How do writers make a living?

115 replies
At the start of this year, events helped me make the decision to write for a living. So I found a post on WF that showed me where I could get started by writing articles for spinning. I did that at 1 x 500 word article + 2 rewrites for around $6, i.e. 0.4 cents per word. That was ok, I was getting valuable feedback on how to write SEO articles, and how to format them.

Next I placed a Warriors for Hire ad on here and had a great response [thanks]. That was at 1 cent per word. Meanwhile, I was setting up accounts and submitting articles to EZA et al.

But it took me ages to write an article.

Then I spotted [TPW] Bill's WSO for writing articles in 20 mins and I bought it. Problem solved, yes? By now I was charging 2 cents a word, so by my quick calculation - 3 x 500 words per hour x 12 hours a day x 7 days a week - I was gonna be rich! I could even afford an hour or two off each week. The WSO was worth the money, so I recommend it for the great research tips.

But it still took me ages to write an article.

Ready for my next step, I bought Nick Brighton's WSO on freelancing. Nick enthused me to the point that I tidied up my Elance account and got my first job there.

Now it takes me even longer to write an article.

The trouble is, the more I write articles, the longer I spend researching each one. I'd feel like a fraud if I just took an article from somewhere and re-worded it, so I have to research and research until I understand the topic, by which time, my hourly rate is down to pennies, before a word is written.

The point is, how do writers go from this stage to making a real, full-time living? Is the bottom line that you have to become an affiliate marketer and do everything in your power (through your writing) to persuade people to visit your site, then persuade them to click through? This seems to be the theme of most of the article (directory?) marketing guides. Or is there a well-trodden route to earning a reasonable income without becoming a marketer (apart from self-marketing, of course)? From time to time, some great posts here seem to come tantalizingly close to revealing The Way.

I suppose my dilemma is, seeing this as a junction, should I follow my original plan of trying to make a living from writing (articles, reviews, e-books, etc.), or would the better way be to follow the "find a niche, build a list, market to the list" route?

I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

Terry
#article #living #make #writers #writing
  • Profile picture of the author ankur sharma
    well, 2 things, first of all writer's world has been taken over by writers from developing nations. They will do anything to make$300 per month and you cannot compete with them.

    However, there are lot of people out there, who want extremely good content. They want only best content. They will even pay you $10 per article or $20. I know such type of buyers are few. But , with tsunami of crappy writers and panda algorithm, need for good content has been rising.

    So, when you say i will charge 1 cent per word, you are targeting buyers who are looking for low ot medium level quality. They are not looking for premium quality, 90% of them are feared by google's duplicate content penality.

    Thats why they need medium quality article, which pass copyscape and get them good ranking.

    So, you have to brand yourself as "Excellent Native English writer, who write only top quality articles". You have to play in this strata.

    Now, you say, you love researching the topic. People may not go for well researched articles, but as far ebooks are concerned, research is of prime importance. So, instead of articles , go for ebook writing. Something like $297 for an ebook.

    In ebook arena, you will not have to compete with writer's from developing nations. Stress, how you use slang which can only be written by native english writer.
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    • Profile picture of the author RhondaG
      The ebook writing is a great idea because not everyone knows how to put them together. They need good research, flowing content, a good introduction and table of contents. Also good to write are small reports for free give-a way, etc.

      It even looks really nice if you make your table of content subjects link to the actual page in the book.

      You will find that your writing production will increase when you work for people who need a good number of articles per month. This way you are used to them, their websites, and the slant they want the articles to go. One of my clients orders 60 articles every month and writing for him gets easier and easier. Plus much of the knowledge about his niche in my head now, so I can do very little research and can give him great content in a shorter amount of time.

      Sounds like you are on the right track. Just don't lower your standards to get a writing gig, let the cheaper writers have it. Before long people will realize that good content cost money.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by oncewerewarriors View Post

      But there are great differences between English slang and USA slang, often incomprehensible to the others.
      And, in general, most Americans can't be arsed to learn it.

      When I was writing freelance, I had a huge client base in the UK because I could write in UK or US spelling and idiom. And I sure as hell didn't write articles for $10.
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        And, in general, most Americans can't be arsed to learn it.

        When I was writing freelance, I had a huge client base in the UK because I could write in UK or US spelling and idiom. And I sure as hell didn't write articles for $10.
        Yeah changing those Z's to S's and adding in a U every now and then is hard work.
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    • Profile picture of the author hotlinkz
      Originally Posted by ankur sharma View Post

      well, 2 things, first of all writer's world has been taken over by writers from developing nations. They will do anything to make$300 per month and you cannot compete with them.
      Excellent assessment! Of course you can't blame them. We all have to make a living.

      Originally Posted by ankur sharma View Post

      However, there are lot of people out there, who want extremely good content. They want only best content. They will even pay you $10 per article or $20. I know such type of buyers are few. But , with tsunami of crappy writers and panda algorithm, need for good content has been rising.
      A good to excellent writer can command prices of $10 to $100 and more per article. Such a writer would simply need to address a different "article buying market". Generally, most one to six dollar articles don't meet the quality and accuracy rates required by clients willing to pay the earlier mentioned fees.

      By the same token, a struggling Internet marketing hopeful with a "$22" content budget will most likely not be in the market for a top-notch $60 article.

      Originally Posted by ankur sharma View Post

      So, when you say i will charge 1 cent per word, you are targeting buyers who are looking for low ot medium level quality. They are not looking for premium quality, 90% of them are feared by google's duplicate content penality.
      Ankur, you are absolutely correct. Writers define themselves by the markets to which they cater.

      Originally Posted by ankur sharma View Post

      Thats why they need medium quality article, which pass copyscape and get them good ranking.

      So, you have to brand yourself as "Excellent Native English writer, who write only top quality articles". You have to play in this strata.

      Now, you say, you love researching the topic. People may not go for well researched articles, but as far ebooks are concerned, research is of prime importance. So, instead of articles , go for ebook writing. Something like $297 for an ebook.

      In ebook arena, you will not have to compete with writer's from developing nations. Stress, how you use slang which can only be written by native english writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author ganesh
    If you want to make a living from writing, go ahead and create your own products. Articles writing bring in some income but you have to keep doing it. Your own products may take time but will keep earning you for a long time (depends on the niche). Continue with article writing to promote your products. Definitely this combination works. There are some very good WSO’s on product creation if you need help.
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  • Profile picture of the author ladywriter
    As a fellow writer I feel your pain, I take a long time to write articles as well.

    One idea is to write a bunch of articles and sell them as PLR packs. I'm thinking of that, but I don't see any reason I wouldn't run into the same problems ankur mentioned. I wouldn't take time to write new articles but I'd still be undercut by foreign writers. His ebook idea is a good one.

    This is in fact why I joined Warrior Forum in the first place--I don't see writing as a viable long term possibility. I'm looking to have different income streams so I don't have to depend solely on writing.
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffLee
      Originally Posted by rosegrower76 View Post

      This is in fact why I joined Warrior Forum in the first place--I don't see writing as a viable long term possibility. I'm looking to have different income streams so I don't have to depend solely on writing.
      To each their own, but writing for me HAS been a long term (and very viable) possibility.

      I've done very well for myself before even learning about the Warrior Forum. I'm rather optimistic that starting my own writing business here in the next couple weeks is only going to make my profits go even higher.

      Is writing hard work? For me, no. It comes natural. But, for others, it could very well be consider hard work. But everything in internet marketing is. There is no push-button solution.

      I'd very much rather write articles and be guaranteed to have money pouring into my PayPal article than being an affiliate working my butt off to build links and everything else just in hopes of earning a sale or two.

      Just my two cents.
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      • Profile picture of the author ladywriter
        Originally Posted by TiffLee View Post

        To each their own, but writing for me HAS been a long term (and very viable) possibility.
        You are right. I should have said "long term possibility for ME". For me, writing isn't hard, it's just more time-consuming than I'd like. There's a possibility that I need to clean up my process, and I'm still writing, so I could just be a grump about it right now lol.

        I'm really glad it's working for you, that's inspiring.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

    Next I placed a Warriors for Hire ad on here and had a great response [thanks].
    I remember it well: it was one of the best-written and most interesting "Warrior for hire" ads we've ever seen on the board. I'm so pleased to hear that it did as well as it deserved to.

    Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

    I suppose my dilemma is, seeing this as a junction, should I follow my original plan of trying to make a living from writing (articles, reviews, e-books, etc.), or would the better way be to follow the "find a niche, build a list, market to the list" route?
    This is, indeed, the decision you face - and it's not one anyone else can make for you.

    Personally, I decided, at an equivalent stage, to start writing for myself instead of for others, and for me, that decision has worked out well.

    It's a perfectly viable long-term decision to continue writing for others, but not, I suspect, in the same markets for which you're writing now.

    Don't let people tell you (as some will try to) that "writing for yourself makes you a marketer more than a writer", because that's similarly true of writing for others. What one earns as a writer ultimately more or less boils down to one thing: the markets in which one chooses to compete, and those depend on one's marketing skills more than on one's writing skills (assuming only a basic level of competence which we all already know you exceed considerably).

    You might find some of these resources helpful/interesting in making your decision, Terry:-

    Jennifer Mattern's blog

    Carol Tice's blog

    Freelance writing jobs (minmum payment requirement of $50 per article to be listed there)

    Free report on how to attract new freelance writing clients during a recession

    The Renegade Writer Blog

    The "Irreverent Freelancer" blog

    The Well-Fed Writer: Lucrative Commercial Freelance Writing - Land Lucrative Freelance Writing Jobs

    Words on the Page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    I know people that make their living as freelance writers, but you are correct, you have to a fast writer if you are working for freelance wages. There are a couple things you might want to consider, perhaps you just don't like the work, so therefore you struggle to complete it. Or, perhaps you're a bit ADHD (I'll admit I am :-)) and you just need to buckle down and focus more. Many have found that working in 15 minute bursts helps them maintain focus and work faster, or maybe you have a time of day where you are more productive.

    Since, you don't mention lack of work as being a problem, I'd try experimenting with some ways to boost productivity before giving up on the idea all together.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      my quick calculation - 3 x 500 words per hour x 12 hours a day x 7 days a week
      Oops - you fell off the boat there. I do earn a living writing - and I can't write 12 hours a day or 7 days a week. I seldom write more than 4-6 hours a day 5 days a week. Working 84 hrs a week to earn a living - doesn't leave enough time to live!

