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How to Make a living with Online Writing

Updated on August 7, 2012

How do you define success?

A successful online writing career is a dream for many and a possibility for the very few. How do you define success? Some set out for purely monetary gains, some are looking to share knowledge with their online community and any money earned is a nice bonus. This page is intended more for the budding professional online writers out there who want to earn real money from their online writing.

Volume: The Lock

The key to success as an online writer is volume.

You need readers.

You constantly need readers.

You need new readers and...

You need returning readers.

Most importantly,

You need HUMAN readers.

How many readers do you need? look at (a) your current daily earnings and compare them to (b) what you want to be earning. Divide (b) by (a) what did you get?

I got 1000

What does that mean? I need 1000 times the page views that I am currently getting. At current hit rates I need 1000 times as many pages as I currently have. These pages will need to be reviewed and updated periodically. Is it all starting to seem impossible?

For most people the answer is yes. Who has the time to write thousands of hubs and millions of words? Obviously there is no way around the need to publish more material however we need to replicate our good work and learn the lessons from our bad work.

If you take a look at your hubs there will be some that are constantly outperforming whilst others languish with little or no traffic. Most people know their good work from their bad. All I can suggest is look at your sucessful work and publish more of that type of article. Remember you are on a mission to build up a steady readership.

Content: The Key

So we have established that you have x number of hubs, pages, websites or whatever it is you publish your work on. You can do as much SEO or backlink building you choose to do. You can "tweet" and "like" til the cows come home. You can create links to your own pages or your publications on other services. Just make sure your links are relevant and don't overdo it. If your content is not good, relevant and in demand you will never get the 100,000+ daily page views that you need to pay the bills. Google is constantly upgrading its algorythms to identify spurious backlinks, link spam etc. If you pursue these methods your page rankings may be penalised and/or your adsense account cancelled. Far better to have good content which gets views by human traffic and eventually gets those all important google referals. Content needs to be original, entertaining and topical. This gives you two options. Write about things that you like and are knowledgable about or research your topics and target audience.

My more succesful Hubs are about online wargaming. A subject which I have spent a lot of time with and was able write my hubs in a language that gamers could relate to. My "flier" was about a model turned diet guru who was accused of fraud. For this one I had to do some research and also target a new audience, primarily younger women. It is quite amazing how long a topic stays active. Every time I think a page is about to die the volume picks up again.

My more creative pieces, whilst fun to write, do not seem to get the traffic I would like.

Social Media: The Oil that gets your work moving

Social media is all about expanding your audience. There are many sites such as Fiverr where people will offer social media referals such as tweet to their 25000 followers 3 times a day etc. Just remember that these lists have been built for comercial purposes. The tweets might not be going to real human beings or if these marketing style tweets are being sent on a regular basis they stand a good chance of being ignored by the recipients. By all means use your own social media networks to broadcast your work. Although you might lose some real friends if you market too aggressively.

With hub pages you also have a very large community of fellow writers who are more likely to read your work. I would strongly suggest that you get active in the hubpages community with questions, answers, hub hopping and comments to build up your standing in the community and to generate those crucial initial hits. Hubbers are not likely to click on your ads but... the more hits on your material the more likely you are to receive that all important google ranking which will drive search traffic over time.


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    • goosegreen profile image

      goosegreen 5 years ago

      Thanks Amuno

    • goosegreen profile image

      goosegreen 5 years ago

      And thank you mvillecat for commenting. I am sure if you Keep writing quality the results will come.

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      Thanks for explaining this in a clear manner. I try not to focus on the views and the earnings so that I may write quality Hubs.

    • amuno profile image

      Alfred Amuno 5 years ago from Kampala

      Great reminder Goose. Much more needs to be done to up the writing journey.

    • goosegreen profile image

      goosegreen 5 years ago

      Thanks Hezekiah. I haven't tried them myself. It seems that any shortcut to generating traffic is potentially bad news.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 5 years ago from Japan

      Nice hub. Those Fiverr gigs can be bad for adsense though. Thousands of visitors suddenly coming from South Asia can cause red flags with Google.