How To Run An Article Writing Business

101 replies
Actually, the title should probably say content, but most of what you'll be doing will probably be article writing if you're here at the Warrior Forum. I make a full time living writing, something that supports my long term goal of writing fiction for a living.

Making decent money writing for other people is not tremendously difficult, but I see a lot of new people making the same mistakes. Now, I don't know everything, but I do know a few things. So here's how to get your article writing business off the ground.

Treat It Like a Business

This more an attitude thing than anything else, but if you want to make an actual living at writing, you need to treat it like a business. You need to take hitting your deadlines seriously, you need to have defined daily goals and you need to think of yourself as a professional.

On the more concrete level, you also need to have some sort of structure in place for dealing with your income and keeping track of expenses. You will need to pay taxes, and keep this crap straight is a lot easier if you have that structure in place from the start. I use Quickbooks and an accountant.

Get Someone to Evaluate Your Writing

Before you start writing, you should get some idea of whether you're any good at it. Writing is interesting in that almost everyone thinks they can do it, possibly because they do some form of it everyday. While writing well enough to get paid for it isn't any more difficult than, for instance, learning to drive a car, it isn't something that everyone can just do.

Ideally, you should get someone, or multiple someones, who knows about writing to evaluate your level of skill. They can tell you where they're at and what you need to do to improve.

Here's a bare minimum test: Do you know the difference between their, they're and there? Your and you're? If you don't, you have a long ways to go before you even consider writing for anyone else.

It wouldn't hurt to buy a copy of Strunk and White's Element of Style, either. You can probably find it for free somewhere on the internet, and it's going to cost maybe a buck on Amazon.

Learn the Basics of Copywriting

Copywriting is writing to persuade, convince and sell. Even if you don't intend to write sales letters, you should have a grasp on how it works. The side benefit is that many of the people that will hire you will want articles that will convince the person reading to at least click on the link at the end, and knowing how to persuade is going to be helpful.

But the real reason you should know something about copywriting is because you need to be able to sell yourself. Take a look at the Warrior for Hire section and read a couple of the content ads; what you'll find is that most of them are basically a list of prices. They don't demonstrate any particular reason to hire that writer beyond price, and believe it or not, writers are not commodities.

This post will be long enough already, but the most basic thing you need to know is AIDA, the acronym or possibly mnemonic for the four things you need to do in your copy:

A - Attention. You need to get them to notice that you actually exist. You need to get them to read the rest of your copy, so this is largely going to be a matter of your headline and your opening.

I - Interest. Once you've got them, you've got to keep them. You need to know how to hold their interest.

D - Desire. Make them want what you're offering. Tell them what you can do for them, what problems you can solve, how you can help them profit.

A - Action. Tell them what they need to do, which in this case would be hiring you.

Build a Portfolio

Are you writing everyday? Or at least five days a week? You should be. You need to have a portfolio to be able to show people, especially if you want to charge rates that will actually help you make a living. Stuff that has actually been published, either in the real world or on the web, is best, but just a sampling of articles with different topics and voices is fine.

This is also important because once you get started, the nature of this kind of writing means that most of your clients won't be keen on your using your work for them as a sample. Nothing wrong with that, but it does mean that you will need something else to show off.

Get Testimonials

Another copywriting concept that is important for your business is social proof. Basically, this is people recommending your service as evidence that you don't suck. You know how you get testimonials (or reviews, or whatever terminology you like)? First don't suck. Second, ask. If someone likes your work, ask them for a testimonial. Not everyone will give you one, but many will. If really don't suck, you'll get testimonials without asking, which is nice.


Know and Sell Your Worth

Here at the forum in particular and the internet marketing world in general, there is a lot of price competition. Any time writing prices come up, you'll get people saying that five dollars is plenty for a 500 word article. What this has created is a world where writers are afraid to ask for decent prices for their work.

As I implied before, you shouldn't be competing on price, and you certainly shouldn't be racing to the bottom. If you're good enough to get paid for writing, you're good enough to ask for a reasonable rate.

The rock bottom minimum I would suggest is $10.00 per 500 words, and that still isn't really a reasonable rate. But if you can't get that, you either aren't very good and should probably try something else or, more likely, you suck at showing people why you're worth it.

You need to show your potential clients what you can do for them and what makes you better than cheap, cheap writers. This is an aspect of copywriting and the inability to do so, and combined with a lack of awareness that you can charge more, is one of the things that keeps writers from earning halfway acceptable money.

Hit Deadlines

Confession: I am still not as good at this as I'd like. One of the things that is going to affect your reputation and your ability to earn is whether or not you can hit your deadlines. The primary cause of this is overestimating how much work you can do.

My advice is to actually see how many articles you can comfortably do in a day, subtract an article or two from that number and use that as a guide for how long it will take you. Take weekends off. It's always better to deliver your work early rather than late, so give yourself some time padding.

There's probably (definitely) more but this should get you on the right path.
#article #business #run #writing
  • Profile picture of the author scortillion
    Great post. What do you actually write? Articles, copy, ebooks?

    Did you get started part time? If so, how did you work that?
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2968242].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
      Great post.

      (And, not to be a jerk, but, re-check THIS sentence..."This more an attitude thing than anything else"....)

      (God knows I've made my fair share of mistakes...) lol
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2968288].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
        On another note, I think pricing is really quite interesting. Because so many are conditioned to expect low pricing (and it has become commonplace to see that), I think higher pricing could actually serve to make someone consider a service: inherently giving value and making a potential customer associate high price to high quality. Of course, this isn't always the case...however, it is a proven fact that sometimes humans purposefully choose a higher priced alternative based solely of that fact that its higher priced. The cereal on the bottom shelf is essentially the same on the top or the middle of the shelf, but, there have been many occasions where I picked the higher price because I associated it with great quality.

        Of course, if you can deliver on that quality, in a way that a lower priced service can't, then you have a winning combination.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2968313].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author bethsuzi
          Thanks for the great post.

          I have to say though, only in a perfect world would we online writers be able to charge the actual worth of the content. Personally, I am a bit of a perfectionist which is rather annoying in terms of payment per hour but I would rather provide great quality articles/content than articles that are OK and I enjoy writing so it is not a problem really. In my opinion, unless you are a very well known writer, there is just no way you will get steady work online and charge "fair e.g over $10-15" prices for your work.

          Many, if not most buyers are just looking for short 500 word articles for their tinnitus website with a few choice keywords here and there and can't afford to pay sky high prices (I think $10 for that kind of article is on the high end).

          With the ever growing competition it's all about competitive prices.

          2 cents

          Beth
          Signature

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2985284].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
            The correct approach to lifetime residual writing, IMHO, is truly the best way to go. If you have the reputation and ability to charge $30-$50-$100 per article, go for it...however, MANY people in IM don't have that kind of command quite yet.

            Originally Posted by bethsuzi View Post

            Thanks for the great post.

            I have to say though, only in a perfect world would we online writers be able to charge the actual worth of the content. Personally, I am a bit of a perfectionist which is rather annoying in terms of payment per hour but I would rather provide great quality articles/content than articles that are OK and I enjoy writing so it is not a problem really. In my opinion, unless you are a very well known writer, there is just no way you will get steady work online and charge "fair e.g over $10-15" prices for your work.

            Many, if not most buyers are just looking for short 500 word articles for their tinnitus website with a few choice keywords here and there and can't afford to pay sky high prices (I think $10 for that kind of article is on the high end).

            With the ever growing competition it's all about competitive prices.

            2 cents

            Beth
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2985933].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author No1here
          I agree that writers are heavily underpaid and it's mostly due IMHO to the fact that amateurs are willing to put words on a page for anywhere from $0.00 (maybe residual PPM) to $4.00, maybe $5.00.

          I'll admit that I sometimes will write articles for free, it's usually at websites such as AC. Generally speaking though, when I do end up writing for free it's because I'm writing about a newsworthy event or situation that I feel strongly about, either positively or negatively.

          A couple of years ago I decided that I wasn't going to write for less then $10 per 500 word article. However, even at AC, I seem to be getting assignments that pay $20 and up so the past two years have been better for me financially.

          Now it bears mentioning that my situation is a bit different than most on this forum. That being that I am disabled so I get a few pennies from the Government.

          NO, the amount of money I get from the Government is not enough to live on and since I became disabled I had to move back home. Nevertheless, I had always loved writing and have always been told by many that I was good at it.

          Perhaps those folks weren't lying to me about being a decent writer since I do get a good deal of "decently" paying assignments.

          So when I combine my earnings from writing with my meager Internet affiliate conversions and then I combine that with my Government check it end up being just enough to where I can cover my bills.

          Wow, I wasn't intending to write such a long post.

          Anyway, I did want to bring up a couple of points that makes writing today much different from the 19th Century.

          1. We have word processing while they wrote with a pen or quill.

          2. The current batch of speech to text software that is available at very reasonable prices can make the job of creating an article very quick and simple. I'm not even remotely kidding about these programs. As a matter of fact, if you've got Windows Vista or Windows 7 then you've already got a really good speech to text program from MS. If you haven't tried yours out yet then I would highly recommend you take it for a test drive because you will be impressed.

