Online freelance writing can be pretty lucrative and provide a great opportunity to make money at home. There are several things to consider, however. There is a real science to successfully writing for the web, and learning the dos and don’ts is the best place to start.
This sounds pretty obvious and like it should go without saying, but it is an important point. When writing for the web, it’s important to create something that will attract an audience and bring them back for more. If you write exceptional articles, people will want to read more. If you publish something poorly written, readers will not even finish it, and certainly will not seek out more of your work. Remember, online writing is highly competitive, and quality is very important for any writer looking to stand out in the online market.
Speak to your audience
In online writing it’s very important to know your audience and speak clearly and directly. If writing a “how to” remember that the audience is looking for a clear, specific and direct instruction. When writing an informative article, make sure that it fully covers the topic and answers your audience’s questions. Whatever the topic of your online writing, make sure that it provides the information your audience is looking for.
Write what people want to read
It’s hard to be successful with online writing by covering topics no one wants to read about. whether it’s a popular current event story, a timeless topic, or a niche piece appealing to a specific group, it’s important that your work will draw an audience and keep them interested. The great thing about the web is the wide range of information available to the public on countless topics. This is good news for freelance writers because there are countless opportunities to make money creating articles on different topics.
Use controversy wisely
A controversial headline is great for catching a reader’s attention, however, proceed with caution. A controversial article or blog topic will get noticed, but it may also turn people away. As previously mentioned, it’s not just about getting people to read your content, but it’s also about getting them to come back for more. If a piece of web content offends and alienates someone, they will not want to read more from that writer.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important principals when it comes to writing for the web. Essentially, SEO is about formatting your writing in a way that gives it high search engine ranking. There are many guides out there on SEO and how to do it right, so this article won’t cover it in depth. With that said, it is imperative that any attempt at online writing success involve a good working knowledge of SEO and keyword use. Basically your content must have keywords that will connect it with a basic internet search. For example, if you write an article called “How to change a car battery” the body needs to contain keywords about changing a car battery so that people looking for that information will find your article.
Write on the most popular topic
This sounds like it should be a “DO” but unless you are presenting the subject from a unique perspective that sets it apart from all the other web content on the topic, your work is likely to become just another small fish in a vast sea, with your article being buried in the search results under all the content that’s already out there. It’s the nature of the internet that everything that’s popular is covered again and again, and again. Successful online writing isn’t about joining with the crowd and saying what’s popular; it’s about bringing a fresh perspective and creating content that’s new and original.
Write on too obscure of a topic
While it’s important to avoid the oversaturated areas, it’s just as important to not write on topics that no one will see because they are overly obscure.
Sacrifice quality for SEO
This is a common problem. Do not overcrowd your work with repeated keywords in an attempt to increase search engine rankings. There are two reasons for this; one: too many keyword repetitions may lead to search engines labeling your work as spam. Two: it’s really, really obnoxious. If this article had started with something like: “online writing can be very profitable, and if you want to get into online writing, and make money with online writing, you have to learn how to be good at online writing” you wouldn’t have made it this far. This kind of keyword overuse will just ensure that people won’t enjoy reading your work and will not respect you as a writer.
Don’t talk down to your readers, and don’t use big words just to use big words and sound intelligent. It’s good to come off as knowledgeable but not pretentious and obnoxious.
In the end…
Work hard, write well, and express yourself!