February 26, 2010

Ultimate Guide to Making The Most Money With Online Writing

For Intermediate Writers

I’m going to try and keep this brief and thorough (yeah right). I have a way of making things get really long even though I’m trying to stay brief so bare with me. I won’t sacrifice content for brevity so you will still need a lot of time to read through this.

This guide will be directed specifically at those people who have written content online for a long time but haven’t really made a lot of money. Most of you are spinning wheels and making ends meet but your efforts can be greatly enhanced by simply doing things a little better. This guide is not for everyone and it’s not going to be at expert level. This is for the advanced writer with plenty of content but only a little experience in search engine marketing.

Lets Begin
For the sake of argument let’s pretend or assume you have a lot of articles posted online at various places. Some of those places might be blogs, others might be, article directories, some maybe revenue share content sites like eHow, InfoBarrel, Examiner, Xomba, etc. No matter where your content lays there are ways that you can make it earn more residual income. You just have to structure it properly.

Some of you who have been writing for a long time may even be experiencing declining revenue on your older articles. There is some valid arguments to be made that these declines in earnings are the fault of others but quite often it is because the articles are weak in the search engine results page (SERPs). The reason for that is because articles rank in the SERPs for two reasons: on-page SEO, and backlinks.

On-Page SEO

I won’t discuss this hardly at all. To get an article to rank in the search engines your page should be well optimized. Most people accomplish this by targeting a topic through the use of a keyword and placing that keyword in their article title. By doing this the keyword also is included in the URL. Next the article uses the same keyword in context with other topically relevant subject matter. The keyword should be used a handful of times throughout the article.

You can further increase the on-page SEO by bolding your keywords at least once somewhere in your article, captioning your pictures with the keyword, and by applying tags or categories to the article using the keyword. Depending on your writing platform some of these options aren’t possible. eHow for instance doesn’t allow bolding of anything in the article so just do what you can.

The thing is however that you can only do so much on-page SEO. You can’t keep improving it; there is a point of maximum return and no amount of time or effort will make the on-page SEO any better. That’s why you should not dwell on it. Just do what you need to do and move on to more important things.

I’ve been helping a friend on eHow with some articles on eHow in the Home & Garden category. She has a small group of 15 articles that have all been on eHow for at least a year or so. Most were very good earning articles and most have decreased in earnings by well over 50 percent (some around 80-90%) per article over the past 12 months. Having at first suspected conspiracy from eHow she allowed me to look at the articles and I discovered that none of them were being outranked by the eHow Home & Garden website fro her main keywords. I responded to her situation with this:

My suspicion is that these [15] articles were great earners for you in the past but over the last year some other articles with stronger SEO [& backlinks] knocked you down a couple spots in the SERPs. Of these top 15 H&G articles in your list I only found one of eHow's H&G site outranking you for your main keyword. That leads me to believe that they aren't funneling your traffic their way, it's just that their SEO is better on this one article or there is more backlinks to it.

On-page SEO will only let your article rank well in the SERPs if there is little competition for your keyword or topic. This is why it is not important to dwell on on-page SEO. Think of it this way, if every page on the internet that discussed “flowers” had the same on-page SEO then what would make one page rank higher in the SERPs than another? Backlinks do that.

Backlinks are far more important for search engine ranking than on-page SEO is. We’re talking on-page SEO is like 10% of the importance with backlinks being 90%. Most people who have lots of articles on the net which are getting fewer page views every month and fewer earnings every month are probably having this problem because they have great SEO and at one time they ranked well for their main keywords but they have slowly slipped in the SERPs because new articles on the same topic have been posted with similar on-page SEO but have more backlinks.

What Kind Of Backlinks?

Some of you may even think you’re sending backlinks at your articles too. You’re sending out twitter links and Facebook links and stumble-upon links and your articles get good traffic at first but there’s no money that comes from this traffic and the moment you stop sending these links even the traffic dies out.