          3. I don't necessarily subscribe to this method but if you have a really good article spinner like SpinnerChief then you can make a single article go a very long way. Even though I don't use this method I do have SpinnerChief on my desktop and I have been known to use it so that I can compare different versions of my article if I'm unhappy with the way it originally turned out.

          Oh, BTW, I'm not selling anything as SpinnerChief is free and the best software of this type I have ever had the pleasure to use.

          Yes, this wall of text post is about to end.

          Finally, from a stylistic point of view I find that I always end up writing my best material when I'm not attempting to write for an audience but rather having a one on one conversation on paper/screen.

          Anyway, I know this post is full of run on sentences and terrible punctuation but ATM I don't care as I'm a wee be on the exhausted side.

          Cheers.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3003170].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
        Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

        Great post.

        (And, not to be a jerk, but, re-check THIS sentence..."This more an attitude thing than anything else"....)

        (God knows I've made my fair share of mistakes...) lol
        I'd be astonished if that's the only mistake in there - I type like I have baby sausages taped to my fingers.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2968370].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by scortillion View Post

      Great post. What do you actually write? Articles, copy, ebooks?

      Did you get started part time? If so, how did you work that?
      I have written all sorts of things, ranging from newspaper columns to comedy videos, but my case is probably unusual in that I was a professional writer for a long time before I ever came to the forum.

      Right now, my writing time is split between copy for businesses, content for websites and fiction, with fiction slowly gaining ground.

      Part time writing is just a matter of making the time. Until fairly recently, I did have a day job because, as a diabetic, it was cheaper than trying to pay for insurance out of pocket. If it weren't for the insurance, I'd have been losing money going to work. Even with insurance, it was a close thing.

      But I maintained my writing business by carving out the hours. The main secret to writing is getting your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keys.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2968364].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
        I understand the intent in which this was written, however, I don't necessarily agree. When I first began IM, I wrote ALOT....I would write entire days strait...I would write so much that it felt like I was getting carpal tunnel....

        There is a big difference between just writing and writing the right kind of content, at least online. Because of the competition that is currently had, even in micro-niches, I do believe that it requires a certain degree of skill and research....regardless of what one uses their articles for.

        Taking a misdirected approach to the online would can really waste some serious time.

        That's just my personal experience....

        Originally Posted by Greg Wildermuth View Post

        Great post and great thread. Here's the best advice you can give somebody who wants to write:



        ... that's about all there is too it really!
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2971248].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
          [quote=Greg Wildermuth;2971730][QUOTE=x3xsolxdierx3x;2971248]I understand the intent in which this was written, however, I don't necessarily agree. When I first began IM, I wrote ALOT....I would write entire days strait...I would write so much that it felt like I was getting carpal tunnel....

          There is a big difference between just writing and writing the right kind of content, at least online. Because of the competition that is currently had, even in micro-niches, I do believe that it requires a certain degree of skill and research....regardless of what one uses their articles for.

          Taking a misdirected approach to the online would can really waste some serious time.

          Oh yeah, I don't mean "just write a bunch of crap"!

          I mean, just get down to writing. Do it a lot and you'll learn how. Too many folks think too much about "writing" and don't do it.

          Like, if you want to write a novel, start it. Don't overthink it. If you want to write web copy, start doing it. You'll learn it along the way if you pay attention to things.

          And don't (like some good friends of mine) buy a bunch of info products about writing and not use them!

          That kind of thing.
          Couldn't have put it better myself.

          In terms of article writing, a lot of people don't get much done because they procrastinate at starting on projects. I am not immune to this myself, although I've mostly managed to stop farting around when I have stuff to do.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972194].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Frodr
        Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

        The main secret to writing is getting your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keys.
        Truer words never spoken my friend.

        So many people think they can be paid writers without actually writing anything.

        The best, brightest, and highest paid writers make it a daily habit to churn out 1000 words daily. Regardless of whether or not its a paid gig.

        Writers write daily for the sole purpose of keeping their pens on point and for the love of the art of writing something worth reading.

        Not to mention, that should you decide your career path is better traveled as a professional writer, it should be on the top of your to-do list to ingest as much quality writing as possible - on a daily basis.

        just my 2 cents

        -Felix
        Signature

        Ever wonder how to use simple words to drive your customers to act now and not later?

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972267].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
          Originally Posted by Frodr View Post


          The best, brightest, and highest paid writers make it a daily habit to churn out 1000 words daily. Regardless of whether or not its a paid gig.
          Actually, that reminds me of something I wanted to mention earlier:

          If you want to be a professional writer, set a daily quota and hit it regardless of whether or not you have paying work. Habits are important, and this is the best way to both get better as a writer and make sure that you're actually doing the damn work.

          As bonus, you can use the extra time to create PLR or your own product. If you're writing in the IM arena, having writing that earns over the long term is a good idea. While it's entirely possible to make a living just writing stuff for other people, having stuff that you can get paid for more than once is a good idea.

          Of course, it's very easy to be so caught up making a living that you fail to make any money. I try to divide up my writing day into client work, product development and fiction. The key word there is "try", because I almost always end up doing client work and fiction, because one pays and one has passion, and letting product work take a backseat. Unwise.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972369].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Frodr
            Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

            The key word there is "try", because I almost always end up doing client work and fiction, because one pays and one has passion, and letting product work take a backseat. Unwise.

            Anytime you "try" something you are presupposing failure. Never "try", just "do". As you can probably tell im really into NLP and the power of language.
            Signature

            Ever wonder how to use simple words to drive your customers to act now and not later?

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972431].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author donhx
    Great summary.

    The only thing I would question is $10 for 500 words. People don't know their worth, so they are willing to write for that amount or less. That's just 2 cents per word. Back in the 1830, when he was an unknown, Edgar Alan Poe and other writers of that era were getting 4 cents a word... and a penny was worth something then!

    The problem with writing for the Internet is those who are commissioning content just want to fill up a page with "key words" and don't care about content. That's the only reason people who don't speak English as a first language can compete; the content doesn't need to make sense, it only needs to have the "right" words. That kind of content isn't even worth 1 cent a word, but they write it for that, and that's all some of the rip and rape marketers want to pay anyone for content.

    Marketers would be better served if they paid at least $50 per 500 word article and got something that met their marketing needs, and was also informative and persuasive. Well written articles result in conversions. Poorly written articles result in bounces.
    Signature
    Quality content to beat the competition. Personalized Author Services
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2968324].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
      With the evolution of search engines and the advanced methods they use to rank content, this approach is quickly becoming a very futile approach. They may not see a change quite yet, but they will.

      The content I write is meant to be enduring.

      Originally Posted by donhx View Post

      Great summary.

      The only thing I would question is $10 for 500 words. People don't know their worth, so they are willing to write for that amount or less. That's just 2 cents per word. Back in the 1830, when he was an unknown, Edgar Allen Poe and other writers of that era were getting 4 cents a word... and a penny was worth something then!

      The problem with writing for the Internet is those who are commissioning content just want to fill up a page with "key words" and don't care about content. That's the only reason people who don't speak English as a first language can compete; the content doesn't need to make sense, it only needs to have the "right" words. That kind of content isn't even worth 1 cent a word, but they write it for that, and that's all some of the rip and rape marketers want to pay anyone for content.

      Marketers would be better served if they paid at least $50 per 500 word article and got something that met their marketing needs, and was also informative and persuasive. Well written articles result in conversions. Poorly written articles result in bounces.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2968351].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
        Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

        With the evolution of search engines and the advanced methods they use to rank content, this approach is quickly becoming a very futile approach. They may not see a change quite yet, but they will.

        The content I write is meant to be enduring.
        I think in the long run, a good writer who charges more is actually going to be cheaper. A good article can be used for everything a bad one can, and it can help build authority, make sales, and get your offer in front of people that will never see the bad articles. It's no coincidence that most of my forum clients are people who've had long term success in IM.

        That aside from the fact that Google will almost certainly eventually adjust to ignore the craptacular articles. Of course, I maybe slightly biased....
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2968407].message }}
        • Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

          I think in the long run, a good writer who charges more is actually going to be cheaper.
          I agree 100%, but then again, I am a writer who takes great care in his work.
          Signature
          PatrickBrianONeill.com
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3035186].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
            Originally Posted by CoolAromas View Post

            I agree 100%, but then again, I am a writer who takes great care in his work.
            CoolAromas,

            What has your experience been writing online? Do you own your own article writing business?
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3035885].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
              Advanced Class: Tracking and Testing

              Regardless of how you're finding work, you need to be tracking your numbers. You need to know how many people are clicking or your ads or your website, and you need to know how much each click is worth to you.

              By way of a for instance my Warrior for Hire listing earns me an average of two bucks everytime someone clicks on it. To be clear, that's the money I've made from the ad divided by the clicks. This number is trending upward over time, thanks to returning clients and increased rates.

              You need to know this, so that you can judge the effectiveness of your advertising. I also change my thread title here periodically, and I track how well each one works. This isn't a particularly scientific way to go about it, too many confounding factors, but it does give me a sense of what works and what doesn't.

