A complete guide to writing web content

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What is web content

For our purposes, web content is any type of article written and published on the Internet. Web content is what we’ll write to get ourselves published on websites of reputable companies. Not only will writing web content net us in some pretty good ongoing income, but web content can also be used for resumes and portfolios.

How to write web content

Generally, you register on a web content site, fill out your profile, write articles for the company you registered on, publish them on the website and get paid on a monthly basis if your income for the published articles reaches or exceeds a certain predetermined mark.

Why Write Web Content for Websites?

Wouldn’t you rather put in a lot of effort now and reap the benefits later? No? Let me rephrase, then. Do you like the idea of earning money month after month without having to put in any additional work to maintain that income? In other words, if you stop working after a year of writing web content, your articles won’t stop making money. Oh no. You’ll continue to earn residual income each and every month for the hard work you already put in. That’s the beauty of residual income.
So, I ask you: Why not write web content for websites? By writing web content now, you’re making your own future easier (and not to mention safer). If you ever get laid off from your 9 to 5 job a few years down the road, you don’t have to worry as much since you’ll still be making some pretty good income from your web content. Heck, you might even want to freelance full-time once you’ve seen your true earning potential. However, I don’t recommend quitting your job yet until you’re making decent side income already from writing web content and can leave your job without losing your house as well.

Different Forms of Web Content

There are different forms of web content that you can publish. Though some web content sites might not have each form outlined for you like Demand Studios does, you can still choose which forms of web content you want to write. Here are the most basic kinds:
•    Informative or Essay Form – Probably the most well-known type of web content. You basically write about a specific topic and provide headlines to describe each point you want to make. This whole blog post is an example of an informative article. Another example is 4 Shocking Facts about Strawberries.
•    How-to Form – The second most well-known type of web content, and it’s right up there with lists. You describe how to do something in article form. Some examples are How to Write a Bio about Yourself and How to Create Backlinks to Your Website.
•    List Form – Readers love lists, since they make it easy for browsing. You provide readers with a certain number of items, actions, concepts or ideas. List items usually follow after bullet points, but they don’t have to. What you’re reading right now is a list of web content forms. Another example of a list is 10 Practical Ways to Make a Living Online.

Qualities that Make Web Content Writers Successful

Do you need to be highly skilled in writing in order to be a web content writer? What if you don’t have experience? Can you still write for big companies?
The answer? No and yes. You don’t have to have any previous writing experience at all, let alone be a writing expert. Some web content companies require you to submit a resume, which means that you’ll have to have some type of experience. However, most websites don’t require you to have a lot of experience beforehand, which makes them ideal when getting your foot in the door.
You will need to have some sort of mindset, though, and you’ll need to truly believe that you can succeed as a web content writer. Here’s a list of qualities all successful web content writers share and how you can develop the same qualities yourself when writing for the Web.
•    Optimism: What’s the point of writing if you don’t think anything good is going to come from your hard work? You’ll need to put pessimism right back on the shelf where you got it if you want to get far in the web content world.How do you get rid of pessimism if you two have been best buddies for as long as you can remember? Simple. Think positive thoughts. Discover the reason why you’re always so negative and then destroy any thoughts that stem from that negativity. Hell, destroy the negativity entirely. You need to truly believe that you’re going to succeed in order to taste success, so destroy anything in your way that’s holding you back from the success you deserve.
•    Determination: As horrible as it is, you need to work for your goals as a web content writer. There will be times in your freelance writing life when you’ll just want to oversleep, wake up late and curl up on a sofa all day long reading pointless romance novels. Trust me – I’ve been there. However, in order to survive as a web content writer, you’ll need to ignore the side of you that wants to give in to laziness – because you can’t let yourself give in. You need to have the mindset that, if you don’t get a certain amount of writing done today, your life will go into total havoc and there will be no turning back. Alarming, I know. You might not see the lazy side of you now, but it will come. When it does come, you’ll need to be prepared for it. You’ll need to put your foot down and let it know that you’re the boss for now. You can be lazy later.
•    Willing to Accept Criticism: Criticism will come, whether you’re prepared for it or not. Because you’re a writer and have been forming your own opinions since birth, not everyone will have the same opinions and thoughts as you. You need to be aware of that, so that when someone does criticize your work or think differently than you about a certain point made in an article, you don’t get too worked up about it. I won’t lie; When someone criticizes your work, it will hurt. You might even become emotional. Just realize that it’s not anything personal against you as an individual. There’s just a disagreement with something you wrote. And that’s fine. If you made a mistake somewhere in your article, the most you can do is correct it and move on. Don’t stress yourself over it.Need help dealing with criticism? Read my post Dealing with Blog Criticism for more ideas.
•    Persistence: Keep persisting, even if you’re not getting the results you’d like. Some articles don’t do as well as others, so don’t give up. Keep writing and trying to make each article better than the last (see the last section of this article for more ideas on how to do this). There’s always room for improvement. If one article doesn’t make any money, even after a few weeks of being published, try to determine why. It could be that the topic you wrote on is weak. You may also need to do some touching up on SEO. Keep at it and, sooner or later, you’ll start seeing results.
•    Patience: At first, money will come in slow. As you write more and more articles, your income will accelerate. Be patient in the beginning stages as a web content writer. Together will persistence and determination, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll succeed. Just remember: Success doesn’t come right away. You need to work for it. Over time, it will come. When it does, you’ll be happy that you waited for it.

