Writing content on the Internet is a tough gig to break into. At least, it was for me. It was my very first attempt at making money online and I juggled it with a full-time “traditional” job. For me it provided extra cash but nowhere near a full-time income. This is the case for most people but others have managed to turn it into a successful career. Don’t expect much free time if you set out to make a full-time income writing website content. But if writing is your passion, then you should absolutely pursue it.
The most difficult part about writing content for the web isn’t the writing itself. Editing can be difficult, I’m sure you can tell I’m not the best editor, but writing is easy in comparison. The most difficult part is finding jobs. This is because there is a lot of competition. You will find that some people are willing to work for a lot less money than you. If you continuously provide top quality content and build relationships with clients, then you can start requesting more money per article. The best writers can make over $100 per article, but don’t expect to reach that immediately.
Content mills are an avenue that most content writers, myself included, start out with. You won’t make much money here, especially in the beginning, but with consistent hard work you can make enough money. Typically, an article for a content mill will pay one cent per word. 500 words will get you $5. Doesn’t sound too appealing? Well, there are ways of maximizing this income.
Content Mills came about because of Google. When they hit the scene, Google was working with an algorithm that produced rankings based entirely on keywords. A call for keyword stuffed content rang out across the web. It was easier to rank on Google, and lazy website designers wanted content done for them. A site could be stuffed with keywords and affiliate links for a quick profit. Genius entrepreneurs saw this opportunity and made content mills.
It’s a similar story today. Most clients at content mills are website builders looking to fill their site with content. The difference is, Google’s new algorithm requires quality content in order to rank. This means well edited and properly researched content is required. Those of you hoping to build a website need to remember this.
Some people like to claim that content mills are dead. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, because of the demand for quality content, great writers can request more money per word than not-so-great writers. You will just need to learn what is required of good content and how to market yourself properly.
Web Content: Articles, blog posts, and website pages are the most common examples.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Content is written in a way that allows it to rank on one of the first few pages of search engine results. Typically, a client will provide a keyword which you then must utilize in the title and at least the first paragraph.
Ghostwriter: When you write an article and acknowledge that it will be posted under somebody else’s name.
Copywriter: When you provide the “copy” for a website or sales page. This content is typically intended to encourage the reader to take action, aka “call to action“. It is used in marketing of a product.