Links that have lasting value and bring increases in revenue include only one type of link. “Dofollow” links from content pages. Whether you have a blog, article, or post on a revenue sharing site, “dofollow” links from these pages that point to other pages are where the money is and these links will keep you ranking well in the SERPs. When you have backlinks pointing at your articles you will be the strong page that knocks other pages down.

But what is a “dofollow” link and how is it different from a “nofollow” link… and where do I get them?

Dofollow Versus Nofollow
Both “dofollow” and “nofollow” links look exactly the same to readers of a website. They both do exactly the same thing as well. However, when you look at the code for the website and look at the link as it is coded some links look like this:


...and other links look like this:

rel="nofollow" href="SOME RANDOM URL">THE ANCHOR TEXT

Links with the "nofollow" tag as you see above are not used by Google to affect search engine results pages (SERPs). The link from above that doesn't have the "nofollow" tag attached to it is commonly referred to as a "dofollow" link. These types of links are used by Google to affect the SERPs. If your article has these you will rank better in the SERPs.

The only manual way to know what link is what is to look at the source code for the web page. You can do this by clicking "view" in your browser and then "view source code" in the drop down box. If you do this a text doc opens up with the code for the page. You just have to find the link buried in the code and see if the "nofollow" tag is added to it or not.

To save you the trouble, all links pointing to other sites from eHow articles are “nofollow” automatically. This means you many funnel traffic through an eHow link to your blog for instance but the link doesn't help your blog rank well in the SERPs.

On the other hand articles on Examiner, Your Blog, InfoBarrel, and many article directories are all “dofollow” links. These articles do two things for you. They all funnel traffic through the link to the destination but they also help the destination page fare batter in the SERPs.

Also, you should know that reciprocal links (your blog post links to an eHow article eHow and the same eHow article links back to your same blog post) function to funnel traffic back and forth but the links (generally speaking) cancel each other out for SERP ranking purposes. You don't ever want a reciprocal link unless you don’t care about either page ranking well in the search engines. Always send the link from the dofollow page and not the other way around. For this example send the link from the blog post to the eHow article because the blog post will send a dofollow link to your eHow article and not the other way around.

Additional Reasons Why A Page May Fall In The SERPs

If you have two articles with all on-page SEO being equal and one has been posted online for a year and the other you post online today it is highly likely that the newer article will start ranking better than the older article because Google has an affection for “fresh content” or new articles.

This means that if you have an article on “flowers” and it has been posted online for a year or so but it doesn’t have any “dofollow” backlinks. It will slowly fall in the SERPs for two reasons. Articles that start generating backlinks will slowly overtake it and also every other article out there with no backlinks will get a fresh content bonus and push yours down for the time span that that article gets the bonus. Without generating backlinks that bonus the other article will get slowly diminishes and you article will regain lost ground in SERPs but as long as new articles are constantly being published around the net their will always be a steady stream of articles getting a fresh content bonus keeping your article lower in the SERPs than it deserves.

You can only combat this by having the backlinks to your article. If you have backlinks to your article the new articles without any backlinks will not overtake you as easily and if they do it will be for a shorter period of time. You have to stay on top of the SERPs to earn money from your articles. Your articles only earn money from search traffic and you’ll never get enough of that traffic if you are not ranking well.

Fresh Content Bonus + eHow UK Example = Declining Earnings For Articles With No Backlinks

One of the biggest problems long time writers who have not don’t backlinking are facing right now is with the eHow UK situation. Eventually this situation will be a thing of the past but to many people they have lost a ton of their residual income because of it. This is a perfect example of the fresh content bonus and a perfect illustration as to how articles with no dofollow backlinks are in danger of falling from the SERPs.

In the second half of 2009 when eHow launched eHow UK they cloned all of their articles and put them on a new URL with a .co.uk instead of a .com. This caused a big change in the SERPs not because of manipulation on the part of eHow but because of the way Google applies their search rankings.

