Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Online Paid Surveys - Can I make money here?

The whole "get paid to take surveys" thing has been around for a while, but it's one of those easy money things that has never really been discredited. To better facilitate you all as aspiring writers, and the wider community of people who make money online, I thought I'd have a look at one or two of these offers to see if there are any worth their salt.

What struck me as strange was that a lot of the online surveys require you to pay them money before they start sending you surveys. So I went looking for a free one. This was not an easy task, but I eventually came across GlobalTestMarket. I joined up, and they get you to answer a bunch of questions about yourself before they start sending you surveys to complete. For completing surveys you get "market points", which apparently convert to cash at 5 market points per US cent. I haven't received any surveys yet, but I'm not holding my breath to make millions out of this one.

I eventually gave up on that and took the plunge, signing up for the best non-free one I could find. I At first I thought it was a bit of a rip, but then I remembered that just that morning a friend had paid over twice this amount to sign up to an extras casting agency, who did not guarantee any work. The one I joined, Paid Surveys Online, promises you at least 3 surveys a day at $10 per survey. You can do more, but this is what they say you will definitely get.

So how "easy" is the money? Well, it's not free, but it's as close as it gets. Income potential isn't huge if you live in the United States, the UK or Canada, but it's a good way to make extra money for an hour's work every day. I did some numbers, and if you want to make money taking surveys then you need to move to sunny South Africa, or India or any country that has a weak currency vs. the US dollar.

If you spend a few hours taking surveys for the Paid Survey Program and you live in one of these countries, you can actually make a viable income by doing only surveys! I spend an hour a day taking surveys, no more, and I make more in that hour than I make in two hours of writing!

So my verdict is: if you want to answer the odd survey and get a little check after a few months, join up with Global Test Market. But if you want to really make money taking surveys and earn a viable income from it, then join Paid Surveys Online.

At $10 a survey you are guaranteed to make back the signup cost in the first day, even if you only do the minimum number of surveys. Here's a tip: if you try to leave the front page, it offers you a special $10 off coupon!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Freelance Writing Site Review

I was recommended to a freelance writing site today that has totally blown my mind. Writer Lance is very much along the same lines as the much-more-famous GetAFreelancer but it is far broader in its scope of media.

Where GAF focuses on web content, ebooks, web developing and technical work, this is primarily a place for writers. The writing jobs on this site are mostly web content, but there is a lot of print media work available as well. What makes this site cool is that a lot of the writing work looks quite fun. There are a lot of humour pieces, jokes, poetry projects, writing competitions and such and such.

I know I focus mainly on SEO writing jobs, but this site has something for just about every kind of writer. I would say that if writing fast, easy web content for easy money is your thing, go to GetAFreelancer. If you want to write slightly more labour-intensive pieces that are a bit more gratifying, I would definitely suggest looking for writing jobs at WriterLance.

Proofreading Work Available

I have a project that I have put up on GetAFreelancer that I would like to invite my readers to bid on.

It is a philosophy eBook, around 32,000, that needs editing for style. It is a project that should not take a long time, and I would like someone who knows something about philosophy and not just an editing wizard. The project can be viewed here and payment can be arranged through GetAFreelancer or Moneybookers for South African bidders (this will let you get your money faster).

The full details of the project are available on GetAFreelancer, and you can view these after you have created an account (which is free). Anyone who works on this project will get a mention in the book, which is not something you usually get when you do freelance writing work.

I encourage you all to have a look and see if it's up your alley!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Writing World - Review

To better serve my visitors who are looking for writing work I have decided to start regular reviews of freelance writing sites. The first on this list is www.writingworld.org.

I stumbled across this site by accident, and I notice that it's a little different from a lot of freelance writing sites out there. There is no signup, and you don't make any account. There is just a big job board where people post advertisements for writing jobs.

This works a lot like a classified ads paper. You have to send in your resume (or at least a professional email) to the company listing the writing jobs, and then they will respond privately. If you want to find a regular client who will give you constant writing jobs, this is the place to go.

It differs from GetAFreeLancer in that this puts you directly in contact with the original clients. The writing jobs up for grabs are pretty much permanent or semi-permanent positions, or they are large single projects like scripts or screenplays.

