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AJWalton's InfoBarrel FAQ

This article has been generously donated to InfoBarrel for Charities.
By Edited Oct 28, 2016 11 28

This FAQ is meant to answer many of the questions I see, both directed at myself and the community in general. Please don't take my answers as gospel, they are merely how I see things and won't necessarily be right for you. In fact, if you agree with everything here, you might want to get yourself checked out.


How Much Can I Earn?

Seriously? C'mon. As much as you're willing to work. There are at least 2 writers making over $1000/month, a handfull over $500/month, and an enormous number over $100/month. InfoBarrel isn't some get rich quick scheme, but everybody who sticks with it has been successful. Everybody.

An extra $100/month is significant, and you can grow your earnings far beyond that point. If you haven't signed up, you should do so now. This FAQ isn't going anywhere.


What's Better, Quantity or Quality?
Both, but if you are only looking short-term it appears to be quantity in my case. There's no way to know for sure until I do it, but I bet having 2500 articles that earn is best (most quickly) done by doing each part of the process separately:
1. Keyword research (complete)
2a. Article Writing (675/2500)
2b. Article Publishing (595/2500)
3. Article Promoting (backlinking & rewriting & interlinking) (~250/2500)

Why is this the case? Patching makes any process more efficient, I'm just taking it to a much larger scale. Additionally, I am going to have excellent metrics for each article before I promote it, so there will be an minimal amount of wasted energy through this process. (not everything needs 100 backlinks)

In general, quality trumps quantity, and this holds true for article writing.

How do you choose topics?

I will write an article about any topic where I believe the same information will be relevant 5 or 10 years from now. I want the effort I put in them to be sustainable for as long as possible, even if the yield slightly lower. Writing about anything new: new technology, new cars, new movies will most likely experience a drop off in traffic at some point, and then you're starting over. Oval mirrors will always be oval mirrors, and I don't want article writing to be a full-time job for the rest of my life.

How much [metric] should I look for?

Sorry, but there's no answer to these questions. It will always depend upon how much time you want to spend promoting, your SEO skills, changes in Google's algorithm, advertisers spending money, and how much work you want to do. Choose how you want to spend your time, then create a strategy that will work based on this. I don't want to promote (at least initially), so I go for lower competition, and a likewise lower traffic and CPC on average.

How long should my articles be?
For Adsense, you are probably looking at a minimum of 500 words in order to activate the skyscraper ads that will appear on the left-hand side of the page.

For Amazon, you probably want shorter articles (~400 words) so your Amazon links are more prominent. Though you can also do longer review articles that work well.

The debate will rage on, but I think it comes down to what your best ROI is. If you have no problem writing a 1000 word article, you have many more opportunities to use long tail keywords, keep a user on the page, and "cash in" on your work. I fall into the 700 word range most of the time. Remember, it's not about what's "right", but what's right for you.

I've published [x] articles. When will I start earning?
You have to develop an understanding of article marketing. If you're coming in without an understanding of keyword research, SEO, and promotion methods, your first articles will serve as your schooling.

It took me around 50 articles to get any results. Give yourself that much time at a bare minimum. I also studied for hours every day in order to learn how to do this. If you only have 1h every night, it might take 100 articles until you "get it." (Also, don't let a lack of SEO knowledge keep you from writing!)

But [person y] is earning and they only have [x-10] articles!
There are usually two explanations for this. One, the person has some prior knowledge of how the Internet works and are thus farther ahead in the learning process. Two, the person has some specific and valuable knowledge to share, such as stock analysis. Remember, even though it might appear they're getting "faster" results, they had to take the time to acquire that knowledge at some point. You just don't have access to that part of their timeline.


More will be added if/when I think of something else important to say! Feel free to leave a question or comment, or mention anything I ommitted. Oh yeah, and sign up if you haven't already!


Jan 11, 2011 7:36pm
Nice one AJ. It definitely seems to be a bit of a slow burn to get te money started rolling.

It is a bit like a sausage machine you have to put in quite a bit into the machine before the sausages start coming out the other end.

I am only on 18 articles so far. I have a long way to reach your heady heights of InfoBarreling. I will have to bash out a few articles tomorrow morning to get things moving in the right direction.
Jan 11, 2011 9:42pm
Thanks Spondicious. It does seem slow, but so far as I can tell, fairly reliable. I'm loving the sausage analogy, food speaks to me!

