eHow Admits UK Site is Not Paying US Writers

by JadeDragon

I prefer to be positive about life and look forward – but the ehow UK issue contains so many lessons on what not to do to your business partners I just have to blog about it.  I welcome your thoughts in the comments.

eHow community manager Rich posted the following message thread to the eHow forums this morning.

“Dear Members,

We’ve noticed the buzz around eHow’s new UK website and specifically the questions of whether WCP participants are paid for their articles shown on our sister website.  We appreciate all the comments, as our community is what makes us special, and wanted to clearly address your concerns.  At the moment we do not have a system to pay writers for their articles hosted on eHow.co.uk.

We’ve listened to your voices and since we are unable pay WCP participants in the UK, we’ll be removing your articles from eHow’s UK website within the next few weeks.  We’ll keep you posted on our progress and thank you for your patience and commitment to eHow.

Best Regards,
The eHow Team”

A growing number of eHow writers have been raising hell about the issues of earnings dropping and eHow UK site articles ranking higher on searches over about the last 2 months (the UK site has been live for about 5 months).   Until now eHow has been dodging the eHow UK site questions with evasive and half truth responses.   I guess management was finally backed into a corner.

I believe the ehow UK site issue is responsible for both my low eHow earnings and  decline in those earnings.   I started posting new articles on November 1, 2009 and continued adding to the library through out the month.  Many of those articles only had a few days to earn in November.

I added a few more articles in December, replacing 5 that were swept by eHow and increasing the total count a bit.  All the unswept November articles had a full month to earn.  I also built a lot of good links to drive traffic to my articles. Further, conventional wisdom (like found in WriterGig’s book on eHow) suggests that it takes a month or so to for articles to mature.

Instead, earnings in December were lower then November earnings.  I know the holidays might be a factor, but still seems odd.

In January my earnings per day are about 1/2 what they were in December.  Definitely figured something fishy was going on.

If someone steals your content and gets it ranked on the search engines it can adversely impact your revenue.  As I posted in the forums, I can’t understand what the point of cloning all the content of the eHow US site onto a eHow UK site is unless it was a way to reduce earnings for the US writers.  What further makes no sense is that eHow uses a secret algorithm that they can change anytime.  If they wanted to cut payouts to the US writers they can do that anytime without the effort of setting up a whole UK site.

Conclusions?

  • eHow treats their writers with disdain.
  • They knew they were not paying for the ehow UK site traffic yet refused to tell the writers for months.
  • Now they plan to take weeks to remove all the US freelancer material.
  • If they needed content for eHow UK they could have just used the many Demand Studios / Contributing Writer’s articles they own outright instead of stealing the use of articles where writers retain the copyright and expect to be paid for the use.
  • Demand studios is going public soon.  They just ticked off a large group of potentially engaged and loyal small stockholders.   The kind of stockholders that buy and hold and buy more on the dips.  Seems pretty dumb to me.

This issue, added to the MANY technical issues the eHow site has been having is going to really hurt eHow’s reputation. Sad they insist on screwing up a good idea.  What happened to eHow?  No on minding the business.  Very strange indeed.

What a contrast to Constant Content, a smaller site that treats it writers with real respect as business partners for mutual success.

JadeDragon