an article topic that I really want to write, but the keyword phrases are low paying, then I target a website, such as Associated Content or Bukisa, where you are paid by view rather than a percentage of Adsense. Low paying keyword phrases and ads do not matter so much on a website where you are paid by view.

Whenever you begin to publish at a new website, there is a time investment in learning the website publishing tool, article requirements and writing requirements. Because this can be time consuming, I suggest picking a few sites that you like and sticking with them rather than constantly shopping around for new websites to publish online.

You can learn more about where to publish online by visiting 101 Best Websites for the Freelance Writer

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Work at Home Income Goal

This March is my 2 year anniversary of building up residual income working from home. I started writing for residuals in March of 2008. I am excited to say that this is the first month I have reached my goal of earning as much working from home part-time as I do working at my regular job part-time. This month I earned $1077 working from home.

I didn't get much writing done this month, but despite that fact I continued to earn on the articles I've published in the past at eHow, Suite101, Squidoo, Life123, and on my personal blogs. This month I spent a week grading high school aptitude tests for ETS. That is the great thing about residual income from writing, when you are busy earning money in other ways, your articles are still earning money. :)

For more information on how you can earn money working from home, scroll down the right side bar for a list on this blog.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Work at Home To Do List - March 1, 2010

ETS and Cahsee
The spring scoring session for ETS started a week ago. I was so happy yesterday when I called my scoring leader to tell her that I'd completed calibration and she said there were no papers left to grade! Whooot! They were all beginning to look alike and I was behind on my writing deadlines, so I am grateful that this CAHSEE session is complete.

Since I wasn't grading, I had some free time to get my writing assignment done for BrightHub. Knocked that out. BrightHub is actually fun to write for if you don't mind writing requested titles. If I can choose my topic, I find I write much faster, but if it is a requested topic I always put it off until I know it is due, sort of like a school paper. That is the drawback of BrightHub in my mind, the fact that you must write their titles.

Product Reviews
Today, I have some product reviews I've been meaning to do on the back burner. Writing product reviews is an interesting assignment. The PROS are they give you free products, all you have to do is review them. Your written review earns money in the future just like any article would. The CONS are that sometimes it is difficult to stay objective. You must because you owe it to your readers, but it feels a little ungrateful to say "Oh, this product is a piece of junk," when you got it for free. After I get these reviews completed, I don't think I will offer to do it again, unless of course it is for a product that I REALLY want.

Type A Mom is a place for moms to network and read more about parenting. They are currently hiring mommy bloggers. On Sunday, I got an acceptance letter from them. It has been a while since I applied, because honestly I had forgotten about it. The great thing about TypeAMom is that they currently pay 100% of adsense profits, so you won't have to share your adsense earnings at all, but you still get the increased traffic from blogging for a popular website.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Are there Legitimate No Cost Ways to Work at Home?

Can you really work at home and make legitimate money with no cost? Absolutely.

I've worked for my state government over 10 years in the my two college majors accounting and computing. In Kansas, which is a low cost living area, a good job will earn you $700 per week, or $2800 per month. After taxes and health insurance, I was left with about $2100 a month. From that $2100, I paid daycare expenses of $350 per month, $50 per month for a parking permit, $200 a month in gas and car maintenance to commute, and $100 a month for the dress clothes I needed to work. Leaving me with $1400 a month to pay my share of the household bills, make student loan payments, and hopefully have money left to buy a soda now and then. I was making a decent salary for my area, but I didn't get to keep much of it.

Working Full-Time
$2100 Net Earnings
-350 Daycare
-50 Parking Permit
-200 Gas and Car Maintenance
-100 Clothes

In 2007, my family circumstances caused me to work only part-time. I now work only 2 days a week at my regular job. At the time, I didn't feel like I had a choice, or I probably wouldn't have reduced my hours. But, it worked out BETTER for me and my family. Here is why:

Working Part-Time

$1100 Net Earnings(Working part-time dropped us into a lower tax bracket.)
- 0 Daycare (Only working 2 days a week, family and friends do this for free.)
- 0 Parking (I work outside the normal 8-5 hours so I don't need a permit.)
- 75 Gas and Car Maintenance (Same distance but now 2 days instead of 5.)
- 25 Clothes (I work from home in my regular clothes most of the week.)

What I need to earn working from home to make up for the income I lost by working only part time is $400 a month. ($1400-1000) I now earn that from my writing. This year, I expensed all of it for the use of my home office and supplies. Any additional money over $400 that I earn writing means I am financially better off than I was before. It has taken me almost 2 years of writing when I had free time to build my monthly residuals up to $400. But, the keywords here are "writing when I had free time."

