$15 the first month? Seriously?
Okay what is the catch?

Writing for InfoBarrel or any other content site in an effort to make a passive income is REAL work. As much work (and usually much more!) is spent on researching keywords, affiliate tie-ins, promoting articles through bookmarking, and increasing knowledge about SEO in general. As is well documented, the writing game for passive income is anything but passive!

It is truly a great feeling when you find that knockout keyword with a high Cost Per Click in a fabulously non-competitive arena. These can be real gems and earn $10 a month or more consistently when properly utilized in a well-written article. This makes upfront pay for article writing seem downright awful by comparison. Finding these nuggets is not always the easiest, though, and there is a ton of competition in many niches. With this in mind, it is important to explore every opportunity to capitalize on earnings and maximize your earning potential whenever possible. Writing for InfoBarrel is a great start. The generous 75% adsense share is better than virtually every reputable writing site on the Internet. It only takes a bit of effort to boost that potential all they way to 90% thanks to InfoBarrel's unique monthly contest that not only offers monetary prizes to the top finishers, but gives ANYONE the potential to make more money each month. Not everyone takes advantage of this, however, and they are leaving money on the table.

Each article on its own is important, but to take full advantage of InfoBarrel's platform the contest is very worthwhile. It can literally mean an extra $5, $10, or (in my case) $15 or more in your pocket for the month. It is all about a steady flow and hitting goals. The same habits successful writers already have. Each time you publish a 500+ word article you get a point. 800+ words will get you two points. Anything over 1000 words is worth a full five points. Get over 20 points in a month (just four 1000 word articles and one 500 word article, or twenty-one 500 word articles, or ten 800 word articles and one 500 word article, etc.) and you gain an extra 5% adsense share. Get over 30 points and the share increases another 5%. No matter what road you take, it almost always means writing less than an article a day. One article a day! That is all it takes to make an additional 10%. Pretty sweet deal. Even if you write just 500 word articles it will normally be an article a day, roughly, to hit this goal. So in a given month a person can write as many as 31 articles or as few as five and either way they will maximize their earnings in the contest. No matter what path you take to get there you will arrive at the same destination!

As a further bonus, IB offers another 5% for any five articles written about the monthly theme of the contest. These can be articles that are already counted towards your point total. If the theme is Christmas, just make sure that five of the articles you write are also about Christmas. This will allow you to qualify for every potential earnings tier with no extra work. Do everything right and your IB share goes from 75% all the way to 90% for the month.

Many writers produce ten or more articles each month, but fall short of the 20+ points needed to minimally qualify. Others stop at 21 points and do not max out the further bonus found at 30+ points and the theme bonus. The key is to control the flow. If you have enough points already, hold a few written articles back to get a jump-start on the next month. Distractions or unanticipated events can mean that you do less writing and you may miss a chance to hit the qualifying totals.

One of IB's top earners, jcmayer, admits to being guilty of not hitting the contest totals each month. He routinely earns a $1000 a month. For someone like him, this may mean he potentially loses $100 to $150 for every month he didn't write. Considering the size and quality of jcmayer's articles, he normally would achieve the points needed in just five articles. For someone like him, each of these qualifying articles may be worth $20 to $30 just for that month plus any future residuals it would earn. This is just a demonstration about how important the contest is and what it may mean to earnings. I am equally to blame. One month I missed the increase by one or two articles. The month before, I was several over the amount needed. If I had just staggered them another week, it would have probably meant an extra $10 for me that month. As the old saying goes: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance!

Of course, no matter if you get the added revenue share it does not guarantee more money, but that is normally the case. Many people confuse how InfoBarrel handles adsense revenue. Your share is actually a time-sure. At the base rate of 75%, this means that the ads shown on your articles belong to your adsense publisher ID number 75% of the time. The other 25% of the time someone views your articles, the ads belong to InfoBarrel. By increasing your share percentage it in effect gives your ads more "air time", which hopefully means that it is your ad that is showing when someone chooses to click. At the 90% share rate your ads are showing almost all the time. Yes, in theory, someone could only click during the 10% that IB owns the ads and you would make nothing! This is not likely, however. On average, users that evaluate their numbers carefully see growth on months when their share increases.

The contest is very worthwhile and not just for the winners. Many writers have no chance to win the overall contest due to other commitments or that they just write slower. There is still money to be made by taking advantage of the contest. Hit your points and plan ahead for the following month. People get tired of writing and the end of the month always comes too fast. If your point total is close to a qualifying level than do whatever it takes to qualify! That last article that pushes you over the edge is well worth the time. In my case, this five point article you are reading may be all I needed to go from 75% to 80% or from 80% to 85%. It may be the one to finish my theme and hit the highest level at 90%! No matter what, at my IB earning level this article could potentially mean anywhere from $7.50 to $22.50 on average in additional earnings for the month due to pushing up the revenue share. I generally hit the 10% increase, so if this were the one article needed to push myself over the top than I tell myself that this article just made me $15 for the month. Even if it never earns again it will still probably mean more in my pocket than many articles I've written in the past just due to its role as a catalyst in triggering a higher potential earning rate. Beyond the money, I'm hoping it will inspire others to reconsider the contest and stick with a steady writing program.

Best of luck to you in your earnings.