      You need to be more efficient when researching. You are not trying to become an educated expert on a new topic - you are just looking for facts you can use to write an informative article. Don't accept orders for single or 2-3 articles on a subject - unless you charge more to make up for the research time.

      To set your pricing - know how much you can write in an hour and how much you need to earn per hour. It's not about "how much money I might be able to make" - it's about "what do I need to earn".

      Writing for a living is a business and you have to treat it that way. Don't worry about cheap competitors and don't expect to get the highest prices on forums, either. People will jump on 1 cent a word - but it's not worth it to you! I charge 3-10 cents a word (depending on the job - and with better prices for my regular buyers) and have charged that since I started writing.

      Identify topics where you already have some knowledge, experience or interest and make those your "specialty". You will work more hours to begin with but you can do it and streamline at the same time.

      Charge what you know you are worth - and don't apologize for your fees.
      Keep going - you can get there.

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author bnwebm
        Same here, I doubt many people were built to write prolifically for more than a few hours at a time. At the same time, sounds like the OP is a victim of analysis paralysis, which is normal but impairs your productivity.

        I make a living writing, for myself and for clients and make far more than I was in a 9-5 position. Writing is becoming much more dynamic, less concrete and more conceptual. Yes, it can be cheaply outsourced to someone overseas however, the edge lies with those writers who are English-speaking. For companies and IM's looking for high quality content, there is no comparison and as such, a great deal of difference in price. Does the $5 article meet expectations? Depends on the goals of the person purchasing the article. Content, after all, is a reflection of the company/marketer. I am not comfortable with a $5 quality reflection.

        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Oops - you fell off the boat there. I do earn a living writing - and I can't write 12 hours a day or 7 days a week. I seldom write more than 4-6 hours a day 5 days a week. Working 84 hrs a week to earn a living - doesn't leave enough time to live!

        You need to be more efficient when researching. You are not trying to become an educated expert on a new topic - you are just looking for facts you can use to write an informative article. Don't accept orders for single or 2-3 articles on a subject - unless you charge more to make up for the research time.

        To set your pricing - know how much you can write in an hour and how much you need to earn per hour. It's not about "how much money I might be able to make" - it's about "what do I need to earn".

        Writing for a living is a business and you have to treat it that way. Don't worry about cheap competitors and don't expect to get the highest prices on forums, either. People will jump on 1 cent a word - but it's not worth it to you! I charge 3-10 cents a word (depending on the job - and with better prices for my regular buyers) and have charged that since I started writing.

        Identify topics where you already have some knowledge, experience or interest and make those your "specialty". You will work more hours to begin with but you can do it and streamline at the same time.

        Charge what you know you are worth - and don't apologize for your fees.
        Keep going - you can get there.

        kay
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  • Profile picture of the author danaprince
    Not everyone can write fast so it stands to reason that while you may be a good writer, freelance writing might not be the ideal job for you. When you trade time for dollars, you need to find a way to earn those dollars fast enough to make it worthwhile.

    Here are some suggestions:

    -Spend time writing for passive income sources. Build your own sites, submit to revenue sharing content sites like HubPages, and so on. Then one article can earn on an ongoing basis so it's ok that it took a few hours to write.
    -Pick just a few niches to focus on. This will cut down your research time and over time you could find that your hourly rate goes up.
    -Target higher paying clients. Instead of content mills or other places where people are looking for cheap articles, focus on business writing, query print publications such as magazines or trade journals, etc.
    -Diversify so you've got multiple streams of income. Build your own niche sites, write for some great-paying clients, do Elance bidding, etc.

    I've been at this 5+ years and continually work to raise my rates. Just like anyone with a 9-5 job wants a raise once in a while, so do I. I build relationships with longer term clients and from the start I tell them that I periodically raise my rates.

    Good that you are choosing not to be complacent.
    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Fazal Mayar
    im also looking for a job as a writer... any suggestion
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Terry,

      Also consider getting yourself a copy of "Writers' Market", either through a major local bookstore or Amazon. Offline magazines quite often pay quite well (in the US) and perhaps comparatively so in the UK as well; much more than anything I've seen online for a freelance writer. Although the reason I write for these magazines is to drive traffic to my niche sites, the income alone from magazine writing is substantial.
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      • Profile picture of the author RhondaG
        Don't forget you can write and upload to Amazon Kindle books also. I have two small ebooks on Kindle right now. It does not pay right away, but is a way to make a little extra.
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        • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
          The online market for writing has a lot of downward pressure on
          prices. It also has a lot of clients not willing or able to pay for
          quality work.

          Writers were able to market and sell writing before the internet -
          and most of the methods of selling freelance writing are still
          viable. There are lots of good books about how to identify
          markets, write query letters, and pre-sell your writing before
          you do it to editors who need and value quality content... and
          have more money to spend on it. Many magazine editors get so
          many queries they have no need to ever seek out writers on
          the internet. Is it any wonder that the better clients don't
          hire writers online?

          What is definitely true is that if you want to make more money from
          writing you need to get out of the comfort zone of sitting at
          home anonymously poking buttons on your computer.

          ###

          Regarding whether to freelance write or build a list and be a marketer -
          I don't see any reason why you shouldn't do both. I do. It seems
          natural to me.
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        • Profile picture of the author zlc000190
          Originally Posted by RhondaG View Post

          Don't forget you can write and upload to Amazon Kindle books also. I have two small ebooks on Kindle right now. It does not pay right away, but is a way to make a little extra.
          may i ask how much will you pay for the ebook? frankly to say i'm going to write articles.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        Also consider getting yourself a copy of "Writers' Market", either through a major local bookstore or Amazon. Offline magazines quite often pay quite well (in the US) and perhaps comparatively so in the UK as well
        Paul is right, of course.

        And - in the UK - there's also the "Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2011": copies available in those few remaining public libraries not yet closed down by the "cuts". :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Teravel
    I have a few suggestions that should help you speed up production while keeping your quality in place.

    First, invest in a kitchen timer. This can help you control how much time you spend researching a single topic. Not much is worse than researching your topic only to find that a few hours have passed instead of 30-45 minutes.
    Set the kitchen timer to 15-45 minutes (depending on how much you already know about the topic) and spend this time gathering as much information as possible.
    Also, don't just read about the topic. When you find an interesting bit of information, cut and paste it to Notepad. This can help you keep track of things that you might forget between reading and writing.

    Second, visit Challenge.co which is a website about Internet Marketing. Signing up is free, and inside the members area you will see several modules broken down by days and weeks. If you skip ahead to Module 3, days 2 through 4, you will find some handy tricks for researching keyword and topic information.
    The site has great tactics for researching keyword/topic information for websites. They suggest writing articles over the course of a few days, and they even explain why.
    Since I found this information, my articles have been more focused, written more clearly, and researched in no time at all. Just remember that you don't have to have the program they suggest. You can use your browser to visit the same websites, and the notepad or wordpad programs to save your research notes.

    Last, build your relationships with your clients. Often times the people that hire you will own a website about a specific topic. By building a relationship with your clients, you will find yourself writing content about the same general topic. This means you won't have to do 'as much' research because you should already know a bit about the topic.

    I hope this helps. Keep doing what you love, and remember to get paid what your worth, not what you think others are willing to pay. Heck, hire a writer that charges the same as you to see what kind of quality you are competing with. You may find you are stiffing yourself.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    Most professional writers provide their services to a specific set of quality business clients. They learn the industry, they maintain close, daily contact with their clients, they have pinpoint English skills and can write extremely compelling content, they work fast and have a professional and ethical business ethic.

    Building this business is so much better than running around trying to find people to "crank out" articles for. Do you want your articles spun a hundred times and end up on cheesy, bottom-feeding websites, or do you want to be a professional and build a portfolio of quality stuff on big-time websites that you can use for selling yourself to new clients?

    You could choose to write for 2 cents a word, or you could establish a client base of real businesses (yes, brick and mortar businesses) and live a comfortable lifestyle.

    That is how they make a living.

    There are writers - and then there are Professional Writers. Which one do you want to be?

    Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author internetbill
    I'm a writer myself and quite frankly I manage to make a decent income writing. The problem however is trying to compete with a Tsunami of writers from places like India and the Philippines.

    My two cents on this one is do not compete!!! these guys will do anything to make $1 and 99% of them are crappy writers. I've simply stopped writing articles and just focus my attention of providing sales pages / copy that sells. I tell my clients straight out that you're paying $200 for a sales page which will convent and if it does not I'll keep tweaking it till it does. So trying doing something similar!
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  • Profile picture of the author DanielleLynnCopy
    As many of the note-worthy writers have posted on here, you don't have to limit yourself (and you shouldn't) to finding writing jobs online only.

    Don't use Elance as a guideline for how much articles should cost - you're providing valuable, quality writing. You can charge much more for that. As a result, you'll weed out people who want 'penny articles' and attract a much better client base. Excellent books on the subject on amazon, have confidence in your abilities and go forth! You can do it!
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    • Profile picture of the author madpoet
      I don't know if you have any technical skills, but if you do many of the big publishing houses that churn out all those computer books are always looking for new writers. Several years ago I wrote several chapters for 2 different books and provided technical editing for a third. Not great pay, let me be honest. But it was something, and allows me to put on my resume that I've written books related to X
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

    The point is, how do writers go from this stage to making a real, full-time living? Is the bottom line that you have to become an affiliate marketer and do everything in your power (through your writing) to persuade people to visit your site, then persuade them to click through? This seems to be the theme of most of the article (directory?) marketing guides. Or is there a well-trodden route to earning a reasonable income without becoming a marketer (apart from self-marketing, of course)? From time to time, some great posts here seem to come tantalizingly close to revealing The Way.

    I suppose my dilemma is, seeing this as a junction, should I follow my original plan of trying to make a living from writing (articles, reviews, e-books, etc.), or would the better way be to follow the "find a niche, build a list, market to the list" route?

    I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

    Terry
    Hello Terry,

    You can make a full time living from writing in a number of ways. In my mind,
    there is not any single way that is right. It just has to be something you feel
    good about and like.

    But keep in mind that you will usually be trading time for money as a writer,
    unless you do something that brings royalties. Or, you write books and publish
    them on Kindle. There are quite a few writers who do well following that model.
    You could write fiction or non-fiction and use Kindle as a marketing platform.
    There are still other possibilities to explore that complement Kindle.

