By in Writing

Bloggers and Writers Making a Living on the Web?

I want to do more with my online presence and making more money by writing. What I do not want it to be is something I dread doing. When writing is not fun for me anymore, I will stop. That seems to me to be as bad as prostituting myself in ways that I would also dread.

I have written online for a number of years now. Generally, I have dabbled a bit here and there.

I started out in December 2008 on a site called "Associated Content," which was purchased by Yahoo! several years after I started. I had a several initial successes, including being targeted to write different articles. I was offered, as much as, 25 dollars per article.

I never learned (or understood) much about SEO, but I noticed that views dramatically dropped off when Google changed algorithms (or something like that). Policies changed and, what I was able to post based on the trust that they had in me early on, now had requirements to be validated and "allowed." Upfront offers were no longer substantial, but not more than a dollar or two. Claims for articles did not allow for anything but page views and needed approval. It no longer seemed as viable, and because I wrote very part-time, and had other work obligations, I was unable to do much more than read others' work on an occasional basis to support those who were still writing.

I also started out on Examiner in the days that you could only write about the things, which you were the subject matter expert. I found that limiting, and not much fun. I did not understand their payment structure and found it confusing, at best. I understand that they have changed since I signed up several years ago.

I have started four blogs, three of which I did not maintain and have since deleted. The fourth, Beyond the Challenges of Life , is still active, but readership is down. I hesitate to monetize it, as when I monetized one of my other blogs, the rules were more difficult to understand and I did not want to be in violation.

Then there was Bubblews, which I joined in May 2013 upon the year anniversary of my diagnosis of stage 4 Carcinoid Cancer. When my friend, MarieAnne (aka Ldyjarhead), referred me, I was skeptical. For over a year, it proved to be better in many ways than many of the sites I had explored, and for which I had written. I made more writing occasionally in one year, than I did in five years of all other sites combined, including the upfront targeted payments. That came to a screeching halt, as most know, a year ago.

I registered for Persona Paper and several other sites, though PP is the one that is home now. I do not look at this as a source of income, but a community of friends who help encourage one another, and a place to record ideas, thoughts, feelings, and more.

There are many who maintain multiple blogs and write for numerous other sites. I am in awe of their particular prowess.

I am stymied as to how I might manage more than one site and one blog. Nor do I understand how to develop a better following. To be a writer or journalist in today's world is much different than years ago. This includes book writing and publishing.

I am curious to know if there are online courses or discussion groups out there which speak to all of these concerns and questions. One of my goals is to learn how to maneuver through all of this.

So, the question becomes: Can THIS old dog be taught some new tricks?

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Copyright © 2015 Coral Levang

Adapted from original written for Bubblews January 1, 2014, and later removed by author.

Coins: 10223, $15.33, 76%

Image Credit » by Unsplash

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DanieGirl8587 wrote on October 9, 2015, 12:59 PM

Always! It's never too late to learn something. Just because you get older and wiser does not mean you know everything. Also, times change and you either accept it and roll with it, or you give up defeated and move on.

AudreyHowitt wrote on October 9, 2015, 1:14 PM

I think we keep managing to reinvent ourselves as the need arises--you will too--you are a talented writer--think of it as an adventure!

littlenancy wrote on October 9, 2015, 1:16 PM

Absolutely (on the old-dog-new-tricks-thought), and I'd like to invite you over to my page here, as I have been posting, and will continue to post, about this sort of thing.
Here's all you need to know as a writer and SEO:

Keyword stuffing is dead. You have to be creative to use your keyword once in the title, once in the opening paragraph, once or twice in the middle (but no more than that!) and once in the last paragraph. Google hates overuse of any word, especially nouns, more than 3-5 times in any article. You can use variations of the word (such as making it plural, or synonyms) if you must use it more often.

All content must be well-written. If it isn't unique, and is a rehash of other info, Google hates it.

Links to spammy sites: google hates it. Google likes backlinks to other sites with good SEO, with moderation, but too many links of any kind will lower SEO ranking. Wordpress has a plugin that helps conceal links from google so that the search engine doesn't see them the same, which is helpful for citations.