Because the original articles had few if any backlinks the fresh content bonus of the UK site which was heavily backlinked from the eHow.com site as well as other demand media web properties suddenly started outranking the original articles in the SERPs. Was this a shady move on the part of eHow; yeah, probably. They probably realized that the promotion of the new site coupled with the fresh content bonus Google applies would likely make many of the pages outrank to original articles. For that they have been appropriately slammed by many writers.

However, for writers who sent quality dofollow backlinks to their .com articles on eHow they didn’t see much of a blip at all in their earnings. Of all of my articles I could only find one where the UK outranked my own US article. This is because of the backlinks I sent to my US articles and no other reason.

Additionally - Early in 2009 there was also a huge influx of new content writers on the net... mostly because of the economy and so many people losing their jobs. The people who started writing before many of these new writers got a "fresh content" bonus from Google before the influx on new writers in early 2009. In early 2009 when these new writers were signing up and publishing they were now getting the fresh content bonus and were pushing down older articles with poor backlinking strategies. In fact there were more people publishing in early 2009 than in any year previously so there was more writers out there getting "fresh content" bonuses in the SERPs than in the past.

Some of those writers also promoted their articles well and probably pushed many older articles down the SERPs. Look at it this way: There's more supply of articles out there and the demand for those articles in the SERPs has not changed. This might also be a reason why in the spring of 2009 many long time writers slowly started to see a less robust surge in traffic and earnings.

The moral of this story – To stay relevant in the search engines you have to have more than just on-page SEO and fresh content; you have to have backlinks pointing at your articles. The backlinks are like a healthy backbone. You may be able to stand without them but even the slightest breeze will blow them over. If your articles have backlinks they will hold up for longer periods of time and will not waiver or falter in the SERPs as easily.

How To Structure Your Articles To Make The Most Money And Remain Relevant In The SERPs

So to bring all of this together the question I posed above must be addressed. How do you write content that will make money and organize that content on the web in a way in which you will be sending backlinks for SERP ranking?

Since many people reading this will be long time devotees of eHow I will start this section with the eHow writer in mind. eHow articles make great money because the domain eHow.com is very strong. If you post an article on eHow and an identical article just about anywhere else and do nothing to promote either the eHow article will probably be highest in the SERPs. If you have articles posted there already you should take advantage of this.

Many people advocate pulling articles from eHow and posting them elsewhere and I think that is the wrong move. As I discuss above the fresh content bonus is applied to new material but it is short lived. Once it’s no longer fresh (weeks to months) it will fall back in the SERPs and be replaced with older articles. At this point the age of the article provides a bonus with all things being equal. With identical articles (with the exception of their age), the older article will rank better on most occasions.

If you have an article on eHow that is a year old and you move it to InfoBarrel your blog or some other site it will initially rank well due to the fresh content bonus but will quickly fall back because it’s not a very old article. This is why I recommend not moving articles that have been published for a long time… especially if they have the potential to earn well or have earned well in the past. You can always make an article earn well again by simply working it back up the SERPs with a handful of backlinks.

A Hypothetical Article Structure

What To Do To Earn More Residual Income With What You Have Written Already
In the future I’m going to post a guide aimed at new writers to start earning quickly but for now this will be continually aimed more for those people who have content already posted.

• Let’s say you have 100 articles posted on eHow
• Let’s say you have an account at InfoBarrel with 50 articles posted.
• Let’s Say you have a blog with roughly 50 posts.
• Let’s say you also have an account with Examiner with 50-100 articles or so.
• Let’s say you’ve heard of GoArticles & eZine articles; you may or may not have an account and you may or may not have any more than a handful of articles on those sites.

Look at your eHow articles. Rule of thumb states that 80 percent of your earnings come from 20 percent of your articles. Make a list of the 20-25 articles that you have that earn the most on a monthly basis. Don’t look at the ones with the most earnings. Look at the most recent month ending and identify the top 20-25% of your articles that earn. Make sure none of these articles (your top 25%) link out to any of your articles anywhere on the net. Edit them if you need to remove the resource links.

