by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Writing articles online has quickly become a popular way to earn money. This is in part due to the loss of income from layoffs and other job loss. However, many find out the hard way that the ability to maximize earning potential in online writing actually takes some thought. Online article writing is indeed a legitimate way to make money. Anyone can earn a few dollars at it here and there, but to turn it into a business, you'll first need to discover things that will help maximize the earning potential of each article.
Spelling, Grammar, and Proper English
Accurate spelling, grammar, and English can maximize your earning potential on every article you write. Potential clients look at writing for those strengths. If you spell and write so poorly that even spell check and grammar check can't save you, it's time to get back to the basics. That's right. You're going to have to study. Can't afford classes? Grab a book and teach yourself. Find free online resources. Study with a friend. Practice, practice, practice! Every good writer starts somewhere - the sooner you learn the basic skills, the better.
If no one can find your article, no matter how good it is, no one is going to read it either. Take the time to learn to SEO skills, including LSI. SEO will greatly maximize your earning potential in online article writing. Many online writers get paid for their content per page view either solely or in addition to other payments. This is why it is so important to learn SEO to draw traffic to articles. This is one method that is always changing and doing the wrong thing could give you the opposite results you intended. So be sure your knowledge stays up-to-date.
Focused Headline and Topic
Readers need a clear picture. They need to know from the start what your article is about. Focus your headline directly on the topic at hand, not just part of it. The headline (or title) "Maximize Earning Potential in Online Article Writing" tells me this article offers advice on how to earn more money with articles written for the web. If the title instead was "Pay Attention to Grammar, Titles, and More" that could refer to a book, a lesson at school, or any number of things. It does not tell me it's about article writing on the internet or how I can earn more money. When writing headlines for articles, maximize the earning potential by fully focusing on the topic at hand.
Focusing on the topic, as well as the SEO in the abstract is one more great way to maximize earning potential in online writing. Just as the headline needs focus, so does the abstract (or first few sentences). This is what search engines show with your article link. Therefore, it should clearly represent the complete focus of the article. Take out all the fluff and just get straight to the point.
Focus and Readability
Web readers want to find their info fast. That's why they search for it online - instant gratification. This means that content needs to not only be discoverable, but straight to the point and in simple language. If a reader can't understand the language and focus right away, they likely won't read the rest of the article.
Online article writers also can maximize earning potential by using clean formatting. There is no exact format o recommend because it will be different depending on the venue. However, if your article looks like one long paragraph, readers may stray away. Generally you need to break up articles into sections. Subtitles can also be used if desired. Whatever formatting you choose, be consistent throughout the article for the best readability results.
In line with the SEO skills mentioned above, promotion is another great way to draw readership. To be the most effective, they should go hand-in-hand. Article writers can maximize earning potential with promotion in many different ways. Post links in forums (where permitted), on your blog, in other articles, on social networks, and more. If you have a website, share your work there as well. There should also be a way for readers to subscribe through both RSS and email. If you have an RSS feed of your articles, it can be submitted to online article directories. There are many, many ways to be promote. The main thing to remember with promotion is to be consistent and to do it only where allowed and by the rules. You don't want to be known as a spammer. The goal instead is to be a source of interesting and informative content.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Online article writers serious about their writing must remember the purpose of our content is to provide someone else with the information they need. Even when the writing goes to a client that will not return any page view or click revenue, remember that their audience still needs accurate and relevant info as well. Ultimately, someone will be reading the finished content. Here are five ways online article writers can get and keep clients.
Get and Keep Clients by Learning SEO
I know I must sound like a broken record to regular readers, I mention SEO so often. There's a reason for that. SEO skills are an absolute must if you are serious about making money as an online article writer. The main purpose clients purchase web content is to draw traffic where it's placed. If your articles do not have proper SEO, clients will look elsewhere to meet their content needs. If you often lose out on higher paying clients, gigs, and assignments, SEO skills may be to blame. If so, get and keep clients by reading up on SEO and implementing it into your work.
Get and Keep Clients by Providing Consistent Effort
Some online article writers make the mistake of putting less effort into lower-paying gigs than they would with others. This makes no sense. First, this shows a lack of pride in one's own work. Secondly, your name or pen name will be attached to everything you write. Do you really want potential clients to read one of those lesser-effort articles? Would someone want to hire you after reading them? Online article writers are lucky in that many of us enjoy doing this for a living. Plus, we can make money writing articles from anywhere we prefer - even at the beach. However, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't maintain consistency and professionalism. Putting effort into each and every piece of content you produce gives you better odds of being noticed and appreciated by clients.
