One of the most common form on working online is writing. All sorts of writing, from tech articles and news to eBooks and how-to’s. Around July 2013 I started a website called StrongWhispers.com. It started it as a hobby project for my father who is retired and I thought he needed to keep himself occupied. Well, he wrote a few articles and then believe it or not, got bored!
I left it dormant for a few months and then thought to myself that it was getting a few readers every day, how would it fair if I employed a few people to write for it. So on to oDesk I went and advertised for a few writers. I had a ton of applicants, and that’s how I know that there are a lot of writers out there. I fed them article topics and they sent me articles.
I had a few bad writers initially but as I progressed I managed to find and settle with a few good writers that happily churned out content for me. At the same time they advertised their articles as I gave them credit for the article on the site. They were not acting as ghost writers. (A ghost writer is someone who generates an article for another party but takes not acknowledgement. The other part takes all content generation accolades).
Here is what I liked about the writers I employed which resulted in me retaining them:
- The content supplied was grammatically correct and spelling was 100%. There is absolutely no need to get these two things wrong. For one, you have tools like Microsoft word (or any other word processor for that matter) that will resolve any spelling errors and help identify any grammar errors.
- The content was original content and not copy pasted from anywhere else. I used a service called Grammarly. Primarily to check for plagiarism. It also did spell and grammar checking.
- Writers actively publicised their content within their social circles. This was really important as it was a key traffic generator. My writers had good social circles and their followers then read the articles. This is part of how I decided to retain writers. Those that cared and those that didn’t.
- Writer gave me article suggestions that were relevant to the site. This was awesome. Usually, it would be me perusing the web searching tirelessly to come up with good article topics. In fact some of the most popular articles where those suggested by some of the writers.
For up and coming writers I would suggest that you take note of the above and also start reading blogs such as HowToMakeALivingWriting by Carol Tice. She offers fantastic information and insight into the writing world with a ton of great articles to guide you through the process. Carol also has a post (which you can find here), that she continually updates to include a variety of writing resources. I suggest you take a look.
I would also suggest that if you are looking to become a writer or looking for a writer that you start with oDesk. While you are looking for that job I also suggest that you create your own blog and get some content of your own going. You can do this for free or if you want to pay for something more elegant you can create one with Bluehost as I describe in this walkthrough. As someone who employs writers the first thing that I look at is their portfolio of published work. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out if the work is really theirs so having your own blog is a good way to build that confidence. After all, you are a writer, why not write for yourself to start with.
There are services out there that facilitate article writing. Some of them ask for a fee, some take a commission. I like to stick with oDesk but here are a few that I’ve discovered along the way:
- iWriter. Specifically article writing and nothing else.
- PayPerPost. Targeted at blogs, you essentially get paid per article you write just like iwriter.
- Copify. Copywriting service that employs writers. This is a bit more difficult to get in to.
There are probably more but these are the services that I had come across in my search for writers.
So in summary, if you want exposure and to get those writing jobs, create an online presence. You can do it for next to nothing or even free if you really need to. Make sure the content is original, well written and yours. This may seem small to you but it was the deciding factor for me to hire someone or not.
As I write this, I’ve got another post in mind about Guest Posts and how I was inundated with requests when StrongWhispers decided to offer a guest writing program. More on that later.
Good luck with your online writing journey.