Wednesday, December 3, 2008

eHow Article Template vs. Word

I’ll admit it. I love writing my eHow articles directly into the eHow template. I know I should write them in Word and transfer them over, but it’s so much easier to just open up the template and start writing away.

Even so, I’ve committing to change that practice. I’m even going back to the 140+ articles I’ve written to date and copying and saving them as Word documents. Ten a day, every day, until it’s done.

Why go to all that work?

Well, the obvious reason to create eHow articles in Word is so that if the system goes all buggy while you’re typing you won’t lose all your work. That doesn’t happen often, but it happens often enough and it’s incredibly frustrating when it does.

But there is another reason – a more exciting one – to create your articles in Word or another word processing software. It all has to do with the fact that at eHow, you own your content. You’re not selling your content to eHow, you’re sharing it with them for a piece of the revenue pie.

Why does that matter?

Well, since you own the content you can place your eHow articles other places on the web and reap additional earnings from them. Whether it’s another revenue sharing site like Bukisa or Squidoo, or a site or blog that you’ve created yourself, owning the content means you can make those articles do double (or triple) duty.

Now before you go all crazy with the copy and paste, you should know that it’s best not to place your articles elsewhere word for word. The word is that Google doesn’t like duplicate content and you’re not as likely to rank as well if you’re placing the exact same content somewhere else. But with your articles in Word, it’s easy enough to re-write paragraphs and make some word substitutions so as not to have duplicate content.

That requires a little bit of work but it’s certainly easier than coming up with a new article idea and creating an article from scratch.

And even if you’re not interested in creating content somewhere else, having all your articles in Word helps you hedge your bets a bit regarding creating content for a site you don’t control (eHow). So if eHow were ever to go *poof* (as unlikely as that might be) you could take your content and place it somewhere else on the web.

And for those of us who worry about putting our writing up on someone else’s site, that should help us sleep a little better at night.


Sarah H. said...

When I first began writing for eHow, I immediately started the practice of writing in Word and then transferring that to the eHow template after I finished. I pretty much do this for the reasons you listed above...bugs and ownership! I've lost one too many posts or articles by writing directly on the web so I've learned my lesson! To make life easier, I made a simple template in Word that I can just fill in. That way the transfer to eHow is easier.

jen brister said...

I have such a bad habit of writing directly into the eHow template. I'm going to change my ways...I swear! I'm really excited about posting my articles at Bukisa, so that's the first thing I'm staring with.

Julie said...

Sarah, I toyed with making a template in Word too but since the eHow format is so simple I decided not to bother. I just separate the intro and steps of my article in Word with an empty line. I'd be curious to hear more about what your template is like.

Julie said...

Jen, I know what you mean. I'm completely lazy at heart so it took some real motivation to get me to begin to write my articles in Word. Good luck with Bukisa. I'll be following to see how it goes.

Katherine said...

I share this bad habit with all of you! I should at least go back through and save my content on my computer, just in case. I've even lost a few articles while working on them because I was doing it right into the template.

Katelyn said...

If you don't care about format, you can hit the print button on eHow and then easily copy your published printer friendly articles so you can save them in Word.

Julie said...

Katelyn, thanks for the tip!


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