Of Special Interest...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Beginning

Nine months ago, I began to write for eHow.com after I had heard a story on the local news one evening about a woman who makes her living writing on that site. "How hard could that be?" I wondered. I can write. I have a computer with Internet access. Armed with these advantages (which, of course, no one else has) I thought that if the woman in the report could be successful, so could I! Already dreaming of how to spend extra income, I knew that easily I could fritter it away on groceries, gasoline and medical expenses. I joined eHow's Writer Compensation Program (WCP) and published my first article at the end of July 2009.

I wrote a couple more articles and monitored the number of unique readers and earnings for each. Only the former increased. Now, patience is a virtue, so I participated on the site and learned how to add friends, write quality comments for others' articles and assign star ratings, search the Internet for free photos with which to enhance my articles, and worked on article drafts. Earnings remained consistent: $0.00.

Wading into community forums, I learned that others were as prosperous as I, and it was because around the time I joined WCP, there was a bug that prevented registrations from, well, registering. Apparently, only I knew that I had joined, even though eHow had sent me a lovely welcome to WCP e-mail.

Two and a half months after joining, I joined WCP again, this time with success. A few cents at a time, earnings began to appear and increase. At last! Little did I realize that the registration bug was only a harbinger. I had fun checking the numbers six days a week to see how many people viewed each of my articles, and how much each article earned.

For reasons with which I'll not bore you, I am not a prolific writer. If I do say so myself, I write well, and do my best on each article, but don't have an extensive list of completed articles. As recommended, I wrote about things I know, and enjoyed the process. Most of the time. Except when site bugs confounded publishing, editing, and uploading photos until it was more likely that editing or publishing an article would -- at best -- not complete or -- at worst -- would result in the article becoming "unavailable" or stuck in "draft" for an indeterminate amount of time. By the way, a digital camera is an essential tool, so I borrowed one from my next-door neighbor -- Thanks, Ro! -- and finally found a good sale on a Canon PowerShot SD780 IS, which I liked because of its photo quality in low light settings. Unfortunately, to date my total passive income is less than this start-up expense. But I digress.

Because my writing is sporadic (which makes impossible fulfilling contract agreements for quantity of writing completed by deadlines); and Demand Studios (DS), with their policy (with which I am unhappy) of retaining all rights to writers' articles, took over eHow.com; right now I've decided to learn to increase passive income online for my completed articles, and write this blog at the same time. I'm writing about the process, and hope to encourage -- and to be encouraged by -- readers who are trying to make more money online.


  1. An excellent write up. I do understand and sympathise with your struggles and it is encouraging to find we are all in the same boat. I think I have spread myself to thin by writing on too many sites but I am learning something new from each and from people like yourself.

  2. Thanks very much, LillyRose. I agree, there is a lot to learn from various sites and people, and we can help each other.