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Inspiration for Making Money Writing Online for HubPages
The Writer's Paycheck
Since I started writing online two years ago, I have been able to pay off my mortgage, sell my house, fund a Ugandan orphanage, and buy a villa in Tuscany, where I now reside. When I'm not riding my horse through my vineyards or dipping bread in olive oil, I write a HubPage now and then, and decide which member of my family will get a new car from next month's earnings.
Before you click the back button on your browser, let me tell you that I have, actually, received paper paychecks in the mail from my writings on HubPages. And I have cashed them. These paychecks surprised me with their size and frequency, and the amount I have earned grows exponentially over time, even when I'm not writing any new articles.
Like building any business, building your traffic-generating articles online and reaching an appropriate market takes time, effort, and the posture of a learner. But, unlike some other business models, writing online really does pay in accordance with the quality and quantity of effort you put into it! Let me help you evaluate whether or not writing on HubPages is a good business for you.
Don't Try to Earn Money Writing Online Unless You Enjoy Writing!
First, you must actually enjoy writing. Or, at the very least, thinking. The market for online writers (growing by the day!) doesn't care about regurgitated facts or stumbling, fractured sentences hastily thrown together with a link at the end. Online readers want real people with knowledge gained from experience (imagine that!) and careful study (really!?), who can thoughtfully put together a string of paragraphs in the King's English that briefly but thoroughly answer their questions.
Fiction or Nonfiction? What Online Writers Should Know
Second, you must be willing to write mostly nonfiction. This is gravel to the teeth of Jo Marches and budding Hemingways everywhere, but it is the truth about the online market. Most people don't type search terms into Google looking for tear-jerker romances or springtime birdsong set to rhyme. Unless you are a paper-and-ink published poet and are giving out sneak-peak previews of your next book to a following of avid fans, then it is unlikely that your creative writing on HubPages will bring in very much traffic or earnings. However, if you do love writing, and do sign up for HubPages, you will find it irresistible to not publish an occasional Ode or Fantasy.
And that's okay.
I do it too! My poems get one reader a month, but I'm sure that that one person went away very inspired. Sometimes all it takes is one very important reader to lead to many more writing opportunities in the future. You may even be "discovered!" Quite a few HubPages writers have received job proposals because of the superb writing in their HubPages articles.
Write Online: a business plan that works if you work!
Third, you must treat your writing on HubPages like a business. Do your market research (what do people want to know about?), count the cost (do I have time and patience to write at least 50 articles the first year without receiving a paycheck?), educate yourself (study search engine optimization techniques, brush up on your grammar and comp., learn how to use the HubPage capsules and tools effectively, study highly-searched keyword patterns, etc.), and work faithfully, diligently, and sincerely. Your HubPages business will grow slowly through trial and error, just like every business.
Some good things about building a business of writing online on HubPages are:
- being able to work anywhere where there's internet
- building an article base and then sitting back and watching the money come in
- getting to interact with other writers and receive free feedback
- being READ (every writer's dream)
- receiving the earnings from 60% of all viewers that come your hubs (other online writing websites only let you keep 50% or less)
- getting to have the technical expertise and high-traffic of one of the most popular online writing websites on the block
- receiving earnings from hosting high-powered, expensive ads on your site
- receiving earnings from the HubPages ad program itself (new as of March, 2010, but already showing more earnings than Google AdSense ads!)
- "How exciting!" you say.
One thing you must be aware of when considering writing online for HubPages is that your success is really, truly up to you. Those people who are earning a lot and appear in the HubPages success stories have more articles and more relevant articles than the average lackadaisical Hubber. These are also usually people who have done their keyword research, which will—almost automatically—succeed in making you money writing for HubPages.
Now, one thing that HubPages never promises is that it will bring you a substantial amount of money. HubPages Admin. say it works great as a replacement for a part time job or as supplemental income, or even as a fun hobby that makes some extra money, but don't count on your articles on HubPages going solo and feeding and clothing your entire family. I have, however, received regular $100+ paychecks from my HubPages earnings for about a year now (after I reached the 50 hub mark and really figured out what Search Engine Optimization was all about), and I'm working towards larger goals.
Be a Real Person Online
Fourth, you can't be creepy. There are too many creepy people online, and a creepy person who is trying to get other people to read his or her articles and to somehow "make friends" will only do the opposite.
Follow the rules: both the innate, unspoken rules of decorum, and the rules set forth by the HubPages administrators. Don't steal text from other writers or other websites without due attribution (under HubPages' recently enforced rules, longer passages of quoted text from another site will be flagged and unpublished until you change it). And don't promote your HubPage articles by putting your URLs in the comments section of every blog or article you read.
Also, be a real person, and understand that you are writing to real people. This may seem trite, but you will understand when I point out that many people seem to think this is the era of unaccountability in internet interactions, and they don't put effort into what they say to make sure it comes across tactfully. I can't count the number of undesirable comments I've deleted from my HubPage articles, ranging anywhere from marriage proposals to advertisements for window washing in Sri Lanka.
If you don't understand the importance of this, let me give you an example. Just for a second, imagine that we are having a real conversation right now, over a caesar salad and soup at a lunch buffet. I am telling you (because you have asked) about writing online and what it entails. Now imagine that all of a sudden, you pick up a tomato from your salad and plop it into my water. Then you tell me that you will do it again for me if I will take your business card and visit your website. Um, no.
Please don't be creepy! Treat your internet reactions as you do face to face interactions. Don't say or do irrelevant things in order to promote yourself or your writing. Instead, look for chances to build personal relationships that will allow these marketing opportunities to happen naturally and in the right timing. Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, said that the best business models focus on community service before they focus on profit. This is as true with the writing online business as it is with anything else.
How to Write Well Online in Order to Attract Readers and Earn Money
Fifth, you may need to learn a new writing style. Here are a few things to note:
Online readers love subtitles and headings to tell them if they're in the right place. Search engine "crawlers" do too! (Search engine crawlers are the little bots that scurry around your site at night to see if you have anything important to say; they figure out what is pertinent in your articles by reading your headings and bold titles.)
Online readers also love lots of paragraph breaks to help with the challenge of reading something made of light pixels. Remember that most computer screens are farther away from the eyes than a book or magazine would be, which can make tracking difficult if the lines of text all run together with no white space.
Use photos, videos, graphs, maps, and surveys to convince your reader that you have a fascinating multi-media presentation to offer him, with comprehensive information on the subject. Yes, you are not only an online writer, you are also a professional advertiser, communicator, entertainer, and presenter! You will wear many hats when writing online. Don't forget to include a comments capsule so that you can interact with your readers and keep them coming back to find out your answer.
One thing never changes. Good writing attracts good readers, and they will keep coming back—often bringing their friends behind them.
Can YOU Make Money Writing Online?
So, I've counted the cost, and done my best to scare you away. But now it's time to convince you to stay! Oh my, here I am getting poetical on you... Anyway, we do have a lot of fun around here, even though most of us call it work. Hey, we even get paid for it once in a while!
If you want to write online, here's where you start. Create your Hubber identity, build a profile, and start writing your first article here by signing up to be a HubPages author. Or, you may like to read a little more about it before you decide to jump in! That's okay too, and here's a great place to find out more.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about how to get started and succeed at HubPages! I have helped several new hubbers get going, and I love to hear those "aha!" moments when something clicks (and I don't mean readers clicking on AdSense ads, though that's a nice sound too!).
And some day, when the golden Tuscan sun sinks below the horizon and you look across the plaited rows of your very own olive garden (purchased using HubPages earnings, of course), you'll thank me.