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Making Money Writing | How to Make Money Writing for Profit

Updated on April 7, 2015
Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer with WriterAccess, webmaster, member of Pinterest Party on FB and the owner of Lake Erie Artist Gallery.

Making Money Writing is a Time Honored Profession

Writing for profit has been a profession ever since the the written word was developed long ago in history. The profession of writing has been given many names including author, writer, journalist, novelist, playwrite, critic, essayist, but all of these jobs were done by choosing a topic to write about, writing, then selling what was written to someone else.

Making money writing online is really no different. The only difference is the type of writing that you do, and whether other people want to read it.

For the last 2 years, I have made a part time income writing for profit online. Some of my work is on this writing platform, Squidoo, while other articles are on other writing platforms. There are many places where a good writer can earn an income writing online, although just like any royalty income, it takes some time to build up enough money to live on.

Update: When I originally wrote this article, I had been writing online for 2 years. Now it has been 5 years, and although many things have changed, the basics have stayed the same. I am updating this page with some new information and sites that I use that did not exist 3 years ago. Hope this helps you get started making money online.

Writer's Market 2015 - The best guide to jobs for writers

2015 Writer's Market
2015 Writer's Market

What Type of Writing Makes a Profit Online?

What to write

For the most part, non-fiction writing pays the most online. The majority of the non-fiction writing is paid for either upfront by companies using the writing to market or sell their products or services, or via commissions made when a product or service sells.

Popular non-fiction writing is either informational, descriptive, or sales copy. Many writers write how to articles, product reviews, book/movie reviews, or current news and editorials.

Search Engine Optimization and Keyword Research

How to write

The articles that do the best online for income and traffic are keyword rich articles that are search engine optimized. If you want to make money writing for profit online you need to learn to do keyword research and to optimize your articles to search engines.

These are both skills that can be learned on your own or by paying for instructional books to teach you. Another way to learn is by following, which has lessons and posts by experienced successful lensmasters to ask questions, and learn search engine optimization, keyword research, and other writing for profit skills.

Where Can You Make the Most Money Writing?

Where to write

Every person has a different experience when it comes to where they can make the most money when they write for profit. If you have never done any kind of online writing, you may want to start out on someone else's platform before you start doing freelance writing or creating your own websites. This will give a boost in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) due to the platform's enhanced performance in search engines.

There are several excellent platforms to write on, of which I will suggest a few below, but once you are a skilled established online writer, you will do the best by setting up your own websites or blogs, and finding earnings opportunities there.

Where to Write for Profit: Hubpages

Hubpages is an excellent website to write on. Hubpages does not pay writers directly. You need to have an account with Adsense, Amazon, or Ebay as an affiliate to earn on Hubpages.

However, Hubpages articles rank quite highly in the SERPS, and the site has an excellent forum and learning center for new writers. Many authors use Hubpages as a resume to get freelance work elsewhere.

To join Hubpages, and write for profit there, click here.

Where to Write for Profit: Wizzley

Wizzley is an amalgam of some aspects from Squidoo and Hubpages with a new twist. The site is newer, and that allows an author more leeway on topics, and urls. On Wizzley, you can earn through Adsense, Amazon, or through any of the vendors that are associated with Viglink, which is quite a few.

Viglink allows you much more creativity with product and service links, than most of these other sites do. Definitely worth a try.

To join Wizzley, and write for profit there, click here.

Where to Write for Profit: Zujava

Zujava is the most similar site to Squidoo, and is probably the most comfortable place for current Squidoo members. Zujava is still quite new, but is following best practices to build the site into one with good standards, and has lots of room for new articles.

To earn your place on Zujava, you will need to write three articles that will get you out of the Petting Zu, which is where all new members start. Once you do, your articles will go live going forward.

You can earn through Adsense, Amazon, and Shindigz currently, and over time Zujava will add more ways to earn.

To join Zujava, and write for profit there, click this link.

Where to Write for Profit: Creating Your Own Website

Once you have learned how to write online, creating your own website or sites is one of the best ways of writing for profit. There are many ways to create websites, and one of the most popular is using Wordpress templates on your own domain. You can do this completely on your own, or you can create website/blogs on a Wordpress Multi-User (WPMU) website.

I've Got a Domain Name--Now What???: A Practical Guide to Building a Website and Web Presence - Your own website

I've Got a Domain Name--Now What???: A Practical Guide to Building a Website and Web Presence
I've Got a Domain Name--Now What???: A Practical Guide to Building a Website and Web Presence

I've Got a Domain Name--Now What???: A Practical Guide to Building a Website and Web Presence

Setting up your own website is not as hard as it may sound, but there are numerous options. This book is a great reference if you have never built a site before. This version is the Kindle edition, but you can buy an actual book too.

© 2010 Paula Atwell

What type of writing do you do?

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    • David3142 profile image

      David3142 4 years ago

      I mainly use Squidoo at the moment. I've had a go at Street Articles as well, but haven't put enough time into that one to be getting much of a return. Thanks for the interesting lens.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      Just Squidoo so far, looking into other options though.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 6 years ago from USA

      My online adventure began with an effort to help others. I didn't know at the time that I was actually 'writing for profit,' and helping others at the same time. Thank you for sharing this information. May this informative lens help all who visit.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Nice tutorial on writing, Paula! I have never heard of Bright Hub so will have to check that out. And thanks for making me feel smart today as I actually got 100% on a quiz and that has not happened in...forever. LOL.

    • profile image

      badmsm 7 years ago

      Thanks for the great info! :)

    • momscorner profile image

      momscorner 7 years ago

      Good question. I do content writing, blogging, production descirption writing, too. I earn a living writing on oDesk. Thanks for sharing and introducing the good writers in Squidoo.

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 7 years ago

      I write about renewable energy, food, holidays, and just about anything else that interests me. I am an expert author on Ezine and I have several published lenses, as well as my blog. See you around the galaxy...

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 7 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      I like the idea of ransom notes (or, endorsing checks), but really... I've been a professional (meaning "paid") writer for the past 30 years. I've written for newspapers and magazines as a freelancer and as a staff member. I've written as a contractor for U.S. government agencies such as the Dept of Defense, Dept of Energy and Livermore Lab and NASA, and I've been a staff and contractor writer for the likes of Cisco Systems, Fujitsu Networking Communications, LinkedIn, and Ascent Logic Corporation. I now do a lot of "online writing" and freelance editing. It beats the heck out of digging ditches! :-) Nice and inspirational lens. I've liked, favorited, thumbs-upped, and lensrolled your masterpiece. Congrats on a great job!

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      I only write for Squidoo, RedGage and Gather.

      My most profitable one is definitely SQUIDOO.

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 7 years ago from Burbank, CA

      I write for fun on squidoo about my own experiences and interests. For work I write technical information on products and hairstyling/cutting/coloring techniques for hairdressers and consumers. I also maintain my salon's website and blog. I have a lot to learn and am always looking for more information and hopefully start writing some books!