Friday, September 3, 2010

Is CPC Overrated When Deciding on Keywords?

When writing revenue sharing articles and researching keywords, CPC - the metric that stands for "cost per click" and, when using the Google AdWords keyword tool, represents the estimated bid amounts advertisers can expect to pay for keywords - may not be as important as SEO experts will tell you.  In my experience, CPC never jives with actual Google AdSense earnings, even after taking into account the 68% publishers get after the split, and I don't give it more than a fleeting glance when I do keyword research.

Friday, August 13, 2010

50 Reasons Writing Online Pays Better Than Regular Jobs or Print

There is no shortage of people who will tell you that writing for money on the Internet is a scam, sweatshop labor, unprincipled, selling out to The Man, and undervaluing yourself.  That's one way to look at it, I guess.  But I look at it differently.  Before I tell you the fifty reasons I think writing online is the greatest opportunity for people to earn money in a century, I have to qualify it:  It's not all perfect.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Is Rewriting a Copyright Violation?

My  last post covered rewriting and plagiarism, but I wanted to do a quick post on copyright infringement as regards to rewriting articles, too.  Why?  I recently had to file a DMCA notice with Google AdSense regarding a copyright infringement of an article I wrote.  My article wasn't copied word for word, however - it was rewritten.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is Rewriting the Same as Plagiarism? The Answer May Surprise You.

Many content writers wonder whether it's OK to rewrite articles by other people when they write for article sites like Suite101 or Demand Studios.  Is it allowed?  Is it plagiarism?  Is it worth it?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oh, No, the SERPs Changed! Why Google & Bing Search Engine Results Devolve

I hear "I don't understand why my web page rankings have changed on Google Search" a lot from writers with revenue share articles.  I've asked the question myself.  What have I done wrong?  My article is great!  What's changed?  Why me? This is just wrong!

As I've learned, there are concrete reasons our pages get de-indexed or lose relevance to searches - algorithm changes, what I tend to call the "Google Shuffle," and other factors.  This post is not about those specific things.  Explaining the causes never really satisfies people, because what they really want to know is "How can I fix it?"  (And besides, I'm not a techie.  What I know about the making, breaking and changing of algorithms can be counted on one eyelash.)

This post attempts to answer the question, "How can I fix it when Google and Bing supposedly are improving their search engine - but now my wonderful page, which has been offering value all these years to visitors, is suddenly being ignored?"

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How to Optimize for Google, Bing and Yahoo Without SEO: A Philosophical Guide for Writers

This is not an SEO guide for web content writers, webmasters or publishers.  There are no tips or tricks or techniques here.  And you know what? Many search engine optimization techniques lose value when they become popular, anyway.

What is here is a description of the way I believe the Bing, Google and Yahoo! search engines "think."  Why is that useful?  Because understanding the way search engines think can illuminate how to get good rankings in the SERPs over the longterm.  The goal is not to trick the search engines into ranking your website for every keyword imaginable, but to give them what they want so you get ranked for the terms you should be ranked for.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What is an Affiliate Marketer and Why Are Affiliates the Bad Guys?

There's a certain embarrassment about being an affiliate.  When I talk openly about being an affiliate marketer, it's usually to someone who's never heard of the role, or someone who is herself an affiliate marketer.  The rest of the world looks on and disapproves.

In particular, affiliate sites have an increasingly bad reputation with search engines.  They also have a bad reputation in other online communities, for a lot of reasons.  The major ones are that they're seen as spammers and they're a new kind of professional animal that nobody fully understands.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pros and Cons of Backlinks: Not Worth the Effort Anymore?

Writers or web content publishers who are also search engine marketers often tout the value of backlinking their own work.  I'm a maverick.  I think backlinks created for "link juice" are pretty valueless and getting cheaper daily.  I write web content for revenue share, and I don't systematically backlink, and my articles, many of them hosted at HubPages, don't do badly at all.  And I think I'm not alone.  I know, I know.  A lot of people swear by creating strategic backlinks.  But there's another group of people that don't touch the things and let the backlinks develop organically.  And it's looking like that may be okay.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Suite101 Scam? No, It's Not. You Just Can't Ignore SEO.

Many writers wonder whether Suite101 is a scam.  I've been writing for Suite101 for over 6 months, and I like it.  It's not HubPages; it's suited to different types of articles.  So is Suite101 a scam?  My answer is that it depends how you define scam.  Suite101 is a legitimate company and they have freelance writers with professional portfolios writing for them.  They ask for no investment but time.  They pay in a timely manner.  They have a solid reputation in the online publishing industry.

But Suite uses one of the new earnings models known as revenue sharing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Writers Write: To Communicate

I hear a lot of writers talking about why they write.  "To express myself."  "Because I have to."  "Because I'll bust a gut sneezing if the writing doesn't flow regularly out of my literary sinuses."  Whatever.  I'm more inspired by George Orwell, who demystifies the act of writing in A Collection of Essays in pieces such as Why I Write and Politics and the English Language.

