So, you want to earn a little income on the side. Maybe you have a full-time job or you’re a full-time student. Whatever you’re doing right now, you use the internet often and you’re thinking if you could make money with it? Yes, you absolutely can. The most common way people make money online right now is by joining writing sites.
Do you need money to join these writing sites? Nope. Most of them are free. Some of them require Google Adsense account. Others don’t. So, before you learn about those different writing sites, first you have to learn what writing sites are actually about. Even if it’s an online job, there are risks.
1. PayPal account.
Most writing sites require a PayPal account. Some of them will send you a check through Western Union or Electronic Wire Transfer. You have to know about these things. Various writing sites have different payment methods, but the easiest is perhaps having a PayPal account. What is PayPal? Think of PayPal as an online banking account. It’s an account that links your bank account to the writing site that will pay you.
What do you need to have a PayPal account?
a. an email address
b. a bank account with a debit or credit card (with Visa or MasterCard preferably)
Almost everyone has an email address these days. You can get one at gmail.com or yahoomail.com. You might protest and say you can’t get a debit or credit card with a Visa or MasterCard sign on it, it’s too expensive! It’s not. You can avail of a Visa debit card in many banks. I, for one, have a Visa debit card from a bank, where I only need to have PHP100 maintaining balance in my debit card. Remember, though, that PayPal will take PHP100 from your account to have it verified.
Can you use an unverified PayPal account?
Actually, you can. You need a bank account to verify your PayPal. Let’s say, you’re going to get one in a week’s time, but you want to start writing now. You can, BUT you won’t be able to withdraw your money yet. You can also look up the PayPal debit card that PayPal is offering, instead.
2. Evaluate your skills.
You want to write to earn money, so you have to evaluate your writing skill. Most of the writing sites focus on content articles (informative), but there are a FEW others that will allow personal or random posts about your day, etc. So, think about this: What kind of writing do you do more? Creative writing? Personal blog-like posts? Informative but casual writing?
3. Learn about SEO.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is very important in most writing sites. If you don’t know about SEO, don’t panic just yet. It’s not the end of the world. Infact, jpcmc has an article on SEO here.
4. Learn about Google Adsense account.
I first started online writing without knowing anything about Google Adsense account, SEO, and PayPal, and so I wasn’t able to use my posts to earn money at that time. I was clueless. Google Adsense is Google’s advertising platform. You have to apply for a Google Adsense account. Why? Some sites require a Google Adsense account from its writers. Don’t worry, there are others like Day2DayTips that will not require you to have a Google Adsense account.
How do you apply for Google Adsense account?
a. a Gmail address
b. bank account
c. writing site activity of at least 6 months (for non-US citizens)
Aside from these things, though, you have to make sure that you have written a LOT of articles already. Google Adsense is quite strict in their application. Obviously, they will not be giving away applications to those who might not bring in traffic.
5. Learn about traffic.
Traffic in real life is that flow of vehicles in a high way. It’s the same in writing sites. The difference is, heavy traffic in writing sites is a GOOD thing. This means that a lot of people are viewing or reading your articles. How do you know your traffic is good? Is 100 good? Not exactly. Remember that millions of people are on the internet every second. Google Adsense usually grants account to those who get a lot of traffic (around thousands of views). You can increase traffic into your articles by sharing your articles through social media: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. Just don’t flood your friends with your articles. They might get annoyed.
6. Understand residual or passive income.
Most writing sites that you are probably looking for are those that will earn you passive or residual income. What’s that? This is income you will earn over time. You get money from the number of views you get, which is why getting lots of traffic is important. Some writing sites will give you 60% share of revenue from Google Adsense. In other sites, you will earn through a number of views (e.g. 1000 views = 0.10 cents). This means that you will not be paid money after posting one article. That is another kind of way to get money, except you only get paid ONCE. In residual income, if your post is still on the internet and will continue to draw traffic, then you’ll continue to earn money.
Let’s paint a scenario:
You write 50 articles in July. In two weeks, you earn $5. Let’s say you paused for a month writing articles. Your posts, while still online, and still being viewed by people in the internet, will still earn you money. After July, you get $15. Even if you don’t write in August, you can still earn another $10. That’s why it’s passive income. You keep earning from your articles. The downside is – it takes time and a lot of effort in promoting or driving traffic into your articles.
7. Look for writing sites.
Well, of course, you need to look up the kinds of writing sites that you can join on the internet. Here’s a list of some writing sites you could consider. Review these writing sites. Check their background on the internet and read reviews of the members or former members. Even if it’s just write-ups on the internet, it’s your hardwork that will go to waste if you join the wrong site.
8. Write evergreen content.
This is also something I didn’t know about. I just guessed and finally realized what I was doing. I was writing evergreen content. Evergreen content means an article or post that will still remain fresh and relevant years or months after you’ve first written about it. Topics like: dog training or ways to apologize to your spouse, or money-saving tips can be evergreen content. Evergreen content is NOT what you wore yesterday, or your fave celebrity’s newest lover. Remember that a lot of people write about that, too. It may get you TONS of traffic, but it will only be until the issue lasts.
9. Find your niche.
People will constantly be telling you about this. Having a niche means finding that topic which you know so well – that topic which you WANT to keep writing about. If you’re a gamer, go write about techniques in getting a gem or favorite characters you use. If you’re a student who loves science, go ahead and talk about it, too. Just remember, though, that it doesn’t mean you can’t write about other stuff. You can, as long as you’re not disobeying the rules of the writing site you joined.
10. Join the community.
Most writing sites have a great community of writers. Interact with them. Read their articles and comment on their posts. This is a way for you to meet new people and make friends. This way, you can also learn from veteran writers. Plus, it’s more fun to write in a site with friendly and supportive people.
When you’ve already started and have gotten both feet in the writing site world, you’ll learn that there are other ways to earn money writing, as mentioned in Janet’s post.
Now you’ve got the basics, go and explore the world of online writing! Good luck, hard work, and perseverance!
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