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So you think you can write for pay?
You probably can.
Meticulous writers are not born. Some things are inborn alright, but others you can develop over time.
For every deliciously crafted word, sentence and/or paragraph, for every copy that vividly lights up your imagination, and for every sales copy that works your instant gratification senses, the writer took some time to hone his or her craft.
Technically, writing is an art and artistic endeavors do demand practice to perfect.
Also, not every “expert” is an expert.
Not every Tom, Dick and Hannah really cares if you do make it as an online writer or not. So, why write this then? What’s in it for me?
Having taken the tough, self-taught route to Elite Level Writer status on one of the more popular article writing sites on the web, you might want to tap from my experience as an online article writer.
This 14-minute read will reveal to you fine details that most “experts” haven’t—and probably never will. You know what they say about the devil and details. Read on.
1. Know your stuff
“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time—or tools—to write…” –Stephen King
You cannot begin to underestimate the importance of reading to better your writing.
What is SEO? What is the difference between web copy, sales copy, white label articles, article writing and general content?
What is white hat SEO and what makes it differ from black hat SEO?
Did you know that article writing is academic writing made easier to read for a more diversified readership base?
As the writer, you break sophisticated findings and statistics down to layman terms. If all these sound like metaphysics now, then you are doing the right thing by consulting Google.
Research your niche before going in all at once.
Writing for the web can be wildly dynamic, where penning an electronic vacuum cleaner review for a picky Indian client, a product description for a bustling electronic cigarettes firm in Australia, and website copy for a steroids company in Nevada, could all be part of a single day’s workload.
Not all writing assignments are entry-level as you might (mistakenly) expect.
It is imperative that you know the type and level of your audience and adjust your write-ups accordingly.
Also, determine what niche or topics best fit your personality. That’s because if you don’t like what you do, you probably won’t do what you do for the long run and when the going gets tough.
Lesson Learnt: To help with this task, read and learn at every opportunity available. Freelance writing jobs have fewer entry-requirements, but to make real money online writing articles you’ll need to be decently informed.
2. Where to Get Writing Gigs as an Online Freelance Writer
Unless you’ve had some writing experience from elsewhere, you don’t want to start with your own freelance writing account—no Writers Domain, Constant Content, Fiverr, People per Hour (PPH), or Upwork (formerly Odesk and Elance), and most definitely, no iWriter for you.
It would seem counterintuitive, but it’s all part of a smart strategy.
All these freelance writing websites use a rating system based on a 5-star scoreboard to categorize writers’ capabilities. IWriter, for example, currently categorizes writers into four distinct writer-groups.
There are the:
– Elite Plus writers (4.8-5.0 stars)
– Elite writers (4.6-4.7999 stars)
– Premium writers (4.1-4.5999)
– Standard writers (anyone rated below 4.1 stars)—you don’t want to be stuck here for too long.
Clients you write for leave you feedback and rate your pieces out of 5 stars, the best score you can get—the better your research and scribe’s skills get, the higher your scores/rating soars or convalesce.
The opposite is absolutely true.
Your rating/score determines how much money you can make online writing—the higher up you rank the better you are paid per word.
Everyone starts at the standard level and works their way up.
If you rush to register your own account before learning to work the knots in article writing, your stars will certainly dim and prompt iWriter to consider you dispensable.
Lesson learnt: To become a better writer, seek first to become a subcontractor and write under a skilled writer. While it pays peanuts, the hands on experience you’ll get will in the long run pay off in spades as you rise fast through the ranks to the better paying categories.
Once you’ve gotten some experience under your belt, you can then look for jobs at:
- Freelance Writing Gigs
- This article lists 28 other places where you can get online writing jobs.
3. Are Online Writing Jobs Sustainable?
There’s more than enough work to go around for the right writers.
Content is indeed king in internet circles, and every smart webmaster out there cannot begin to understate the importance of human-created copy.
Readers are not idiots.
Human readers can tell whether a flesh and blood human wrote a particular piece or the website owner simply used automated software to churn out spin content.
Smart webmasters, podcasters, and internet marketers, and e-commerce honchos know that a good online writer creates what they need: engaging, persuasive and reader-captive content.
Content that cuts to the chase and adds value to their sales funneling by converting prospects to buyers, raising awareness and closing the sale.
Lesson Learnt: There have never been more freelance writing jobs to go round. And as long as the internet lives on, there’ll always be a need for content. The trick is for you to consistently update yourself with the dynamics that drive content demand and empower your skills set accordingly.
- Earn $1,000+ with tips from this freelance writer
- If you choose a niche, you’ll be doing yourself a great favor. Learn more!
- These three sites are hiring freelance writers
- Tips on how you can market your freelance writing services
- These cryptocurrency sites are hiring freelance writers
4. How Much Money Can You Make Online as a Writer?
The cliché answer is that it depends. The actual answer is that it really does depend.
While a 500-word article sells for about $1.5 when you are a subcontractor, the same word count could fetch you about $52 as an Elite Plus writer on iWriter and most other premium writing sites.
High-value clients on platforms such as Upwork (and other who you will acquire via cold pitching, on LinkedIn or Problogger) are willing to pay up to $125 for a 500-word article.
Quality is what matters as opposed to what website you work with.
Lesson Learnt: High value clients are looking for ultra quality content. Focus on building your skills—it pays better in the long run.
5. How Much Should You Make?
In particular, how much should you charge for your services per hour?
If your skills demand it, you can write and charge clients on an hourly basis as well.
But do know that as you become more experienced and are able to accomplish repeat tasks with little effort and in even less time, you could sabotage your own earning potential.
Instead, charge on a fixed, per-project basis.
This way if you are fast, it won’t be counterproductive to your wallet or purse.
In fact, everyone goes home happy—the client satisfied with the turnaround time and you, well, paid and ready to take on more assignments.
Lesson Learnt: Be smart. Make as much as your skills can attract, whichever way you go about it.
Fortunately, there are vast resources you can use online that are particularly resourceful for helping you to get your feet off that researching rut and into making money online writing articles.
The thing about resources is that you have to search, find legit ones and transform those from their raw nature to a complete product that you can effectively use if you are to benefit from them.
Many do-it-yourself guides leave out a couple of other crucial details you need to know to start writing online for pay.
Do you know someone who would benefit from reading this post? A newbie who needs the above tips to jump-start his or her career? A seasoned writer who is suffering from burnout maybe? If so, please share it!!
If you’re looking for some more sites where you can earn quick extra money, make sure you check out these sites:
Nielsen Mobile App: This app pays you $50 every year just for keeping it installed in your mobile device!
Survey Junkie: Get paid to complete surveys. Earn $1-$3 per survey.