Why Should People Read My Blog? Because I Say So.

Just today I came across an article on Copyblogger titled: "Why Should Anyone Read Your Blog?" and while I found many of the points very informative, and generally true, there was one I found pompous and completely untrue.

"If you actually make 7 figures on the Web, you are allowed to start a “making money online” blog. 
If not, well, don’t."
Honestly? Really? I make a small amount of money online, in fact what I make in a month would be chump change compared even to a minimum wage job. Does that mean that I shouldn't be writing this blog? No, it doesn't. I write this blog as a sort of informative, public, personal journal about the things that I'm learning as I delve deeper into the world of freelance writing. I've made money online, I'll continue making money online, I'm an active reader of some of the greatest bloggers out there, I've done a hell of a lot of research, I think that gives me authority enough to be writing this "make money writing online" blog of mine.


Writing Style: Robotic vs. Personalized

Writing style is everything when it comes to writing for an audience. It’s important to keep in mind that your audience wants something that is both informative and easy to read. Many writers have a hard time distinguishing the line between overly informative articles that border on robotic tone, and overly personalized articles that don’t give objective information on a subject. It’s important to learn to draw the line when writing, as an article that is too informative can often be dry and hard to read, while an article that is focused heavily on personal experience can turn into too much of a conversation with oneself. Both sides of the writing style spectrum have benefits, but like most things it is necessary to find equilibrium.

More informative articles can be jam-packed with information, and should the reader be willing to wade through the dry writing they’ll find a wealth of facts that can suit their needs quite nicely. Some people even like this style of writing.

Personalized writings have the ability to sway, to present opinions, and to present information that is and useful, if somewhat biased. Personalized writing is often easier, and more enjoyable to read, which is what makes it powerful when writing opinion pieces and personal accounts and journals.

It goes without saying that the best writing is writing that is written right down the middle of this spectrum. In my opinion those writings with perhaps a slight swing towards being more personalized are best. Writing that is able to present information and facts, but that is also able to expound on that information with projections, opinions, and anecdotes; that is the best writing in my eyes. 

Constant Content: My First Steps

A few days ago I submitted my first few articles to Constant Content, and I've been nervously chewing my fingernails ever since hoping that they'll be accepted. Constant Content is my first real foray into the world of freelance writing, up until now it's been article writing, and in my mind they're two different things.

From what I've read about Constant Content in their forums and on other freelancing forums Constant Content is a great place for writers to be. Apparently about 70% of articles that get submitted, sell. In fact, when looking around their forum, a common theme/expression kept popping up about customers willing to buy articles: "If you write, they will come". Nobody seems discontent about their experience on Constant Content, and many, from what I have seen, get a sizable chunk of their income from writing for Constant Content.

So, I'm pretty excited to be working on Constant Content, and hopefully the articles that I've submitted will be accepted, and more importantly hopefully they'll get sold.

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Freelance Writing: Not for the Impatient

Unfortunately the well known stereotype about writers being poor and unable to bring home the bacon is often true. Writing is easy, but writing to please others (readers), whether it be through a book about acupuncture or an informative article on elephant tranquilizers, is hard.

Nowadays traditional freelance writers often find job opportunities by sending cover letters to magazine editors, or by writing an article for a local newspaper and submitting it for review, basically by getting their names out there so that they can gain enough clout to be able to publish their works in a steady and reliable way.

Image representing Bukisa as depicted in Crunc...There are, however, opportunities for writers who wish to work solely on the internet. Websites like Constant-Content, Bukisa, Elance, Suite101, and many others offer online writers a chance to publish their works to already established websites where they can be seen, provided the writer takes the time to make them visible. Sites like Constant Content and Suite101 offer writers the opportunity to have their articles sold for use by others, often to the highest bidder.

These websites offer a unique opportunity to those who don't know how to begin freelance writing, or don't wish to employ the traditional means, for whatever reason.

The catch for writing on online content websites is that, except in special cases and for websites that exclusively cater to freelancers, any articles that you write will need to be advertised in some way by you, the website you publish on will not do this for you. This means that social bookmarking sites like digg, stumbleupon, and reddit will become your best resource. As a result, simply publishing your articles to these websites will not instantly result in a lot of profit, they need to become indexed by search engines, they need to become popular, and most importantly: they need to get viewed.