              Tracking and testing is for writers, too.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3039320].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Ted_B
                Hello all,
                This whole thread is fantastic. As an aspiring web writer I can really really relate to a lot of the comments. Justin, your post that started this discussion off is great reading. It can be a bit discouraging to get started, particularly when you see people willing to pay $1.00 for a 500 word article, and plenty of "writers" willing to work at that rate.
                What is your opinion on "you get what you pay for"? In other words, are there still people out there who will actually pay a higher rate, say 15-20 dollars a page, to get very high quality content for their sites? I realize you have to prove your worth to demand this type of pay, but I'm just wondering if this can happen eventually?
                Thank you again everyone, this is really excellent reading.
                Ted
                Signature

                Searching for the best content? Look no further! Here are the Best Niche PLR Packs available.

                Powerful Guest Blogging Techniques To Drive Laser-Targeted Traffic! Click here for the details!

                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3040099].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by donhx View Post

      Great summary.

      The only thing I would question is $10 for 500 words. People don't know their worth, so they are willing to write for that amount or less. That's just 2 cents per word. Back in the 1830, when he was an unknown, Edgar Allen Poe and other writers of that era were getting 4 cents a word... and a penny was worth something then!

      The problem with writing for the Internet is those who are commissioning content just want to fill up a page with "key words" and don't care about content. That's the only reason people who don't speak English as a first language can compete; the content doesn't need to make sense, it only needs to have the "right" words. That kind of content isn't even worth 1 cent a word, but they write it for that, and that's all some of the rip and rape marketers want to pay anyone for content.

      Marketers would be better served if they paid at least $50 per 500 word article and got something that met their marketing needs, and was also informative and persuasive. Well written articles result in conversions. Poorly written articles result in bounces.
      I don't disagree. My minimum fee for writing outside the forum is a multiple of what I charge here (and I don't charge ten bucks). Ten bucks is enough that somebody can conceivably make some money at it, but not so much that people getting into the writing business will freak out.

      It's interesting and faintly depressing to look at the per word rate that writers used to get. If you're selling short fiction now, for instance, you're going to make less per word than writers did a hundred years ago. There are reason for this, primarily writing being replaced as the main entertainment medium, but it's still something that can bum you out.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2968391].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Napoleon Solo
    Thanks, Justin, for a detailed informative post. Writing is something I'm considering doing later in the new year. My goal would be to achieve $1,500 per month. Right now, I'm just trying to ascertain my ability to achieve this against my own writing/research speed, whilst, most importantly, producing good quality copy.

    I will save your post for future reference.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2969479].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

    Know and Sell Your Worth

    Here at the forum in particular and the internet marketing world in general, there is a lot of price competition. Any time writing prices come up, you'll get people saying that five dollars is plenty for a 500 word article. What this has created is a world where writers are afraid to ask for decent prices for their work.

    You need to show your potential clients what you can do for them and what makes you better than cheap, cheap writers.
    That is one of the best comments I've read about writing for a living. If you're good, ask for what you're worth, and tell your clients why you're worth it. Then, stick to your guns.

    It's not easy to knock back work with cheap pay when your budget is stretched, so be flexible and if you need the dosh, do the work. But, wherever possible, stick to what you're worth and you'll not only earn more, but you'll feel a lot more satisfied in your business.

    Thanks Justin, for a thought provoking post.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2969611].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ccd
      Thanks, Justin, for a very interesting thread.

      I'd be interested also in some feedback from other writers about the speed at which they work. It varies a great deal, of course, depending upon the type of writing I'm doing, but I find that on average it takes me roughly an hour per page to do a decent job. And that's not including any time that may be required for research.

      That's why the idea of writing for $5 or $10 per page is laughable. (But not funny! ).

      How about it, writers? Am I excruciatingly slow compared to you?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2970309].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
        Originally Posted by ccd View Post

        Thanks, Justin, for a very interesting thread.

        I'd be interested also in some feedback from other writers about the speed at which they work. It varies a great deal, of course, depending upon the type of writing I'm doing, but I find that on average it takes me roughly an hour per page to do a decent job. And that's not including any time that may be required for research.

        That's why the idea of writing for $5 or $10 per page is laughable. (But not funny! ).

        How about it, writers? Am I excruciatingly slow compared to you?
        I wouldn't consider that especially slow. My speed depends entirely on how well I know the subject. This isn't just because of research, although there's that; when I don't know the base material well, I just get slower.

        The initial post in this thread, for instance, is a little over a thousand words, and it took me a half an hour or so to write. Pretty fast, right? But an article on Tibetan Throat Singing is probably going to take twice as long to do half as much.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972183].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    I only write on topics I know (I'm a vet) and I have my favourite professional resources right at my fingertips. On a good day, I can put together a good 500-700 word article well under half an hour. My problem is I get distracted: I fancy a coffee, I go and pat the dogs, check the weather forecast...

    I don't think you're necessarily slow, ccd. I recently did some writing for a friend on some very way out topics, and it took absolutely ages to get the information, and turn it into something decent. It takes time to do good research, and you're obviously taking care with your work, but yes, it makes for a very poor hourly wage unless your rates are reasonable.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2970341].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Just a thought - when you are discussing prices of people such as Poe there's something else to consider. When they wrote, they "wrote". No keyboards, no spellcheck, no typewriters.... While we look at typing speed or voice recognition software, those writers had true penmanship skills.

      kay
      Signature
      Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

      Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2970372].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dmaind
    Hi Justin,

    Nice article. Do you write sales letters too?

    I would like to add you as a friend please accept my invitation.

    D Maind
    Signature
    372 Sold - WSO >>> Wicked Google Ranking Factors <<< Do You Know What Is Powerful Than HIGH PR .GOV LINKS?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2970346].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author corycrabb
    yeah this was a good post!
    Signature

    (Ask to join our marketing mastermind group in facebook)
    ~ Enter Here ~
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2970387].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sweetcheeks12354
    I can attest having written before (that's how I got started), that if you are just patient and write quality content, people will hire you. Like he said, don't race to the bottom. What's the point of getting a $1000 contract when it's for $.005 a word. You'll make $3000 a year, hardly a living.

    Also you'll work 8 hour days to pull it off.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2970411].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Racquel_McFarlane07
      Banned
      Great Post, thanks for laying it out there for all the would be writers. I have heard that many successful IM'ers got started in the service based route. I'm curious because your original post didn't include how you go about advertising your services. Do you have a dedicated website for it that you drive traffic to or do you market only to the warriors in this forum?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3006003].message }}
      • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3006056].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Wayne-JJ
          Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

          Is there anyone here who does over $100/day with their article writing business? $500/day? $1,000/day?
          Hi there, noticed you've mentioned several times about lifetime residual, do you mind sharing the method you used to achieve that? Sounds interesting
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3006172].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
          Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

          Is there anyone here who does over $100/day with their article writing business? $500/day? $1,000/day?
          Me?

          A hundred is pretty typical for me, and that's a mix of longer term projects and article stuff here. My best day was five hundred but that wasn't the kind of writing you typically get here at the forum.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3006315].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
        Originally Posted by Racquel_McFarlane07 View Post

        Great Post, thanks for laying it out there for all the would be writers. I have heard that many successful IM'ers got started in the service based route. I'm curious because your original post didn't include how you go about advertising your services. Do you have a dedicated website for it that you drive traffic to or do you market only to the warriors in this forum?
        I don't really advertise, which is not a good thing. Writing outside the forum, the work mostly comes through word of mouth and agency contacts. Within the forum, it's just the Warrior for Hire Ad and, again, word of mouth.

        If there's a lull and I need the dough, I'm not above cold calling or cold emailing.

        Honestly, I absolutely need to do better in regards to the advertising department. I procrastinate because I despise talking to people I don't know on the phone and my tech skills aren't up to par for creating a website to my satisfaction. These are bull puckey excuses, but there you go.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3006337].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author prabu86
    It is a nice update..........
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2970540].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Napoleon Solo
      Following on from CCD concerning how long it takes to write an article: I find that it takes me near enough on average two hours to research and write a 600 word Amazon review. If I know my subject well, it can be much quicker, but with the nature of what I am writing about, most of the topics I am previously unfamiliar with.

      If I was writing something similar for a client, I'm guessing it would be hard to be competitive on costs with my current time frame.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2970630].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
    bilzz,

    Was that a question? lol....was it directed to the initial poster?

    Originally Posted by bilzz View Post

    Thats great post ..yes it would be depend to you what you write for articals
    just Articles,copy,ebooks?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2971316].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author alashton
    Yes a writers lot is not a happy one today. Two years ago I got $250 for a 1000 word article and $150 follow up for a travel ezine but of course those gigs are dead now.

    Looking at Elance, Getfreelancer, etc.makes for depressing reading if you are an author, you can literally get a better hourly rate at Mc Donalds, but there is no shortage of takers for these pitiful fees and no doubt if you want to work in a writers sweatshop then you will make some money.

    People Per Hour ( the British equivalent of Elance) is not any better but at least it has authors who voice their disgust at some of the fees on offer and quite often tell the proposer where to stick it, much to the annoyance of the site moderators.

