Your friends and even your boss claims that you write well, so you are thinking about writing articles online for pay, right? This is something that I believe most anyone can do, but there are some unforeseen pitfalls and obstacles that await you. Of course, isn’t this the case with most anything in life? There is no free lunch and you won’t find one in article marketing either.
So when you begin writing articles online, the first thing you must realize is that most likely you will be walking a tightrope that doesn’t exist for normal writers. If someone hired you to write for them offline, then all you need to do is find out what they want and merely satisfy their needs – not so with online articles as you will discover quickly and hopefully not painfully – read on, my friend.
Writing Articles Online and Their Unique Requirements
Let us say you found a customer who wants a few online articles from you. What must be discussed is the additional unspoken customer that you will also have to satisfy. And that customer are the major search engines – in most cases, your client will be most concerned with the biggest one named Google.
You see, online writing requires not only your client to be happy, but the search engines will need to like your work too. Otherwise, the articles are of no value to them – unless they are paying for their website traffic, which is a totally different animal to be discussed in another post.
But don’t be misled, the search engines could care less if they are entertained or inspired by your article, they are only concerned with the topic and it main focus. This tells them where to file your article, so that when their customers use their search engine, they will know where to place it in the rankings with other articles under that topic. And this ranking is what your cash paying client will be most concerned with, because it will make or break the success of his blog or website.
The Important First Step – Using Keywords
The one thing that must be discussed between you and your client in regards to the articles you are going to write is the topic of keywords. One of you will have to perform the keyword research. If he or she is good webmaster, then most likely they will be the one who did the research way before contacting you.
In either case, the keyword is the most important step. The almighty keyword will determine what level of competition your article will go up against. Now the competition part is not your concern as the writer of the article, but you have a significant role to play when writing articles online for them.
Your role is significant because the keywords need to be properly managed within your article. As a rule of thumb, let us discuss where you should place them – unless they tell you otherwise:
The Title or Headline. Place the keyword in the headline. It is preferred that it be the first words of the head if possible.
First sentence of the article. It is always good practice to place that keyword within the very first sentence. I like to also place it in the last sentence of the first or second paragraph as well.
In a Header somewhere. When you write content online, blog and website formats give you the option of placing a “header” designation wherever you please. I like to use many of these because it breaks up the verbiage and makes it easier to read. The title is designated is H1. I usually put the keyword in my very first H2 heading.
Every 150 words. As a guideline, plan to use your keyword once every 150-200 words on average. Incidentally, articles used online nowadays should be at least 1000 words as a minimum. This is because is how competitive organic search engine traffic has become. Of course, this may be something you as a writer have zero control over – as you are most likely being paid by the number or words.
Let me make one last point about keywords. If you are serious about writing articles online for pay, then you should spend lots of time understanding the role of keywords and how they help or hurt search engine rankings. The writer who understands them is the writer that most webmasters will hire. You are addressing the thing that is most important to them.
Effective Use of Headers
We talked about headers in the last section. Well, let point something else about them. A good writer of online content learns to use headers to their advantage. You see, most people who surf online and skimmers. In other words, they do not really read the words – regardless of how well they are written.
It’s not because the writing sucks or anything. It’s because they have limited time and probably want to visit another 30 websites before going off to bed. This is why they skim content instead of reading it.
Why not give them what they want? Let you headers tell them the story of what your article is about. This can do one of two things. Either they will take the desired action from reading the headers OR they will read the headers and focus in to read the words.
As a future online writer, hopefully this post has prepared you for writing articles online. Let me ask you this? Have you figured out the main keyword for this article? If you read this article, then it should be crystal clear. If you don’t know, then I’m not going to tell you because the answer is just too easy.
One last thing you must understand. If you get very good at writing articles online, then you will discover a huge demand for good writers that understand the needs of a website or blog. There are many writers out there who earn $100-$250 per 1000 word article. And the webmasters who pay for them are absolutely delighted because they know they’re well written and will rank well – earning them money.