Friday, April 15, 2011

1st Quarter Earnings and Future Directions

I have grossed many many multiples of 5 figures so far this year. If I did the math it would probably be 5,000% more than I made last year.

Mostly from leveraging stuff I wrote years ago into income.

And it's not reproducible or sustainable long term, so it's more a windfall.

A very nice one. Which is nice since my adsense tanked with Google's latest update (so much for niche content doing better, I guess mine qualified as spam, which it isn't, not even close, but okay).

Which leads me to write this: I love passive revenue. I love building passive income. I made $500 from eHow in March alone (for a gross of more than $1500 for 3 months).

What I don't love is how Google can jack you up any time they feel like it. Without even really telling you. Or providing a bonafide opportunity for appeal.

The latest algo update destroyed the current passive revenue paradigm. Utterly demolished it and the industry has been very slow to retool and rebuild. So slow, I've given up on waiting for them.

I also dislike how you are vulnerable to poor management or drastic management changes. For instance, Suite101 is in the toilet and they may get flushed. eHow closed their program rather abruptly last year. You just have so little control.

Passive revenue is just not income you can rely on. It's rather high maintenance too, what with Google changing the game every 3 to 6 months and then the platforms themselves changing almost daily it seems.

The people selling niche blogging and passive revenue as easy peasy money, go live your life on the beach? Are lying. You gotta pay attention in this business. Be ready to hit the curve balls out of the park over and over again. The paradigm is not stable. It's ever shifting and sometimes you get swallowed up. More than once.

So I am thinking to go in a new direction.

Actually make that, directions, plural.

One, ebooks are going to be the next hot thing. I'm calling it right now. Niche blogs are so two thousand and late. So I am working on several projects in that vein. This also fulfills my desire to get out of the web content article format and delve into my areas of expertise the way I want, how I want.

I have my first ebook up as a test run and I'm learning all sorts of things I didn't know and always always always finding yet one more typo I missed. I think they breed when I'm not looking! I consider the first project a throwaway, my learning curve ebook. So I don't expect much.

Another ebook is with a professional editor getting a nice polish.

Having worked in revenue share for the last 3 years, I know the trend is always toward better quality. I aim to produce high quality ebooks from the start. Some form of sweeps will occur once there's too much junk content clogging the pipeline. There are so many people online trying to make a buck, there will be a filter of some kind at some point.

Two, a longer term goal is creating an actual product that will create a new paradigm for fashion. That sounds pretentious, but that's the best way I can describe it. It's a whole other learning curve. Once I get the ebooks moving, this will get my attention next.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Year In Review

Hi. I am still niching around the internet, you? Just not blogging here much. I continue to have a lot of health and personal issues that are very time consuming.

However, in terms of year on year growth, the niche blogging thing performed well.

Here's how the earnings stack up.

eHow: I made over three thousand dollars with a percentage increase over last year of 60%. On 100 articles. Not bad, eh? We'll see how long it lasts.

Amazon: around $600. Not great, but not bad considering this is about 150% more than last year.

Adsense: (includes, blogs, Infobarrel, and Hubpages): Roughly $300, an increase of 200% over last year. Month on month earnings seem to be growing. I was making like $20 a month, now it seems to be $30+ so progress.

Main source of income is Infobarrel and Hubpages, not my niche blogs. Interesting!

Suite101: Roughly $200. I don't even have 30 articles up but I will say, even though I haven't achieved significant volume, Suite is much slower than eHow was with earnings growth. Given that I have proven SEO results and a good track record on a site like eHow, I tend to lean toward the conclusion that Suite's SEO to promote the site is not so hot.

They are a good organization but they seem to be flailing a bit. Also, I have a hard time publishing any article with product tie-ins on Suite, I hate not being able to use Amazon affiliate links. So this has meant, I've not been writing as much for Suite. I still really want to get to 50 articles to see what happens to earnings, but between the personal BS and my interest in pushing my Amazon affiliate earnings, it's not easy.

I haven't seen any major innovations in writing online. Although I do see people out earning me for the first time. Just haven't seen any mention of a new and improved strategy to explain their earnings.

Right now my thought is to focus on pushing products.

Monday, October 11, 2010

September Earnings Roughly the Same

I'm holding steady at $350-$400.

Have not been able to do much to push to the next level--my health is just not cooperating.

But I have registered a new domain. I have written a few articles and hubs. I do keep plugging away, but at the speed of dead snail.

I am niche blogging and web content writing in s-l-o-w motion. Ha.

October is looking dismal. I think I've made all of $2 on Amazon so far this month which is very low.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I submitted a cancellation request for my TKA membership a few weeks ago.

There is no question that The Keyword Academy is a great place to start with niche blogging. I would recommend it to anyone who is just starting out.

But I no longer felt it met my needs once I got past the initial learning curve.

Not enough to justify almost $400 a year in membership dues.

