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Avoid eHow Article Deletion

Anyone active in the eHow community undoubtedly noticed that today there was another round of article sweeps (some call this eHow purging). Basically eHow goes through some of the How To's on the site and removes ones that don't conform to it's terms of use or make some other violations.

I personally lost a handful of articles, although nothing high earning so that was good. And while I don't have backups of the ones that were removed, I don't doubt that at least most of them probably had it coming.

Here are my thoughts on how to avoid eHow article deletion based on the most common mistakes that I have seen eHow members make (myself included). These principles should be applied both to new eHows you are writing as well as existing articles to ensure they don't get removed.

  1. Make sure your article is truly a How To- It's not uncommon to think of a great topic for an article in general and then try to cram it into a how to format. eHow considers these "informational" articles rather than How To tutorials and will remove them. Make sure that your eHows follow a step by step procedure. To be safe, I always like to start steps with words such as "First", "Next", "Now", "After", etc....basically words that imply an order or time.
  2. Good grammar- This one is a no brainer but probably everyone is guilty of submitting articles without truly proofreading it.
  3. Avoid overly obvious topics- Anyone reading this site may notice a potential contradiction here as recently I preached about not overlooking easy/obvious eHows. But if you read closely I note that I don't advocate articles such as "How To Tell What Time It Is" or "How To Know If You Have To Go #2". Remember: you want to write about things that people are likely to search for on the internet (Google). If it's overly obvious, people will probably not search for it.
  4. Avoid repeat topics- Unless your article is significantly different, don't write a "How To Stay Out of Debt" or "How To Lose Weight". Even if it is a new take on it, it still is at high risk removal.

I agree with those who think that when done right, these eHow purges serve everyone well. By maintaining the quality of the site they maintain eHow's Google authority. Additionally, if eHow becomes known as a spammy, garbage site people will learn not to click on eHow search results even if they do show up.

I look at it this way: Worst case I lose a number of articles that shouldn't have been on the site in the first place. I know some people have lost their highest earning article which really sucks, but look at it this way: At least you made some money with an article that should never have been on the site in the first place. Unless of course eHow wasn't justified in removing that particular article...and we'll leave it at that.

Captain eHowie Mandel

eHow Keyword Research - Go For The Obvious

I'd like to share a method of researching eHow keywords or topics that I've found to be very effective. Ironically, it is an extremely simple method and one that does not take a large amount of time.

There are of course many advanced ways to go about researching keywords for use in eHow articles (or other MMO places too). There is certainly nothing wrong with them, other than many of them take a significant amount of time. Typically, these in-depth keyword tools yield long-tail keyword results such as "low cost all in one printers" or something like that.

While I do use these methods sometimes (love Google Keyword Tool), I have found that sometimes blatantly obvious or basic keywords have gone "unclaimed" so to speak in eHow. What I mean is that there are some keywords that seem so basic or simple that no one apparently has written an eHow for them. I'm not talking about something like "How to breathe" or "How to walk". I am talking about something such as "How to restart a XYZ device" or "How to replace a ABC battery". While some of these tutorials may be no brainers for the technologically inclined, there are many people (often older) who find them useful.

Go ahead and Google something like "switch tv output" or "reset car trip mileage" and you will see many people looking for such things. And yet often times, no one has put them on eHow yet leaving opportunities wide open. Especially when new gadgets or tech devices come out, there are always people wondering how to reboot them, turn wireless on/off, basic things like that. Sometimes I will be using a device (computer, video game console, MP3 player, whatever) and I will peruse through settings looking for interesting setting options that people may not know how to do. Often times these will be simple but useful things like how to adjust the sleep settings on a device.

Again I want to stress I'm not talking about spammy articles like "How to open a door", but rather things that people do look for online but seem so simple that they are neglected in eHow.

By the way, still on track for $60 this month and hopefully a little extra $ beyond that.

-Captain Jack "eHow" Sparrow

Mid-August eHow Earnings Update

We are half way through August 2009 right now and I'm just about on track with my eHow earnings goal. For anyone just catching up, my eHow earnings goal for this month is $60. I've currently made $28 with my eHow articles this month, putting me on track for $56 total if they did not increase.

In reality of course, I expect my daily earnings to continue creeping up and so I think that the $60 goal is more than reasonable to hit. I'm already thinking about what I want to do next month, but I'll have a better idea for that goal as the month comes to a close. Maybe $100...maybe more.

In the meantime, check out Enrique's thoughts on Prepping Your Home For An Emergency over at Corporate Barbarian. I thoroughly enjoy reading over there and he's got a great collection of passive income links.

Partial August eHow Earnings Update

So we're 10 days into August and I'm at about $17 for the month so far. Extrapolating that out I would be looking at $54 for the month, not far from my $60 goal. In reality, I think I will easily be able to meet that $60 goal as my average daily eHow earnings keep going up. Over the last week they have been at about $2/day. In the beginning of the month they were closer to $1.50/day, but I expect the last couple weeks of this month to be more around $2.50 or $3.00 per day which will help make up for the slower start (had a $.60 in there during the first week).

Another interesting statistic is that last month (July), it took me ~24 days to make $17 on eHow. This month I have earned the same amount in 10 days, less than half the time.

Captain eHowHow (anyone ever do Indian Guides?)

Biggest eHow Earnings So Far

Just checked my eHow earnings today and saw that I made $3.63 today which is my best single day yet. Definitely not trying to brag here as I know that many, many people consistently earn far more than that each day.