I always have a "why not" approach to applying for writing jobs, so I will keep an eye on this one. If you see something good on this board, by all means apply for it - the worst they can do is not hire you. There are several good jobs up at the moment, and I think this is a good site to find a single long term client to work for.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Why I Use Google for Damn Near Everything

Google has really come a long way since its inception. Most people still think of Google as a search engine, but to me the G-Men have a lot more to offer. For starters you might have noticed their little acquisition of a website called YouTube, which made instant multi-billionaires out of two punks just like yourself.

This has little effect on users of YouTube and Google, but the guys at Google have a lot more to offer. For starters, I use Gmail. This is the starting point most people use to create their Google accounts, and it gives you access to the best online email system by far, and all of the other cool G-stuff.

Next up, I use the iGoogle homepage as my script aggregator. If you subscribe to any feeds or posts using bloglines, technorati, digg or anything like that you can do it all easier and better on iGoogle. On my front page is my email, a currency converter, a to-do list a Wikipedia search bar, the weather and a George Bush quote generator, because he makes me laugh.

This is not the end, because I have 2 other tabs of feeds - one for blogs I like and have subscribed to, and another for tools like my instant .doc to .pdf converter (which is something I've been hunting after for a long time) and a few other gadgets that I use less often. It makes an excellent home page, and I can see what's going on in my little universe all of the time.

This is all pretty run of the mill stuff, but just go and check out the Google Products to see what they have available at the moment. It's all free and there is a lot of useful stuff. I would recommend the Google Pack (You can see a link to this on the right) if you want to protect your computer and keep everything running smoothly for free.

The most exciting bit of it all, though, is Google Labs. This is where they work on all of the cool stuff. Google Earth (the full 3D interactive map of the earth up to resolutions of a few centimeters) was one of the first graduates of the labs, but a lot of cool things are coming up. There is even a rumor of a complete Google Operating System coming being dreamed up, but this is unconfirmed.

I just have to say, you gotta love a company that gives its employees free foot massages and allows them to work on their own personal projects once a week, with full pay. You might love their search engine or hate it, but the cool stuff they are turning out is really worth a look.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Writing Jobs at WriteNonsense

I have received several requests recently about writing jobs that I might have to offer. If anyone has noticed, I have two or three features on my blog that allow you to find writing jobs easily -- without shelling out any money first.

I have writing jobs available for my South African readers at the moment. Hopefully I will be able to offer projects to international writers soon, but I cannot give any time frame for this. My reason for this is that the rates I could offer overseas writers are not really worth the trouble. (Unless you live in India, or another country whose currency is weak against the dollar) You can email me to find out what writing jobs I have available at the moment.

For my international readers who really want to get started writing for money, I would suggest looking at the writing jobs on GetAFreelancer. These are the most recent internet copywriting jobs that have been posted. For information on how to join GetAFreelancer, bid on projects and win them, see my post here about how to do it.

If you want to get work through GetAFreelancer, you will need either a Moneybookers or a PayPal account so you can get money out of GAF. There are a lot of other internet copywriting job posts, but this is the one that comes most highly recommended. I use it and I can tell you it is a really easy way to get jobs. You usually end up getting long term clients who supply you with a comfortable flow of work, and that's your ideal situation as a freelance writer.

So, if anyone is looking for online writing work, drop me a line. If I can't help you out I can point you in the right direction. The "Helium needs you to write" ad on the right isn't kidding - they want writers and they pay you in perpetuity! So check it out, write some articles for them and watch your writing earn money!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Free Link Writing Competition Coming Soon!

Very soon I will be hosting a free link writing competition on WriteNonsense! This will be open to anyone, and the prize is a free permalink back to your blog.

Actually, there will be three prizes, and they will be as follows:

1st Prize - Your banner on my blog for a week, which will then become a permalink in my "What I Use" bar.
2nd Prize - A free permalink in my "What I Use" bar
3rd Prize - A reciprocal link (I will link to you when I have verified that you have included a link to me)

The winner will also have their submission posted on my blog, and the 2nd and 3rd prize winners will have links to their stories in the same post. I will actively promote the winner's article.

The competition is open to anyone, but obviously if you have a blog it will be of more interest to you. Submissions may be anything at all, and I will post more guidelines and rules when I launch the competition. All prize links will be permanent.

This is the first of many writing competitions that I hope to hold. Keep checking back for updates, because once my traffic reaches a certain daily average I will begin the competition (I want to make it worthwhile for you).