Now go to your blog if you have one. If you have 50 posts there than go to each post individually and add 1-3 links back to various eHow articles that already make money. Don’t send them to all of them, only send them to the one’s that make money. This will probably result in you sending a total of ~100 dofollow backlinks from your 50 blog posts back to your 25 eHow articles. That’s about 4 backlinks per article.

Now go to your InfoBarrel articles if you have any. From each article you can send two contextual self-serving links in each article body to wherever you want. You can also send an additional link in the signature box totaling four links. If you have 50 Infobarrel articles that’s roughly 150 backlinks at your disposal. Send about 100 of them to your 50 blog posts (not your index or main page) – that’s a rate of about 2 backlinks per blog post. The remaining 50 links that you can send with your InfoBarrel articles should go to your best earning eHow articles. If you have 25 then that means each eHow article will have two backlinks from InfoBarrel.

Now go to Examiner and do the same thing as you did for InfoBarrel. Add links in the body of your content and link them to your InfoBarrel articles, your blog posts and your eHow articles. Stick to the linking guidelines and you’ll be fine. The point is the backlinks are one-way links (not reciprocal), they are dofollow links (meaning they help the destination page rank well), and they only point to articles that actually make money.

You don’t want to waste links that go to pages that don’t convert to money or residual income. It’s a waste.

Once you have done all of the link structuring then you can consider moving only the articles on eHow that don’t earn any money, especially those that don’t get views either, to the article directories: eZine Articles and GoArticles. When you do this make sure to add links into the text pointing to your money making articles. By making this move you are repurposing an article that doesn’t earn money and doesn’t give dofollow backlinks to a place where you can at least get backlinks from it. You won’t earn with them posted on the Article Directories but those articles won’t earn on money sites either. The directories are the best place for them.

Lastly remember that backlinks are the key to the whole process of making lasting residual income. Without backlinks all your articles will eventually fall in the SERPs as other articles overtake them with better SEO and backlinks. Send 80% of your time creating backlinks to articles that make you money and you will do fine.

Additional Places to Get Dofollow Backlinks

I posted not long ago on the eHow forums places to get dofollow backlinks if you want to continue writing for just the backlinks which is a good idea if you already have a lot of content published.

Good starting places for "dofollow" backlinks: I'd say, GoArticles, ArticleBlast, Ezine Articles, InfoBarrel, Squidoo, Examiner, SelfGrowth, Buzzle (this site takes longer to contribute to however the links are strong), Post Your own Articles, Article Dashboard, Blogger Blogs, Wordpress Blogs, and any other platform of blogs you can find. If you start a blog you can always use the same resources to link to it. This serves the purpose of getting it indexed and if the links are anchored with keywords it also serves the purpose of starting the blog off with a growing bit of keyword authority.

Do you need that many places to backlink your eHow articles... probably not. Most people make decent money with little or no backlinks. The problem is that when articles have little or no backlinks they can fall in the SERPs to easily. I think many people are experiencing this. To make the most money and have the most stability in the SERPs you have to have backlinks, as many as possible. Remember, you can always start a new blog just for the purpose of adding backlinks to a different site.

Anyway I hope this helps some of the many people out there who feel they have hit a wall in their quest to build residual income. Just start working at the backlinks and the earnings will rebound in time. That’s important to remember too. You can’t expect a rebound overnight. It takes a lot of time for the backlinks to take hold and influence your SERP ranking. Do not get discouraged if you spend an entire weekend or even month building these links only to find no benefit the following week in your earnings. You more than likely won't notice a change in your ranking or SERP placement until at least a month or three. It takes Google a while to notice the links, index them, and then apply them to the SERPs. It will happen though. See my SERP Rank Update post on my blog were I discuss this happening to my main blog.

Good luck and keep in mind I will continually refine this post to make it more clear and relevant. You can always find this post in my upper link bar. I hope it helps. Refer people here who need this help and please repay me for maintaining this guide by sending some anchored links to this site and my post pages. Please do add your thoughts in the comments. Thanks.
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February 23, 2010

My Xomba (Boomarks) Xomblurb Experiment

What Is Xomba?

