eHow Earnings and Algorithyms

1:59 AM Posted by GloryBug

Earning Money Writing for eHow Just Keeps Getting Harder

Anyone familiar with writing for eHow knows that the pay is a secret. That all by itself is weird. It's based on some magical algorithym that only the Man Behind The Green Curtain knows. It is supposedly based on a recipe of views, adclicks and 'secret spices', while at the same time not based on those things at all. Sometimes it's claimed that it's based on 'popularity and quality' and 'usefulness'. Whatever.

One thing that IS clear is that somehow it is based on adclicks. I know this, because I don't have so many articles there that I can't watch how many views each article gets, and how much at any one time an article gets paid. Therefore, I know that either eHow or an advertiser is paying me more for one article than another, and since the ads that run for the higher paid article feature more expensive products, it's clear that the advertiser plays some role in how much is paid. I should note at this point that because the algorithym (who gets paid by 'algorithym', anyway?) is secret, in truth, it could in possibility be changed every day, or be different for each person. Meaning that if Campbells Soup pays $1 per click, you could get .25 one day, and .17 the next. Or maybe .35 if you are deemed 'popular' (whatever that means!). That gets me back to the ads.

How Can You Make Money on eHow if There Are No Ads to Click On?

I am going to dissect my article "How to Make Vegan Gnocchi" first.

When I look at the article, front and center is my title. Good! However, just to the left of that is a listing of other eHow articles that are essentially competing already. This is good for eHow, especially if they are articles written by Demand Studios, because they are paid a one-time flat rate instead of having to pay residual earnings to an eHow CWP (Writer's Compensation Program) like me. If they moved that down the page a bit, maybe someone would be tempted to actually read my article!

Next, I see on the right hand side that there are listed 6 'related ads'. The problem is, they're just listed. No tempting pictures- but at least they are on topic with my article. Moving further down, I see a large picture ad for losing 'inches off your stomach' on the left side, which is not related to my article. On the right side of my text is an ad for losing weight with 'LiveStrong.Com' (owned by eHow's parent company, Demand Media). It's large, and also off topic. Under that is another large ad for LiveStrong.Com Tools. It looks like it's daring you to stop smoking (it's also daring you to click on it instead of reading my article!).

Under that, is the same list of 'related articles' from other people, albeit formatted differently- larger and with video options. On the fip side, under the display ad for 'losing inches' is another picture ad (but smaller)urging me to 'dare to lose weight'... with LiveStrong.Com!

Finally, AFTER my article, right underneath, there are 4 Google ads, 1 of which is relevant to my article. Off to the side of this is a random listing of other articles I've written, which may or may not be relevant.

So, What Is My Point With All of This?

Well, I didn't begin writing with eHow just because I like to see my name in print. I've been writing for over 20 years, in full-time paying jobs, so I don't need that. I started writing with eHow because I was promised pay for that. When I first started, I was very pleased, and could see how if things continued, I could do quite well. The problem is that it didn't stay that way. There have been many things that have played into that, not the least of which is the mess eHow made by mirroring the US eHow site into the UK, and allowing their own articles to compete against themselves- with no pay. But, I am going to guess something else might be a part of it lately, especially after eHow began their Garden Blog and started developing their own 'departments' that use flat-rate articles.

What I do know is that ad-clicking plays SOME part of eHow WCP earnings, so it stands to reason that I would be wanting some good ads on my articles. It isn't good to have large display ads that are off topic taking up the best real estate on my articles. Now, normally, this would occur if you had a poor title or didn't keep a focus on your keywords... but this is occurring because eHow is placing their own ads in those positions. It also appears that having two large ads about losing weight has affected the other Google ad topic as well, considering that most of the smaller Google text ads are on topic. I'm not sure what to think about that, but I have heard Google and eHow are quite cozy, so who knows.

What this tells me is that eHow has determined that it is better financially to fill up most of the compelling ad space with redirection to their other sites/projects than it would be to share any earnings made if there were other ads there that I could earn from. I am pretty sure that clicking on any of their ads does not figure into our pay algorithym. The ads for 'eHow's Home and Garden Blog', 'LiveStrong.Com', 'LiveStrong.Com Tools', 'LiveStrong "Dare to" series', 'eHow Get Your Degree' and the rest of the lot are recent additions--- what was there before? Is it possible that the re-working of the layout and the amount of redirection eHow is adding back to itself in the articles is adding to the loss of earnings so many writers are reporting?

I am going to go through all my articles (I note that some of them have not had all the eHow ads stuffed into them- maybe they haven't created their own eHow network for those genres yet?) and get an idea of which articles are performing best for me, and what the ratio of eHow-driven advertisement is on those pages. Please do the same, and let me know what you come up with!


  1. JadeDragon@innovativepassiveincome said...

    Exactly the conclusion I've come too. Thanks for pointing your article out to me. Here is my version were I came to t he same conclusion:

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