    You do not have to become an affiliate marketer or anything else, really. However
    you may naturally evolve into other areas after some time and for what ever
    reason.

    Others have mentioned writing for magazines. If that interests you, then you
    should check out Bob Bly's site. He's a retired copywriter and has published
    many books on many subjects over the years. He has several books about
    writing for magazines and how to get started with it.

    You can find opportunities everywhere. My personal opinion is there are far more
    and greater opportunities for writing outside this forum. Although there certainly
    are plenty of gigs here, and they can be helpful for finding momentum.


    Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Sorrell
      Looking to trade your time for cash is a suicidal road to go down if you want to make any serious money in this life. Working in its typical definition is a useless way to become financially independent so I think you have to decide on the following -

      Are you a 'persuasive writer' or more of a technically able writer?

      In other words, could you get good at writing sales copy, or would you be better suited to writing informative e-books that look to address certain problems within a niche and will be of decent enough quality to attract affiliates to promote?

      Either way, having the ability to write good copy or quality ebooks will ultimately be more profitable in the long run when taking your time into account as well as your bank balance.
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  • Profile picture of the author mbarty2010
    The first thing to remember as a writer in the IM world is that writing short 300 word articles will not help make a living. It requires lots of research to write even a small article and one can get burnt out very quickly. So switch to writing eBooks or info products and don't charge by the word. Include value added services like eBook cover design, pdf creation (things that you can out-source) and pretty soon you will find yourself making 15$ for every 300 words you write.

    Writing an eBook is easier because it helps to keep the flow going without breaks once you are done with the subject matter research.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Faber
    I have written more than a few articles for offline magazines. I wrote articles about subjects that I was an industry recognized expert for, so I needed to do very little research for them. That meant I could write them very rapidly. In a few of them I interviewed industry execs for quotes, which I included in the articles.

    I found that kind of writing extremely fun and rewarding, all monetary compensation aside. It was also a great way to expand my professional circle of influence. Having your resource box next to the article with your smiling picture and bio is worth it's weigh in gold in the print media world. The added bonus is that the pay was quite attractive; far more than even the best paid online free lancers get.

    It worked so well for publicity I had execs in our industry ask how much I had to pay for the articles. They were amazed when I revealed to them that it was the other way around.

    The other thing that really surprised me when I first started is the low level of professionalism expected by many of the editors. They seemed genuinely surprised when I submitted my work before the deadline and ready to run. Needless to say, that surprised me, and made me wonder what the industry standard was.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

    The trouble is, the more I write articles, the longer I spend researching each one. I'd feel like a fraud if I just took an article from somewhere and re-worded it, so I have to research and research until I understand the topic, by which time, my hourly rate is down to pennies, before a word is written.
    It gets easier.

    You start getting orders which are very much like earlier orders, particularly when you write for niche IM markets. Yes, the first time I wrote keyword articles for squirrel-proof bird feeders, it was a couple hours of research. Now I don't have to do any research at all. You want ten 500 word articles on squirrel-proof bird feeders, all I have to do is write.

    Your research skills improve, too. You develop a series of bookmarks and procedures that you can use to research any topic rapidly, and it doesn't take hours of research anymore.

    Your client list gets focused. You start getting a number of clients in the same general area, especially if you get good at some obscure topic that becomes hot.

    But most importantly, you put your rates up. Anyone who can write fluent English without spelling and grammar errors should be charging at least two cents a word. If you're a professional, and it sounds like you are, you should be charging at least five. You won't get that straight out of the gate, but you'll be able to get that later on.

    And never stop writing your own stuff. People buy writing from you as an investment. When someone pays you $250 for ten articles, it shouldn't be hard to figure out that he's making more than $250 using those articles in his business. Ask questions and keep learning, so you can start putting your writing to work for you. Test it. Try it. See if maybe you can write ten articles for yourself and bring in $500 or more.

    I don't freelance anymore. I write my own products. Things that people would pay me $500 to write now make me thousands, and keep earning forever because I still own them and people still buy them. But if I hadn't done all the freelance work I did, I wouldn't be able to do that. My clients gave me a better education than anything else, and paid me for the privilege on top of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterkailo
    I stopped doing it after I ended up competing with people who are willing to write for $1 per 500 words.

    Work smarter, not harder. Give up writing articles for people lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author Torreylee
      Originally Posted by misterkailo View Post

      I stopped doing it after I ended up competing with people who are willing to write for $1 per 500 words.

      Work smarter, not harder. Give up writing articles for people lol.

      Yeah it's waaaaay to much of a grind to do, when your articles could be bringing in passive income for you if applied to your own sites and concepts.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by misterkailo View Post

      I stopped doing it after I ended up competing with people who are willing to write for $1 per 500 words.
      Well, as so many people explain above, and in so many other threads, that isn't a reason to stop writing articles for people. It's a reason to compete in different markets.

      What you earn, when writing articles for other people, depends on the markets in which you choose to compete.

      There are people writing articles for $100 each. And there are plenty of them. You don't see them advertising much because they're the ones who tend to be fully booked with regularly returning clients who make good profits from their work and are typically doing real "article marketing" (rather than just "article directory marketing"). These writers have slightly different writing skills and significantly different marketing skills.

      At the $1/$5 level, one could be forgiven for wondering whether there are more service-providers than clients.

      Originally Posted by sorrellaff View Post

      Looking to trade your time for cash is a suicidal road to go down if you want to make any serious money in this life.
      Try telling that to copywriters who get $15,000+ for a sales page and are turning clients away because they're fully booked.

      There are many of them.
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      • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post


        Try telling that to copywriters who get $15,000+ for a sales page and are turning clients away because they're fully booked.

        There are many of them.
        Absolutely, a distinction I purposely omitted but nonetheless accurate.

        There will always be a much greater demand for quality writers of all
        kinds and formats than available writers.


        Ken
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Sorrell
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Well, as so many people explain above, and in so many other threads, that isn't a reason to stop writing articles for people. It's a reason to compete in different markets.

        What you earn, when writing articles for other people, depends on the markets in which you choose to compete.

        There are people writing articles for $100 each. And there are plenty of them. You don't see them advertising much because they're the ones who tend to be fully booked with regularly returning clients who make good profits from their work and are typically doing real "article marketing" (rather than just "article directory marketing"). These writers have slightly different writing skills and significantly different marketing skills.

        At the $1/$5 level, one could be forgiven for wondering whether there are more service-providers than clients.



        Try telling that to copywriters who get $15,000+ for a sales page and are turning clients away because they're fully booked.

        There are many of them.

        And how long does it take to get to that level of copywriting where you can charge + $15,000 for a sales letter? It's hardly a get rich young strategy. And the people who are launching the products that have those $15,000 sales pages would spend that on champagne and blow on launch day.

        It's a matter of scale and that was the point I was making. Whatever way you look at it, those who trade time for cash will be a lot worse off than those who own the finished product 100% of the time.
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        • Profile picture of the author bnwebm
          Originally Posted by sorrellaff View Post

          And how long does it take to get to that level of copywriting where you can charge + $15,000 for a sales letter?
          Depends how badly you want to reach that goal.


          Originally Posted by sorrellaff View Post

          Whatever way you look at it, those who trade time for cash will be a lot worse off than those who own the finished product 100% of the time.
          So why not be both?
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          • Profile picture of the author Chris Sorrell
            Originally Posted by bnwebm View Post

            Depends how badly you want to reach that goal.



            So why not be both?
            Exactly, why not? I've often wondered why the top copywriters don't just do their own products. Bearing in mind they could probably enter just about any niche and work out a good sales angle then I'm baffled as to why they don't. They have the No 1 selling skill on earth yet they settle for a flat fee when the product creators are making an absolute killing in some instances, not to mention all the long term money on the continuity and list marketing etc.
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            • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
              Banned
              Originally Posted by sorrellaff View Post

              They have the No 1 selling skill on earth yet they settle for a flat fee
              If you imagine so, then please excuse the observation that your knowledge of the subject leaves something to be desired. Pretty often they don't settle for a flat fee at all - just for a substantial downpayment.
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            • Profile picture of the author bnwebm
              Well, perhaps not every copywriter excels at marketing? Just a guess, I don't purport to know what the reasoning is for everyone. There's nothing that you don't know that you can't learn for free, so there's no disadvantage in not knowing, only in not trying.

              Sincerely,
              Yoda.


              Originally Posted by sorrellaff View Post

              Exactly, why not? I've often wondered why the top copywriters don't just do their own products. Bearing in mind they could probably enter just about any niche and work out a good sales angle then I'm baffled as to why they don't. They have the No 1 selling skill on earth yet they settle for a flat fee when the product creators are making an absolute killing in some instances, not to mention all the long term money on the continuity and list marketing etc.
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            • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
              Originally Posted by sorrellaff View Post

              I've often wondered why other people don't just do what I would do.
              Fixed that for you.

              When you look at an industry you aren't in, and you see that nobody is doing what you would do, the most common reason is that you do not sufficiently understand that industry.

              It is almost certainly not that the entire industry is stupid and you are a brilliant visionary.
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              • Profile picture of the author Chris Sorrell
                Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                Fixed that for you.

                When you look at an industry you aren't in, and you see that nobody is doing what you would do, the most common reason is that you do not sufficiently understand that industry.

                It is almost certainly not that the entire industry is stupid and you are a brilliant visionary.

                Yup, how silly of me to make the point of the owners making more than the employee's/freelancers and questioning why those hired hands don't reverse the tables. I think some of the rather antsy responses on this thread may confirm that very line of thought. Writers obviously feel territorial over their 'craft', no forgive me, their 'art'.
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                • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                  Originally Posted by sorrellaff View Post

                  Yup, how silly of me to make the point
                  ...that you don't know what you're talking about.

                  When you take that million-dollar product launch and factor it down to the net profit, then spread that net profit across the entire product development cycle, the boss isn't really making all that much.

                  I used to run a $1.7 million a year software business. I got to keep about $150k a year of that.

                  When I shut that down and was working at Microsoft for $180k a year, people shook their heads and asked me why I was working there when I could still be running my $1.7 million business instead.

                  Now people shake their heads and ask me why I don't just go back to Microsoft, where I could make about ten times what I'm making in IM.

                  These people don't understand anything except the number.

