Monday, February 14, 2011

The Secret Formula for Internet Writers

"...I am just about desperate here....I have been reading and re-reading your blog. I have been writing online (feverishly) for over 2 years. I get that residual pay takes time. What I don't get is what I am doing wrong....I try writing about timely/popular subjects...excuse me for mostly writing from my heart but that is what I do. Can I not expect to earn money unless I figure out the "secret" formula for success?"

The above is a message I received yesterday from a fellow internet writer. My heart went out to this writer. I've been there, frantically looking for "the secret formula for success."  The one thing I have learned from years of internet writing is that there is not one secret formula. There are several formulas, none of them secret, that must be mixed and matched with each other to fit each individual internet writer and their internet articles. These are just a few of those formulas I've discovered:
  • Write Every Day - Internet writers must write every day. Whether it is published or not, we must produce new content every single day. This is part of honing our craft - improving our work. As internet writers write each day, we must see improvement. Internet writers must learn from their mistakes and not repeat them.
  • The Devil is in the Details - Yes, it is true that the devil is in the details. No one is writing "War and Peace" or "Gone With the Wind" for the internet - it is all short snippets that will fit into our hectic lives and crazy schedules. Despite this, internet writers must weigh the details that will fill their "snippets" and make their concise and clear internet articles even more concise and clear.
  • Original Only - Internet writers must produce original internet articles. We can't being writing duplicate or "almost the same" content as others. With millions of internet writers out there, we must put our unique spin on everything we write. The personality and spirit of the individual internet writer must shine through. The only way I know to do this is to write from the heart. If you aren't writing from the heart, you are missing the boat and the potential of a profitable career of an internet writer.
  • Trial and Error - All writing, especially internet writing, is trial and error. My "writing philosophy" is quite simple: Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. What works for one internet writer may not work for another internet writer. Yes, there are rules all internet writers should follow. Think of the old Air Supply song..."I know all the rules and I know how to break them and I always know the name of the game." The name of the game is "Making Money" and, as internet writers, we must break some rules to win that game.
  • SEO - Always have SEO on your mind. I have Post-It notes on my edges of my computer screen, reminding me of SEO. Internet writers can't forget that SEO is what gets their internet articles indexed by search engines and increases your page rank. Without both, you will struggle with earning a living as an internet writer.
  • Keywords - As with SEO, internet writers must be mindful of keywords. Use them and use them wisely. Use the keyword tools available to internet writers online. Pay attention to the specific keywords you use and their ratio in your internet articles. Avoid using too many different keywords in individual internet articles. Use trial and error to find the mix that works best for you.
  • Branding - Internet writers must brand themselves and their work. This is key; an internet writer must be remembered by their readers. Develop your specific brand and stick with it. Use that brand to increase your readership. As your readership increases, so will your earnings.
  • Promotion -Internet writers must promote their work! Never count on getting indexed on the first page of major search engines. This does happen and it happens often, but you must promote your work to help the search engines pick up your internet articles. Use Twitter, Facebook, Digg and other forms of social networking sites to increase your page views. The more page views you have, the more like you are to make money.
If I had "the secret formula," I would have it in bottles on shelves everywhere and the internet would be saturated with this formula. The formula would have a pretty bow on it and a nice price tag. I don't formula. Personally, I don't think it exists. You will see so-called formulas all over the place. Many of them will have giant price tags on them. Please don't fall for it. The internet is always evolving and changing; our internet writing should do the same. Because of that, those secret formulas are often outdated and obsolete. What what last year or last week may not work today, tomorrow or in six months. As internet writers, we must learn to adapt and change. We must hone and craft, constantly "putting it out there" for the world to read.

1 comment:

  1. This post was really helpful to me. I see some places I can improve what I am doing to increase traffic on my site.

    So glad I found you through MBC. Would love for you to stop by my blog. I am working on a goal of 50 followers by the end of March. It would be great if you could help

    Look forward to reading more helpful tips from you.