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!

1 comment:

  1. How many hours do you estimate you put in the first month? Are you still actively writing for mahalo?