All too often, I receive private messages from other online writers confused as to what it takes to become successful in the online writing world, and due to this I have compiled “10 Most Important Things That An Online Writer Should Do To Become Successful”.
Anyone who has really put any serious thought in the idea of becoming an Internet content writer should understand that success doesn’t come easily. Like with anything-worthwhile doing online or in the real world there are techniques that are used to earn popularity and a nice income. Some of these techniques have to do with marketing and other techniques have to do with writing or what a writer chooses to write about that leads to the potential future success of that author.
Let’s take a moment to review the steps needed to become successful and a popular writer on the Internet.
Rule #1: Set Realistic Goals
Before, you ever set-off to find an online publisher to publish your completed work, you should sit-down and write out a list of goals that you want to achieve each day, week, month or year. Do not set unrealistic goals that are impossible to achieve, especially if you have never published anything, anywhere before. You just have no clue how things really work in the online publishing industry, until you have spent some quality time testing the system and testing yourself, so to learn how the publisher that you have chosen to write for and publish with works.
When setting goals, do not focus on the number of future readers (views) that your article, poem or story is going to receive, because you cannot control that outcome. Only set your goals to what you can control and set no goals on what you cannot control.
Rule #2: Choosing An Online Publisher
There are hundreds of online publishing opportunities on the Internet, some that will pay you to write for their websites, ezines or newsletters and other publishing opportunities do not pay in money, but they pay in exposure or recognition, which in some ways can be better than earning an income. As a writer, you need to decide what you are writing to accomplished (see “Rule #1”) before you decide which publisher that you are going to write for and publish your writing with.
If you are wanting to earn an income, then you need to understand that you earn money usually two ways, either through 1) the number of views (readers) that your article, poem or story receive in 30-days or 2) by accepting an one-time lump-sum for the completed work.
There are pros and cons to each of these choices and they are: a) earning an income from total number of views received, usually does not generate a huge sum of money in a short amount of time, but it will consistently generate a small sum of money month-after-month for as long as the article, poem or story is still receiving readers (views) online.
Writing for an online publisher whom pays an one-time lump sum of money for each word, page or completed assignment, then it doesn’t matter how many views that the published work receives, because the publisher has agreed to pay you a set amount for your work. Each publisher sets their own terms and pays different amounts depending on the assignment or who the author is or how well known (popular) the author is online or offline.
If you choose to publish your writing using a publisher that does not pay any money, but they do offer to pay you in reader recognition or exposure, then you must understand that you are actually building a fan base that you can attract to other works that you have published for earning an income.
Triond is the publisher that I write for and from my experience it is the best and the easiest publisher to write and publish with. Triond has a large and very friendly writing community that offers a wide range of interesting topics, poems, stories and my favorite articles to choose from and by some of the most talented writers from around the globe. Check it out for yourself and if you decide to join, then look me up, Nelson Doyle (http://www.triond.com/users/Nelson+Doyle) and I will be a friend that you can ask questions to, so to help you get started in this business on the right foot.
Rule #3: Choosing a Pen Name
Your pen name lets people know who you are, just like your real (birth) name introduce who you are in the real world. The important thing that you must understand about creating a pen name is, is that your pen name should be easy to remember and easy to lookup in standard search engines. If you create a pen name that is hard to spell or that uses numbers or a combination of numbers and letters, then it will make it much more difficult for the average person to remember especially if they liked your work, but just cannot remember where to find it on the Internet. It is better to use your real name or a name that is relatively common or easy to spell, so that the reader can locate your work using a search engine.
Rule #4: Creating Your Online Image
Most online publishers that you can write for, gives an author an opportunity to setup a profile page, so that potential readers and other writers can learn who you are and what you like to write about. Setting up your personal profile page should not be rushed through and should be carefully written, edited and updated regularly, because your first impression may be the only impression that you have to encourage your visitors to take the time to read some of your published work.
If your profile page is loaded with misspellings, incomplete sentences, poor grammar or anything that makes it hard for a visitor to quickly sum up exactly who you are or what you write about, then that visitor will most likely leave without reading anything that you have published online. In many cases, this is the only time that you have to make a good first impression on a visitor who has never read any of your work and if your profile page is hard to read, then chances are the other things that you have written will be much of the same.
Rule #5: Writing With Purpose
Many writers write about a broad range of topics (including myself), but this is not necessarily the best or the most profitable way to make a sustainable income month-after-month, because this practice is all too often a hit and miss style of writing. Some topics such as travel, health and electronics attract a much larger audience than topics that are related to holidays, poetry, personal stories, or sports in general. Of course, to really get an understanding about which topics that will reach the broadest audience takes some time and research and trial-and-error to figure out, and even then it is still relatively a guessing game.
On the other hand, if a writer specializes in a specific topic, such as travel or health, just as examples, then in time the writer will begin to attract and retain the audience that enjoys reading and following that author’s work. The audience in this case, will understand what they are going to get when they follow this author’s blog or writings and usually will not be confused by the no-rhyme-or-reason writing style of writers who write about anything and everything that strikes their fancy, and this is a good long-term writing style that can potentially draw the largest audience over time.
Rule #6: Networking
It is extremely important that when writing for an income on the Internet, that new and veteran writers get to know each other in their publishing communities. Making friends with some of the writers in a community can benefit new writers, because many times they will find a writer who is willing to share tips to improve the writing experience in that publishing community overall. However, try to avoid becoming a pest or asking too many questions, because most of the serious writers (top writers) are very busy as this is the way that they make a living and asking too many questions could result in receiving no answers due to the amount of time it requires to answer them. And, try to avoid asking authors “how much money that they earn”, because this is usually a private matter and it doesn’t necessarily reflect what the average Internet content writer will earn himself or herself.
