Thursday, November 19, 2009

My FIRST Mahalo Payout!

I just got my first Mahalo payout!  Woohoo! (click to enlarge)

I am going to have a much larger payout next month...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Writing For Mahalo - An Update

Aside from a couple articles this month on Suite 101 (which have made me just under $2.00, big whoop)....I have been concentrating full time on Mahalo.  I have several new things to talk about with Mahalo:

New Mahalo Homepage

Mahalo is currently switching over to Mahalo 3.0, which is an overhaul of the site to make it more user friendly and have even better SEO to bring more revenue to our pages.  So far, there is an overhaul on the homepage, and on individual pages.  Check out one of my recent pages to see the new look!

Vertical Managers

As part of the Mahalo 3.0 soft launch, they're rolling out a new feature which is "vertical managers".  A vertical manager will no longer be in charge of managing their own pages, instead - they'll be in charge of a whole category on Mahalo (such as Finance, Shopping, etc.)  They will earn 20% of all Adsense Revenue of all pages within their category (up to 3,000 pages).  Considering right now, I have 100 pages...and I'm making about $2-3 dollars a day of passive income on them (with 40% Adsense revenue), I think this will be lucrative.  Obviously, some categories have more potential than others because of high CPC and higher search traffic (like finance, health), but this is going to be an exciting opportunity for motivated writers.

I've submitted an application to become a vertical manager, and I'm really excited about it.  I'm looking forward to reporting about it if it becomes official.


One thing that frustrates me about sites like Examiner and eHow, is how you're not technically allowed to report your earnings.   Mahalo takes a completely different angle on this, and provides total transparency.  You can see leaderboards of what everyone is earning.  You can see a preview of the upcoming payout coming this month, which is what everyone is earning.  Here is the payouts for last month.  You can really see the earning potential in Mahalo.

So that's it, this month has been great.  I've earned probably $900 this month on Mahalo, and I'm not really trying ALL that hard yet.  It's a shame that more freelance writers haven't discovered it yet.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Earn over $6,000 on ONE PAGE on Mahalo!

I'm a Mahalo fangirl through and through.  I have earned almost $1000 there in a short time by writing and managing pages.  And now, up on the Mahalo How To blog, you can see that some writers are making $2,000 - $6,000 a year (projected) off of just ONE page.  I own 115 pages or so there, and my numbers are creeping up.

Check out my guide to getting started with Mahalo.

Monday, November 9, 2009

October Earnings Report

Here is my earnings report for the month of October.  Note that I did a lot of switching around my focus from week to week, so there wasn't a lot of concentrated earnings.

Mahalo - $458.00 (only about $20.00 of this was passive earnings)
Demand Studios - $47.50 (only wrote a couple articles)
Examiner - Pennies (didn't write anything in October)
eHow - zero with 3 articles
Suite101 - $0.76, 3 articles
Adsense - $12.80

Total:  $519.06

Not too bad for extra side income with writing.  Now to get more of it to be passive...

Passive vs. Upfront Earning in Online Writing

I am still trying to balance and figure out whether I should concentrate on writing for passive income potential sites or upfront pay.

I know in my prior post I was explaining my frustration with Suite101.  I think the main problem is that I've not grown quick enough at writing articles yet.  When I spend a couple hours on an article and watch it make zero dollars, it frustrates me.  Sometimes I feel that my time is spent better elsewhere where the money is upfront and guaranteed.  This is why I wrote a glowing review of Demand Studios not too long ago.

Lately, I've been thinking more about the potential of passive income.  I'm hearing about folks who have made decent money on Suite101 and eHow just by writing 100+ articles and letting them sit there.  The idea of continuing to bring in money in the future without extra work has really been growing on me and getting more and more appealing.  I'm starting to understand why getting the quick $15 from Demand Studios isn't nearly as exciting as watching my revenue grow from my online work.

This is why I am putting Demand Studios on the backburner for awhile.  I feel like the articles I wrote for DS took a LOT of time because their editorial standards are high and the topics are more difficult.  I got paid my $15 each, but now they're just sitting out there making money for someone else and not me.  That frustrates me quite a bit. 

My new concentrations in their order of importance are:

  1. Mahalo
  2. Examiner
  3. My gaming blog
  4. Suite101
  5. Digital Journal
Mahalo is still a huge win for me.  I'm bringing in dollars every day of passive income, plus I've earned well over $500 in up front pay in the last month.  I'm part of the How To Team and the QC Team, I love the community and I love the staff.   It's definitely sticking around unless things change in the future.

Examiner is something that I'm waiting on to really start getting into.  I am in the process of switching my topic from Social Media Examiner to San Diego Uptown Examiner.  I think it will be fun to report on local events and news, and something new for me.  I'm not necessarily driving for tons of extra cash with Examiner (I know that won't happen anyway), I'm mostly doing it for the fun and experience.

My gaming blog has a focus on feminism, LGBT issues, and how they interact in virtual worlds and online games.  It's been going for a long time but I only recently started introducing advertisements to it.  I'm hoping to continue blogging there and step up to more frequent postings.

Suite101 is something I was ready to abandon before, but now I'm going to give it a chance.  I wrote a couple more articles for Suite this weekend and I'm hoping to just write my minimum of 10 every three months and an extra one here and there.  It's a good place for 3rd person articles on informative subjects, which really isn't my specialty.  The community of writers there is EXCELLENT though.  They've been a great resource.