5 Reasons Why Most Web Content Writers Don’t Make It

In order to make it as a web content writer, you’ll need to address the following problems. Try to think about why you might be feeling this way (if you do feel this way), and then wipe away all negative thoughts. Know that such thoughts are merely myths trying to rob you from your success by putting you down. They’re not real at all. You can be successful if you want to.
1.    Failure Reason #1: They don’t think that they have what it takes.
2.    Failure Reason #2: Their writing isn’t good enough.
3.    Failure Reason #3: There’s no possible way that they can make a living online.
4.    Failure Reason #4: Writing can’t possibly make them more money than their current job.
5.    Failure Reason #5: No one would want to hire them because of their inexperience.
If you bask in negativity, you will fail. Why? Because your attempts will be futile and weak. You won’t be serious enough about a future in writing to get anything out of the effort you put in. You won’t be able to find motivation and inspiration to succeed. Everything you do from here on as a web content writer will lose its worth. You’ll also cave in easily.
Therefore, you have to lose the negativity. There’s nowhere else around it. Think positive thoughts and success will follow. The journey will also be so much easier (and more fun!).

The First Steps to Becoming a Web Content Writer

Like all things, you’ll need to do some planning first before becoming a web content writer. That is, you’ll need to think about which industries or topics you want to write about. You’ll also need to do some background research on the topics you’re interested in so that it will be easier to write about them.
Here’s some questions to think about.

•    What topics or industries are you interested in most (health, fitness, aquatic pets, plastic surgery etc)? Do you have any hobbies that you could write about? Do you have more experience in a particular industry than you have in another?
•    What do you know already about the industries you’re interested in? Are you well-informed? If not, do you think you’d mind doing the research before writing about the particular industry?
•    What are other web content writers writing about in the industry that you’re interested in? Can you offer something new in your articles? Can you expand on what other writers are saying?
•    Is there a way you can stay updated on the industries you want to write about? Are there related blogs or newsletters you can subscribe to? Are there books or magazines that interest you?
•    Are there people you can network with in the specific industries that interest you? Would you be able to talk about certain topics or ask questions if you needed a second opinion?