  • I work when I want.
  • I have time for my family.
  • I have just as much money as I did before.
  • In the next few years, as my residuals grow, I expect to exceed what I was making working full-time away from home.
eHow, Squidoo, Suite101, and many other writing websites allow you to earn for your writing and work at home. They are legitimate and there is no cost to get started. Just sit down and write something. :)

A Writer Tool for Tracking URLs

Sometime ago, I came across a handy online writer tool for tracking URLs of published work. The name of the website is You add your URLs to the site to track them and organize them all in one place. But, that is not PageRankAlert's only feature. The website also looks up your Google PageRank for you, and sorts your articles URLs by PageRank. They send you a nice email to let you know if the PageRank of your article changes.

The PageRank sorting comes in handy when you are backlinking. For example, if you haven't already added links within your articles, and you have 10 articles with a page rank of 4 and 10 articles with a PageRank of 0, you would obviously start with the 10 articles that have a PageRank of 4. An article with a PageRank of 4 hands down some of it's great rank to each of the articles it links to. An article with a PageRank of 0 has nothing to hand down, so a link from it to other articles doesn't benefit a writer.

To put it in a simpler way, if you have a current article with great Google PageRank of 4, linking it to one of your newer articles will help the newer article flourish in PageRank also. Linking to your newer articles from an article with a PageRank of 0 doesn't do your newer articles any good at all.

Not only is a great writer tool for tracking URLs and tracking Google PageRank, some search engines actually recognize the link posted in as a valid backlink to your article. So adding your URL there will help get your article recognized.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

eHow tips and Tricks - Publishing (cont.)

Do you fear losing your work when publishing at eHow? the recent backlog of unpublished articles has everyone a little concerned. Everyone knows you should back up your article in Word before publishing with the eHow tool, but sometimes it is difficult to do if you enjoy writing directly in the tool.

Here is a tip for those who like to publish directly from the eHow pub tool. First, prepare your article. Always select your related articles before saving or publishing, or it will be too late. When you have your article written and have selected your related articles, click save and preview. Give your article a once over for unseen grammar errors. In addition to proof reading it, the preview screen gives you a chance to get the URL from the browser before publishing.

This comes in useful for me because I backlink immediately after submitting an article, while it is still fresh on my mind. If I wait until the article is published a day later, I may forget to backlink. So, I copy the url from the top of the browser when it is in preview. Then I copy and paste the article into a Word document before saving. Paste the URL in your word document, as well, and there you go.... Your eHow article is backed up, proofread, and you have the URL to backlink it, all before it is live on the eHow website.

eHow - Trending Your Article Earnings and Organizing Your Writing

Something I tried with my articles at eHow that helped me a lot is to set up each niche in a different eHow user account. There is nothing fraudulent or sneaky about this. eHow allows you to set up an account with any email address. After you have it set up, you will need to sign up with the WCP under that account and your real name and paypal email address. Be sure to use the email address for your paypal account for the WCP. It doesn't have to be the same one you signed up with for that eHow account.

For example, I have a Knifty Knitter account for my crochet and knitting articles, a Canning Preserves account for my canning articles, a TaxGuru account for my tax articles, etc. Each of them have the same Paypal account listed, but they have different email addresses as the main email contact for the account.

By setting up my niches separately I can see the earning trends for each. I can also see the average earnings per article in that niche easier.

This might be a little over the top, but I recently graphed each niche to better see the trends. Up the left side of my graph is $.00 to $2.00. Across the bottom of my graph are the months. I figured the average earnings per article each month and graphed them. Having the niche articles in separate eHow accounts made calculating the earnings per article easy. The result was a graph that clearly shows when that niche earns big money and when it does not.

I keep a folder of keyword ideas for each niche. I taped the graph to the front of each niche folder. Now if I need to pump up earnings for February, for example, I can easily look at my folders and say, "Oh this is my best paying niche for February," then open the folder and use the keywords inside to choose article titles. It is magical... I am telling you!

Good luck with your writing,

eHow Tips and Tricks - Publishing

If you have already published an article, you do not have to republish it to edit or make changes to the article. I add pictures and make corrections all the time and don't want to go through the hassle of having to wait a day to have the article updated through the eHow publish system.

Once it has been published, to make changes, just hit "save and preview." Then select "go back to my profile," from that screen. It will save the changes and update the article without republishing.

I know it is scary to try it if you have made a lot of updates, go ahead try it with a small word change or by adding a picture. You will soon see that it always takes.

Good luck with your eHow writing!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Dangers of Writing Career Goals

Dangerous Writing Career Goal #1- Writing for SEO and Keywords

Most writers have written an article or two purely because the keywords promised to pay well and return a lot of traffic to their article. I've done it. I can tell you some of my worst writing has been to fulfill SEO goals. Do not begin with the keywords. Begin with your own inspiration. After you have an idea for an article, go ahead and use an online tool to brain storm for the words that will best optimize your article. But, never, ever write an article you know nothing about just because you think it will pay. It is a plan for poor writing. Write about what you love and know... then do the keyword research.