Get and Keep Clients by Making Assignments Unique
When a client gives out an assignment, there are times where you may feel the topic is too broad for their audience. To solve this, write on the topic the client has assigned you, but choose a unique slant. Most will likely appreciate the extra effort. For instance, if the client asks you to write about bathrooms for seniors, you could write about eco-friendly bathrooms for seniors. Go for an angle that isn't saturated all over the web. Some clients might need reasoning behind your changes, but in my experience, most understood when I explained about topic saturation. I rarely receive rejections on my work. Sometimes clients will reward the extra effort with extra money or be appreciative enough to buy more content. Even so, don't get upset with those who don't seem appreciative. Just make any revisions and move on. That's another way to keep clients.
Get and Keep Clients by Setting Up and Maintaining an Updated Website
Setting up and maintaining an updated and professional website is an absolute must for online article writers for hire. A website will give you a place to share writing samples and a background on yourself and your writing skills. Have a contact form on your website as well as an alternate email in case the form experiences a glitch. Potential clients may like something they see on your site and bookmark it for later if they aren't yet ready to purchase content. Keep the website updated with current information so that people will want to continue visiting. Maintain a blog with writing tips and business updates. Get and keep clients by referring them to your website for business, rather than an email address. This is an important way to establish your personal brand as a freelance writer.
Network With Fellow Writers
Learning and growing is a big part of being successful in an online writing career. Things change so rapidly that it's important to stay connected with other writers to learn and grow together from each other. Just because you've been writing for years does not mean you know everything there is to know. While you may have expertise on one aspect of writing, another writer may be an expert in a different area. Get and keep clients by networking with other writers to share and discuss knowledge. This will keep you up to date in the online writing field. Plus, it can be a great deal of fun.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Web Writing Tips: Legitimate Clients Vs Scams & How to Protect Yourself
Web Writing Tips: Make More Money
8 Musts on a Freelance Writer's Website
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
All web writers should have at least two locations (if not more) where their work is saved. Your content can be repurposed. You might also need to reference it for a previous client in the future. Even if you never reuse your content, it’s always a good idea to have a back-up copy of everything. This can be used to prove you are the author, as writing samples for future work, and more. In my opinion, no writer should ever submit their content without having their own copy first. In fact, your content should be written and saved on your own device, then copied for the applicable submission process.
Use a Flash Drive
A flash drive is one of the most common ways to store written content. They’re small and can store a large number of files. Written content doesn’t take up as much space as pictures, video, and certain other file types. Flash drives are also easy to add files to, as it’s just drag and drop on most systems and the drive is easily recognized by plug and play technology via the USB port.
Upload Your Work to Your Smartphone
Depending on the type of phone you have and the amount of storage available, your phone can easily become a storage device. My current phone has 16GB of storage space. Even though I have a good number of apps installed that I use for business and personal reasons, this still leaves a large amount of storage space. Therefore, I often save my work to my phone as a back-up storage method. Some files aren’t compatible without downloading a new app. However, the phone will store non-compatible files as well that can easily be transferred to another device.
Use Cloud Storage
Cloud (online) storage is another popular way to save your web content. There are various cloud storage services, online file sharing sites, and online document storage and reading venues. Which one works best for each person will vary. Some of these are similar to a flash drive and may even be referred to as an online storage or flash drive. Some of them are drag and drop, while others require a single or multiple upload.
Save Your Content on Two Computers
If you have more than one system, saving your web writing on at least two can help prevent future data loss if something should happen to one of your machines. Have you ever lost content due to an error or other issue with your computer? Most of us can say yes to that question. Saving your work on multiple systems helps secure your work in such an event.
Use a Portable Hard Drive
This is getting be an outdated way to save files, since technology is advancing. However, if you don’t have any of the above options or just want an extra place to store all of your writing, this method still works well. The nice thing about a portable hard drive is that even though it is big, it is compatible with multiple systems. Most of them are plug and play via your system’s USB port.
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
It's always good to establish yourself in a topic. However, sometimes it's good to be spontaneous as well.
