Author Archives: Dollars

Keep Making Money Online By Writing Ahead

writing-ahead-graphicIf you target the right keywords and focus your writing just so, you might be able to rank highly for a specific phrase or set of key words without updating your site regularly. But, doing so is really more the realm of those make money fast types who want to convince you that you can make big money on the Internet by doing virtually nothing. All you have to do is throw up a couple of websites that you can build in minutes. Of course, you will never figure it out on your own, so you’ll have to cough up $49 for an eBook, or subscription, or something.

But, since this site is about helping writers make money online by doing what they do best, that is writing, I’m not going to go there right now. Instead, I will tell you that the three-word phrase you see on everyone’s how to make money posts, Content Is King, is 100% true.

I am currently in the midst of an ongoing project to build a big money making empire of websites. I could use all those SEO tips and webmaster tricks out there to try and make crappy sites rank high, or I could just do what I do best, write quality articles and posts for these sites and let Google do what it does best, separate crappy MFA sites from good ones.

That being said, it would take very fast typing fingers to write daily content for even a dozen websites, let alone several dozen. Trying to do that while running a small freelance writing business would require the aid of some form of time stopping ability.

What is a budding writing web entrepreneur to do?

Write ahead.

Every day, you will be writing. After all, you are a writer, and that is what writers do.

However, some days you will fill like writing about certain topics and not about others. Save the forcing-it writing for paying clients with deadlines and use your want-to writing to write for your sites. You’ll write faster and better.

Don’t just write one post or article and move on. Write three. Write a dozen. Heck, write 20. Then take advantage of WordPress’s scheduling ability to meter those posts out in nice search-engine friendly increments. Personally, I like to publish every other day, not including weekends. That makes a Tuesday-Thursday publishing schedule fairly attractive.

Sticking to this schedule gives you two major benefits. First, your content is always new and fresh, which Google loves.

Second, since you know that your “automatic posts” go out every Tuesday and Thursday, when you need publish something a little more timely, or you just don’t want to put what you just wrote at the end of the queue, you can set it to post on any of the other days of the week and know that you won’t be overlapping without having to go into your control panel and look it up.

Do this for each site as you set them up and have maximum enthusiasm for the topic. You should easily be able to crank out 5 posts. With the 2 a week schedule, they’ll last 2 1/2 weeks before you have to come back.

Chances are, you’ll have plenty of good ideas before then.  Keep going and pretty soon you’ll have enough posts queued up to take a vacation and not miss a beat.

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Increase Traffic to Your Sites Easily With Images From Ads and Affiliate Links

Ask anyone and you will find that graphics and images make your websites and blogs more appealing and easier to read. Websites that are good looking will keep readers around longer and build more web traffic. But finding suitable graphics and then getting them uploaded, re-sized, linked, and listed with the proper HTML code and ALT tags can be time consuming.  Here is a quick tip to make posting your writing with images faster and easier, whether you are building a full website from scratch, or posting to an established WordPress blog.

You can do this all of the time, but for those instances where a customized graphic or image just isn’t going to be worth the time or effort, consider using graphical ads as your images instead. Amazon’s affiliate program, Amazon Associates, offers numerous types of advertisements that you can place on your website. You earn money when people buy something at Amazon based on the ads you put up on your site.  Choose a graphical advertisement under either "Links" or "Widgets" and past the code into your post. Maybe like, oh say, this one 🙂

 

Use Relevant Ads to Make Your Site Better

Make sure the ad is relevant to your posting. Check out this recent post at a Dad Parenting Advice blog about how cargo shorts can help with a young child’s collection of sticks and rocks. A few minutes at the Amazon Associates site and a colorful graphic of cargo shorts is ready to go on the website.  And, since the article is about cargo shorts, the images fit perfectly; they certainly look as good as any shorts picture you would find laying around in a clip art gallery or stock photography website.

While it is by no means a certainty, it is completely possible that a Dad or Mom reading that article would think to themselves, "Hey, he’s right. Cargo shorts would be a great way to help carry around some of my baby stuff." In that case, the reader might actually appreciate the useful link to find some of those shorts.

As an added bonus, if someone does happen to be moved to buy something from that link, either because of the site’s persuasive prose, or because of the catchy ad served from Amazon’s own web servers, then the author makes money from their online writings.

Isn’t that the whole point?

