Online writing

Samuel Johnson wrote, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” Plenty of bloggers are quite happy being blockheads by that definition. For the rest of us, the keys to success include writing a lot and publishing it in multiple places.

Since I started this blog in August 2009, I have written about 225 posts for three blogs and dozens of articles on other sites. Some content sites pay a flat fee in advance. No matter how successful an article is on those sites, the authors will receive no more money for their work.

Others have some kind of formula for paying according to how many times people read the article. Authors can make money from articles on these sites for months or years after they first appear, but cannot count on much immediate payoff. Other sites offer some combination of up-front and performance pay.

I have no idea how long such content sites have existed, but the average internet business is much newer than the average brick-and-mortar business. New businesses take time to get established, and many fail within a few years. A high percentage of internet content sites are new businesses.

My first inkling that I could make money writing online came last July, when I saw a television news segment about a local housewife who made money from writing on eHow. I signed up for it and eventually published 22 articles there.

Then, apparently bought out by another company, they suspended their writers compensation program. They will continue to pay as before for existing articles, but will accept new submissions only from writers approved by the parent company.

One other site that I wrote for started and collapsed while I was writing for eHow. Therefore I understand the need to write for a variety of sites, some that offer up-front payment and others that share ad revenue or otherwise pay for older articles as people continue to read them.

It’s not easy submitting regularly to multiple sites, but if I remember to count what I have put on three blogs along with other content sites, I have produced a lot of work over the past nine months or so. As I learn more and more about the business aspects, I see that I have put myself in a good position to start making good money.

So besides a lot of articles in a lot of places, the other keys to success in online writing include study and patience.


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