                  And that's why they're telling me to do what they would do. Because they'll never be here, and they'll never get to do what they would do.

                  There is a reason for that.
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                  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
                    Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post


                    These people don't understand anything except the number.
                    Yup. People thought I was crazy to walk away from a six figure a year
                    job to be on my own.

                    I'm not quite making six figures, but I have no doubts that I will, again.

                    It's clearly not always about the money. Sure, money's great and all that.
                    Being on my own has had its challenges, but you get through them and it
                    makes you a little smarter and wiser (hopefully).

                    I would not trade where I am right now for anything. I've been offered jobs,
                    like "a job," and have turned them down.

                    Regarding the comment about writing being an "art" ...

                    Sure it's an art if a person wants it to be. We have all seen plenty of writing
                    where that perspective does not exist, though.

                    For me, my life is art. Life is art, and it's that way because I want it to be.


                    Ken
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                  • Profile picture of the author Buildingfutures
                    Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post


                    These people don't understand anything except the number.

                    And that's why they're telling me to do what they would do. Because they'll never be here, and they'll never get to do what they would do.

                    There is a reason for that.

                    Because they're not drinking, making dirty jokes, and creating webcomics?


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                    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                      Originally Posted by Buildingfutures View Post

                      Because they're not drinking, making dirty jokes, and creating webcomics?
                      More because they don't understand why those things NEED to be done.

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                      • Profile picture of the author tboneman
                        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post
                        "I don't freelance anymore. I write my own products. Things that people would pay me $500 to write now make me thousands, and keep earning forever because I still own them and people still buy them. But if I hadn't done all the freelance work I did, I wouldn't be able to do that. My clients gave me a better education than anything else, and paid me for the privilege on top of it."

                        Here is a point made that is so very important but appears to be glossed over or missed in this thread. Writing as an occupation can be very lucrative. And even if it never gets to the lucrative stage, it can still help pay the bills.

                        But I think all of us would-be $15,000 a page copywriters should remember that if we can't write, due to an illness or injury, we may not eat, or make the mortgage payment, or buy gas for the car. This is not unique to writers. It is unique to people who earn a living via their own every day efforts. If they are not physically able to make that effort, disaster may be just around the corner.

                        What CDarklock has done is cover his, uh, bases so that doesn't happen. He did a lot of freelance work and made a nice buck doing it. Now he switched to writing/creating his own products that, once out there, as he said, "make me thousands, and keep earning forever because I still own them and people still buy them."

                        Heaven forbid, should he become ill or injured, it appears likely he can continue to pay his bills and put food on the table.

                        Good case in point, as I write this, Dr. Andy Williams, one of the good guys out here, has a serious injury to discs in his neck. It's so serious, he finds it almost impossible to sit up and type at a computer keyboard. He, instead, uses Dragon Naturally Speaking to dictate into and write his newsletters and other material. In short, he is able to continue to function but apparently at a much reduced rate.

                        But Andy doesn't have to worry about income. He has built a small empire of websites, Internet marketing courses, and self written software, that continues to generate what appears to be a substantial income.

                        This is the correct way to do it. Unfortunately, we all are not as talented or gifted or hard working as Andy is. But the way he has done it is the right way to do it. And it's paying off now. And the fact that Andy is not primarily a writer (altho he writes very well, indeed) but rather is an Internet marketer/teacher nevertheless underlines the point.

                        Yes, do freelance writing at whatever level one is capable of, and make as much money as you can. But never lose track of the thought that at some point, you really should create something that will provide an income whether you are able to work at your art/craft, or not. I think we all owe that to our family.
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            • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
              Originally Posted by Chris Sorrell View Post

              Exactly, why not? I've often wondered why the top copywriters don't just do their own products. Bearing in mind they could probably enter just about any niche and work out a good sales angle then I'm baffled as to why they don't. They have the No 1 selling skill on earth yet they settle for a flat fee when the product creators are making an absolute killing in some instances, not to mention all the long term money on the continuity and list marketing etc.
              Listening to and reading the writings of John Carlton I sort of get why he at least prefers to write. He does have his own products but they are all about copywriting. It's a lifestyle for him. He doesn't really want to fill orders, run a business, or become a billionaire. He would rather bang out a letter and make a good chunk of cash then have free time to do as he wishes.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by sorrellaff View Post

          And how long does it take to get to that level of copywriting where you can charge + $15,000 for a sales letter?
          Professional writing fees don't increase with time: they increase with results.

          Originally Posted by sorrellaff View Post

          Whatever way you look at it, those who trade time for cash will be a lot worse off than those who own the finished product 100% of the time.
          "100% of the time?" Interesting assertion, there ... :p

          I, on the other hand, think there are many "owners of finished products" earning from them in a month what some professional writers are making in a day. Just my perspective.
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          • Profile picture of the author Chris Sorrell
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            Professional writing fees don't increase with time: they increase with results.



            "100% of the time?" Interesting assertion, there ... :p

            I, on the other hand, think there are many "owners of finished products" earning from them in a month what some professional writers are making in a day. Just my perspective.
            My assertion was that of scale. If a marketer is at the stage where they are paying over $15,000 for a sales letter then you can't honestly think they're only going to brake even on that project? A top sales letter could result in a million dollar product launch which puts the copywriting fees into the 'pocket money' category.
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            • Profile picture of the author BulletheadX
              Originally Posted by sorrellaff View Post

              My assertion was that of scale. If a marketer is at the stage where they are paying over $15,000 for a sales letter then you can't honestly think they're only going to brake even on that project? A top sales letter could result in a million dollar product launch which puts the copywriting fees into the 'pocket money' category.
              It seems to me that what your describing has been the lot of writers of all stripes for years.

              Look at the money even successful novelists and screenwriters make versus the sales of their creations. Even royalties/residuals don't appreciably close that gap.

              Writers that don't own the end product get screwed, in a relative sense. Some of them get screwed so well ($$$) they don't mind any more.

              On the other hand, say you wrote the best article ever on fusion technology. If you don't publish a science/tech magazine, what good does it do you to have it for yourself? Of course if I publish the magazine, I view you and your article as part of the commodities chain; I buy them low and sell them high. Your article is the bacon, you're the pig.

              Oh yeah, we have the internet now. If you don't want the pocket money you can go for the whole mint. Of course, that's a lot more work and involves wholly different skills than writing.

              But then you're not a writer any more, you're an entrepreneur that can write.
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              • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
                Originally Posted by cosmokid View Post

                For some reason they haven't yet made that mental connection...
                Possibly for some, but I doubt true for all.


                I've discovered that a lot of these folks are just extremely focused on their "craft" to the exclusion of all else.
                A personal preference, perhaps, and not a bad approach.


                Ken
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              • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                We might think a great copywriter should make the move to writing for themselves.

                We may be wrong.

                What is better than having work you enjoy and are well paid for every day? That's a comfort zone a shy person or introvert doesn't have to step out of - and that's a good thing.

                kay
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                • Profile picture of the author bnwebm
                  Excellent point! I love the flexibility and variety of writing for clients and am well paid. I do have to add however, that I do enjoy doing other types of work and prefer not to limit myself. Sometimes, it's enough of an accomplishment to provide superb copywriting for a client and let them deal with everything after that.

                  Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                  We might think a great copywriter should make the move to writing for themselves.

                  We may be wrong.

                  What is better than having work you enjoy and are well paid for every day? That's a comfort zone a shy person or introvert doesn't have to step out of - and that's a good thing.

                  kay
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              • Profile picture of the author Terry Coombes
                Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post


                This is, indeed, the decision you face - and it's not one anyone else can make for you.
                When I posted, I felt like Buridan's ass, but with the help and resources here, I now have a much better idea of what I want to do. By coincidence, Alexa, I'd bought the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook just last week but haven't had time to dive into it yet. At the same time, I bought Writers' Forum magazine (UK) because there's an article in there with the title "Why providing articles for internet content sites isn't real writing!" That's partly what triggered this post.

                What one earns as a writer ultimately more or less boils down to one thing: the markets in which one chooses to compete, and those depend on one's marketing skills more than on one's writing skills...
                I think that's quite profound - something I'll pin on the wall in front of me.


                You might find some of these resources helpful/interesting in making your decision, Terry:-

                Jennifer Mattern's blog

                Carol Tice's blog

                Freelance writing jobs (minmum payment requirement of $50 per article to be listed there)

                Free report on how to attract new freelance writing clients during a recession

                The Renegade Writer Blog

                The "Irreverent Freelancer" blog

                The Well-Fed Writer: Lucrative Commercial Freelance Writing - Land Lucrative Freelance Writing Jobs

                Words on the Page.
                I've visited some and bookmarked all of these. They're all new to me and I can see their value. This is info that would have taken me lots of searching to find, so thank you for sharing it.

                Originally Posted by TiffLee View Post

                I'd very much rather write articles and be guaranteed to have money pouring into my PayPal article than being an affiliate working my butt off to build links and everything else just in hopes of earning a sale or two.
                Thanks, Tiff. I think what I find hard to figure is the sheer magnitude of everything in affiliate marketing. You read books that tell you the principles and you think, "Well, that all sounds simple enough."
                The importance of throwaway lines that you skim over, such as, "Rinse and repeat", doesn't sink in, until it eventually dawns on you that they mean repeat 1500 times or so. I think that's probably why so many don't persevere with AM, because you don't know, until way down the line, whether the time you're investing will pay off or not. I don't think it's because people aren't prepared to work hard.

                Originally Posted by danaprince View Post

                -Pick just a few niches to focus on. This will cut down your research time and over time you could find that your hourly rate goes up.
                -Target higher paying clients. Instead of content mills or other places where people are looking for cheap articles, focus on business writing, query print publications such as magazines or trade journals, etc.
                -Diversify so you've got multiple streams of income. Build your own niche sites, write for some great-paying clients, do Elance bidding, etc.
                This is a great summary of the path I am leaning toward, based on all the helpful posts in this thread.

                Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

                Regarding whether to freelance write or build a list and be a marketer -
                I don't see any reason why you shouldn't do both. I do. It seems
                natural to me.
                In spite of what I said about AM above, this does sound attractive and logical, so I won't give up on AM just yet.


