Writing online for profit

If you are reading this you are probably a keen writer who enjoys using the Internet and wants to explore ways that you can convert your writing skills into an online income. Am I correct so far?

Now whether or not you do it here on Hubpages or elsewhere, you can make money from writing online. How much you earn from your writing however will largely depend on a number of factors, such as where you write, what you write about, how much work you are willing to do in order to get your articles seen, the quality of your writing (spelling, grammar etc), how much you write and of course, how many hours you are willing to devote to writing online.

If you are wondering if you can make a full time income from writing online, then the answer is yes you can. This is not going to be easy though and you will have to do a lot of hard work to achieve it. There is no such thing as a 'passive income' and you will have to put in the hard work, do a lot of reading as well as writing and still not expect overnight success.

Can You Write Well?

The first thing you will need to establish is can you write well? Everyone tends to be their own biggest fan, and most hate criticism of their writing skills, however if you are to be a successful writer online you need to get other people to read your work and offer you their honest opinions. You will also need to be willing to consider that you might not be the brilliant writer you thought you were. Constructive criticism is a good thing, especially if you are writing in a second language that is not your native language, which could result in spelling and grammatical errors (a sure fire way to get people to click away from your articles).

Revenue Sharing Sites

There are many websites that offer revenue sharing if you choose to write on them, whilst also allowing you to maintain ownership of your actual content. These tend to be collectively known as 'Content Farms', and most offer around a 60/40 split in favour of the author. These sites generally generate income for you via Google Adsense, meaning that you will get income from clicks made on adverts that are featured on your articles. Hubpages offer you their own system too which is based on impressions as opposed to clicks, and can work better for you depending on the nature of the articles you write. It is worth being aware that these sites are always quite a high risk area to write though, and as was proved by Google's Panda update, many writers who solely wrote for content farm sites saw their traffic and income vanish overnight. In many cases it has never recovered and those writers are now starting from scratch.

Build Your Own Websites

Your best chance of making a permanent and long term income from writing online is not to put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify, diversify, diversify, and do this by writing in many different places so if one site fails, then you won't lose all your income in 'one fell swoop' (or 'one foul swoop' as some prefer to say). The most secure way to make money online from writing is to build your own websites, and before you run screaming to the hills claiming this is way beyond your skill levels, trust me when I say I thought it was way beyond mine up until a few months back, and then I was pointed in the direction of a site called The Internet Bloke, the owner of which is a former Hubber himself. With his help I now have my first website up and running, and it is my intention to soon begin my second one, whilst continuing to add content to my first one and promote it through backlinks.

Keywords and Backlinking

Whilst some recoil in horror when you start talking about keywords and backlinking it really isn't as terrifying as you might imagine. You don't need to write incoherent rubbish to use keywords effectively, and you shouldn't really need to drastically change your writing style to incorporate keywords that will push your articles to the top of the search engine results. Firstly you need to establish what topics you feel you can write knowledgeably on, and then use a tool such as Adwords or Market Samurai that will help you to establish what relevant words and phrases you should be incorporating into your text in order to get the maximum amount of high paying clicks on your articles. I wrote an article some time back that explained How to use Adwords for this purpose and without any cost.

Backlinking is something you will need to put a lot of time into as well. In fact be prepared to spend at least as much time on backlinking, (if not more time) than you actually do writing the articles themselves. This isn't cheating, it is just a practical way (as are keywords) of making sure your quality articles actually get ranked, seen and read by people. An article with no backlinks or keywords can very easily spend its time languishing in oblivion, thousands of pages into Google's search results, with many inferior articles on the same subject appearing in the first few pages of the same search results simply because those authors did use backlinks and keywords in their articles. Backlinking consists of posting links on various external websites that point back to your own website or articles. Essentially you will want to post a short comment or a few paragraphs on the subject your article or website focuses on, and insert (hyperlink) relevant text with the URL back to your site or article, e.g. if I was backlinking from here to my own website, I would maybe include a sentence saying something like "So why grow vegetables at home when you can simply buy them from shops?". You will see if you click on that link it takes you straight to my site, and that is because I inserted my websites URL into the same text as the name of my site.

