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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Your #1 Guide for Getting Paid to Write Online

by Alicia Bodine

I decided to write this guide after many years of searching for a way to make money online. I have been involved in several business ventures and have made some money, but not enough to support my two beautiful girls full time. I am a single mother of an exceptionally smart 8 year old, and a very special 6 year old. My 6 year old has Angelman Syndrome and gets sick quite frequently. She requires 24 hour care which makes it impossible for me to work outside of the home.

One common factor I found in working online was my writing jobs. The writing jobs were providing me with a consistent income, but I was still focusing on my businesses. Finally I realized the people who were really making it in business were the ones who had a special service to sell and every one else was spending all their time trying to follow in their footsteps without having a special service to offer. I began to concentrate on finding writing jobs and found it to be much easier.

There is a demand for writing jobs right now because websites and blogs aren't considered good unless they have a constant flow of new content. If the website or blog owner isn't a good writer they go out and hire writers to give them the content they need. If they are good at marketing then they are making a ton of money off of the advertising. Paying someone to write their articles becomes no big deal to them, but a full time income for us. So if you feel that you have a talent or passion for writing than this ebook is your perfect guide. Follow the information and get started earning within a week!





I. Why Write Online

My main reason for writing online was to be able to stay at home and care for my two daughters. My youngest daughter is disabled and gets sent home from school sick quite frequently. No 9-5 job boss would be accepting of this. Especially since she gets sick often for 2 weeks at a time. I certainly can't afford babysitters.

So a great reason to write online is because of a disability. The disability could be yours. I have spoken with several people who couldn't really leave their house because of disabilities, but they had full control of their minds and could use their fingers to type. That made them perfect candidates for online writing jobs. The disability could also be someone in your family. You'd be able to be home to care for them.

Another great reason is that you can be your own boss. You get to set your own schedules. I work around my oldest daughter's home schooling schedule. While she has assignments to work on I can log in and write an article or two and then go back to helping her with the next subject. I can stop for lunch or start writing again after dinner or after the kids go to bed. No one is standing over my shoulder demanding that work be done right then. It's great freedom. (by no means am I suggesting that you don't work hard or turn your assignments in on time if you are given a deadline)


II. What You Need to Know to Start Earning

You are going to need to develop a resume at some point. You don't have to worry about that right away if you don't have any references. There are a few companies you can get started with which don't require a resume. Once you have a few articles published there, you will have some links to articles you wrote that you can use in a resume. I will also be providing you with an example resume before this ebook is through so you have a model you can follow.

There are two main types of writing jobs that pay well. Article writing and blogging. Blogging jobs are great because they are easier and more faster to write. They also let you put a more personal spin to what you are posting. Article writing is very profitable if you know which companies to write for. There are all different types of article writing jobs. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) articles, how-to's, article copy, reviews, and informational. You can decide ahead of time which direction you want to pursue: blogging or article writing. You could always do both like I do if you want.

When you accept writing jobs you are usually given a deadline. One company I work for allows you to claim which articles you want to write by claiming the topic (headline). You then have 7 days to write it and submit it. That is plenty of time considering I can get it done in 10-15 minutes. You must submit your article on time. If you don't you could lose your job which won't look good when you apply for more writing jobs. If you don't think you will have time to complete your assignment, don't accept it.

For some blogging jobs you will need to know how to use Wordpress. You can sign up to Wordpress for free and give it a try. Create a blog on a subject you are passionate about and get comfortable using it. It is a little more difficult to figure out than blogger, but easy once you get the hang of it. If you don't know how to use it yet, it really isn't a big deal. There are plenty of jobs out there that don't require this knowledge, but it is something you should put on your to do list to learn so that in the future you don't have to miss out on a great job that may peak your interest.