Dangerous Writing Career Goal #2 - Writing a Set Number of Articles
If you are the type of person that loves to plan, it's nice to set a goal. But, writing is an art. It is best done with inspiration. If you are cranking out low quality articles just to meet a number goal for the day, your readers will notice.

Writing Reviews for Shvoong

Shvoong is a place where you can get paid to write reviews. The reviews can be of a book, article, paper, website or movie. The first thing I noticed about the website was that it has a Google page rank of 6. This isn't a bad rank. I browsed the forums and saw that the pay is posted after the first of the month for the previous months views.

I also noticed that their are a lot of posts in the forums from users who do not speak English as their native language. I had difficulty getting back to the main website from the forums as there isn't a link readily available to switch back. I had to type into the browser to get out of the forums. Hmm. I wasn't impressed with that.

I browsed some reviews on the Shvoong website and saw many poorly written reviews, because of bad grammar. It is ok for a US website to accept non-US writers, but when the English is so poor that the writing is difficult to understand, it degrades the quality of the website. This is a huge red flag for me. I won't write there because I don't want my writing showcased among such poorly written reviews.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Earn Money Writing for

I applied to on 2/1/10. At seed, you simply sign up as a writer by entering your name and email address. Seed immediately sends you a confirmation code. After you confirm that you received the email, you can log into the website to see what titles are available.

You "claim" the title and submit the article for approval. If it is accepted, the payment is phenomenal, averaging $10 for 100 words (10 cents per word!) Holy guacamole! That is almost too good to talk about.
Ok, the catch is that they let more than one writer submit the same title. The editors review the submission and offer to purchase the article at the quoted price, or decline it. If they decline it they may still offer to publish the work on a residual earnings basis, which I've heard isn't the best.

My plan is to submit some content at and see if it sells. If they offer me residuals, I might publish a few that way, just to check out the payment structure for myself. But, if it turns out that residuals at seed don't pay well (like I've heard other writers say), a writer can always decline the residuals offer and publish the writing somewhere else.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Life123 Is No Longer Accepting Writing!

Apparently, the Life123 website has decided not to accept additional articles. This was posted in the WAHM forum on Sunday, January 31st.

"Thank you for participating in the Life123 Writer's Community beta launched last fall. We are closing the program at this time and are no longer accepting new submissions.
If you have submitted an article that was published on between October 13th, 2009 and January 27th, 2010, AND have entered valid PayPal account details by January 29th, 2010, Life123 will pay the $20 maximum rate for each eligible article.
Payments will be made prior to the end of February 2010. Thanks again for your work.
If you have any questions about items other than payment, please write to"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Earn Money Writing for Quality Gal

Quality Gal is a website that hires writers to complete article assignments for clients, similar to Textbroker, or eCopywriters. At Quality Gal, you can claim up to 5 titles at one time. To apply as a writer with Quality Gal, you fill out a form on their website under the link "Register for the Writer Panel" at the bottom of the Writer Application Page.

There are several forms on that page that must be completed and faxed prior to beginning work. However they are not accessible until you have registered as a writer. Once registered as a Quality Gal writer, you can login to the website and access the forms. After completing them you must fax them.

Writing for the Untrained Housewife

What is the Untrained Housewife? It is a website created by Angela England that features the writing of the web's best content writers.

I first came across Angela England on Suite101. Impressed with her writing and her website, I added her as a Facebook friend. Soon, I learned through Facebook, that Angela was putting together a website for herself and other writers. She called it the "Untrained Housewife." There is a link to an author application on the sites homepage. In Angela's words, here is a little more info about writing for the Untrained Housewife.

Within a month of going live the website reached a Google Page Rank of 4. Today, I have begun to see Google search results with the Untrained Housewife listed on page 1. Congrats to Angela and all the other writers at the Untrained Housewife on a job well done.

Writing for ZestBIT

In the Suite forums a writer posted that he used ZestBIT to promote his articles. From his post, I gathered that ZestBIT is like Xomba. Writers create short blurb, blogs, or promos for their articles and post a link to them from within ZestBIT.

I gave it a shot and I was pretty impressed with how easy ZestBIT is to use. As far as the writing interface tool, ZestBIT is pretty amazing. However they are supposed to pay writers for submitting content. I checked back today, and I am not getting credit for any of my views. I have some analytics software that allows me to see that my ZestBIT article IS indeed getting traffic from a link I established online, but ZestBIT isn't giving me credit for them.

