Friday, January 1, 2010

The Revenue Share Experiment: December 2009 Report

Inspired by Felicia’s open discourse on her progress in writing online (No Job for Mom) and Willow’s work to provide a compendium of useful information for writers (The Freelance Home Writer), I’ve started to investigate how I can make headway in generating a more substantial income by investing time in revenue share opportunities.

Over the last month, I’ve dedicated about half of my writing time to developing content posted to several sites that pay based on page views or a share of the revenue generated by ads. The other half of the time, I’ve spent on up-front pay, which at this point, is by far the major contributor of my writing income.

I’m not impressed with the numbers thus far, but here’s my progress in revenue share for the month of December.


Monthly Results

Bukisa
Summary: 15 new articles, $0.81 earned

My feelings on Bukisa are mixed. Between the overwhelming lack of quality work and the multitude of plagiarized content on the site, writing for Bukisa induces a sort of wrenching embarrassment in the part of me that wants to be taken seriously. On the other hand, the interface, while a little buggy, makes writing for the site extremely easy and time effective. Also the site offers much more per page view than Associated Content. Overall, I’ve been posting to the site because it is ridiculously easy and time effective.

Going forward, I will let some of the other sites that I’m posting to catch up in terms of the amount of content before I invest any more content in Bukisa.

eHow
Summary: 2 new articles, $0.00 earned

Because I already write for Demand Studios, I was a little hesitant to write for eHow. After reading Felicia’s and Willow’s success with writing for the site, however, I decided to give it a try. At the end of December, I posted 2 short articles to eHow under an account not associated to Demand Studios. I’ll post more content before I come to a conclusion on how worthwhile the site is, but I do have to say that I like the interface for writing and submitting content and that the process is much easier than it is through Demand Studios.

Suite101
Summary: 1 new article, $0.07 earned

Not surprisingly the revenue from Suite101 is very low. I posted one article to the site as an experiment to see if it would generate any response. Unfortunately the site requires 10 articles per 3 month period. So, in order to stay active with Suite101, I will be forced to write more content. Hopefully, as the content grows the revenue share results will start to grow as well.

Demand Studios
Summary: 0 new articles, 5 existing articles, $1.24 earned

The majority of work that I do through Demand Studios is either task-related or up-front pay for articles. Of the 5 articles that I currently have through their revenue share program, I’m continuing to see a slight growth in earnings each month, although much too low for the work that went into creating the content. Given the difficulty in finding revenue share titles in their system, I do not expect to write any more revenue share content through the site, but will continue to stick to their up-front pay opportunities.


Observations

While the revenue hasn’t been all that impressive, I think that I’ve learned a few lessons this month.

Patience is a virtue.

As much as I need to see money coming from my work quickly. Revenue share is not designed to pay off in the short term. Before I can make a judgment on how well I’m doing, I need to remind myself to gather several months of data before analyzing my progress.

Quantity is king.

On Bukisa this month with 15 articles, I earned $0.81 Had I 100 articles on the site, I would have pulled in closer to $5.00. The same could be said for either DS or Suite101. While that’s not great, it’s a start and since I would expect that pay out every month, indefinitely, over time, it could build into a substantial pay off.

It’s all about key searches.

I’m learning that half the battle is the subject matter. The more popular the topic, the more traffic the article has. I’ve seen this with the articles on Bukisa. My articles related to Christmas have a higher density of searches on Google Insights than my articles on product safety or chemicals in consumer products. Thus, the consumer product safety articles have less traffic and therefore less revenue.

I wrote another article on a topic ranked high in Google Insights for weight loss resources but have not seen the same response as I did on the Christmas articles. The reason? The Christmas articles focused on a niche, Christmas charities. For these 2 articles, I was consistently in the top 4 or 5 Google results. While I did not see much revenue this month on Bukisa, the majority of page views for these articles came from Google keyword searches. For weight loss, the competition in terms of content is so high, that I would probably never see efforts pay off around this topic.


Plans for January

While my action items seem to be in flux as I go through the month, my tentative plans for revenue share and passive income projects for January 2010 include:
  • Identifying several densely searched keywords with little competition
  • Adding 13 more articles to eHow
  • Adding 9 more articles to Suite101
  • Writing content for my first website
  • Making headway in content for other blogs and websites that I plan to launch shortly


If you have any thoughts or tips to share on passive income online, please leave a comment!



Disclaimer: In the interest of full disclosure and honesty, some of the links on my blog, including the link to Bukisa, benefit me if you click on them. Please do not feel pressured to click on these links. If you do sign up for Bukisa under my link, you would be added to my network and the site would pay me a portion of their share of page views for what you write. This would not take away from any income you may generate from your work. If you do not want to click on any of these links but would still like to visit the websites I’ve mentioned, please open another browser and manually enter the web addresses or search for the sites.

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