We’ve been “snowed in” here for the past week. By that I don’t mean we couldn’t actually get out, just that with better than 8 inches of snow on the ground, hibernation feels like a good idea. I did have to go to work a couple days last week, but things were generally slow. It’s been better than 15 years since we’ve seen a snow like this one, and it doesn’t want to let go. Temperatures struggled to get out of the 20s all week, and we’re just now climbing back into the 40s. Needless to say I haven’t done any fishing for awhile.
Without anything fishing-related to write about, I thought I’d devote some time to other topics. I’ve already pointed out the ads I’ve placed around the site. I haven’t just tossed these things up there without any thought, so I figured I might take some time to explain what the ads are and how you might find them useful. In fact, I might make this a recurring topic on the site. How to create your own fishing or outdoors blog, how to improve it, how to make money from your outdoor writing online, how to sell your photos online, etc. I’ll have to come up with a new category that encompasses all that. It might be interesting and useful for anyone who’s ever considered putting their work online, and these topics have been on my mind a lot lately anyway with the new site design work.
The first topic I’ll cover is InfoBarrel. Unless you’re blocking ads, you’ll see a banner for it in the left sidebar. InfoBarrel is a revenue-sharing and information site similar to many others out there like Squidoo, e-How and HubPages. You’ve probably seen these sites come up fairly often in your Google searches, but you may not know what they’re about. InfoBarrel is a relative newcomer in this field, but it’s popularity is rising quickly among writers. You can think of it as something like wikipedia except you can actually realize some financial benefit from contributing.
Since starting TVangler I’ve had several people ask to contribute. For the most part, I’ve declined these offers in the most polite way I can. I’m fairly possessive of the blog. That’s just the way I’m am, but a site like InfoBarrel might be just the ticket if you’re someone who has information to share but don’t necessarily want to go through the trouble of starting your own blog. And you have a good chance of making some money for your efforts (something you wouldn’t have on this site).
Here’s how it works. You sign up for an account and begin writing articles. Your articles can be about pretty much any topic you can think of from how to make cupcakes to ancient Far Eastern religions to politics to a fly rod review to how to fish a tailwater. When your article is published (and it’s not very difficult to get published), it will appear with several ad blocks around it. InfoBarrel allows you to share in the revenue generated from those ads, at a very high percentage, currently 75%. You can even include a couple of your own specific affiliate links within your article from which you keep all the profits.
Of course you need to have accounts with the advertising agencies: Google AdSense, Amazon Associates and Chitika. It’s best to write a few articles first before applying for these affiliate programs unless you’re already a member so that you’ll be more likely to get accepted. It’s pretty easy to get accepted, but sometimes they will deny you if you don’t already have some sort of content out there.
I use InfoBarrel myself to write articles that don’t really fit in anywhere else. So far I’ve done articles on Beginner Backpacking, Setting Goals, Photographing Christmas Ornaments and Investing. If something’s on my mind, and it doesn’t seem like an appropriate topic for the blog, I’ll just write a quick article and toss it up on InfoBarrel. My articles aren’t getting tons of views, but I have already made some money from Google AdSense, and I just started submitting about three weeks ago. It’s not much and it likely never will be, but it’s more than I’d get if I didn’t write them at all. Plus, this is about as passive an income stream as you can have. You write the article once, and it’s out there forever (or as long as InfoBarrel lasts), bringing you the occasional extra buck.
Anyway, I think it’s a decent deal for people who have tidbits of knowledge with no larger plans for their own book, blog or magazine article. Don’t put your most treasured thoughts out there and don’t use tons of time writing really detailed articles. Use it for small tidbits of information you have that someone else might find useful. 400-1000 word articles are best. Maybe you have tips for winterizing your boat or repairing a leaky faucet or buying a new camera. Just make sure you write your article well. These sites have so many poorly written and almost useless articles on them. You’ll see a much better return on your time if you write something that people will actually want to read and will find useful. A huge benefit of using InfoBarrel is that the articles achieve almost instant success in Google page rankings, so make sure you give searchers some useful information. You don’t have much control over the look of the site with a service like this, but it is an easy way to start writing online, start making some money and hone your skills. This is probably the absolute easiest way to begin making money online. You definitely won’t get rich doing it, but it will likely bring in at least a little extra cash, and you might even make a name for yourself.
I have a deal for you as well. If you use the InfoBarrel links on TVangler to sign up, I get a percentage (2%) of the income your articles bring in. So I think I should pay you back somehow. My proposal is this: if you use my links to sign up with InfoBarrel, and you write an article that TVangler readers might enjoy, I’ll link to your article from here. That should drive more traffic your way and hopefully earn you a bit more income than you’d otherwise see by just counting on Google searches to drive traffic. Let’s say once per month I’ll do a quick post linking to all the relevant InfoBarrel articles written by both you and me. That doesn’t sound too overwhelming, and we should all find it mutually beneficial, even you non-contributors, as it may bring something to your attention that you find interesting. What qualifies as “relevant” is at my discretion, but I’ll be pretty open-minded with this. TVangler readers are an intelligent bunch with many interests, but anything related to the outdoors is most likely to get posted on here. Submit links to your articles using the Contact Page. If I start getting too many submissions to deal with, we’ll readjust, maybe doing a “best of” list of posts every month. Take care,