Friday, November 14, 2008

eHow vs. Your Own Site

Pat at Smart Passive Income has a pretty good conversation going on his blog. You may remember that Pat set an eHow goal to write 5 articles/day for a year in order to generate a large passive income stream.

It seems that a commenter on Pat's blog told him he thought he could make more money by posting those articles on his own site, rather than a revenue sharing site like eHow. That got Pat thinking and now he's asking for input.

So why would someone want to put content on a revenue sharing site rather than creating their own and keeping 100% of the advertising revenue?

In my mind, and the mind of many of those who commented, there are two great reasons.

First, a site like eHow allows you to write about anything and everything, without focusing on a niche.

If you look at the compilation of articles by the average eHow author, you'll see a wide variety of topics. That's one of the things that most eHow authors enjoy. Do you know how to change the oil in your car? Write an eHow about it. Got a good banana bread recipe? Write an eHow about it. Know how to get out of jury duty? You get the idea.

Those articles would not make for a very compelling blog. At least not as far as Google and other advertisers are concerned. But they can represent a nice little residual revenue stream at eHow.

Another great reason to write for eHow is that the site ranks so well in major search engines.

It can take a lot of study, a lot of effort, and frankly, luck, to get a blog or site of your own to rank well. Not to mention time. I think most would agree that developing your own site is much more time consuming than cranking out how-to articles in the eHow template.

With eHow you need only focus on creating the content and let eHow do the rest. While it's true that a little bit of study regarding keywords and search engine optimization will help with your eHow success, it's not mandatory the way it is in getting a site to rank well.

There are other reasons that eHow is a great resource for some:
  • No web hosting to secure
  • No domains to purchase
  • No out of pocket expenses
  • No need to know HTML
  • You have Demand Studios and Richard Rosenblatt behind you.
Sounds great, huh?

So why would anyone want to set up their own blog or site instead of writing for a revenue sharing site like eHow?


First, there's the issue of control.

The revenue stream you generate from eHow is completely dependant on eHow sticking around, staying profitable, and continuing to share revenue with writers. With your own site, those things are within your control.

Secondly there is profitability.

eHow is a revenue sharing site. With your own site the revenue you earn is 100% yours.

But if you, like Pat, are trying to decide which way to go, my message to you is that you don't have to do one or the other. In fact, a site like eHow can work very well in conjunction with your own site(s). They can create links for each other and send traffic back and forth.

eHow articles that fit with the topic of your blog or site can be highlighted there and those that don't can stand alone on eHow.

I'll be eager to hear what Pat decides and, either way, watching his experiment unfold.

4 comments:

J said...

This is covewriter from eHow. Great blog! Will definitely keep reading your enlivened and well-written commentary.

I personally believe in recycling all of your writing. When I do a ghostwriting assignment, I just rewrite. I follow the principle of going to each site that I write for, mold my content (such as removing personal voice and creating a how to for an ehow article) and make sure my content is well circulated. I think it should be blogged about as well (maybe place all those published articles' links too, eh) because as long as your content is unique, the search engines don't ignore you. At the heart of earning passive income, and any business philosopy, is to get yourself out there. That's why I recycle content.

Keep up the great blogging!

Julie said...

Hi Covewriter. I agree with your sentiments 100%. My long-term goals is to have eHow and my own sites (and possible other user-generated content sites like Bukisa) all working together.

Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you'll be visiting again.

I'm off to check out your blog.

Michele said...

I'm MicheleLTune on eHow. I joined a while back but had decided not to pursue writing for them - until I read this article! I've been adding articles as quickly as I can and I plan to polish them up with photos and add more content as quickly as I can. I'm really excited about following the experiment on Smart Passive Income, too, and am doing a similar experiment myself - only I haven't been able to find time to post 5 articles a day. (I just sent you a friend request on eHow, by the way.) :-)

*smiles*
Michele

Tyla Mac said...

I think the answer to whether you should write for eHow or your own site is "Yes!" I think you should do both. There are also many other revenue sharing sites in addition to eHow you can write for. But you should definitely start your own blog. Or several blogs if you're up for it. There's nothing like the personal touch you can offer on your own blog. And of course you can use it to guide people to your other content. Just like you're doing with this fine blog.

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