So, my opinion is that if you want to use ZestBIT as a quick and easy way to promote your writing go ahead. ZestBit certainly has made it easy to write quick promos for your articles. Just don't count on getting paid for your writing at ZestBIT.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Applying to

Today, I heard of a new website for writers, so I applied it is They require an AIM user name to apply. You can get a free aim account before you apply. After listing my writing experience and my work history, I submitted it and got a response that they would reply to my email address within 7 days.

I got a response withing 1 hour saying my application had been accepted and requested I complete a quiz in the hiring process. I took the test immediately. It included two parts. Part 1 was a review of the writer manual and then a quiz on the content. Part 2 was a request to rewrite sentences, paragraphs, and articles according to the manual. I got an auto response after completion that they notify those who pass when they are in need of new writers and that they are currently full-staffed, but to watch for email in the event that they have openings soon.

Why You Won't Get Rich Writing Web Content

Writing web content is a good way to earn some passive income online. But, I think it is important for everyone to know that you will not get rich doing this. I have seen writer's promote themselves by promising easy money by writing for specific sites using specific techniques. Usually this type of hype promotes their book, which they don't tell you is the real way they make money online. They sell the dream of earning lots of money to those who want to earn as much as they do. Frankly, this type of hype leaves a bad taste in my mouth, it is the reason so many writers flocked to eHow hoping to make thousands of dollars for very little work.

You can make money writing for eHow, and many other websites online, but you will not get rich. Writing is not a career choice for those aspiring to become wealthy. Also, it will take quite a bit of work to write good quality, SEO optimized articles with enough backlinks to keep them ranked well with the search engines.

I write because I have a little extra time when my children are at school and I like to be doing something productive with my time when I am not being a mom. It earns me some extra money, but I do not hope to get rich.

Writing for Suite101 and Google

Suite101 articles get pretty good ranking with the Google search engine. Today, something happened that utterly amazed me about Suite101. I couldn't help but mention it in a blog post to share the information about Suite101.

Most of the websites for which I write, eventually ensure my articles are crawled by Google without any special effort on my part. I do not do any search engine submission on my own, because after a week or so it gets done for me. Today, I submitted an article to Suite101. I was searching Google immediately after submitting this article... brainstorming for more keyword ideas on that particular topic. I found my article I had submitted only 10 minutes earlier on page 2 of Google. I am so shocked I still almost don't believe it myself. Here it is: Knifty Knitter Loom Instructions

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?

Many freelance writers have a blog. A blog is a great way to backlink to your articles. To create a blog focused on your writing in general and include links to every article you write, you will need to create a blog about your writing that keeps your readers interested. Since my writing is on such a variety of topics, I decided to create blogs for each of my niches. I believe this is a better method because search engines prefer it. I started several niche blogs in October, and they are getting first page Google rank for some keywords now.

Although my blogging has helped my article rank, it hasn't helped me make a lot of money. Three months of blogging has accumulated in my adsense account only $1.71. Are you wondering which of my niche blogs makes the most money?
This Writing Blog 718 / $0.86
Crochet Blog 266 / $0.60
Knitting Blog 135 / $0.15
Gardening Blog 219 / $0.07
Down Syndrome Blog 186 / $0.02
Raw Food Blog 37 / $0.01
Raising Organic Free Range Chicken 72 / $0.00

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Writing for

Today, I stumbled on yet another place to publish content as a freelance writer. is accepting freelance writer applications through their online form. They request the writer fill in areas of expertise and document their training and experience in that area. Freelance writers are also required to submit a writing sample and a brief explanation of their writing history. did not disclose on their website what their pay was for freelance writers.

I applied today (1/19/2010) to and Both companies immediately responded that they had received my application. I will post the results of my applications later. I applied in the two areas of writing that I have work experience and a degree: accounting and tax. Unfortunately, these are not the topics I enjoy writing about. Maybe there will be other writing options once I get my foot in the door.

Oh, and offers $500 a month for contributing writers and requires 12 articles a month. It is difficult to get hired by, but well worth the effort.

Friday, January 15, 2010

eHow Earnings

It isn't uncommon to have low days, but my eHow earnings have been low for several months and today hit a desperate low of $5-6. My top days of eHow earnings are always in the summer months and I've had days as high as $15.00.

I am hopeful that eHow earnings will rebound, but just in case they don't it is always a good idea to branch out and explore other writing opportunities. All your eggs in one basket can be devastating to a writer if a website fails. This list should provide you with some other options as a freelance writer.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bukisa has Freelance Writing Opportunities Listed on the Homepage

I logged into the Bukisa website today and noticed that they have a scrolling list of freelance writing opportunities that seem to be legitimate. I am going to check this out over the next few days and see if they are worth a writer's time.

