I used to search the web to find super easy ways to make money. “Get paid to read emails”, “get paid to stuff envelopes”, etc. These were easy, mundane, and almost effortless income sources.
However, I soon found out that most of these so-called programs were either scams or only allowed me to earn about 50 cents a month, if I was lucky. Thereafter, I started to look for ways to make money that took a little more effort. I still hoped for the simplicity of working from my computer, but I was willing to work a little harder.
Using your Skills
I took an inventory of my skills and realized that writing was a skill I had that could involve the internet. Instead of looking for programs, I looked for legitimate ideas toward a business plan. Looking at money making ideas as a business makes it more secure and hopefully more lucrative.
There is a wide range when it comes to writing quality. Bestselling authors tend to be excellent writers (that’s why they are bestselling authors), and ordinary people writing on personal blogs and such can be excellent or just the opposite.
In the online writing market, there is demand for it all, or at least most of it. Some people are willing to pay for sub-par content, but at a much lower price.
What does this mean for you? If you’re not good at writing, you might be able to find work, but you won’t make very much. If you’re a great writer, you will probably be able to find more work and get paid better for it.
If you don’t think your a good writer, it’s likely you don’t like to write either. If that’s the case, you’re better off looking for a different money making idea. However, if you enjoy writing but you don’t know how good or bad you are at it, jumping in and looking for work will help you quickly gauge your skill level. Also, the more you write, the better you’ll get.
Where to Make Money Writing Online
I’ve come across many different websites and avenues toward getting paid to write articles. Some were difficult to get a hang of, but I have found my favorites.
Please understand that this isn’t a boxed product. If you want to make money writing articles online, you have to treat it like a business and find work. It is basically freelance writing done online, but you can venture into offline territory as well.
Here are a few sites I use personally and recommend. One might appeal to you more than another, which is completely fine. I’ll add the features of each to help you better figure out which will work best for you.
Textbroker is one of my favorite freelance writing opportunities. It is very well-organized and accommodates for all sorts of writing and price ranges. Whether you’re a serious writer looking to make top dollar or you are a fast writer with less-excellent skills, you can find a place to fit in.
Textbroker is set on star levels 2 through 5. Payment at level 2 is $0.007 per word, level 3 is $0.01 per word, level 4 is $0.014 per word, and level 5 is $0.05 per word. Level 5 is considered premium content and requires far superior writing compared to all three of the other levels.
When you sign up with Textbroker, you have to do a writing test by writing a short sample article. They will then read and rate your article to place you in the right category. Most people start at level 3 or 4 unless they put a lot of effort into it with excellent writing to reach level 5 or put very little effort into it to reach stay at level 2. In fact, it’s probably uncommon for someone to start out in level 5.
You can raise levels over time. Your articles will all be rated. As you write better articles, your level goes higher. The incentive to go up a level is the extra payment. The editors will send you an email every time they rate an article including constructive criticism that will help you make your next articles up to par.
Textbroker typically has a large number of available articles to write. You can go to ‘show orders’ to see open orders. They are in categories and set up by level. When you click on and article you think you want to write, there will be instructions from the client. Write the article according to the client’s instructions and submit it for approval.
They can accept it or deny it depending on how well you wrote it and followed their instructions. If they deny it, you have to edit it for re-submission or cancel your submission. On a few rare occasions, I have had clients who very rudely declined my article. I deleted the article and blacklisted the client so that I would no longer see article requests from them.
Blacklisting can be done by authors and clients. It only makes it so that the person blacklisting won’t see the author or client. It doesn’t affect the visibility to other authors and clients. It basically makes it easier to weed through potential jobs so you don’t have to go back to make sure you’re not working with a client you don’t feel comfortable with.
There are also direct orders. If a client likes your work, they can send an order directly to you, and you can charge more for these despite what level you’re at.
You may fall into some pitfalls now and then such as a client who is hard to deal with or article requests that are nearly impossible. You don’t have to take any article requests you don’t want to write. As you become a better and faster writer, you’ll learn how to deal with it. There is also a forum where you can have discussions with other writers.
Constant Content is for the more serious and experienced writer. It typically pays better than many other programs, but there is a higher quality writing standard. This is a great spot for serious writers who really want to bring in more than change every month with writing. Of course, you have to write consistently in order to earn consistently.
With Constant Content, you can write articles two ways. You can choose your own topic and write an article about it. Submit it to the system and once it’s been approved by an editor, it’s available for customers to buy. You might sell it right away, you might sell it 10 months from now, you might not sell it at all. It all depends on how in demand your article is and how well written it is.
An advantage is that you get to price your own articles. It is recommended to price them between 6 and 9 cents per word, but only if you produce excellent content. Constant Content takes a 35% commission leaving 65% to you. This is pretty decent, especially considering you can price it as high as you want.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should price your articles extremely high to earn more. The higher the price is, the harder it will be to sell. Over time, you will learn how to price your articles right, choose the best topics, and write well for your customers.
The other way to write is to check the requested content. Customers are allowed to request content that they want written. Writers can then write the article and submit. The customer will choose which one they want to buy. If your article isn’t chosen by the customer, you can then sell it the same way you would other articles.
Elance is a little bit different. It isn’t designed specifically for writing but for all sorts of jobs such as programming, design, virtual assisting, etc. It is a great site to find writing opportunities as well.
At Elance, you can create a profile and look for job postings. Some jobs will ask for a lot and pay very little. Sometimes taking a lower paying job is necessary to gain some experience and rapport, but not if it means being severely underpaid. Find a good balance.
Use Elance to build up a client base. It’s easier to keep clients than to find new ones. Work on improving your work and getting regular client orders. The better you get and the more you work, the better paying the jobs will be.
Finding Other Freelance Writing Opportunities
These are not the only ways you can make money writing. Check out sites like Craigslist or find other sites that list freelance writing jobs. Build a website showcasing your best work and add testimonials from clients whenever you can.
Look for offline opportunities as well if you want to get serious about a freelance writing career. You can write for print magazines, online magazines, newsletters, and other print. You may also want to branch out in fiction if that is something you’re interested in.
Casual Writing or Serious Business?
You can be a freelance writer casually, but you’ll probably only be able to do work with sites like Textbroker and Constant Content. If your just looking for extra income, that is completely fine. However, if you want to be a full time freelance writer, you need to get more serious about finding better paying, stable gigs. Treat it like a business, and along with talent and skill, success will follow.