Ehow Two Years Later

It was in November 2008 that I started writing for eHow.  Inspired by Pat’s eHow experiment at I planned to write a 100 articles in a month.  Like many of my plans that didn’t happen but I eventually wrote six articles for them but two of them were later deleted so I only have four articles there now.

So far I have earned $74.71.  I also earned about that much in affiliate income but I don’t have any links now.  That might not sound too impressive but considering I spent maybe three hours writing the articles it is a pretty good hourly rate.  I’m on pace to make slightly more than $35 from them this year and that should continue in the future.  It is now a steady passive income source.

Ehow has changed the way their site works so I can’t submit any more articles and make passive income.  There are other similar sites out there but I’m not sure if any of them are worth writing for.  I wish I would have wrote more articles for eHow but I won’t complain about making $35 this year for doing nothing.

Top Blogs with Online Income Reports

I noticed the other day that I was getting some referral traffic from a German website. I visited the site and while I couldn’t read the post (I should have done that semester abroad at Bucerius) I was able to get the general idea. It was a list of 17 sites that share their online income. I was pleased to see that I came in seventh in the list.

Here are the 6 that earned more than me. –  $20,683.09.

This is one of my favorite blogs and the only one on the list I was familiar with. I have been following this blog since it was new. I can remember when he had a goal of 100 subscribers and now he has over 10,000. This is a great site for learning about making online. I need to start implementing more of what I have learned. $7400 – $3880 –  $3227 – $1942 – $1159.38

Looking at the earnings reports of all the sites above me was informative.  All of them but one made a significant portion of their income from selling a product or service.  The one that didn’t made most of its money from affiliate sales.  That might be an indication that relying on advertising for most of my income isn’t the best way to go.  I’m going to work on developing a product and increasing my affiliate income before the end of the year.

Making More Money Mystery Shopping

In August I decided to cut back on mystery shopping since I had a job. I did end up doing fewer shops in August than usual but it ended up being one of more my profitable months mystery shopping. This is because the mystery shopping companies contacted me and offered me high-paying and/or heavily bonused shops. I had previously been contacted for these shops once in a while but not as often as in August. It seems like my persistence is finally paying off.

I think that getting the workers at the mystery shopping companies on your side is one of the keys to making decent money mystery shopping. When you first start out the companies are unlikely to call you for any assignments. When they do call try to do the shop they are requesting if at all possible. If you can’t do the shop make sure to let them know that although you can’t do that shop you are interested in doing last minute shops if they come up in the future. I suppose it is somewhat like being nice to the dispatcher when you are a taxi driver. They have lots of power to affect your income so you better be nice to them.

That is my mystery shopping tip for today. Hope that all of you that are mystery shopping are able to use it.

How to Make Money from Blogging, Medical Trials, and Mystery Shopping

People often ask me how to make money doing one of these things after I post my monthly income report. I have written posts before about all of these things before although I suppose none of the posts would qualify as a definitive guide. Since there are probably more readers out there who are interested in making money from one or more of these ways I am sharing some resources for more information.

For medical trials try the websites (Just Another Lab Rat) and (Guinea Pig, Get Paid). These should provide you with all the information you need to get started and of course you can search this site for my previous posts on the subject as well.

For mystery shopping check out They have a ton of information about mystery shopping although it isn’t always easy to find exactly the information you need. You might also check out This isn’t a “how-to” site but he is successfully making a living as a mystery shopper and you can pick up a few tips.

For blogging there are a ton of resources. I really like the “How to Make Money with a Blog” post at Christian Personal Finance. It provides a nice overview of what is involved in making money with a blog and provides additional resources as well.

If anybody has more resources covering the money making areas above please feel free to share them in the comments.

The Good and Bad of Mystery Shopping

I did some mystery shops over the weekend that highlight some of the good things and bad things about mystery shopping. There were a couple of bad things about this mystery shop. First, I had a receipt rejected because it didn’t include the address of the convenience store. I can’t control whether a store puts their address on the receipt or not. Luckily, I had another receipt with the address printed and I was able to scan the address on to the other receipt.

The other problem was that a report checker invalidated one of my reports because she said I didn’t purchase gas. This wasn’t correct and I had submitted a receipt for the gas so I don’t know why the checker said I hadn’t. I resubmitted the receipt and the checker asked me to send it yet again because the edge of the receipt didn’t scan. This was a little ridiculous since everything on the receipt was still readable and the important information was intact. Since I wanted to get paid though I had to send the scan in yet again. I have heard that you will occasionally run into checkers that are a PITA and I guess this was my first experience with one.

There are some good things about mystery shopping. It is nice to get to get paid to buy gas although there is quite a bit of work besides just buying the gas. It is also nice that most of my mystery shopping income will be tax-free. Since I can legally write off my mileage at $0.50 per mile most of my income is eliminated. For example, one of the fast food shops I did this month was 16 miles round trip from my home giving me an expense of $8. Since my pay was only $7.50 I technically didn’t make any money doing this shop. This would be bad if I thought my true expenses were anywhere close to $0.50 but since I estimate my true expenses to be less than half that these shops are worthwhile.