Residual Income From Online Writing

I’m looking for a way to make some extra income. Writing online is intriguing because of its flexibility and I have some experience there. I’m a writer for Demand Media and am pleased with what it is. However, I’m paid by the piece and was wondering about revenue-share, affiliate or ad-generated income. Squidoo, Xomba, HubPages and many others out there make claims. Which ones are just hype and which are legit.

I am an intelligent, mature adult. I know anything capable of producing real income is going to take real effort, so I’m not asking for a free lunch. But, real effort put forth on some sites like this is wasted and will NOT produce any substantive income. My first priority is to weed out those turkeys and then look at the potential offered by the more reputable shops. Again, I’m looking for residual income, I’ve got a day job and an online writing gig in which I’m paid by the piece.

What say you teeming millions?:confused:

Actually, running your own blog probably has the best income potential for online writers, If you have something worthwhile to say and know how to market it. I’ve published several things on Associated Content. They’re legitimate, but don’t pay much. The key to making money there seems to be to have LOTS of material up and then promote it aggressively.

+1 on the blog. It’s possible to earn money from affiliate revenue, but it probably won’t be much - you’re competing with a large number of people from places where the expected average income is low.

The writers I know of who have been successful online have done it by using their blogs and online presence to grow their reputation and fan base. The people I know who rely on affiliate revenue and the like are generally earning peanuts. (I do neither, so this is all second hand, and I’m sure there are exceptions).

They’re all hype. All of them. Anything that calls for you to make money on people clicking through to ads connected with your articles pays peanuts. If there were an exception, everyone would go there. It’s like asking if there is a real aphrodisiac. If one actually existed, everyone would use it. It doesn’t, so people tout thousands of fakes.

Sorry, but those are the hard facts garnered from years of looking at these claims.

Can you make money off your own blog if it goes big? Yes you can. You have exactly the same percentage of people doing so as in any other type of writing, though.

With regards to non-political blogs, the successes I’ve seen have been those who’ve converted their blogs to books.

Somewhere just this morning I was reading a blog by someone who claimed to be getting about $15 per month answering questions on one of those sites where people pay for answers. S/he is professionally a horticulturists.

Just curious…Green Hell is the name of a non-existant novel in a novel about novels - James Michener’s “The Novel”. (Is that a novel sentence, or not?) In the story “Green Hell” is the never-quite-finished masterwork of a talented but undisciplined young writer. Instead of knuckling down and working on his book he carouses all night, beats his girlfriend, blows off publishers that try to help him and drinks heavily. (Reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson). Finally, beset by terminal writer’s block and personal crisis, he commits suicide by shoving a carving knife into his throat.

With apologies for the personal question, did you take your screen persona from the Michener book, or another source?

Maybe Green Hell is a giant wasp

If you write blogs the key is content and getting people to visit. Clicking “ads” only pays off if your keywords are high enough. If you have a rare keyword, you’re only going to get pennies per click, if that.

In Google’s Adsense for example, the second bidder sets the price.

For instance, if I write a blog about Coyotes and the first bid is $10.00 for the word Coyote and the second bid is 3¢, then Google gets paid 4¢ per click. What percentage of those 4¢ clicks Google pays you varies. Not all ad schemes work like this, but Google does.

Let’s say you write a blog about Road Runners and that is a “hot” word. So the first bid is $100 per click and the second bid is made by an advertiser willing to pay $95 per click. Then the click rate is something like $96.00 per click.

Again it’s always the second person’s bid that sets Google’s rate

This is the key to making money through Adsense. You have to find words that pay well. Note for Google a “word” can be a phrase as well.

Computer type blogs tend to pay the best, as the get visited the most and they are visited by a ton of people looking for solutions to their computer issues.

As your blog becomes popular you can lose the format and go to a regular type website and start negotiating with your own advertisers direct for better rates.

The best blogs tend to be promoted very quitetly. For instance, if you say, “See my blog for the best computer advice” people tend not to care or look.

If you go to boards like this one and just offer advice without mentioning your website people will come to you. They will trust you as well.

The key is content, keeping it fresh and keeping it updated. No point in offering helping computer advice if you don’t take down the old outdated help bits. It just frustrates people.

Online advertising is not a very successful way to go. Amazon and eBay the biggest two have a click through rate of about 29% and 19% respectively (Source: SearchEngineWatch.Com). That is for every ad they run about 29% or 19% actually CLICK THROUGH to the ad. This DOESN’T MEAN BUY, but means mearly click on the ad. Their sell through rates are even lower.

I know of one person who has his own website and after years finally got some paid ad sponsors and does about minimum wage (8 hours a day) with it. And he WORKS hard at it. He is constantly updating and going to various radio/TV boards to help people out and he is a young guy who writes simply, effectively and respectfully.

But for him it’s a “passion” and to make less than $50 bucks a day, while he goes to college is OK, but it’s probably easier to get a job at Starbucks. :slight_smile:

I just came across an article that shows how tough this business is. Why Two Sites This Week Decided To Start Paying Their Writers.

That they’re paying is the good news. What they’re paying is the bad news.

They also target the specific niches of finance and sports.

1,000 page views doesn’t seem like a lot, but most threads in GQ never reach 1,000. Exactly one in the last 10 days has gone over 10,000.