Xomba is a website that’s been around for a while that is basically an Adsense sharing content website much like InfoBarrel. The difference is that Xomba doesn’t let you send dofollow links around the web, only nofollow links. Not only that but the Adsense ad share program is only 50/50 compared to a base rate of 75/25 at InfoBarrel. Of course I naturally thought yeah right; why would I do that?

Well it turns out there are some reasons which are good. For one, this site lets you write very short articles. Articles are called Xombytes and are at minimum 150 words. That’s all you have to write. And if that isn’t short enough for you, you can write Xomblurbs which are at minimum 50 words long.

Xomba Is Worthwhile – I Think

At first I thought to myself that Xomba wasn’t worth it because of the nofollow links and the low Adsense share split. But recently I’m second guessing myself. You see as I’ve been balancing my time reading and learning about how to work better and make more money online I’m also trying to experiment a ton and see what works.

I previously mentioned (in my last post on GeoTargeting San Diego) that I was experimenting based on the teaching of Vic from Blogger Unleashed on the GeoTargeting topic. Well as it turns out I’m actually working my way through all of his archives and thought I’d give another idea of his a try. For a while Vic was highly promoting a free service that was basically a social bookmarking service that was designed more for SEO purposes rather than its social features. As far as I know the service he was plugging doesn’t exist anymore but it was nofollow at it’s core.

The point was that you would use the leverage of the bookmarking site to funnel search engine traffic to your article on your blog. In many social bookmarking circles the first paragraph of the linked article populates as the “blurb” or "description" for the bookmark, and the title of the linked article auto-populates as well. This is how many people social bookmark. The thing is though that all of that bookmarked material that auto-populates is duplicate content and only one version of it will show up in the SERPs.

He tought however that if you changed the title to be a related keyword and rewrote the "description" or “blurb” to be keyword rich that you could rank well in the SERPs for your bookmark too. Then at the end of the bookmark you present a “call to action” persuading someone to click through to the linked article on your blog. By doing this you could funnel traffic to your blog that you wouldn’t otherwise get without a lot of keyword authority.

For instance if your blog is about “Residual Income Ideas” like this blog is but you wanted to write an article about “masking tape”, because I don’t have keyword authority for masking tape, I could write the post here and then a separate keyword focused “blurb” that links to this post. The bookmarking site has some authority for just about everything thus it will rank in the SERPs well for "masking tape" and visitors to the blurb will click through to my post. Indirectly my post gets search traffic even though it doesn’t rank for the keyword on it’s own.

My Xomba Experiment

Xomba is not the site mentioned by Vic a couple years back but it’s basically the same if you write Xomblurbs. You can write a 50 word description of the article you’re linking to; subtly suggest the reader click through to your post, and tag the article with up to five keywords. I try to use all five.

In my Xomba experiment I’m going to “bookmark” with Xomba every single one of my posts from my Longevity Tips blog with an SEOed “bookmark”. Most of my traffic to that site comes through search engines to roughly 20-30 posts and I’ve got over 300 total so I’ve got a lot of pages not getting any search engine traffic. If Xomba can funnel some of that traffic to those posts then my targeted page views will go up dramatically.

Even better is the fact that I can theoretically make money on Adsense clicks from Xomba at the same time so if the search traffic doesn’t click through to my site then they might make me some good residual income from Xomba by clicking through to the ads.

The Big Question About Xomba

You might be wondering the big question that I was by now. Will Xomblurbs rank well in the search engines? Will they rank better than my site? Well, I wrote a Xomblurb using the exact same keyword as a recent InfoBarrel article that I had posted a couple weeks back which already has about five backlinks pointing at it and within one day and no backlinks the Xomba Xomblurb was already outranking my IB article in the SERPs for that keyword. My InfoBarrel article currently sits in 20th spot while my Xomblurb using the same keyword exactly sits in the number 12 spot. That alone makes me think there is potential.

