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How to Start Making Money Writing Online

Updated on January 28, 2014
How to begin making money writing online.
How to begin making money writing online. | Source

This is Part 1

This article is Part 1 in a series.

How I Make Money Online

Recently I either got very lucky or very good. I haven't decided which, but one of the pages that I wrote here on Hubpages back in 2009 took off like a shot. Traffic skyrocketed from less than 300 visits a day to over 5000 visits every single day. Because I accomplished this with minimal strategy (i.e. back-linking) and because the page was written in my very early days at Hubpages, I thought that I might be qualified to write a series of articles about how to make money writing online. While I am, by no means, an expert, several friends have asked me to share with them how to get started.

The purpose of this article is to help you through the first steps to earning money by writing online. Its goals are modest, and you will need to keep reading in this series of articles in order to get a full tutorial on how to do everything necessary to be successful. Information has been broken down into manageable chunks in order to accommodate a variety of learning curves. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments on this page: I will be happy to answer anything you might have to ask.

What You Need to Get Started Writing Online

In order to get started, you really just need a small handful of important things, which you can find listed below with details about what you'll need to produce the best results from writing online.

You could write your articles about the subject of crafts. This is a very popular topic to write about.
You could write your articles about the subject of crafts. This is a very popular topic to write about. | Source

To Write Online You Need a TOPIC

Before you start with anything else writing online, you need to have a topic. Your topic is the most important component to writing online. Your starting topic should be broad enough to have a wide appeal. I recommend having an individual blog (or Hubpages account, etc) for each broad-appeal topic that you want to write about. For the example that I'll be using throughout this series, let us say that your topic is going to be "crafts."

Once you have your topic, you'll be able to get started brainstorming ideas (I'll cover this in a later article on the topic of brainstorming for writing online). You can do this with a pen and paper and for that reason, you don't even need a computer or the Internet in order to write online.

Make sure that the topic you're choosing to write about is something that interests you. What you write about is less important than how passionate you are about the subject, because there are surely other people who are interested in what you have to write! My hub about Ichthyophobia has done quite well in the past, even if it would appear to appeal to a small number of people. It could feasibly have fallen into the topic of "Phobias" or "Psychology."

(Any topic that you enjoy can be turned into a long-tail topic that will work for search engines, unless your topic is too narrow. If you're concerned that nobody else will be interested in your subject, broaden it a bit: You'll be narrowing it down later on anyway!)

You need a computer to write online. I recommend a laptop because it can go with you.
You need a computer to write online. I recommend a laptop because it can go with you. | Source

To Write Online You Need a COMPUTER

In theory, you should be able to write online from a cellular phone, but between the keyboard and your very limited view, you will likely find this difficult. If you want to write online, a high-quality computer is recommended. Speed helps with parts of the process (particularly with browsing Flickr for images, as sometimes my computer hangs up on this site and doesn't want to load the pictures). Having a computer makes writing online much more pleasant than using library computers or a cell phone.

If you do not already have a computer, I recommend a Mac. For those who have never used one, a Macintosh is a very different experience than using a PC for online work and play. Its speed is generally faster because it doesn't have such a heavy load running in the background. Your PC will work just fine, but it's always a good idea to defragment and cut down on background clutter by shutting down excess tasks you have running.

An internet connection is required to write online.
An internet connection is required to write online. | Source

To Write Online You Need the INTERNET

An internet connection is essential to writing online. Without it, you won't be able to reach your audience by posting your articles to the internet. A reliable connection is even better. Depending on where you post your content, you may run into problems if your internet connection fails during the writing process. Making sure that you have a solid connection will help to prevent problems with losing your work.

Macintosh keyboard.
Macintosh keyboard. | Source

To Write Online You Need a PLATFORM

Okay, but what's a platform exactly? The platform is the site you write on. Many platforms have built in systems to help you to make money using them. Hubpages is one of these platforms. You will find a list of other platforms (most of which are recommended in one way or another) to the right.

Please note that in the near future I'll be writing an article to compare Hubpages to these other platforms in order to help you to determine where you want to write. Right now I make the most money writing on Hubpages. This may seem like useful information, but two years ago I was receiving three times the number of hits from Squidoo. When policies change or the search engine algorithms change, sometimes the statistics do too.

The best advice I ever got was to not put all my eggs in one basket: Be prepared to write for more than one site!

In addition to the sites to the right, I recommend that you consider getting a blog, either on Blogger or on Tumblr. Both of these platforms allow you to put ads onto your blog and you can use the blog for linking to your other articles in order to show them to followers. This is part of a backlink strategy.

What You Need to Make Money Online

In some cases (such as Squidoo and Zujava) you can make money online without anything other than a Paypal account, but in most cases you need more than that. Here's what you're going to need to successfully make money online.

