That's really awesome, Jo
I'm not on BubbleWS (only dabbled for a very short time) but I always wondered if the bubble would burst there at some point because I could not see how they could continue to pay at those levels when so many of the posts were real drivel, let's be honest here.
I know that some people really put in an effort to write useful/interesting snippets (I'm sure that includes all the writers here on Wizzley) but most of what I saw was just junk. I don't know how you can build a successful, long-term business when the foundations of it are not rock solid. And that's a big reason why I prefer to write on sites which have at least some standards in place to adhere to.
Jo deserves success because she has kept at it, as she admits, even when she wasn't earning a thing. Sheer bloody mindedness and persistence can pay off but I think only a small minority of people have those qualities. It's even harder now to earn from writing too with revenue share sites folding and the competition getting fiercer every day.
What works for me is the following:
* diversifying and not putting all articles on to one site (because sites can and do go belly up AND because what works well on one site doesn't necessarily work on another one. It's worth experimenting.)
* writing on niches and topics that I enjoy with articles that can be linked together internally with a site and externally to other related work online (helps with getting traffic moving around your own work)
* writing a healthy mixture of information based articles and pages written to make some sales (some types of articles do better with advertising and some do better with sales modules)
* refreshing tired and dated articles with new information, new pictures and new products around 2-3 months before the point where they are most likely to be popular. This is easy to identify with seasonal articles like Christmas but not so easy with other types. However, most articles have a point in time where they are likely to see a bigger influx of traffic. E.g wedding pages in the spring and many floral and chocolate themed pages before Valentine's Day. (can help with your search engine rankings)
* using social media to your advantage. I'm not a big social media junkie but I enjoy using pinterest and a lot of my traffic comes from there. I make sure to add large, good quality photos (not just Amazon product photos with white backgrounds which the biggest and best pinners often avoid like the plague) - photos which really are pinworthy and are more likely to be shared. Adding descriptive text over an image to sum up what your article is about so visitors clicking through know what they're likely to get when they arrive - that can help bring the right people to your page. Even Twitter has photos now as well as many other social media sites - the reason is because good photos are a real draw online.
* pin during the right seasons. I see people pinning Halloween articles now when Halloween is over. That's a waste of time. Right now is the time to pin for Thanksgiving (although that's getting a bit close) and definitely for Christmas. Toys, games, food, recipes, crafts, decorations, etc. (When I started to religiously pin my Wizzley articles before Halloween, I saw a very steep rise in traffic)
* writing consistently. It gets hard at times but I write pretty much every single day. Sticking to it and building on niches. That writing may not be a new article because I also end up doing more editing than I'd like but it all helps move you forward.
* keeping track with a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are not for everyone but I don't know how I'd manage without one. I use mine to see what months I should be working on particular topics and themes ahead of seasons, keeping track of niches and which articles can be linked together successfully and keeping account of where my work is published. It keeps me organized.
Disclaimer: Some or maybe even none of these things will work for someone else. That's just the way it is. I learned from Jo that we really need to develop our own paths and that can come with an awful lot of hard work attached. But, if you love what you're doing, that certainly helps because the financial rewards are not always so easy to come by.