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Is Earning an Income Online A Pipedream?

Updated on July 12, 2011

Before I begin this hub, I want to make it clear to anyone reading this that I never thought I would find myself in this position. I'd been a factory worker all my life, and was also a serial entrepreneur on the side trying to make a go of blogging and working an eBay store along with just a bit of Affiliate Marketing thrown in for good measure.

My Story

In October of 2010, I gave my letter of resignation to my previous place of interment(that's employment for those who have a job that they enjoy) and embarked on what I thought would be a job that would allow me rebuild my 401k, and start making ends meet a little better.

I should also tell you that I suffer from a vascular condition that has left me with Neuropathy in both of my legs, and with my limited knowledge of my disease, I think has played a major role in my COPD sometimes being very unmanageable. So with these little issues to deal with, I stepped into another factory situation, and in two and a half months found myself unemployed for the first time in better than 17 years.

So, I started doing what I knew best to do at that moment, all the while worrying about the distinct possibility of losing our home...I started writing articles as a freelancer online. So I've actually been at this for eight months now ( I really did not take note of the actual time involved) and while earning aliving online may not be a pipe dream, it certainly is not going to make you rich right away.

A Matter of Style

What I've found out so far is that much of the opportunities online for new freelancers is limited to what are termed the "Content Mills" sort of like puppy mills, only they are selling the services of freelance writers for a pittance, but this is where most of us do begin our careers.

I have a few sites at the moment where I do writing including here on Hubpages, but I want to warn all of you that are trying to make a go of this that each site has it's own ruies and in some cases actually use a style guide ( The AP Style Guide ) in the case of this one site, and sometimes the ratings ( which I will get to) can make or break how you earn a living.

The rating system in my opinion is somewhat ridiculous because most of the time I cannot afford to do the required research on a topic if the article is only going to pay me $3.00 for 500 words. Sometimes the amount of money that is being paid for an article on some of these sites, just makes it a necessity to write something that is a basic article, not worry too much about proper punctuation and just move along to the next assignment.

And this goes to the heart of the matter when you first start out, in many cases if you have a few obligations that have to be met, and all your going to see on average is three to five dollars for an article then you have to make the decision to either watch all of your punctuation and just turn in a few good articles, or go for volume and turn in at least 7-10 articles on average per day. These are the trade offs that you will have to figure out when you are first starting out.

Living The Writer's Lifestyle

I wanted to end this article with this little bit of information for you to really think about...the reality of living the writer's life style for many freelancers including myself is this:

  • You get up in the morning.
  • Have your cup of coffee.
  • Go to your home office or possibly your remote office.
  • Work your projects or articles.
  • Bid on jobs when you have no work and then go to where the work is and take the best articles that are available for the best pay.

In between, you are your own person. You have to make your small business work no one else. You have to be motivated to do this everyday, and you also have to stay motivated to do the extras including marketing your business and selling yourself using any means possible.

What I'm telling you is that this is hard work, and there no shortcuts to doing this. If you sucumb to the tales of quick riches that can be made doing things on the internet, you will be become very discouraged and dissapointed and leave your dream behind before you've given it a chance to flourish and grow.

Do you think you could make money online?

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    • animekid profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate NY

      Hi Matty and thanks for the comment. You know when it comes to things such as online marketing there are just few people that I know of that are doing very well. I follow these few people, but they did not get to where they are overnight that's for sure. As far as scores, I was referring to another site where I get work from, and I am 3 star writer there, and on another site as well.

      Sometimes you just do not have the time to dot every "I" and cross every "T." Sometimes you just have to get to that next article period.

      I wish you luck with your efforts also, and I'll check on a few of those "ludicrous" topics you mentioned.

    • Matty Says profile image

      Matt Stupar 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Nice work here. The online community is so full of empty promises and crazy advertising that it's nice to read some articles that deal with the reality of work and the enjoyment of the challenge.

      I agree with your sentiment about the ridiculous ratings. I just wrote a hub about how low my score is! I wish you the best in your online writing and hope that you keep finding quality topics to discuss. ( I save the more ludicrous topics for myself. :)

    • animekid profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate NY

      Hi there susannah42.

      I'm glad that you took something away from this Hub. I just hope that those of us who have had to start over again, and are trying to make a go of things in the online world have the tenacity and patience to see things through.To be honest with you, I certainly had my moments during the winter months where I just wanted to take any regular job that I could find, but there really were not too many that I was capable of doing and so I had to move forward with this and just make it happen.

    • susannah42 profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      This is such an encouraging story.

    • animekid profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate NY

      Hi there Truth. thank you for the kind words.

      Honestly, until I found myself out of a job, I had assumed that I understood it all. I had done a bog, tied it into my eBay store and had done a website or two, but I was always working that full time job.

      It really has opened my eyes to what is actually involved in earning a living online and while I enjoy the challenge of building my business, the bills continue to breath down the back of my this is really do or die, with the word "failure" not an option what so ever.

    • truthfornow profile image


      7 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I don't think people realize how much hard work it takes until they actually get started. You give some great advice here.


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