To Make Money Writing Online You Need A PAYPAL ACCOUNT

Wherever you decide to write, at some point you're probably going to get paid by Paypal. Make sure that you have a valid e-mail address (I recommend having a separate e-mail account for Paypal) and sign up for an account. You'll be given several options for your account, but you just need the basic type since you aren't a business.

To Make Money Writing Online You Need AN ADSENSE ACCOUNT

The Paypal account was the easy part. If you want to make the most out of earning money writing online, you're going to need to get an Adsense account to associate with your Hubpages or Wizzley account (Squidoo and Zujava don't use Adsense).

This isn't as easy as it sounds, as you cannot simply hop over to the Adsense website and sign up. Google needs to be able to confirm that you are producing the right kind of content for their program, and therefore they are going to ask you to illustrate for them that you have a portfolio of content.

Adsense may approve your account for Hubpages with as few as five hubs. But you're better off applying once you have more than ten. Don't worry! You will probably get approved.

The video to the right explains how Adsense works.

It's nice to have a cup of tea or coffee while writing online.
It's nice to have a cup of tea or coffee while writing online. | Source

Tip: When affiliate marketing, make sure that whatever you're selling is relevant to the people who are searching for your page. Don't try to sell a coffee maker on an article about shoes (I've seen this happen!).

To Make Money Writing Online You Need AN AMAZON ASSOCIATES ACCOUNT

An Amazon Associates account is relatively easy to get and you can make a lot of money with affiliate marketing if you obtain an Amazon Associates account. Note that I emphasize "can" in this case. You may not, but it's worth it to take the possibility. Squidoo will pay you directly from Amazon sales, but with the other platforms (and with blogs) Amazon pays very well and is a good means of adding an extra cash flow to your endeavors.

How Will You Get Paid?

I plan to write a future article covering this more in detail, but I wanted to share with you that this is what I like most about Hubpages.

Hubpages gives you 60% of all ad impressions and they take the other 40%.

In most cases, the website platform you're writing on splits with you 50/50 (unless you have an independent blog) and pays you directly to Paypal. Hubpages gives you 60% of all of your ad impressions. It's up to you to produce content that results in ads that people want to click.

Put simply, you earn more on your hubs than Hubpages does as a corporate entity.

Do you make money writing online?

See results

These are the Basics

This article just covers the basics of earning money by writing online. Future articles will break down the details for you. If you haven't already signed up for Hubpages or another platform, this is a good time to think about doing it. If you have ideas that you can use to write about online, you should be able to successfully earn using these ideas to produce high-quality content!

Note: It's normal to only make a few dollars in your first month or two. It picks up after that. Hubpages will pay you the month following your earnings. For example, I'll be getting paid this month for money earned in December.

Ask Away, but Check Back for Answers!

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    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      21 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      Interesting article.

    • iggy7117 profile image


      3 years ago from New Jersey

      I am finding it harder then I thought to make money online, Thank you for the information. Do you have any tips for someone starting in 2015?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Great hub!

      But for some countries there's a criteria where your account should be 6 months old before you apply for adsense approval.

      Can you please expand on this?

    • abidareacode profile image


      4 years ago from Areacode , Kerala, India

      Minimum requirement for online earning is explained very well. But making money online is not so simple.

    • misterhollywood profile image

      John Hollywood 

      4 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Great hub and very detailed! Thanks for sharing this.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      Great hub. Love the cuppa. Some very good points to start with. Love that you used very rudimentary steps.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      4 years ago from Canada

      Great page for anyone starting out. It takes a lot of work to start making money and you have to be constantly learning about and adapting to changes in the online world. I guess if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

    • Chin chin profile image

      Chin chin 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      It's good that you're writing a series on this topic. I'll look out for the others and read them as well. I'm sure I will still learn a lot even if I've been in HP for a while.

    • literal profile image


      5 years ago from Aotearoa

      Thanks for that

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      5 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Amazon's particularly tough, I have to be honest. I'm not making much with Amazon either, but it's getting better now that I'm writing hubs that are specifically geared toward sales (though not on this account). The key seems to be to find a balance between the content-rich format that Hubpages likes and a goodly amount of relevant sales items.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      This would've been a nice article to have when I was first starting out. I recall being a bit bewildered. I have yet to make one cent through Amazon so I'm lost on that one!

    • Mary McShane profile image

      Mary McShane 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

      Excellent tutorial for the beginning online writer. Voted up and shared. :)

    • Seckin Esen profile image

      Seckin Esen 

      5 years ago from Ankara, Turkey

      Nice hub! Thank you for the useful information. Voted up!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi Becki.

      I go along with John and say you've wrote an excellent article and I look forward to following the rest of the series.

      Have a nice weekend.

      LOL Ghaelach

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      5 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Thank you! I'm glad to be of service (:

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very informative hub. I look forward to reading the rest in this series.


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