Finally, you are going to need a Paypal account if you don't already have one. This is a MUST as most companies prefer to pay their clients this way. Paypal has been around a long time and is totally safe so don't worry. If you need to sign up it is totally free and you can do so here: Paypal


III. Article Writing Jobs

Now we are getting to the good stuff. Actual companies you can write article for and make money. Each one has it’s own set of rules so make sure you read and understand them before you apply.

1. Associated Content: This is the best place for a beginner to start. You get to choose your own topics to write on. If it is specific enough you will be offered a sum of money. You can either accept this sum or deny it. If you deny it your article won’t be published. In the beginning I urge you to take everything you can get so that you will have some published articles behind you to get better paying jobs.

First, Sign up for AC Here: Associated Content
Second, write your first article and submit it. Follow the simple instructions. The only thing I need to explain to you is what payment options to choose. You can submit your article as exclusive (you give up full rights to the article and cannot publish it anywhere else), or non-exclusive (you can republish the article). Needless to say exclusive articles earn more than non-exclusive.

You also have another option and that is to choose upfront payment or performance payments only. Upfront payment means your article will be reviewed for payment right away. You may be offered a certain amount or you may be asked to resubmit it for performance payments only if it is not specific enough. If you choose performance payments only you will get paid based on how many people view your article each month. It’s not much, but it helps. For instance I have 370 articles and I earn about $30 each month from page views. If you keep getting denied for upfront payment at least submit enough articles to give yourself some links for your resume.

Associated Content use to be a great place to earn, but drastically reduced their upfront payment offers when they introduced the performance payment system. Many writers left and I myself only write there once in awhile now, but this is the best place to get started and get some articles behind you for your resume.

If you'd like to take a look at my articles you can Here: Alicia Bodine's Content Producer Page

2. Demand Studios: This is by far my favorite site to work for. Demand Studios contracts with other companies that are looking for articles. They then post the assignments by title and you get a chance to claim them. What’s awesome is their pay. They pay per article and you always know what the pay is going to be before you accept the article. Right now I am getting $15 per article which I can complete in 15 minutes. They start you out at 10 aloud articles per week which comes to $150. After you have successfully written for a few weeks (3-4 weeks) you will get promoted to 20 articles at a time. That’s $300 per week. I have all my articles done for this site in 2 days which leaves me 5 days to work elsewhere.

You will need to provide links of work you have done before so don’t apply here until you have some articles completed at Associated Content. Once you are ready you can fill out an application here: Demand Studios

Once you claim topics you have 7 days to complete them. If you change your mind at any time you can un-claim them and they will go back in to the pool of topics. You can also suggest topics. I didn’t do this until after I was promoted, but so far have had all of my suggestions accepted. So you may want to try that as well.

Payments are made through Paypal only. They are made every Friday so you do get a weekly paycheck. I have never been paid late and twice I was paid early on Thursday.

3. WRG (Writer’s Research Group): This site is much like Demand Studios in that you claim how many assignments you want per month. You get paid by check once per month instead of weekly like Demand Studios. They currently pay $10 per article which is $5 less than Demand Studios for the same type of article. They also have a no compete clause which means if WRG is asking you to write How To articles for eHow and so is Demand Studios than you can’t work for WRG.

Once you get chosen to be one of their writers you have to fill out all kinds of paperwork and even have certain pages notarized. I got accepted at the time that my daughter started having seizures again so I never got my papers notarized. I’m glad I didn’t because I got accepted at Demand Studios right after and I make more money there.

Still some people love WRG and it is a totally legitimate site to work for so I included it here. If you are interested in applying email Lesley at writers@writersresearchgroup.com .