I have been writing for Triond for just a little over a year and have put in countless hours into marketing and writing over 100 articles, poems and stories and due to the fact that Triond pays according to the number of views that each article (on an individual basis) receives, I have been able to earn a very nice income each month. However, it wasn’t always like it is now.
The first month, I earned less than $7.00 for the entire month, but that was before I understood how to market my work and what topics generally pay the most, but just like you will have to do in your own time, I had to take the time to learn the business. This takes a lot of time to do correctly and you cannot be scared to try new things to attract readers. It will either work out the way that you expected it would or it will blow-up in your face and you will just have to try something else. Just never give up trying or you will never succeed.
Rule #7: Marketing
Marketing and networking is not exactly the same thing and different techniques are required to be successful. A writer can visit Myspace or Facebook or make friends within the publishing community that they write for, to network successfully, but marketing is something completely different and separate from networking.
There are thousands of ways both online and offline to execute a marketing plan, but a few of the best ways to conduct marketing on the Internet would be to do one or more of the following:
- Join social bookmarking websites such as; StumbleUpon, Digg, Faves, etc. and bookmark your writings and websites that you visit, so to share them with your friends and browsers (people who just read or visit websites that other members have bookmarked) in the networks that you have joined.
- Build a website or web page to promote your writings and other authors that you enjoy.
- Start a newsletter and link to your writings, but use the newsletter to share information that your subscribers can only obtain by subscribing to the newsletter.
- Join forums that are geared at the topics that you write about and participate in these forums, as you normally would do if you were not a writer. Most forums allow their members to link to their favorite website or websites in their member profile page and this can drive a lot of new readers, especially if you are an active member who plays by their rules and do not practice spamming the forums.
- Make friends with other popular bloggers and ask them if they would be interested in reading and possibly linking to your blog or writings. You can always return the favor by writing about or linking to their blogs in one of your future articles or blogs. This way you would target a new audience and your blogger friends will have the same opportunity to do the same.
Rule #8: To Read or Not To Read
Most writers belonging to a publishing community want their friends to read the articles or blogs that they write and after reading, then they want you to leave a comment about what you have read. This is all good if you have time to read their writing and complete your own writing.
Remember, if you decide to read and leave comments about your friends’ writings, then most of the time they will read and leave comments for your writings, too. However, if you have a lot of friends, too many friends, then it may not be possible to read and leave comments on everyone’s work, because there just isn’t enough time in the day to do it and finish your own writings that you have been working on. And, if you are writing for a living, then you just may not have the time to read as much as you or they would like.
Rule #9: What Pays The Most?
Since the publishers pay writers and the advertisers pay the publishers, then articles or blogs written about topics with high revenue potential are what pays the most. Let’s say that you write about free music and you use popular keywords such as; Free Music, Songs, Downloads, Musicians, then you are not going to attract the high paying advertisers, because anytime you are using the keyword “Free”, then there isn’t anything high value about that keyword. However, if you are writing an article about “MP3 Players” whether it be a product review or the best places to purchase a “MP3 Player” for Christmas, then you will earn more, because advertisers are willing to pay more in order to potentially sell some expensive or inexpensive MP3 Players.
The difference of the two examples is, one example is targeting an audience that is looking to locate something for free and the other example is targeting an audience that may be interested in potentially purchasing a product. Advertisers are paying to receive a potential return on their investment and an advertiser will invest more when the perceived profit return is greater. When advertising a free product, then the potential profit return will be less than investing in advertising to sell a product or website that a consumer or visitor will actually buy and these advertisers are willing to pay more, because of the greater profit potential return from their advertising investment.
Generally, writing poetry or personal stories about your life or a fictional character will not earn as much money as writing about a specific product, place, website or company. Articles generally pay more than all other forms of writing, which includes most blog styles, but not all.
Rule #10: Don’t Give Up!
Let’s just face it, not every person has what it takes to become a successful Internet writer, because too many people just will throw up their arms and hands in defeat, before even giving it time to find an audience. Most people who start out writing on the Internet falsely believe that just because they have heard about a handful of people making a lot of money writing online, then they can do it also. However, it just doesn’t work that way.
We have all heard about writers and bloggers making a full-time living writing articles and blogs on the Internet and we have thought that we can do the same, because in our minds it must be easy money. The things that we don’t know about is what will prevent most of us from ever making any money much less the big money writing on the Internet.
Most writers who have become successful on the Internet has done so, because they have worked very hard writing good articles and marketing their work effectively and this all requires some time to learn and to implement. Some of these writers have dedicated a set number of hours to do nothing but writing and have dedicated some more hours to focus on their marketing and networking. These writers use tested marketing and networking techniques that other writers have written about and other writers are daring enough to invent new ways to attract a larger audience despite what they are testing may not work and that they have seemingly wasted some precious time that they could have used doing something that they already know has worked in the past. So, why would they want to invent a new technique to market or network their work without knowing exactly what the outcome could be, well because if it does work, then these writers will have a technique that is fresh and has not be seen everywhere already and this will give these writers a bit of an edge and potentially draw a larger audience to their work over time.
The majority of writers that start writing for an income this year, will probably have given up by the next year, because they either have no clue what it takes to become successful or they just do not want to do the work it requires to earn their way to the top. Most writers just starting out believe that writing on the Internet will be a quick and easy way to make a million dollars or something along those lines, but then reality sets in and they realize that they may have to work just as hard or harder than just working a 9 to 5 job in the real world and this scares them away.
Rule number 10 is probably the most important rule of all of the rules, because if you give up too soon or at all, then you will never be successful at this and if you give up on this, then what else are you willing to give up on, because it requires some actual work to become successful at doing?