Honing Your Writing Skills: How to Get in the Writing Habit

As I said before, there’s always room for improvement. A few years down the road, you’ll be amazed with how much your writing has improved over the years – even if you’ve been putting your best work out there from the very beginning (which I hope that’s what you intend to do!). To speed up your growth, here are some activities (or challenges) that you should try doing with many (doesn’t have to be all, but can be) of the articles you publish.
•    Write articles in draft stages. Instead of just writing an article, proofreading it and publishing it, try writing up to 3 drafts of the same article. With each draft, make improvements and add to the piece. By the time you’re finally done with the article, it will leave readers saying, “Wow!”
•    Pay attention to what commenters are saying. Many times you’ll get some good feedback. However, there is the occasional commenter that won’t be afraid to criticize your work. Take the criticism lightly and use it to help improve your writing. If someone mentions something in the article that he/she likes, pay equal attention to it and keep doing whatever it was that got the good response.
•    Criticize your own writing. Look at each article written as if you were a reader reading the article for the first time. Determine what could be added to make the article better and what parts of the article you really like. Fix the article accordingly.
•    Let your articles sit for a day before publishing them. Get however many articles you want done for the day written. Then, let them sit overnight so that, when you come back to the articles and read them over, you’re reading them with a fresh eye. There might be something new to add that you never thought about before, and it could make the difference between a reader bookmarking the article and never seeing it again.
•    Let a friend or family member critique your article before you publish it. Someone else may catch something that you might not necessarily see. Sometimes the mistake can be mortifying. Other times, changes made after a critique just make the article flow a lot smoother. Having a second opinion can also help improve your writing in the long run.


Click here for a fantastic article, summarising the thoughts of some great writers, which will hopefully give you more tips on how to improve your writing further

Increase your revenue from web content writing


You’ve created a quality article, and you’re confident that it will wow your visitors. How do you now earn money for your hard work?
You can earn money several ways, but the most common method is through advertisement revenue. That is, if you’ve chosen to write for a company that pays you a portion of the ad earnings your articles make. Some companies only pay writers based on page views, so the companies make their money from the ads and reward you if your posts become popular. The problem with writing for these companies is that your articles have the potential to earn a lot more money than what they’re giving you.

If you write for a company that pays you a portion of the ad revenue, your article can earn a lot of money through ad networks. So, the article can receive 1,000 page views a month and you may make $10 a month from that one article. Whereas, on a site like Associated Content that pays you based on page views, you’ll be earning a few bucks per 1,000 page views.
Here’s a real life example. I wrote an article on writing 11 months ago for eHow (I won’t give you the exact title because I want you to find your own profitable topics on subjects that you are interested in; It’s much more rewarding that way). Since creation, this article has earned a total of $407.50 and received 23,208 views. Just this month (with 3 days left in the month) I’ve earned $153 for the article, which is the most I’ve ever earned for this article in a month (last month I earned $85.41 and it goes downhill from there). Doing the math, I receive an average of $37.05 and 2,110 page views a month for this one article.

Judging from my earning history, my guess is that the earnings for this article will continue to increase each month until it finally levels out (which I believe still won’t happen for a number of months). Now, just sticking with these calculations, if I were to publish this very article on a site that only pays based on page views (say, $5 per 1,000 page views and that’s on the high end of the scale), I would earn about $10 each month for the article. That’s a $27 loss right there if I went with a site like Associated Content. See where I’m going?
Your earning potential decreases when you write for sites that pay only based on page views, which is why I tend to stay away from web content sites that use this method of payment. However, it all depends on how you look at it. An article can receive 1,000 page views and only make pennies from ad revenue, so such sites would be paying you more for a poorly earning article.
However, the focus of this post is to help you to earn more revenue from your ads so that your articles don’t end up being poor earners. Excited to start earning ongoing income? Let’s get started.

Choosing Profitable Web Content Topics

While it’s important to write about topics that you are interested in, you also want your articles to be profitable. So, why not combine the two? I’ll explain how.
From past experience, profitable articles (in the long run) tend to be on…
•    Specific and well-defined topics (Example: An article on golden retrievers rather than on simply pet dogs)
•    Evergreen topics or topics that never go out of season (Example: An article on coniferous trees rather than on Christmas trees, or skin problems)
•    Subjects with less competition (Example: An article on reducing thigh volume rather than on just the topic of weight loss)
So, if you absolutely love writing about business topics (like I do), it’s best to choose specific, evergreen topics that don’t have a lot of competition when comparing keywords on Google’s Keyword Search Tool.

How do you find such topics?