Monday, April 5, 2010

EHow No Longer Publishing Articles Except by Demand Studios

I've been suggesting writers new to revenue sharing at article sites  and writing online web content in general start with an account at  However, minutes ago a pop-up appeared on stating that "Demand Studios is now the exclusive platform for writing new articles for"  This means that community members can't self-submit articles anymore.  There is a note to check your email for details, but that email has yet to arrive.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why Opportunities for Earning an Income from Writing Online Aren't Going Away Anytime Soon

The chance to earn an income by writing online can seem almost too good to be true.  While the economy's shriveling, writing opportunities online are growing as they haven't in nearly a century.  Writing sites are everywhere.  Is it all a scam?  No.  Not all of it.  It's hard work, but the best kind of work.  You work from home, you work convenient hours, you have no boss, you can take time off, you're far more in control of your income than if you had a job...all while getting paid to put words together on a page, bless your soul. 

But before you invest a lot of resources in your writing career - specifically, the resource of time, as most legit writing opportunities are free - you may be doubting this pipe dream can last.  Well, I don't doubt it anymore.  I think it's here to stay.  And here's why I think so.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Published in Print But Not Making Money Writing Online? Tips for Moving to Writing for the Web

Many nonfiction freelance writers published in traditional print media - specifically, magazines and newspapers - are eager to start writing on the Web, but learn quickly that writing online is a whole new ballgame.  Many don't understand the different business models for earning money online, largely because the models are still so new and constantly in flux.  And if they do get how to earn money by writing online, many think the business models are inherently unfair and exit the game barely after beginning.  Which is a shame, because the Web needs the talent being bled from the dying print market as much as the writers need the work.  And the work is there.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why Earnings Increase and Decrease So Crazily at Revenue Sharing Sites

Here are 20 factors affecting the rise and fall of earnings on revenue share articles (before you read this, read the introduction on page 1, 20 Non-SEO Reasons Earnings Go Up & Down at eHow, HubPages & Other Revenue Share Websites):

20 Non-SEO Reasons Earnings Go Up & Down at eHow, HubPages , & Other Revenue Share Websites

Writers often notice mystifying fluctuations in earnings while earning money with revenue share programs at websites like eHow, HubPages, Suite101, Squidoo, About, Triond, Helium, Xomba, InfoBarrel, and others. One day earnings are up, the next they're decidedly down.  This rise and fall happens even when writers write perfectly good SEO articles (search engine optimized).  Watching a radical decrease or even increase can be frustrating for writers trying to understand why they are earning the amounts they do - all the more so because the algorithm for calculating earnings is already shrouded in mystery at many of these article sites.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Signs of an Economic Depression: End of Daycare As We Know It

On the writer's forums at Suite101, an online magazine, the topic of the loss of availability of daycare (not just affordable daycare - but any daycare at all) came up today. As a mom who works at home writing, I'm not currently directly affected by this, but I have the utmost sympathy for the mothers and fathers who are.

I am, however, afraid that this is not a temporary thing. Daycare as we know it is being phased out before it ever really had a chance to get going. It never had the government sponsorship it should probably have had as women were compelled to enter the workforce and their kids were left out in the proverbial cold. And now it's too late.

Because I think the cause of daycare's downfall is the restructuring that's occurring as the world shifts to a new economic model (of which we work-at-home writers are a part - and anyone who makes money on the Internet). The economic shift is manifesting as a worldwide depression/recession.

Depression Economics: Why Making Money Via Revenue Share Is the Wave of the Future

Writers making decent money at revenue share sites such as Suite101 or HubPages may wonder if this is just a flash-in-the-pan opportunity, or if there's really a future to it. After all, we're in a recession (actually, I'd say a depression, though, like the Great Depression, it won't be called that until some time has passed). In an economic downturn, things are unstable, right?

The answer is, both are true. There's a future to it because the world is shifting to a new economic model. It's flash-in-the-pan for the same reason - because we're shifting to a new economic model.

So if you're game, take a deep, relaxing breath for a rather meandering but brief sociological bus tour of 20th century history.  On this tour, you'll learn why I think we're in the Greatest Depression and what's caused it.  We'll be back in less than twenty minutes in the familiar world of revenue sharing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Using Ubuntu Linux and Why It's Like Wikipedia

This is not exactly related to writing, except insofar as we need computers to write.  But computers are always on my mind, especially since I seem to go through them like candy.  In the last reincarnation of our computer, we switched to Ubuntu, a platform for Linux, an open-source operating system (i.e., an alternative to Microsoft Windows).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Easy To Use CMS, Where Are You? Talk About a Brilliant Business Startup Idea

In my search for an easy to use CMS, I've been following a thread on the Webmasterworld forums on the best content management systems.  I've been using Wordpress to create my websites, and though I like it well enough, it's not exactly what I'd call easy.  I've been looking for an easy way to build a site for a long time, and despite the truly educational threads on Webmasterworld, I'm not getting anywhere.  Anybody looking for brilliant startup ideas?  Matt Cutts from Google has some ideas, or maybe you can tackle my problem.

My problem is this.  To create a website from scratch, a non-techie like me can use a supposedly easy-to-use content management system such as Joomla, Drupal, Wordpress, or the less well-known ones like ModX, Textpattern, and, oh, a lot more.  Or you can use a WYSIWYG HTML editor (what-you-see-is-what-you-get, referring to the fact that you can use it like word processing software to format your web page) such as Dreamweaver, Frontpage, KompoZer, and oh, so many more.  Or you can code your own CSS, HTML, PHP, or whatever using a text editor.  Or you can use pricey and much-promoted plans like the very expensive Site Build It.  Or you can pop up a website on someone else's pages, as with Google Sites or Blogger or Yahoo! SiteBuilder, or even publish on Hubpages, eHow, and other content sites.