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Join a Writing Community to Earn Extra Money Online

Updated on November 26, 2018
BarbRad profile image

Barb taught English for a few years before switching to bookselling. Now retired, she blogs and creates products for her two Zazzle stores.

A Writing Community is Similar to a Garden

This rose represents one writer in a community "garden" of writers.
This rose represents one writer in a community "garden" of writers. | Source

Earn a Few Extra Dollars by Joining a Writing Community.

An online writing community is rather like a garden. When a prospective reader visits a site filled with content from many writers, there are so many delightful articles to see that it may be hard to choose the first to read. Just as one will find many kinds of flowers in a garden, so there will be thousands of articles on hundreds of topics on a site like HubPages. The owner of the site is like a gardener, picking which plants belong in the garden and pruning from time to time to get rid of dead plants taking space that could go to lovely new flowers. If you want to publish your writing on one of these sites, you will be in competition with many others who publish there. Yet the opportunity to earn money on these sites is open to all.

There are many legitimate writing communities where you can earn money by publishing your work online. The ones I will discuss here are all free to join. I will not evaluate any here that I do not belong to. Most of my work so far has been published on Squidoo (now part of HubPages) and HubPages. I also have work at Wizzley, and Medium.

Of the sites where I currently have work, I have only actually been paid by HubPages, since I have not posted enough work on Wizzley to reach a payout and Medium doesn't pay. I want to stress here that you probably won't start getting payouts until you've published at least 50 articles on a site. My advice is to join all of the sites that interest you and post two articles on each. That should give you a feel for each site and the tools it provides for you to build your articles. Many of the sites have a variety of modules provided for enhancing your work with photos, videos, quizzes, polls, link lists, maps, and more. But each site works a bit differently, and you just may feel more at home with one than with another. We will explore these websites below.

The photo of the daisy is one I took in my own garden. B. Radisavljevic, 2014 All Rights Reserved

Only a mediocre writer is always at his best.

W. Somerset Maugham

Writing is a Means of Self-Expression

It gives voice to our inner thoughts so we don't have to keep them inside.

Every writer should keep some sort of journal for recording experiences, thoughts, ideas, and anything else that will trigger memories that can later be used in writing. I have a paper journal for just ideas. I often use my own blogs for sharing my thoughts and experiences, but I always keep a backup copy on my computer. I have learned that writing sites come and go. When they go, they take your work with them, if you haven't backed it up. I did not have much work on Qondio when it was sold, but I was new at online writing and wasn't backing it up yet. I did lose what I had posted -- forever.

The writing sites I review here offer varied genre opportunities. Don't be afraid to try something new. Whatever your favorite genre, challenge yourself to try something different than you've done before. If you normally write nonfiction, try your hand at poetry or fiction. You may discover something new about yourself as a writer.

Help with Your Writing Style

Elements of Style
Elements of Style
This book should be read frequently for reminders in how to construct effective sentences and paragraphs. There is also help with proper grammar and usage. The book is arranged topically for easy use.

Tip for Making Money Writing Online: Polish Your Writing Skills

Know your craft.

I belong to many different writing communities, and I see way too much work published online by those who don't seem to know the difference between homonyms or easily confused words. Maybe they just don't proofread their work before publishing. People will respect you more as a writer if you use your tools well, and words are your most important tools. Read more about improving your grammar, spelling, and punctuation here, and learn more about why it matters.

Another important tool is grammar. You not only need to know how to use and spell words properly, but you also need to learn how to use them to construct grammatically correct sentences. You need to know how to build and connect clauses and phrases into sentences that read smoothly and don't confuse your readers.

Online Writing Demands Your Best - You will have lots of competition for traffic

My Favorite Thesaurus

Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus
Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus
I constantly refer to this book when my aging brain is stuck trying to remember a more specific word for the overused one in my head. This book also contains lists of words all related to the same subject in boxes near the word you are looking for. Example: If you look up "instrument," you will see a box across the page full of the names of musical instruments classified by their types -- stringed, wind, etc.

Books Every Writer Should Have on Hand - There is always something new to learn about writing.

No matter which sites you choose to join, you want to do your best work. Books have helped me polish my writing. The book I feature here is just one I own and use myself. I refer to it often when I'm writing or proofreading. I prefer to have my reference books in paper form for easy navigation. If you click through to the description of this featured book, you will see suggestions for many of the other books I use. I am always looking for just the right word, so I have more than one word book.

Getting Acquainted and HubPages and Remembering Squidoo - These were the first writing sites I joined.

Squidoo Is No Longer a Choice, but HubPages Lives On

I started at Squidoo because it was the first place I heard about. I floundered for a bit before I found RocketMoms, and it was joining RocketMoms that helped me develop as an online writer. That put me in a community of other writers who supported me and read my work. We read each other's work and critiqued it. Now not only has RocketMoms disappeared, but Squidoo has merged with HubPages.

Once you have written a couple of articles for all the sites I mentioned above that interest you, decide on one site to really concentrate on and write for it until you have published 50 well-written articles. You won't start earning much on any site until you have established your presence there.

Each writer for HubPages is given his or her own subdomain. If one is really lucky, their articles may be published on some of the HubPages specialized niche sites such as TurboFuture.