Digital Journal is something brand new that I'm just starting out with.  It's a citizen journalism site that allows you to write about whatever topic you want as long as it's news focused.  With a rating system to encourage views, the pay works by splitting revenue with all the writers according to contribution.  Since I don't expect to write there much, I doubt I will see much pay.  We'll see.

So that's my order of priority right now.  I'm sure it will switch again. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mahalo - A Writer's Beginners Guide

For the last month I have been writing for Mahalo as my main writing gig.  Note that I do have a full time job, so this is just in my spare evening and weekend times.  Mahalo has several ways that writers can make money, and I've been doing very well there.  I'll start off with the facts that people want to know.

I've made over $600 there, part time, in the last month alone. 

How does Mahalo Work?

Mahalo is more complicated then eHow or Suite101 or Demand Studios, because there are more ways to make money.  Mahalo is basically a collection of pages that contain partially original text, and partially automatically generated text.  For example, take a peek at my How To Stream Movies to Your XBox 360 page.  The actual steps are steps that I wrote.  Same with the note on the right, the related pages, the tips.  I added the video at the top and the commentary.  The rest of the page Mahalo automatically generates for me.  They put in the images and the resources, and more importantly - the ads!

So you're wondering how this page makes me money?  Well, if you look in the lower right, you can see that I own it.

I earn money for page views and ad clicks on my page.  This particular page has earned me $2.03 in the past month and a half, and the rate of earning is increasing.   In this regard, it's very similar to eHow.

When you first get started with Mahalo, you can't write How To pages.  You can write regular pages which are things like Alienware Coupons or Farmville Ribbons.  To write a page, you search for the page title you'd like to write on  If that page already exists, it will come up.  If it doesn't exist you'll see a list of search results with a request box to the right.

If you click "Request" you can put in the amount you would like to receive for writing the page.  Note that the price is in Mahalo Dollars (M$) which is US $0.75 per Mahalo Dollar.  Generally, putting in $2-3 is a good amount.  They'll check out request and then approve it (or not) based on if they think it would make a good page.  Once it's approved you are then assigned the task and you write the page.   You make not only that upfront pay, but also 40% of the Adsense revenue on the page going forward.

That's one way to make money on Mahalo.

Mahalo Tasks

You can also work on tasks, which are available here.   Tasks are pages that the Mahalo Staff have decided they want written, and they have a preset dollar value on them.  Sometimes the tasks are "Barnraising" tasks, which means that they're all of the same theme and there are prizes for the users who finish the most of them.  For example, right now there is a Thanksgiving Barnraising where all the tasks are related to Thanksgiving and whoever completes the most pages gets a reward.

There is a great guide for how to do tasks here.

Remember that even when you do tasks, you still earn 40% of the Adsense revenue for being the page manager.  Being a page manager means that you are responsible for keeping the page up to date throughout it's lifecycle and making it the best possible page on that subject.

How To Team

The biggest money making opportunity on Mahalo BY FAR is the How To Team.  There is a page that details exactly how you do this.   What it basically comes down to is, you claim a Rush Week How To task here, and you do an absolutely awesome job at it.   To do an awesome job at it, read these posts:

How to Build a How To Page
How to Build a Mahalo Page
How to Write a Guide Note

Once you submit your Rush Week How To, the QC team will approve it or add suggestions and have you resubmit.  The best submissions are then filtered out, and their writers are invited to join the How To Team.  Once you're on the How To Team, you can write an unlimited number of How To articles at M$5 each.  Upfront pay (although small) PLUS residual passive income through revenue sharing.  It really is the BEST of both worlds!

Page Management and Promotion

I could write a whole article about this, and I probably will.  Once your task is approved, you own the page.  It's your responsibility to knock it out of the park and make it awesome so that it rises in search engine rankings.   This is a big difference between Suite101/eHow and Mahalo - you don't just submit your article and expect it to be done.  You have to continue to maintain it and refresh it.  This is a GOOD THING because it means you have more control over your page's SEO.  You can use tweaks of the content.  It takes a little time before the pages will start bringing in cash, but some start earning instantly. 

Check out these resources for maintaining your page:

Mahalo Page Management Guide
How to Market a Mahalo Page

So that's the very beginnings for getting started.  I'm having a TON of fun on Mahalo.  It's great to see my income going up even though I'm doing this for fun.  I love how the earnings are all public too, so you can actually see what people are making.  (Notice that I'm near the top for last month - this is PART TIME work and I've just gotten started).  I can only imagine what my earnings will be when these pages rise in search rankings and start pouring in cash for me. :)

Any questions?  Let me know!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Niche Blogging

Learning to make money online from home is really all about experimenting and finding what works best for you. I'm still trucking along with Mahalo. I've even recently been added to their QC Team, so I've made about $200 on Mahalo alone in the past three days. It's great work, but I'm still not convinced the residual income will be high enough.

My next attempt at bringing in some cash is through niche blogging. I've started Become A Petsitter,which will be a place where I attempt to bring in a combination of AdSense and Affiliate revenue.  We'll see how it performs, and I'll be sure to update here with that information.