                Originally Posted by DanielleLynnCopy View Post

                As many of the note-worthy writers have posted on here, you don't have to limit yourself (and you shouldn't) to finding writing jobs online only.
                Thanks, Danielle, that's something I'd almost stopped considering before last week, but, as you say, it has a lot of support from highly-regarded Warriors in this thread. It certainly fits in with the strategy I'm in favor of.
                Originally Posted by KenThompson View Post

                Others have mentioned writing for magazines. If that interests you, then you
                should check out Bob Bly's site. He's a retired copywriter and has published
                many books on many subjects over the years. He has several books about
                writing for magazines and how to get started with it.
                Hi Ken, Thanks for this helpful post. The gem about Bob Bly's site is especially appreciated. Everything he says is great, practical advice, with some terrific free reports.

                Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                I don't freelance anymore. I write my own products. Things that people would pay me $500 to write now make me thousands, and keep earning forever because I still own them and people still buy them. But if I hadn't done all the freelance work I did, I wouldn't be able to do that. My clients gave me a better education than anything else, and paid me for the privilege on top of it.
                Thanks, CDarklock - this reassures me that I'm not really wasting time when I write for lower pay. I've said elsewhere that I think of what I'm doing as a DIY writing apprenticeship, so I tell myself that I can't short-circuit the stages, but then, I don't want to spend longer than necessary in each.


                Originally Posted by Chazzer View Post

                What great information so many of you have given. Thank you so very much. I've taken some notes on this thread and will implement it.

                Another method is to write a simple ebook or special report and put in 4-5 affiliate links -- then give the book away in as many places as you can.

                You'll soon see affiliate commissions coming your way and it's a great way of building a list and establishing yourself as a prolific writer.

                Good luck and please let us all know which of these ideas you've implemented.
                Chazz
                Thanks, Chazz. You obviously feel, as I do, that this thread's worth saving for reference. I'm so glad I asked the question and I'll certainly give feedback regularly on what I implement from here.

                Originally Posted by cosmokid View Post

                A while back, I embraced my inner "lazy writer" and got clear with myself that I wasn't going to write unless it made me money from as many directions as possible.
                You think like my hero, Samuel Johnson (we went to the same school). He said something along the lines of "No-one but a blockhead ever wrote except for money."
                Having said that, he was never fabulously wealthy, but then, he died before the invention of Affiliate Marketing.

                You can also syndicate (self-syndicating is easier than getting picked up by a major syndicate, although I do both) your columns, articles, essays, or opinion pieces to both offline print publications and online publications (or paid private membership sites, paid private newsletters.)

                Write it once, get paid multiple times - that's the goal!
                I'm a bit confused about the main purpose of online syndication. Is its value in providing links back to affiliate sites, or as a marketable piece of writing in its own right? Or both?
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                • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

                  I'm a bit confused about the main purpose of online syndication. Is its value in providing links back to affiliate sites, or as a marketable piece of writing in its own right? Or both?
                  Neither, really.

                  Backlinks aren't the primary purpose of article syndication at all. (They are, however, a very valuable "bonus", in that the sites on which one's articles are re-published are always relevant ones, and some of them can also have good page-ranks, which is less important). Article directory backlinks are non-context-relevant PR-0 backlinks (regardless of the page rank of the directories' home pages, which are not where one's articles appear, of course), and typically something between 50,000 and 100,000 of them are equivalent in "link-juice value" to one backlink from a relevant authority site.

                  The primary purpose is finding targeted traffic for one's affiliate/vendor sites (already targeted by other people!) and building relationships with the people with access to it.

                  Article syndication is used by people promoting/selling something (whether as an affiliate or as a vendor) other than the writing itself.
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              • Profile picture of the author gie grace
                Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post


                Now it takes me even longer to write an article.

                The trouble is, the more I write articles, the longer I spend researching each one. I'd feel like a fraud if I just took an article from somewhere and re-worded it, so I have to research and research until I understand the topic, by which time, my hourly rate is down to pennies, before a word is written.

                The point is, how do writers go from this stage to making a real, full-time living? Is the bottom line that you have to become an affiliate marketer and do everything in your power (through your writing) to persuade people to visit your site, then persuade them to click through? This seems to be the theme of most of the article (directory?) marketing guides. Or is there a well-trodden route to earning a reasonable income without becoming a marketer (apart from self-marketing, of course)? From time to time, some great posts here seem to come tantalizingly close to revealing The Way.

                I suppose my dilemma is, seeing this as a junction, should I follow my original plan of trying to make a living from writing (articles, reviews, e-books, etc.), or would the better way be to follow the "find a niche, build a list, market to the list" route?

                I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

                Terry
                I can relate! There are times when I find writing a chore. I know I can write well, but the entire process of researching, organizing and writing can really up time.

                What I did was to put a timer on. Go to Timer - E.ggTimer.com (change the time value after the forward slash to your preference). I set myself a deadline to finish writing in a set period of time. It makes me more organized in my research and focus on writing (and get rid of distractions such as Facebook and checking emails).

                I suggest you go for larger writing project such as ebooks and reports, or even autoresponder series. That way, you will save on research time. It's just a matter of organizing content, and writing them. This is a great time-saver unlike writing a few articles on one topic and a couple more on another topic. You get what I mean?



                Originally Posted by cosmokid View Post

                I have a friend who is a "top" copywriter. She works for a variety of clients. Lots of sales type newsletters you'd receive in the mail if you're interested in niches like trading for a living, investing in gold, and also (oddly enough) certain vitamin type niches - she's tops in her field. She makes six figures a year - from lower six figures to mid six figures. Actually, in the last two years, she's made the higher amount.

                She is one of the SHYEST people you'd ever meet. When I met her at a workshop she was the person you'd peg as "newbie/nincompoop." I was shocked to find out her credentials, which were then verified from the top copywriters speaking at that conference. She's one of the hidden gems of that industry.

                She will NEVER write under her own name. And she's kind of an "artiste" in that she has purposefully avoided learning anything about websites, marketing her own writing other than to companies who pay for copywriters, and all the IM stuff folks here have been doing for years. She doesn't have a website. She only takes on clients through word of mouth, but she is booked so far in advance that she takes on very few new clients these days.

                There are a lot of top copywriters like this. For some reason they haven't yet made that mental connection that the same incredible skills that they can bring to writing a 20 page piece of copy which companies send out to huge lists of targets can be applied to making money via PLR material, free and paid reports, ebooks, paid newsletters, membership sites, syndicated columns, or books of their own. I'm not sure WHY that is, but through knowing this very interesting and talented lady, I've discovered that a lot of these folks are just extremely focused on their "craft" to the exclusion of all else.
                - wow! this is great to know!
                I've always wondered if there are really copywriters alive today earning thousands of dollars per copy. Well, I know Frank Kern is, although he's more of an affiliate marketer now.

                This post just affirms my desire to learn one of the most valuable skill of all, copywriting.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      There are many ways to make a living with writing.

      As someone suggested on this thread, a copy of Writer's Market is a must.

      Finding offline clients for your writing (newspapers, businesses, etc.) is an excellent start.

      If you have experience with a genre/niche, you can submit work to magazines and e-zines in that genre/niche.

      It's not uncommon to be paid $500+ for an article offline, especially if you are writing in a technical field.

      Specialized work - such as press releases or copywriting (which is a whole different ball game) can also command a higher price.

      Writing for yourself, though, is always the most profitable - if done correctly.
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      • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
        Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

        As someone suggested on this thread, a copy of Writer's Market is a must.

        It's not uncommon to be paid $500+ for an article offline, especially if you are writing in a technical field.
        Oh, you're tempting me here. I write full time and am beyond booked solid. But
        I have more than enough technical expertise in many areas. I'm not familiar with
        Writer's Market, but maybe I should check it out.

        Technical articles at 500 a pop is most attractive.


        Ken
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          Originally Posted by KenThompson View Post

          Oh, you're tempting me here. I write full time and am beyond booked solid. But
          I have more than enough technical expertise in many areas. I'm not familiar with
          Writer's Market, but maybe I should check it out.

          Technical articles at 500 a pop is most attractive.


          Ken
          Ken -

          I have a friend who writes regularly for a technical online magazine (but I think - not 100% sure, but pretty sure - that they have a paper version, too).

          He gets paid $600 an article and up. Yes. One article. (That expression on everyone's face right now? Yeah, I had it, too.)

          But that really isn't all that uncommon for "real life" writing.

          Press releases are another thing. I charge a minimum of $149 a pop for those. A heckuva (like that fancy word? ) lot more if I have to come up with an "angle" for the press release (a hook, or a promo to attract the media's attention).

          Writer's Market is a great investment, especially if you have an area of expertise.
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          • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
            Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

            Ken -

            I have a friend who writes regularly for a technical online magazine (but I think - not 100% sure, but pretty sure - that they have a paper version, too).

            He gets paid $600 an article and up. Yes. One article. (That expression on everyone's face right now? Yeah, I had it, too.)

            But that really isn't all that uncommon for "real life" writing.

            Press releases are another thing. I charge a minimum of $149 a pop for those. A heckuva (like that fancy word? ) lot more if I have to come up with an "angle" for the press release (a hook, or a promo to attract the media's attention).

            Writer's Market is a great investment, especially if you have an area of expertise.

            Thank you! Oh I'm definitely going to pursue this.

            Helluva day at the WF.


            Ken
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            • Profile picture of the author Chazzer
              What great information so many of you have given. Thank you so very much. I've taken some notes on this thread and will implement it.

              Another method is to write a simple ebook or special report and put in 4-5 affiliate links -- then give the book away in as many places as you can.

              You'll soon see affiliate commissions coming your way and it's a great way of building a list and establishing yourself as a prolific writer.

              Good luck and please let us all know which of these ideas you've implemented.


              Chazz
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  • Profile picture of the author pjohn
    Writing is a God gifted skill, it is not easy for everyone to write on some specific topic. There is a huge difference in writing a book or novel and writing a short article on some technical topic. Those who have good general knowledge and research can really earn as a freelancer writer.
    I have a suggestion for part time technical writers to develop their own website or blog for Google absense and write for their own website to keep it updated and attractive for visitors. In this way they can earn more than writing for others.
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    • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
      Originally Posted by pjohn View Post

      Writing is a God gifted skill, it is not easy for everyone to write on some specific topic. There is a huge difference in writing a book or novel and writing a short article on some technical topic. Those who have good general knowledge and research can really earn as a freelancer writer.
      I have a suggestion for part time technical writers to develop their own website or blog for Google absense and write for their own website to keep it updated and attractive for visitors. In this way they can earn more than writing for others.

