Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Squidoo: Best for Residual Income

I know, I am not actively writing about making money online right now, but I am still actively writing online, if that makes sense! I have a couple niche sites/blogs as well as articles on places like HubPages, Infobarrel, Demand Studios eHow, Bukisa, Squidoo and more.

Hands down, Squidoo is outperforming the others.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that my 20-ish DS eHow articles are bringing in an average of $90-$110 (I just checked: only a bit over $70 last payment) a month and that's a decent per-article residual rate.

But look at this. I have just four Squidoo lenses under one particular account, and my recent Squidoo payment -- for October's earnings, just delivered yesterday -- was $31.55. I actually only had three lenses then, so that's an average of over $10 per lens from Squidoo, double that of Demand Studios.

Also, I earned $52.54 in commissions via one of my lenses in October. My DS eHow articles don't have affiliate links at all, but lenses are allowed them. That means in October I earned $84 from the three lenses -- or $28 each.

My writing friend Felicia, who just returned to online writing, asked me how long the articles have been up to give people more perspective  I opened the account in December 2009 (three years ago) and I wrote the articles six months later. So they are about two and a half years old.

I think the uptick in earnings is partially because Squidoo is doing well in the search engines as a whole, and not just because the articles are "older." In fact, Squidoo just posted on their blog about October 2012 being their biggest payout, ever.

Looking at Squidoo again reminded me of how I got started using PotPieGirl's advice (aff. link). I am going to revisit that material and build on my current success with Squidoo to hopefully increase residuals there, affiliate commissions and traffic back to my own blogs and sites.

And I have no further to look for inspiration than my eHow writing friend, Virginia Allain. She is currently making $2,000 a month with her lenses! I am so impressed with her success there. She has 798 featured lenses right now, an impressive feat in itself. Definitely check out her work.

If you're not on Squidoo ... get there! I think it's one of the very best sites for earning residual income from your writing and has excellent potential for 2013. Are you a lensmaster yet?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Online Writing Burnout Happens

I'm still alive and writing online...

 Thank you to all my online writing friends who've dropped me a note during my blogging hiatus ... I am still alive, immersed in a busy, full life as a mom of five (!)

While I've had to scale back my writing and internet marketing more than I anticipated, I'm still working. I don't always blog about it because, frankly, I haven't had much to share with you all that would be beneficial to you ... I've just been blogging, keeping up with social networking in my niche and the usual things we online writers do to get traffic and revenue.

Like many in the online writing field have noted, things have changed quite a bit over the past couple years (the easy days of eHow articles that made thousands are long gone!) Sometimes we're tempted to give up, as if so much has changed that there is no way to make enough money working part-time to meet your needs. I can hardly believe that only 18 months ago I made over $5,000 during a month that I worked only a few hours a week. Those were the days!

But where is the money, and the fun? 

Contrast that with May, June and July of this year -- my online earnings hovered under the $1,000 mark for each month. Yes, it's an income, but not the kind of income I'd like to see ... those the five kids like to eat (and go to school)!

Recently, coming out of the fog of a month-long string of chicken pox kids and multiple overnight guests that visited one after the other, I had the chance to sit down at my computer again. And there I was, all the time in the world (at least, a few hours) and I realized my heart wasn't in it. I had the keywords ready for my next set of blog posts, I actually enjoy the subject matter, but I didn't feel the same energy and excitement that I used to.

I wanted it to be fun and enjoyable again, but I barely realized that. I worked on my articles, as my goals and plans I'd penned weeks before clearly outlined that I should, but the enjoyment wasn't there.

Maybe I'm not alone in that. Have you felt "burnout" or boredom in your online writing and marketing lately? (If you haven't, I want to know your secrets!) If you have ... are you just pushing through the pain?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Beating Panda with Affiliate Sales, not Adsense

When the Google Panda algorithm changes went into effect in the middle of October, I was already knee-deep in a site redesign for my pets niche site, one that would both improve the aesthetics and usability of the site and move the earnings focus from Adsense clicks to affiliate sales.

I took my inspiration, by the way, from my Wealthy Affiliate University training and the underlying theory that I could better monetize my traffic on the site with sales rather than ad clicks. 

The end result? When Panda slapped my site and took away about 50% of my traffic overnight, my earnings only went down by 20% (comparing this November, first full post-Panda month, to September, the last month before the changes).

Looking at it from another angle, with only 20% more traffic than November of last year, income from the site this November was up more than 35%.

The "traffic" designation in the graph refers to site visits; page views are at least twice that.  Thus September saw over 20,000 site visits and more than 40,000 page views.

Here is the precise breakdown of earnings and traffic by month, using the months before, during and after Panda as well as last November for a more accurate comparison. My site redesign happened Nov. 1, two weeks after the sweeping algorithm changes.

September 2011
20,670 site visits; total earnings: $516.35
Adsense $450.85

Amazon $5.55
Clickbank $59.95

October 2011
15,060 site visits; total earnings: $439.87
Panda strikes on the 15th, cutting traffic in half
Adsense $368.71

Amazon $31.24 (mostly due to a random large purchase)
Clickbank $39.92

November 2011
10,800 site visits; total earnings: $416.70
New site redesign launches on the 1st; traffic still low post-Panda
Adsense $175.76

Amazon $40.88 (virtually all from the two main books I promote)
Clickbank $200.06

compare this to
Nov. 2010
9,030 site visits; total earnings: $300.76
Adsense $258.80

Amazon $1.90
Clickbank  $40.06

The main differences on my site now are that the ads are less prominent than before (though I still have three units per page) and I have more focus on my two main affiliate products --an ebook from Clickbank and a hardcover book via Amazon -- with photos and in-text links.

If you haven't checked out Wealthy Affiliate, definitely do. It's the only online training community I've found enough value in to stay for the long haul and recommend to family, friends and my blog readers.

They're the reason I've been able to stay ahead of the curve through the recent internet upheaval. I gain inspiration and motivation from the other members and valuable tips and insights through the training material, blog posts and forum threads. 

Now, while I certainly am not happy that my traffic is still down so much, and have begun the process of increasing traffic and making the site more pleasing to Google, I'm relieved that my income did not drop off the cliff with the traffic.

What are your recent experiences with online writing and marketing?