I'm an experienced online content creator with several streams of passive income from my writing. I'm here to share my secrets.
Quality Content: What Is It?
Quality Content means work that is accurate, well-researched, cleanly written, and appealing to the reader.
Writing is communication–it's as simple as that. The quality of your writing, then, depends on two things: the quality of your message and the way you deliver it. So quality writing is all about WHAT you say, and HOW you say it.
It's my sincere hope that your writing becomes stronger, and you make more money, by considering the ideas in this article.
When was the last time you happily spent your time reading something that was totally useless? Are you glad when you realize that Google has delivered you to a page of completely useless returns? Of course not.
Quality Content: You hear about it, you read about it -- but what exactly is it?
Any writer looking for advice online will eventually come across this one seemingly simple command: "Write quality content!" That's wonderful advice, and no doubt many writers have gone far by producing quality content. Of course, it's not as if we can just conjure up a high-quality article out of nowhere: it takes work, and focus, and a certain amount of sacrifice, too, since you won't always find success writing about topics that please you.
So how do you and I go about writing quality content? How do we come up with articles that attract readers, build traffic, and help us pay for that dream vacation to Venice?
It all starts by answering a few key questions.
Quality Content Question Number One: Is Your Writing Useful?
Quality content means writing that is both useful and entertaining. There are virtually no top-ranked HubPages articles that aren't both useful and at least somewhat fun to read. Let's unpack each of those terms for a minute and see what exactly they mean for you when you sit down at your computer to write an article.
Such a simple little word, but it means so much to the life of your article, and to your career as a writer on HubPages. If you're wondering how much usefulness quality matters to your writing, ask yourself this: when was the last time you happily spent your time reading something that was totally useless? Are you glad when you realize that Google has delivered you to a page of completely useless returns? Of course not.
Now think about the millions of people out there, and imagine them coming across your article. Is the information you're offering them on-point and useful? Doies it give them tools to work with, or information to put into action? Because if it doesn't, your readers are going to leave and never come back.
Quality Content Question Number Two: Is Your Writing Engaging?
We discussed how important it is to offer your readers something they can use. But while we're busy being useful, we can't forget to also be engaging. In other words, write articles that keep your readers turning the page, so to speak. You don't have to be the second coming of Mark Twain, but if your writing is 100% dry, your readers will become 100% bored very quickly.
If you have watched a couple of YouTube videos and had a couple of cocktails and you now feel that you need to educate the rest of the world on the danger of getting children vaccinated, then you should most definitely pump the brakes and think before hitting "publish."
Quality Content Rule Number Three: Proofread!
This is one of the most obvious, but most-overlooked, ways that you can make your writing effective and useful.Finding and fixing mistakes in your articles is tedious and tricky, but it's essential.
And yes, I am aware that there are probably errors in this article that I have missed, despite proofreading!
Unfortunately, many HubPages articles suffer from terrible grammar and spelling mistakes. It's not that hard to apply Spell Check to your writing, or to have someone look over your writing. If English isn't your primary language, you NEED someone to do this for you. HubPages should be for everyone, and everyone has something to say. But the way you say it matters too. If you're serious about getting readers and rising in the SERPS, then you'll get someone to look over your work and fix what needs fixing.
Quality Content Rule Number Four: Tell the Truth
Quality content is accurate and seeks to enlighten, not obscure. If you have watched a couple of YouTube videos and had a couple of cocktails and you now feel that you need to educate the rest of the world on the danger of getting children vaccinated, then you should most definitely pump the brakes and think before hitting "publish." HubPages is not the place for half-baked "opinions" about scientific fact, or articles about how celery juice prevents cancer. Cite real, legitimate scientific sources, and write thoughtful, useful, informative articles, and you will be on the right path.
Quality Content Rule Number Five: Research
As I may have mentioned before, you need to base your articles on legitimate sources. Especially when it comes to personal or public health, you are acting irresponsibly if your sources are not peer-reviewed scientific journals. Bear in mind that there is no such thing as an opinion about science – opinions are for telling your friends what you thought of a show on NetFlix, or the 2019 Jeep Wrangler. Opinions are irrelevant when it comes to the facts.
So if you have a topic that's true and accurate and useful, find sources to support your points, and write your article. I have written many articles about identifying insects around the home and garden – these are useful, accurate guides with scientific backing. They are useful, and they earn me substantial passive income every month.
Quality Content Rule Number Six: People Like Pictures
Images and photos brighten up your articles, and they also give search engines another way to return results. My articles about caterpillars, for example, show up on image searches, which results in substantially more traffic (and therefore more income).
The problem people run into is HubPages' uncompromising stance on using original or public domain work in your articles. If you're using someone else's work without their permission, you will eventually pay. Fortunately there's an excellent site, Pixabay.com, where you can find literally millions of fair-use images for almost any topic. Check out my articles about free images for your articles. Then start giving your articles new life with some sweet images.
Fortunately there's an excellent site, Pixabay.com, where you can find literally millions of fair-use images for almost any topic.
Quality Content Rule Number Seven: Revisit, Rework, Revise
I think of these as the three R's, and I mentally run through them when I'm working on my HubPages articles.
Review: I find that it really helps to have a look at my articles as someone visiting from the web (NOT in edit mode); what's broken or missing will leap out at me and I will realize I need to fix it right away. Editing like this improves my articles, and it also improves my Page Rank (though usually not right away).
Rework: sometimes a major overhaul is needed, and you will gain from putting in entire new modules or images.
Revise: fix outdated or awkward passages; add new bits; make them sing.
You know it's true: if you leave your low-performing articles to sit in the dark basement without ever being fed or groomed, they're not going to survive. Treat your work like pets -- sweet, undemanding pets - and give them all an occasional pat on the head. Go visit them. Ask them what they need.
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!
James W Siddall from Cleveland on July 08, 2020:
A sound basic review of quality content. Thank you, Jim