Experiment Results

The results are in! After spending a whole lot of time on myLot yesterday posting and starting discussions and reading news headlines and getting into some of the blog there, it seems my total income from all of that was about $0.40

I would consider this a decent amount of money for what I did on myLot, and admittedly I did spend quite a lot of my time just reading other discussions looking for ones that I wanted to contribute to. This is an especially decent amount of money for the forum troll in all of us.

I plan to continue to use myLot. Obviously I'm not going to get rich on myLot but it's bound to be a great place to drop by when you're bored, so  I'll drop by myLot and probably get lost in its depths when I am. Because let me tell you, there are quite a lot of discussions on myLot, and most of them are active.

So, for those of you who like reading and being a part of a forum community, I highly suggest that you check out mylot, because it's definitely a good community to be involved with. There are subforums on almost every topic imaginable, and they're all active, and people are always willing to have a discussion. And to top that off you get paid, and everyone would love a few bucks here and there for things they do on the internet already right?

At the end of the week I'll post my total earnings for the week from myLot.

The Experiment Starts: myLot or Not?

Today is the day that I will begin my myLot 6+ hour challenge. I will spend at least 6 hours of my time on myLot today, and tomorrow we will see what I have earned from it.

Click Here If you don't know what myLot is and you'd like to learn more.

Let the experiment begin!

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A New Experiment

As you might know from previous posts, or if you know me on the internet, then you know that I've recently found a website called myLot. myLot is a website that allows you to basically troll around (not in the bad way) on a forum so as to create content, and get paid for it. The website owners have incentive to pay you to do this because they run ads on their website and they get traffic to the content that you produce by posting. It's a very interesting website that I enjoy, and I'm rather excited to know about the earning potential for myLot.

That's why I'm going to do a little experiment.

Apparently, people like to sit on myLot all day long because it's so addictive. Well, not only am I going to test the addictiveness of myLot, I'm going to test the profitability of myLot. My experiment will be this: I'll spend the whole day (at least 6 hours) on myLot posting and generally just contributing to it, and by the end of the day, we'll see how profitable it will have ended up being (for that one day).

Eventually this idea will turn into a whole week on myLot to see a more long term profitability margin.

So, to sum it all up here's a list of future posts on the subject.

The experiment begins Wednesday!

  1. One day on myLot: An experiment
    1. Residual income from that 
  2. One week on myLot: An Experiment continued 
    1. Residual income from that (after another week)
This might become a running theme, and who knows? I might become popular and well known on myLot. 

Reviews: Why I never spare a bad review

I just posted a movie review (a very short one) of a pretty terrible movie that I had the displeasure to watch on Hulu today. After writing this review I got to thinking: should writers spare bad reviews? It's always been my opinion that reviews are for exactly that, a review, and that nothing should be spared when completely tearing apart a movie, book, magazine, website, what have you, that you don't like.

Reviews are written so that an audience can know whether or not it is worth their time to persue something, or to buy something, or to watch something, reviews are there to inform and to help make decisions, not so that writers can show how fanciful and happy they can make something sound. I'm sure there are writers who would disagree with me.

I hardly ever write a completely scathing review either, it's just sometimes I really need to let the world know how completely horrid something is so that nobody else ever has the misfortune of stumbling on a bad movie or a bad book and being subjected to its terribleness.

Revenue Sharing? My thoughts (again)

First off let me start by saying that I love the potential that revenue sharing has for online writers, especially ones that don't want to write "magazine" style articles or how-to's. Revenue sharing websites generally allow you to write about anything you want and they'll pay you depending on how popular your article becomes. This is all well and good, but it generally requires quite a bit of footwork for you to make your content popular enough to be making you much if anything at all.

Demand Content websites like constant content are a little different in that you write an article (generally a how to or an informational article) and you get paid upfront if anybody chooses to buy your article. Now I have never published anything on constant content but lately I've been surfing several forums and article sites looking for information on the both of these. What I found was that there are very mixed feelings towards Demand Content sites, specifically from the writers who consider themselves "freelance".

I came across quite a bit of negative feelings towards revenue sharing websites on Absolute Write Water Cooler
it's a writer's forum and I found several threads on their freelance subforum that contained some very hostile words towards sites like Bukisa, Hubpages, Squidoo, and Associated Content. I, however, have very positive feelings towards these websites, especially considering their potential for passive income.