Freelance Writing Income History

Watch how writing for Residual Income builds up over time....

April 2010
ETS - 462.00
eHow - 372.50
Pearson - 179.82
Squidoo - 105.53
Experts123 - 40.00
Bright Hub - 34.00
Suite - 32.30 (Estimate)
Adsense - 6.07

March 2010
eHow - 432.71
Squidoo - 121.35
ETS - 40.00
Bright Hub - 30.00
Suite - 25.00 (Estimate)
eCopywriters - 8.90
Adsense - 1.83

February 2010
Life123 - 430.00
eHow - 330.45
ETS - 240.00
Squidoo - 48.00
Suite - 27.00 (Estimate)
Adsense - 1.65

January 2010
eHow - 320.35
Squidoo - 24.00
Suite - 21.00 (Estimate)
Life123 - 5.00
eCopyWriters - 7.34
Constant-Content - 6.60
Adsense - 2.05

December 2009
eHow - 335.77
Squidoo - 23.95
Suite - 16.00 (Estimate)
Life123 - 10.00
Adsense - .95
Associated Content - .02

November 2009
ETS - 373.00
eHow - 288.08
Suite - 25.00 (Estimate)
Squidoo - 9.01
eCopywriters - 23.30
Life123 - 5.00
Adsense - .65
Associated Content - .03

October 2009
eHow - 378.26
Suite - 25.00 (Estimate)
Squidoo - 21.77
Textbroker - 14.29
Adsense from Info Barrel - .99
Associated Content - .07

September 2009
eHow - 354.33
Textbroker - 118.93 - 35.80
Suite - 21.00
Squidoo - 6.57
Associated Content - 2.50

August 2009
eHow - 319.68
Suite - 13.29
Squidoo - 2.71
Associated Content 2.10

July 2009
eHow - 274.03
Suite - 21.14
Helium - 18.00
Constant Content 6.60
Squidoo - 2.22

June 2009
eHow - 183.45
Suite - 10.05

May 2009
eHow - 177.12

April 2009
eHow - 148.70
Squidoo - 1.00

March 2009
eHow - 117.46
Constant Content - 6.50

February 2009
eHow - 86.49
Squidoo - 1.02

January 2009
eHow - 64.20
PayPerPost - 15.45

December 2008
eHow - 65.20

November 2008
eHow - 75.31
Squidoo - 2.86

October 2008
eHow 89.92
Squidoo - 2.91

September 2008
eHow - 91.56

August 2008
eHow - 67.45

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tips for Writing Squidoo Lenses

When you write a Squidoo lens, your lens should be about something you love, or at least are very interested in researching. Lenses are a way to organize web links so that they make sense to a reader. If you are researching a topic, lenses are great tools to organize your research so that it doesn't get lost. Lenses are a little like folders in your internet bookmarks. They should relate to one topic and give many web resources on that topic. The best lenses have a lot of content, lots of links, and most importantly, lots of pictures. People looking at Squidoo lenses don't really take the time to read all the text. They pick out pictures and follow your links. The old phrase a picture is worth a thousand words is the slogan of a Squidoo lens.

Also, because you are targeting web users that are scanning the page, use great headings. Place links, affiliate and product links, that a reader may want to follow throughout your lens.

Oh, and like all web content pay attention to the keywords you are targeting. Make sure your finished page has keyword density of 2-3.5% for maximum traffic. Also, when you are writing your first two sentences of your lens, make sure it will catch a readers attention. This is what shows up in search results. Make it eye grabbing.

When you have done all that, start networking with other Squidoo writers and make yourself known on SquidU. Return all the comments that are left on your lens. The stars do make a difference.

Finally, use the discovery tool to link related lenses together.

A Freelance Writing Mistake to Avoid: Don't Rush to Publish

When writing web content, never publish anything until you have spell checked it and proof read it. It is easy to get in a rush and publish articles prematurely. One of the risks of of setting goals to publish a minimum number of articles each week is publishing poor quality content. If you are focusing too much on earning income, or building up a content library, it might leave your work mediocre, or at least not your personal best.

Writing should be enjoyed. Take your time and enjoy your writing experience. Cherish your work. Put the time and energy into it to make it quality content each and every time before hitting that publish button. If you do not finish it today, there is always tomorrow. Putting out quality writing will boost your reputation and make people want to read your work.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where to Write Articles

When I began writing I would publish content anywhere it was accepted and I could earn money. But, as I broadened the number of websites where I write articles, it became clear that I could decide where to publish my content. Earnings are not the only factor to consider. The finish look of the article, where pictures are allowed in the article, where links are allowed in the article, etc. determine the website I place it.

Yes: Scholarly articles. They encourage citations.
No: Articles that require photos in the article. All Suite101's photos are added to the bottom of the article.