I know they've added a lot of extra features that many people like, but I have some reservations about those extras, which I'm not gong to delve into publicly.

Your mileage my vary.

My thought now is to funnel that $33 a month into outsourcing some content work.

See if that gets me any farther.

In other news, I have had some health challenges this month and my freelance work (in a non-writing field) has picked up enormously which slows me down. Frustrating. I need to somehow make this work. I have too much on my plate, my body is uncooperative arghhh. Overwhelming.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Earnings

eHow: Almost $300. So close, but couldn't cross the finish line.

Amazon: Getting closer to $50.

Adsense: Slightly more than $30

Suite: Almost $40 on 22 articles which is amazing.

But I need to somehow break through to the next level. I seem to be stuck at the $300-$400 mark and can't seem to grow much past it.

Need to work on that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How to Write Your First Article for Suite

My last post made me think it might be helpful to talk about how to write your first article for Suite101.

Like I mentioned in the last post, the first time I tried to work with Suite, I couldn't get past the editor. I had picked a technical topic that I have a ton of first hand expertise in and even though I added citations, my citations were not good enough.

Since when was the US Government with an in text linked citation, not an acceptable source?

I couldn't figure out how to make it work for the editor and I thought, if this is how the editors are, I don't want to work with Suite.

So I left.

When I came back, I was more strategic in selecting the topic for my first article.

I avoided anything technical or legal or with lots of facts and details.

I avoided sections like Health, Science, Law, and Business that typically require a lot of citations and enforce higher journalistic standards.

I actually wrote about a product category and made a shopping guide based on customer reviews on the internet. Not much for an editor to get hung up on there, fact-wise. My sources were from Amazon and unless they were going to read 300 reviews like I did, there was no real way to make life difficult.

If I had to do it over, I would probably write a craft or recipe article. Those topics probably represent the lowest barrier to entry for a first article on Suite101 because they are personal and not really authoritative. (Although note that those sections have some formatting requirements.)

I would also be sure to visit the forums and get a feel for each of the section editors. Most editors post their own section guidelines in the forum and it is well worth your time to become familiar with their requirements above and beyond those of Suite101.

It's also good to pick a simple topic since you will spend a lot of time learning Suite101's format and article structure in your first post. Don't complicate things with a complicated topic.

Oh and for the love of God, avoid the en dash--don't use two hyphens, like I just did here. You will be burned in effigy if you do that. If you don't know how to make an en dash or have no idea what I'm talking about, just avoid using dashes. Parentheses work really well.

Lastly, be sure to run your first few articles through Copyscape as Suite does check for plagiarism and scrutinizes new writers particularly closely.

A Suite101 Rant: Editor Badassery

Okay, even though I made like $4-$5 yesterday on Suite I am still fuming a bit.

There are editors and there are editors. Most editors are fine. Others have delusions of working for the New York Times or fantasize about being a Grammar Stealth Ninja. In other words, they have a terminal case of editor badassery.

I wish there was medication for that.

This is actually my second time working with Suite. The first time, I couldn't get past the weirdo editor to publish my first article and I walked away. Who needed Suite when the eHow gravy train was still going full steam ahead? (Ha! Famous last words.)

So the second time around, I picked an 'easier' topic, one less likely to bog an editor down in details, facts or figures. Or their own opinions.

Because some editors confuse their own uninformed opinions with editing.

Anyway, the other day, I was lurking in the forums and ran across some posts by a particular editor who was in full blooming glory of editor badassery. Hmmm, I thought. I am not going to write in this editor's section. They are way too hardcore.

Well, guess what?

Editors at Suite don't stay in their little sections. If other areas have a lot of work, then topic editors who aren't buried, pitch in and help.

Next thing I know, the grammatical equivalent of Attila the Hun is slicing and dicing my articles. Not only flagging them, but completely disabling them, which is quite unusual for Suite.

Notice I said articles plural. It's almost like they are gunning for me. I mean, what are the odds of the same editor hitting my articles across multiple topic sections? Some of them weeks old even?

Now, in some cases, I agree with the (minor) edits, but, the thing is, there are also inappropriate edits mixed in there. Edits based on what they think about the topic, not based on what I'm actually writing. (Maybe they should go write their own article, you know?)

For example, say I write an article about 'How to Choose Between Cats and Dogs for a Pet' and the editor comes in with a 'what about ferrets?' comment. This is the kind of stuff I am dealing with. It's just not appropriate. Or helpful. Or productive.

So I am not happy. I am an experienced enough writer to know when an editor is just yanking me around because of their own agenda vs. me actually sucking enough to need an editor smackdown.

Flags I could maybe handle, but being disabled? Is not nice. And then to go after my other articles? Really not cool.

I hope this blitz fizzles out. In fact, I'm not going to add new content to Suite for a while just so this editor, hopefully, has time to forget I exist.

Stay tuned for some tips on writing your first Suite Article. Maybe I can spare you some pain.