      I always try to find leverage where possible. An eclectic approach is often
      a viable way to employ leverage.

      Of course there is a huge difference between writing a novel and a short article
      on a technical topic. All writing formats have huge differences. So...

      Forget adsense. But thanks for the idea, though, for the site/blog and writing
      on technical subjects. I have written quite a bit on technical topics, but that
      was back in the day when I worked for others.

      I can produce technical articles all day. Even at less than 500 per article, I'm
      beginning to like this emerging picture.

      Now... I believe it's time for some Mexican food.




      Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
    If you like writing, instead of writing of others, why not either write a book that you sell or write copy for your own products and services? It's the way to go if you are a great writer.
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    • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
      Building up a writing business takes time, no matter how you do it.
      I write mainly for private clients and also do some one-off jobs, mainly from vworker.com.
      I am on a disability pension so this supplements that income but I consistently earn my current target so I am now trying to move it to the next level.

      Learn how to improve your research.
      Don't obsess about how much you make per hour, especially at the start as it will be low. Just look at how much you are making overall.
      Later you can assess an hourly rate if necessary.
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      Visit my site for more info

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  • Profile picture of the author NateC
    If you can put out some sample articles that are really good then you can charge more. Many people are tired of the articles that they pay good money for that are not worth distributing.

    There are many waiters and waitresses in LA that have a screenplay and they are just waiting for their break. That is not a very good business plan though, LOL.

    The real money is in copy writing. There are some really good copy writers who have training courses etc. to help you learn and break into the business. But as long as you are trying to compete with the low dollar people you will just spin your wheels.
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    Just like for many it's a lot easier to get up on the stage and act, or play the part of a character, than it is to go as themselves and be interviewed or give a speech, so it is with people in other aspects of life like writing.

    For example, I have always found I make a very strong wing person. I can think of ideas and implement them with great efficiency, and market, etc...when I'm assisting others. I've always had a harder time when trying to do it for myself.

    It is likely there are some writers who feel less inhibited when writing for others. You could apply the saying that the "lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client" as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    I don't know if commercial writing is an art. I suppose it
    is if you make it that.

    Definitely a "mastery skill" though. Like playing the violin,
    like blowing glass. There's no limit to how accomplished
    you can become as a practitioner.

    Key word practitioner, one who practices.

    Alan Weiss's stuff on setting up and running a consulting
    business is the best I've read on how to maximize your
    income and effectiveness while working part-time hours
    and having no real employees. Very valuable to those
    wanting to create wealth through thinking, listening,
    giving advice, and writing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
      Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

      Alan Weiss's stuff on setting up and running a consulting
      business is the best I've read on how to maximize your
      income and effectiveness while working part-time hours
      and having no real employees. Very valuable to those
      wanting to create wealth through thinking, listening,
      giving advice, and writing.
      Thank you for the book recommendation. I just checked and he has several, is there one in particular that you've read that best addresses the above?

      Thank you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Newman
      Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

      I don't know if commercial writing is an art. I suppose it
      is if you make it that.

      Definitely a "mastery skill" though. Like playing the violin,
      like blowing glass. There's no limit to how accomplished
      you can become as a practitioner.

      Key word practitioner, one who practices.

      Alan Weiss's stuff on setting up and running a consulting
      business is the best I've read on how to maximize your
      income and effectiveness while working part-time hours
      and having no real employees. Very valuable to those
      wanting to create wealth through thinking, listening,
      giving advice, and writing.
      Awesome reference. I've been one of Alan's disciples for almost a decade. His approach is usually contrarian and highly lucrative. I wonder why he's not mentioned a lot around here.
      He stresses a focus on results, not just time or activities. Practical and philosophical.

      I think it's nice to take a holistic approach, one that takes into consideration one's ideal lifestyle. It makes sense to try to get the best returns for one's hardwork, thus, copywriting and infomarketing are not so bad Just look at Uncle Ted Nicholas.
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  • Profile picture of the author ShayB
    Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

    The point is, how do writers go from this stage to making a real, full-time living?

    Terry
    I just wanted to point out that this can mean very different things to different people.

    Even in the US, cost of living rates vary greatly.

    I have always priced my work so I could earn a nice hourly income - for my area. Others, living in other parts of the country, might look at my rates and go :confused:. I, however, am quite happy with my rates.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
    Without reading all the responses here... To the OP I would suggest that if you want to make a full time living as a writer, then you have to look at your personal ability and leanings first. If you are a clever and compelling/persuasive wordsmith, then you might look at writing copy. If you are a methodical researcher, then ghostwriting may work better for you. Sadly though, for most, articles have become a commodity. So, the pricing is as such.

    The other place you could make money as a writer is in producing content for real businesses on the web. Not internet marketers. You could easily sign up a bunch of clients for a few hundred up to probably a thousand bucks a month and just constantly create a and push out content for them linked back to their sites, pages, etc...

    Instead of being an "offline consultant" or whatever they are calling it now, you are just producing content for them...
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    You CAN make a living from it but you need to establish a base of customers first.
    In this business MANY orders are repeat orders by customers where you did already jobs for.
    Also...i personally tend wanting to get away from the "ezine articles"-style $5/500 words articles, i am simply not going to nor want to "compete" with people who write crap articles in broken English for cheap marketers who pay only peanuts for an "article".

    There are more lucrative areas in writing, like reviews, ebooks, sales letters, web content...the cheap people from the so called "developing countries" are not touching those areas since they usually do the crappy ezine-style articles and cannot do more advanced stuff
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.
      - Mark Twain
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  • Profile picture of the author kharyreynolds
    Freelance writing is a very BROAD subject. If you are only going to focus on SEO articles, then you are going to be forced to compete with low cost providers. If you want to make writing worth your time, you will eventually need to specialize on a specific type of writing that is high value i.e. Copywriting, Technical Writing, etc. Once you begin specializing outside of general SEO articles, your hourly rate should go up significantly, regardless of how much time it takes you to write.

    just my 2 cents
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  • Profile picture of the author LaLaLives
    If you're going to continue researching and writing articles, use two monitors. One for research, the other for writing. Also, set a desktop timer and limit your research time to 5, 10 or 15 minutes. When your time is up, reset your timer for another 10 minutes or so and write about what you've learned as quickly as possible without over-thinking the process. Don't edit as you write, simply let your writing flow and save editing for your final 10 or 15 minute set.

    As time goes on, you'll find that you can cut down on some of the time spent in different phases, particularly as you become more familiar with different topics. Clearly, repeatedly writing within just a few niches also helps. If nothing else, the research gets a lot easier as you begin to know exactly where to go to get exactly what you need research-wise.

    When writing $10 articles, you have to place serious limitations on your time. Of course, always strive to offer your clients quality work, but don't spend a lot of time trying to create a masterpiece for ten bucks. If you've spent 30 minutes crafting a decent article, there's no need to spend another hour tweaking it to perfection. It's hard to fight the urge to stop editing sometimes, but at some point you're going to have to determine that the article is worthy of $10 and move on to the next one.

    Have you looked into Constant-Content yet? I suggest you do so as it offers an opportunity for you to write on subjects that you're familiar with (and enjoy), which will also cut down on your research time. Oh yeah, and YOU set your own article rates. Some writers use the site as their sole source of income, while others simply use it as an additional revenue steam.

    Also, go offline. Things like magazine articles and company newsletters will net you a lot more money per hour. Writer's Digest is a good source to help break into magazine writing, but also try approaching smaller local magazines with article ideas. Or, approach nearby apartment and condo communities and offer to create a monthly tenant newsletter. Remember that the same content can likely also be used for multiple tenant communities with minor changes, which will further increase your per hour earnings.

    Think also about writing white papers, speeches, press releases, resumes, bios, greeting cards, etc. If we were to all brainstorm the many different ways to make money writing, I'm fairly confident that we could come up with hundreds of ways that have absolutely nothing to do with SEO, keyword research or Internet marketing. Of course, earning a living as an SEO writer is doable, I'm just making the point that there's no need to stay in that box.

    I've found that most people hate writing even if they're halfway good at it (and we know that not everyone is). Then there are those who don't hate it, but who suck at it even if no one's brave enough to tell them as much. A good writer who actually enjoys the work, however, is priceless. Recognizing this is uber important when it comes to actually making a living as a writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dean Jackson
    OK, I think many of you guys are misjudging copywriters and writers in general.

    I know some copywriters who can crank a letter out within hours - and charge thousands for it. But what many people fail to realize is that you're not just charging for the time you put in, but the years of experience it took to build up the skills to write like that.

    It's crazy to assume that copywriters aren't marketers either. They keep their projects off the radar because there's no point in telling you they write for themselves... there are entire industries outside of the Warrior Forum in case you haven't noticed.

    Just clearing that up for anyone else who's "baffled" about why copywriters don't have their own products and sell them. A lot do, they just don't blast out about them.

    Same goes for other writers. I believe Alexa only does her own projects now, and I'm sure she could confirm that writing for others beforehand was a great experience builder.

    It's a great way to get some passive income going while you learn about different markets through research... you learn all sorts of valuable things like...

    - How to research a market and find out what people want

    - How business owners are setting up their models (when you charge higher prices for your writing, you get higher quality clients - which means you get a peak into what they're doing to make money). Not suggesting that writers will copy their clients projects - although there were a few threads by concerned marketers. That's very rare in my experience.

    - You learn how to manage your time... you can't be slaving away for hours on a project - you can crank them out as fast as you can, while maintaining quality.

    - You learn how to put together a project and put the pedal to the metal... that goes for your own projects and clients. Too many people procrastinate - they don't know what to write, how to put pieces of information together, blah, blah, blah.

    Think about the uses for those skills!

    Freelancing is a great way to get started online. Moral of the story - Don't judge books by their covers (thought that was a fitting metaphor, lol)...

    - Dean
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  • Profile picture of the author JamieSEO
    Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

    Now it takes me even longer to write an article.

    The trouble is, the more I write articles, the longer I spend researching each one. I'd feel like a fraud if I just took an article from somewhere and re-worded it, so I have to research and research until I understand the topic, by which time, my hourly rate is down to pennies, before a word is written.
    Hey Terry

    I am a writer myself and also help train others.

    I have to say - I am a good writer... not a great writer, but where I and the people I train excel is in combining that skill with EXCELLENT and fast research.