The other question: Is it worth my time? Let’s put it this way, if I see results it will be worth my time but is it better than just doing what I’m already doing, obtaining dofollow backlinks? Well, for me obtaining dofollow backlinks takes a lot of work. Every article I write takes about 20-40 minutes and I usualy only get about 3-5 articles up a day. With Xomblurbs however, I’ve posted 32 Xomblurbs in less than three days so far. I plan on getting as close to 200 as I can by the end of February. I know that sounds crazy but they’re that easy to write. I probably won’t get to 200 but I’m going to do as many as I can. If I can do 32 this fast then I should be at 100 or so by Friday at least.

As for my goals with this challenge: I have surfed around looking for Xomba success stories and I don’t see as many as I do for other sites but maybe I’m just not looking in the right places. Maybe a commenter can point us to some success stories or tell one of their own.  I have seen a few people with thousands of Xomblurbs reporting earnings for them in the range of $1 per month for every 5-10 blurbs on average. For now until I try it myself.  I’ll stick with that rule of thumb but honestly I want to see if I can simply funnel this search traffic that I'm not getting back to my blog. That’s my goal. As of this writing I have zero referral traffic from my Xomba to my blog; at then end of March I look forward to seeing if that number goes into the hundreds or even… heaven forbid, the thousands.

BTW: Xomba has a referral program... I cannot vouch for the site yet as a money maker or targeted traffic generator but if you want to give it a try then feel free to sign up under my referral link.  It's also located in the left sidebar at the top as a nice friendly reminder for you readers at all times. :)

And hey... why not send me an anchored backlink to this article or my main index page to say thanks. :)

Update 3/23/2010: I just posted an update on this Xomba Bookmarks Experiment. It is a one month review; check it out for more info.
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February 18, 2010

GeoTargeting Missouri & San Diego

I’ve been reading up a lot on GeoTargeting articles online for greater profit. The concept is simple certain search strings are virtually impossible to rank well for even with the help of a powerful domain name like eHow or InfoBarrel or HubPages. A simple and lucrative keyword like real estate license (CPC $4.88 - ) is simply unattainable but by GeoTargeting it to a specific geographic location like Missouri or San Diego the term suddenly is within reach.

I have experience GeoTargeting already albeit accidentally. When I was first learning about how to write for eHow I stumbled upon an eHow user that said that one of his highest earning articles was something along the lines of “How To ________ in A Random City”. At the time I thought, interesting; maybe I’ll try it.

Targeting Missouri Specifically

And I did. I wrote an article about getting a Missouri real estate license and I posted it up on eHow. In the following months I’ve sent a handful of anchored links at the page (as I just did right there) and it has actually become one of my better earning articles. It’s not the best but it is pretty darned good. To date it’s in my top ten and get’s roughly $17.42 per 1000 page views. I’ll take that every day of the week. The term is only ranking 27 in Google for my keyword too; it’s got quite a bit of potential left in it.

The reason I bring this up is that I’ve learned through the teachings of Vic at Blogger Unleashed (an excellent make money online blog) that the CPC of ads is typically spread along a spectrum of prices. The average CPC which we see in Google’s Keyword tool is just that, an average. That means that many of the clicks for your keyword are actually quite higher than the average CPC and many are lower.

Why GeoTarget?

A company advertising for the term “real estate license” for example is most likely a school or training company selling a learning service. A San Diego school likely doesn’t want to reach people in Missouri nor does a Missouri resident want to find schools in San Diego. Because of this the San Diego school won’t pay the average CPC for people searching for “real estate license” unless the person searching is in the San Diego market. In this case the San Diego school is willing to pay more than the average CPC to get that lead.

In my example I wrote an article tailored for Missouri residents. By doing so I ensured that I would split the market to 1/50th of the eligible searchers by targeting Missouri over all other states. In return for doing this I ensure myself better ranking for searches related to Missouri real estate licenses and better CPC rates for those visitors that do in fact click ads on the article.

If I was targeting the generic term “real estate license” I would likely not rank as well and would get less CPC from those visitors that did find my page and click an ad. Is it worth it to GeoTarget? Having just this one article to show for it I think it does make sense because I don’t feel I would have made as much on this article if it was for the entire country rather than just one state.

