How to make money writing articles

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So you want to make some money from the Internet? If Larry Page and Sergey Brin can make Googles of dollars from advertisings that pay only a few cents per click, why can’t you?

The truth is that you can make money from the Internet without too much trouble. There are dozens of web sites out there that allow you to write articles for which you either receive an upfront payment, ongoing income from advertising, or both.

I have personally tried 4 such web sites: Brighthub, Squidoo, HubPages and Bukisa. So which one is best for you?

Brighthub

Brighthub was the first site I submitted articles to. Brighthub has opportunities to write for dozens of different topics, and you’re sure to find one that interests you. The writing tools are well designed, with a lot of emphasis on maximizing your articles for exposure to search engines (and therefore maximising your profits). Unlike most article sites, Brighthub pays you $10 upfront for every article published, which is quite generous. You also receive an ongoing percentage of the advertising revenue, which at this point stands at around $2 for every 1000 page views.

Every article on Brighthub is vetted by a Managing and Contributing editor. The managing editors are responsible for choosing topic for their respective hubs (hubs are really just topics), while the contributing editors review each individual article. It’s a unique setup in the world of online publishing (or at least any that I have seen), and was no doubt set up to ensure the quality of the articles that are published. But…

This is the internet generation. Blogs, Twitters, emails, sms, Facebook, My Space: it’s all about instant gratification. To get an article published on Brighthub you first need suggest or pick a topic. The managing editor then chooses to assign you that topic, and you have to wait until the next month to write the article because each hub has only a certain amount of articles they can publish each month. And even then you can only do a handful of articles each month.

While the editorial process is deigned with the best intentions, the administrative delays in getting an article assigned to you and the limit imposed on how many articles that you can write will ultimately be Brighthubs undoing. When I want to write an article, I want to write it now, not in a month’s time. While those that do write articles are rewarded with the generouns initial $10 payment, the ongoing rate of $2 per 1000 views is not enough to make that worthwhile in the long run.

Brighthub has a good community and good writing tools. The payments (taking a long term view) are pretty average. Unfortunately the onerous process of getting an article written means you really have to be dedicated Brighthub’s editorial process in order to make any real money.

Bukisa

Bukisa is a relatively new article submission website. Like BrightHub you receive money based on the number of page visits. Bukisa maintains an index, which relates to the dollars per 1000 pages views writers receive. It started at 4 (meaning a writer receives $4 per 1000 page views), but has slipped down to around 3.5. Still, $3.50 per $1000 page views is still 75% more than Brighthub pays, and even though Bukisa does not pay anything upfront for your articles, you can write as much as you want about anything you want.

The writing tools are reasonable with web based editors comparable to HubPages.

I like Bukisa because it has the simple payment system of dollars per view, pays a reasonable rate, the writing tools do the job, and you can write whatever and whenever you want. The site is still in beta though, and there are a few little hickups here and there. Also the index has no guarantee of staying where it is (and indeed I expect it to go down before it gets back up to anything like the starting point of 4).

Squidoo

Squidoo is a more typical article site in that you get no upfront money for your articles, but you can write about almost anything. You can generate revenue through a number of affiliates like Amazon and Café Press, as well as through the site advertising based on a lensrank.

Unfortunately Squidoo’s writing tools are pretty average. Any formatting has to be done through raw HTML tags (which is tedious and unnecessary given how established web based editors have become).

Unlike other sites the revenue you generate from Squidoo can be donated directly to a charity of your choice, so if you’re just looking for a bit of good karma Squidoo is your best choice.

I have heard of people doing very well from the affiliate advertising system, however I never had much luck with it (that said though I didn’t put a lot of effort into integrating the affiliate ad’s into my content).

The thing I dislike about Squidoo is the lensrank system. Revenue is distributed according to a number of tiers. For example the top tier, those with alensrank of less than 2000, can look forward to a monthly payout of around $10. The next tier, those with a lensrank between 2000 and 10000, receive around $2. The problem is the tiers themselves are not published by Squidoo (although there are sites setup to track the tiers after the fact), and the lensrank itself is a speculative ranks assigned based on page views, content, the phase of the moon and a butterfly flapping it’s wings in Tokyo. In other words getting a good lensrank, and therefor a good payment, requires perseverance, dedication, research and a little black magic. And even if you do work out how to get a good lansrank Squidoo can, has and will change how it is calculated.

Squidoo has very average writing tools, a convenient affiliate advertising system, and a horrible lensrank system with zero transparency.

HubPages

HubPages is very similar to Squidoo. You can submit anything, although you will not receive any upfront payment. Revenue comes from Google, Kontera and Amazon affiliate programmes. Whereas Squidoo simply allows you to add Amazon or Cafe Press advertisements, HubPages makes you sign up with each affiliate seperatly. It’s not hard to do, but is one more hoop to jump through.

Once signed up though you can track your revenue with each affiliate directly, which is a nice change from Squidoos lensrank system.

The writing tools are reasonable, with easy to use web based editors available to create your articles.

HubPages has good witting tools, a transparent revenue system, and your can write what you want, when you want. Having to sign up for each affiliate makes getting up and running with HubPages a little more involved than other sites, but is painless enough to do.

Summary

All up I like Bukisa and HubPages the best. They are the easiest to write for, and have transparent payment systems. Brighthub is a good site if you have the time to work with their editorial system. Squidoo doesn’t offer anything the other don’t (except for maybe being able to donate directly to charity), the writing tools aren’t great, and the lensrank system ranks your articles in a very speculative way.

Links to get you started 

Bukisa
Squidoo
Brighthub
HubPages

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