This week, I am preparing to try my hand at writing an article for eHow. I planned to write my first article this past weekend but got tied up with completing the painting of a room in my house. I will work on writing my first article this week and let you know when I get it posted.
So, instead, I only managed to set up my eHow account. Here are the things I observed while setting up my profile.
Setting Up a Profile
I had created an eHow account a while ago but had never set up my profile. I completed the setup this past Saturday.
I started with the avatar for my profile. An avatar is the image that you will use to identify yourself. I am using this animated avatar, which I got from my account with Yahoo! Answers.
I did a brief search online for an interesting avatar, but soon grew bored. I didn’t want to use an actual photo, so I cheated and took the avatar that I made for my Yahoo account and pulled it over to eHow. I simply saved the avatar as a file in my iPhoto library on my Mac and uploaded it to eHow. Fast and simple.
There was a time where I didn’t place much stock in animated avatars, but they have grown on me. I think it is important to have an image that identifies you and provides a consistent visual reference for your audience. I’m not sure at this stage whether a photo is better for building creditability on a site such as eHow. I wouldn’t have a problem with using a real photo, I just don’t have one suitable for this forum at this time. I may change my avatar later.
I also enabled Twitter in my profile. eHow will notify Twitter whenever I publish or comment on an article. I will set this up initially. Once I publish a few articles and/or comment on other articles, I will be able to gauge what, if any, value there is in having Twitter enabled on eHow. If it looks too spammy then I will disable the Twitter notifier. Although I am very interested in marketing my works eHow and on here, I am very sensitive to things that might be perceived as spam. So, I will play this by ear.
Lastly, I completed the remaining fields in the profile builder, which include inputting Interests, Expertise, Education, and Favorites.
Earning Compensation for Writing
In order to earn compensation for writing articles on eHow, you must enroll in the Writer Compensation Program. Only legal residents of the United States are permitted to enroll or the opportunity to earn money for articles. When setting up a payment account with eHow, the site asks for your taxpayer name and ID. So, if you are like me and write under a pen name, you will be required to enter your real name and social security number or employer ID number under which you pay your taxes. eHow indicates that all such information is kept confidential.
- Popularity of the article;
- Number and quality of inbound links to the article;
- Topicality and newsworthiness of the article content;
- Usefulness and applicability of the article content;
- User response to your articles, such as positive reviews and comments;
- Degree of specialization of the article content; and
- Quality of the writing.
I would imagine that things like ‘quality of inbound links’ and ‘usefulness and applicability’ could be pretty nebulous as applied to your work. In addition, eHow also does not disclose the percentage of your earnings that they are taking, which is a negative in my opinion. That being said, there is some earning potential here. Since eHow articles tend to be basic how-to references on subjects in which the author may be an expert or at least very knowledgeable, there may not need to be a lot of research and other preparatory work that goes into writing articles for eHow. In that case, the somewhat small effort that may go into writing an eHow article may offset the negatives of nebulous criterion and vague percentage breakdowns.
Arbitrary Termination Provisions
Although this may not be a deal-breaker, every author publishing an article on eHow should be aware of the biting arbitrariness of eHow’s discretion to terminate your account “for any reason or no reason.”
So, technically, eHow could just decide one day, for example, that it does not like that you spell your username, Marianne, with an ‘i’ and not a ‘y’ and terminate your account while blocking your access to the site. Once your account is closed, eHow may continue to publish the article(s) that you have written, subject to its own terms for the removal or modification of content by you.
It is not clear from the terms whether eHow will continue to compensate you for content you have published on the site once your account is terminated or whether you are able to get a distribution of monies already accumulated to your eHow account.
It is important to have at least a marginal understanding of eHow’s terms and conditions before using the site to avoid surprises later on and to better leverage your awareness of the existing terms against your participation on the site.
I may write a follow up post once I publish an article to eHow if I make any additional interesting observations. Have you published any articles on eHow? What have you observed about using the site?
MAKE MONEY MONDAYS is a forum to discuss ways in which you can create additional sources of income. I try to focus on particular ideas and steps you can take to create alternative income and passive income sources. I have also begun a series of posts called “Rental Property Conversion.” This series follows my husband and I as we turn our property into a rental property. I will also research and post other useful information in this category. If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive my content updates by email or RSS reader.
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