- Personal Finance»
- Income & Making Money
Not Making Money With Online Article Writing?
I’ve seen numerous "net-preneur" wannabies asking the same question: why am I not making enough money with Google AdSense or Amazon with my blog or website? People read about other people’s success, about teenage kids becoming online millionaires, about getting rich overnight and being able to go on long vacations and still come back to the same income or making money while sleeping. Some of those stories are true and some serve as baits for desperate people who want to make a lot of money with very little effort.
This hub is a result of the time I’ve spent on Hubpages since I signed up three years ago. I get some income every month or every second month depending on traffic, of course. I still haven’t learned what will work and make me some decent money, but I sure did learn what won’t work if you want to build an online business and make a full living by writing web content. Dozens of dollars on a monthly basis from Hubpages are gold for some people and peanuts for other people; success can be defined in different ways, but one thing is certain – trial and error is critical to your success. Once you learn what doesn’t work, you’ll be able to focus on what may work until you finally find what really works.
There are certain mistakes that are common in people who start writing web content in order to earn money online, usually with Google AdSense. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to earn money with your own website or blog, Hubpages, Wizzley, Infobarrel, Xomba, Seekyt, SeekSuccess, etc.
Not Being Ready to Learn
The No.1 mistake some people make is that they create their accounts and then just any content hoping people will be all over their pages clicking on ads and making them money. Maybe it’s because they’ve heard or read that making money online is simple and easy and that they can get rich overnight. This is far, far away from the truth. You have to really work your as* out to succeed and that it is even questionable if you are not ready to learn how to market your content. On-page and off-page search engine optimization, principles of good quality content, social media optimization, etc are some of the pearls you need to possess in the sea of knowledge to make your time spent online worthwhile.
Not Writing Regularly
Writing on a regular basis (every day, two-three times a week, once a week, etc) is crucial if you want to succeed, especially now with the new SEO thing going on and social media gaining more and more attention. This is the one mistake I keep on making. I love writing so the question is why am I not writing? SEO kills all my creativity, to be honest. I used to spend endless hours working on keyword research, but it seems I still have no idea about it. The whole keyword research thing brought my attention to a whole new set of topics I wouldn’t have otherwise written about, but I’ll get to that in the next section. Here I’d like to add that if you are hubber hoping to get more followers, your duty is follow with great content so that your followers actually have something to follow. Hope you follow me on this one :)
Also, you have to decide whether you’ll treat your online writing as a hobby or as business. A hobby is something you do when you have free time, which means you can expect to earn some extra cash. A business will require a full-time commitment so you could expect to make a full-living out of it. The downside is that not all businesses work out, moreover, more businesses fail both offline and online. I guess, you have to be lucky, too.
My favorite. I’ve been following the activities of a very successful online writer who writes about boring topics (at least, they’re boring to me) or "stupid" topics for an audience I can’t really understand. Well, I may call those topics stupid, but they sure make this writer significant amounts of money each month. This is where my enthusiasm totally went down. I tried writing about such topics, but it took me hours of research to provide correct and useful information, another few to actually write an article, and still no positive results.
I took a few successful online writers and their keywords in the article titles they produced as examples of what kind of keywords I should use; by this I mean that I checked how many results based on those keywords there were in Google, what the global monthly searches were and what their CPC was. I found other keywords of interest to me based on the topics I like and found approximately the same numbers for each of those three elements, and then tried to write using my own numerically similar keywords. That was a dead end. No success.
Another thing bugging me is that I may end up on the No.1 result for a highly-paid keyword and see ads totally different from the context i.e. ads matching my shopping or searching preferences (behavioral targeting at stake here) so I’m wondering if in-depth keyword research is really that necessary. Well, I’ve learned that it is, but in practice I totally suck when it comes to choosing the right keywords to start with. Lord, give me patience!
I did a test with a few such keywords (with a CPC value expressed in dozens of dollars). I can’t help smiling at the moment because it must be the most stupid mistake you can make as a beginner in the online writing world. I’ve read articles listing such keywords – lemon law, credit cards, personal finances, making money online to name a few – advising you to write articles around these topics. I mean, there are millions of highly positioned websites offering great information about these topics, with hundreds and thousands of pages of related content – who can compete with that? I’ll take Lisa’s example from her free book Untold AdSense Facts: 401 million sites focusing on making money are quite a competition to swallow compared to parenting advice covered on about 2 million sites.
There was a contest on Hubpages in January 2010 (I think that was the year) encouraging people to write about finances the whole month. Good for Hubpages, but how good was it for an individual writer? A few months later, who knows how many hubs were unpublished because of content violations such as "this hub seems to be about getting out of debt." Those hubs of mine are idle now, of course, and you probably understand why I’m not taking any action to update that content. I just don’t see what difference that would make when it was wrong to write about those topics in the first place. If you have a different experience (or a similar one), please, don’t forget to share it in the comments below.
Writing About Topics You Don’t Know Much About
If you decide to write about topics you don’t know much about, it will take you a lot more time to actually write an article. People want to read about certain subjects written by people who are successful in the field. You may provide exact data because you’ve read dozens of pages covering the same topic, but in the end you’ll be paraphrasing what others have written, you’ll get bored with this type of writing and search engines won’t recognize your content as something unique because it really isn’t unique. It doesn’t have to be copied (and it mustn’t be), but it will still ring a bell or evoke a déjà-vu feeling. Simply not worth the trouble.
A man learns best from his own mistakes, but it’s also good to learn from other people’s mistakes because that will save you time. If you don’t plan on giving up, my advice to you is to learn and be persistent. What’s important is that you don’t make the same mistake over and over again.
Because I enjoy reading and writing, I started working on my first novel and this turned out to be the easier option for me. At least, I write. This doesn’t mean I’m giving up on HP and similar sites – I’m just waiting for my moment of enlightenment.