So May, my first month of being redundant is over. Time to have a look at the paltry earnings from my online activities for the month, panic, and start looking for a real job.
Adsense, which is still almost completely dependent on WebAnswers, was rather disappointing this month. I made £17.20, which is less than the £20 I got in the month of April. I never expected to make huge amounts of money right at the start of my intrepid online career, but I did think that the earnings would increase from month to month. I think the stagnation is partly down to the ups and downs of Adsense, but also to my not understanding properly how WebAnswers works.
It seems that earning on the site depends a lot more on active participation, then just on the accumulated answers. It seemed very bizarre to me that in May I had about the same number of page views, as I did in April, despite almost doubling the amount of answers I had written on the site. The earnings don’t just depend on writing a lot of content. I was always aware of the quality score, which depends on things like good spelling, grammar, length of answers, percentage of questions awarded etc. but I think I underestimated the need to answer a lot of questions every day.
Many people on the site, who have answered thousands of questions, have said that their earnings tank, if they answer less than 10 questions a day. To me this sounds pretty bad, after all the questions they’ve already answered are sitting there, attracting Adsense clicks, why should they need to be actively answering a lot of questions every day to benefit from the content they’ve already provided?
Anyway, I have decided to start answering more than ten questions a day and see what happens. In the last few days my views have increased by about 25% so this might be working. The problem isn’t the amount of time it takes to write the answers, but finding good, factual questions. Many people think it is amusing to ask “what is your favourite colour?”, “I had unprotected sex with 5 different men, who’s the daddy?”, and other rubbish like that.
On the other hand, I am quite pleased with how HubPages is progressing. I now have 37 hubs, which are routinely attracting 100 visitors a day to the site. A few hubs that I had high hopes for, are on the second page of Google for main keyword, if I could get them to the top five results, I would be very happy. Obviously I need thousands of visitors, but at the moment I am rather encouraged.
It is pretty hard to keep producing the hubs though. I’ve only written 12 in May, I should have done at least twice that. The whole redundant thing is making it difficult to be really productive, one just gets so lazy. I must exercise more self-discipline. In my defence, I did go to France for a week at the beginning of the month, where it was difficult to do much writing. Really I need about a thousand hubs to make substantial money from HubPages, which at this rate will take several years!
I had also switched off their Ad program, hoping to make more money from Adsense, which was a mistake. I’ve realised that the rate per millie of the program is actually very good, often better than with Adsense, so I make more money with it switched on, even if it takes away space from Google’s ads. Since turning it on, on the 12th May I’ve made $7. Again nothing to get too excited about, but I just have to write more hubs, and get more traffic to the ones I already have.
I have not done much work on my Squidoo lenses. I expect I will have made about $3 from them, this is actually not that bad, considering how few I have. I just find the earning system, which depends on mysterious ‘lensrank’ to be so opaque that it is putting me off, but actually, given that I have significantly fewer lenses than I have hubs, it is not significantly worse.
The main problem is that I have not written as much as I should have done this month. But then it was my first time off from work for a while, I am still going to work in my capacity as total sucker (trying to finish the Last Mediocre Paper), and I was away for a week at the beginning of the month.
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