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10 Dumbed-Down Tips to Help You Earn Money from Writing Online
So, you want to earn money from writing online?
Earning money from writing online is possible if you know the basics and have the right attitude to succeed. With the right tools in your belt, you can enjoy earning money from writing online as a career.
So, do you want to make a career out of creating web content for websites? Are you ready to get hungry, put your nose to the grindstone, pay attention to details, and learn on the fly?
Okay, here are some of the basic things you’ll need:
NOTE: These are practical solutions I came up with throughout the course of my career as a writer.
Learn How to Write for WordPress
There’s no going around it. Most website owners who will hire you have websites made through WordPress. As such, you’ll have to learn what works best for WordPress and what doesn’t.
What you really just want to do is divide the chunks of text so that they don’t go over 300 words per section. That means breaking your article up into smaller sections or paragraphs so that they don’t go over 300 words per section.
You also don’t want to write 3 consecutive sentences starting out with the right word. Now I’m particularly guilty of this because I’d like to believe it adds a dramatic flair to my writing. I usually try to go around this by following other rules that will still give me the green light on YOAST.
Learn Some Basic SEO
I know, I know, it can be boring. To be honest, I was bored out of my mind when I started reading about SEO.
And then I went for some training and it totally changed my mind. It also opened up a world of possibilities.
What you really just need to know about SEO for earning money from writing online is how to place keywords inside your article. You will also need to know just how many keywords are the bare minimum or the absolute maximum number of times before you get flagged.
Note: This is just the most basic thing you need to know. For more SEO knowledge, I suggest you go to MOZ or enroll yourself in some classes.
While You’re at it, Understand the Way Google Works
There’s no denying it, Google is the most important search engine out there today. Because of that, we also have to play by its rules to rank for first-page results.
If you want to learn more about how Google works (and get a few certificates along the way), click on Skillshop and go through the courses. They’ve got everything for beginners to advanced users.
Learn The Different Types of Posts
There are currently three types of posts that you need to know about. Those are response, staple, and pillar posts.
Response posts are basically the shortest posts and they do one thing: respond to what the customer is looking for. Response posts are somewhat informal and have a “feel” as if they’re answering questions from a helpful neighbor’s point of view,
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your research. Make sure you get as many facts as possible and condense it down to a short 800 to 1000-word article.
This is the longer version of a response post. It also has a more serious tone to it. You’re trying to come off here as an authority on the subject without sounding too stuffy. So there’s still that helpful neighbor vibe.
This one is around 1200 to 2500 words long.
Ahhh pillar posts. I love writing pillar posts. These 3500 to 5000-word articles are a pain to write especially if there are a lot of others already writing about the same topic but so satisfying once you’re done.
Pillar posts are the cornerstone articles that website owners love to have on their websites. These serve as go-to resources for their customers to get much-needed information.
Pillar posts are designed to keep customers engaged from title to conclusion and afterward the additional questions. Of course, the reason for that is, because they’re looking for that particular information within your pillar post.
Gone are the days when advertisers would shove their commercials down the throats of uninterested consumers. These days, it’s all about inbound marketing. And you basically do that with well-written articles in the form of response, staple, and pillar posts.
Fall in Love with Research
The thing with earning money from writing online is that you’ll come across so many different niches. You’ll come across industries you’ve never imagined working with as you progress through your career.
Now, I don’t really recommend that you should sign up for industries you know nothing about but it can also be a good learning experience.
How do you write something you know nothing about?
Wait… I shouldn’t say it’s easy.
But it will get easier the longer you expose yourself to that type of industry and dive deep into researching the subject matter.
There’s Google, there’s YouTube. eBooks, other websites, you have a multitude of resources literally in front of you (I’m assuming you’re in front of a computer and online as you’re working). You’ll never run out of answers. Just learn how to ask the proper questions.
Network with Other Freelancers
This is the one thing I wish I’d done more. I was isolated for most of my career as a writer because (a) I didn’t want to be bothered, (b) I was writing 5000 words a day for a few years, (c) I didn’t know anybody who was in freelancing.
Freelancing is a very lonely job.
A lot of people don’t last because there are no good job opportunities or they just feel too alone. So, here are two groups you can join to feel part of a bigger whole: Filipino Writers and GetHomeBased.