And while I don't expect this level of earnings to be sustained just yet, it's still pretty exciting. I remember getting my first $1 day and now I'm averaging about $1.50/day or so. Can't wait until I can look back and say remember when I was excited about making only $3.63 in one day.

To anyone who is just starting off hopefully this is great motivation for you. And to everyone else who is making more than me....wait up! Just kiddin.

-Sir Captain eHow

eHows on First Page of Google Results

So I know there is a lot of advice on the web specifically about how to get your eHows ranked well on the first page of Google. I'm not going to claim that my method is 100% new or unheard of, but it works well and I figured I'd share it.

There are a lot of quantitative tools out there (Google Keyword Tool, browser plugins, etc.) to help you evaluate keyword competition and whether you should go for it. The strategy I'm going to describe is qualitative and relies on your intuition logic as well.

In the last month, most people reading this probably have Googled something that they were trying to figure out. Perhaps you were trying to find out how to do something on your computer or iPhone. Or maybe you were trying to diagnose some issue with your car. For any given topic (especially very specific ones), some of the most knowledgeable sites on the internet are often forums or discussion boards. There are discussion boards for just about everything out there, from second generation Nissan Altimas to vintage polaroid cameras.

Fortunately for people such as myself trying to make money off eHow, these forums often don't have the most authority on the web or in the eyes of Google. Thus, when you Google a given keyword and find that some of the highest search results happen to be forums, this should be seen as a potential eHow article opportunity. Because while these forums may be filled with very useful knowledge, they are easy to "cut in line" so to speak when you are leveraging the authority of eHow due to their low web authority.

**Slight Tangent**

And that's basically what you're doing when writing on eHow. Sure you could create a how to post on your own site or blog about something, but then you have to compete with the established sites such as the eHows of the world. By writing a how to on eHow, you are essentially piggybacking off their web authority and using it to conquer certain keywords. This is evident in the ability of a well written/researched eHow post to rank in the first page of Google results for the targeted keyword by the next day.

Back to the strategy. Take a look at the screenshot below. Two of the top three results for the keyword "adjust iphone ringer volume" are forum results.

To me, this says this could be a good opportunity to write an eHow going after this keyword. In this case I happened to be searching for this keyword on my own (not really but pretend I was). However, if I was dry for eHow ideas, I might surf over to some forums (especially forums about technology or other popular categories) and read titles of discussions looking for hot topics. Also, topics that you find repeated often in forums indicate it is something highly searched for. In any case, once you find the keyword google it and see what comes up. Are they well established sites like,, etc. or are they weak forums and new/amateur blogs (like this one)? Unlike mixed drinks, weaker is better in this case.

The next step is to see if someone on eHow has already written a post about it. I'm personally not much of a fan of trying to compete with other eHow writers who have already written on a topic. Moreover, duplicate articles are more likely to get purged when eHow does a clean up.

More than likely, if you do not see an eHow on the first page of search results for a long tail keyword such as these, no one has done one yet. Obviously if you have search Google for "credit card", you will not see an eHow on the first page and yet there are untold hundreds of eHows relating to credit cards. But "credit card" is one of the most competitive keywords imaginable. For a long tail keyword such as "adjust iphone ringer volume", if there's not on eHow on the first page it probably doesn't exist.

So to summarize in a few easy steps, this method goes something like this:
  1. Identify keyword phrase, either out of your own necessity or by perusing forums and looking for hot and/or repeat topics.
  2. Google keyword phrase and study results. Are they well established sites or mostly forums and other new/weak sites?
  3. Determine if someone on eHow has already written on that keyword.
  4. If the search results are weak and no one on eHow has gone after that keyword, go for it.

Like I said this is not a quantitative method nor an exact science, but I find it works much of the time. There are of course many other ways to research keywords but I like this one because it is relatively quick and it generates keywords out of people's necessity for them (either your own and others).

-eHow, Captain eHow

In The Beginning...

As this is my first post about making money on eHow and my experiences so far, I'd like to give a little bit of background.

I've been messing around with niche blogs for around 6 months and making maybe $20/month total. And actually it's less than that because both a friend and I work on them so we split it. During this time I've learned a lot about SEO, internet marketing, website promotion, article marketing...all that good stuff. While we haven't been overly successful just yet, everyone knows it takes time to build up steady passive income streams.

During my countless hours reading about making money online, I repeatedly came across people discussing I can (still) never get enough of reading about people's earnings history on they continually see it rising, how excited they get when they reach a major milestone or goal, etc.

So mid-June of this year (2009) I finally started writing on eHow myself. For the first few weeks I went pretty crazy, kinda just doing a general knowledge dump in "how to" format. I was impressed by how soon earnings started coming in. Only about $4 for the last half of June (at about 30 articles), but by mid July I had been doing it for a full month and was at $17. Then by the end of July I had made about $30 for that month, bringing it up to around $35 total. I have had some pretty high (for me) days of earnings in late July, around $2.75 a few days. My hope is that I'll see more and more of those so I've set an August earnings goal of $60 which I think is achievable.

Overall I'm very happy with how things have been going. For the amount of work I put in, the payout is far better at this point than that from my niche blogs (although as I said before, I know those take longer to get going). This is mostly because you have to write content for the blog, then promote it (article marketing, directories, etc.), all that stuff. What I love about eHow is you basically can capitalize or piggyback off of eHow's authority on the web (and Google's love affair with it). I'll talk about that in a future post.

My plan for this blog is to regularly update it with my earnings (monthly earnings, major milestones, etc.) as well as talk about tips/tricks/methods that I have found to be effective on eHow.

-El eHow Capitan