Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why You Really Make Money Writing For Helium

I've noticed a lot of people asking "how much can you make writing articles for Helium". A lot of you probably signed up, wrote some articles and checked every fourteen seconds to see how much they had made. A few days and $0.32 later you gave up, deciding that Helium wasn't worth the money.

The thing is, you do make money writing for Helium, but you have to look at it differently. Consider it an investment of your time that turns into money.

For example, if you are a we writer and you wrote for an hour, you could probably make around $30 including fidgeting, browsing, researching etc. I know some writers make a lot more, but most of us don't.

Say your average Helium article takes you 20 minutes to write. You know what you're talking about so it shouldn't take that long. Consider that 20 minutes to be $10 worth of your time that you invested in Helium.

So write 5 or 10 articles and forget about them. Don't write in news or current events, because people stop reading these. Write well-optimized articles and Digg them, and write in "how-to" fields or "about" topics.

Most of my articles make me around 1c per day, but some don't make any money and some make a little more. If there are 365 days in a year (and there I'm informed that there are) that means $3.65 per year. Ok, so that's optimistic - say they have a few bad weeks, and it ends up at around $2.50 for the year. That's a 25% return on your investment!

Real estate doesn't normally give you that, and neither do savings accounts or bonds come even close. Stocks might, but you have a chance to lose your money whereas at Helium the worst that can happen is you don't make any money at all. If the site runs for four years you'll get 100% return on your investment in that time.

I just think this is a better way to think about it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

How to Get Into Internet Copywriting

There are a lot of ways to get into internet copywriting, but I'm going to tell you how I did it. It worked out pretty well if I don't say so myself.

Step 1
- Join GetAFreelancer

Once you have a bit of confidence, sign up to this site. If you have the chance, try to work for a local company or a friend first, so you can do as few or as many articles as you like to get practice.

I know there are a lot of other writing jobs boards out there, but this is pretty much the biggest. You have to sift through a lot of low-paid writing gigs, but there are some really good article writing jobs in there all the time.

Step 2 - Find a Client

Look for a job post that looks like the buyer is wanting a long-term relationship. Send them private messages, see if they sound like the kind of person you'd like to work for. Bid on their projects (how to bid) and charm the pants off them. Try to find 2 or 3 such people, but don't just accept any projects that come along.

Step 3 - Build a Relationship with your Client

Work hard for your clients, take on any projects they need you to, and sooner or later they will reward you with more highly paid writing jobs. I find that this is a sure fire way to get the best price for your articles without the resources to market yourself, and with little writing experience.

I guarantee that if you follow these steps within 2-3 months you will be commanding at least $5 per article, and from there's not much limit. There are articles out there waiting to be written that people will pay $50-$100, but you have to prove that your articles are worth that much first.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Write Articles and Make Money on Helium

If you haven't heard of Helium by now, you should definitely go check it out. It's not a get rich quick scheme, and it doesn't beat writing SEO articles and web content for clients in terms of how much you can make, but damn it's just so much fun.

Here's how it works: You write articles on Helium on any topic you choose. You can write on a new topic, or one that already has articles written about it. All of the articles on one topic get lumped together, and users rate them. The higher up yours goes in its little group, the more of a share it earns from advertising revenue. Obviously the groups with 20 or so articles pay more if you get yours to the top, but this is harder to do in bigger article groups.

There are two other ways you can make money writing articles for Helium. The one is the competitions: first prize is $75, but to do this you will probably need to write 15 or so articles on various topics in the competition. This isn't really worth it money wise, but write about 5 articles and these articles will earn you money slowly anyway. You might even get a few bucks from winning!

The other way is to write articles for Helium publishers. Companies post article projects, and then anyone can have a go. The publisher picks the article they want, and pays that person. You get paid anywhere between around $20-$200 per article so if you're good, you can make BIG money writing articles for Helium.

Remember it pays to pick your topics well. Choose topics you think a lot of people will want to read about, and this way you'll make more money from your articles on Helium. The only drawback is that you can only be paid by Helium via your PayPal account - they don't offer other options.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

SEO Copywriting - What is this stuff?

SEO Copywriting involves quite a few different things. People who offer SEO copywriting services offer more than just SEO articles that are written to feature certain keywords prominently. It can involve heading formatting, small descriptions etc. Large pages of text are simply not suitable for certain pages. So where do our SEO articles end up?

A lot of websites use SEO copywriting services to flesh out their pages, because text written with SEO guidelines in mind guarantees better search engine rankings. If a novice website owner wrote their own text without being aware of SEO writing techniques, they would end up without any rankings. Whereas many SEO techniques gain and lose effectiveness as search engines like Google change their algorithms, large pages of keyword optimized text always gets the same results.

Other times our articles wind up in an article directory. People pay good money for quality articles written with keywords in mind that link back to their site. These articles get a lot of traffic, and then so does their site. Writing these articles can sometimes be more difficult, but this kind of writing work will pay you well.