Of course there is no point in placing these backlinks on sites where they will most likely be deleted as SPAM, so you might want to ask permission on certain sites before you attempt to post there. You could also offer to post a reciprocal link back to their site on your article, although this could get messy if you have too many external links appearing on your article. You could also spread links back to your articles on various sites you own or write on, essentially interlinking so that unless you choose to delete the links, no-one else can or will. By far the easiest option though is to join a system which costs a monthly fee to use, but allows you access to literally hundreds of sites where you can post short articles and links back to your own sites or articles without fear of deletion providing you stick to basic rules. I use such a system and absolutely love it.

Affiliate Links

Many sites allow you act as affiliates for products they sell. This means that if you sell a product on their behalf they pay you a commission. You will no doubt recognise the names of many of these sites, Amazon, Ebay etc, but there are many other sites that will also offer you the option to promote their products and pay you commission for any sales made. Clickbank is one and although Hubpages no longer allows Clickbank Links, I always found Clickbank very useful to use. There is no reason why you can't use them on other sites that still allow Clickbank links though, and of course you can use them as much as you want on your own sites.

You can also promote books from sites like Smashwords as they have an affiliate program too. In fact there are loads more sites that will allow you to promote their products and earn money as a result, all you have to do is seek them out, and ideally find the ones that are geared towards products that you are already comfortable writing about.

Choosing Your Topics

I have a theory, and that is that for the highest profits you do need to focus on sales / product based hubs or articles. These will need to be detailed and preferably based on your own experience of the products as opposed to rehashing other people's write ups already on the Internet. The trouble is that many products quickly go 'out of date' e.g. iPhones and computers, so the profit in these articles may be good, but they will have a 'lifespan'.

Seasonal articles can make good money, but they are only going to make you money during the relevant season, e.g. Christmas, Halloween, Valentines etc.

Evergreen articles are ones which are unlikely to date, and whilst they might need the occasional tweak, they will essentially always be useful to someone who finds them and their content will not go out of date. Examples might include most 'How to' articles, or any of the articles on my growing vegetables website. These articles are your 'bread and butter' and will continue to produce a regular income indefinitely because the demand for such articles rarely fades.

Of course there are plenty of other ways to make money from writing online, such as on sites like fiver.com where you will get paid per article although the returns are not huge. You could offer to do freelance writing for various sites on a pay per article basis or you could sign up with webanswers.com and earn money from writing answers to questions on numerous topics. Ultimately you will earn the most money from creating multiple websites of your own, filling them with quality content and then promoting them through backlinking strategies, the rest of it is just icing on the cake.

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Comments 36 comments

EndaMac profile image

EndaMac 5 years ago from Belfast

$150 a month for SEO back linking seems to be expensive?

Appreciate that it may work though, but you would need to be making quite a few sales to justify this amount of money.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi EndaMac, $150 a month really isn't that much when you consider that many of these type of backlink systems cost well over $250 per month. Remember it isn't just about sales, it also about Adsense clicks etc. If you do focus on sales a lot of products you would only need to sell one or two a month and the system would have paid for itself. If you had a site selling say, leather goods, jackets, trousers etc, once your backlinking gets it to page one or two on the SERPS you could be making hundreds of dollars a day, and $150 a month would be all it had cost you to achieve that. If you just want to write articles, then using the right keywords will result in higher paying adverts appearing on your articles, the backlinking would then ensure these adverts got seen and clicked on, so it wouldn't take many clicks to get back your $150 investment. If you have say 10 websites and are using Cobra for backlinking it will essentially cost you nothing, and earn you loads.

vicogon40 profile image

vicogon40 5 years ago

i believe in writing quality and informative articles, that can naturally receives better Google placement on search terms with Google. backlinks works though. but if you must backlink your article or site, always do it with high authority websites that has a high page rank with Google. six or seven high quality back links will help your article to rank well with Google

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Quality articles will still languish way down on Google SERPS if the keywords are not sufficient or the backlinking is not in place. Cobra offer backlink sites that are 'clean', Adsense free and frequently page rank 1-3. This is one of the reasons why Cobra is a better system than just picking random websites to backlink on.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee

up & interesting! Good article and well written. Love to write and learning more every day even though I've made nothing so far...

