Update: In 2011 eHow decided to buy out their writers. At the time, I had been consistently making $10/month from my articles. The buy out offer was $22 to transfer ownership of the articles I had written. Feeling somewhat insulted, I refused and kept my articles. This shows that not owning your revenue platform is a serious liability. I recommend only writing articles for upfront payment or if monetized through advertising or similar deals that you own the website.
It’s been four days and 19 articles and so far my earnings are zero.
I think I understand the concept now though. The internet basically has a “market inefficiency” in terms of the keywords people search for and what actually exists at the top (first page) of the search engine relative to the high google rank of eHow. By finding the right keywords and writing a proper post, it is therefore possible to get to high page view numbers much faster than would be possible with a blog which requires substantial amounts of time to build ranking.
(*) Some may consider me writing for eHow as selling out. I see it more as a possibility to write about other things that would not be suitable for this blog. While I do span very wide, there are some things I could write about that I would not post on the blog.
With this in mind, I consider eHow a way of filling the cracks of the existing surface or perhaps better put: of finding unexplored areas of areas information that people search for but which does not exist yet. Blogging is more akin to developing new land.
In terms of finances, at least some people have done very well. It turns out that in terms of passive income, the hourly wage can be very high indeed! (This is still theory as I have yet to earn a single cent).
However, suppose you write 3 articles a day, then you will have 90 articles after a month. If it takes about half an hour for each article, that’s 45 hours. Now, if your 90 articles have 1 view per day on average(*), that’s 2700 views. If you get 66c in advertising revenue for each 1000, that $1.782/month.
(*) Note that based on anecdotal evidence this is a very very low number.
Now, using the rule of 300, you would need to invest $534.60 to get the same passive income. This corresponds to an hourly wage $5.94/hour.
If we go with another gauge which says that each article should generate 66c/month, the monthly revenue would be $60/month. This corresponds to $18000 or $200/hour!
At this rate, developing $500 in monthly passive income, which is enough to live my lifestyle, should take less than 1-2 hours of daily work for a year. Thus I’m engaged in an experiment to see if this is really the case. To do so, I need to write roughly 1000 articles. Mind you, this should be substantially easier than writing 1000 ERE posts as HowTo posts do not require much (original) thinking and are fairly simply structured.