I'm an experienced online content creator with several streams of passive income from my writing. I'm here to share my secrets.
How I Write Money-Making Online Articles
Everyone would like to have a money-making side hustle that earns passive income. Passive income means you have a few different income streams for luxuries like travel and entertainment, and even for necessities. One way to create your own passive income stream is to build a library of online articles on a site like HubPages.com, or on one of their network sites like Owlcation or WeHaveKids.
I have been writing articles that make money for over ten years, and I have leaned a lot in that time. This article is part of a series in which I share what I have learned. If you can write very good English, and if you can learn some money-making habits that will soon become second-nature, then you could start building your library of money-making online articles right now.
I made plenty of mistakes in my long campaign to create a passive income empire. As a matter of fact, learning from mistakes may be the number-one good habit of people who build up an online side-hustle. But you can save yourself some hassle by reading these articles and learning to avoid the mistakes that I made along the way.
One way to create your own passive income stream is to build a library of online articles on a site like HubPages.com, or on one of their network sites like Owlcation or WeHaveKids.
My Online Writing Story
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 Money Online: Learn the Difference Between Self-Expression and Earning Income
One mistake I made, and still make once in a while, is forgetting that every article you write has to fill a need. If you’re writing for yourself, about things that you feel you have to express, then that’s fine – but unless you're a known writer, you likely won't get a lot of online readers. If you write purely to express feelings and let it all out, great! But you probably won't get a sizable audience for your writing, and you for sure won't make money from the articles you're writing. I’m afraid that your chances of doing that with creative writing are very, very small. Have fun, but don’t get frustrated if traffic is low.
On the other hand, if you want to write effective online articles that make money, then you have to begin by asking what people want. Not what you want to write about, but what people out there want to read.
This means you first have to think about:
- What people are looking for
- What they type into the Google search bar
- What information do they want
- What topics do they wonder about
These are the things you need to write about. And as an effective, money-making online writer, it’s your job to provide it.
If You Want to Make Money Online, Ask Yourself: What Do People Need From You?
Amazingly, precious few online writers begin with this in mind. I know I didn’t when I started out. My thought process generally went this way: “Oh, that’s a cool (thing/tip/idea). I want to write about it. Let’s start!” At no point did I ask the questions that I should have been asking: “What are people looking for? What do they want? What do they need?"
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One mistake I made, and still make once in a while, is forgetting that every article I write has to fill a need.
It's a Simple, but Powerful Habit : Think Ahead!
At this point, if you’re smart, you’re asking the question that naturally follows: “How do I KNOW what people are looking for?”
Good for you! Now you're thinking like a money-making writer. This is where all the action is.
You want to get ahead of all the other writers out there. You want to THINK AHEAD. Your goal is to dream up topics that people are searching for. But you want to steer clear of topics that are completely exhausted, overrun by scammers, and within your realm of expertise is the true work of the effective online article writer.
A Great Secret Weapon for Money-Making Articles
One good way to figure out what people are looking for online is to go to a site that actually answers this question: answerthepublic.com. This is a really great place to find out what’s being searched for online, so you can come up with topics that address real needs. On this free site, you type in your general topic, and you get a very extensive chart that breaks down the volume of searches in the form of questions. It’s easier to show than to explain, so I suggest you check it out – you’ll see what I mean, and you’ll see what a great tool it is for online writers looking for ideas for articles.
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
— Colin Powell
Another Secret Weapon: Do Your Homework!
I know that this one isn't too sexy or fun, but this is how I have made enough money to spend several weeks out of the year on vacation in Mexico, just form my online writing.
Basically, you need to try a variety of keyword searches on Google and compare the search volumes. Once you have a keyword or phrase that has a healthy number of returns – in the millions, at least – see who owns the page one returns. If it’s all big companies or institutions, or the US government, then give it a pass – you’ll likely never be able to compete with them. But if it’s small sites and blogs that are getting all the traffic, then there’s a good chance your well-researched, well-written article will be able to compete, and may in time rise to page one SERP status!
Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
— Bruce Lee
Knowledge is Power! Understand Some Essential Terms
SERP = Search Engine Return Page. It's simply the results that you get when you search for something on Google or any other search engine. Your goal is to get to the top of page one.
SEO = Search Engine Optimization. You should know this already, but in case you don't: This means that you optimize your article to be found by search engines like Google. You do this by making sure your keywords are used throughout the article.
KEYWORDS = the words and phrases that people are searching for that will lead them to your article. If you're writing about panda food, then the words "panda food" will appear throughout your article. It's not complicated.
My Number One Secret Rule
Ultimately, it comes down to just one thing: why are you writing? My rule, the one I tell to myself daily, is this:
If you want people to read what you have written, you need to write about things they care about.
Things they wonder about.
Things they worry about.
My job is to inform and enlighten. If I do it well, the readers will come.
There are always ways to figure out what the public is clamoring for – most writers have their own methods, or combination of methods.
No matter how you figure out what people are looking for, the number one rule for writing effective, money-generating articles is to first think of others. What do people want ? What are they looking for, afraid of, or in need of? If you can get answers to these questions, then the road is clear for you to choose a topic and start writing.
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I Hope This Helps You!
I may have just saved you years of pointless scribbling. If you begin with this question every time, and then ask yourself how you can meet that need or answer that questions, then you are on your way to wiring effective online articles that may even earn passive income.
Questions & Answers
Question: Without chewing up all of my allotted 700 words for a hubber article, how can I make my article more believable if leave out all of the references?
Answer: If I understand you, you're aiming to keep your articles under 700 words. However, it's the opposite on HubPages. Your article needs to be MORE than 700 words. Some of my nature guides I write as GreenMind are over 5,000 words. Since you're not trying to conserve word count, you shouldn't need to worry about cutting references.