I've not contributed much content to the demand content websites like constant-content, but I like the idea and they do seem to pay much more for articles, and I love being able to name my own price for said articles. And the problem about not being able to write prose is easily solvable because I write prose here and on Bukisa and Triond.

I guess I'll take the middle road and use them both. Perhaps I'll change my mind in the future about revenue sharing websites, but I doubt it.

If you have any thoughts please, I encourage you to leave a comment!

Weekly Wrap Up

Ok, so here's a quick wrap up of all the content I've had published this week over on Bukisa, as well as a link to my bio on Squidoo where you can find all the lenses I've made.

Bukisa Articles

This week I've really tried to focus on publishing some of my old articles from Triond onto Bukisa, and trying to get some of my school papers to a point where they could be called a good article. This means that much of this stuff is not new content, with the exception of two of them (the first and last). I really feel like Bukisa has a much better website overall and the content written (for the most part) seems to be of a much higher quality than the content on Triond.

Happy writing!

Check out Bukisa to earn money for your writing!

Revenue Sharing Websites: What's all the hype?

Well, that's the thing really. There is no hype. I feel like every time I talk to someone about writing on the internet like I do, they get really confused, and I end up explaining (while talking really fast) every websites that I've ever used to explore writing on the internet, and I end up being really enthusiastic and sending them a referral link for something that they'll probably never do. It's sad really.

This, however, opens up a whole new door for those who are willing to really try though. There's so little people out there that know about these websites that there's a huge amount of people willing to participate in these things. Revenue sharing sites seem to know this too, because almost all of them provide you with a referral link that can eventually gain you a second, albeit weaker, stream of income coming from writing on the internet. Take Bukisa for example, they have a 3 tiered referral system. You get money from showcasing your own articles, as well as for any articles that your referred friends have written, as well as their referred friends, and even your friends' friends' referred friends (confusing right?).

So if there's such potential for people to make money writing on the internet, then why don't you hear about people all over doing it? The only people I've ever met who write like I do, are people I've met on the very websites that I write on.

Past Experience: Associated Content

Well, much like Triond this is where I got my feet wet in the world of online article writing, except this time it was a bit more professional, and I had to step my writing up just a little bit or my works would not get accepted. My reasons for leaving Associated Content were twofold, and neither of the reasons would bar me from going back one day, I just want to focus my attention on other exploits.

What is Associated Content?

Associated content is much the same as Triond is (If you don't know what Triond is, check out this article). It is an article writing, revenue sharing website that pays you to publish articles so that it can run advertisements on your articles. 

The main difference between Associated Content and Triond is that Associated Content does what is know as Upfront Payments, as in they'll pay you right away, even before your article starts earning ad revenue. 

Another thing that is different about Associated Content is that AC does not pay you for ad revenue, per se, they'll pay you for ever 1000 visitors that you get to your article. In other words, they'll pay you for hypothetical ad revenue.

Why Did I Leave?

I liked AC for a while, mostly because I didn't know about any other revenue sharing sites out there. I thought it was a pretty novel idea at the time  and I was just sort of playing around with it. Eventually though I realized that there were some things about AC that kind of irked me, and discouraged me from continuing to post articles with them.

Saturated Article Market
First of all the article market on AC is completely saturated, there are so many articles on practically any topic that you could think of. AC's reviewers will reject articles when there are too many like articles already in circulation, this forces article writers to get more and more specific in their writing to a point where the articles are highly specialized, and hardly relevant. AC needs to become a little more lenient on their article submission standards if they expect to have people continuing to contribute to their website.

Low Payout
The payout on AC was abysmally low. Granted, it would be a lot better if you could post as many articles as you wanted (supposing that they were of decent quality) because you get paid upfront for your efforts. However, coupled with the fact that AC restricts the number of articles on a topic this severely limits the potential amount of money that you can earn on AC. Put simply, unless your articles are being gifted with huge amounts of traffic, you're not going to be making much on AC. 

Now, the fact that traffic is a leading factor in how much money you make is true on any revenue sharing website. Again though, coupled with the fact that AC rejects a good amount of articles, and the fact that you need either a huge amount of traffic or hundreds of articles, AC is just not the greatest website for writers. That is, unless, you're already established as an AC writer and you have access to tons of good article niches and you're already making a decent amount on AC.