On HubPages, writers don't compete for rank as they did on Squidoo. They get the Adsense money and affiliate income from half their page views and HubPages gets the other half. If you get page views and make affiliate sales you will generate a bit income. To generate enough income for steady payouts, you need to have a lot of good work published and a steady readership.

It took me two and a half years to get my first payout, and had HubPages not started their own ad program, I still might be awaiting a payout from Google, which has a threshold of $100 before you get a cent. The threshold at HubPages is $50. Even if you begin to put most of your writing on some other site, check in at HubPages often to make friends, read the hubs of others, and comment, You can explore and sign up for HubPages here.

HubPages is one of the best homes for creative writing and you will find many Hubbers who publish their poems and short stories or serial fiction there. It's a good home for photo essays, as well. My HubPages profile page will link to examples of my poetry hubs and also to my nature photo essays. You may also embed YouTube videos into any of your hubs.

HubPages has stood the test of time and has survived for several years, even as Squidoo and some other sites have disappeared from cyberspace. Both sites have made major changes in their standards in response to changes in Google policies. Sometimes hubs are unfeatured and hidden from Google or from anyone who does not come by direct link. Sometimes articles are even unpublished until they are revised to meet new standards, or they may be deleted from the site completely. Writers have to adjust. Some leave and go elsewhere. Some make the necessary changes and remain. Each writer does what seems to be in his or her own interest at the time.

Many new social blogging sites have started up in the past few years. It seems new ones pop up frequently. I can't keep up with them all. I have now stopped trying them and have decided to stick with more established sites like HubPages and Wizzley. The others seem to disappear just about the time I've built up a body of work on them. Or they stop paying writers. That has led to a lot of personal frustration and I've decided to get off that merry-go-round. Now when sites go under, I move suitable work to my own blogs instead of reposting them on another site I don't control.

I made my husband take this picture of me in my Squidoo shirt. It was a gift from Squidoo for becoming a Giant Squid, or for joining the Giant Squid 100 Club, which required 100 great lenses. Now this shirt is a souvenir for an important chapter of my life on Squidoo.

A Brief Look a Wizzley

Wizzley is younger than either Squidoo and HubPages. I've been on Wizzley since May, 2011, and have written only seven articles for them so far. I will publish more as soon as I have time, since I do like the site. The search engines do find your work there quite easily, and that counts for a lot. Its founders have experience on both Squidoo and HubPages and have tried to incorporate the best features of each. Income opportunities on Wizzley are similar to those on HubPages, but after you have published 50 quality articles, you will begin to profit from 55% of the page views, and after you have 100, you will get 60% of page views. Another important difference for me is that I can also advertise my Zazzle products at Wizzley, and that is difficult, if not impossible, at HubPages. Look over Wizzley and join here.

Zujava also used to be a writing site, but it died this year. They gave enough notice so that most people had time to make copies of their work for publication elsewhere. No matter where you publish, always make a back-up that includes copies of your image files and links to videos you may have used.

I Used to Love Bubblews, but It Didn't Survive.

I joined Bubblews in February, 2013. In 2013 and 2014, I earned more there than from all the other sites combined during that same time. Bubblews was a social blogging site let people write on any subject they choose, as long as they wrote at least 400 characters in English, their work was original and writers only used photos they had the right to use. Bubblews died last year. Many people had never been paid.

Don't Keep All Your Writing Eggs in One Site Basket


Persona Paper

Persona Paper entered the writing scene in 2014. I joined in July of that year. It has been a pleasant writing experience, but so far not a really profitable one. I have been paid what I was owed promptly, but the site's future is in limbo right now.

I fully expected Persona Paper to become my primary writing community for social blogging. It was suitable for any kind of G-rated writing. It still has many writers who gather there who read and comment on each other's work, but it no longer pays its writers. It has also recently changed ownership and is in transition. It remains to be seen what direction it will take.

We've all heard it's not good to put all one's eggs in one basket. One just never can tell how successful a new site will be. At least Persona Paper has been upfront in keeping its writers in the loop. It is now under new ownership, but it's still not back to paying writers and no longer accepts new writers.

Niume Had Promise as a Social Blogging Site, but it Closed

Niume attracted writers, artists, and photographers from many countries. I think it it replaced Bubblews as the most popular social blogging site and also provided a new home to refugees from Tsu when that social network died.

It would appear most members didn't consider themselves writers at all, especially those who came from Tsu. They were artists and photographers who posted their photos and maybe a quote from somewhere else or a few lines. The administration didn't enforce the minimum five lines rule in the Photography Sphere. I also found a lot of plagiarism and photo theft on Niume and I reported it. I think that duplicate and stolen content may have helped kill the site. It's no longer there.

Many of those who contributed to the Niume site moved to Virily, which is similar but stricter about enforcing the rules and approves work before it is published. This cuts out some of the cheaters. I don't think Virily will be around much longer, but I hope I'm wrong. I was paid once and then quit publishing there. I don't want to risk wasting any more time writing there. You can see what influenced this decision in my blog post Virily, Virily, They Said Unto Me.

I hope you have found this information from my personal experience useful. If you have a question I haven't answered, feel free to ask it below.


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