Like many Internet Marketers, the very first money I made online came as a hired writer. It seems painful to even contemplate the idea of sitting at my desk and writing ten 500 word articles in 2011, but that’s how I discovered the possibilities of making money in my bedroom.
As a sixteen year old who’d just dropped out from school, I saw every moneymaking opportunity – online or offline – as a chance to justify my decisions and say a big fuck you to further education. When you cremate your ticket to university, you kinda have to develop a killer instinct when it comes to making money.
But I guess writing articles was never the most glamorous way to earn a living. It would start off with enthusiasm. The words would flow from my keyboard and in my head I’d be counting the pesos with every saved text file. After a couple of hours, I’d find myself twisting phrases and sentences in to whatever upped my word count. But it was easy money.
You can often gauge how serious somebody is about making money online by how willing they are to get their hands dirty with cheap labour.
If you’re serious about producing some extra income, writing articles for other people is about as legitimate as it gets. The money won’t put you on a jet plane anytime soon, but what are you expecting? The miracles you were promised?
After several months of writing the same shit for different people, I began to ask myself just who was using this gibberish further up the food chain. Why would anybody need 100 different articles explaining the merits of marketing on MySpace?
If you’re one of those article writers, you’ve probably asked yourself the same questions. Just who is using this crap? Are they making any money from it?
Well if articles keep getting outsourced, somebody keeps profiting from them. It would make sense to learn how to profit from your own work, wouldn’t it? I know many article writers are just looking to make a quick buck to pay the next bill, but if you look at the economics of it all, you could be doing so much better.
I remember Googling one of the articles I’d written to see how it was being used. Sure enough, there it was, propping up a Rocket Spanish course with the entire website consisting of no more than my own hard work and a bunch of affiliate links. Being an eagle eyed little bastard, I decided to take it upon myself to start writing articles for my own personal use. That’s right. I became a Clickbank whore.
And, of course, I didn’t make much money.
Just as most people don’t when they’re getting started. It’s part of the learning curve. A successful entrepreneur fails, fails, and fails again. If you want to believe any differently, by all means be my guest. There’s plenty of experts who will take your money to fuel that short term belief.
So eventually I got the right idea. Instead of writing articles for other people, I saw the potential in building my own assets. And if you’re writing articles for a living – or just to make ends meet – I hope you can see the potential in having your own assets too.
The problem is, you need a vision… and patience. Endless reserves of patience.
Articles are no good on their own. Christ, I’ve already spilled my guts how I think they’re barely relevant at all moving in to the new decade.
But the economics of cheap article labour are a very good introduction to the world of Internet Marketing, SEO and whatever the current flavour of the month happens to be for successful entrepreneurs who already make money on the web. Who better to learn from, right? Better than Digital “I’ve got a method that would make you money in 2006” Point.
You don’t even have to be writing articles to get a good grasp of where money is being made. Just by browsing through regular Elance listings, you should notice familiar trends.
I often give this advice to writers looking to transition in to more lucrative work, and it never gets old. If you want to see where there’s money to be made, look at where there’s money being spent. You’ll find either successful entrepreneurs, or blind ass investors with not many repeat buys to their names.
Some people prefer to be team players. There’s nothing wrong with that. And for many online writers in third world countries, the money made through article creation alone is enough to live a life of relative luxury. I remember how exciting it was to take the leap from being a cheap labourer to somebody who defined his own project milestones.
But the way I see it, if you’re going to be a writer, you should be aiming for the top. There’s not much money in the middle grounds. And where there is, you’ll find fierce competition. If lazy 500 word articles are how you make your money, maybe you should consider moving up the food chain and adding some longevity to your work.
It’s not hard to reverse engineer your way to the top. To be in a position where you’re the boss rather than the bitch. If you need a little help along the way, drop me an email. For the first half of my Internet Marketing career, Bitch was my middle name. I know how it feels, and I sympathize with other writers in the same boat!
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