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 (yes you read that right, two months worth of income) for the articles I had written. Feeling somewhat insulted about the P/E=0.16 offer, I refused and kept my articles. This shows that not owning your revenue platform is a serious liability. For those who want to pay for an ERE lifestyle by only working a few hours a week as a writer instead of accumulating a nest egg, I recommend only writing offsite-articles for upfront payment or if monetized through advertising or similar deals that you own the website.
I have written a few How To articles for eHow.com. I think their format lends itself nicely to short descriptions of this and that.
Here are the instructionals:
- How to Retire Extremely Early
- How to Complete an Easy 100 Mile Century
- How to Get Fit Without Paying for a Gym Membership
- How to Save Money on Inline Hockey Wheels
- How to Deal with Flakes on Craigslist
Let me know what you think about the articles, okay?
Why am I doing this?
First, I want to see if it is really possible to derive an income by writing such articles. I am not the only one doing so. For my “lifestyle”, I “only” need to reach $500 per month. I am also curious to see if this qualifies as passive income. Will the money keep rolling in if I stopped writing? In my opinion this approach to ERE would be about as risky as having all your eggs in one stock but perhaps more easily obtainable(*). eHow might change its terms and rates, and then what? Compare to blogging: In my opinion, blogging is not passive income. If I stop writing even for a day, I notice that you, my loyal readers, go away (I still love you though ). If I stop writing for a month or only publish 10 posts instead of the usual 25, it will takes several months to regain the previous level of readership. Blogging depends on momentum. This is actually why I have considered turning ERE into a magazine in the past, perhaps driving by joomla or other CMS systems. It things this is viable as I write very few “timely” posts.
(*) In terms of reaching ERE, you can do it the “traditional way” by accumulating a lot of money. Or you can do the 4 hour, that is, really only 4 hours period(!), work week on freelancing telecommuting basis.
Second, it is relatively easy to set up both in terms of writing and in terms of the tax man. I will simply add it to my freelancing business which is already set up in a general way (“The business of anything to do with writing”). They will handle all the ads, etc. and I do not have to do anything except collect checks. I wish someone would make a similar deal for blogs: I’d press a button for ERE, and someone would arrange advertising subject to my choosing, and I would retain all rights but would not have to deal with anything more than one (1!) form 1099. (If you know how to do this and are willing to do so for a 20% cut, give me your pitch).