Sunday, July 22, 2007

SEO - An Ethical Debate

SEO practices have come under a lot of scrutiny by those who strive to keep the internet a user-friendly and safe resource. There are methods of making your website more search-engine friendly, and there is almost no control over how you employ these. Some of them are considered ethical, and others are not. What are these distinctions, and why should webmasters not exploit every loophole they can to get more traffic?

Traffic means money, and many webmasters will do anything to secure more traffic. The Google Information for Webmasters lays down some criteria for the ethical optimization of pages, which I encourage everyone to read, even if you don't own a website. If you write SEO articles for a living, you might like to know exactly what your work is doing to the internet.

Recently I did some articles for certain multi-level marketing sites. These guys essentially sell software that sets up and maintains an affiliate network. When you give them money, they give you the software and tell you how to sucker in other saps and show them how to sucker in yet more saps. They used to call this a "pyramid scheme", but somehow this one has managed to slip through the cracks.

In my opinion these sites should not be drawing any traffic. One look at their keyword META tags tells you that these guys will do anything to get traffic. Just about any search for anything to do with money, business, marketing etc brings up one of this network's sites, all of which are almost identical.

But now, the honest people on the net face a problem. Either they can jump in and use 'bastard' SEO techniques to compete, or they can stick with being honest, keeping their keywords to a minimum and providing good, relevant content. So why should they do this?

Google's corporate motto is "Don't be evil", and evil is exactly what they strive to weed out. They continually update their algorithms to ensure that sites using underhand SEO techniques do not get traffic. Their stated goal is to create a search environment that rewards webmasters who devote their time to giving their users a valuable experience, rather than looking for loopholes. Eventually, this will happen.

As SEO writers, we generally do not have control over who our client websites are. However, I have refused projects for unethical websites in the past and I urge you to do the same. There is nothing wrong with trying to sell a product, and trying to get a competitive edge. On the other hand, if you have the best products, the best prices and the best value and you get your name out there, your business will succeed.

This is especially true on the internet. As I wrote in my eZine Article one person telling his friends about your site will bring in some traffic, but all of these people want to see your site. This is preferable to a thousand visitors who found your site when they were looking for something else that is more relevant. These users will simply see that your site does not have what they are looking for, and will leave.

This is basically one approach to SEO, and one that I hope will gain greater ground. You can check out my eZine article on the subject here. It's easy to read and it gets into some more interesting stuff, like John Nash's Game Theory (the guy from A Beautiful Mind). Go check it out!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Apology and Forthcoming Attractions

Hi and welcome to my Friday commentary.

First off an apology to my email subscribers who have been receiving duplicates of my posts all day. I have been republishing some posts and trying work out some kinks with the Digg application. Note that you can now Digg my blog on the last post - please do this if it rocks you.

I have been writing like a mad thing this week, and I haven't been able to post as much as I like. However, I would like to alert you to a few things that will be going on in the near future:

1. Weekend Special

This weekend I will be posting a special discussion on the ethics of search engine optimization (SEO) as I see it. I have recently been asked to do some work for sites that I believe should not be getting more traffic. I am speaking specifically of multi-level marketing scams, commonly known as pyramid schemes or Ponzi schemes. With these in mind I will be discussing ethical issues at stake when writing SEO articles.

2. My eBook

Although this is unrelated to my normal work, I will be publishing my 100 page introductory philosophy eBook shortly on LuLu. This book is an easy to understand guide to the major issues in metaphysics. It is written to explain these issues to people who have never read philosophy before, as well as for first year philosophy students who want a firm basic understanding of the topics. It will be available for download for around $4.95, and I encourage you all to have a look at it.

3. My NEW eBook

I am starting a new project: an eBook entitled "Investing for the Non Salaried Person". It will be a general guide to starting small investments when you do not earn a regular salary. This is of course aimed at people like yourself who write for a living, and people in seasonal industries like tourism. If anyone has any ideas, suggestions or comments, please email them to me. If I use your contribution I will list you in the front of the book, as well as include the URL of your website in the chapter it deals with (if your site is relevant to the topic of course).

So that's all. Thank you all for visiting this week. Traffic has reached an average of 12 visitors a day, which is a lot more than most blogs can claim after their first two weeks!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Write reviews like a Pro!