18 is a great start! Most people don't get that far. I'm sure you'll have an incredible amount of success as you add to that portfolio.
Jan 11, 2011 10:17pm
The part about writing for the future really made me think. I do a lot of product reviews that will be relevant 2-3 years down the road, but 5-10 maybe not. Thanks.
Jan 11, 2011 10:58pm
There are so many variables. I imagine you will be so successful in 2 to 3 years it won't matter if your articles are still relevant Mike. But I'm still hoping they'll earn, every bit will help.
Jan 12, 2011 11:29am
Thanks again AJ. I am currently revising what my current goals are for Info Barrel. I thought writing big articles would help , but after working on it a while I will stick to between 600-800 words per article. As for back linking I tend to have trouble finding where are the best back link sites.
Jan 12, 2011 12:18pm
Thanks Rory. 600-800 works great for me, and you can always go back and add to them! I did exactly that in November and ended up with a decent # of 1000-worders.

My favorite backlinking sites:
Jan 12, 2011 10:51pm
AJ: once again an article filled with helpful advice and wisdom from your own personal experience. And a generous charity article too. Watch it - you might get a sainthood. Like the point that you should see your first set of articles as 'schooling' ~ helps manage early expectations
Jan 12, 2011 10:54pm
haha that one I learned the hard way. My first articles earned squat, but I learned soooo much!

I think they only gave sainthoods to humans Louis ;-)
Jan 14, 2011 10:38am
You are always right on the mark. I have spent lots of time lately going back and fixing articles, especially on burn-out or writer block days.
Jan 14, 2011 10:41am
Thanks pwarlick. Sometimes I need to do a better job of following my own advice :)

Going back and tweaking old articles is a great way to improve your earnings without doing a ton of work.
Jan 25, 2011 12:06pm
Hey AJ, what I'm finding out about myself is that the more I write, the better my writing becomes; so I think that quantity produces better quality in the end.

Of course it all comes down to "just do it."

My biggest problem in article marketing life is that I spend huge amounts of time creating massive articles about "the grand scheme of things," and not enough time producing articles that solve problems. Of course I'm not talking about my content on this site; I'm not going to do that here, it's a "problem" with me trying to entertain and feed my readership on other sites with what they want to read, rather than me actually focusing on making a dollar.

Besides SEO changing all of the time, I'm told that Google is evolving to where it actually prefers the same type of content that WE PREFER when we are looking at something on the web. I hope so, because I never got into or had the time for trying to learn "tricks."
Jan 26, 2011 4:01pm
I've found the same thing. When I started my writing was painfully mediocre.

I don't like tricks either. I don't do any SEO on my blog because I'd rather grow it by building relationships with people. The "100 true fans" concept I find preferable to gaming the search engines.
Jan 26, 2011 4:53pm
Nice. I'd never heard that concept before. I like that idea; but I doubt those true fans will often think to exit or bounce off of a page via a google ad, but who knows.
Mar 9, 2011 4:46am
How I wish I could get more info on SEO, backlinking, etc. which would help me in this career. I am writing only for bukisa because I am confused with all this heading, sub-heading things. In bukisa submission of article is very simple. But here I am still not so well-versed of the entire approach so I continue reading comments like yours hoping that I will get all the info I am looking for.
Mar 26, 2011 7:18pm
nice article, i've bookmarked this for future reference
Sep 27, 2011 5:25pm
Thanks for the helpful article!

One small typo: first paragraph, second sentence: please *don't* take...

I got the idea but did scratch my head for a moment :)
Oct 6, 2011 2:50pm
Surprisingly, the revenue has started to trickle in by dimes and quarters. I'm pleased with what I'm starting to see here compared to other sites where I get more views. Nice.
Oct 9, 2011 3:14am
Thank you so much. This is very helpful. Hope you write of these. Thanks.
Oct 14, 2011 12:30pm
Thank you I needed this information, hope to see many more of these articles that will help me to get started. I am currently writing my third article so I will let you know how good I do later.
Oct 16, 2011 6:18pm
Would love to hear more info about money and number of articles to have on here. If you write 3 articles a day and have over 100 or 500 about how much could you earn? Ballpark? TY
Oct 16, 2011 7:04pm
It's a large ballpark...if you're like JCMayer777 who is probably the best here at choosing good topics, you could expect to earn $5 per month per article. People that write for fun make under $1/article per month in general. A good benchmark for writers doing SEO & keyword research is $1 per month per article and I know many people doing better than this.
Oct 17, 2011 12:05am
Thank you so much for this, I'm just starting and still not familiar with a lot of terms and how things work but this is explained very nicely. Will bookmark this one.
Oct 24, 2011 12:15am
Interesting information, thank you
Oct 26, 2011 2:16am
AJ, thank you for some more quality content. This kind of stuff actually help me learn and push ahead closer to my IB goals.
Nov 5, 2011 2:10am
Nice article for beginners here, thanks.
Feb 10, 2012 5:34pm
Excellent, down to earth advice, AJ. Thank you so much for taking the time to help all us Newbies!
Mar 3, 2012 11:28am
Nice FAQ article, some solid advice. Thanks for providing some insight for those of us who are just getting started.
Jan 24, 2014 4:05am
It motivated me to work more on seo.
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