Monday, April 5, 2010

The eHow WCP shuts down

eHow has decided to end the Writer's Compensation Program. This is not unexpected, really. The eHow writing community became so dysfunctional, that frankly many of us left.

Writers are being absorbed instead into the Demand Studios system. (Although some writers may have to apply. I was notified that I was approved, but I don't know if all writers are automatically approved for DS or not.) This makes so much sense, because DS has rules and supervision... and editors!

Articles that have already been published will continue to be compensated in the same manner as before.

Get the real dope from the eHow Blog.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

eHow Earnings - Back to Carryover

eHow has apparently heard all the confusion over their new earnings report system, and it appears they have changed it all BACK to what it was.

So as it was long ago, the payments are now recorded in the month earned (not paid) and everybody says "carryover" until they start the payment process. (At which point it should switch to "pending" and then to "completed.")

So ignore previous advice, and watch your November line in the earnings for updates on payment....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sweeps Are Winding Down

Rich said tonight on the forums that they were done sweeping old articles. While they haven't got the preview system up and running, they will be concentrating on trying to review newly posted articles within a week, so that writers will at least know relatively quickly if the article has passed muster or not.

(Someone who had attended the WeHow conference also mentioned that they heard there that the preview process should be in place around the beginning of the year.)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Is It Okay To Subcontract Articles for eHow? No.

There has been much discussion on eHow as to whether members can hire others to write articles for them. For a time eHow waffled on this. But now Julie has just posted a definitive statement:

In order to publish on eHow, you must attest that you are the original author (not simply the copyright owner) of the piece of content you are publishing. Simply put, you sat down, formed your thoughts into words/sentences and completed the entire article on your own. For those of you that have published material on eHow may remember that you must check a box next to the statement asserting that you are the author of the content before you are able to submit your article for publication. If your article is flagged for plagiarism and you are not the original author of the work, your article will be removed.

In regards to my earlier post, I was just pointing out the larger implications of not posting your own work. eHow isn't just a place to post an article to earn money. eHow is a Community of people who come together and learn from one another. If you are not the original author of your work and have no experience or have not done the research on how to do what you're writing about, how will you exchange valuable/quality information with one another?


This is the only way eHow can handle this, IMHO. So far, we've had several people get in trouble for plagiarism when they purchased articles from unethical sellers. Plus it is unfair to other writers, who do their own work, for a few to subcontract massive amounts of work and use it to squat on all the titles and otherwise bend rules.

I don't blame those who wanted to build themselves a strong business this way, but those people need to use this leverage on their own sites, and not use it to dominate someone else's site.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

End to Sweeps? Not yet....

Julie just posted in the feedback forum that the new review system is not yet up and running. (This explains why so much spam has made it on to the site recently.)

The first stage of the system is in place - and it checks articles for plagiarism and duplicate titles only. This is why new articles will go to "pending" when first published.

The sweeps will continue until they can integrate the editorial review process into the preview process. She did not estimate when that would happen.

(Als0 check out newer information I have in the eHow Earnings Update Post.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Earnings reporting and "Carryover"

(NOTE: eHow appears to have changed the earnings reports back to what they used to be. Ignore this post for now. Read this earnings post instead.)

I see a lot of people are hitting this blog doing searches on variations of the words "eHow earnings" and "carryover."

eHow changed the way they report the earnings on our "My Earnings" page. But, as usual, they don't tell us what is normal - so we're all kind of waiting. Here's what your my earnings page should look like until they start paying (which they usually do sometime between the 6th and the 10th):

Earnings Period - Total Earnings - Payment Status - Payment Issued
Nov 2009 - (Nov Earnings) - Period Active - $0.00 USD
Oct 2009 - (Oct Earnings) - Completed from Rec'd - (Sept Earnings)
Sep 2009 - (Sept Earnings) - Carryover - $0.00 USD
Aug 2009 - (Aug Earnings) - Completed from Rec'd - (Aug Earnings)

It will be a little different if you have an actual carryover. Also, if you didn't earn anything today, you may not have a line for November yet.

If you'll note, the "Complete from Received" on the October line refers to SEPTEMBER earnings. When you get your October earnings, it will appear in your November line.

This will be the first month where we are fully on the new system, so I'm not sure what it will say when the payments start - but when it changes from the above, you should be paid within about 48 hours.

There are a few people who did not get paid in September. I know they are reporting it in the Feedback Forum. I recommend that those of you who have had problems or questions start by reading those discussions.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

How to Improve Your Writing Skills

If you had some articles deleted for poor writing or "other," or if you just want to be a better writer, here are some of the things professional writers do.

1. Take a class. There's really nothing better than to have a teacher who can help zero in on your writing weaknesses, and a group of classmates to help you see problems from a different perspective.

2. Read writing books, magazines and blogs that are NOT about how to make money at writing. Really. Seriously. Honestly. Those "how to make money writing for eHow" guides don't teach you how to write. Go to your library or bookstore and read Writer's Digest. Do the "Grammar Grappler" column there. Read The Writer. Subscribe to Grammar Girl's blog or podcast on iTunes. Get grammar books like "Eats Shoots and Leaves". Get yourself a big fat style book like the Chicago Manual of Style (or even the "easy version") and a Dictionary. Not only can you look stuff up, you can improve your writing by just browsing for 15 minutes once a week.

3. Use Perdue University's Online Writing Lab.

4. Play Free Rice. Free Rice is a charity website with a vocabulary game/quiz. Their sponsors donate a certain amount of rice to feed the hungry for every answer you get right. The quiz has an algorithm that will give you easier questions when you get an answer wrong, and harder questions when you get the answer right. That way it's always helping you expand your vocabulary at just your level.

5. Read William Safire. He's a more advanced resource, but he became America's top guru on the English language and he never went to college, so he also understands lack of education. His How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar is smart, clever, and it does a wonderful job of giving examples. The book is an expansion of his "Rules For Writing" in which he breaks each rule as he writes them. For instance in "Eschew Obfuscation" - Eschew means "give up" or "stop" and Obfuscation means "hiding your meaning behind big words like obfuscation."

6. Sign up for eZine Articles, or just read their blog. eZine Articles has an excellent set of tutorials to help you become a better writer. They are focused on internet business people and marketers - but that can help you with other aspects of your writing too.

7. Read the best writing in your field. This means, I am sorry to say, that you should spend less time reading and rating your fellow eHowers, and more time reading professionally written magazines. Read them at the library. Pick up articles for a dime a dozen at garage sales. Heck, buy them. (But also recognize that these magazines have different requirements than eHow.)

8. Practice with your own blog. Writing is like sports or music. Nothing boosts your skills better than just doing a lot of it. So start a blog. Write something every day. Get out of the eHow "how to" straight jacket. Practice anything you've learned from all of the above suggestions. Heck, concentrate on writing good posts on Twitter to practice your skills at being quick, short and direct.

9. Use a spell checker, BUT DO NOT RELY on a spell checker. Spell checkers are machines and they can't understand what you meant. They can't tell you when you've used the wrong word. For instance as I was typing the previous paragraph, I accidentally wrote "wrong work". A spell checker would not have caught that mistake.

Next up - Blog/Opinion. (Back to Series Index.)