Review writing can be some of the most lucrative internet copywriting jobs you can find on GetAFreelancer, or anywhere else. Here are 5 tips on how to write reviews like a pro!

1. Know the required objectivity level

The client should specify this, but if not be sure to clarify how objective your review should be. If you are supposed to be plugging a site you obviously have to be nice about it and include the name of the site many times. If you can be totally objective, then it's time to have some fun...

2. Humour - the most powerful review writing tool

When you write reviews, try to make people laugh. Use funny comparisons like "The new iPhone's standard ringtones lack the charm of the elevator classics we all know and love..." If you don't know what a funny comparison sounds like, watch Top Gear.

3. Skip to the boring stuff

Don't waste time checking out all the cool features of whatever you are writing a review about. Scan through the FAQ and the terms and conditions. The FAQ will tell you about any problems users of that product, website etc experienced, and the T&C will tell you any hidden costs or snags that your readers should know about.

4. Bullet Points

According to my sources, bullet points are "back in". Use headings, numbered lists and bullet points to get important facts across, or to increase the impact of your jokes.

5. Be brief and give an opinion!

People read reviews to see what other people think about something they might buy or look at. State your case clearly in your review, and give a concise summary including your general opinion in the last paragraph.

So, if you use those five tips, your reviews should start earning you some good money. I currently make around $12 per 1000 review, but sometimes I get more. In terms of $/hour they are much more lucrative than SEO articles, but they require some actual constructive writing and thought.

If you think you are up to review writing, check out what review projects you can bid on at GetAFreelancer, or email me to see if I have any review work that you can get started on.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Get paid for your writing

It sounds simple enough, but getting paid for your writing is not as easy as it sounds. Sending money by wire transfer internationally presents major headaches and significant costs, so most people make use of an online banking facility or "internet wallet". There are two free ones that stand out, and these are PayPal and Moneybookers.
Okay, so you've written your first SEO articles through GetAFreelancer, and your client wants to pay you. Chances are they will pay you straight into your GAF account, but they might offer to pay you via PayPal or Moneybookers. Either way, to withdraw money from your GAF account you must have one of these payment facilities.

I use Moneybookers for one main reason: they serve South Africa. Paypal is just as fast, and probably more widely supported, but they give you major hassles if you do not have a US bank account. You can check if your country is supported for withdrawals here. Moneybookers supports withdrawals wherever you are, and it is much easier to ad bank accounts, credit cards and debit cards than it is on PayPal. So to sum up the pros/cons of each:

Moneybookers - Withdraw wherever you are; easier to use/Used by fewer of your clients; slightly slower than PayPal.

PayPal - Used by almost everyone; instant/no withdrawals to many countries; more online merchant-oriented.

Both of these will take a few days, and charge a little bit (Moneybookers charges a flat rate of just over $2 per withdrawal) to send money to your local bank account, and both are more suited to spending money online than receiving it. Although, I find PayPal to be irritatingly consumer-driven while Moneybookers at least maintains the image of a professional financial service.

Things to remember:

  1. Your first GAF transfer will take at least 15 days, and will go through on the Mon/Tues after this waiting period.
  2. Withdrawals from Moneybookers/Paypal will take a few days, and cost some money. It's a financial service - learn to pay for these.
  3. These facilities are entirely secure, and both of them are tighter than Fort Knox
  4. You will need your bank's SWIFT code to add your account. Find your SWIFT code here.
  5. GetAFreelancer will charge you $0.75 per withdrawal, and $5 per bid won - it's their cut and good for them for making money I say. Make sure you leave enough in your account to cover these fees or they will delay your payment until you have a positive balance!
Remember, be patient. It takes time to get started as a writer, and the money can be the most frustrating part in the beginning. My advice: don't start freelance writing with an empty bank account. It can take up to a month after completing your first project before you actually see the cash in your hand. Good luck and enjoy getting paid!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Review - Slyvisions

What's this? A review? That's right, I found a site out there that has some useful information about SEO writing, and just about everything else, so I thought I'd tell you about it.

Slyvisions is more than just a blog about SEO copywriting. It's basically an all-in-one information center that tells you how to do just about anything online. It's full of useful online tips to help you get started with a career in writing, run a successful blog or launch your own website.

