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Do Your Research if You Want to Do Online Writing

Updated on July 20, 2011

So You Want to Write Online?

The world of online writing can be a great place for beginning writers to get their start. It's much easier and quicker to get to see their article in print. However, it's not always easier to make money by writing online. There are a multitude of websites and options and it requires careful research to make the right choices for your writing goals.

Beginning Writers

If you're just starting out as a writer and you don't have much experience, you shouldn't let that intimidate you. At the same time, you should look to places that are open to beginning writers. A site like Hubpages will allow you to print your articles and help you grow as a writer without having the professional writer background. It's a great place to start and learn from other writers, not only by getting comments on your articles, but also by participating in the forums and asking for critiques. If you listen to those who have been doing this awhile, you will develop your skills as a writer.

There are many sites that don't require formal writing experience or other technical skills to write. Those would be the ones I would suggest starting with if you are new to online writing. The great thing about them is that you can still make some money if you follow the advice of the veterans who write for the site. And writers are always willing to share their knowledge with others.


Taking it to the Next Level

Once you've familiarized yourself with a few websites, the next step is finding paying sites. Places like Yahoo! Associated Content (AC) and Constant Content (CC) don't require an application but they review your articles before you can submit them. With AC, you can be eligible for upfront payments if you want to wait for their review. If you choose to have your article published without the review, you won't get an upfront payment but will still be able to make money with their performance payments which is based on the number of visitors to your article. The payment is small in the beginning but it can be a boost to a writer's ego. They do allow you to revise and resubmit if they reject your article. Most of my rejections have come from having too broad of a topic so I try to narrow it down and create a new article rather than resubmitting.

Constant Content is like a broker service. They review your article and then if they accept it, they put it on their website for other places to buy the piece. They require a fairly high standard of writing, but if you write on popular topics and have excellent grammar skills, you should do well. I've been with them less than a month and I've already made around fifty dollars. You set the pay amount but it's important to see what others are charging to be competitive. You can also set higher prices after establishing yourself with them. I've found them to be a great resource for me because the articles that are accepted always sell quickly. The review process does take a long time so it pays to submit on a regular basis if you want a steady stream of income.

I didn't list these under beginning writing but if you have good grammar skills and can write on relevant topics you should be able to work with these sites from the start.


Getting Serious

Then there are those websites that require you to submit an application and writing samples. Those are ones which look for a higher level of writing and someone knowledgeable about the difference in online writing from print. They often ask for a resume which will show any experience you have. It would be good to get some experience with other sites first and then you can list them on your resume. Examples of these sites are About.com, Wisegeek.com and Demand Studios. The good thing about them is once you are accepted, they pay at a higher rate than many other places.

Some of these websites also have a requirement of a minimum number of articles per month. They may require you to have a professional background in the topic you plan to write on. If you plan to make a career of writing, either part-time or full-time, these would be good websites to set your sights on to provide a higher income. The key is to make sure you've developed your technical skills and that you choose a topic that will be of interest to them.

Take Time to Research

There are a lot of choices to be an online writer. In this article, I only touched on what is called content writing. Besides that, you can be a blogger or product reviewer or even do technical writing. If you're looking to do content writing, it pays to spend some time researching the websites you want to write for. Then you too will see your name online as an author.

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