Mamja - I've never made that much money, either. However, I think I've finally started to have an increase in earnings. I used to be the parenting methods feature writer. I wrote over 70 parenting articles and, lets just say, they are NOT revenue earners - lol!
I was really bummed about it, so I printed my list of articles and counted each type. I have several holiday articles in addition to the parenting ones and the rest (less than 20) were on various topics. I dropped the feature writer position. I was burnt out on the topic anyway, but I was also really sick of writing for little reward (though I did sell a few of those parenting articles to print magazines).
I've been reading some great advice about increasing revenue in the Suite forums and I've changed the way I approach writing for them. What I am doing is taking my non-parenting articles that I get the most page views on, look them up in the Google Adwords Keyword tool and find the highest CPC keywords that generate a moderate amount of monthly search volume. If its a high cpc, but only has a few thousand or a few hundred searches, then I skip it. Likewise, if the search volume is decent, but the cpc is less than $2 or $3, then I skip it as well.
The advice I read said to take the key words that people are using to find your most popular articles, find similar key words and write another article on the same or similar topic. For instance, I get a lot of hits on a cold sore article. People were searching on cold sores in pregnancy, so I checked the keywords for that and wrote another cold sore article. I only had to do minimal research on the new article, since I'd already done it. Once I posted the new article, it went into my top 10 almost right away, so now I've got two cold sore articles doing well. I'll probably write a few more. Different people will find the articles in different ways, so it casts a wider net.
I'm going to do the next several articles this way, until I have 50 non-parenting, non-holiday articles. They keep saying in the forums that 50 is the magic number. I have 151 all together now, but I put a lot of effort into holiday articles for a bit, too. December has always been my best month - lol. Last week, I finally had my first over $6 day! Yay! I think that, for me, 200 is going to be the magic number - lol. I finally feel like I "get" it when it comes to finding the right keywords.
Where I went wrong before was focusing on the topics that I liked reading and writing about. When I knew that wasn't working to generate revenue, I tried looking up high CPC keywords and writing articles with those. However, I hated that. It seemed so forced, involved a lot of research because they were topics I wasn't interested in and was just generally uncomfortable for me. I was writing less because it was such a chore. I think building off the articles I already have that are doing well puts both ways of writing together and makes a lot of sense to me.
I think I had a handle on keywording and I really like some of the parenting articles I wrote, but they simply didn't translate to earnings for me. I've gone back and looked at some of the CPCs for them and they are mostly five cents! No wonder my earnings have sucked!