IV. Blogging Jobs

1. Today.com: I got lucky and got in on this site when they agreed to pay $5 per post. Each post only had to be 100 words which took me literally 60 seconds to write. So I make $150 per month and only spend 3-5 minutes tops per day on this site. You get paid by check once per month. When you apply you give them a topic you are interested in blogging on. You will be using Wordpress so make sure you know a little bit about it before you apply. They change the pay rate all the time so you will have to check when you apply what the going rate is at the time. To apply click Here: Today.com

2. NinerNiner: This is a very easy place to write for. They pay once per month via Paypal. Sometimes you have to remind them, but they always pay by the next day after you remind them. I don’t do much here. I got $42 for last month. They start you off with $5 when you sign up. There are a number of different topics and each blog tells you how much they are paying per post before you make a post. You can post on each blog once per day. That’s a total of $29.60 possible per day if you know about every topic. Make sure each post is at least 100 words. Most posts only earn you $1 each. You can sign up for NinerNiner Here: NinerNiner

3. Families.com: Families.com is hiring bloggers. Their application is a bit lengthy. You must choose 3 topics you are qualified to blog about. Then you submit an outline for each topic and links to work you have already written on the topics. Then you must tell them about yourself and submit a resume. Pay is $4 per post for 3 posts per day. In other words $12 per day. There is a 3 month trial period in which you would get $3 per post per day or $9 per day. Since blog posts don’t take long to write this is a job you can easily do on the side in about 30-40 minutes per day. To apply to blog at families.com click Here: Families


V. Writing Gigs That Pay In Other Ways


1. eHow: This is a site that pays based on your article’s performance. So you don’t get paid a dime to write your articles unless they become popular. You can help you articles become popular by advertising them much the same way that people advertise their businesses. I’ll discuss how to advertise your articles a little later. What you need to know about eHow is that they only accept how-to articles. They have a particular how to format that you must follow, but it is very basic and easy to follow. Sign up for eHow by clicking Here: eHow

2. HubPages: This site I actually really really like. Creating Hubs is fun. You don’t earn for writing them per say, but you can earn from each hub in 3 ways:

A. Google Adsense: Earn money on any Google ads that are clicked from your hubs. Of course Hub Pages keeps some of it, but they give you most of it. There are a few hubbers earning $600 and up a month just on the Google ads.

B. Amazon.com revenue: You can sign up free to become and Amazon.com referrer. Then you place relevant Amazon ads on your hub and earn whenever anyone makes a purchase from your link.

C. eBay revenue: You can sign up free to become an eBay referrer. Then you can place relevant eBay ads on your hub page for additional income. Whenever anyone makes a purchase through your links you make money.

Here are a few examples of my Hub Pages:
Camp Rock: The Jonas Brother’s New Movie
Where is my Stimulus Check

Don’t be intimidated by this site. If you can write and click buttons on your mouse you can do this. I recommend it way more then eHow. As soon as you sign up (which is free) they will give you a link to their free ebook called “HubPages: Starting Out With HubPages Guide”. This guide will take you through each step and it even includes pictures. I printed my guide out so I could refer back to it at any time. Once I created my first Hub, however, I haven’t really needed it.

You can sign up for HubPages by clicking Here: HubPages Don’t foget to look me up and become my friend. My Username is There4u.

3. Helium: I am mentioning this site because it is quite popular and as you get in to these other sites you are going to hear about it. I recommend that you don’t bother with this site. It will take a lot of your time and you will get nothing back for it. As far as I am concerned Time = Money. I spent some time on it way back in the beginning and never earned a single penny. Many online writers have tried it and gotten the same results. I am not even going to bother giving you the link to it, but if you at any time want to check it out just type Helium in your search engine and it will come up.


VI. Sites That Post Writing Jobs

There are several great sites you are going to want to check out every couple of days when you are ready to look for freelance jobs. These can be writing gigs or blogging jobs. Basically any job that will pay you to use your writing skills. I find them extremely helpful.

1. Jobs.Problogger: This site is very easy to use. As soon as you get to the home page you will see jobs listed to your right. If you find one that interests you than click on it and you will get all the details about what is required for the job and how to apply. These are all blogging jobs. Make sure you find out if the pay is per post (which is the best in my opinion) or by advertising revenue generated. If it is by advertising revenue that means you are going to have to spend time promoting the blog. So if you are not interested in advertising only take the jobs that pay per post.

