How to get started writing for the Internet

While the web is full of “earn money on the Internet” scams, one avenue that is not a scam is writing.

There are many ways writers can earn anything from a few cents to thousands of dollars writing for the Internet. Okay, it’s time for some honesty: It’s a lot easier to earn a few cents doing Internet writing than it is to earn thousands of dollars. Surprised? I think not.

However, sometimes after writing for nickels and dimes, writers can use their experience and “portfolio” to win writing assignments that earn far more.

If this interests you, here are the basic ways to make money with Internet writing:

  • Blogging,
  • Writing content for sites like Yahoo Voices and Demand Studios, and
  • Finding freelance work through sites such as Elance and iFreelance.

We will go over the basics for each of these later in this series of articles, but for right now, let’s talk a little about the writing itself.

Bloggers can write anything they want, in any style they choose. You can write poorly or write well and still have a blog—it might even be a successful blog if enough people need to have the information you are sharing.

However, I would recommend that you work hard to make sure your writing is fundamentally sound. Errors in grammar and spelling tend to make your readers think you might not know what you’re talking about.

When you step up to the next level and start writing for websites other than your own, like Yahoo Voices or Demand Studios, your work will pass through the hands of editors. The editors will be judging your content, the quality of your writing and your adherence to their guidelines.

TIP: Study their guidelines until you are completely familiar with them. Keep a window with their guidelines open on your desktop while you’re writing and give it an occasional glance. There are few things worse in writing than to be called out on violating a guideline when you should have known better.

Even though in many cases you will only be paid a few dollars or a few cents to write for these types of websites, they will occasionally reject your work. Ouch.

The demands of freelancing over the Internet are greater still. You will be bidding on jobs and your writing must satisfy your clients’ expectations. You can’t get away with spelling errors, poor grammar or incorrect usage. If you submit a low bid and then have to go through multiple re-writes to satisfy your client, your earning potential plummets.

For starters: proofread carefully, spellcheck, avoid the passive voice, keep sentences short, and stay away from jargon. What tips do you have for an aspiring Internet writer?


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