When I first started looking for work online in the late 1990’s there were many jobs that involved researching and writing content. Websites needed to fill their sites and databases with information and paid people to help them do that. Those jobs, in that fashion, don’t exist much anymore, but a new type of pay-for-content work has evolved.
You may have heard that “Content is King” on the Internet. In most cases people go online to get information. The sites that have the best information (content) tend to also have the most traffic and therefore make the most money. New news aggregators and content portals are vying for a piece of the pie and are paying people to help them develop quality content.
The basics are the ability to find information and organize it in a concise easy to read fashion. You don’t need access to the expensive data bases or a degree in journalism, but you do need to know how to find reputable information on the Internet and string words together coherently.
Most sites want 300-500 word articles that can cover topics of your choice or that the site has requested. The articles can be in a variety of formats including ‘how-to’, reviews, lists, ‘best of’, fact sheets, etc.
How much can you make?
This is the tough question. Like in most work-at-home options, some people make good money and others make nearly nothing. It really depends on the site, your topics, and quality of submissions. Some sites will pay you a small flat fee anywhere from $5 to $30 per article. Others pay you in ad revenue, which over time, if there is lots of traffic, can build. Some do a combination of both.
My opinion on this type of work:
If you want to be a full-time freelance writer, these options aren’t for you mostly because most magazines don’t view these sites as “clips” to add to your portfolio. And the pay isn’t as good as writing for magazines.
But if you want to make a few hundred to a thousand dollars a month AND have the time to write and submit frequently, and help the site build traffic to your submissions, then this is a good option. It’s extremely flexible…you write what you want, when you want. But you aren’t going to see that money overnight. Most people who work on it consistently indicate it takes a couple of months to see a steady stream of income.
I would stick with sites that pay a flat fee and not ad revenue. If you want to earn add revenue, you’re probably better off to start a blog.
Where’s the work?
There are many places such as Demand Studio and Associated Content that pay for content. But not all are worth the time and effort. For example, Examiner is posting lots of work on job boards, but the pay is so low (1 cent per page impression) and not guaranteed. Plus it says it can take and reuse, rewrite, and redistribute your work without additional compensation. That’s not fair. You’re better off to go with a site that doesn’t pay well but at least you own your work and can submit it to more than one place. Or that will pay you more to have exclusive rights to your work.
What should you do next?
If this sounds interesting, take the time to do more research. Like most work-at-home options, a single article can spark an idea, but you need the nitty gritty details to know what do to next. You can start by checking out some of the content sites (all are free to join) and learn what sort of content they want, how they pay, and what’s involved.
I was able to get a hold of Matthew Sherborne’s Cash for Content System. I read a lot of ebooks and most aren’t that helpful, but Matthew’s is good. It takes you through the steps of finding good profitable topics, how to put together quality content even if you don’t like or aren’t sure how to write, and the best ways to maximize profits at many of the best web content sites. He uses screen captures so you can follow along and not have to guess what he’s talking about. Plus he’s added toolbox that takes you step-by-step through the process of brainstorming ideas, writing content, and keeping track of the best paying sites. I’ve also thrown in a bonus that lists some additional sites that aren’t in Matthew’s book.
Check out Matthew’s great resource at Cash for Content System.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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