Looking Back
Ok, so looking back on AC I can say that I have a huge amount of respect for the AC community and the writers who persevere through the strict article guidelines of AC. That being said I'd like to add a little bit of a disclaimer: This is just my personal experience, this in no way, shape, or form projects what your or anybody else's experience is going to be like. I encourage everyone to at least take a look at AC and see if what you see appeals to you. Chances are you are not going to have the same experience that I did, and given how long it's been since I actually wrote for AC I would have to say that some things have probably changed.

Good luck and fruitful writing.

Mylot post! (Disregard please!)

myLot User Profile

Past Experience: Triond

I pretty much started off my writing online "career" (if you can call it that) on Triond. So I decided to write about my experience on Triond and to explain why I'm not writing on Triond anymore. This is not to say that Triond isn't right for you, it's just not a website that I want to write for anymore.

What is Triond?

Triond is a content publishing website that offers to pay you 50% of the ad revenue that they get when someone is reading your content. So, for example, say I have a piece published as a book review, and say there is a contextual ad placed on my page about said book, if someone who is reading my article decides they want to click on that ad and see where it takes them, I get 50% of whatever revenue that ad-click gets me. For more on how Adsense works check out the Adsense support page

In the Beginning

At first I loved writing for Triond, I started to write articles as often as possible, and as well as possible, and I started to rake in some money (I still am because my content is still there) it wasn't much, but it was still more than I was making anywhere else on the internet (nothing). I was excited because a whole new world was opened up to me. Well the door quickly closed on that dream because I started to realize some things about Triond that almost completely turned me off to the site.

What went wrong?

Well, for starters I found myself drawn to Triond's forums because I felt that such a wonderful website must have a wonderful community right? Wrong. The community at Triond was appallingly immature and unable to write well enough in a forum post to make any sense. I was desperately searching through the forum for anybody posting there that had a modicum of maturity and writing ability, but to no avail. 

In addition to that I started to take a closer look at the sites that published works from Triond (Triond publishes content on multiple websites that they own) and not surprisingly I found them all to be cookie cutter websites that all looked the same except for a few color variations and a few different graphics. 

I also started looking at some of the content that others were posting on Triond, specifically the articles that were linked back to mine as a "you might like" link. I started to realize that the majority of people who wrote on Triond weren't looking to write quality content to inform and to feel that sense of accomplishment at writing on the internet. They were writing to make money, and solely to make money. I even found an article on Triond that gave tips for making more revenue, and among those tips was the advice that you should favor quantity over quality. The nerve!

So in summation there were 3 main reasons that I left Triond: 
  1. Poor Community: The community was immature and incapable of writing coherently.
  2. Unprofessional, Cookie Cutter Sites: The sites that posted the content were all the same. 
  3. Low Quality of Articles: The individuals writing on Triond favored Quantity over Quality.

 Looking Back...

Now, looking back I can still feel a fondness for Triond because it was where I got started on the internet and it was a good opportunity to get my feet wet. I learned a lot of things on Triond, mainly what articles get the most traffic and I learned that backlinks to your blog are a good way to get some extra readership! 

My experience on Triond was not a bad one at all, it just turned out that Triond was not "write" for me.

Click Here to find out what I have written on Triond

Purpose? I have none: My first steps writing online

I wonder whether people will ever read this blog and say "gosh, that's some good information" or "gee I wish I had known that..."

Hopefully that's the case in the future. I'm writing this blog as a way of sort of chronicling my adventures through the world of online writing. I'll also probably use it as an engine for shameless self promotion (hey, it's my blog you know).

Anyway, enough potatoes on to the meat.

I've been writing online for several months now, to hardly any avail, sure I've probably made something like $20 but in the long run that's hardly anything. I think my problem is that I can never stay at the same website for very long as none of them really capture my attention. I don't think that I've found the website that's "write" for me quite yet (punny!).

Today I spent a good 3 hours researching websites that will probably be good for me to write on, and will be a change of venue from the sites that I previously used. The ones I'm most excited about, and the ones that I feel will have the most potential for payout and sense of accomplishment are Constant Content, Bukisa, and Squidoo. If you're interested in writing online then I can only encourage you to check those sites out, right now there the best I've found for what I'm looking for, but other sites might work for you too.

Looks like that's the end of my long-winded introduction. Welcome to A Writer's Exploits and I hope you enjoy watching my journey!