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eHow Review (jpwriter)

By Edited May 29, 2014 4 4

Pros

*Potential to make residual income as long as article is live
*High search engine ranking
*Writers can write under user names or pseudonyms
*Overall supportive community

Cons

*Poor customer service
*Irregular quality control
*Poor spam control
*Secret pay structure
*Constant publishing problems and site bugs
*eHow responds to questions but rarely provides answers

**As of April 6, 2010, eHow.com is no longer accepting new writers unless you sign up through Demand Studios. Some writers were accepted, others were not.

Full Review

eHow.com is a website that offers people an opportunity to make residual income by writing how-to articles. Anyone with a Paypal account, social security number, and United States citizenry can sign up for their Writer's Compensation Program to contribute articles. There is no employer-employee relationship, but you will have to file taxes if you earn over $400 (make sure to check with the IRS). eHow.com is not a get rich quick website, but you can make residual income.

eHow is not upfront about their payment structure. They claim articles make money based on a "secret algorithm" that accounts for an article's popularity, usefulness, inbound links, newsworthiness, and a few other criteria. Most people think eHow is some type of ad revenue share platform that pays based on ad clicks, but no one knows for sure how pay is calculated. This doesn't mean that eHow doesn't pay. Many writers believe it is the highest and best paying site. This is due in part to their high rank in the search engines.

The library of articles is made up of those written by the eHow members (listed as a User Submitted Article) and articles written for Demand Studios (listed as an eHow Contributing Writer). Demand Studios (DS) is eHow's parent company. This is an important clarification. Demand Studios purchases articles from writers for a $5 to $15 flat fee, republishes, then places them on eHow.com where they are referred to as "professional writers". There are different standards for the eHow members and DS writers. Demand Studios' writers give up all rights. More and more eHow is directing readers to DS articles over members. This is an inside structure that neither readers or many eHow writers understand because there is absolutely no clarification, only an apparent double standard. Speculation among eHow members is that they will be phased out and replaced by Demand Studios writers because it's cheaper than paying ongoing residual income.

eHow is evolving into a social networking platform by offering groups and an active forum space. You can start a group on any topic, private message friends, and become part of a community of writers if that's what you want while you make residual income writing. The writers in the forums at eHow can be very supportive and helpful to other members. The downside is there is always an opinion though they're not always accurate. The application of the rules is left to interpretation because eHow fails to give consistent answers. They have made several changes without notice to their hard working members, the members who supply the backbone of the website. The result was calculated sweeps where thousands of articles were deleted. eHow continues their unannounced "sweeps" in an attempt to implement quality control -- after the fact.

eHow changed their guidelines leaving many people in violation of some rule, and even though many of these could have been fixed with minor edits, no one had the chance. While many deletions were warranted, eHow fails to provide examples or communicating proper guidance to their members. Their sweeps process has resulted in thousands of redirected back links, some of them appearing quite deceptive. The other problem with their deletion process is that there is no quality control whatsoever. Articles are put in a "deletion queue" and held for an unnamed time period, but they are not reviewed before final deletion to see if they were edited. The result is that perfectly edited, well written articles were deleted. This poor review process was never fixed even though it was brought up many times.

eHow.com has a lot publishing problems, glitches, and bugs. Writers are constantly having trouble getting articles live on the site and this has been an ongoing problem since at least November 2008. They recently switched their publishing process to a pre-approval platform. This means that every article written must now be screened before going live on the site. The backlog is enormous making wait times long. There has been no genuine clarification of who reviews, what reviewers are looking for in articles, if this process will be ongoing or if a writer can max out and get pre-approved status.

This website is a source of useful information. It does give writers at all levels an opportunity to share knowledge. Despite the troubles with publishing and uncertainty regarding their pay structure, eHow.com is an excellent place to learn how to write how-to articles and make residual income. While I think they have a good platform there are many things they are offering that make the site begin to look too full of advertisements. Part of this is because they try to make the site too much. Sometimes simple is better.

In Closing

eHow.com is a decent place for people to make residual income writing articles. I recommend a lot of patience to every writer. Take the opportunity at eHow to learn to stand out from other writers. eHow's number one problem is their lack of communication with their writers. It comes across as disrespectful and as a big company wanting to make money off of writers who just want a little place to shine.
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Comments

Dec 30, 2009 12:19pm
x3xsolxdierx3x
Nice article, jp...I've been following you over on the eHow forum....
Jan 13, 2010 5:01pm
simpleprocedures1
Thanks for the information, as I will use caution when writing for them.
Apr 23, 2010 11:31am
Infowriter
You can only write for eHow through Demand Media and if you want their revenue sharing platform, you can no longer retain ownership rights to your published articles.
Apr 23, 2010 8:47pm
jpwriter
@Infowriter - you are half correct. I hope you see I didn't write this recently! I need to edit my article. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I guess I was right when I wrote about eHow writers being phased out.

If you have articles on eHow that were written under the WCP you most certainly do still have ownership of them. I am not 100% clear what the new publishing agreement is if you choose rev share through Demand Studios because I have not written there yet. But, I don't think that giving up rights to certain articles is all that bad.
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