I am a fan of writing articles as a way to earn passive online income. I find it very easy to take a topic that interests me, then write 400-1,000 words and post it to an article sharing site. The site then places ads on the screen beside your article – for every click that the ads receive, you get paid. The really cool part of article writing is that you don’t need to incur the expense of setting up your own site nor do you need to be technically inclined/web savvy. Best of all, you could be up and writing your first article within 10 minutes of deciding which article hosting site to go with.
There are no shortage of article hosts on the internet. It is very easy to become overwhelmed with the choices as hundreds of competitor sites recognize the importance of hosting fresh content and are vying for the services of new authors. The two most popular article writing sites are InfoBarrel and Squidoo. Both have their merits, but for newcomers to article writing, it is important that you understand the differences in these sites. Picking a host is not a small decision, so here are how these two industry heavyweights stack up against one another.
- Both sites are free to join and allow you to post an unlimited amount of content.
- Advantage: Neither
- The revenue models are a little different:
- InfoBarrel integrates with your Google AdSense, Chikita and Amazon accounts. It displays ads with your account details 75%-90% of the time, and ads with InfoBarrel’s account the rest of the time. The exact split is correlated to your InfoBarrel member points – you are able to accumulate points with specific milestones (number of articles published, comments made by you on others articles, referrals, etc). Authors are also able to embed 1 ‘self serving’ link for every 200 words of content. These links could be product-referrals to Amazon or to other affiliate sites that would pay you a commission. Authors earn 100% of the income from these ‘self serving‘ links. Based on this model, income can be generated from every single article published.
- Squidoo has their own revenue distribution method, and the user has the option to link it to their Google AdSense account. This would be a benefit to people who have been banned from AdSense (or just don’t want to go through the set up process). Earnings are paid based on the popularity of your article. A popular article will pay 50% of the advertising commission, while a poorly ranked article will not pay the writer regardless of how much commission it has generated. Squidoo is more generous with their ‘self serving‘ link policy, allowing unlimited links to sites such as Amazon and Google and up to 9 links to other sites. Like InfoBarrel, authors earn 100% of the commission from ‘self serving‘ links.
- Advantage: InfoBarrel.
Popularity of Site
- Here are the stats on each site (as of Dec 9/12):
- InfoBarrel has a Google PageRank 4 (out of 10) with an Alexa Ranking of 7,021 (ie the 7,021st most popular site on the planet). 0.02% of all internet users have visited InfoBarrel at some point over the past 3 months.
- Squidoo has a Google PageRank of 7 with an Alexa Ranking of 175. 0.53% of all internet users have visited Squidoo at some point over the past 3 months.
- Advantage: Squidoo
- Both sites have interactive member forums where you can exchange ideas with other authors.
- At InfoBarrel, authors are rewarded (with points) for being active community members. This fosters a supportive membership base who respond quickly to member concerns. There is a social aspect to InfoBarrel (having friends and followers).
- Advantage: InfoBarrel
Deletion of Articles
- Some sites (like eHow.com) will periodically delete unpopular content from their archives. This is NOT a practice of either Squidoo or InfoBarrel.
- Advantage: Neither
- Squidoo allows for a more interactive reader experience by allowing things like polls and quizzes.
- InfoBarrel maintains a publication calendar that can be viewed a month in advance. This gives sufficient notice to members as to which types of articles will be featured on each day. As well, new article writers will take comfort that their first few submissions are subject to editorial review. It takes some time to find your voice, and the editors at InfoBarrel help you along with that process.
And the Winner is…
If I was only able to write for one, I would pick InfoBarrel. Their revenue model is the most aggressive in the industry and I find that promoting my own articles on Twitter has been a good traffic generation tool. This is certainly not a ‘one size fits all’ recommendation. It makes a lot of sense to become established on InfoBarrel, then cross over to Squidoo at some point as a way of diversifying your income.
If you have any thoughts, questions or experiences that you would like to share, please use the comments box below.