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Sams Alternative Earnings Report

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 5

Well it’s been an interesting report and I’ll come right out at the start and say my passive income for this month has totalled a massive £1. (Less than last month).  Given that I have almost 150 articles on IB you might think that this is incredibly poor – it is and I’ll explain why shortly. However my actual earnings for the month are £1950 (about $3100) so not too shabby.  I thought I’d use this opportunity to give anyone interested a breakdown of why my articles have performed badly, what you can do to improve  your own AND give you an idea of where my actual income comes from. I love writing online and most of the time I love freelance writing and this month I thought I’d share my experiences and hopefully give a few pointers for people wanting to start.

BTW sorry for the slight tangential narratives it’s getting late.

Why my earnings are so terrible.

My earnings are terrible because I have not done the following things.

  1. Keyword research
  2. Lengthening articles
  3. Writing for LSI
  4. Adding Media

However the reason I don’t do these things is that most of my articles have been written for clients and therefore they are for promotion but don’t require long tail keyword research.

Now I thought I’d list these things as for anyone who doesn’t already know these are the things you need to do in order to see real success with InfoBarrel. In terms of throwing up articles you really won’t get very far as my 150 articles testify. When you start it’s easy to overlook these things and I thought it was worth showing my example so that you know how to do things correctly.

  1. In terms of keyword research everyone will tell you that your keywords are incredibly important with long tail keywords being the bread and butter of writing for these kinds of sites. Long tail low competition keywords are an absolute necessity if you want to start seeing views and income from your articles. There are loads of programs out there offering to automate keyword research for you. Lots of people use Market Samurai and this is great but I’ve personally started using Keyword Blaze (Aff link – so Google it if you’d prefer as it’s still incredible). Keyword Blaze is cheap and offers lots of great features and brings back thousands of keywords at a time as well as analysing their competition! Genius! It also lets you track your keyword rankings which is very useful if you want to create a few links or track your best and worst articles.

However, there is an alternative if keyword research really isn’t for you. I have never personally had much success with this as I don’t have time but VIRAL articles will always perform incredibly well (though click through rate isn’t always superb from what I gather).

  1. In terms of lengthening articles most people are now pushing 800 words / article with 1000 being preferable. As I do a lot of SEO work for companies and too many SEO articles I know that this has become best practice so I really think you should add in more content when you can. 1000 with a keyword density of less than 1.5% and plenty of LSI is a great system.
  2. Latent Semantic Indexing is in the simplest sense Google tracking synonyms within your article. Always add in synonyms throughout your article and re-write your keyword phrase in new ways. This gives your SEO efforts a great boost and you should always take the time to think of your synonyms before you write.
  3. Media

While media in itself doesn’t earn much money it does bring in extra traffic and it does make articles much more readable. If you look over my articles you will see few pictures at all and no videos. I think adding media is a very important factor for improving the reader experience and it helps for SEO somewhat as well (try and name your images and videos with your keyword or a variation for a small SEO boost).

Freelance Earnings for April

I thought I’d give a more concrete breakdown of my earnings and what I’ve been doing as a lot of people on IB have been offering or showing interest in freelance writing. (This month I’m going to try and write a few more concrete guides to freelancing for anyone interested).

My three biggest clients this month are regulars. As some of you know I’ve recently taken on the content writing and SEO for a new music social network www.Beat100.com this makes up a significant part of my income. Unlike some of my work I am really enjoying this project and its great fun to write about something you love. My two other big clients are an SEO company in London and a holiday rental company who provide villas, cottages, apartments around the world. Both of these are long term clients and I have gained them through the best way in the freelance world to find work – WORD OF MOUTH. Now if you’re starting out freelancing you’re not going to get a lot of work this way and I thought I’d just say a little bit about starting out in freelancing.

                When you start freelance writing finding clients can be a bit of a pain. You will often work for less than you are worth and earn a lot less than you like. In my first 3 months of freelance writing online I made a grand total of £1500 – nowhere near enough to live on. By the end of last year I was earning around £100-1500 a month. Now £2000 month is more usual. I thought you might be interested to see realistic earnings from freelance writing. This has taken work but once you find the right clients you can stop worrying so much about what you’ll earn. Sometimes you have too much work other times not enough but either way I’ve not struggled to pay bills! Work hard on building a reputation (even if you work for below minimum wage) and always look for corporate clients who will often offer you more work and most importantly long term work.

I’m hoping that this doesn’t sound like bragging. I’m not trying too I just thought that people might want to know what you can realistically earn from freelance writing; I do not work as hard as I could and I turn down work I could take.

My aims for this month

My aims for this month are;

  1. To write a few introductory articles to give some advice on freelance writing (and where to find it) for anyone looking to start.
  2. To get 10 articles up on IB that follow all my own guidelines above (this may seem few but I have a lot to do already and it’s only Monday)
  3. To post the 3 eBooks I have sitting on my hard drive to Amazon ( they just don’t seem to want to leave my hard drive)
  4. To get 10 videos up on YouTube – I’m excited about their new system and videos are a nice break from typing
  5. To get ahead with all my other work so that I can have a week off for a festival next month (Metallica hurrah).


Well hopefully I haven’t waffled too much and hopefully some people will get a pick me up for this. I’ll get on the first guide to freelancing writing tomorrow and post a link to it here.

Finally I’d like to thank Phillip from IB who saved my bacon this month when two impending deadlines and a 30k word week threatened to destroy me!




May 4, 2012 5:29pm
I love it. Great article, I enjoyed reading it. Sounds like you have figured out the key to successful Freelance writing. It sounds like a good solid plan. It is amazing what writing those goals down can do for you too, looking forward to that series of articles! Voted up.
May 4, 2012 8:02pm
Cool stuff Sam! I appreciate the advice on freelancing as it is something I have been doing a fair bit of.
May 5, 2012 5:21am
Great stuff Sam. Wow nearly 2 grand is rather impressive.You have been a great friend to me and you are an inspiration. Hard work pays off, as you have shown.
May 5, 2012 5:41am
Somehow, I had a feeling you were doing work for a holiday rental company. Nice to get money, even a tiny bit, from work you were paid to do for someone else.

Would it be worth adding media to those articles anyway, for your benefit, to increase your earnings from them? Which would also probably increase the performance of the articles for the companies. That's the sort of thing I consider as work to be done whilst watching television.
May 5, 2012 5:57am
Thanks everyone i appreciatte your feedback.

@Skeffling I think you're right it definitely helps alot.
@Ziggy my pleasure hope you enjoy the series
@Ddraig - ah blush but thanks
@Egdcltd - keeyword optimising and adding media is definitley a long term plan for those articles it is just a question of finding the time, aas you said :)
The first freelance writing guide is live now http://www.infobarrel.com/Starting_out_in_freelance_writing_Part_one
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