Slyvisions also has a lot of useful tools that make running a blog or a website, or writing articles, a lot easier. It is updated daily with a new post that usually contains something beginners do not know, but definitely should. The focus is slightly more on webmasters and blogging, but if you poke around you can find a lot of useful stuff on how to make money writing.

What's more is that if you have a blog or a website, and you hurry up and go there, you can get a free backlink to your site if you review Slyvisions.

This is one really helpful site - check it out!

5 SEO writing tips

I've been doing this for a while, and I've come up with a few things that makes SEO writing go a little smoother.

1. Do your research

What ever you're writing about, the best thing to do is go to the client's site and see what they are about. Read the "About Us" section, as well as anything on the products and services they offer. If no site is available, look up the relevant topics. Even if you think you know a lot about them, seeing what other people have to say can give you ideas.

2. 500 words, 5 ideas

There is no hard and fast rule in SEO writing, but I find the easiest way to start is to count off 5 distinct points about the topic, and write five 100 word paragraphs. Think how many times you need to use the keyword, and figure out a few ways to use it. Try to use none of them more than twice.

3. When in doubt, repeat yourself.

There is only so much you can say about "New Mexico Plumbing Service". The thing to remember on the web is that content is king. In SEO writing, we are usually dealing with quantity, rather than quality. While the text must all read well and be informative, nobody is going to mind if you make the same point twice from two different angles.

4. Talk about the products

SEO writing is all about selling, so tell people what they are buying! Mention an example, pretend you are a catalog, and be specific. Details can fill up word count, and still be informative.

5. Keywords at beginning and end

As far as possible, try to begin and end your article with the keyword. This is generally the preferred style, and it will show your client that you know what you are doing. Keep the keyword as close to the beginning of sentences, paragraphs and headings as you can to improve the article's keyword proximity score.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Transparency Update

Hi guys.

Since this is a project blog, I thought I would give a quick (non keyword-optimized) update on how the first week has gone.


According to FeedBurner, my feed now has 4 subscribers! So thanks Mom, and the other 3 people who have subscribed!


In case you didn't notice, I have 9 Google ads on my page. Blogger is the worst place to make money blogging, because you can't put keyword META tags on your page, which are the most important things search engines look for. Nevertheless my advertising campaign as brought in a princely sum of $2.69 in advertising and referral revenue (the Firefox link). - Thanks Dave, Scott, Greg and my tens of loyal readers for your support!

New additions

I have done a lot of work on WriteNonsense, most of it behind the scenes. My feed is not brought to you by feedburner, and you will see lots of cool Feedburner gadgets coming soon. You can subscribe to my blog via email now, and you can search my site using Technorati. My recent post drew in over 120 visitors thanks to my association with Technorati. Soon you will be able to view my posts through half a dozen such forums.

Plans for the future

As my knowledge of blogging grows, it becomes apparent how much of a newbie I am. To address this, my web developer friend is going to help to re-design and fully optimize this blog. This might include a move, but I hope to avoid this.

Thank you to everyone who has read this page so far!

Much love

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How To Write SEO Articles

A lot of people ask me what exactly goes into SEO articles. There are a few things you need know about how to write SEO articles:

What are SEO articles?

An SEO article is usually around 500 words, and contains a certain keyword, repeated a certain number of times. These keywords are what site owners think users will type into search engines like Google. If you are looking for a place to rent in Southern California for example, the keyword you might type in would be "rental home Southern California". This can be difficult to use in a proper sentence.

How do you keyword optimize effectively?

A general rule with SEO articles is that search engines don't like keywords that are broken by other words, but don't notice if they are broken by punctuation. So you could use the keyword above like this: "Looking for a rental home? Southern California has many..." and presto - it reads perfectly!

What is keyword density?

Keyword density is a measure of how often a keyword appears in SEO articles. If the article is 500 words long and the keyword appears 10 times, the keyword density is 2%. Depending on many different factors, I know that Google likes keyword densities around 2%, but this could go as high as 8%. Too many keywords and your article looks "funny" to Google, while too little means it could be overlooked.

What is keyword proximity?

Basically, this is how close together your keywords are - and exactly why "rental home Southern California" should not be broken by words. If it is, then a site that doesn't break this keyword up in its SEO articles will get a higher search engine ranking.

What is keyword prominence?

This is not usually a concern for people who write SEO articles. It is a measure of where in the HTML code your keywords appear, and how important these places are. The best places are in the HEAD and TITLE tags of your page - without keywords in these places most search engines won't even look at your SEO articles.

