You can earn money online writing articles if you follow a few simple guidelines. Many online writers earn extra income from writing articles such as how to, travel, or general knowledge articles, sharing their personal experience or knowledge with the world. And some writers make their living writing online articles.
Good online writing provides valuable content that is well written and is able to be found by the search engines.
Search Engines Have to Find Your Articles
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others rate Web sites to determine their ranking. This ranking is how one Web site is ranked higher than another on the Google (or Yahoo or Bing) search pages. The ideal placement is to be ranked on the first page of search pages since many people looking for a specific topic don’t click on pages past the first page or two.
It’s important that you can actually write if you want to earn money online. Google and other search engines have to first find your content. Using good keywords or keyword phrases helps searchers find your articles. My main keyword phrases here are ‘earn money online’ and ‘writing online articles’ for example. The ability to string togeher coherent thoughts is vital. Content is king online. If you write using your own voice, can communicate, and do a little keyword research, you’ll earn money online.
Ways You Can Earn Money Online Writing Articles
Residual income is the main way I earn money online from my writing. Residual income means just that: you earn continually from your writing, not just one time. For the income to kick in, several factors have to be in play including good writing and content that provides value to the reader, good search engine optimizaiton (SEO), and time. Time is important to remember because search engines might find your new article and bring some traffic your way but the thrill doesn’t last long. Unless your onilne writing is truly good, it can get shuffled to the back of the pack.
Backlinking by other people is an excellent way for articles to be found, too. Backlinking is simple someone posting a link to your article in a blog or comments to a blog or uploading the link to Twitter or Facebook, for example. It’s not kosher for anyone to use your entire article. Backlinks only use the article’s URL and a brief portion, say the first couple lines.
Upfront payment is the other way to earn money online writing articles. Just as it sounds, upfront pay writing sites pay you an upfront fee for writing an article. Usually the topic and/or title is provided and the number of words they want. For instance, they may ask for 400 words on The Best Snowplows for 2011. That is what you’d give them. Once you receive the upfront payment, that’s it. You’re done. You won’t earn another diime from that article.
A Caution About Earning Money Online
If you don’t already know this, one of the most things to know is to never click on ads that appear on your articles’ pages. You will need to sign up for a Google AdSense account. Often residual income from online writing is figured based on ad clicks. If you are caught clicking on ads, any ads, not just your own articles’ ads, you can and probably will be dropped from Google AdSense barring you from earning money online through Google.
Also never ask your friends to click on ads. This is click fraud.
Article Writing Web Sites I’ve Used
I’ve been earning money online writing articles for almost three years now. I started writing online at eHow/Demand Media. I did very well there writing how-to articles, but earlier this year, Demand Media closed the writing program.
Here are the Web sites where I’ve earned money on the internet:
Examiner: I’ve been writing for Examiner for a couple of years now. I’m the National Online Publishing Examiner and write about topics related to writing, editing, and online publishing. The Examiner pays according to many factors including page views, advertising revenue, and length of time readers stay on your article pages. If you apply for and are assigned a popular, timely topic, you can do very well writing for Examiner.
Squidoo: I started writing for Squidoo about the same time as eHow but never really spent much time there until this year. I like it more and more. An article at Squidoo is called lens but it’s best to call them articles when outside of the Squidoo forums or Web site. Time will tell if Squidoo is my new eHow, which was a good residual income money maker for me. It’s important to let articles mature so I’m patiently waiting for that to happen on Squidoo. Anyone can sign up to write at Squidoo.
Suite 101: I’ve been writing at Suite 101 for two years and find it to be a very professional place to write. There is an application process and not all writers are approved. I don’t earn a lot of money at Suite 101 but it was hurt by the Google changes earlier this year (Panda, Farmer, whatever you want to call it).
Seekyt: That’s right. I write right here at Seekyt, which pays via Goodle AdSense. Since my articles have begun maturing (they’ve been here 6 months or more), I have earned a bit of money here with only a few articles. With this encouragement, I’ll be adding more articles to Seekyt.
Associated Content: I’ve written at Associated Content for a little more than a year and a half. They offer upfront pay and residual income writing opportunities. I have noticed lately that there have been fewer upfront pay articles available than in the past. The upfront pay articles range from $4 to $20 in my experience. Residual pay is based on page views, I believe. The earnings are minimal for me at AC/Yahoo, but everyone’s experience is different.
List My Five: LM5 is a Web site that for me has fizzled out. Writers write lists of the top five of basically anything. Again, I’m not sure how the pay is figured but it’s turned out to be not great, for this online writer.
FireHow: FireHow is another Web site that I tried out about a year and a half ago. I am of the firm opinion that online writers should spread their writing around (that is, not put all their eggs [words] in one basket [Web site]). I do fair to middling at FireHow. I don’t earn a lot but I’ve stopped adding new content so all of the income is truly residual at this point.
TextBroker: I wrote a few articles for upfront pay for clients at TextBroker. I didn’t feel like the pay was worth my time. I’d rather spend my time writing residual income articles with the potential to earn $4 or $5 many times over.
Break Studios: Well, Let’s see. Where do I begin. I wrote a lot of $8 articles for Break Studios, and this is the thanks I got.
Finding Your Online Writing Niche(s)
The best way to start earning money is to start writing. Get your feet wet. Go the forums to ask for help as needed. Don’t expect overnight success unless you know something I don’t know (which the chances are good you do!). Go for it. Online writing can be a fun way to write about what you know, share it with readers who really want to learn more, and to earn money online.