    Supply and demand means that the writers profession is seriously undervalued and I don't see that changing in the near future. Everything Justin says is indeed correct and great advice, however, you should channel your efforts into the offline world to make decent money - but you need to be good and few of these 5 buck a pop writers could ever cut it out in the real world.
    Signature
    Ash100.com - Write to Know

    Writing for the offline and online world
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2971456].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by alashton View Post


      Supply and demand means that the writers profession is seriously undervalued and I don't see that changing in the near future. Everything Justin says is indeed correct and great advice, however, you should channel your efforts into the offline world to make decent money - but you need to be good and few of these 5 buck a pop writers could ever cut it out in the real world.
      I agree.

      Well, mostly. The part I'm not sure about is whether or not writing will continue to be as undervalued as it is now. I suspect that it will continue to be undervalued, but if Google starts devaluing links from crap articles and content (and I suspect they will, at some point) values will rise.

      Of course, that might just be wishful thinking.

      I do agree that if you want to make significant money, you need to be doing work for people who value your skills. This isn't necessarily offline, as such, but it does usually mean moving outside of internet marketing unless you're writing sales copy.

      Like anything else, there are trade offs. For me, my work offline almost invariably involves large projects that require a lot of interaction between me and the client and a lot of research, both of which eat up lots of time.

      The work I get from the forum, on the other hand, requires substanially less time investment. Generally only a few emails with the client and some research. It doesn't require me to write proposals and sit in meetings and rewrite to comittee notes, and that gives me more time for the writing work that I really enjoy.

      The trade off is money. I could charge more here and get it, but there's no way I'm going to get the rates that I charge for other stuff. And given the nature of the work, it wouldn't be ethical to do so.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972255].message }}
  • I can tell you that writing content has become very competitive, price-wise. I'm listed over at oDesk as a content provider, and regularly get offers to interview for writing work at a rate of a penny per word (or less).

    While I understand that someone in the Philippines can work for a rate like this and make a living, I can't. Ironically, some of my most consistent and profitable work came from folks in Asia who wanted article and short report content written in American English.

    Here's the thing: if you can offer more than just writing (business planning advice, good research that does more than skim the surface, build real rapport with your clients, etc.), you are worth more than a budding wordsmith in the East.

    Yes, it's the content, stupid, but it's also the value you deliver, over and above the 10 articles you wrote about "The Heartbreak of Psoriasis".

    Sincerely,

    Vince Runza
    Signature
    "The will to prepare to win is more important than the will to win." -- misquoting Coach Vince Lombardi
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972056].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Tashi Mortier
      Thank you very much for your post. It sums the whole topic up pretty good.

      Your tips are very insightful and I think I'll apply some of them, especially work more on some exclusive samples that I can show around and ask for testimonials.

      Often times those low prices can fire back later when it comes to support. If you ordered from an agency they probably don't even know who wrote all of your articles if you aren't satisfied with them.
      Signature

      Want to read my personal blog? Tashi Mortier

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972146].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    If you'll write for Constant Content you can sell your articles at a very good price. I'm selling mine around $20 - $25 each (500 words). Longer articles are more expensive. However, CC's guidelines are too difficult... They keep rejecting articles if they are not perfect. I have an editor because English is my third language, but I'm a very good writer.

    I hate elance and odesk! These sites are horrible. You have no protection there.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972216].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ron Ansy
    Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

    Actually, the title should probably say content, but most of what you'll be doing will probably be article writing if you're here at the Warrior Forum. I make a full time living writing, something that supports my long term goal of writing fiction for a living.

    Making decent money writing for other people is not tremendously difficult, but I see a lot of new people making the same mistakes. Now, I don't know everything, but I do know a few things. So here's how to get your article writing business off the ground.

    Treat It Like a Business

    This more an attitude thing than anything else, but if you want to make an actual living at writing, you need to treat it like a business. You need to take hitting your deadlines seriously, you need to have defined daily goals and you need to think of yourself as a professional.

    On the more concrete level, you also need to have some sort of structure in place for dealing with your income and keeping track of expenses. You will need to pay taxes, and keep this crap straight is a lot easier if you have that structure in place from the start. I use Quickbooks and an accountant.

    Get Someone to Evaluate Your Writing

    Before you start writing, you should get some idea of whether you're any good at it. Writing is interesting in that almost everyone thinks they can do it, possibly because they do some form of it everyday. While writing well enough to get paid for it isn't any more difficult than, for instance, learning to drive a car, it isn't something that everyone can just do.

    Ideally, you should get someone, or multiple someones, who knows about writing to evaluate your level of skill. They can tell you where they're at and what you need to do to improve.

    Here's a bare minimum test: Do you know the difference between their, they're and there? Your and you're? If you don't, you have a long ways to go before you even consider writing for anyone else.

    It wouldn't hurt to buy a copy of Strunk and White's Element of Style, either. You can probably find it for free somewhere on the internet, and it's going to cost maybe a buck on Amazon.

    Learn the Basics of Copywriting

    Copywriting is writing to persuade, convince and sell. Even if you don't intend to write sales letters, you should have a grasp on how it works. The side benefit is that many of the people that will hire you will want articles that will convince the person reading to at least click on the link at the end, and knowing how to persuade is going to be helpful.

    But the real reason you should know something about copywriting is because you need to be able to sell yourself. Take a look at the Warrior for Hire section and read a couple of the content ads; what you'll find is that most of them are basically a list of prices. They don't demonstrate any particular reason to hire that writer beyond price, and believe it or not, writers are not commodities.

    This post will be long enough already, but the most basic thing you need to know is AIDA, the acronym or possibly mnemonic for the four things you need to do in your copy:

    A - Attention. You need to get them to notice that you actually exist. You need to get them to read the rest of your copy, so this is largely going to be a matter of your headline and your opening.

    I - Interest. Once you've got them, you've got to keep them. You need to know how to hold their interest.

    D - Desire. Make them want what you're offering. Tell them what you can do for them, what problems you can solve, how you can help them profit.

    A - Action. Tell them what they need to do, which in this case would be hiring you.

    Build a Portfolio

    Are you writing everyday? Or at least five days a week? You should be. You need to have a portfolio to be able to show people, especially if you want to charge rates that will actually help you make a living. Stuff that has actually been published, either in the real world or on the web, is best, but just a sampling of articles with different topics and voices is fine.

    This is also important because once you get started, the nature of this kind of writing means that most of your clients won't be keen on your using your work for them as a sample. Nothing wrong with that, but it does mean that you will need something else to show off.

    Get Testimonials

    Another copywriting concept that is important for your business is social proof. Basically, this is people recommending your service as evidence that you don't suck. You know how you get testimonials (or reviews, or whatever terminology you like)? First don't suck. Second, ask. If someone likes your work, ask them for a testimonial. Not everyone will give you one, but many will. If really don't suck, you'll get testimonials without asking, which is nice.


    Know and Sell Your Worth

    Here at the forum in particular and the internet marketing world in general, there is a lot of price competition. Any time writing prices come up, you'll get people saying that five dollars is plenty for a 500 word article. What this has created is a world where writers are afraid to ask for decent prices for their work.

    As I implied before, you shouldn't be competing on price, and you certainly shouldn't be racing to the bottom. If you're good enough to get paid for writing, you're good enough to ask for a reasonable rate.

    The rock bottom minimum I would suggest is $10.00 per 500 words, and that still isn't really a reasonable rate. But if you can't get that, you either aren't very good and should probably try something else or, more likely, you suck at showing people why you're worth it.

    You need to show your potential clients what you can do for them and what makes you better than cheap, cheap writers. This is an aspect of copywriting and the inability to do so, and combined with a lack of awareness that you can charge more, is one of the things that keeps writers from earning halfway acceptable money.

    Hit Deadlines

    Confession: I am still not as good at this as I'd like. One of the things that is going to affect your reputation and your ability to earn is whether or not you can hit your deadlines. The primary cause of this is overestimating how much work you can do.

    My advice is to actually see how many articles you can comfortably do in a day, subtract an article or two from that number and use that as a guide for how long it will take you. Take weekends off. It's always better to deliver your work early rather than late, so give yourself some time padding.

    There's probably (definitely) more but this should get you on the right path.
    Thanks for the detailed posst.. Very informative..
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972266].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author moneypro
    Big post. Don't have enough time.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2972288].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author skyla
    This really is a great post. I started making money by writing content and I find the more you write the better you get at it. Charging the right price is hard, but I have started turning away clients that want really 'cheap', they do not count in the time to do research etc.

    Then there are those that want huge discounts for you to write 100 or more articles for them. I know they are giving you income, but the amount of work is the same, so it can be hard for them to understand why you won't give them a big, big price cut.

    I have been creating my own PLR in my spare time and it is great to sell the same article more than once. Plus those unexpected payments are really great.

