When I joined Associated Content two years ago, I had no idea how to write for page views. I was lucky to get 30 PVs for a single article; I felt truly blessed if I got more than 100. Now I’m proud to say I have written ??? articles that all have over 1000 page views. Not bad for a nerdy creative writer who never (never!) writes trashy celebrity gossip articles, right? Let’s take a look at my most popular “Associated Content from Yahoo!” articles-my highest PV-earners-and laugh at them, when appropriate. Perhaps we’ll uncover some truly amazing Page View Secrets!
Important author’s note, 10/11/10: I was recently informed that I should never ever share specific information about my top-performing AC articles because dishonest people might use that information to steal my most valuable content and take a chunk out of my already-pathetic monthly earnings. So I have carefully edited this article, replacing my real article titles with silly, made-up ones, and all page view numbers with “???.” I think my page view secrets are still helpful, nevertheless. Sorry to be so paranoid.
My fifth and sixth most popular “Associated Content from Yahoo!” articles are about two movies you’ve probably never heard of. “A Behind-the-Scenes Look at My Big Butt” has ??? page views at the time of this writing, and “Butts, Butts, Butts” has ??? page views. Both articles are display-only. I happen to be a [removed due to security concerns] geek, and rather than hide my twisted obsession, I flaunt it, because, hey, I earned enough money off my Butt-inspired articles to pay for my movie ticket to Even More Butts (in IMAX!). Totally worth it!
Page View Secret Number One: Write about popular topics, but focus on specifics. Make fun of popular topics! (I realize that my page view potential is limited if I only write on trendy subjects. As soon as everyone stops caring about My Big Butt, these articles will start gathering dust.)
My fourth most popular AC/Yahoo! article is a very personal piece, “How My Hairy Legs Got me Fired,” with ??? page views. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this article would become one of my steadiest earners when I published it, and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s currently averaging over ??? PVs per week.
Out of all 129 of my AC publications, this one means the most to me. I’m honored that so many people have visited this article, and I hope that my story may help other families who are facing similar challenges.
Page View Secret Number Two: If you know something that could potentially save someone’s life-something that hasn’t already been written about a million times-share what you know! Tell your story.
My third most popular AC/Yahoo! article was a Call for Content (C4C)-one of the topics from the AC Assignment Desk. Sometimes those AC Assignments are actually worthwhile! I was paid $2.50 upfront to write the article very creatively titled “Top 10 ???” which now has ??? page views. Normally I wouldn’t claim this type of article-it’s completely out of my comfort zone. But ??? happens to be one of my favorite ???s, so I figured why not?
Page View Secret Number Three: Check the AC Assignment Desk frequently. You never know what you’ll find there (some of the topics are unintentionally hilarious). Try writing a top-ten list on a popular topic if your PVs need a boost. It might flop…but then again, it might be awesome.
My second most popular AC/Yahoo! article peaked about a year ago. But “Why I Love the Color Pink” and its ??? page views taught me something very valuable: SEO works. How many times can I use the keyword phrase “why I love the color pink” in a single article? 10? 100? 1000? Well, surely it was at least 10 times, and I published that article before anything else was written about the color pink, so whenever anyone searched for “why I love pink,” guess what they found? My dorky article!
Page View Secret Number Four: No matter how much you despise Shrinky, Eeky, and Oopsie-the demons of keyword density, also known as SEO-you shouldn’t ignore them. Don’t worship them, for goodness sakes, but do allow them to help you. I like to use boldfaced subheadings (I’m sure you already noticed that). Subheadings that repeat and expand on your key ideas will keep your articles organized, easy to skim (let’s face it-most people will not read every single word) and search-engine-optimized.
My most popular “Associated Content from Yahoo!” article, by far, is “How to Slack Off in Cow Fart, Kansas, Without Getting Caught,” with ??? page views. This article was also a Call for Content (AC Assignment); I probably never would have written it otherwise. It now averages over ??? PVs a week! What kills me is, this article is probably the most boring article I’ve ever written for AC. I think I made one wisecrack about some picnic tables being located far away from the manure…and that’s it! But, like I already said, no one’s actually reading every single word.
When I published this article over a year ago, it didn’t have much competition. A Google search for “how to slack off in Cow Fart” brought up a lot of ads, but very few informative articles, so within a few months, my article jumped right to the top of search engine results for that topic. Like magic, the page views have been piling up fast and furious ever since.
Page View Secret Number Five: Local, evergreen articles could be worth big page views over time. Make sure people can find your articles by employing some easy SEO techniques.
To learn more about search engine optimization (SEO), study the articles written by our resident PV Millionaires. Some of my favorites are Lyn Lomasi, Carol Bengle Gilbert, Linda Ann Nickerson, Jan Corn, and, of course, Crystal Ray. Lyn Lomasi’s article, “Easy SEO Techniques for Online Article Writers,” is a great place to start. SEO really isn’t difficult, and it (probably) won’t turn you into a soulless, article-spewing robot. What itwill do is get you the page views you deserve.
Once you’ve published a bunch of popular, consistent page-view-earners, you won’t have to work so hard for those Performance Payment pennies. You might even have time to dabble in fiction and poetry, which are both good for the soul, but not so good for page views. Isn’t “Associated Content from Yahoo!” grand?
I know you loved this article and want to read more, more, MORE. Okay, calm down and click this link: “One Year on Associated Content: What I’ve Learned About Writing for AC”–it’s one of my most-commented-on articles of all time, and the picture still cracks me up.
This one’s just plain funny: “AC Assignment Ideas That Don’t Suck, Stink, or Blow”
If you’re sick and tired of finding your “Associated Content from Yahoo!” articles plagiarized on other sites, read this: “Looking for Quality Web Content to Steal? Here’s Your Free Gift”