Writing for the web is a hot way to earn cash. The web is the information highway, and someone needs to do all that writing. If you've got writing skills, then someone can use you. Webmasters, bloggers, business owners, news and non-profit organizations pay writers to create content for their online properties. Most companies pay a flat rate per article, and if you land several gigs, you can create a steady stream of extra money each month.
SEO Article Writing
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It's what websites use to make sure you find them when you're looking for information. For example, if you were to search for “diapers” using your favorite search engine, you're going to get a list of 10 websites that include the word “diapers” on the website. You're not going to find your mom and pop grocery store on that list. Your likely search results will be Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon and other big stores or online platforms that sell diapers. The reason is that they have invested a lot of money in search optimization for the keyword “diapers.” They know that if they appear on the front page of the search results, consumers will click on the link to the information, and a percentage of the web traffic will buy from them.
Your job as an SEO writer, which is what many writing gigs are, is to write information which includes those keywords that companies want used in order to attract more web traffic. This is referred to as SEO article writing. You would write 400, 500, 750 or 1,000 word articles that include those keywords sprinkled throughout them. Some examples of articles based on the keyword diapers are, “Diaper Buying Advice” or “Creating Your Stockpile of Diapers.”
SEO writing is not for everyone. You do have to include the keywords in the exact order given, and some writers find that too restrictive. If you like more flexibility, then you might enjoy writing blog posts. You don't have to own a blog to be a blogger. Many pro bloggers (owners of blogs who make a full time living from it) hire other writers to do the writing for them. The writing style is more personalized, in many cases, and allows for more creativity than SEO writing. Many blog owners allow you to generate your own ideas for posts, and the writing length requirements are often shorter, as low as 100 words per post.
All is not what it seems on the Internet sometimes. Some of the forums you visit are full of paid writers who write as forum participants. Forum moderators are also paid to write content on the forums, as well as edit posts. If you enjoy engaging in online communities, answering questions, finding answers and initiating conversations, then you'll enjoy forum posting. You can work for the forum or get paid by individuals and business owners to post in several forums.
Social Media Writing
Blogging is not the only form of social media writing on the web. You can get paid to tweet, comment on Facebook, and write YouTube comments and descriptions for videos. For example, the company owners don't have the time to think of, write, and post 140 character tweets to followers multiple times a day. They want to hire you to do that. Most social media writing involves engaging fans and followers in conversation, or calls to action, such as clicking on a link to check out a deal.
Let's Talk Money
Most of these writing gigs pay you a flat fee per job. The rate depends on the website you're working for, and what web owners require in addition to the written content. For example, you might be asked to find and upload pictures to accompany your articles; you might be asked to create and upload videos. Here are some examples of pay rates that are a common for beginners:
- $10 to $15 per article for SEO writing
- $2 per post for forums
- $5 to $20 per blog post
The key to success is to find one or two companies who, on a regular basis, have a high demand for content. They will upload topics from which all writers will pick and choose. You can decide what you want to write and how much you want to write. Flexibility is important if you have a limited time to write without interruptions. You can also determine how much you want to make each day or week since you'll know what the pay is per content item you produce.
Getting your foot in the door can be difficult, but be persistent. Write a few articles for free and upload them to article distribution sites such as ezinearticles.com or hubpages.com so that you have links where your work is published online; you’ll be able to use these as writing samples. And don't forget the obvious: make sure your emails to potential employers do not contain typos or grammatical errors.