Yes: How to articles with distinct steps
No: Articles that are educational in nature, but do not necessarily have distinct actionable steps

Yes: Content with lots of links to outside sources. The purpose of a Squidoo "lens" is to encapsulate and organize content on the web. Lenses work well for organizing your own articles, creating backlinks, and also creating affiliate links.
No: Educational articles without links or pictures. For the most part, people don't really read lenses. They scan them for photos, headings and links. If a title catches their eye, they will read pieces of the textual content and keep scanning or skimming down the lens.

Yes: Any short text article (300 words)that you expect to reach 2000 views over it's life to reach maximum payout.
No: Articles with photos or links required. These aren't allowed.

Bright Hub
Yes: Any title your channel manager will approve.

Yes: Buzz, hot topics, newsworthy articles
No: Informative articles that are not current news

9 Tips for a Better Squidoo Lens

1.       Write Squidoo lenses just like you would an article with keywords and SEO in mind.
2.       Put the keywords in ALL of these places throughout the lens: URL, Title, Intro paragraph, Module Titles, picture titles, and keyword tags
3.       Turn on the table of contents and discovery tool in the intro module. Link to your own related lenses in the discovery tool.
4.       Include a photo for every module. People like pictures.
5.       Run a health check on your lens and correct the problems listed.
7.       Update your lens at least once a month
8.       Make friends and rate the lenses of other lens masters to get comments and ratings
9.    Lensroll all your lenses.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Writing How-Tos for Mahalo

To begin writing how-tos for Mahalo, you visit their website at: Mahalo

Once at the website, the first step for signing up with the how-to team says it will send an email. Don't bother the email address doesn't work, at least it didn't for me.
1. Instead register for the website, or login if you are already registered.
2. Click on the "Mahalo Tasks" up by the search bar. If you are logged in, you will be able to see "open rush week tasks."
3. By completing a rush week task, you may be asked to join the how-to team.

Regardless of whether you are asked to join the team, simply completing a task pays Mahalo dollars. The tasks currently range from $3 to $7 mahalo dollars. Each Mahalo dollar is worth 75 cents and is paid to you by Paypal.

The Mahalo rush task I signed up for required 700 words and had lengthy instructions. It took me over 2 hours to complete the first rush task. Like all things, it probably becomes easier with experience.

Article Content Provider

Today, I applied to Article Content Provider. The web form asks you to provide a homepage and a blog. As a writer, it is always a good idea to have a professional webpage. Your webpage is like your portfolio, listing each of the websites where you write and lists your blogs too. A professional webpage makes quick and easy work of apply for new freelance writing jobs by submitting your website.

Back to Article Content Provider, the positions they are currently accepting application for are:
Article Writer
Webpage Content Writer
Web Designer
Virtual Assistant / Odd Jobs
Other (please explain under comments

After filling out the web form, I got a auto response in my email telling me my application had been submitted. For those that are considering applying... it went to my spam box. Check your spam folder if you apply and do not hear back.

After waiting 3 days, as the initial email indicated, I didn't hear anything from Article Content Provider. In addition, their website looked a little unprofessional. I have other writer friends that work for this website, so I am not going to dismiss this opportunity yet, but beware if you decide to apply.

Work at Home To Do List

  1. Write the Mahalo rush How-to that I accepted.
  2. Print my CAHSEE schedule for ETS.
  3. Apply to Demand Studios
  4. Apply to
  5. Write the article I accepted from eCopywriters that is due at 1:30 today.
  6. Return the favor for all my eHow and Squidoo friends that comments.
  7. Fix my Squidoo Lens 101 Best Websites for the Freelance Writer. The plexo voting tool went haywire and I lost half my links.
  8. Set up links in this Squidoo lens: 9 Questions Every Freelance Writer Should Know Before Writing for a Website
  9. Edit rejected Info Barrel article to be at least 400 words.
  10. Finish 12 3 Squidoo lenses to become a Giant Squid:
  • lens roll them
  • add more content
  • check the health stats and edit as needed
  • link them all to my other lenses through the Discovery Tool.

Article Income is a website where freelance writers can earn money by publishing articles. As a new writer, you will earn 50% of Google Adsense profits. You must submit your Adsense ID to get started and you will be paid directly by Google. As you gain experience at Article Income your percentage of Adsense profits increases to a maximum amount of 75%. I signed up several months ago. Without ever having written an article, my earnings percentage has increased to 55% from 50%. Your current level of earnings is easily visible on your profile panel.

The Article Income website is well designed. The homepage has a Google pagerank of 4, which should get some traffic to your articles. You can also refer friends to join Article Income.