    From running an outsourcing business I found that the biggest hurdle for most writers actually had nothing to do with 'writing' and everything to do with their lack of research skills (meaning they did not know how to find relevant information quickly).

    There are 4 different approaches you can take to really boost your profit per hour:

    1 - Only bid/accept jobs that you have at least a basic knowledge of beforehand. If you see a job that wants 5 articles about astrophysics and you know nothing about it, just give that job a miss. Build up a list of topics that you know about and rate your knowledge (eg basic/in-depth) and try to stick with those.

    2 - Use the "one problem - one solution" rule. If you are writing about dog grooming, keep your research as specific as possible - don't get caught up reading about related topics ie dog diet, health, etc.

    3 - Never 'waste' research. I recommend grabbing text relevant to your research and saving it in Word or your bookmarks, clearly marking it so that you already have a head start the next time you write about that topic.

    If you do end up doing a heap of research on a new topic - after you deliver the work to the client, throw together a quick ebook on that topic off the top of your head (eg. "Dog grooming secrets: 10 ways to keep that coat shiny" about 5,000 words), then upload it to Kindle to sell. That way not only have you learned and given the client the work, you have also set up a passive income stream for yourself every time someone buys your book on Kindle

    Multi-tasking is key to squeezing every bit of value you can out of anything you do.

    4 - Brush up on your online research skills and bookmark handy sites to use for research. Wikipedia is always a great start if you know NOTHING about a topic and gives you ideas of keywords to use in your research to get the most relevant results.

    Make sure you know how to use all of Google's advanced search features - they are invaluable in refining data so you get the info most relevant to you
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  • Profile picture of the author roley
    Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

    At the start of this year, events helped me make the decision to write for a living. So I found a post on WF that showed me where I could get started by writing articles for spinning. I did that at 1 x 500 word article + 2 rewrites for around $6, i.e. 0.4 cents per word. That was ok, I was getting valuable feedback on how to write SEO articles, and how to format them.

    Next I placed a Warriors for Hire ad on here and had a great response [thanks]. That was at 1 cent per word. Meanwhile, I was setting up accounts and submitting articles to EZA et al.

    But it took me ages to write an article.

    Then I spotted [TPW] Bill's WSO for writing articles in 20 mins and I bought it. Problem solved, yes? By now I was charging 2 cents a word, so by my quick calculation - 3 x 500 words per hour x 12 hours a day x 7 days a week - I was gonna be rich! I could even afford an hour or two off each week. The WSO was worth the money, so I recommend it for the great research tips.

    But it still took me ages to write an article.

    Ready for my next step, I bought Nick Brighton's WSO on freelancing. Nick enthused me to the point that I tidied up my Elance account and got my first job there.

    Now it takes me even longer to write an article.

    The trouble is, the more I write articles, the longer I spend researching each one. I'd feel like a fraud if I just took an article from somewhere and re-worded it, so I have to research and research until I understand the topic, by which time, my hourly rate is down to pennies, before a word is written.

    The point is, how do writers go from this stage to making a real, full-time living? Is the bottom line that you have to become an affiliate marketer and do everything in your power (through your writing) to persuade people to visit your site, then persuade them to click through? This seems to be the theme of most of the article (directory?) marketing guides. Or is there a well-trodden route to earning a reasonable income without becoming a marketer (apart from self-marketing, of course)? From time to time, some great posts here seem to come tantalizingly close to revealing The Way.

    I suppose my dilemma is, seeing this as a junction, should I follow my original plan of trying to make a living from writing (articles, reviews, e-books, etc.), or would the better way be to follow the "find a niche, build a list, market to the list" route?

    I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

    Terry
    TIP = DONT write for marketers lol... seriously I have met too many people in the marketing community who want TONS of articles for next to nothing.

    I pay writers what they are worth

    Copywriters I will pay anywhere from $300 a sales page upwards
    Article writers I will pay anywhere from $20 per article. Heck I have even paid $100 for a 1000 word article...

    This way I get quality.... plus lets face it... usa, canada, england and australia dont work at Indian rates ( pakistan is killing the usa economy coming in and doing articles for $3 or $8 an article )

    You get what you pay for in the end!...

    what makes me laugh is people want quality but they dont want to pay for it..

    Then they end up with poorly written articles, having to re have them done..

    Just do it right first time and pay people what they are worth $20 an article is not much when it can take a good hour to write a decent well researched article. If they do it by word count... anywhere from 0.05 to 0.08 cents a word is good in my books
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    Unless it is an extremely difficult and complex subject, you should not need 3 hours to write 400 words. Maybe an indication that article writing is not for you.

    I don't know about you, but it is indeed the case i see MANY people offering "article writing" where its just too obvious that they have no business WHATSOEVER to do so.

    The "funniest" thing is if such people have the audacity to point potential customers very proudly to their "quality" sample articles - and the sample articles are already HORRIBLE. (As seen yesterday).

    I really think that many "writers" don't even know how bad they are really.
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    • Profile picture of the author globallystrong
      This is a nice discussion, and it's something I'm passionate about.

      I've been following numerous threads on WF for months. I first want to say thanks to all of the people, who make regular comments and suggestions. I've learned a lot, and I want to start contributing more, too.

      So, what occupies most of my time? Writing.

      I don't think you should lower your rates to compete against writers from Third World or developing countries. Skillful writers from those countries eventually raise their rates to those of writers from the U.S., or other English speaking countries.

      If people are writing 500-word articles for one or two dollars a pop, it's usually because they are trying to feed their families. However, just because the average monthly income is $300 in some of those countries, that doesn't mean that those people don't deserve more.

      I think there is still a demand for high quality writing in several different markets on the Internet. If you're trying to make a living off "niche" writing, then make sure that some of your articles are linking to your affiliate or product offers, and that you are building a list.

      Don't write articles for the sole purpose of making other people money.

      "Niche" writing doesn't need the same amount of research and editing as other forms of writing, so, it's possible to compensate for the lower pay. If it's taking you hours to write these kinds of articles, it's not worth your time.

      On a positive note, online competition pales in comparison to writing for newspaper, magazines, and other form of print media. Plus, you don't have to spend extra time on query letters, or rewrites, even if your articles get accepted.

      I like the freedom of writing online. If you choose topics that you feel comfortable writing, it becomes that much easier, and doesn't feel like you are slogging away at your keyboard everyday.
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  • Profile picture of the author Buildingfutures
    They make a living by writing.


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  • Profile picture of the author Damani Tabor
    I do agree that the competition from developing areas is so stiff.
    My advice is to try to go upmarket.
    Emphasize quality and charge more.
    Enough of us have been burned by low cost mediocrity.
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  • Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

    The point is, how do writers go from this stage to making a real, full-time living?

    I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

    Terry
    I make a full time living writing online, love the flexibility and freedom, and I only type with 2 fingers, very slow.

    I got Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 and it tripled my writing speed.

    YYes, it is $100 (sometime it is on sale) but I speak now, and crank out 4 - 6 GOOD 400 word articles per hour.

    It is stupid-quick directly out of the box.

    I work 4 or 5 hours for clients, and make a full time living, then spend any extra time that I want on my own product creation and IM efforts.

    I highly recommend it.

    But the bottom line is, if you are researching forever, it is going to be tough to make it as an Internet Writer. You need to be able to quickly scan a fe wsources, copy and paste for a couple of notes (like specs and numbers that are hard to remember, not to copy and paste for content!) slam out a good, smooth, flowing article, then move on to the nest article.

    From what it sounds like, I believe you are probably a writer with above average or even great ability, and that is what makes it tough. You want everything to be perfect and the best ever.

    You have to learn "systems", like a pattern I use, that is your own.

    But I definitely recommend Dragon Naturally Speaking Home edition 11.

    It will increase your publishing time 2 to 5 times.

    Speak, spell check and save.
    Super quick.

    Good luck.

    Patrick
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  • Profile picture of the author christina ward
    Wolhouse

    That is what my boyfriend did when he started online, but he never did make money doing it, I thought about doing it myself after watching him make a little bit of money, but you have to write too many of them to get any money and takes too long, it might be ok for a short-time thing but not for the long hall.

    Thank You
    Christina
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    Most writers just focus on a subject they are versed in, as you've found out, having to research the subject matter will reduce their hourly rate, so they stick with what they know, and when free time comes around they brush up on potential subjects they would like to be versed in
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  • Profile picture of the author magnates
    Hi Terry ,

    If writing is what you like but takes too much time , how about having dragon fly (I am not sure about ) speech software which you can edit rather than having to type each words . That could save you a lot of time .

    Ebook writing is also more lucrative most cost $300 upwards so if you enjoy doing a bit of research then it is a good

    The choice is ultimately yours what you want to do
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    • Profile picture of the author HankTheCowDog
      Since I am not a writer, I have nothing to add, other than saying I enjoyed reading each and every post in this thread. Writing is something I've always struggled with and I envy you folks who enjoy the god-given talent. Hats off to all of you.

      For those of less fortunate in the writing department - are there any "must have" resources to brush up on writing skills, other than returning to college?

      Again, it's a pleasure to read so much well written commentary.

      Lastly, can somebody please start an argument? lol
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  • Profile picture of the author crennyw
    Writing is becoming a commodity, almost. If you choose to write PLR, I'd consider using TheBestSpinner and creating unique versions of your articles as opposed to the same article for everyone. As long as the quality is high, you could sell 10 packs of unique articles in popular niches and probably do pretty well for the effort involved.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony J Namata
    Write about what you know. Find local firms, if needs be, who could benefit from article marketing as a marketing strategy and have them sign you up on a retainer fee. If you charged say, $500 a month and you had 10 businesses on a retainer fee, that's a cool $5,000 a month writing on what you know for their blogs, directory submissions -- whatever! I worked in the travel industry for 10 years and published a regular newsletter back then. Now, I write for the travel trade (tour operators, travel agencies, hotels & lodges, airlines) on a retainer fee.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
    Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

    ...is there a well-trodden route to earning a reasonable income without becoming a marketer (apart from self-marketing, of course)?
    Terry
    Yes, there is.

    Don't try to compete with those writing for $5, $3, $2, $1 or even less per article. You will get nowhere.

    Instead, position yourself as a professional writer and charge more. A lot more.

    There are plenty of clients who are more than willing to pay $25 and up - way up - for well written articles. Try starting out at $25 per article and aim to raise to $75 per article eventually - or more.