Google knows if keywords are used naturally and in articles with subheadings. So if you are writing about flag poles, and you find a way to put the words Justin Beiber and naked in there, Google will know. Google will not rank you very high as a result.

There are other SEO rules for writers and designers as well, but the above is what writers always need to keep in mind and the most important. It is not as difficult as it seems.

I LOVE SEO now. It encourages natural, creative, and intelligent information and content. Yes, content writing is still alive. In some places, you still do not make much. In others, you can do pretty well. Are you a US writer?

xstitcher wrote on October 9, 2015, 2:09 PM

A lot of things out there are confusing. I enjoy writing very much, but the whole SEO thing is kind of confusing to me, too.

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 2:09 PM

This is great information for all, littlenancy . Thank you for sharing it. And I do follow you, and am quickly finding you to be one of my favorites here. emoticon :winking:

I am encouraged by your "...not as difficult as it seems." I tend to get frustrated with the whole technological aspect of writing today. Maybe, it's just that I have my fear of it, as it doesn't easily.

And yes, I live in WA state.

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 2:12 PM

With littlenancy in our midst now, I'm sure we can both become less confused.

Ruby3881 is also a good resource for things of this nature, but I haven't seen her around in ages.

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 2:15 PM

AbbyG Were you using the same moniker there? Honestly, I miss the AC days. That's where I cut my eye teeth. I miss some of the folks I met there, too-- LynLomasi, SandraLynn, LdyJarhead, and more.

I donate my month earned writing to Cancer causes, primarily now carcinoid cancer / neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), since my diagnosis. Before that, it was generally breast cancer walks that my friends needed sponsorship.

And no, I am no longer on FB for right now. I shut down back November last year.)

Last Edited: October 9, 2015, 2:16 PM

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 2:17 PM

emoticon :winking: I know, DanieGirl8587 ! But you COULD have replied with "YOU ARE NOT OLD!" to help inflate my ego...Sheesh! emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 2:17 PM

Thanks, AudreyHowitt . LIFE is an adventure, most definitely.

DanieGirl8587 wrote on October 9, 2015, 2:31 PM

I never said "Old" Just older and wiser :P

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 2:41 PM

*laughs* Just kidding with you. emoticon :winking:

JohnRoberts wrote on October 9, 2015, 2:57 PM

While I understand what you are saying, there is the X factor of Google being corrupt. Google does not want any non-Google content sites etc to exist as Google wants to control available content. Panda was a means of destroying Associated Content etc. Google also seeks control by forcing writers to the blatantly corrupt Adsense. Google also reportedly gets kickbacks for placing certain sites at the top which explains why the same sites are always first most of the time. This is all based on heresay reading thus not provable. But you know what? I believe it.

JohnRoberts wrote on October 9, 2015, 3:11 PM

You were on AC also? That's where I really got rolling into this online writing thing. I loved the format which was free wheeling and you could post anything you wanted without screening. That of course was also part of its downfall as you probably remember there was an incredible amount of garbage writing that gave Google the excuse to unleash Panda. I never went the paid article route you did. I was content to write as I pleased and let the views come in and there were a hell of a lot more views than here at PP. Vastly more. The pennies added up. I also wrote on Helium which was a bit stricter but initially had upfront payouts and assignments which I did a ton of. Little money with those but combined with views, the pennies added up. Panda ruined AC which died at Yahoo and Helium seemed unscathed and lived on until last year. I know there are assignment writing sites out there but I seek another site similar to AC and Helium where I can write as I wish and get those occasional view home runs. My travel articles at Helium received a steady flow of views.

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 3:24 PM

I remember the name and the photo, but I do not think we were as connected as we are here. I wish that I would have been more invested then. You're a hoot!

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 3:25 PM

Yes, sir, I signed up on AC in December 2008. I have always used the same name.