Publishing at Article Income
The website accepts unique and already published content. You can add links to already published content in the author resource box. Photos are allowed also. Articles must be at least 300 words.

I received the following message on 2/1/2010 from the article income staff. They are not accepting new writers at this time.
"Over the past few weeks, the ArticleIncome Team has spent a lot of
time and energy combating unethical users who open duplicate accounts
to garner points and referral credit, to game the screening system,
and to get back into our system after having been banned.

We have decided that the best way to solve this ornery problem is to
revamp our entire submission and registraton system. Consequently, will be closing the site for NEW members only."


Yet another freelance writing website I visited because it made it to the list of 101 Websites for the Freelance Writer. On a scale of professional looking sites, I would give it an 6. The homepage is well designed.  The current Google pagerank of the site is only a 1.

The published articles are overwhelmed by google ads in the first paragraph. The photos attached to the submitted articles show up so small (a cubic cm) that you can hardly see them unless you click on them. Howhub allows 5 links in the resource section of published articles. These links can be to your own previously published work, but they can not be to affiliates.

Earning at HowHub
To get started writing at HowHub, you register your Google Adsense ID. You earn 50% of adsense earnings until you have invited 10 friends to join also. After you have referred 10 friends, your adsense increases to 100%.

I recently created a lens called 101 Websites for the freelance writer. In creating that lens, I explored many online writing opportunities. Some of them I had first-hand knowledge of, others I had only heard of and read reviews. One of the websites on the list, ZestBIT, was a website I'd heard of from another writer on a work at home forum. I wanted to check out the website, so I went to sign up.

I was immediately blown away by how easy it was to register and set up my profile. Literally, within a few minutes of visiting the site my profile was in place and the ZestBIT writer form was prodding me to type something. So, I did. There are a few steps to article submission, a step for the intro, a step for the body, etc. It has modules that can be used to add more functionality to the article if desired. These modules are similar to those available in Squidoo. Then you are taken to the last step (preview and publish). If you have just registered, ZestBIT will ask you to confirm a link sent to your email before it will accept your click on the "publish" button. That's all there is to it.

Here is my first article with ZestBIT. The website is so easy to use it took me all of 15 minutes to register, complete my profile and submit this article. "My First ZestBIT Article" The only question left to answer is "How much does it pay?" I will let you know. Oh, by the way the website is wonderfully professional looking.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Common Tax Deductions for the Freelance Writer

  • Office space in your home (calculated as a percentage, in square feet, of your whole house). This percentage is then used to determine what percent of property taxes, insurance, and mortgage payment you can deduct as a business expense.
  • Computer(s)
  • Research Material
  • Part of your utility expenses
  • Internet expenses
  • Travel Expenses to Conferences
  • Website Expenses
  • Services Purchased (such as website design or hosting)
  • Software
  • Medical insurance
Remember if you continue to show a loss, year after year, the IRS considers your business a "hobby," rather than a business for profit. Deductions can not be taken from "hobby income." Also, year after year business losses are an audit red flag.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My 2009 Writing Income

Doing my taxes and thought I would share some information to help those new to the world of writing. Looking at my total earnings for 2009, I went ahead and added in the previous years earnings as well. I took the total I've earned from each website and divided it by the number of articles I currently have on the website. Now, please understand that some websites I am actively publishing on daily so there are articles counted that may not have had time to earn yet at all. But, here it is:
Earnings     Articles   Earnings/Article
$3444.24    406         $8.48              eHow
14                 1       $14.00               Brighthub
22.41            3          $7.47              eCopywriters
133.18         21         $6.34              Textbroker
34.16            9          $3.80              eXaminer
131.74         42         $3.14              Suite101
84.6             42          $2.01            Squidoo
15                10         $1.50             Life123

My Quest to Become a Giant Squid

When I was new to Squidoo, in March of 2008, I noticed a "Giant Squid" program listed. To be a giant squid, you mist have 50 great lenses. If you become a giant squid, you have access to tools that can not otherwise be used as a "lens master." Squidoo also gives you special badges and notoriety as a giant squid.

It was taking a while to reach my goal of becoming a giant squid. At the beginning of December, I had 30 lenses. I received an email stating I had been nominated as a giant squid and to apply when I was ready. Knowing I do not meet the requirements, but wanting to be a big, enormous, lens making giant squid, my motivation is rejuvenated. The next deadline to apply as a giant squid is March 31st. Nobody knows how long it will continue. (more)

Today I published another lens: 5 Questions Every Freelance Writer Should Ask Before Writing for a Website 

I also have an eHow article that explains How to Make Money Writing for Squidoo

Why do I write for Squidoo? Backlinks! ..and what do you know I make money too! My best Squidoo lens has earned over $40 in 5 months.

