Recently, iWriter banned Kenya, India and other countries due to some alleged attempts to hack into and steal from their system. This may seem funny to international readers, but locally there were so many Kenyans earning their living fully from iWriter.com. The recent iWriter ban got me an instant 443 hits in my blog where most people, me included, complained of a significant loss of revenue due to that suspension. I therefore thought of pushing out this blog post to help other writers to start planning for long-term online writing business. As Jeff Koinange would put it, you will never find such stuff anywhere else!
1. Never Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
As a writer, it is always good for you to diversify. Decide on the amount you want to earn from your scripts and start looking for different places which can pay you that amount to write. For example, decide that you are not taking any writing job that pays anything below 4 dollars per 500 words. This immediately knocks off Freelancer.com from the equation since people averagely earn $2 per 500 words in this site. Freelancer.com is great though for starters since you won’t easily earn this much as a starter on other sites. If you start directly from the sites below, you may risk getting stuck as a standard writer in sites like iWriter. Therefore, start with these if you are already an experienced writer, confident of your skills.
Sites that can get you this kind of pay ($4 per 500 words and above) include:
iWriter – You can work your way into becoming a premium or elite writer being paid $4.05 and $8.10 per 500 words respectively. These amounts are true as at the time of writing but may change.
Elance – Hard to penetrate at first but once the deals start to flow, you can be paid $5-$10 dollars per 500 words. There are guys who even get paid up to $25 for a 500 word article.
Fiverr – Here everything goes for 4 dollars. The buyers pay 5 dollars (hence the name Fiverr) but the sellers (in this case writers) get paid 4 dollars per order. Be sure to hit “follow blog via email” on the left of your screen so that you can get my future updates on how to make money through Fiverr. This is one site where you can literally freelance anything, not just writing.
Interactmedia – Also not a bidding site like iWriter. The problem is that their job board is mostly empty at first. As your ratings increase, you can easily get jobs paying $8 per 500 words. It also has an auto-approval system where articles are auto-approved if clients don’t review them for two weeks.
Also check out vWorker, Purecontent, Demand Studios and the Problogger job board. I have not personally worked with these sites but I know there are guys making serious money through these sites. You never know where your real blessings lie.
2. Get Out of Bidding Sites
Bidding sites are great but there comes a time when you just don’t need this pressure. Job board sites like iWriter allow you to even go for a vacation and come back without tonnes of emails asking you why you didn’t deliver some work. Working for individual clients tends to have more pressure as compared to job boards. Individuals in these bidding sites may also take long to approve a project or delay payments which may affect your revenue stream.
3. Get Out of The Job Boards
“What! Out of the job boards?” Some of you may be asking this out of total surprise. Yes, get out of these slowly. See, in my post “6 Freelance Writing Tips that No One Else Will Tell You“, I emphasized that when you start writing, you need to start building other portfolios in different money making avenues. These include:
If you thought you were making money writing, then note that these three areas are real cash cows that you need to explore. There are more millionaires doing affiliate marketing than writers. Of course I am talking about writing articles online before you start counting for me the Harry Porter book sales. These avenues take time to mature therefore start early. For example, you may take 6 months to start making real money from your blog or affiliate website. You may make peanuts at first but in due time and with frequent submissions and marketing, you can get to a point where you’ll make residual income for a long long time. Residual income here means ad revenues and affiliate sales that don’t require much of your effort.
So how do you get out of the job boards? Follow these easy steps. Start now for best results.
Curve Your Own Niche or Niches – Decide on 3 or 4 topics that you are going to be writing about the most. The fact that you are researching and writing repeatedly on the same topic will make you a walking Google on that topic. These niches should also be ideas for your future personal website, your web 2.0 content and affiliate marketing properties. The fact that you are really good will get people looking for you as you, not as a writer in some website. If your name is Dennis Otieno Njoroge, they’ll look for this name to write content for them.
Business Development – Start doing more of business development. Network with the most successful people in your niche and join different forums on the same. Get your name out there by writing guest posts for industry leaders, both locally and internationally. Get into writing contests and let people see that you have the power to drive traffic and social media shares. Locally, make sure everyone knows that you are a writer, from your former primary school teacher to your grandfather. This has worked miracles for me.
Simple Forces of Demand and Supply – This will require a keen eye. The fact that you are in different online forums and stuff in your niche will make you start noticing some areas of demand. Be the first to meet this demand and soon you’ll have guys not just looking for your email address, but also your phone number. You can even start thinking of what you can do for the upcoming election :).
Inbound Marketing – Do whatever it takes to make people find you. Whether it is on social media or making sure that your sales page ranks highly with the search engines, make sure of this so that people can easily find you and reach your services.
4. Go Offline
“Now offline, what is this now?” You may think. You are a writer and are good at it. You don’t have to stick in front of a computer to make money. Try out some offline stuff. Apply for a column on some local newspaper or upcoming magazine, start writing a novel or a collection of poems, approach publishing and editing companies and ask if they have spots for freelance editors e.t.c. Aim for the untapped market as much as possible. Remember that your offline efforts will still boost your online writing business.
We Reap What We Sow
Look at some of these methods as seeds. Things that will not make you much now but will keep your future bright. Even if there is another iWriter ban or Kenya was taken off the internet, you will still be able to make your money writing and have a successful online writing business.