So how do you actually write SEO articles?

If you find yourself with SEO articles to write, the best thing to do is go to the client's website and look at what they actually do. Going by just the keyword can be disastrous! If you are given "Health Insurance Indiana" as a keyword, and you write about how great our health insurance is, it could be embarrassing if all the client's website does is compare quotes from health insurance companies!

I find that if you come across a point that isn't in the client's website, it's usually easier to make up something new than to research it elsewhere. If you have a 500 word article, try to come up with 5 different points about the company, relevant to the keyword. It also helps to use the keyword a few different ways, as this confuses Google's spiders into thinking that your SEO articles have a lot of information about the topic searched for. (But this is really more of my pet theory and the theory of some of my clients)

Anyway, I found a good resource for all of this kind of information. Mike Wong has a cool site about SEO marketing and such and such. He tries to sell you a lot of things, but he has piles of info for free. Check out Mike's website here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Getting started with GetAFreelancer

GetAFreelancer.com is just about the best online resource to find online writing projects. This site works on a post-and-bid system whereby people who need writers post projects, and writers bid on them. It sounds easy, but it was a long time before I actually won any projects. That was because I didn't know how to find the right projects, and how to write GAF bids to make sure that the buyer picked me.

Here are step by step instructions on creating your GetAFreelancer account and winning GAF projects.

1. Create your account by clicking here or on the GAF banner.

Take your time to fill in all the fields on your profile, because buyers will look at this when deciding on writers. Put in as many relevant keywords as you can because searches will also pick these up.

2. Check out your bid limit

You only have a certain number of bids per month, so make sure you don't waste them on projects you don't understand or will not be able to complete.

3. Check your inbox:

You should start receiving relevant projects straight away. Don’t bid on everything. For example, say you see this project in your inbox:

39 articles about Real Estate (Budget: $100-300, Posted by Andrea23 at 07/05/2007 at 10:35 EDT, Jobs: Copywriting)”

If you believe you have the skills and the time to complete this project within the time frame (would be a week or 7 days) then click "Bid on this project"

4. Make your bid count!

Always bid in the lowest range, but put your actual time frame in. The actual payment for the project will usually be negotiated privately). When you write your bid, don’t put your entire life story in the block. You need to say 2 things in as few words as possible:

· Why you would be good at the project

· “Please see the PMB”!

5. Write them a message

Go to the project again, and click on the “Post PM” button. Tell them in a few words why you would do the project well, how soon you could finish it and how much you would like per article. You should be guided by my prices as to what you should bid. The best way to win a bid is to post a relevant sample. Don’t have one? Go to a related site, look at their and write a 500 word keyword optimized “mock article” advertising something on their site. Post it and the buyer will probably get back to you within a few hours!

Just a few things you should know:

You can't post contact details without being accepted as the project bidder, but the PMB works fine for any contact you need in the beginning

You need an online payment facility to get paid from GAF. If you have a US bank account, you can use PayPal, otherwise use Moneybookers. (It's what I use and it's brilliant)

Being accepted as the project provider means that you can contact the buyer, but it costs you $5 every time you are accepted. Why? This is GAF's only real cut they take, and it allows you to rate the buyer (and they to rate you). This ensures security and guaranteed payment, because nobody is going to stiff you if they know you can let everyone else on GAF know about it. Becoming a Gold member means that you don't pay this fee.

Monday, July 9, 2007

How I Got Started

A book I once read on writing commercially had a quote that said, "If you want to know if you could be a writer, try being anything else first." Writing isn't always fun, and it isn't always lucrative. You won't always be able to pour your heart into your unfinished novel, because you need to do writing that actually pays first. But if you find yourself hating every job you have and you are frustrated with how difficult it is to find a job with a Humanities degree, then writing might be the best way to make money and express yourself at the same time.

Armed with a degree in English and Philosophy still warm from the laser printer, I found myself in the same waitering job I had been in for nearly two years. I hate being a waiter. I hate serving customers. I hate spilling drinks, ringing up food, fighting with chefs, yelling at runners, dodging managers, holding thumbs for tips and cleaning up tourists' leftovers. I resigned in a mild huff and, after a brief period working in a book shop, I began to write part time for my local and most regular supplier of work: WerdWerks South Africa. I will post a link to their website as soon as it is up and running.

