Everyone is passionate about something, and most likely more than one thing. People absorb information daily relevant to their passions. They watch TV shows, movies, documentaries, etc. related to their passion. They read books, magazines, papers, essays, blogs, web sites, and more that talk about their passions. They have hobbies that they learn by doing.
Therefore, they qualify to make money online by writing about their passions. But how?
Contact web site owners and offer them content
Web site owners need content regularly. They know this, you may not. That content has value to the web site owners. The value, in terms of revenue, could end up being negative, zero, $100, or thousdands of dollars, most of which is hard to fully measure, but having value it does.
Posting content regularly on the same or similar topic is key. Content is what usually attracts people to a web site, and content is what keeps them coming back. Keeping it along the same topic ensures relevancy, and semi-assures that it is of interest to the readers of the site.
The hard part? Coming up with lots of unique content on a regular basis. Well, hard for just one person. A team is better. You can be part of the team even if you, or the web site owner, doesn’t know it yet.
Write only about your passions to produce more in shorter time
Dislike the topic of air travel, airports, and airlines? Then don’t commit to $500 worth of content related to that topic. Trust me, it’s painful.
Enjoy talking about technology or fishing? Then that’s your niche. You decide what to write on, and what sites you want to post it to. Also, decide how often.
The more “regular” you are willing to write, the more value you are likely to have to a web site owner.
If you commit to writing every day, write every day. If you commit to every Friday, do so. Committing to 1000 words once per month? Deliver on your promise. Be realistic to what you can offer, and do so.
Steps to getting writing gigs
1. Write 400+ words of content that you are passionate about.
2. Present the content to the owner of a web site that you frequent that is on that topic (click the contact link.. Offer the content for free and say that you can commit to x articles per day (or per week or per month. if they want more.
3. Decide on your rate and offer discounts for bulk purchases. A good rule of thumb? Well, if you are a Native English writer from the U.S., Canada, U.K., or Australia, you are at an advantage. That’s just the way it is. So, you may want to offer rates of: $4 or $5 per 100 words for one article at a time. $3. 75 to $4. 75 per 100 for 2-10. Offer a rate of $3 to $4 if the web site owner is willing to spend $500 in advance.
Decide on your bare minimum per 100 words and offer that in exchange for a bulk order of $1000. Be flexible if you feel this will be a long term relationship. Always make the risk yours at the beginning. Then work it so there is no real risk, or very little, on either side if possible.
High perceived or real value
To stay competitive and of value, offer, at no extra charge:
1. Content publishing (or put to draft.
2. Basic HTML
3. Unique photo embedding
4. Related YouTube video embedding
5. Other related media embedding (Tweets, etc..
6. Be willing to offer ALL small extras for free
7. Often ask how you can improve
Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of but always think “high value” in everything that you deliver. And don’t forget that besides pleasing the web site owner and making it as easy as possible for them, think of the content consumer. Be sure to deliver top quality value for them. Offer as many tips and tricks as possible. Give away the farm in your content, you’re already getting paid after all. You most likely don’t get a “call to action” so there is no marketing. No fluff, all meat.
Also, just because you are only getting paid for 500 words in an article, say, don’t be scared to deliver 700 or 800 on your dime. If you have troubles whipping off that many words, or meeting the minimum quota, you’re less passionate/knowledgeable about the topic than you think. If going beyond double your minimum words, then consider submitting the content as a double article instead.
Check grammar and spelling, and clean up the content as if you were the owner and you were publishing it on your own site. Re-read and fix where appropriate.
And of course, follow content rules of your virtual “boss.”
Don’t forget YOU in all of this
While you are trading time for money, also consider other ways that you can benefit from this (besides ongoing knowledge and feeding your passion.. If the web site owner is willing to give you a profile, and especially if they are willing to give you a link to your Google+, take advantage of that and build your Author Rank.
If the web site owner tries to impose restrictions on where else you can publish content on the web, move on. There are lots of people looking for content, most just don’t know it yet.
If they are willing to give you AdSense revenue for 1 out of every 10 articles, rather than getting paid for that one article, it may be worth considering. This will allow you to dip your toes into the “residual” or “passive” income pools and see what that world is about, which may invoke your inner entrepreneur.
Frequently asked questions
Q. How many free articles should I put out there?
A. The first one might work, or the 5th or the 10th. So, it’s up to you, and how hungry you are. Writing about your passions is easy, the hardest part is stopping at 400 words.
Q. How do I know what content to offer?
A. See what else is being published to the site. Do better than that in your free sample. Stay consistent with your paid content.
Q. What are the odds of getting accepted as a writer?
A. That varies obviously. I can always sort of tell if a web site would be open to paid content from an unknown writer. Call it intuition. In my experience with people I have worked with, it is about 50/50 but that may not be 100% accurate, that’s just based on memory. I keep track of most things mentally rather than digitally, but I do take DHA oil regularly.
Q. Should I waste my time with a gig that only demands 500 words a month?
A. It’s not a watse of time, as it has its advantages and can always build. There is always a bit of extra effort with managing new clients regardless how often you write for them though. If you find you aren’t getting more work from them after awhile, consider putting together a good package, or just pausing until they want more.
Q. What ‘extras’ can I offer?
A. To really overdeliver, give the web site owner exclusive ownership to unique photos or videos that can accompany the content. Perhaps make a habit of writing shorter summary versions that the owner can use elsewhere. Interlink to existing content on their site if relevant. Mostly, just ask “what else can I do for you?” then decide if you can do it easily enough at no charge and work it in. It increases your value, the demand for you, your knowledge and skill level. Win-win.
Further, if you want to make screencasts to include in any how-to articles, consider a $15 year subscription at Screencast-o-matic.com. It has advanced editing capabilities and very reasonable limits for such a cheap price.
If making PDFs or presentations for clients, try OpenOffice.org software. You can export docs to PDF and keep any hyperlinks within the content, for free. Also, you can create free presentations which can be distributed to Slideshare, etc.
If it’s not fun and easy, don’t do it. If it’s fun and easy and worth your time, do more.