How to Get Started Earning from Writing Articles Online

Updated on November 24, 2017
Kate Mc Bride profile image

Kate works in health care. She also earns by writing online. She has studied mindfulness and nutrition and uses these principles daily.

A Guide to Writing and Earning Online With Articles

Writing articles online is a very rewarding pastime mostly because you reap the benefits of the work you put in both in terms of job satisfaction and financially. In this guide you will find tips on how to get started along with advice on resources to use, websites to start out with, and ways to develop your interest and skills further if you have already begun your online writing journey. It can be a steep learning curve at times, but it is a fascinating field to work in. You will learn more about many different topics from your research, and as you gain experience, your skills and confidence will improve so that you can overcome more challenges in your writing.

Some of the resources here will be useful to the experienced online article writer as well.

Revenue-Sharing Writing Sites

A revenue-sharing site is a website like Hubpages where authors submit articles and earn a share of the revenue from the advertisements displayed on them. Writing for revenue-sharing sites is a way of making passive income. You don't get paid for each piece of writing but you can earn from the ads over a period of time.

The major difference between revenue sharing sites and sites that pay per article is that on revenue sharing sites, you can choose what to write. With the pay-per-article model, the client chooses the content you write about.

Revenue sharing sites are a great way of getting started and developing your writing fluency by starting with topics you are familiar with and already have knowledge about.

Sites for Selling Your Articles

Revenue-sharing isn't the only way to go. There are plenty of sites for selling your articles online. iWriter is one of the basic ones. You can choose an article to write but the clock starts ticking as soon as you do, which means that you have to write the article immediately. I noticed that there is a lot of work for more experienced writers who have been promoted on the site but very little work for those starting off and a lot of competition for it.

A much better option is Hire Writers, where the clients are very easy to work with and you have more time to do the job. The time range for jobs on the site is typically between 12 hours and three days. An added benefit is that there is usually plenty of work there. You need to do a grammar test and provide a writing sample to get access to the site which is the case with many similar sites like textbroker and Writer's Domain.

There are plenty of sites that let you sell articles, and they often pay by PayPal. Check out this list of seventy article selling sites. It will be well worth your time to consider if you are interested in pursuing writing.

Directories

Directories of article sites and blogs are a great way of finding sites that will accept the topics you want to write about rather than having to write what a client wants. Beyond Your Blog is a good example of a very comprehensive directory for aspiring writers, as well as writers already in the field who are looking for new challenges and opportunities. Another good directory is BeginDot where you can get an idea of how much it is possible to earn when you have established your profile and gained some experience.

The Writers in Charge website offers another good directory, as well as an excellent newsletter for those interested in learning more about this field.

Resources for Learning

AWAI, the association for American Writers and Artists, has good learning resources for different types of freelance writers. Udemy is another valuable resource where you can access free and paid courses on developing your writing skills. Subscribing to mailing lists is a good way to get access to many high quality free books on writing as well. Contently is a good example. It offers access to good learning resources on the site, and there is an option to receive a free ebook on freelance writing too.

Of course, the best way to learn is by doing. Reading about writing is fine, but don't read instead of getting started on the writing itself. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by starting an adventure in online writing. If you don't like it you can stop, but you will never know until you try it out and see for yourself.

Getting started on your writing journey

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Software for Writers

You can find lots of free software for organizing your thoughts, constructing an article, and many other things. I have two tools in my web browser that I use frequently. The first one is Grammarly, which is very useful for spelling when alternating between British English and American English (something I frequently have to do on different writing sites). Grammarly is available as an extension for Chrome or as a desktop app.

The other software tool I use as a Chrome extension is Power Thesaurus. It is not intrusive, but is very useful for checking synonyms and antonyms. A text editor called Hemingway is also free to use online. It highlights text in different colours to be considered for correction as well as providing a readability score for the overall piece.

I recommend checking out this list with reviews of other free software used by writers, but old-fashioned pen and paper still has a role to play, and using a pen is favoured by some writers over software.

Freelancing

There are many freelancing sites where you can apply for individual jobs to sell your articles. The one that I am most familiar with is Guru.

PeoplePerHour is another freelance site with a very user friendly interface and a good selection of jobs. Many people also use Fiverr for freelancing opportunities as well. You can choose between applying for long-term projects or short-term ones on these sites, which is also an advantage. However, if a client doesn't pay you on a writing site, the site will do so, whereas on freelancing sites you don't have that safety net.

I plan to use freelancing sites more now that I have more experience.

Copywriting

Copywriting is very well paid because it is an integral part of successful online marketing. The art of good copywriting is to get the reader to want to engage with you using a call to action (CTA) rather than spamming him/her with aggressive marketing tactics. There are different types of copywriting; typically S.E.O. and direct sales, but they are often used together. There is an abundance of work for good copywriters because the internet is used so much for marketing and marketers need copywriters to sell their products. A basic definition and outline of copywriting is summarized visually here. You can also get more information about copywriting from some informative articles on the subject on The Barefoot Writer site.

Getting Started with Writing Online

In my opinion, the best place to start is to sign up for HubPages, where you will get experience and benefit from a friendly community of fellow writers and excellent support on the site itself.

Signing up for some of the writing sites above will give you the opportunity to work and improve as you continue on your writing journey.

Freelance sites are the next step after revenue sharing. Some successful freelance writers suggest starting your own website and getting clients directly this way. Personally, I would not be interested in doing this but it can be a very lucrative option and an alternative to a full time job if managed correctly as Linda Formichelli outlines in her book "Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race and Step Into a Career You Love".

This is a great book full of insights and useful links even if you do not pursue your writing goals in the way she suggests. Her website The Renegade Writer has a lot of useful, free resources as well.


Summary and Conclusion

Finally, I want to mention an excellent free tool I have come across recently for editing your writing in many different ways from ProWritingAid. It checks style, grammar, readability, and many other features. It is very comprehensive and far superior to any other writing tools I've tried. It does not require downloading; you can just use it in your browser.

The best advice for becoming a successful writer:

  • Just write.
  • Make writing a daily habit

So, what are you waiting for? Write right now!

© 2017 Kate McBride

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