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

It does take time samsons1, but be patient and it will happen if you follow my advice. :)

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

Thank you for this advice. It is very helpful. I have already setup adsense, and while I do backlink now and then, I need to do more of it. If you notice anything I am doing wrong or could do better on my hubs, I would really appreciate the advice.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Good luck Millionaire Tips. When I get a few minutes I shall take a look at your Hubs and see if I notice anything you could do to improve them :)

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

Thank you. I would really appreciate it.

David 470 profile image

David 470 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States

Great hub! I am starting to make part-time income here on HubPages.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Emailed you Millionaire Tips, hope it helps :)

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi David, that is great news, keep up the good work :)

Candie V profile image

Candie V 5 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Great hub on Writing for money Misty! I've bookmarked it to read again - lots of great information here.

One thing I've noticed in my 2 years here - there are a lot of people who say they write for money, but their spelling, their grammar and their flow is lousy. Makes for uninteresting, unintelligent and a desire to 'get outta here quick' response from me.

"Paragraphs Please! People!" LOL - sounds like a 'duh!' but really, it's about basics - take classes, do a lot of reading - like you said - it truly shows!

Oh.. and spell check doesn't replace reading your stuff out loud before you publish it!

I'm stepping off my soap box now! Haha!

Thank you again!!

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL CandieV, yes, that is something I have noticed too, and it does 'grate' on the nerves to read some of the most common mistakes such as people who use the word 'loose' instead of 'lose' e.g. 'I wouldn't want to loose my mind'. Grrrr, really annoying.

Thanks for your very good suggestions :)

molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

Hi mistyhorizon2003 great hub on a very relevant and topical subject.

Voted up.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks molometer, glad you liked it and found it useful :)

josechukkiri profile image

josechukkiri 5 years ago from India

The article is really thought provoking.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for your feedback josechukkiri

madmoneyalerts profile image

madmoneyalerts 5 years ago

I am glad to visit all your great post & fabulous site.All your information about How can I make money from writing online is superb.carry on.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks madmoneyalerts, I am pleased you liked this article :)

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Excellent as always hub, Cindy! Voted up! I have to admit I am still struggling to make any decent income online and have come to the conclusion I am better off getting definite jobs eg a client pays me a set amount to write and publish an article. I get 100€ each month for doing four 300-worders with 2 links in each. That is definite money for a piece of work. Some of my best hubs make hardly anything despite ranking well and many of these other sites like Xomba, ShetoldMe etc don't seem to work for me at all. I have also had a couple of people pay to have links on my Tenerife Island website and that is encouraging but cannot be counted on.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Steve, well I am glad you are getting private writing gigs as that shows it can be done that way too. My best performing Hubs are definitely the ones on subjects that are health related, and answer questions on the subject. All in all many of my top hubs are all titled with a question e.g What causes.......?, or Have you........? and are on the health theme. My 'How do you..........?' type Hubs also do very well. I have recently begun really doing a lot of backlinking too, (using Cobra), and this is making an extra difference too.

PaulaHenry1 profile image

PaulaHenry1 5 years ago from America

Backlinking is a nightmare for me----I am still attempting to learn the best way to do it, but struggle with the whole technical aspect of it.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

This is where a system like Cobra would make it easy for you PaulaHenry1. Even if you don't use Cobra, it isn't a technical process anyway. All you have to do is go to an external website (either your own or someone else's, a forum, blog etc), and essentially write a brief bit of blurb about the subject your original article or website is about, and include a piece of text that is hyperlinked with the URL of your article or website. Done!

Of course you will need to do this many times in different locations for it to start working effectively for you, but that is the general gist of backlinking.

Karen N profile image

Karen N 5 years ago from United States

Great tips, backlinking really does make a difference.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Karen N. Yes it really makes a huge difference if you keep on doing it and don't move your articles, (which of course would mean all your backlinks became broken links).

zanaworld profile image

zanaworld 5 years ago from Bangalore

Great hubpage! Give lot of ideas. It is indeed thought provoking hub.