If you want to start writing for Squidoo here is my referral: Write for Squidoo

Thursday, January 7, 2010

101 Best Websites for Freelance Writers

I am developing a squidoo lens with the best websites for freelance writers. One hundred and one of them to be exact. I placed it in squidoo because that website offers the voting plexo that allows readers to vote on the links to the websites. Over time, I hope the lens develops into something great.

I frequently search out the best places to write online. That is the great thing about a squidoo lens, it lets me organize things I have researched on the web into logical and easily accessible lens. Not like hand written notes in a folder that get lost, or bookmarks in my web browser that become forgotten amidst hundreds of other bookmarks.

Here is the lens: 101 Best Websites for Freelance Writers

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to Write Website Content Readers Can Find

To write website content choosing a niche is a good first step. This is an area of expertise or interest in which you plan to stay up-to-date. As an author with expertise in your niche you become an authority in this area.

Go to Google’s keyword tool. Type in a few keywords from your niche. You will see data about how many people are searching for these keywords. This is one way to find what internet readers want to read about. My secret is to develop my keywords around the internet searches for which it says “no data available,” in the US, but for which the global search volume is high. These phrases are often under-written US niches. But, let’s keep that between us. 

After developing a niche, make sure you are reading a variety of publications in this area. Magazines, newspapers, online subscriptions are all a great way to stay up-to-date with what is happening in your niche. If you know what is happening, you can website content with your own spin on the current issues in your niche. I have seen writers create blogs such as “my latest writing.” A blog like this has a niche focused on the writer. Unless there are many people who have an interest in that writer, as a person, this blog isn’t going to do well. Readers subscribe to blogs to follow the website content, not the writer. Make sure each of your online profiles are focused on your niche, not you as a writer.

Keep this up and you will eventually develop a following. Branch out and create profiles, online website content, answer questions and develop an internet presence around your niche. If you have the time and desire to develop more than one niche, you can do this for several. Just be careful not to spread yourself to thin.
How to Make More Money from Your eHow Articles

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Writing Suggested Titles

In addition to writing about crochet and knitting, I've been writing a lot for this past December. I started with Life123 on October 30th. Three articles have made payout and 3 more articles will make payout this month. For those of you that don't know, Life123 pays based on views. 50 views pays $5. The next 500 views pays another $5.

I usually prefer writing whatever I want to write as the inspiration hits me. But, when I am out of ideas, suggested titles are nice. I don't have to research keywords or estimate traffic with suggested titles. Instead, they tell me what to write and I write it.

Life123 came out with suggested titles this December. They were kind enough to email me a link to the ever changing list. I'm going to jump in and write them until they run out of suggested titles. The 300 word articles are quick and easy work. I can do 2 or 3 an hour if I stay focused. I'll keep you posted on how well they earn.

My first article "How to Make Herbal Pills" was written 10/30/09. It has earned $5.00 and is 330 views short of earning another $5.00. I expect it to reach the second payout by the end of April, 2010. If it meets my expectations, it will have taken only 6 months to earn $10 and has the potential to earn another $10 over it's life. Not bad for 30 minutes of work.

Seasonality of Writing and What Earns When

Most of my writing this month has been focused on crochet. I write crochet and knifty knitter articles for eHow under the alias of "Knifty Knitter." I also have a weekly crochet blog with photos of my work. My craft blogs and articles do well in the colder months and I spend most of my free time knitting or crocheting when I can't get outside.

Just to hit that point home on how well craft articles do in the winter. I have 20 crochet/knitting articles. Combined, they are currently earning $6.00 per day. That is $180 per month for only 20 articles. I have 350 articles under my main eHow profile. They won't earn much more than my 20 craft articles this month because many of them are gardening articles. It is important to understand the seasonality of some articles.

I have gardening articles that earn well in the spring and summer.
Canning articles that earn well in the fall.
Crochet and knitting articles that earn well in the winter.
Tax articles that also earn well in the winter.

My green, recycling, and organic beauty articles, on the other hand, earn pretty much the same all year round. My and natural remedies articles earn all year, but do better in the winter months. Just because your articles slow down in earnings.... do not assume they are dying! They may just be taking a seasonal lull and will pop back to performing well later in the year.

2009 Writing Income and Goals for 2010

I began writing web content in 2006, but didn't become serious about earning money at it until 2008. I earned $700 in 2008. With 2009 coming to a close, I am happy to report that my second year of writing yielded over $3,000. I owe most of that to eHow, but as I branch out and publish more places, I am learning there is a lot of opportunity for freelance writers. My goal for 2010 is to quadruple my writing income again, resulting in at least $15,000 the coming year.

I also pledge to donate all the profits from my down syndrome blog to the national down syndrome society in 2010.

Have a very happy New Year!


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