How to Write for Money Online

Updated on January 6, 2018
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

I teach creative writing to adults and I love helping my students improve their writing skills.

Become a digital nomad by being paid to write online.
Become a digital nomad by being paid to write online. | Source

Earn Money By Writing Online

This is not a get-rich-quick guide to making money on the internet. Making enough money to live on just by writing is as difficult online as it is in the real world. The difference is there are plenty of web-based writing opportunities available to all-comers wherever you live.

The internet provides a global marketplace for writers. You can earn from your writing whether you live in a big city or your home is a desert island. Writing online can be financially rewarding, but it requires focus and perseverance.

How To Choose A Money-Making Topic

The best topics to write about are ones that interest you. Successful online writers are original and informative. They give their readers a reason to return to them again and again. Some golden rules to follow are

  1. Write in clear fluent English. Both American English and British English are acceptable as long as you are consistent.
  2. Tailor your writing to your audience. Your style should be different for a chatty down-to-earth blog post compared to a serious factual article.
  3. Don’t copy and paste or plagiarize other writers. You can be sued if you infringe someone’s copyright.
  4. Never pay a fee to be published. That is vanity publishing and gives you false hope. N.B. This is different from revenue sharing which is a common method of online earning based on the amount of traffic your work receives.

Online writers can choose anywhere with a reliable internet connection as their workplace.
Online writers can choose anywhere with a reliable internet connection as their workplace. | Source

Live and Work Remotely: Become a Digital Nomad

The best thing about being an online writer is the freedom it gives you. You plan your own day and choose what to write about. There are all kinds of digital nomads. Some write full length novels, others prefer to craft short stories. Some create blogs (an online diary) while others write technical articles. Some engage in social media, create a website for online sales and actively engage with their readers. Others take a pen-name to remain incognito and minimize online social interaction. There is no right or wrong way to becoming successful online.

If you are a fiction writer you may benefit from constructive feedback from other writers. Wattpad is an online writing community specifically set up to share and comment on each other’s work. In the video below, Rebecca Sky describes how Wattpad feedback helped her to achieve online success.

Wattpad's Rebecca Sky Talks About Online Writing Today

Do Authors Need to Have Their Own Website?

The benefit of having your own website depends on your career goals. Some writers swear it is an essential way to showcase relevant skills and experience. However, unless you already have web-building expertise, having to constantly update a webpage may be an unnecessary burden to your online writing. You may find it easier to use social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to post your writing profile.

If you have expertise in the real world you can exploit this online. In the video below, Jorden Roper from writingrevolt.com talks about her internet writing career.

How to Start a Freelance Writing Business (Contains Strong Language)

Make Money By Writing Articles and Blog Posts

You could write for your own blog or website, but readership can take time (years) to build high enough to generate a good income. Many writers instead become “jobbing” authors and sell their work (content) to others. Pay can be either on a piecework basis (cents per word) or on a revenue share basis. There are numerous websites for freelance writers. Be careful which ones you register with as the internet is a bit like the Wild West. Websites can appear and disappear overnight taking your precious work with them and leaving you unpaid.

Always read the small print of the terms and conditions before you sign up. Some only pay writers based in specific countries. American websites may only make payments into US bank accounts. For writers living overseas payment via PayPal may be offered, but not always, so check before you submit any work.

Content mills and bidding websites can give you a lot of work quickly, but the pay is poor. Many authors use them for only a few months to understand what topics are in demand, then they move onto better paid gigs.

The video below gives details of 20 currently reputable content mills and bidding sites (2018). The internet is constantly changing so be alert to alterations in ownership. If a payment is late, the website may be in financial difficulties, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

20 Websites That Pay For Articles And Blog Posts

Use the Internet to Help You

As an online writer, the internet is your best friend. It is your library, playground, news source and social network. The better your understanding of how people use the internet, the greater your chance of attracting readers and potential income.

It is not enough to know what topics are trending. You also need to understand how search engines generate their results. You should think about why you, as a reader, click through to some websites and not to others. There are some sites you refer to on a regular basis and others you actively avoid.

You are probably looking for informative articles or well-crafted pieces of fiction written in fluent English. However, your reading experience can be negatively impacted by poor webpage design, the difficulty of navigating a site, or an excessive number of adverts on each page.

Think about these factors when choosing what to write about for the web. The internet is a competitive marketplace. If you forget to make the whole reading experience a great one, your articles and creative writing will remain unread.

Writing online for money is a well-trodden path. A few make a decent income from it and you could be one of them.
Writing online for money is a well-trodden path. A few make a decent income from it and you could be one of them. | Source

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