Visit Here: Jobs.Problogger.net

2. FreelanceWritingGigs: This site belongs to a fellow WAHM. Each day she makes a post of available jobs. She does all the hard work for you by going out and gathering the job information for freelance writers for that day. Then she posts them for the rest of us so we can learn more and apply to get the job. This is a one stop has it all type deal, where she posts writing jobs, blogging jobs, internships, and more. Most of which you can do from home. You will find the occasional job that is area specific. To read what jobs are available for that particular day just click on the date. Then click on the job you want to know more about and you will get all the details.

Visit Here: FreelanceWritingGigs

3. Elance: This is a very popular site. You can use it for free, but they have an upgrade that costs money. I have only used the free version, which most WAHMS do until they get a few paying jobs and then they bump up to the paid version. Elance is a place where employers can post jobs and then have people bid on the jobs. The employers choose the winning bid. So if you are looking for a job you go to the main page and click the “Find Work” tab in the upper left hand corner. Now click “Writing and Translation” in the menu. Then you have a list of types of writing jobs. If you find something you like you place a bid on it. If you win then you get the job. It’s exactly like an auction site so if you can use eBay than you can use Elance.

To find jobs on Elance click Here: Elance

There are other bidding sites, but you have to pay to join them. Then you have to win the bid in order to get the job. I won’t go in to any more detail about them because I don’t use them. I am just letting you know they are out there and that they are an option.


VII. Support: Writing Forums

You can get tremendous support from other writers by joining a few forums. Not only can they give you invaluable pointers and advice, they can also inform you of companies that are hiring. In fact that is how I got started. Most of what I learned I learned because of someone discussing it on a forum and then I just did a little more research on the topic.

I am going to discuss my two main writing forums that I check regularly. If you would like to find some more just type “writing forums” or “writers forums” in your search engine.

1. WAHM.com/forum: This site is the best! It has to be the number one work at home mom forum on the net without a doubt. They have a section dedicated to writers that I check daily. Use the link below to get to the site and then scroll down to WAHM Service Business (it’s the 3rd group). The service businesses are listed alphabetically so scroll down to the w’s and find the one on writing. There are some stickys (that means a post that is stuck at the top and can’t be removed) with great info like where to get work, etc. Make sure you read all of those. If you have any questions feel free to ask them.

Click Here to join WAHM: WHAM.com/forum

2. Work at Home Mafia: Okay this sounds like it should be straight from the Godfather movies, but it isn’t. They are just experts on working at home. They have an awesome newsletter you may want to sign up for as well.

Scroll down to Non-phone opportunities and find the category “Writing/ Blogging Jobs”. Click that and you will get a list of jobs available. What is helpful is that others usually comments about their experience with the company that is offering the job. That can either give you confidence to try and get the job, or a warning to stay away. I saw one guy post that he had articles he needed written and the 10 ladies went on commenting how he hadn’t paid them for the previous articles they wrote. Needless to say that saved me from applying for that job.

Sign up for WorkatHomeMafia Here: WorkatHomeMafia


VIII. Example Resume and Tips

Now we can get in to resume’s. I’ll give you my example, but don’t copy it!

Pretend that right here there is a picture
of a newspaper with a coffee mug on top

To: Person‘s Name, Hiring Manager

From: Alicia Bodine
My Address
My Phone Number
Aliciabodine@gmail.com

Personal Details
I am a single, stay at home Mom of two beautiful girls. I home school my oldest while my youngest goes to the local Special Services School. I devote time everyday to working online to support my girls. I come from a family of writers. Both my Father and Grandfather have been published and my Father currently owns a newspaper.