I can say this because many of my articles that show potential for better earnings don’t actually earn well because I can’t rank for my term even with a few good backlinks in place. You have to have visitors to your page from the search engines to have any chance at making good money and if you have to narrow your market to get those visitors then so be it.

Targeting San Diego Specifically

Now having a better understanding of GeoTargeting and having one article to look back on as experience that GeoTargeting can work even with a tough keyword like “real estate license”, I have decided to try one more similar article in an experiment targeted to San Diego. Yesterday I posted an eHow article on Custom File Cabinets in San Diego and was lucky enough to get my exact keyword string in my URL. Exactly one day later the article already is serving ads that say “custom cabinets San Diego” in the ad text itself. Now al I have to do is wait and see if I can rank for this and get search traffic to this article.

I have a feeling this will turn out well I’m just anxious to see what kind of traffic there is for this level of GeoTargeting.

In a related topic I previously mentioned some of the tactics I use to increase SERP rank including sending dofollow anchored backlinks at my eHow articles. My favorite place to do this is from InfoBarrel followed by the big article directories. You can read more on this process in my backlinks with Infobarrel post and at the tail end of my SERP Rank update post.

And lastly, in other news, I’m going to be working up another eHow earnings case study over the next handful of days. Look for in the near future. It will be based on the general category of Gardening. And don’t worry; it will not be GeoTargeted to San Diego or Missouri. :)
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February 8, 2010

Residual Income Report – January 2010

January was a very interesting month for generating Residual Income. I use this term loosely here though because I worked my butt off in January so it wasn’t exactly residual. Not only did I do a mega backlinking campaign to increase eHow earnings dramatically but I also started backlinking my best performing blog posts, optimizing old blog posts for better on-page SEO, and optimizing my first ¾ of my InfoBarrel articles for better SEO.  A lot of this I discussed in my SERP rank update post.

I let on a couple/few weeks ago that my InfoBarrel earnings were fairly disappointing despite my mass output but I quickly came to understand early in January that though I was merely writing these articles for the backlinks that they would make money much better if I too took the time to at least format them properly and interlink them. Man that was dumb setting up some 90 articles without so much as thinking to bold keywords, use header tags or link related articles together. Anyway January saw the bulk of my effort to optimize these articles and as a result I saw a noticeable increase in traffic and earnings on my IB articles in the second half of January… the last week in particular was where I realized most of my InfoBarrel earnings.

InfoBarrel Earnings Report

Through the end of January I had written and published a grand total 110 InfoBarrel articles. 90 were done in the first 44 days that I was with the site, the last 20 were done in January. My earnings on a page view basis, including my Chitika earnings at InfoBarrel has increased every month I’ve been there and I look forward to see what happens here in February.

Adsense does not allow you to see specific conversion data but when mixed with Chitika and only taking search visitors into account rather than ad page views we’re talking about a different beast. This is a highly mixed number very different from the details presented in Adsense reports and quite a bit different than the numbers presented in my eHow earnings report. Because I only track this mixed number rather than my Adsense stats it is OK to divulge this info. My InfoBarrel earnings numbers are below.

November 2009 - $8.75 / 1000 search visitors
December 2009 - $14.61 / 1000 search visitors
January 2010 - $15.33 / 1000 search visitors

My search visitors increased just about 20% from December to January and so I hope to experience similar increases in the future as I’ve been finishing up optimizing these articles and will soon begin strongly backlinking them.  So far I've only really backlinked a few of them with any vigor.

eHow Earnings Report

This is the crazy beast that everyone has had their panties in a bunch over for a while now. I wrote last month that it seemed than in coordination with the decision to rectify the eHow UK fiasco it seemed the eHow earnings algorithm was changed to offset the lost revenue that eHow would be taking in.