    Thanks again, enjoyed reading this thread.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2973499].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Hammad
    Very interesting article. Being a professional content writer i totally agree with the Justin Jordan. This post would be very useful for the people who want to start their career as a professional content writer. Job Well Done..
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2976677].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Warren Tibbotts
    I'm still boggled by what makes some Ezinearticles have thousands of viewings in only two or three months, (and the articles certainly don't read like a work of art) whereas some articles that are very well written, full of great content, and keyword optimized only end up with a couple of hundred viewings.

    Anyone offer some answers for us on this?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2976697].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
      Warren,

      Those writers probably have promotional channels established already....sometimes, it's not just a matter of writing the article....

      Plus, on EZA, you also have the opportunity to get content syndicated. I'm sure 'connections' certainly come into play here...

      Originally Posted by Warren Tibbotts View Post

      I'm still boggled by what makes some Ezinearticles have thousands of viewings in only two or three months, (and the articles certainly don't read like a work of art) whereas some articles that are very well written, full of great content, and keyword optimized only end up with a couple of hundred viewings.

      Anyone offer some answers for us on this?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2976702].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author CDaeda
        What is the best method for writing good articles without using up too much time? My fingers are getting tired on the keyboard. :confused:
        Signature

        Please do not use affiliate links in signatures

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2976710].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author PatMil
          Originally Posted by CDaeda View Post

          What is the best method for writing good articles without using up too much time? My fingers are getting tired on the keyboard. :confused:
          Try Dragon Naturally Speaking - it will definitely relieve the fingers!
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3007419].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
            Originally Posted by PatMil View Post

            Try Dragon Naturally Speaking - it will definitely relieve the fingers!
            I've considered this. Does it take a very long time to "train" it? Not entirely sure HOW it works....
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3007843].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author PatMil
              Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

              I've considered this. Does it take a very long time to "train" it? Not entirely sure HOW it works....
              Initially it is a bit of a mission to "train" (probably about 45 minutes of reading) it but it actually improves the more you use it.

              There are some minor hassles like, for example, I don't have the best microphone and working in Open Office writer (and things like this forum) are not as good as Office, Notepad or it's own Dragon Pad or Dictation box ... but it's far better than having to type!!

              I tend to use it for drafts and then go in later and do the final editing. Although I've seen people who are very competent and will do everything using it.

              This reply was done using Dragon. I would definitely recommend it.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3008783].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author PatMil
              Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

              I've considered this. Does it take a very long time to "train" it? Not entirely sure HOW it works....
              Dragon have released a version 11 (I have 10) which if you believe all their promotional stuff seems to have eliminated the training and works with Open Office, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I'll be buying it!
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3013132].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
            Originally Posted by PatMil View Post

            Try Dragon Naturally Speaking - it will definitely relieve the fingers!
            You could save your money and use the built-in speech recognition program that comes with Windows. It used to pretty much suck, but it seems much better in the version that comes with Windows 7. Took me about 20 minutes to "train" it so I could speak normally. Just don't talk too fast and enunciate and soon you can speak at close to your normal rate. Lots of handy shortcuts, too. Worth looking into.

            John
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3009224].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by Warren Tibbotts View Post

      I'm still boggled by what makes some Ezinearticles have thousands of viewings in only two or three months, (and the articles certainly don't read like a work of art) whereas some articles that are very well written, full of great content, and keyword optimized only end up with a couple of hundred viewings.

      Anyone offer some answers for us on this?

      my secret is backlinks, then backlinks of those backlinks.

      It is not a matter of getting your seo'ed article out there on EA and wait for the traffic to explode. That will only maybe bring in 200 views or so. You have to plug. I like to get backlinks going.

      also do not use fake views....i even see a well known marketer do this....not good...and karma will come back and bite him in the butt i guess.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2977559].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by Warren Tibbotts View Post

      I'm still boggled by what makes some Ezinearticles have thousands of viewings in only two or three months, (and the articles certainly don't read like a work of art) whereas some articles that are very well written, full of great content, and keyword optimized only end up with a couple of hundred viewings.

      Anyone offer some answers for us on this?
      Keywords.

      Being keyword optimized is great, but having the right keywords is essential. I was playing around with article marketing and CPA a bit in 2009, and I did two articles that got a thousand views a month for a couple of months.

      The only thing that differentiated them from the other articles was that I managed to find keywords that were non competitive and where actually getting searches. They were eventually supplanted by other articles, but they still bring in a couple of hundred searches a month.

      One thing you can do, and this is an article marketing thing rather than an article writing service thing, is use the google search string to search for articles that have a lot of views, and then try to suss out what their keywords are. A lot of them, especially if you're working in niches outside of IM, are going to be ripe for the taking. The specific search string is in the War Room somewhere.

      The other thing that kills a lot of articles at the article directories is lack of an engaging title. "5 Ways to Milk Slugs" is probably going to get less views "The Top Five Ways To Get The Most Milk From A Minimum Of Slugs".

      Article writing for directories, as opposed to article for authority sites, is kind of a different beast. If you're writing for an authority site, you want the article to be comprehensive and thorough. If you're writing for article directories, there's a lot to be said for giving people information that is useful but incomplete, to swipe a term from Jimmy Brown.

      Basically, you give them the what and sell them the how. If you were writing an article on improving your vertical leap, you would tell them that they need a program that combines explosive lifts focusing on the posterior chain and plyometrics. What you would sell them is the specific information on how this is actually done.

      The thing with article directory content is that you want to warm them up for the sale and get them to make the click. If you're writing for a website, you may want to give them more complete information to build your trust and reputation.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2979139].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
    I have yet to expand my writing to an online writing service. Honestly, I'm a bit intimidated to venture down that road simply because I can't make sense of even how I could possibly compete. For the quality and amount of time I spend writing some of my 1,000+ word articles, I really feel like I am worth at least $15-$30...at least...for just one of those articles....

    For now, I really really enjoy writing for lifetime residuals. It's simple, to me, and takes alot of the having to market myself out of the picture....I simply do the research, SEO the articles a bit, throw in some product affiliations, and monetize my articles to earn for a lifetime.

    Who knows...maybe I'm short changing myself...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2976699].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
      Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

      For the quality and amount of time I spend writing some of my 1,000+ word articles, I really feel like I am worth at least $15-$30...at least...for just one of those articles....

      Who knows...maybe I'm short changing myself...
      I think you are - a good writer is worth more than $7.50-$15/500 words!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2976746].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
        Originally Posted by Audrey Harvey View Post

        I think you are - a good writer is worth more than $7.50-$15/500 words!
        If someone ever constructed a well-thought out, and comprehensive, WSO about how good writers online can command higher price points for their writing, I would snag it up in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I see so many people selling complete lifetime rights to their content for, at least what appears to be, scraps. Some companies online will pay a $15 flat fee in exchange for content....and, many people worldwide are completely happy to sell their writing for less than $5....

        For right now, writing for lifetime residuals just seems to be the best course of action, at least for myself....I admit, it's nice to come home everyday to earnings from articles I have written months ago.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2976765].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Warren Tibbotts
          Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

          If someone ever constructed a well-thought out, and comprehensive, WSO about how good writers online can command higher price points for their writing, I would snag it up in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I see so many people selling complete lifetime rights to their content for, at least what appears to be, scraps. Some companies online will pay a $15 flat fee in exchange for content....and, many people worldwide are completely happy to sell their writing for less than $5....

          For right now, writing for lifetime residuals just seems to be the best course of action, at least for myself....I admit, it's nice to come home everyday to earnings from articles I have written months ago.
          I'm curious to know what sort of average earnings you would make per article over the period of 3-6 months. I think you probably have the makings of your own WSO there, if you're making money from it yourself.
          There are plenty of people out there who would be happy to make just an extra $500-$1000/mth
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2979200].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author georgenews
    I like how you wrote a great article on writing articles as a business
    Signature
    Naked News Anchors : Rss Feeds, Galleries, Hosted FLVs, Non Nude Daily Show, Free Whitelabel, Peel Ads
    Icq: 70854769 Email: georged@nakednews.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2977416].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2977574].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Efrain Hernandez
    Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post


    It wouldn't hurt to buy a copy of Strunk and White's Element of Style, either. You can probably find it for free somewhere on the internet, and it's going to cost maybe a buck on Amazon.
    Found a free online copy here: Strunk, William, Jr. 1918. The Elements of Style
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2979316].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author rain21
    great post, but I really don't like this business, its very boring ))
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2979496].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    I'm still boggled by what makes some Ezinearticles have thousands of viewings in only two or three months, (and the articles certainly don't read like a work of art) whereas some articles that are very well written, full of great content, and keyword optimized only end up with a couple of hundred viewings.

    Anyone offer some answers for us on this?


    Some articles are very successful no matter if they are not really special or not so well optimized because they give good answers about a very demanded topic.

    When your articles are well written and well optimized but they don’t attract they number of visitors they should, this means that:

    1. You are writing about a topic that only a few people care about, even though most people should care about it. They should, but they don’t.

    2. Your title is not appealing enough. Change your title and you may see incredible results. At ezinearticle this is forbidden now because you cannot change the URL after posting an article, but you can do so in other article directories. Or, post the same article to different article directories now, using various different titles. Many times a totally disregarded article suddenly becomes very popular when you discover its right title: the title that exactly describes its content, and at the same time generates curiosity. Or, it can be a vague and very general title that has the right keywords, and everyone will click on it in order to find out more.