Jump in and do something you don't usually do to give your readers something different. When you fall into your typical pattern, it may appear to your readers that your main habit (or group of habits) is all you know.
Being spontaneous with your writing helps readers get to know you, keeps them interested in coming back for more, shows clients and potential clients what you're capable of, and also may bring in new readers who may not have noticed you otherwise. Plus, it's good for you as well. Spontaneity can help develop writing skills you may not have exercised before.
Have you ever been spontaneous in your writing?
Part of branding yourself to help develop an audience in writing lies in consistency. If your style is all over the place, it will be harder to create your writing brand.
Be consistent in the following:
*Topics - You can have more than one writing niche. But if there are no clear areas of expertise in a writer, it will be harder to develop a consistent audience.
*Style - Your writing style should match in all of your work. Frequent readers should be able to tell that a piece is written by you just by the style.
*Voice - Be yourself in all of your work. Let your writing light shine so that readers know the real you. The real you should be consistent in all of your work and should match your true writing personality.
*Advice - If you advise readers to do one thing one day and another the next, this causes confusion. Be consistent in methods and beliefs that are present throughout your writing.
Why would online article writers need a website if many article submission sites allow a professional profile? This is a question I get asked often when I mention the idea. Learn some of the many reasons all freelance web writers need a website of their own.
When applying for online writing jobs and gigs, reference links and/or a resume are often required. This will be much simpler for those with a website. Some may create an area where a client can download their resume by requesting the link. Others may post links to samples. Yet others may do both or handle it another way. Online article writers need a website in order to reference their work all in one place.
Professionalism is key, even though you don't see your clients face-to-face when writing online. A freelance writer's website is like a virtual resume, meeting place, and office at the same time. This is where you can let your clientele know you are professional by including all of the right things. A bio, samples, and a contact page are just a few. Read "8 Musts on a Freelance Writer's Website" for more details on those and other must-include items for professionalism.
Even if a client finds your work elsewhere, they may want to know more than they can find in a limited bio attached to your profile on a content site. This is where your website comes in handy. Many content sites allow article writers to place a link to their website in their profile or bio. Also, be sure to link to it from any blogs or other profiles you have. Giving clients (both potential and current) a place to find more information about you as a person and as a writer is very beneficial to them as well as to your writing career.
If you have any big writing projects, off days, exciting news, etc it can be posted to your website. Of course you don't want to announce information that is too personal, but a web writer's website can serve as a great way to spread the word. Doing this has many benefits. Some include letting clients see that you are accomplishing things, engaging with your audience, and also depending on the announcement it might bring in more readers or clientele.
Depending on how much bandwidth your site allows, this can be a great place to store certain files. Of course you still need a hard copy backup, but storing them in a secure, hidden location on your website can help you keep everything related to your online article writing all in one spot. This also can free up space on your computer if you'd rather not have the files there. Just be sure, as mentioned above to keep a hard copy if you go this route.
Need a simple way to speed up your writing that you can use each and every time? I did too. That's why I invented my own outline or template, modeled after the style I use most frequently. If you write for several venues, you may need a different basic outline for each.
Design your outline. Think about what you will need within all or most of your submissions and design an inclusive outline. Because I most often write informative how-to-type articles for Yahoo! Contributor Network and my own venues, I only needed to design one outline. I use it every time, unless I have a special assignment that requires a different style. For YCN, my outline needed a title, byline, introduction, 5 steps, and a section at the end linking to three related pieces. Because I only write for myself when I'm not writing for YCN, I can use that same format for everything, unless I am doing a quick tip or that outline style won't work for the piece.
Each time you have an article idea, fill in what you can before writing. This has been even more of a life saver than my outline itself. I fill in the title and each point before I start writing. I generally will go through and do this with all my planned articles for each day before beginning to write. Sometimes an article will start flowing while I'm in the middle of this process because once the main points are filled in, it's very simple to complete the process. So I'll stop and finish that article. Once you try it, I can almost guarantee that you will never write an article the 'regular' way again.
Below is a sample outline, followed by that same sample filled in with info needed to begin an article.
by Lyn Lomasi
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
More from Lyn:
(As you can see in the above outline, each area that needs bold or italic text is pre-formatted that way to keep it easy.)
