A Year of Online Writing: What have I learned?
It does seem hard to believe that I have only been writing online for a year now. When I started this venture I was working a different job than the one I have now, and I was really fed up with just sitting around doing nothing during the day, and working at a really slow restaurant at night. Being a housewife is all very well and good, but you can only find so many things to clean during a day, and you can only run so many errands in order to get out of the house!
To make a long story short, I was playing online games one day and came across a Google Ad that I had often looked at but was afraid to click for some reason. I always felt like ads online were pretty shady, to be honest. I was wary of viruses and of identity theft. I was smart! There certainly are a lot of people out there on the internet trying to get money out of you, and I did not want to be another sucker.
The ad took me to Web Colleagues. I read over all of the details of what their membership would include, and even though most of the testimonials sounded too good to be true, I thought I would give it a try. To be totally honest, I didn’t even know what I was signing up to learn how to do! Fifty dollars is not a small amount of money to spend, especially in rough economic times and for something that I was not sure of, but I went ahead and gave up the money. I have not been sorry in the slightest.
One week went by, and I was still learning. Web Colleagues was, in fact, a course in how to make money using the internet, but not in the way I thought. I did not realize at first, but now I know better, that money is earned on the Web through advertising products and services through your own personal websites. I was really clueless! I did not even have a Google account, let alone a blog!
Setting up a Blogger account was the first thing to learn and accomplish. Not a difficult task, but if you are not a computer-savvy person, (I wasn’t at first); this can be a real challenge. I followed the step-by-step instructions given in Web Colleagues, and soon enough I had a Blog going, advertisements and all! I was really proud of this accomplishment, but still didn’t even know what to Blog about. Web Colleagues made it easy to set up the Blog, but what no one really mentioned is that getting the TRAFFIC is what is going to make your Blog successful.
Once I set up the Blog, I figured that I had more to learn. I went back into Web Colleagues and found that they had several different suggestions for money making opportunities on the Web. They offered direct links to lots of writing sites. This really caught my attention! I had long been sitting on a degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, in Journalism, no less. I followed one link in particular that really got me going. EHow.com was my first venture, and wow, have I learned a lot from that site!
EHow.com, for those not familiar with it, features user-generated content (articles), as long as the articles are submitted in a how-to format. Sounds easy, right? Well, kind of, but not really. I look back now at some of my original articles and I am shocked at how badly I wrote, even a year ago! I have found numerous typos and grammatical errors that if I had it all to do over again, I would write many of these articles very differently. Anything was accepted on eHow when I first started writing there a year ago, and my articles are proof of that. I watched as my balance on eHow went up (VERY slowly at first) and wondered what the big deal was writing online. This was no way to earn big bucks for sure!
I did end up earning and learning a lot on eHow. I won a few contests to the tune of about $200, which paid me back for my original investment times four! I also stretched my writing abilities, as I had to learn how to fit everything into a how-to format. I made quite a few friends, many of which I have found on other sites, now that I have branched out. I still earn on eHow, but I became disillusioned by many things that happened on that site. It was time to branch out.
There had to be a better way. I found several other sites to write on, some of them include Hellium.com, Associated Content and presently I am writing for Info Barrel. I feel like my writing skills have improved, and I found out that I still love to write, even if I am not making tons of money doing it.
There are a LOT of people trying to scam you on the Internet. I think it is important to mention this because if you are new to the online world, you most likely will be taken advantage of if you are not really careful. I do not click on a lot of advertising and I strongly advise caution if you are signing up for new sites. Paid surveys are a big scam out there, so I urge anyone reading this to be very wary of anyone promising big bucks for filling out surveys online. No one will pay you something for nothing in this world, and surveys take a lot of time and the reward is minimal.
To sum much of this article up, I have learned that there is no easy money out there on the Web. I do believe that there is money to be made, and that is why I continue to write articles, but I realize I still have a lot to learn. I follow certain writers I have found because I feel they have something to teach me. If you are new to this online writing game, I urge you to continue, but keep your expectations low and set your goals high. A lot of people are trying to earn money online, but only a few have what it really takes. I still am striving to be one of those people.