    There are also many other alternatives that should be considered. The reasons why good articles that ‘should” have positive results’ in the end don’t bring us the traffic we desire could be too many.

    Sometimes I think like you when I see my best articles getting only a few clicks, while many of the simple short articles I wrote in a hurry because I had no time keep attracting thousands of daily views since 2007.

    Other times, I verify that my very well written articles, giving real lessons to the public, with the best keywords, etc, are really excellent, and they bring me thousands of visitors everyday because they are really good.

    So, the statistics show me that sometimes it’s very hard to discover a logical explanation for a phenomenon, but this is how it usually happens online. When you are not successful you have to discover all the points that need improvement.

    When you want to write about not so demanded topics, begin talking about the banal information that everyone would certainly care about, and only after this introduction, start talking about something else. Give to the public what it wants first of all, solving a simple problem (or showing that there is a solution), and then introduce your main (different) topic. Give to your article a very general title, using the best keywords, and try to be somehow narrative in your title, describing the content when possible. Remember that your article’s glory basically depends on your title. If you are a good writer all your articles are well written, so when you have problems, improve your titles.


    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2979599].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Todd R
    The other thing about good article writing is learning how to research keywords. It's not that the writing should be compromised by the keyword selections; instead, the writing should support the keywords. It's pretty simple and there are some good threads here on the Warrior Forum that teach the basics.
    Signature
    Interested in affiliate marketing..?? Join Erica Stone and Todd Royer's webinar every Thursday, 8pm EST
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2984760].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jwenberg
    Justin, great post! Very motivating and true. I've started doing this lately at the suggestion of a lot of people on the forum and have actually started seeing money come in!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2989623].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ronak Shah
    I was thinking of starting a WSO but now I am not sure whether I must do so.

    After reading this thread, it all sounds tough to get clients from WF who readily pay even $15 per 500 words.

    I wouldn't mind writing an article for $10- $15/500 words. I would write just 5 articles a day 5 days a week and that would be good enough for me.

    I used to write for 5c a word for a couple of clients but I just don't really know the way I could find more such clients who would be ready to pay 5c per word. Justin, what do you suggest?

    I hate writing for $5/500 words for an article and would never do such work if I had a choice. This thread has so many insights to running an article writing business.

    I have a blog (see my sig) from which I can build a list using Maxblogpress subscribers magnet. I think writing 1-2 blog posts each day will get me traffic and affiliate sales. I could even post the articles from my blog to article directories and even spin the content to post them on articledashboard directories. What do you say Justin?
    Signature
    I AM YOUR Direct Response Ninja Kick-Ass Sales Copywriter.

    Now, Here's The REAL DEAL:
    Either I make YOU at least 10 times of what I charge YOU OR
    I'll Write YOUR Sales Copy AGAIN Till YOU Make MUCH MORE Than THAT. Guaranteed*.
    *Terms & Conditions Apply. Email me at ronak[at]ronakshah[dot]name right now.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2994739].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author skyla
      Originally Posted by Ronak Shah View Post

      I was thinking of starting a WSO but now I am not sure whether I must do so.

      After reading this thread, it all sounds tough to get clients.

      I wouldn't mind writing an article for $10- $15. I would write just 5 articles a day 5 days a week and that would be good enough for me.

      I used to write for 5c a word for a couple of clients but I just the way I could find more such clients who would be ready to pay 5c per word. Justin, what do you suggest?

      I hate writing for $5 an article and would never do such work if I had a choice. This thread has so many insights to running an article writing business.

      I have a blog (see my sig) and I think writing 1-2 blog posts each day will get me traffic and affiliate sales. What do you say Justin?
      Hi Ronak,

      What I do is to write for $5 for 400 to 500 words, but at the same time I am creating my own content that I sell as PLR.

      What you could do is work on your own ebooks or reports and sell them as your own. You will be creating products that earn you a repeated income and are filling a niche in the marketplace.

      Hope that helps.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2994758].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Ronak Shah
        Originally Posted by skyla View Post

        Hi Ronak,

        What I do is to write for $5 for 400 to 500 words, but at the same time I am creating my own content that I sell as PLR.

        What you could do is work on your own ebooks or reports and sell them as your own. You will be creating products that earn you a repeated income and are filling a niche in the marketplace.

        Hope that helps.
        how much do you sell your PLR content for?

        How many articles? What is the word count of each article?

        Thank you for the tip.
        Signature
        I AM YOUR Direct Response Ninja Kick-Ass Sales Copywriter.

        Now, Here's The REAL DEAL:
        Either I make YOU at least 10 times of what I charge YOU OR
        I'll Write YOUR Sales Copy AGAIN Till YOU Make MUCH MORE Than THAT. Guaranteed*.
        *Terms & Conditions Apply. Email me at ronak[at]ronakshah[dot]name right now.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2994878].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by Ronak Shah View Post

      I was thinking of starting a WSO but now I am not sure whether I must do so.

      After reading this thread, it all sounds tough to get clients from WF who readily pay even $15 per 500 words.

      I wouldn't mind writing an article for $10- $15/500 words. I would write just 5 articles a day 5 days a week and that would be good enough for me.

      I used to write for 5c a word for a couple of clients but I just don't really know the way I could find more such clients who would be ready to pay 5c per word. Justin, what do you suggest?

      I hate writing for $5/500 words for an article and would never do such work if I had a choice. This thread has so many insights to running an article writing business.

      I have a blog (see my sig) from which I can build a list using Maxblogpress subscribers magnet. I think writing 1-2 blog posts each day will get me traffic and affiliate sales. I could even post the articles from my blog to article directories and even spin the content to post them on articledashboard directories. What do you say Justin?
      I wouldn't say it's all that tough. People think that there's an inverse reltionship between price and clients - that the more you charge, the less work you get. This is not necessarily true, and in my case it's been the opposite; the more I charge the more work I get.

      When I started here, I was curious about the relationship between price and demand, so I've tried a variety of prices, and every time I've raised prices I've gotten more work. Honestly, I need to raise them again to see if the trend holds.

      I have an advantage in that I have lots of writing experience, but I don't believe that's necessary, just helpful. But you need to show people why you're worth the price. You need to show them how you can benefit them, rather than just trying to show them that you write well.

      As to the blog - I don't know. My instinct is that making money with a blog is going to take some time to get going. Now, assuming that's right, that's not necessarily a bad thing; it just depends on what your needs and goals are. That's not an either or thing: you can certainly write articles for yourself and build your blog at the same time. There's nothing wrong with just writing for other people, but I don't think it's ideal. I think you should be working on longer term stuff that gives you a more passive income.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2995569].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Ronak Shah
        Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

        I wouldn't say it's all that tough. People think that there's an inverse reltionship between price and clients - that the more you charge, the less work you get. This is not necessarily true, and in my case it's been the opposite; the more I charge the more work I get.

        When I started here, I was curious about the relationship between price and demand, so I've tried a variety of prices, and every time I've raised prices I've gotten more work. Honestly, I need to raise them again to see if the trend holds.

        I have an advantage in that I have lots of writing experience, but I don't believe that's necessary, just helpful. But you need to show people why you're worth the price. You need to show them how you can benefit them, rather than just trying to show them that you write well.

        As to the blog - I don't know. My instinct is that making money with a blog is going to take some time to get going. Now, assuming that's right, that's not necessarily a bad thing; it just depends on what your needs and goals are. That's not an either or thing: you can certainly write articles for yourself and build your blog at the same time. There's nothing wrong with just writing for other people, but I don't think it's ideal. I think you should be working on longer term stuff that gives you a more passive income.
        Excellent stuff Justin! I loved your advice.

        #1 List Building
        #2 Blog Building
        #3 Article Marketing

        That's how I would sum it up according to its importance.
        Signature
        I AM YOUR Direct Response Ninja Kick-Ass Sales Copywriter.

        Now, Here's The REAL DEAL:
        Either I make YOU at least 10 times of what I charge YOU OR
        I'll Write YOUR Sales Copy AGAIN Till YOU Make MUCH MORE Than THAT. Guaranteed*.
        *Terms & Conditions Apply. Email me at ronak[at]ronakshah[dot]name right now.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2995774].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ArticleGrinder
    Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

    Actually, the title should probably say content, but most of what you'll be doing will probably be article writing if you're here at the Warrior Forum. I make a full time living writing, something that supports my long term goal of writing fiction for a living.

    Making decent money writing for other people is not tremendously difficult, but I see a lot of new people making the same mistakes. Now, I don't know everything, but I do know a few things. So here's how to get your article writing business off the ground.

    Treat It Like a Business

    This more an attitude thing than anything else, but if you want to make an actual living at writing, you need to treat it like a business. You need to take hitting your deadlines seriously, you need to have defined daily goals and you need to think of yourself as a professional.

    On the more concrete level, you also need to have some sort of structure in place for dealing with your income and keeping track of expenses. You will need to pay taxes, and keep this crap straight is a lot easier if you have that structure in place from the start. I use Quickbooks and an accountant.