Skills
*Detail oriented
*Good at Time Management
*Multi-task
*Well organized
*Business minded
*Reliable
*Research well
*Writing Experience
*Secretarial skills

Work Experience
Associated Content: I am currently a content producer for Associated Content. I began writing for them in November of 2006. I recently won one of the Top 1000 Content Producer’s of the Year Award. I have over 370 articles published. To view my content producer page you can go here: http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/29052/alicia_bodine.html

SharedReviews: I began writing short reviews a few months ago for SharedReviews. All of my reviews were accepted and published.

Demand Studios: I currently work for Demand Studios and after only 3 short weeks received a promotion. All of my how to articles have been accepted.

Today.com: I currently run a blog on Today.com about working online. I find blogging to be just as fun as article writing if not more because you are more free to talk from personal experience.

First United Methodist Church: I have held the position of Secretary of the Evangelism Committee for 8 years now. From 1999 to the present I have been responsible for taking notes at the meetings, writing up the minutes, and mailing them to all committee members. I am also directly involved in all of our ongoing projects, and keeping all of the records current.

Education History
I graduated in 1995 as Valedictorian from Cape Christian Academy.

I attended Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ for 3.5 years from September of 1995 to December 1998. My major was in Business Management. I left when I was expecting my first child.


Okay, Now lets go over the resume. I found a newspaper and cup of coffee image on my computer and used it as a header for the resume. Nothing too over the top, but a little something to make the hiring manager smile and take notice of my resume.

You want to start off with personal details. They don’t have to be too personal, and you want to make sure it is geared toward writing. In mine I let the hiring manager know I didn’t work outside the home and could devote time to writing. I also let them know that writing was a talent that ran in my family.

Skills: Sell yourself. List all the skills that you are good at that you would need as a writer. You don’t want to list things like I can hold 4 plates without dropping them. That would be a resume for a waitress. You don’t want to list things like I am good with numbers. That would be a resume for an accountant. You want list things that are pluses for writers like being able to complete assignments on time, or being able to cover a wide range of topics. You get the idea.

Work Experience: You don’t need to list every job you have had in your whole life. I waitresses, bussed tables, and even cleaned campground bathrooms. None of that pertained to writing so I left it out. Make sure if you have writing experience online and you can add links to your articles that you do that. That verifies to the employer that what you are saying is true and eliminates the need for references unless specifically asked for them.

Education History: Some writing jobs do want you to have a degree in journalism. They will make exceptions if you make yourself out to be really smart like I tried to do in my section. Let’s face it, I was Valedictorian in 1995 a whole 13 years ago. I don’t think it describes my intelligence today, but it looks good to employers. You can also list any online courses you have taken.


IX. Advertising Your Articles

This section is mainly for sites that pay you a performance bonus, or make payments to you based on how many times the pages are viewed. The suggestions are ones that are mainly used for promoting an online business, but work exactly the same for your articles.

1. Place your article link in your forum signature. When you join the writing sites above you will be aloud to place a few links in your signature tag. Each site is a little bit different and if you have any trouble with it you can email me or ask someone on the site to explain it to you. Just go in to your profile and click edit signature and place the links to your favorite articles. Then every time you make a post people will see your signature and they will click on it and get you some page views.

2. Use traffic exchanges. These are a quick way to get visitors to any site including to your articles. I have a blog that I wrote that explains the whole process for you step by step. You can read it here: Traffic Exchange Info The basic idea is to view other people’s sites. Every time you do you earn a point and for every 2 or 3 points you earn, you get someone to view your site. The more you view, the more views you will receive.

3. Free and Paid advertising. I listed my top 10 favorite way to get traffic on this blog: Top 10 Traffic Ideas. Some of them cost to join once and most of them are free. Each on is explained in detail on the blog so I won’t repeat it here. Just take your time to look them over and see if any of them interest you. You can also get advice from the moms on the WAHM forum. Many of them get lots of traffic and can give even more pointers.


X. Blogging for Yourself

You can make money from your own blogs if want to get in to that. You will have to be heavily invested in marketing so it’s not just for people who like to write. Blogging for yourself only makes you money when your blog is popular.