Think about topics that you enjoy (hobbies, interests and so on) and topics you are knowledgeable in. Try to condense each topic into smaller subtopics. Keep condensing until you can’t shorten the topics any more. Once you have a nice well-defined topic, use the keyword search tool to find keywords related to the topic. Look at how much traffic each keyword receives and pick the most popular ones out of the bunch to use in your article. Search on the Google search engine for the keyword phrase in quotes to see how many websites are competing for that exact keyword phrase. This number will likely increase each year as more websites are added. Look at the top 3 websites on page 1 of Google. Read the article with the keyword phrase and analyze them. Are these websites talking exclusively about your topic? Are they well written? Is the keyword phrase mentioned more than once on the page? Do they use the keyword phrase in headings? If you answered no to any one of these questions, your chosen keyword phrase that you intend to use in the article you write will probably rank well in search engines.
Now, I know I’m only talking about on-page SEO factors and don’t mention backlinking strategies at all. However, I’ll talk about that in more detail later on in this series. For now, focus on creating quality content that will make readers link back to your articles naturally.

Creating Web Content that Increases Revenue

Because ad revenue is one of the most common ways of earning money from creating web content, we’ll talk about this method first.
First, you’ll need to make sure that relevant ads display on the page after the article is published. Ultimately, you’ll need to control to some extent which ads appear on the page.

How? There are many ways to do this.

•    Use keywords throughout your article that someone else would use to search for your web content. I mentioned keywords earlier on in this series with my post SEO Web Content Writing Tactics: Get Found in Search Engines. By distributing keywords throughout your content that are related to what your article is about, you’re telling Google that those keywords are important, and so ads that are related to those keywords are more likely to display. Use the keyword tool mentioned earlier in this post to find good keywords to use. Though, don’t get too crazy with your keywords. You still want to create quality content for your readers, and you want your content to make sense.
•    Recommend a few brands when creating web content. More relevant ads are likely to display if you recommend products or brand names to your readers. By doing this, there’s a chance that the product or brand name will display in an advertisement. However, don’t recommend products that you haven’t tried and don’t enjoy, for that will be irresponsible on your part and readers will lose trust in you if a product that you recommend ends up being shitty.
•    Display an image or two of a product and write a caption describing how the product relates to the topic of your article. If writing about a certain brand or product wouldn’t fit in well with the web content, you can put the product name in the caption of an image. An image of the product will give users a better idea of what to expect if they do wind up buying the product. By using an image of the product and discussing the product in the content, you also put emphasis on the product and increase the chances of it showing up in an ad. Readers who see the recommended product in an ad nearby are more likely to click on the ad and buy the product. Of course, you can also sell recommended products through affiliate links.
After you create web content and your articles have been up for a few days, monitor which ads are showing. If the ads displaying on the page are completely irrelevant to what your article is about, either add keywords, remove phrases causing the irrelevant ads to appear or add another brand name. Irrelevant ads will decrease your earning potential, for readers won’t be inclined to click on them. If any articles are not earning money and you’re receiving page views, this could be an indication of bad ads getting displayed on the page. Play around with your keyword phrases until you get the results you desire. However, remember that your main focus should be your readers, so make sure your articles still are of the highest quality.

Additional Ways to Make Money Creating Web Content

You don’t have to just make money from ads. You can also earn money through affiliate programs, your own products or eBooks and through your own website. However, before linking to affiliate products and your own website, make sure the web content site that you’re using allows affiliate links. Some do and some don’t. One way to check whether affiliate links are OK is to look at other articles on the same website and see if other people are linking to affiliate programs. To double check, though, always read the terms of use.
The following are additional ways you can make money from web content that you may not have thought of. As I mentioned before, you may not be able to use all of these methods, since it depends on the web content site you write for. Keep in mind that these methods don’t include income from advertisements, since this has already been discussed and is the common method of income.
•    You can use your web content to earn residual income through affiliate links on the page.
•    You can link to a blog or website to attract more readers, potential customers and potential clients.
•    You can sell an eBook you wrote as long as it is related to the article written.
•    You can sell your services (copywriting, consulting and so on) by linking to your online portfolio or profile.
•    You can create web content to build authority and use your writing samples in resumes or portfolios to increase the chances of getting hired for a job.