My Secret Rules for Writing Money-Making Online Articles
How I Write Money-Making Online Articles
Last year I made about $20K in passive income from online articles that I have published, most of them on ToughNickle, Owlcation, and other HubPAges Network sites. In this article, I will share with you the shortcuts and techniques that I have learned.
This article is part of a series in which I share what I have learned – not just what NOT to do, but what TO do. You can jump the line, so to speak, by reading these articles and learning to avoid the mistakes that I blundered into.
Learning from our mistakes is one of the key experiences of becoming an effective online writer. There are so many mistakes to make! Each of the articles in this series will address at least one specific thing I have learned through trial and error. In this article, I will focus on a question that shockingly few online writers ever ask themselves: “Who is this article for?”
The Difference Between Self-Expression and Earning Income
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 see much in your bank account for your efforts. 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.
What people are looking for.
What they type into the Google search bar.
It is nearly always information that they want, on one topic or another. And as an effective, money-making online writer, it’s your job to provide it.
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?"
One Secret No One Seems to Know: 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.
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.— Colin Powell
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.
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.