Sample outline 2:
Guide to writing for the web
by Lyn Lomasi
Gear your text toward people and search. text
Gain an audience with niche specialties. text
Keep your audience by being truthful. text
Use personal experience to gain trust. text
Publish often and be consistent. text
More from Lyn:
(As you can see in this second outline sample, it will be very easy for me to write and fill in the rest of the details because I have my main points. They just need to be explained.)
Tired of writing about the same topic all the time? Your readers may be tired of looking at it as well. While it's great to specialize in something, you should also throw in other topics now and then too.
You can specialize in more than one topic without losing credibility with your readers. In fact, you may find they are glad to see random topics mixed in with what they are used to seeing you write.
If you want to succeed in freelance writing, variance can be a very good thing. Clients love writers who specialize. But they also like to see some versatility. This way, if they have a topic that shies away from your usual routine, they know they can at least consider you for the project. However, if you only write on one topic, how will they know if you are able to handle anything else.
Are you showing enough variance in your work?
Readers and fellow writers often ask me why I enjoy helping so many people? Am I worried about creating competition for myself? Why do I just freely give advice and inform others of what I do to succeed in writing? Am I creating competition by helping others succeed?
If I were creating competition, I am not afraid to play the game and I'd play it fair. However, I don't believe I am. Why? There is a vast sea of opportunities, gigs, jobs, and contracts in the writing world. It's not humanly possible for me to have every writing task to myself, nor would I desire to.
Aside from that, I am wise enough to know that every assignment is not for me. I don't know everything there is to know. Also, each writer has their own style. Why take on a project I know I can't do when there could be someone else better suited to it and who may need it more than I do? Instead, I could refer a good writer and move on to something better suited to me.
I have always believed in helping others, no matter the situation. Whether in my career or in every day life, if I see someone who needs help, I'm going to provide it if I have the means. If you knew a secret that could change the whole world for the better, would you keep it to yourself? Of course not - at least, I hope not.
No, writing advice is probably not going to change the world. However, if I can offer some guidance that can help change someone's perspective or career for the better, you can bet I'm going to tell them. One small piece of advice or word of encouragement could be all that is standing in the way of someone living their dream. How do I know this? People have given me that kind of hope and assistance. Were it not for fellow writers pushing me and offering me advice, who knows where I'd be today?
So, am I creating competition by helping others succeed? Does it really matter?
Even the best of writers make errors. From typos to grammatical mistakes to run-on sentences, mistakes in writing are common. In internet writing, many writers are editing their own content. This works well most of the time, but we all have our off days. Even a star editor can make a mistake in their own writing. So, how can you solve that? One way is to get a writing buddy.
What is a Writing Buddy?
A writing buddy is another writer whom you trust with your work. This writer also must entrust their work to you. Writing buddies give their final proofread copies to each other to be sure the work is of good quality.
What exactly do writing buddies do?
Writing buddies read over each other's final drafts and make correction suggestions if needed. If both writers also are good editors, there may not be many corrections, but it always is good to have more than one set of eyes looking over a project. It's a great way to ensure quality work is produced as often as possible.
Why Should I Get a Writing Buddy if I Never Make Mistakes?
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. No one is perfect. I'm sure that anyone combing this very post will find at least one (if not more than one) suggestion to make. There always is more than one way to look at writing. Also, like I stated, nobody is perfectly accurate all the time. I have gone over pieces of work several times, thinking they were up to par. Then, after they've been published of course, I've found grammatical errors or typos. Having a writing buddy can minimize the chance of inaccuracies.
How Do I Find a Writing Buddy?
If you're a writer, chances are you know at least one other writer. If not, you really should start networking. Having other friends who write can be extremely beneficial in more ways than just the one listed here. I recommend choosing your closest writing friend for this particular project. Be sure that you and this person can fully trust that neither will misuse the other's work in any way. I won't give legal advice on this because I am not a lawyer. Only you can decide how you should handle the legalities. But, I will say that it can be extremely helpful to have a fellow writer give an opinion on work before it is turned in to the client.
How Many Pieces Should My Writing Buddy Check?
All of them, if possible. However, if you are like me, then that may not be possible. I write way to many articles in a day to fairly have a buddy check them all. You and your buddy should decide on a fair number that is feasible for you both. Once you get a balanced writing, reading, and editing routine down, you may be able to add to that number.
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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