Sign Up for a Freelancing Account
This is one of the most obvious steps one should take but believe it or not, I was actually late to the game when Upwork and OnlineJobs became a part of my life.
Invest in Yourself
Do you know the old adage “Education is the only treasure that cannot be stolen?”
Your parents put you through school to prepare you for the real world. Now, our appreciation of that varies from one person to the next but eventually, you’ll realize education is very important.
The great thing about these websites is that you can gain certificates to attest that you completed their courses.
I always make it a point to set aside some money for these trainings.
I’m actually up for an SEO training session this Saturday, September 2, 2023, and I’m also taking up a creative writing course through Udemy right now. And, I paid for these trainings myself.
I don’t depend on clients to give me that training because that usually means having to go through their accounts and studying under their paid accounts. You don’t get a certificate out of that.
Be Open to Learning Opportunities
It’s very easy for some people to fall under that false sense of superiority when they’ve been in a job for too long. That can lead to your downfall.
Always be vigilant.
Check yourself at all times and always be ready to learn new things.
Even the most uninitiated people can have something to teach you if you just learn how to listen.
Educate and Entertain
As writers, we are also educators as well as entertainers. The copy we write supplies people with the answers they are looking for. That’s something you should remember and put value in.
Although we earn money from writing online primarily as an occupation, there is the underlying responsibility one should hold to him or herself that the information one posts should be factual and have value to the reader.
If it’s entertaining, then that’s a welcome bonus.
Write with the intent to keep the current reader coming back for more because they enjoyed what you wrote and learned from it at the same time.
eBooks… ‘Nuff Said
I actually have a huge collection of eBooks. That’s what’s mostly in my tablet.
And what kind of eBooks do I have?
I have a lot of “Complete Idiot” books to help me figure things out. I also have a lot of Guitar related books. English and grammar books… I probably have 500 or so of those.
And then of course some fantasy books.
I invest a lot in eBooks because of the learning potential I can glean from each one. I haven’t read all of them yet. I’m almost there. Some of the books I’ve read twice or thrice.
Books related to writing and SEO are probably my most used ones.
eBooks are cheap if you think about the price-to-educational value ratio.
And because I love eBooks so much, I even have a couple out there myself on Amazon.
… which reminds me… I should write more eBooks…
Earning Money from Writing Online isn’t Easy But it’s Worth it!
Earning money from writing online isn’t an easy task. Sure, it looks oh so attractive. I mean writing is kind of basic for anyone who’s had a decent amount of education, right?
And that title: “writer”…
What most people don’t see is the struggle that happens behind the scenes. What it took to get popular writers to where they are now.
I’m not an English major Journalism graduate so writing isn’t a logical choice for me as a profession.
But I still chose it because of the freedom it could afford me.
Now I could have continued on my career trajectory as a manager but had I done that, I would’ve lost a lot of things I currently enjoy.
I’m not saying everyone should try my path but, writing has afforded me the life I live today. I’m not rich, but I love my life.
PS writing is a very basic skill that you can develop as part of your freelancing arsenal or you can become highly specialized in it to become a writer extraordinaire that clients look for and hire.
When Did I Start Freelancing and Why?
I actually started my freelancing journey through Upwork when it was still called ODesk. That was back on March 29, 2010. I realized that despite holding a managerial position and having just gone through a tragic event, no one really cared as long as I showed up to the office.
What Was My First Job?
My first job as a writer through UpWork was writing for this Indian guy who just gave me a lot of assignments and keywords. I learned how to place keywords in. This was when I realized just how different writing for websites and writing for pleasure was.
What Am I Doing Now?
More than 10 years as a writer has given me the skills and experience I needed to handle different situations. I’ve also become more confident with negotiating my rates. I can now choose my clients.
Last but not least, I’ve become more than just a writer, I’ve also become an editor, a social media manager, and hopefully, a virtual assistant doing data analytics.
I’m going to do another assessment on myself by 2024 and think about scaling up by recruiting more writers and offering more services to clients. By that time, I’ll probably be doing mostly quality assurance.
What about you? Did you learn anything? Do you want to add anything? Comment below. Let’s have a great discussion.