    At $25 per article you only need to write four a day to get $100 a day. Just because the crowd are all competing for table scraps ($5 and less per article), doesn't mean you have to as well.

    Stay away from content mills, bidding freelance sites and starving webmasters. They will never pay enough. Believe in your own abilities and position yourself as a professional writer who charges accordingly. It works.

    John.
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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
      Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

      Yes, there is.

      Don't try to compete with those writing for $5, $3, $2, $1 or even less per article. You will get nowhere.

      Instead, position yourself as a professional writer and charge more. A lot more.

      There are plenty of clients who are more than willing to pay $25 and up - way up - for well written articles. Try starting out at $25 per article and aim to raise to $75 per article eventually - or more.

      At $25 per article you only need to write four a day to get $100 a day. Just because the crowd are all competing for table scraps ($5 and less per article), doesn't mean you have to as well.

      Stay away from content mills, bidding freelance sites and starving webmasters. They will never pay enough. Believe in your own abilities and position yourself as a professional writer who charges accordingly. It works.

      John.
      This bears repeating. Your only competition is within the price range you're in, and even then, the effect of competition is overstated.

      The competition for a Mercedes is not a Kia. The competition for a $25.00 per article writer is not $5.00 writers.

      Fun fact - I've gotten more people wanting to work with me every time I've raised my prices.
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      • Profile picture of the author joel1031
        I'm highly interested in getting started at freelance, been writing for years in college on a variety of topics. My plan is to start with TextBrokers, get some experience under my belt, then pay for a topic on Warriors for Hire. My only question:

        Do you offer free articles at first for reviews, or would I merely do, say $.75/word starting out for review articles if I wanted my starting price to be $1.50?

        Basically I'm looking for some more specific information for getting started, since all of the more generalized information has been great so far!
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        • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
          Originally Posted by joel1031 View Post

          I'm highly interested in getting started at freelance, been writing for years in college on a variety of topics. My plan is to start with TextBrokers, get some experience under my belt, then pay for a topic on Warriors for Hire. My only question:

          Do you offer free articles at first for reviews, or would I merely do, say $.75/word starting out for review articles if I wanted my starting price to be $1.50?

          Basically I'm looking for some more specific information for getting started, since all of the more generalized information has been great so far!
          My price is $0.03/word. For reviews I offered one free review article and 5 half price articles. When I am in need of new clients I start offering some more half price articles for new clients. It has served me very well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cloudzz
    I see alot of people using comapnies such as oDesk to ignite their online writing careers. Most of them start cheap, but with experience alot of them start charging a hefty hourly rate and still get the jobs.
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  • Profile picture of the author joel1031
    Wow I realized I epically failed on my pricing (lol). .0075 and .015 are the numbers I was aiming for there.
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  • Profile picture of the author mumbaik
    do writers really earn a good money..if yes then i ll start..
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  • Profile picture of the author DeborahDera
    I am a pretty quick writer - I have no trouble looking at several resources and piecing together an article rather quickly. I can write in almost any niche that way.

    That said, not everyone can research the same way. If you find it takes you a ton of time to write an article, you may want to consider finding a very specific niche and sticking with it as much as possible. Are there certain topics or subjects you like that do not take you as long as others to focus on?

    With that in mind, sticking to a niche might make it harder for you to find freelance work; so I'd suggest starting a website that focuses on your niche so that you can sell original content (or even PLR - check out Tiffany Dow's PLR ATM course on how to start that type of business).



    Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

    At the start of this year, events helped me make the decision to write for a living. So I found a post on WF that showed me where I could get started by writing articles for spinning. I did that at 1 x 500 word article + 2 rewrites for around $6, i.e. 0.4 cents per word. That was ok, I was getting valuable feedback on how to write SEO articles, and how to format them.

    Next I placed a Warriors for Hire ad on here and had a great response [thanks]. That was at 1 cent per word. Meanwhile, I was setting up accounts and submitting articles to EZA et al.

    But it took me ages to write an article.

    Then I spotted [TPW] Bill's WSO for writing articles in 20 mins and I bought it. Problem solved, yes? By now I was charging 2 cents a word, so by my quick calculation - 3 x 500 words per hour x 12 hours a day x 7 days a week - I was gonna be rich! I could even afford an hour or two off each week. The WSO was worth the money, so I recommend it for the great research tips.

    But it still took me ages to write an article.

    Ready for my next step, I bought Nick Brighton's WSO on freelancing. Nick enthused me to the point that I tidied up my Elance account and got my first job there.

    Now it takes me even longer to write an article.

    The trouble is, the more I write articles, the longer I spend researching each one. I'd feel like a fraud if I just took an article from somewhere and re-worded it, so I have to research and research until I understand the topic, by which time, my hourly rate is down to pennies, before a word is written.

    The point is, how do writers go from this stage to making a real, full-time living? Is the bottom line that you have to become an affiliate marketer and do everything in your power (through your writing) to persuade people to visit your site, then persuade them to click through? This seems to be the theme of most of the article (directory?) marketing guides. Or is there a well-trodden route to earning a reasonable income without becoming a marketer (apart from self-marketing, of course)? From time to time, some great posts here seem to come tantalizingly close to revealing The Way.

    I suppose my dilemma is, seeing this as a junction, should I follow my original plan of trying to make a living from writing (articles, reviews, e-books, etc.), or would the better way be to follow the "find a niche, build a list, market to the list" route?

    I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

    Terry
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    • Profile picture of the author JamieSEO
      Originally Posted by DeborahDera View Post

      With that in mind, sticking to a niche might make it harder for you to find freelance work
      If you choose this path - there is a fast way to check to see which niches are in demand for people wanting to outsource writing.

      Just go to Elance and browse through the article writing jobs to see what topics are always popping up

      Always aim for topics that are 'evergreen' and also slower to change rather than just a quick trend.

      Some good topics for this include:
      Travel
      Fitness
      Health
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
    When I first came here and started my content business there was almost no one doing it. Times have changed, big time. Now everyone is trying to undercut everyone else with their writing and so forth. It's wild.

    Here's my advice: get into content writing and get out, use the cash to fund bigger and smarter projects.
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    • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
      Originally Posted by Andrew Maule View Post

      When I first came here and started my content business there was almost no one doing it. Times have changed, big time. Now everyone is trying to undercut everyone else with their writing and so forth. It's wild.

      Here's my advice: get into content writing and get out, use the cash to fund bigger and smarter projects.
      Ya, I do love to write and writing for clients is really something I enjoy doing, but waiting for clients can be tough, especially with cheaper writers all over the place. I write for a very reasonable price, but that doesn't mean there aren't tons of people undercutting those prices.

      I plan to continue writing, but I also am making my own product and running a review site so that passive income can make up for those days that I just don't find work.
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  • Profile picture of the author xxdksxx
    I was always wondering how someone could make a living writing 20 articles for $5 or something which always seemed like nothing compared to the time. But I guess if you are more well known then you could charge a lot more.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      Originally Posted by xxdksxx View Post

      I was always wondering how someone could make a living writing 20 articles for $5 or something which always seemed like nothing compared to the time. But I guess if you are more well known then you could charge a lot more.
      I've charged $5 an article, and I've charged $35 and up per article.

      I know which one I prefer.

      The funny thing is that once you decide to position yourself as a high quality professional writer, assuming you have the ability, it becomes surprisingly easy to find clients willing and even eager to pay whatever amount you charge.

      It really has little to do with being well known. Just position yourself as a professional, then prove it. The work and the much better pay will follow.

      John.
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  • Profile picture of the author omk
    If you are really good at writing copy you can make a lot of money. Imagine writing a sales page for 5 to 15k! You just need to set your sites on what you want to do and aim for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Williams
    Don't write for others if you really want to make money - unless you're getting paid premium rates for copywriting.

    There are a million ways to make good amounts of money with writing, but almost none of them involve working for someone else >_>
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  • Profile picture of the author hotlinkz
    Any writer who wants to gauge their level of expertise and talent should submit their next ten articles to offline magazines. The great majority of physical magazines will provide you with submission guidelines at your request. You may also find this information by searching online.

    Since most magazine editors will critique your articles, your ten article submission will provide you with an excellent lesson in article writing. Correct your errors, do the rewrites and submit again.

    Getting even one article accepted will put you on a whole new path away from the one cent per word market. Adding your accepted offer to your writer's portfolio will also add to your prestige as a writer.

    HINT: Most writers make their living through sales to physical media (ie; books, newsletters, magazines, brochures, etc.)
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  • Profile picture of the author MelJames
    You may have to build-up a solid portfolio first before you can establish yourself as a Quality writer. Sure it takes time, but any kind of success requires exactly that - patience and real effort. You have to be willing to make some sacrifices to improve your skills
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      When I started writing for other people I developed a plan just as I'd have a plan for a new website or a new product.

      I'm not well known as a writer
      I'm not cheap
      I don't have a large group of buyers
      I don't advertise
      I haven't taken on a new client in almost a year

      I work with a small group (can count them on one hand) of manufacturers and authority site owners. These buyers have ongoing work and send it all to me. I know what they want - and they know what they'll get from me. We've developed great working relationships and I work with time guidelines rather than deadlines. For me, it's perfect as the work is steady and reliable. I write part-time as I have other things I do as well.

      There is no one way to build a writing business or any kind of business. You have to build in a way that suits your time and your needs if you want it to work long term. If YOU know what your work is worth - others will not have a problem with it.

      kay
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      I'm going to work on being less condescending
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  • Profile picture of the author GetMoreTraffic
    You need to move up the scale from article writing to sales copywriting. That's where the value is, and therefore that's where the money is.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I've written sales copy that has done well - and I was well paid. I don't enjoy sales page copywriting so for me it would not be a step up the scale.

      Right now I work with people I like, doing work I enjoy. I'm well paid and work on my own schedule. I'm booked for at least the next few months. As a part-time freelance writer - it doesn't get much better than that.

      kay
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      Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

      I'm going to work on being less condescending
      (Condescending means to talk down to people)
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  • Profile picture of the author ballhogjoni
    from what I've seen they go to freelance sites like odesk and guru.com to tell people about their writing skills and people hire them to write content.
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  • Profile picture of the author veenafurtado
    By writing good stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author patlianic
    by writing stuff that makes sense ... all of the above posts hits right on the spot
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