Archives for October 2006
If you’re a freelance writer, or thinking about becoming one, then you know that writing is the easy part. Finding places to pitch your writing, ie, marketing it, takes up the bulk of your time.
Well, there are a few ways on the internet where you can start making money right away – as in, within one week. Following are three.
1. Write for Pay Sites (2 Reviewed)
A. AssociatedContent.com: My favorite write-for-pay site. The beauty of writing for this site is that you write what you want and get paid for it – anywhere from $3 to $40 for a minimum 400-word article. They also accept photos and videos for payment.
The reason I like this site is: 1) as mentioned above, you write what you want. No editor guidelines to follow, no writing about subjects you have no interest in and/or tons of research to do. 2) No minimum pay out to reach (many sites have a minimum you have to reach before you get paid); and 3) fairly quick turnaround time. They usually take 5-7 business days to read your submission and make you an offer.
If you have a hobby, a subject you are passionate about, or a subject you want to take the time to write about – for whatever reason – simply set up an Author’s account with them and submit (it’s FREE).
NOTE: On rare occasions, your article will be rejected. However, the editors usually leave a note explaining why and you then have the chance to make changes and resubmit the content. As I said, to be rejected is rare, but on the few occasions I have been, I always rewrote and usually got a higher than normal offer by acting on the editor’s suggestions.
Since I’ve been a freelance writer for over a decade and have a large library of content, I made a couple of hundred dollars in a few week’s time by submitting previously published material.
Didn’t I mention that the material you submit doesn’t have to be original? You will be paid less for it, but as it’s already written and has probably been used for other purposes, it’s like free cash. They pay more for original material and material they specifically request (new topics are emailed from the administrator each Friday).
B. WriteForCash.com: With WriteForCash.com, it takes them up to two weeks to review your article and more often than not, you will have to make some revisions before your article will be accepted.
There are tons of ways to sell your writing online; these three sites are just to get you going and/or supplement what you may already be doing.
2. Start an Article Directory: This takes a bit more work, but is very simple to start. What do people look for on the Internet – information – lots of it! To start an article directory, all you have to do is put up a simple website and start soliciting writers to submit their articles to you – free of charge.
Most article writers are promoters of something – e-books, seminars, software, workshops, etc. They are constantly looking for free and/or low-cost exposure. Soon, you can have hundreds of pages of content.
How will you make money? Add Google ads (details below). Every time someone clicks on one of the ads, you make money. Many article directories take articles on many subjects; some specialize. Only you can decide which is right for you.
I personally prefer niche directories because as the web expands, I think users will revisit a directory that carries quality information on a specific topic more often than one that carries a lot of articles on everything. Even if you separate them out by category, I find the “all-inclusive directories” too overwhelming. Again, it’s up to you.
The real key to making money with an article directory is promoting it and getting good, quality articles for your site. To get excellent articles, surf the web using key words on your subject. Once you find an article you like, contact the author (most will have their contact info in the resource box at the end of the article) and ask them to regularly submit articles to your directory. They will almost always say yes.
Once your directory has been indexed by search engines, many will start sending you articles automatically. This is when your site should really take off. Once you have a few hundred articles in your directory (and this can literally take as little as a few weeks if you put in the time), slap those Google ads on each page, and voila – you have hundreds of pages of content carrying ads that, each time they’re clicked, is money in your pocket.
NOTE: There are many article directories online where you can automatically pull articles from to get started. Do a Google search for “article directory” and about 3.5 million (yes, million!) results pop up.
Article Directory Software: If you want to put out a little money, you can purchase software that will completely automate this process for you. Do a Google search for “article directory software” and close to half a million results come up. With most of the software, you can choose to buy and install yourself or have the publisher install it for you. Note: You have to be a real techie if you choose to go the self-install route.
Before starting an article directory, I recommend taking several hours and doing some reading on the subject. While it’s a relatively simple concept, it can be a lot of work up front – but can pay huge dividends over the months and years to come.
3. Start a Blog: This is becoming old hat, but is still new and fresh enough that if you have a passion for something and can target a highly defined niche, you can start a blog on it, add some Google Adsense ads, and turn it into a few hundred bucks a month without too much effort.
Want to make more? Like anything in life, the more time you commit to it, the more your income will rise. There’s even a new website, Scoopt.com, that acts as a blog literary agent. What do I mean by this? Specifically, they “help you license your blog for both commercial and non-commercial use.” In essence, they help you sell your blog’s content. See full details at their site.
Blogs are no longer just for ranting about your last bad relationship or the bad dye job your colorist did on your hair. They are professional outlets for making money now. Read this blog case study at ProBlogger.net for an example of how a personal interest can be turned into a popular, moneymaking blog:
If this link takes you to another page, go to ProBlogger.net and do a search of their site for “”Back in Skinny Jeans.” The article should pop up. It’s very, very interesting reading.
FYI, to start a blog, go to blogger.com, create an account and start blogging away. It’s FREE!
SUMMARY: These are not get-rich-quick schemes. My mission at Inkwell Editorial is to help creative and editorial freelancers earn a decent living. I will never promise you that you will “make thousands a month by just doing x”, as many will. Don’t believe the hype.
I have been in publishing since 1987 and have been a freelancer since 1993. Believe me, I’ve heard about and tried so many different programs. The only way to make money is to consistently plug away at something. It takes time and effort, effort and time.
The good news is that if you are determined to make a living as a creative professional, the Internet makes it easier than ever. And, it can be done “relatively” easy if you choose effective methods and consistently implement them.
To learn more about getting those Google ads you see on many websites, go to Google.com. Click on “Advertising Programs” (a plain text button right under the search box). Then click on “For Web Publishers: Google Adsense”. Finally, click on “What is AdSense? Quick Tour”. The program will be explained in detail and you can have it up and running in about 5 minutes.
Also, it takes them up to three months to get your article on the web. Another drawback of this site is that they own the copyright to the work (eg, you can’t resell the content) and you have to choose from topics they list on which to write.
To their credit, the list of topics can be wide-ranging and they pay from $10 to $15 per article. But, if you have a hankering to write about, for example, the World Cup, and it’s not on their list, you won’t get paid for it.
C. Constant-Content.com: With this site, you basically put your articles up for bid, setting your own price. However, a lot of writers there offer their articles for free, which diminishes your chance of selling one – especially if it’s in the same genre. Further, you have to keep your price pretty low to sell articles – anywhere from $1 to $5. Although, this can increase if you write for high-paying genres, eg, finance, technical, medical, etc.
On the upside, you can resell content here. So, if you are going to write an article anyway and sell it elsewhere, you might as well post it here. However, another drawback is that you won’t be paid until your account hits the $50 mark. Realistically, this can take months, especially if you are only posting one or two articles a week and selling them for $2 or $3 each.