For those of us who make money writing SEO articles, it is important to find writing jobs that pay well. You can find good SEO writing work on GetAFreelancer or at RentACoder. At RentACoder you can find a LOT more writing jobs that pay well. Another good place to bid on writing jobs is WriterLance, which works similarly to GetAFreelancer.

If you want tips on how to get writing work that you will be well paid for, read my posts on how to find writing work on GetAFreelancer, and on how you can get paid for your writing online.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Make money from online surveys in South Africa

I didn't expect it, but I've had a lot of responses to my post on Online Surveys and whether or not they are a viable way of making money. To recap, I came up with 3 conclusions:

1.Free online surveys are a waste of time
2.If you live in the states, you won't get rich
3.If you live in South Africa, it's easy to make money taking surveys.

That is, if you're prepared to spend the time taking surveys online. You also have to be prepared to take the leap of faith and cough up $30 or whatever to get started. There's no such thing as a free lunch, and this is definitely true if you want to make money taking online surveys.

Personally, I use the original and best Paid Surveys Online. I make between $30-$50 a day and spend about an hour and a half taking surveys online. I generally do it in my down time, when I don't feel like working. It's not a princely sum, but you could make a lot more if you feel like sitting and taking surveys all day.

The nice thing about Paid Surveys Online is that you can do 3 of their other projects as well. If you live in the states you can get paid to drive, or get paid to hand out promotional products. Anywhere else you can do the "get paid to read emails" thing. I did this for a while, and it made me a few bucks but I try to focus on writing articles as much as I can.

My final verdict: If you live in South Africa or any other country with a weak currency, you'd be CRAZY not to sign up for the online surveys from Paid Surveys Online. It's an hour a day and you can make good money doing it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Writing SEO Articles that Make Money

SEO articles can go for anything from $2 to $25 each or more, but most of us seem to find ourselves working on the bottom end of this scale. Like any other industry, web content writing has vast earnings disparity. So what makes some article writers well paid, and others not?

Well, for starters, experience is worth a lot more in this industry than a qualification (although this helps). The best way to land a well paying writing project on GetAFreelancer or another writing site is to have relevant experience writing the type of articles the client needs. Here are 5 tips on how to be well paid for your writing:

  1. Generalize
  2. If someone offers you rectal cancer articles, do them. The next time a medical articles writing project comes up, you can bid high and claim relevant experience

  3. Fewer clients, less money
  4. Stick to 2 or 3 clients, and write articles for them for a few months. Good references will get you a long way

  5. Focus on Quality
  6. The better your web content and SEO articles are, the more you can charge people for them. The only way to increase your price is slowly

  7. Promote Yourself
  8. Tell people what you do, network, make business cards, start a blog - do whatever it takes to tell the world about your writing abilities.

  9. Don't Sell Yourself Short
  10. If you know your SEO articles are worth $10 each, don't bid lower than this. There will always be more projects going from clients who appreciate a highly skilled writer.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Web 2.0 - What does this mean for writers?

Web 2.0 is a term that you might have seen bandied about the place, but not a lot of people really know what this phenomenon is. It's not a new secret type of internet that's better, faster and free that you haven't been invited to. In fact, it's no one thing.

To summarize Web 2.0 in one sentence I would say this: It is a change in the way publishers and browsers use the internet. This has all been made possible by PHP and SQL. PHP is a database platform, and SQL is the language you use to get info out of a PHP database. This allows for fantastic new web design concepts, and allows you to do many different operations on one page.

Take my blog, WriteNonsense for example. You see one page, but actually it is many pages stored in a PHP database. When you click on one of my post links, SQL fetches what you asked for. Ever been on Facebook? What you see there is a perfect example of Web 2.0 design and technology. It's simple, fast and easy for anyone to use, and you don't have to know any tech stuff to enjoy the new features we find all over the place.

The major difference that Web 2.0 has brought about is that the internet is now being used as a platform. Google Docs allows you to edit documents and spreadsheets, and save them, online. This is a little clumsy, but it heralds a whole new era. Imagine a few years down the line when everything we do is online, accessible from anywhere else in the world.

What does this mean for writers? Well, it means that we have to up our game. Web content is becoming more important, but also smaller. There is a greater search emphasis on links now than anything else and while that might swing back, we need to stay ahead. I suggest you go and Google "Web 2.0 design" and see what is cutting edge out there. The types of SEO articles that will be required soon will be vastly different from what we write now.

This is just a random thought, but I think we are going to see some remarkable changes in the way people use text to attract traffic. This will be because of the massive overflow of text documents that will now become available on the internet as a result of Web 2.0 applications and practices.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Write SEO Articles Without Sounding Like a Salesman

Writing SEO articles can become a little repetitive, and it is easy to lapse into a pattern of using the same phrases over and over again. Here are a few tips to keep your SEO articles interesting for both you you and your readers.

