Happily, this up-and-down variation in earnings is not necessarily a sign of bad things. It's quite normal for earnings to vary wildly from one day, week or month to the next. That's simply what it means to be a writer earning by revenue sharing through programs such as Google AdSense and other contextual-based advertising and performance-based affiliate programs, which have an organic rather than fixed model for income.
But the curious want to know why earnings vary so crazily, especially when they seem to have been following a sort of pattern and then suddenly break out of that pattern. Exactly what is going on to cause these variations when they're not caused by SEO issues?
This article covers 20 such factors that can significantly affect writers' earnings at revenue sharing sites like HubPages and eHow and other article websites.
As you may already know, some factors that affect earnings by revenue sharing are controllable - choosing a good niche, optimizing for keywords, improving the organization of your page, writing useful content and other SEO techniques. You'll find lots of information about how to improve your revenue share earnings all over the Web. This article is not about that stuff.
This article covers the stuff people don't generally talk about - the forces that are out of your control and affecting how much you're earning. Any one of these forces is enough to send earnings into a downward or upward spiral. And on any given day of the week, one or more of these forces can be at play. They might not always be visible, and they can tend to average out. But I'm as sure they're there as I am that my name's Nerd Writer Mom.
Some of them are a matter of common sense. Others not. Either way, understanding these forces can be helpful for two reasons. Sometimes knowing the kind of causal factors operating will tell you when to just chill and wait for better times or, if things are going unexpectedly well, to prepare yourself realistically for a future fall. Other times understanding what's going on can help you optimize further so that you don't experience as many slumps in earnings.
Note that some "old pros" who've been earning at revenue sharing websites for years will tell you wisely that there's no predicting earnings fluctuations. This is very true. But understanding the general forces at work can help you get to that zen place and not panic when earnings take a temporary nosedive.
The observations on the next page are, for what they're worth, based on what I've learned through 18 months of earning by revenue sharing, reading professional webmaster forums like Webmasterworld as well as Google AdSense and AdWords help pages and forums, not to mention my own wacky way of interpreting what I see, and information that's commonly available online. In other words - nothing proprietary or secret here, and all derived from my own opinion. So let me know if you disagree or if you have more ideas.
So here they are - 20 reasons your revenue share earnings may go up or down that are not related to SEO. And if you can think of more, please leave a comment and contribute to the discussion.