Would explore some of the options for sure.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

You are welcome zanaworld, I hope it is helpful to you.

ytsenoh profile image

ytsenoh 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

This hub is great. It is rich with information and so well put together. Thank you for your time in writing this piece. Thumbs up.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

You are welcome ytsenoh, I hope you can put it to good use :)

AllieRambles profile image

AllieRambles 5 years ago from Bay Area, California

There is so much to take in here but it is all worth it if you want to put the time in.

Question: Do you think interlinking hubs in your own hubs helps with backlinking? I know it helps to get people to see your other hubs.



mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I think so if the topic is relevant Allie, e.g. On my hub regarding severe period pains and why you should see your doctor, I linked to a second hub I wrote regarding ways to deal with severe period pains. I knew the first hub was already popular, therefore it guaranteed me views on my newer hub if the link was placed on the first one. Not sure how valuable Google see this link as it is within your subdomain, but more traffic should be recognised by Google and gain your newer hub credibility in their 'eyes'.

almorr 3 years ago

Hi Cindy, Alan here from Scotland, just come across this particular Hub by you. When I was commentating on the lady from Australia's Hub, Strictlydating about my 'favorite' subject hair, it was actually entitled "He shaved Everything" she congratulated me on the mans point of view regarding men who shave or do not shave their chests, she even said that my articles were so good from a mans point of view that I should think of starting a advice blog here on Hub Pages, however, reading your above post makes it look a bit complex so I don't think I will. I had a reasonable standard of English at school and went to further education when I was older, sometimes I had to write 3000 word 'compositions' and had reasonable good passes, that was then. You will know how good or not good I am as I have written several replies to your many subjects on Hub Pages, but I don't think I could even try and compete with your great and varied subjects that I enjoy reading. Probably I would have spelling errors or grammar would now be a bit rusty as I have not been to 'school' for many years now, so I'll just sit back and enjoy reading your splendid articles here on 'Hub Pages'


Alan (one of your many followers)

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Alan,

You are more than capable of writing online (trust me, you should see some of the terrible writing standards even here on HP). Writing on your pet topic (hairy people) would most likely be fairly successful as such subjects so seem to be attractive to significant chunks of society. You have nothing to lose, so why not give it a try (I am sure you will enjoy interacting with the people who comment on your articles). It really isn't hard to write online (especially on a site like this one) just stick to the basic site rules and any silly mistakes like spelling etc will show automatically when you are typing up the articles in the various text boxes on HP (so that you can correct them there and then). Don't worry if you know a spelling is correct but it shows as incorrect, it is no doubt an English spelling versus an American spelling, in which case ignore it and leave it as your preferred spelling.

Don't worry about the many niches I write on either, some of the most successful people online focus on one niche, and this can be a good thing if you want Google to recognise your articles as those written by an 'expert' in one area.

Once you start to get comments on your work you will quickly become addicted to writing more stuff, and in a year or so you can start to see a reasonable part time income coming in from your work (at least I do, and many others here report the same).

Good Luck :)

almorr 2 years ago

Hi Cindy, that Hub was written 8 months ago, that would be about last May (2013). As far as hair is concerned, its only really on the Internet that makes me do that, as that subject facinates me, I do not mention that to any of my family, that is my daughter, son and their husbands, wives etc. I did post a "selfie" of myself once on my Facebook Page, my daughter noticed it and told me to immediately take it off.

That other Hub of Strictlydating, she is from Australia, the subject is "He shaved Everything" it actually began 4 years ago when she was telling men that she liked men who had hairy chests and not to worry no matter how hairy they were. I wrote to her in 2012 just after my son gave me his computer about myself, however, after a gap of about 6 months when not much happened there has been much activity from younger men writing to ME though her Hub asking advice on how hairy a chest they will get when they get older.

I must have replied to about 15 or so young men over the last month or so. She of course reads them all, I check them, all replies to all of those young men have appeared after about two days. Of course if I wrote anything nasty, which I would never do, or someone wrote something back to me which was nasty, I would never see it as Stricktlydating would not publish it, I am sure you might get some articles which you would not allow to be shown on your Hub Page.

I hope you are surviving the wet weather, while I type this its snowing AND raining at the same time, the sun MIGHT shine tomorrow, maybe, probably not

Regards to all


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Weather here awful Alan, but yes, thankfully we are surviving it in spite of the damage the wind, rains and sea have caused.



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