At that time I posted the anomaly of my earnings at eHow and showed that despite increased page view growth and a strong historical trend of revenue / 1000 page views for the months of August through December 2009, my January earnings were well off the normal pace. The pace in fact only dropped around the 8th of the month or so and then I noticed through daily number crunching that around the 22nd-24th the month the earnings pace slowly began climbing back up in the direction of normal levels.

At that time I mentioned my assumption that the pulling of articles from eHow UK temporarily affected the eHow earnings algorithm. The last week of January was fairly normal in earnings / 1000 visitors and thus the end of the month saw a reduction in my earning rate there by a noticeable sum but it was not as bad as it looked like it was going to be around the 20th.

My eHow earnings stats for January 2010 are below:

• 74 published articles earned at a combined rate of $8.30 per 1,000 PV – down from $10.41 in December. This in my mind is a temporary dip due to the eHow UK fix. Normal earnings should be over $10 / 1000 visitors for me.
• 80 percent of my earnings came from 19 percent of my articles – down from 23 percent in December.
• 20 percent of my earnings came from 38 percent of my articles – up from 34 percent in December.
• 43 percent of my articles had no earnings at all – unchanged from November.
• Overall, 10% of my published articles have never earned a penny (8 articles).  In the future I may start lifting these from the site to publish elsewhere for backlinks.  I wrote them; I might as well get some backlinks out of them.  This will have to wait for now but Maybe in March.

My eHow Earnings Trends
August 2009 - $8.84 / 1000 Page Views
September 2009 - $9.76 / 1000 Page Views
October 2009 - $10.19 / 1000 Page Views
November 2009 - $10.25 / 1000 Page Views
December 2009 - $10.41 / 1000 Page Views
January 2010 - $8.30 / 1000 Page Views

eHow Earnings Algorithm
Do I know for sure there is no problem or long-term change to the eHow earnings algorithm? No, but I feel like things are back to normal. One week into February and earnings are back to their normal pace… higher even. Through 7 days I’m sitting at $11.55 / 1000 page views. I can’t complain about that.

Backlinks work for traffic as well as for earnings too it seems. My over all eHow traffic was up 27.5% over December 2009. I have since stopped focusing on sending backlinks to my best earners as I decided I would one month ago in my December residual income report as new projects are now on my plate. Maybe in the future I’ll send some more. I have a list of about 10 articles that earn a lot per 1000 page views but they don’t get many views. If some backlinks in the future can get them going then I’ll be doing really good at eHow.

Other Residual Income Streams Report

All of my other residual income streams had great success in January. I spent so much time optimizing everything on How To Live Longer and changing my Adsense ad placement that my earnings there more than doubled month over month on a better traffic mix and better conversion rates. Backlinks are amazing as are big, below the post title ads. :)

I have one particular niche on that blog which has had a traffic increase of 600% since November and I attribute it all to backlinks. If you all haven’t read my report on using InfoBarrel for Dofollow Backlinks please do right now and sign up.

This blog made money in January for the first time… I think I’m going to pull Adsense from it though. Everywhere I read from long-term experts who hound on the fact that Adsense is horrible for this type of blog (make money online) and now I can say I agree due to a little experience. I may replace some of my ad code with affiliate links but I'm not sure yet how I’ll go at that. This blog is just fun for me so money here doesn’t mean as much.

Alternately I’ve also set up a few niche sites which I’m trying to monetize and I plan on expanding the focus on this blog to more residual income ideas in the future. I am a financially oriented guy by nature and one day plan to finish the CFP charter process. Expect a small hint of financial info in the future as I expand the residual income idea from simply writing online for royalties to doing something with that money to further generate income… I’m thinking safe investing strategies. We’ll see where that takes us.

Anyway, I wanted to say thanks to those of you who are reading and commenting here you make me feel good. If you are finding any value here I hope you’ll take the time to send me some “anchored link” love. Can you say Earn Residual Income? Thanks. :)

Overall Residual Income Earnings

BTW: My monthly Residual Income Goal is up significantly this month. Last month I was 1.87% to my long term goal; this month my residual income goal is 2.62% achieved. Nice jump in earnings!

residual income goal
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