1. Choose a free blogging hoster like blogger.com or Wordpress.com. Wordpress is a little harder to understand, but most people feel it brings the best Search Engine Results. If you are truly a beginner then you should stick with Blogger.com.

2. Add Google Adsense. This is free money and you can earn with it right away. Whenever anyone clicks on a Google Adsense ad you earn money. Each click earns a different based on what the advertiser was willing to pay. Let’s say Duncan Hines wanted to advertise their cake mix. They would contact Google Adsense to find them some baking blogs to advertise on. They were willing to give Google Adsense ten cents for every click they got to their website. Google Adsense then places the ad on Jane’s Baking Tips (a fake blog I just made up). Henry comes along to read about baking and notices the ad for Duncan Hines. Out of curiosity he clicks on it. That click earned Jane 2 cents and Google Adsense kept the other 8 cents. This is a fictitious example, but it should give you and idea of how Google Adsense works. Once your account reaches $100 you will receive a check in the mail.

3. Apply at sites that offer you money to collect leads. Shareasale, traffic payouts, or MaxBounty. I have made money with all three of these sites. You can even use them at the same time if you want. They are great for placing banners down the side of your blogs for decoration and they earn you money every time someone clicks on them and fills out their information. That is what pay per lead means. Even if the person doesn’t make the purchase, you still earn as long as they filled out their info. They are all free to apply for. Set up your blogs first before you apply to these sites.

Here is an example promotion from Shareasale:




I hope to add more to this guide as I go along so make sure you check back. Also feel free to email me anytime.

Check out my other sites:
100% Free to Work at Home
Get Paid to Read Ads
Student Loan Information

17 comments:

L. Shepherd said...

Great roundup! I didn't even know about Niner Niner. THhanks for the info.

k-rosenberg said...

Hey Alicia,

Thank you so much for all these great pointers! You really went in depth, and sometimes a little guidance is all a mom needs to go from SAHM to WAHM.

I'm an official Microsoft ambassador and right now we're really trying to scale up our connections with influential bloggers like yourself. I'd love to share with you some of the stuff we've been doing in the last couple months to help women entrepreneurs; we're really committed to providing all the necessary resources to help women start, grow and expand their business.

We just wrapped up a women's entrepreneurial tour across the US; the response and turn-out was great!

I'd really love your take on these offerings we have right now; I would have contacted you via email but I didn't know which was the best way to reach you.

Thank you so much, I hope I didn't overstep my bounds by directly contacting you. Definitely get back to me if I’ve piqued your interest-- I’d love to share more info with you.

Best,
Kimberly
Official Microsoft Ambassador
k-rosenberg@live.com

Sue said...

Thanks for the great post! I signed up for today.com, and I must admit that I'm a bit confused. The confirmation E mail I received mentioned payments, but I can't find anything on the site about payment. Have you been paid by them recently? Are they still paying?

Thanks.

pinakigoswami said...

Nice and very informative e-book. I will try my best to follow your advice to improve my writing skill.
Thanks and regards.

Pinaki Goswami

A.Bodine said...

Thanks for all of your comments. Yes I was paid by Today. They pay once per month.

esper_d said...

Niner Niner is now 50cents instead of $1. Unless my first two posts were worth less?

Julie said...

Wow...what a great article. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

Latte Lady said...

Wow! Thank you for all of this info! I am going to dive into all of it later this evening.

I am interested in writing but I'm also interested in editing articles. Do you have any suggestions for that area?

Janet

happy-sophie said...

wow, great job.
Thanks for all the information and advice. I've learnt a lot from your blog.

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Seth said...

Great pointers. Trying some already.

marven said...

Thanks for this blog , Its really very useful for all. logo design

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Cool thanks, I had no idea you can get paid to right thats awesome like like refer and earn sites you can earn lots.

chessie21 said...

awesome blog very detail and easy to understand.

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