Friday, January 7, 2011

How Online Writers Make Money

I receive emails from online writers on a weekly basis, asking how they (we) make money. It can be confusing with so many writing sites and blogs available to writers. These are just some of the ways writers make money writing online:
  • Upfront Payments - Some writing sites offer their writers "upfront money" for their work. These payments start at just a few dollars and can go well over $200.
  • Traffic Revenue -Other writing sites offer "traffic revenue." This is when the online writer is paid for the number of page views their work gets. Sometimes the page views are limited to "unique visitors," meaning if the same IP address visits the article more than once, the writer is only paid for the first visit.
  • Ad Revenue -Many writing sites offer "ad revenue." The writer is only paid if the reader clicks on an ad on their work. Sometimes the reader has to perform an "action" such as signing up for something or agreeing to get more information about the subject of the ad. The sites use an "Albert Einstein-type" mathematical equation to figure out exactly how the writer is paid.
  • Ad/Traffic Revenue -Writing sites also offer "ad/traffic revenue." Writers are paid for both "clicked ads" and page views. Another "Albert Einstein-type" equation is used to figure out the payments.
  • Affiliate Programs -A few writing sites allows the writer to add links to products the affiliate program have for sale. Amazon is just one of the many affiliate programs writers can use.  Affiliate programs will pay the writer a percentage of the sales price for the items that are purchased through their links.
Writers who have their own blogs or websites only receive ad revenue unless they are members of an affiliate program. They do not receive traffic revenue for the page views they have.

When the goal of online writing is to make money (no matter the way they make that money), writers must come up with ways to increase their traffic. Without traffic, it doesn't matter if you have the best paying ads or the most popular affiliate program products; no one will see them. You must drive traffic to you online writing sites. The more traffic you have, the more page views you are paid for and the more likely it will be be that your readers will click on the ads or purchase your affiliate program products. That is another can of worms to be addressed at a later date.

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