I'm an experienced online content creator with several streams of passive income from my writing. I'm here to share my secrets.
Quality Articles Always Rise ot the Top
Making money as a writer online is one option for people who can (1) write and are (2) looking for a good side-hustle. Getting your writing to the highest level can be really frustrating—I know, I have had my articles turned down by writing platforms dozens of times. But over the years I have learned a thing or two about what it takes, and how to provide the quality writing that the job demands.
I will say it again and again: Publishing sites have to make sure that they only publish well-written articles. No one would make money if they didn't. The high standards are there for a reason. Every article that a writer submits -- including this one -- is put through a series of assessments to make sure it actually belongs on the site. For many writers, this is a frustrating and obscure process. Every veteran writer has articles that just can't make it. It can be frustrating, but it's all for the greater good
I am a seasoned online content writer with over 15 years in the business. I make decent money from this side-hustle: last year I made about $20,000 from my combined libraries of online articles, and all of that income was passive (I made money 24 hours a day, whether I was writing or not). It's a sweet source of income that I use for travel and other luxuries.
When I first started writing online, it was really more for my own entertainment than anything else. I chose topics at random, ignored SEO, and thought I could do everything myself. As a result I made more or less every mistake a rookie online writer can make. But I learned from my mistakes, and I got better.
These articles are my way of sharing what I've learned with other online content creators. They are free for you to read and act on, if you choose. If there's anything I have left out or got wrong, feel free to comment down below. Good luck to you, and I hope you see your income streams become rushing rapids!
Making Your Writing Shine
A good online writing site gets that way by being strict. There’s little chance that spam, lazy writing, promotional garbage, false information, or any other low-quality content will make it through. A site’s dedication to quality keeps it in business. As you become a stronger writer, and begin to make money, you will often encounter the high standards and expectations that come with your status as a writer.
One example of this is HubPages and the "niche sites" that make up what is known as "The Hubpages Network." During your time in Writers’ Boot Camp, you will write a lot! HubPages will naturally want to know if you’re a decent writer, so the site asks you to write a number of articles before you graduate to full status. During your time in Boot Camp, you will write articles that are assessed by HubPages’ excellent staff of in-house editors. You’ll get used to the quality expectations of the site. At times you will get frustrated, especially when you think your article is the next best thing to Shakespeare, and the editors think it’s the next best thing to monkeys typing. It can be a humbling experience — it certainly was for me. But you will emerge a strong, battle-tested writer!
A Quality Checklist for Online Writers
Every article you write, whether you’re a rookie or a pro, will go through the Quality Assessment Process, or QAP. This is when most writers come face to face with their limitations, especially if English is not your first language. The QAP can at times seem unreasonably strict about grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation. But strict standards are what keep HubPages in business! Without them, it would go the way of many other online writing platforms that didn’t have such high standards for their writers.
Here are the things you need to pass QAP:
- No outbound links. You may be able to add them later, but for the first go-round, I always strip my articles of all links, no matter how worthy.
- Near-perfect English. Even if you are writing for people in your own non-English-speaking country, your article needs to pass the very high standard.
- Write about 1000 words. You can get away with less, but 1000 is safe. More is even better!
- Don't try to promote your business or blog. You will get turned down. Every time.
- Use free-use photos and images. I like pixabay.com.
- Be patient! It can take several edits before you pass. Get ready to write and rewrite.
- Don't expect and explanation. This is a big one. HubPages generally will not tell you exactly what it's looking for -- because if it did, spammers and scammers would immmediately set about gaming the system.
✓ I Wish Someone Had Told Me… I am not the next Graham Greene. Neither are you. You will learn this very quickly. We’re writers, and we value our work, but the QAP requires us to swallow our pride at times. It was hard for me to accept the critiques of the editors and forum members, and there were times when I was mad enough to almost quit. But looking back, they were right. Every time.
Featured Articles: What Does "Featured" Mean?
The main goal for new writers and veterans alike is to get your article featured. Having your article featured means it is made visible to search engines like Google, will start getting views, and may eventually earn you some money. Having a featured article is also a big pat on the back — you have what it takes! When I was getting my start I would always tell myself, “I wrote one featured article — that means I can write more!” But not every article I write, even now, is automatically featured. HubPages puts its writers under the microscope, and it’s not always fun.
HubPages Is On Your Side
Even though it may not seem like it, HubPages needs its writers and wants us to succeed. There may be some tough love involved, but the end justifies the means: we write good articles, the site ranks well with Google, and everyone gets paid.
There are many great places to turn when you feel stuck or frustrated, but I think the best one is the HubPages learning center. Whatever problem you’re having, I guarantee someone has had it before, and the Learning Center is where years of questions and answers had built a truly useful resource for you.
Pass the QAP and Begin Writing for HubPages
Making money as a writer on HubPages is very possible if you are a good writer. But no matter how good you are, passing the HubPages Quality Assessment Process (QAP) can be difficult. HubPages has to make sure that it only publishes well-written articles, and so every article that a writer submits is put through the process. I hope this article has helped you pass the QAP and start writing on HubPages, and hopefully even make a little money by writing online!
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.