    Get Someone to Evaluate Your Writing

    Before you start writing, you should get some idea of whether you're any good at it. Writing is interesting in that almost everyone thinks they can do it, possibly because they do some form of it everyday. While writing well enough to get paid for it isn't any more difficult than, for instance, learning to drive a car, it isn't something that everyone can just do.

    Ideally, you should get someone, or multiple someones, who knows about writing to evaluate your level of skill. They can tell you where they're at and what you need to do to improve.

    Here's a bare minimum test: Do you know the difference between their, they're and there? Your and you're? If you don't, you have a long ways to go before you even consider writing for anyone else.

    It wouldn't hurt to buy a copy of Strunk and White's Element of Style, either. You can probably find it for free somewhere on the internet, and it's going to cost maybe a buck on Amazon.

    Learn the Basics of Copywriting

    Copywriting is writing to persuade, convince and sell. Even if you don't intend to write sales letters, you should have a grasp on how it works. The side benefit is that many of the people that will hire you will want articles that will convince the person reading to at least click on the link at the end, and knowing how to persuade is going to be helpful.

    But the real reason you should know something about copywriting is because you need to be able to sell yourself. Take a look at the Warrior for Hire section and read a couple of the content ads; what you'll find is that most of them are basically a list of prices. They don't demonstrate any particular reason to hire that writer beyond price, and believe it or not, writers are not commodities.

    This post will be long enough already, but the most basic thing you need to know is AIDA, the acronym or possibly mnemonic for the four things you need to do in your copy:

    A - Attention. You need to get them to notice that you actually exist. You need to get them to read the rest of your copy, so this is largely going to be a matter of your headline and your opening.

    I - Interest. Once you've got them, you've got to keep them. You need to know how to hold their interest.

    D - Desire. Make them want what you're offering. Tell them what you can do for them, what problems you can solve, how you can help them profit.

    A - Action. Tell them what they need to do, which in this case would be hiring you.

    Build a Portfolio

    Are you writing everyday? Or at least five days a week? You should be. You need to have a portfolio to be able to show people, especially if you want to charge rates that will actually help you make a living. Stuff that has actually been published, either in the real world or on the web, is best, but just a sampling of articles with different topics and voices is fine.

    This is also important because once you get started, the nature of this kind of writing means that most of your clients won't be keen on your using your work for them as a sample. Nothing wrong with that, but it does mean that you will need something else to show off.

    Get Testimonials

    Another copywriting concept that is important for your business is social proof. Basically, this is people recommending your service as evidence that you don't suck. You know how you get testimonials (or reviews, or whatever terminology you like)? First don't suck. Second, ask. If someone likes your work, ask them for a testimonial. Not everyone will give you one, but many will. If really don't suck, you'll get testimonials without asking, which is nice.


    Know and Sell Your Worth

    Here at the forum in particular and the internet marketing world in general, there is a lot of price competition. Any time writing prices come up, you'll get people saying that five dollars is plenty for a 500 word article. What this has created is a world where writers are afraid to ask for decent prices for their work.

    As I implied before, you shouldn't be competing on price, and you certainly shouldn't be racing to the bottom. If you're good enough to get paid for writing, you're good enough to ask for a reasonable rate.

    The rock bottom minimum I would suggest is $10.00 per 500 words, and that still isn't really a reasonable rate. But if you can't get that, you either aren't very good and should probably try something else or, more likely, you suck at showing people why you're worth it.

    You need to show your potential clients what you can do for them and what makes you better than cheap, cheap writers. This is an aspect of copywriting and the inability to do so, and combined with a lack of awareness that you can charge more, is one of the things that keeps writers from earning halfway acceptable money.

    Hit Deadlines

    Confession: I am still not as good at this as I'd like. One of the things that is going to affect your reputation and your ability to earn is whether or not you can hit your deadlines. The primary cause of this is overestimating how much work you can do.

    My advice is to actually see how many articles you can comfortably do in a day, subtract an article or two from that number and use that as a guide for how long it will take you. Take weekends off. It's always better to deliver your work early rather than late, so give yourself some time padding.

    There's probably (definitely) more but this should get you on the right path.
    Thanks for this post! So have you started on writing fiction books already? If so do let me know what titles!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2996053].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by ArticleGrinder View Post

      Thanks for this post! So have you started on writing fiction books already? If so do let me know what titles!
      I have. I've got a comic book coming out later this year, and I'm working on a novel. No idea whether or not the the novel will get picked up. Might go the self pubbed ebook way, actually, assuming I can write something that doesn't suck.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3002855].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sarah S
    Wow, this thread is extremely helpful and has stellar information for anyone who wants to seriously make it as a content writer for internet marketers. I think it's true that in order to be successful, you must treat your writing service as a real business.

    A lot of people have been commenting back and forth about fair prices, and what is an acceptable "minimum wage" for online writers. One thing I would beg everyone to consider is that it's more important to get paid fairly for your time and effort, than it is to undercut the competition's prices.

    Yes, you can work at the low end of the price range to entice more customers to pay for your writing, but you're not allowing yourself to be paid fairly, and you're training them to pay less. Make sure that your prices reflect the quality of your work so that you can continue writing for pay: a business needs to stay profitable in order to continue, and since writing is your business, your prices should reflect that.


    Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post


    Here's a bare minimum test: Do you know the difference between their, they're and there? Your and you're? If you don't, you have a long ways to go before you even consider writing for anyone else.
    I agree here that before you can honestly hope to make it writing for other people, you must be able to use correct grammar in your work, because it's only fair to your clients. However, I also don't think that poor grammar should put people off from trying.

    If you don't know the difference between their, they're, and there, or your and you're, or affect and effect, it doesn't mean you're doomed. Sometimes all it takes it reading a few good explanations with some clear examples, and keeping them on hand as you write. Everyone that's good at grammar had to learn the rules at some point, and if that's the only thing holding you back, spend a little time doing some review and practice so that you'll feel more confident.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3003599].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mathmo
    Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

    Here’s a bare minimum test: Do you know the difference between their, they’re and there? Your and you’re? If you don’t, you have a long ways to go before you even consider writing for anyone else.
    The mere fact you wrote that statement is a sad reflection on the level of schooling that exists.

    I by no means consider myself a writer (I know instead my skill sets in other areas are far better), yet even I have known the answers to your questions since I was a little boy.

    By the way, I hate to make a correction like this just after I've pointed out I'm not a professional writer and you are... but it should be "long way" not "long ways".
    Signature
    Terso IT: for Web Development and SEO Latest blog post, on the mindset of outsourcing: How to Outsource: 2 kinds, which are you?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3003704].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Justin, nice contribution, man...

      If you've been around for any length of time, you develop a feel for folks that have walked the walk before talking the talk. And I definitely get that vibe from you.

      Originally Posted by Warren Tibbotts View Post

      I'm still boggled by what makes some Ezinearticles have thousands of viewings in only two or three months, (and the articles certainly don't read like a work of art) whereas some articles that are very well written, full of great content, and keyword optimized only end up with a couple of hundred viewings.

      Anyone offer some answers for us on this?
      You've had some answers here already. Some people pick keywords that happen to do better than others. Some people promote their directory articles like it was on their own site, maybe more.

      And some people cheat. They hire people or use bots and proxies to send fake traffic to their articles with the intent of landing on a 'most viewed' list for more backlinks. There are other methods, but this is a thread on running a content writing business, not a clinic on how to cheat an article directory...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3003790].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by mathmo View Post

      By the way, I hate to make a correction like this just after I've pointed out I'm not a professional writer and you are... but it should be "long way" not "long ways".
      Local dialect!



      Actually, that's true - that is how we say it here. Y'all are just lucky I ain't used ain't or y'all.

      While Sarah is absolutely correct that the you're/your they're/their/there thing is easy to teach, to me it signals a deeper issue. Regardless of whether you were formally taught the rules for that or not, if you haven't got it, it's a pretty good sign that you're not a reader (or a non native speaker) which is a more fundamental problem.

      The rules are easy to teach, but being a good writer without having read a lot is difficult to impossible.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3005873].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author mathmo
        Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

        Local dialect!



        Actually, that's true - that is how we say it here. Y'all are just lucky I ain't used ain't or y'all.

        While Sarah is absolutely correct that the you're/your they're/their/there thing is easy to teach, to me it signals a deeper issue. Regardless of whether you were formally taught the rules for that or not, if you haven't got it, it's a pretty good sign that you're not a reader (or a non native speaker) which is a more fundamental problem.

        The rules are easy to teach, but being a good writer without having read a lot is difficult to impossible.
        hahaha, and I agree with your points after!