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Start Up Writing Business Guide

business-start-up-guide-graphicCheck out the recently published Writing Business Start-Up Guide.  The guide will grow and expand over time, but for now, includes all important information about getting a taxpayer ID number instead of using your Social Security Number on your W9 Forms.

It also covers why almost all professional freelance writers should be incorporated as an LLC business type versus sole proprietorship.  Then, it tells entrepreneurs how to setup a writing business LLC by filing Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of your home state.  (Technically, LLCs are formed without articles of incorporation, but people commonly refer to it in this manner anyway.)

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Best WordPress Themes for Writers

If you are going to make money by writing online, you are going to need your own website.  Whether you hire out your writing services to others as a freelance writer, or you build your own websites to fill with your own personally written content, you are going to need your own site.  Building a static site and gaining traction with it is tough.  Until you are ready, you’ll want a blog, and no blogging platform is easier to use, more customizable, or better suited for SEO and monetization than WordPress.

Building a WordPress site is surprisingly easy.  Jumping right in is the best way to learn.  Get yourself a webhost and register a domain and start writing.  Sure, there is lots to learn and your blog will not be optimized for its best performance right out of the gate, but as you gain experience and figure out how things work, WordPress is the platform that will grow with you.

Best WordPress Themes For Writers To Make Money Online

One of the first things you’ll end up wanting to do with your new WordPress blog is change how it looks.  The layout of a WordPress blog, including what it displays, what fonts it uses, how many sidebars there are, how headers and footers are treated, and so on are all controlled by what is called a theme.

WordPress themes come in two varieties, free and not-free.  The not-free themes sometimes call themselves “premium” themes, but there are plenty of free themes that call themselves premium too.  The most important thing to understand when it comes to free versus pay WordPress themes is that not all paid WordPress themes are good, and not all free WordPress themes are inferior to their for pay counterparts.

Until you know more about WordPress and how it works, stick with a free theme.  You’ll change your mind a dozen times the first year alone about what would make your writing look best and if you are shelling out $79 or more for each theme, you’re just wasting money.

Evaluating WordPress Themes

When it comes to WordPress themes, it is easy to be seduced by the coolness.  The demo site, or thumbnail picture that accompanies the theme in the multitude of WordPress Theme Directories is the way to get an idea of what the theme looks like with a quick glance.  Unfortunately, it is also the way to end up trying a lot of the wrong WordPress themes while skipping over a lot of themes that might be really great for your online money making enterprise.

How should you evaluate a WordPress theme?

First off, consider how it would look without the top graphic.

Most themes come with some sort of page-wide banner or graphic that helps promote the “theme” of the theme.  For example, a automotive theme might have a cool picture of a car across the top.  Ironically, that might be the only thing about the entire theme that is related to cars!

Since you don’t want a website that looks like a hundred other websites out there, you’ll want to customize the default theme.  The first thing you are going to change is that image, because no matter what else you do, that image will make your site look like all the other sites with that image.

Now, look again.

Without that image is the theme you are looking at still a good one?  If not, keep looking.  Header images are a dime a dozen and you’ll be able to add the most amazing header image ever to virtually any theme out there.

If you aren’t looking at the flashy images on the theme, then what should you be looking for?

The answer is layout, style, and usage.  Tweaking colors and bullets and so on are relatively easy once you know what you are doing.  But, the overall layout and style are tougher, as is a site’s usage.

Don’t try and hack a 3-column theme to be a 2-column theme or vice versa.  Likewise, don’t plan on redoing every font in the theme.

Most important of all, make sure you understand how to USE the theme.  You can’t do that from the picture.  Go to the original location of the theme, that is the developer’s website.  If you can’t find it, that isn’t a good sign.

Read through the description given.  Key things to look for are required plug-ins, JavaScript functions, and custom fields.

None of these things makes WordPress theme unusable, just understand that the functionality they provide can likely be used in any theme, including one whose look and feel might suit you better.  Instead of forcing a theme because it has some scrolling image menu that you like, download the scrolling image plug-in instead and then use it on that theme that you actually wanted to use.

Use these tips to avoid wasting your precious time sorting through hundreds of themes that aren’t right for you.

Also, watch for our upcoming article, Top WordPress Theme Features to Look For and Top WordPress Theme Features to Avoid.

Come back soon.

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