eHow. An interesting community, that pays for content.

I’ve been playing around with eHow.com for about a month now, and I must say, I’m pleasantly surprised and possibly, mildly addicted. They invite user-submitted content on “How to” topics. This can be pretty much any topic of your choosing (no matter how much of a stretch), as long as you can present it in Step 1, Step 2-style format.

It may come as a surprise to some to find out that there are sites out there…tons of them actually…that will pay you to post content. The usual model works like this: we’ll build a site, you fill it with content — writing, photos, video — and we’ll split the ad revenue.

That’s fine, in theory, but many such sites suffer from two key failings. One, they just don’t (yet) drive enough traffic to generate much views on your content, much less clicks on ads, and Two, they’re not particularly generous in their sharing arrangements.

eHow may well be the rare exception. They’re a long established site, and pretty visible in search results. And while they don’t provide details on how they split the take on ad revenue, I’m already making more per day from eHow than I do from my two personal websites that I’ve been working on for years now.

It’s hard to generalize eHow earnings. Some articles sit and do nothing…no views, no earnings. Others get lots of views, lots of earnings. And there’s a few oddballs with a ton of views, but zero revenue, and vice versa.

Overall, though, a typical article pulls in about two to four cents a day…let’s say three cents, for the sake of discussion. It takes me about a half hour of work to write and post an article to eHow. So, you say, why bother, just to get three pennies for a half hours work?

Once you post to eHow, that article is up there. Presumably, forever! Three cents a day become ten dollars a year, and $100 in ten years. Which is not bad for a half hour of work. Post a hundred articles, and the figure becomes $10,000 in ten years. A thousand articles and….you get the picture.

I’m up to 60 or 70 articles so far (and I’m not proud of all of them, but so far, I’m leaving them there).

Of course, there’s no knowing if the model will hold for ten years. Things may go bust for a variety of reasons. But then again, they may improve. I’ve already gotten much faster at posting new items, and I feel like I’m learning how to target good themes, match up with the ad language, and drive a bit of traffic to the articles.

The money part is intriguing, no doubt. There’s also quite a nice community over at eHow, who I’m coming to enjoy. For anyone looking for a place to spend some time, earn some spare change, and tell the world how to do things, eHow is probably the place for you.

Cheers, all.

David

4 Responses to “eHow. An interesting community, that pays for content.”

  1. eiffel says:

    It would be really nice to know more about the compensation offered by companies such as eHow and Suite101.

    I mean, supposing the compensation for each page turns out to be “3 cents per day for the first 60 days, then nothing”?

  2. pafalafaga says:

    I hear ya, man. Though even if they clarify the compensation scheme, I’m sure there’s something in the fine print that allows them to change it down the road. For the time being, though, the eHow authors seem like a pretty happy bunch.

    And by the way, since one of the key elements of success at a site like eHow is to generate traffic, I hope no one minds my blatantly self-serving use of web-owls to post this set of links (Hey…it’s not like we’re overflowing content now, is it…?).

    A list of Dave’s eHow articles (so far) in case anyone’s interested:

    How to Nominate Your Favorite Teacher as “Teacher of the Year”
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2281396_favorite-teacher-as-teacher-year.html
    How to See Reggage-Pop Star Sean Kingston for Free
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2280987_reggagepop-star-sean-kingston-free.html
    How to See the New Ian Fleming/James Bond Exhibit
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2280916_new-ian-flemingjames-bond-exhibit.html
    How to Correct Your Eyesight With High-Def ‘Lasik’ Glasses
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2280722_correct-eyesight-highdef-lasik-glasses.html
    How to Supercharge Outlook Email with Xobni (that’s ‘Inbox’ spelled backwards)
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2279700_xobni-thats-inbox-spelled-backwards.html
    How to See the Speedo LZR Racer Swimsuit at the Olympics
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2277239_speedo-lzr-racer-swimsuit-olympics.html
    How to Renegotiate your Mortgage to Lower Your Monthly Payments
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2277196_renegotiate-mortgage-lower-monthly-payments.html
    How to Rent a Porsche
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2277024_rent-a-porsche.html
    How to Find Old Newspaper Headlines and Articles from the Wild, Wild West
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2275863_headlines-articles-wild-wild-west.html
    How to Cite an Anthology (MLA style)
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2274044_cite-anthology-mla-style.html
    How to Avoid the “IRS 2008 Economic Stimulus Refund” Email Scam
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2271249_economic-stimulus-refund-email-scam.html
    How to Bcc in Outlook Emails
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2271241_bcc-outlook-emails.html
    How to Quit Dipping. Kicking Smokeless Tobacco
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2270259_quit-dipping-kicking-smokeless-tobacco.html
    How to Put Car Insurance Quotes to Use
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2269921_put-car-insurance-quotes-use.html
    How to Win with Online Casino Gambling
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2269861_win-online-casino-gambling.html
    How to Find the Secret History of Adolph Hitler
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2269719_secret-history-adolph-hitler.html
    How to find automobile accident lawyers
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2269641_automobile-accident-lawyers.html
    How to Zap PRAM on a MAC
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2269385_zap-pram-mac.html
    How to Stabilize Vista and Run a Memory Test
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2269267_stabilize-vista-run-memory-test.html
    How to Comprehend the Fundamental Laws of Life, Love, the Universe, Work, Shopping and Home Repairs
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2269168_universe-work-shopping-home-repairs.html
    How to Get Free Wi-Fi at Starbucks
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2269126_free-wifi-starbucks.html
    How to Make a Shiny Dorodango Mud Ball
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2268956_shiny-dorodango-mud-ball.html
    How to Spot an eHow-coholic
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2268871_spot-an-ehowcoholic.html
    How to REALLY Dance with the Stars
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2268858_really-dance-stars.html
    How to Recognize Hearing Loss
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2268736_recognize-hearing-loss.html
    How to Heal
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2268716_heal.html
    How to Get Help with Online Research
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2268658_help-online-research.html
    How to Know What Other People Think of You
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2268650_what-other-people-think.html
    How to Scream for Your Team
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2268455_scream-team.html
    How to See Galloping Gertie
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2267819_see-galloping-gertie.html
    How to get Lexis Case Law for Free
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2267635_lexis-case-law-free.html
    How to Discuss Medicines with your Pharmacist
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2265122_discuss-medicines-pharmacist.html
    How to Get a $30K Scholarship for Graduate School
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2265105_k-scholarship-graduate-school.html
    How to Get a $25 Class-Action Lawsuit Refund from your Credit Card Company
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2265028_lawsuit-refund-credit-card-company.html
    How to Become an Astronaut
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2264900_become-an-astronaut.html
    How to Identify Pills
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2264873_identify-pills.html
    How to Explore the North Pole of Mars on May 25
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2264529_explore-north-pole-mars-may.html
    How to build your own Sputnik
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2264315_build-own-sputnik.html
    How to Recognize and Avoid Tax Refund Scams
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2264235_recognize-avoid-tax-refund-scams.html
    How to Check the Status of Your Federal Tax Refund
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2264218_check-status-federal-tax-refund.html
    How to Find Old Newspaper Headlines and Articles for Illinois
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2264173_old-newspaper-headlines-articles-illinois.html
    How to Find Free Newspaper Archives for New York
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2263868_free-newspaper-archives-new-york.html
    How to Find Free Newspaper Archives for Pennsylvania
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2263807_free-newspaper-archives-pennsylvania.html
    How to Find Free Newspaper Archives for Florida
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2263673_free-newspaper-archives-florida.html
    How to Find Free Newspaper Archives for New Jersey
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2263570_free-newspaper-archives-new-jersey.html
    How to Celebrate Memorial Day
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2263281_celebrate-memorial-day.html
    How to Keep Your Food Safe from Bacteria
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2263264_keep-food-safe-bacteria.html
    How to Plan for Retirement
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2262899_plan-for-retirement.html
    How to Bargain and Haggle…Getting What You Want, Cheap.
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2262750_bargain-hagglegetting-what-want-cheap.html
    How to Stay Overnight at a Lighthouse
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2262317_stay-overnight-lighthouse.html

  3. Crabcakes says:

    I received an invitation to check out eHow a few weeks ago and just started writing a few days ago. I find it fun! I don’t expect to make much though. Am going to check out some of your articles! Good luck!

  4. David says:

    Crabby!!!!!

    How nice to hear from you. Make sure to get in touch with me at eHow (I’m under my own name there). And don’t set your sights too low, either. I’m earning $1K a month at eHow, and want to grow it to $2K this year.

    David