Write SEO Articles like you are speaking

I can't say this enough: write your SEO articles as if you are speaking to someone. Imagine that you are working for the company you are writing for, and speaking to a potential customer. Instead of using cliche sales phrases, be 'honest' about the product you are selling. Tell them in detail what it could do for them, and why it is good value.

Use Keywords Constructively

Before you start your SEO article, think of a few good ways to use your keywords. Make the sentence in each paragraph that contains your keyword interesting and informative. Your reader found this page because of your keyword, so make your SEO articles as relevant to your keywords as possible.

Be Specific

Don't waffle. The main thing that sets $3 SEO articles apart from $10 ones is their ability to inform the reader. Any 3rd language English speaker can sound like an infomercial for 500 words. You can do better, so write SEO articles as if you are an expert on the product you are selling. Describe it in detail, giving different price options and color schemes, etc. You can easily fill up 500 words on a single product if you give enough detail.

Remember: the higher the quality of your SEO articles, the more money you can charge your clients for them. Because we are in a bulk business increasing your per article rate by $1 or $2 can drastically increase your income.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Writing Competition - Win Free Link

My previously mentioned Free Link Writing Competition is now on! Write me an article on just about anything you like, and submit it to me via email as a .doc attachment (no other attachment types will be opened).

Writing Competition Prizes:

First Prize: A banner link for one week on WriteNonsense, thereafter converting into a permanent link AND your article featured in the post after the close of the competition AND a neat little GIF saying you won the prize!
2nd Prize: A permanent link in my "Author's Resources" box and a 2nd prize GIF
3rd Prize: A reciprocal link and a 3rd prize GIF

Article Submission Guidelines:

There is no strict guideline as to content. Write about anything you like. Tell me a story, make a point, make me believe something. If you make me laugh, that'll go a long way. There are a few rules to keep the whole thing relevant and fair. Here they are:


  • Competition closes on Sunday 19th August, midnight GMT+2 (Paris Time)
  • Articles to be between 400-600 words.
  • No outbound links in articles
  • No self-promotion or deliberate product advertising (you can mention products though)
  • No websites will be linked to! Only blog owners need apply.
  • To qualify your blog must have at least SOME relevance to writing, freelance writing, SEO, SEO articles, blogs and blogging etc.
  • The 3rd prize winner will get a link as soon as I verify that a link to WriteNonsense is active
  • All winners will have links to their submissions on their own pages published in the post announcing the end of the competition, in addition to other prizes.
  • Articles, winning and non-winning, will not be used for any purposes other than this competition, and all rights will remain with the author.
Tell your friends about my competition - I want to see how many entries I can get!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Write for Money at Helium

For those of you who haven't tried writing for Helium, I would definitely suggest you give it a bash. This site is different from a lot of freelance writing sites, in that you write articles that they want to publish, and they pay you for them!

All you have to do to get started is pick your categories and subcategories, and start writing. When you article is approved your account will be credited - simple as that. It's also a place where you can read articles on just about anything, so if you want to look something up, this is the place.

It's good to see a new generation of paid article sites coming up, and I really hope this one does well. It's about time people started making good money for writing about things they care about. Forget about those sites that pay you 50c per post, the best way to make money writing articles without going out and finding clients is on Helium.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

15 Minute SEO Articles

We’re in a bulk business people, so the buzzword here is speed. I’m not advocating sacrificing the quality of your work to churn them out, but you need to be able to write at least 10 SEO articles in about half as many hours to make it worth your while. This is not difficult, and here’s the method I use for turning out high quality articles that my clients pay good money for.

1. Do your research

If you have the URL of the client’s site and the site is up, go to it and go straight to their “About Us” page. Scan this and find their ‘hook’ – the thing they say about themselves that makes them different. Scan through the products they have, services they offer, brands they deal in etc. If you don’t have the client’s site, find a similar site and learn about the industry. Learn as much as you can in 5 minutes.

2. Don’t type so fast

It’s great to be able to type 80wpm, but if you want to finish your SEO article in 10 minutes after researching it, you only need to manage 50wpm (If it’s a standard 500 word article). Typing at a slower constant speed gives your mind time to come up with the start of the next sentence as you are typing.

Remember, you make mistakes when you type faster, and correcting them takes time and interrupts your train of thought. When you get to the last sentence of a paragraph, start thinking how you will use the keywords you have been given in the next paragraph.

3. Speak when you type

At the risk of sounding insane to your family and neighbors, speaking when I type helps me to keep my SEO articles conversational. 500 Words is a lot of text in website terms, and you have to make it feel like less when it’s read. Pretending like you’re speaking to someone helps you to write quickly about the topic while at the same time keeping it from sounding like too much of a sales pitch.

There you have it – 15 Minute SEO articles! This is the way I write SEO articles, and I must say it definitely helps with time management. (Although I tend to go a little slower because I find the 15-minute burns a bit taxing) If you stick to a disciplined schedule you can crank them out without lowering the quality of your work – and this means you will have a larger number of high quality articles to sell.