        Plus you can make an additional point of the importance of localisation

        Although not so far as making it wrong like you did! :p:p
        Signature
        Terso IT: for Web Development and SEO Latest blog post, on the mindset of outsourcing: How to Outsource: 2 kinds, which are you?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3019193].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author arcadiasmith
    The subject matter of writing articles is a very broad area and deserves its own article series. For the purposes of this particular article, I'm going to focus on a few things you should keep in mind that will help you with the writing of your articles, and the amount of time you should spend on different article marketing tasks. :p
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3003840].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author flowers4love
    Thank you for taking the time and trouble to share these helpful tips and tricks of the writing trade. Indeed writing has turned out to be a valuable commodity which can be monetized in the internet age. I'm also a pen for hire for almost any type of text: articles, business letters, poetry etc. I've been in the business for more than 20 years and I can say that when it comes to writing, then a writers appetite comes with writing – the more I write the more I enjoy writing.
    Signature
    "Let Love Blossom Like a Flower in Spring"
    http://judaicaunlimited.com/
    You can use the coupon code "flowers4love" and receive a discount for any item from our 1000's items.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3005904].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Hosterbox
    WOW, amazing post you definitely know how to write some good content
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3006241].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Thanks for this thread, Justin. As a former ghostwriter, I can say without a doubt that your comments about learning at least the basics of copywriting are spot on! There are a lot of competent writers only getting $5-$10 for 500-word articles. And while that's clearly a function of a supply glut, there's more going on than meets the eye.

    A lot of very good writers don't know the first thing about how to set themselves apart from all that bargain basement competition. You need a Unique Selling Position (USP) for starters. Offer something that instantly separates you from every other article writer.

    You also need - as you alluded to - an understanding of basic copywriting. The more savvy buyers want content that produces results. If your writing gets them more traffic or a significant uptick in conversions, you can charge accordingly and they'll pay what you ask! That's the "secret" that the more successful writers have learned.

    It's often underplayed, but you're also exactly right, Justin, that meeting deadlines is a big deal. Back when I wrote for pay, I had a lot of repeat customers who would make comments like, "I could get this done a lot cheaper, but you always meet the deadline." SO MANY writers bail out or just disappear. It's a freaking epidemic! So you instantly increase your worth if you simply manage your writing business as a business, and take the deadlines seriously. It takes a level of discipline that many writers simply are incapable of, apparently.

    John
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3006929].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      It's often underplayed, but you're also exactly right, Justin, that meeting deadlines is a big deal.
      If anything, I probably didn't make enough of a big deal about it. It really is that important, especially if you want repeat customers.

      I'm still not as good at it as I'd like to be, and I am sure it costs me.

      The USP thing is worth elaborating on, too. If you look at my Warrior for Hire thing, I start off by telling what I am not (cheap, for one thing) and then I tell people exactly what it is that makes me different, which is that I give an article a sense of personality.

      I mean, yeah, I can write in a grammatically correct way with a structure that engages the reader. That's the nuts and bolts. But what I have that other writers don't is that I'm ME. I have a sense of humor and the ability to make even boring stuff at least semi entertaining and when you pay me, that is what you're paying for.

      While we're on the subject - are you still selling the Write Less, Bank More product (assuming I'm remembering the name right)? Because that was good stuff and anybody who's beginning in writing would be doing themselves a favor by buying it.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3006989].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
        Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

        While we're on the subject - are you still selling the Write Less, Bank More product (assuming I'm remembering the name right)? Because that was good stuff and anybody who's beginning in writing would be doing themselves a favor by buying it.
        Yep, but I haven't promoted it lately. Thanks for the inadvertent reminder, man! And I'm glad you remembered it. That made my day.

        John
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3007127].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    Keep a list of clients, including their name, email address, what they ordered, what and whether they paid, and when you last contacted them. When work dries up, send out an email asking if there's anything else you can help them with, and if not, whether they'd consider recommending you to any friends or colleagues who need writing services.

    This saved my neck during a few dry patches.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3009263].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by Zabrina View Post

      Keep a list of clients, including their name, email address, what they ordered, what and whether they paid, and when you last contacted them. When work dries up, send out an email asking if there's anything else you can help them with, and if not, whether they'd consider recommending you to any friends or colleagues who need writing services.

      This saved my neck during a few dry patches.
      This.

      If you're going through a dry patch, it's not a bad idea to send out an email (not a mass emailing, but you can copy and paste with a little customization) to your former clients advertising a content sale and give them, for instance, twenty percent off. You'd be surprised how many responses you get assuming, as always, that you don't suck.

      As a semi related tangent, one of the the hardest parts about running a service business like this is time management. If you're good and getting orders, what absolutely will happen to you at some point is that you will get a buttload of orders all at once, and you will be tempted to overbook.

      What you need to always keep in mind when thinking about your advertising and promoting efforts is that you will have up and downs, unpredictably and constantly. You need to make sure that you're not overcommitting, and you definitely need to keep an eye on burnout.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3010618].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author fixpunk
    To break writer's block, here are some great tools (mostly iphone apps). From my blog at Fixpunk com btw, anyways, should help the writers here at warrior forum:

    Conversation comes easily even when writing doesn't. It always helps to tell a story or talk about a topic out loud before putting it to paper. Many Voice Recorder apps can capture thoughts as they roll off your tongue. Here are two great methods of recording on your iPhone:

    1.) Recorder Pro (iPhone app, $.99) - The most fully-featured iPhone recorder app around, allowing for large file data transfers, the ability to resume recording on a previous file, recording while the iPhone is locked, and all the folder-management options one would want.

    2.) Google Voice (Free, web app) - One of the many benefits of having a Google Voice number is that one can record incoming calls on their Google voice account by simply pressing "4" on the dial-pad during a call. Google will interject a short message to all call participants that a recording session has begun. Super easy.

    Also, buy some ear buds that have a built in microphone, so that dictating into your phone can be hands free. I recommend: JBuds J3M Micro Atomic In-Ear Earphones with Microphone (Jet Black, iPhone Compatible) as there is a $60 discount right now.

    Constant Access to Documents, Doc Syncing Apps

    No more sorting emails sent to yourself with this or that version of your work. Keep all your thoughts and docs in one place with Dropbox.

    At a family reunion picnic but need to work on that term paper or blog post? Access and edit your text or office files remotely with Nebulous Notes or Quick Office. Nebulous Notes is the best couple of bucks you'll ever spend on an app.

    Desperate for Inspiration? Idea Catalyst Apps

    Here are two apps for the beleaguered writer :

    1.) Inspiro (iPhone app) is an ice-breaker for the creative writing process. Inspiro helps you craft attention grabbing sentences by drawing together interesting words and scenarios. It's essentially a word-generator, but it does a commendable job of getting the right adverb, adjective, verb, and noun combinations. You just have to prune them and build on top of them.

    I'm generally skeptical of these sorts of applications, but in the end I'm happy that it's a tool at my disposal. At $2.99 you have to take a leap of faith, but nothing's worse than writer's block. (Inspiro is better at what it does than Idea Generator or iStop WritersBlock, maybe I'll do a full review in the future.)

    2.) Flickr Creative Commons, Web App -- Every good creative piece can benefit from an enthralling visual element. Stunning imagery is free and on demand at Flickr's Creative Commons. This very blog post benefited from Drew Coffman's brilliant photograph. Do I know Drew? I know he's a cool dude for sharing is work with others through the Attribution License of Creative Commons. Visit search.creativecommons.org and click the Flickr tab for quick results. Happy hunting! (Unfortunately, the Flickr iPhone app lacks advanced search functionality to allow for a good Commons search experience.)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3010206].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Daveyz
    Thanks for the post! Have you written any novels so far? If so is it more lucrative than selling it online as an ebook?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3013285].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by Daveyz View Post

      Thanks for the post! Have you written any novels so far? If so is it more lucrative than selling it online as an ebook?
      I've written several half novels over the years, just like most writers, I suspect. Prose doesn't come as easily to me as scripting does, largely because I've had years and years of practice at the latter.

      I can't speak personally to how lucrative it is, but it seems to depend. In the genres that interest me, crime and horror, the advances for the average book published are low enough that I can probably beat them by selling online.

      On the other hand, print has plenty of advantages, along with advances. So we'll see how it works out.

      Selling short fiction, in general, is only worthwhile to build a reputation and, to a certain extent, a fan base.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3017004].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Vince L
    Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

    Get Someone to Evaluate Your Writing
    Before you start writing, you should get some idea of whether you're any good at it. Writing is interesting in that almost everyone thinks they can do it, possibly because they do some form of it everyday. While writing well enough to get paid for it isn't any more difficult than, for instance, learning to drive a car, it isn't something that everyone can just do.

    Ideally, you should get someone, or multiple someones, who knows about writing to evaluate your level of skill. They can tell you where they're at and what you need to do to improve.

    Here's a bare minimum test: Do you know the difference between their, they're and there? Your and you're? If you don't, you have a long ways to go before you even consider writing for anyone else.

    It wouldn't hurt to buy a copy of Strunk and White's Element of Style, either. You can probably find it for free somewhere on the internet, and it's going to cost maybe a buck on Amazon.
    Thanks for the insight and help to get a proven money maker off the ground. I think a lot of IMers want to find a set track and stick with only that. But hopefully your post opens up the idea that there are a number of ways to make it in this community. As for the quote above, I think it's the most valuable thing you mention. Get tons and tons of feedback on your writing before calling yourself a pro. It's the polish that removes the edges and imperfections.

    Thanks again.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3022133].message }}

Trending Topics