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9 Questions to Ask About a Website Before Writing

Updated on January 27, 2018

Questions Every Freelance Writer Should Consider Before Writing

Considering writing for a new website? There are some questions to ask yourself before you begin. Evaluating a freelance writing website for your own personal needs before you jump in can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run. What are you hoping to gain? Experience? Income? Promotion of Your Writing?

1. Can You Edit, or Delete, the Writing After It Is Published?

The ability to delete, or edit, your writing after it is submitted is important because you lose control of your work if you do not have this ability. Often websites that have full-rights to your published work, do not allow editing, or deleting. Some websites that are notorious for prohibiting deletions and edits are (blogging), and Life123.

2. What is the Google Page Rank of the Website's Homepage?

The Google Page Rank on the website's homepage is important. It will give you a good indication of the websites reputation with Google and also give you a good indication of how much exposure your articles will get at the website. Of course, with enough backlinking and promotion, your articles can do well anywhere. But, one of the advantages of writing for a well-known content publisher is to get good Google Page Rank with less effort.

While you are visiting the website's homepage look around and see how professional it is. If a website appears poorly designed, consider whether you want your work to be associated with that site.

The Google Page Rank of eHow is 8, Suite101 is 7, and Mahalo is 6.

3. Upfront or Residual Payment?

Do you want your money today, or tomorrow? Today seems like the obvious answer, but residual payment (payment tomorrow) often brings in more money long-term than upfront payment for freelance writing. Stretched over several years, residual payments for an article can be hundreds of dollars. Compare that to the common upfront payment of $10-15 per article and residual makes good business sense. However, some writers need to work for upfront payments to pay bills that are due today.

Upfront Payment Websites

  1. Demand Studios
  2. Brighthub
  3. Textbroker
  4. eCopyWriters
  5. RightCopywriter

Residual Payment Websites

  2. Squidoo
  3. Life123
  4. InfoBarrel

4. How Are You Paid for Your Residual Payment Writing?

Payment structure can vary a lot between residual payment freelance writing websites. Life123, for example, pays strictly by view. Fifty views=$5, five hundred views=$5 more, etc. Bukisa and eXaminer are more examples of websites that pay per view. Some websites pay a percentage of advertisement profits. This percentage of ad profits, is often disclosed. Most often the advertiser is Google Adsense. Sometimes, you are required to have a Google Adsense ID. Other websites such as Squidoo allow writers to earn from other advertisers such as amazon, etsy, and zazzle.

5. Does the Website Allow Links within the Article?

Links within an article are important for promoting your content. There is no resource more valuable to a writer than being able to create quality backlinks to their own work. Each link you create to articles you have previously written generates traffic to that writing and possibly increases Google Page Rank of the writing as well. Some websites do not allow writers to include links in their articles, while other websites require it in every piece of writing published.

Where Backlinking is Allowed:

  1. Hubpages
  2. Suite101
  3. Squidoo
  4. Associated Content

Where Backlinking is NOT Allowed:

  1. eCopyWriters
  2. Textbroker

6. What is the Minimum Payout?

On the surface, this seems like an unimportant question, but if you put a lot of time into a website that pays you only a few cents per article, reaching a minimum payout $10 can be exhausting.

7. Does the Website Have a Good Reputation with Writers?

This is possibly the most important question to ask yourself. Spend some time browsing around work at home forums. Listen to what others are saying about the website. Read reviews and listen to the words of others that have already put the time and effort into writing for the website. As with any website, you will hear good and bad reviews. If the majority of writers rave about a writing website, it is probably a winner.

Read more about finding legit work at home opportunities through forums.

Two AWESOME freelance writer blogs:

8. What Writing Style is Required?

First person (blog style) is often easier to write, because it's written as a person would speak. Third person is a formal style required by many websites because it is more professional. Both styles of writing have their perks.

First PersonMost writers are quicker at first person writing. If you can crank out twice the content in the same amount of time, that is an important consideration. I enjoy blogging, writing at Info Barrel and designing Squidoo lenses, because all are places that my first person voice is welcome.

Third PersonWhen building a writing portfolio, articles published in third person will make a better presentation. When I apply to write for a new website, I always send my third person articles. Most websites that allow first person, do not require sample work to be submitted prior to hiring. Third person is required from Suite101 and Demand Studios.

9. Is there an Editorial Process?

Some writers fear the editorial process. But, if you are planning to build up your writing portfolio and establish yourself as a professional in the world of writing, it is critical. Writing websites that provide an outstanding editorial service are Suite101 and Bright Hub. Life123 has an editorial process, but grammar and spelling errors seem to slip through a lot. Writing websites that allow your work to be published without editing are Squidoo, personal blogs, and eHow.

© 2010 hsschulte


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