Thursday, June 17, 2010

Larry Zafran's Earning Theory

I found this while digging through some of my old eHow notes. I must have saved it when Larry Zafran posted it because I hadn't yet been on eHow for six months and I wanted to give it a try. Even just looking at it brought a smile to my face and memories of good times; I hope some of the old eHowers who read will have the same fond memories I have of it. I don't think the thread about this exists on eHow anymore; it's hard to know since so much was lost when they changed the forums.

And thanks, Larry, for giving us so much fun.

Hi All. I'm hoping that some of you can humor me by participating in this experiment that I came up with. It's a formula, and I'd like to see how accurately it estimates your current monthly earnings. I'll make the math as simple as I can, and will provide examples. Note that this formula probably won't be very accurate for members who have been on the site for less than 6 months, and who have less than 100 articles.

1) Take the number of months since you wrote your first article, and divide it by 12. Call that number A. For example, if you've been active on the site for 4 months, do 4 divided by 12 to get 0.333. If you've been on the site for 15 months, do 15/12 to get 1.25.

2) Take the number of articles that you have, and divide it by 400. Call that number B. For example, if you have 225 articles, do 225 divided by 400 to get 0.563. If you have 475 articles, do 475 divided by 400 to get 1.188.

Note: The constant of 400 assumes that you work hard to produce quality articles and promote them, either on or outside of eHow. It also assumes that you are active on the forums, and as such get noticed by new or prospective members and other vistors to the site. It also assumes that you have considerably more articles and have been on the site for longer than the suggested minimum values given above. Depending on the extent to which all these factors apply, in this step you may need to use a constant closer to 1000 in place of 400.

3) Multiply A times B. For example, if A was 0.333 like above, and B was 0.563 like above, you would get 0.187. Call that number C. Don't worry about rounding issues in each case.

4) Multiply C times 1000, which is most easily done by moving the decimal point three spaces to the right. In this case you would get 187. I'm guessing that the answer you get is somewhat close to your current monthly income. There are logical explanations for why your earnings may be somewhat higher or lower than that number based on various factors that have nothing to do with ad clicks on your specific articles (which eHow claims is not the issue, and which I agree with).

Without revealing your actual income (unless you truly want to), please post how accurately this formula reflects your current monthly earnings. Some of the constants in the formula may need some tweaking depending on what people say, and of course it will always just be an experimental estimate and not apply to everyone the same.

For the record, now that I've been on eHow more than a year - granted, I don't have the required 100 articles and never will now - my earnings were off by about $180. I wish I was making that much more than I am. I actually wonder if I should stop counting the time I've been on eHow to consider the closing of the WCP. When I do that, it's far closer to accurate.

Go ahead and share what your stats look(ed) like if you want.