Online content site writing can often be challenging, confusing and frustrating – and not necessarily in that order. Follow these top ten tips on Internet content site writing and become more profitable, happy and successful.
1) Write Under One Name Only
When writing articles, columns, short stories, etc. on the Internet use one name only. Frankly, your real name is preferable to a pen name. This is especially true if you desire to make the leap from online to print, as you can then point a magazine editor to your body of work on the Internet. If, for instance, your online work appears under the pseudonym “The Unknown Writer” and/or other aliases, you may have a difficult time proving that the work is really yours. Also, if you plan to republish your articles elsewhere online, plagiarism checkers – and, folks, they do employ them – may bounce your recycled article at another site if the bylines don’t match up. That in turn could get you banned and your earnings confiscated for the site’s annual Christmas party, so brand yourself with one name only.
2) Craft a Professional Profile
If you’re in the writing business a professional profile listing your education, credits and other pertinent facts is preferable over a Facebook or MySpace-type personal profile. And please, don’t say you’re a newbie or “just starting off.” Any website, business or individual interested in contracting your services will indeed check out your profile. Also, it never hurts to list your alma mater, as alumni like to check out what their fellow graduates are doing. Hint: your alma mater is a keyword.
3) Don’t Worry About What Others Write
The only content you are responsible for is your own. Don’t sweat any bullets about what other people are writing, especially in regard to quality, as the latter on most sites ranges from poor to outstanding. Just craft your own work to the best of your ability and leave it at that, for what others write is beyond your control.
4) Produce Quality and Quantity and Republish
Content site writing is a numbers game. The more articles you publish, as the theory goes, the more revenue you will earn. That is especially true on a site like Factoidz, which pays an activity bonus – hardly chump change by the way if you are fortunate enough to make Featured Writer status. But quality is important too, as some finely crafted articles will bring in far more income than a handful of mediocre ones. In order to maximize the earning potential of your articles, retitle and republish them on other sites after the expiration date has been reached. On Factoidz, writers are allowed to republish their work on other sites after 30 days. On Triond it’s 72 hours and on Suite 101 it’s a full year. Well, judge for yourself the fairness/wisdom concerning the latter site…
5) Log In Regularly
It pays to log in regularly, as things constantly change on content writing sites. New revenue plans, tools and other features are often launched without email notice, so if you’re not logged in to see what’s happening you may well lose out on these new, burgeoning opportunities.
6) Associate and Tie In Articles
Once you research and write a particular article, expand and extrapolate on that subject to include associate articles. On my best-selling “Ten Best Robert De Niro Movies,” for example, I have also written such tie-in features as “Ten Valuable Robert De Niro Movie Collectibles,” “Ten Best Boxing Movie Characters” (De Niro in Raging Bull), “Ten Best Vietnam War Movie Characters” (De Niro in The Deer Hunter), etc. It houses a body of work under one theme – in this case Bobby De Niro – resulting in piggyback views.
7) Accept All Awards and Accolades
Many sites give out awards and bestow accolades – some even include cash bonuses – using such names as Editor’s Pick, Editor’s Choice, etc. Gladly accept these awards and keep track of them, as they can be used on your writing credits/resume. On Bukisa, for example, I have 100 Editor’s Picks – which mysteriously stopped at an even 100 when site changes were made. Actors, musicians and realtors (groan) are always honoring themselves – how many entertainment awards shows are there now? – so online writers may as well ballyhoo their own accomplishments too.
8) Republish Print Articles Online
If you have still-pertinent articles in print republish them online. Many print writers have formidable bodies of work that can enjoy new life and earn new revenue online. This is especially true for historical articles, which are still relevant and weather time well. You may have to rewrite or streamline them for the Internet, but the basic research/writing has already been done.
9) Don’t Announce You’re Leaving/Don’t Write an Article Trashing the Site
I’ve seen this deadly duo many times. A disgruntled writer announces in the forums or wherever that he or she is leaving and proceeds to burn all bridges, departing with a nasty, no-holds barred article in which the host site is pilloried like an accused broomstick rider at the Salem Witch Trials. First of all, it’s not like you’re resigning a U.S. Senate seat and all media eyes are upon you. And secondly, it’s unprofessional and a bad move to boot, as things could eventually change for the better. If you have to depart, say nothing and leave quietly, giving yourself the option of returning one day.
10) Professional Writer or Forums Junkie?
One writer complains on another site that he makes very little money writing. By his own admission, he’s earned something south of $10 in two years! Little wonder, as he spends very little time actually writing articles. Most of his time is spent at the site’s forums, arguing religion, politics, sports or whatever. And that’s okay, if one’s goal is to socialize. But if you’re in this business to earn the Yankee, Canadian or Australian dollar, British pound, Indian rupee, etc., then put your nose to the grindstone and turn out the articles. Forums can be useful to garner information and exchange ideas, but don’t make them your permanent residence.