The Job Search (Pt.5) – eHow = More $$$

I love my job as a teaching assistant. It’s extremely challenging but unbelievably rewarding. Serving developmentally-disabled students is ideal experience for my future goals, and I haven’t felt so natural in a job for a long time. I honestly don’t believe there is a better way I could be spending the interim between undergraduate and graduate school. However, I have previously mentioned that the job does not pay much. As this is really my best opportunity to save money for my graduate expenses, I really needed an additional source of income (however small).

Naturally I went looking for online options, particularly because I had coincidentally read several blog posts in recent weeks on the topic. For example Amanda‘s guest post at The Smart College Grad and a Lifehacker.com article. I am extremely skeptical of anything that promises lots of cash for simple online work (as I believe I should be). But I did read in various articles that “content farm” work like writing for eHow.com can be worth it if you write effectively and efficiently. I’ve been a fan of writing since my high school days, so I thought I’d give it a shot. After tweaking my resume a bit to highlight my professional writing experience (which is virtually nonexistent) and spending fifteen minutes quickly creating a “tutorial” style writing sample, I applied for a writer position. Just days later I was accepted and got right to work.

There are two ways to make money through eHow: fixed fee or revenue share. Fixed fee typically pays $15 an article, which many argue is not enough. Revenue share is based on ads and traffic. Though I’ve read revenue share is a better long-term investment, I’m looking for quick cash, even if it just covers my gas expenses! Here is my experience thus far:

As of today (been a writer for eHow for one week) I have written six articles. Three have been approved and published (and yes, I have legitimately been paid for them), the other three are pending an editor’s review. So far, none of the six articles have taken me more than one hour. In my opinion, considering the $15 I make for 45-60 minutes of my time, the fixed fee seems like an alright deal. If anything, it is a better use of my time on the computer. Perhaps motivating above all is my general thirst for knowledge; which really seals the deal for me. I can get paid to spend an hour learning how to do something and then writing about it? How could I speak against such a proposition? As long as I choose articles that I know will not consume multiple hours of my time, this will continue to be an efficient way to make a few extra bucks when I get home from work. For a future broke grad student, every little bit helps!

Have you ever made money online? What did you do?

Job Search series: Part 1 – Part 2 Part 3 – Part 4 Part 5

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14 responses to “The Job Search (Pt.5) – eHow = More $$$

  • Robin @ our semi organic life

    woah this is so cool! I’d like to learn the requirements… do you have to have writing experience? Can anyone apply?

    • Eric

      You know, I’m not really sure exactly what they’re looking for. I applied on a whim, and I have little to no intense writing experience (other than some classes in college). I sent them a writing sample in the style that they publish in to appeal to their needs. Like I said, I tweaked my resume to highlight some writing, but not much could be done because the professional experience simply wasn’t there. Give it a shot! http://www.demandstudios.com/

  • Teacher Girl

    Wow, what a cool side job! I had no idea that they accepted applications. Congrats on already getting so many articles approved! =)

    I am an editor for http://www.enotes.com. You could also become one as it is relatively easy. Once you are approved, you simply do various things to earn money. Some of the “jobs” include answering students’ homework questions, writing handbooks for novels, lesson plans and document uploads. I’ve made quite a bit of side money. Answering a kid’s question usually takes just a few mins and you pick which questions you want to answer so you never have to answer anything you don’t already know. If you decide to apply, just say that I sent you (with my real name) and I will get credit.

    • Eric

      Hmm enotes sounds like an interesting option as well! Should I find time to become an editor, I will certainly mention you referred me! Thanks for the suggestion =)

  • Sarah

    Wow, this is pretty cool. I’ve always been interested in making some money on the internet but like you was turned off by the “get rich quick” schemes. I’ll have to check this out!

    • Eric

      Well this one seems fairly legitimate, and Amanda below seems to have had success with eHow as well. If you like writing, it’s worth a shot!

  • Amanda

    Thanks for mentioning my guest post! I was actually able to use eHow as a catapult for my portfolio. I must say that it did bring in a nice amount of extra income.

    I am now working to move on from content mills but I think eHow is definitely a great place to start for aspiring freelancers.

    • Eric

      I agree. Though I don’t have serious intentions to write professionally, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of contributing to newspapers, columns, etc as a side gig. Freelance work is always a nice supplement, and best of all it can be done at your will!

  • Deidre

    For one day I worked as an editor for non-english speaking people writing in English for other non-english speakers. Which basically meant that they didn’t want you to edit it to make it perfect. They wanted you to edit it to make it make sense to someone else who doesn’t speak english. I hated it. It took me HOURS. The first essay they sent me (which was a dumb decision…I graduated from an all women’s university…don’t mess with feminism, yo) was how men are superior to women because they are. But eHow sounds much more exciting 🙂

  • Daniella

    I was always skeptical of these things, but it seems as though it is working out for you. I may give it a shot, I could use some cash.

  • Joe Wickman

    I’m looking at eHow now. It seems that between the time you wrote this post and now they’ve switched up payment methods. Are you still writing for them, or did you determine it was not worth your time?

    • Eric

      Hey Joe,

      Thanks for checking out the blog! I have since stopped writing for eHow. The old payment plan was significantly better in terms of ability to make money, but it did not promote quality writing by knowledgeable people. In other words, it was great for people like myself who wanted to make a quick buck (or 15) for an hour’s worth of work. eHow did the smart thing by changing their policies, which I think now require application to individual areas of writing for which you show some degree of expertise. It was a decision that totally makes sense from a business standpoint, and eliminated writers like myself who didn’t necessarily care about the areas they were writing for. If you consider yourself an expert in a particular area, and would enjoy sharing that expertise, perhaps eHow would be a good place for you to do that! I, however, backed out; I’m just a broke grad student trying to get by! =)

      Take care and good luck!

      • Joe Wickman

        Hey again Eric,
        Wow. Since I read your post I read several others, and the consensus is that writing for eHow is NOT worth is. It turns out they don’t want me anyway. Having already sent in the application when I read the negative (realistic) posts about the site, I was surprised when I got a rejection email from them.
        I thought, “Really?” I write daily for print and web publications. And you don’t think I could slap together a compelling and helpful how-to article? Ok.
        I guess that it’s just as well. In assessing it further I concluded that writing for them would not really develop any of my skills, but only generate a little cash, and not enough to justify the use of my time.
        Thanks for rounding out the input I’ve received!
        — Joe

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