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 4:14 PM

Be careful. Some of those reasons aren't family-friendly here on the internet, I'm sure. emoticon :winking:

littlenancy wrote on October 9, 2015, 4:31 PM

I am not doubting the corruption in any business, least of all a huge one like Google.
However, Google likes this site. I was investigating Bubblews, which I never used. What I found was an article here, reviewing it. That is how I found this site. It was on page two of the results. I don't remember who wrote it, but it was well-written. So, I signed up here.
So, to some degree, there is a method to the madness.

littlenancy wrote on October 9, 2015, 4:37 PM

Thank you for following me and for the compliment. :) Much appreciated. AND I am following you as well.
When writing specifically for SEO, there is a problem with creative control. That part of it is a "job". However, there are still good points to it, I just think of it as part of the creative a puzzle. It is still fun. emoticon :smile:
I asked if you are a US writer because many of the ones I play around with won't take writers outside the country. But, since you are in the US, you won't have a problem. Some have more work than others.

The first thing I always remember is to keep a lot of "eggs in my basket". That way, I am always able to find assignments to do. My big client retired, and so I am diversifying. lol

MegL wrote on October 9, 2015, 5:08 PM

Facebook and Twitter are good places to start building a following. On facebook there are thousands of groups with members all involved in the same field. If you join some of those and take part, you will be able to post links to your blogs and sites where these help other members.
I see you are not on FB. You could also share your content on Tsu, Stumbleupon and some other similar sites. I hear Instagram is overtaking FB in popularity, that might be a good site to investigate.

Last Edited: October 9, 2015, 5:15 PM

CoralLevang wrote on October 9, 2015, 5:17 PM

MegL I used to be on FB and didn't find that with the 600+ followers, it made much difference.
I'm not so sure I want to get back on FB, either. If I do, I'm reinventing myself. ROFLMAO

wolfgirl569 wrote on October 9, 2015, 6:27 PM

I dont know about old dogs but I am sure a young pup like you can. emoticon :grin: I need to watch this thread to see if there is any as I would like to make more than what I do and still be here to do everything with the animals that I do now

cmoneyspinner wrote on October 9, 2015, 6:29 PM

I don't know if you can be taught any new tricks. But if you learn some please pass them on to another old dog. Moi! :)

Paulie wrote on October 10, 2015, 4:12 AM

CoralLevang , I am confused. At the beginning of this article, you say you want to make more money with online writing. However, when you talk about Persona paper, you say you don't regard it as a source of income. If you didn't regard it as a source of income, why have you been so diligent watching every coin and cent that you have earned?

jiangliu1949 wrote on October 10, 2015, 7:23 AM

You are a senior writer online and have seen much of the vicissitudes of varieties of sites .Far from making a living online,I have made nothing on a certain site .I agree with you ,if there is no fun for me to be online ,I will leave it with no hesitation .

Rufuszen wrote on October 10, 2015, 1:03 PM

Very interesting, I would like to do more online writing, once I can see what the heck I am doing! I often wonder about a blog, but I've no clue what to blog about

CoralLevang wrote on October 10, 2015, 1:40 PM

When a character count gets to be 1,100, it's time to cut and paste into a word document to use as an article. I will get it up today.

I really want to thank you for this comment, because it is reminder as to how we all view the world and others based on our own motivations. You teach me a lot, Paulie.

CoralLevang wrote on October 10, 2015, 1:44 PM

wolfgirl569 I understand.
It would be nice to have a place to also write where I could make something monthly, which isn't why I write here at all. I am grateful to this site for the "coinage/money," but it's not why I am here. It just keeps me focused on writing everyday...a lot.

DWDavisRSL wrote on October 10, 2015, 3:16 PM

I've read volumes about how to use SEO, increase reader numbers, improve views, and it all sounded like so much time consuming work that I never bothered trying most of it. Perhaps that's why I'm still tied to the day job.

CoralLevang wrote on October 10, 2015, 3:45 PM

I tend to agree with you, DW. Then, it is too much like "work," for me. I have no problem with hard work, if I understand the "why"... and often that motivator is simply within me. It is not the $$ dangle.

wolfgirl569 wrote on October 10, 2015, 4:44 PM

But extra money is always nice lol I dont need it to pay bills, if I did I would go get a real job, this is my play money and what I get hubbies presents with for Christmas and birthday

Colibry21 wrote on October 11, 2015, 9:13 AM

I'm sure you'll be able to catch up and learn. I don't think you're ever too old to learn new things. Good luck.