I had done a few private writing projects before this, but nothing that had earned me an income. I suddenly became more interested in my GetAFreeLancer account, which I had pretty much been ignoring for a year. I started bidding on internet copywriting projects and started actually winning them from time to time. After a massive battle with the entire global online banking community I managed to get cash to start flowing, and it hasn't stopped since. I will of course explain how to dodge the pitfalls of online banking in another post.

Werdwerks are always looking for new South African writers, and you can email me to find out how to get in contact with them and start writing as soon as you are ready. Otherwise I would definitely recommend GetAFreeLancer as the best place to get work online, period. I have looked at dozens of freelance writing sites and of the free ones none of them even come close. If anyone knows of a good website that is FREE, feel free to post it here with your comment. Please note I will delete all posts that include links to sites that charge for a basic membership. This blog's sole purpose is to provide free information to people who want to make money working from home without joining expensive sites.

So at the moment I write around fifteen articles a day on just about any topic you can think of. The work you can get doing internet copywriting varies tremendously, but most of it is designed to increase a website's rank on Google or any other search engine (I will go over writing techniques for SEO and blog posts in a later post). I distinguish between "full content" articles and "cheap" articles. Full content articles require research, quite a bit of work and can take around 30-60 minutes each. "Cheap" content articles are re-writes, articles of less than 500 words (which is standard) and things like small blog posts. As a general guideline I would not accept full content article work for less than $2.50 per article, or cheap articles for less than $1.50, but that is just my policy.

So there you have it: how I started to write online and make money doing it. You can do it too if you keep following my updates and use the helpful links I post on this blog. The best part is that you don't really need any qualification to write for the web. If you have ever posted on your favorite blog, had your own blog, written college or high school essays or a letter, then you can do it. Having a high speed internet connection at home is very useful, and almost essential if you want to take it seriously. If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I will see if I can answer you or point you in the right direction.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Make Money Doing What I do

What Do I Do?

Hi everyone. I'm Chase, and I started this blog to tell people like me with no IT or internet background how they can make money online by sitting at home in their pajamas. I live in South Africa, but you can do this from anywhere. It's the perfect first career for anyone who got themselves a humanities or arts degree and has no idea what to do next.

This blog's spot is WriteNonsense, and that is exactly what I do. A recent estimate claims that there are currently 150 billion domain names on the internet (excluding individual blogs or personal pages like Myspace and Facebook). While at least a third of these are porn sites, and at least half the traffic on the internet at any one time is on porn sites, that still leaves a lot of sites that need content, and a lot of people don't know how to write!

I'll tell you how to make money online by exploiting the pornography industry later, but the important thing to remember is that the internet is the most important advertising space available. The millions and millions of people online all of the time always contain at least a million or so potential buyers of just about every product. Getting these buyers onto your site can mean the difference from having a Mom & Pop store and being a retail giant who retires at 35.

Another important thing to realize is that people use Google. Just about everyone uses Google, or another search engine that works pretty much the same way. These search engines are fallible in two ways. The first is that they can be tricked, and the second is that they can be bought. Ever see the Google Paid Ads section? These ads respond to the keywords you type in. When Google looks for your keywords, it finds pages with large pieces of text (it can't tell if a picture file contains "boobs"). When it finds the keywords you entered in this text, it gives the page a point. Basically, the more points, the higher up the ranking it goes. Hopefully if the page is just what you are looking for, it will come out on top.

But we all know that doesn't happen. Pretty much every search returns a page or two who want to sell you something, and these are normally in the first five. That is because they have paid for Search Engine Optimization. I will explain the many parts of SEO in another post, but what you need to know is that companies pay money for it because it is a good way to get traffic to their site. This means that you can make money online writing pages of text for websites that are quick and easy to write - and you get paid in US Dollars.

There are a lot of different things to know about SEO, web copy writing and the associated fields. In this blog I will tell you about as many as I know about, and I invite others to give their input on how they make money by writing online. I will tell you how to get clients, what sites you can join for free that generate a lot of lucrative work, how to improve your writing style and article return time, and how to get yourself set up so that you can get paid as soon as possible. I will be posting regularly, so check back every other day or so until I get my feed up and running. I'm not going to ask you to send me money - All of this info is totally free and I will be posting it right here on WriteNonsense.blogspot.com!