Bang2writers often write to me, asking how they get started writing online articles for money. Such articles are often called ‘content writing’. These can be a great way for writers to start their writing careers because …
- Writers have to pitch their ideas for articles (like they would screenplays & novels)
- They have to consider target audience (‘WHO is this for? WHAT am I trying to say?’)
- They make useful contacts who can connect them to other useful people
- Writers add to their online reach (so agents, producers and publishers will see their writing)
- It’s a good way to earn ££$$, which in turn validates writers’ dreams and keeps them focused
So if you want to get started on content writing too, this post is for you.
Before you get started
One of the biggest mistakes wannabe content writers make is jumping straight in. You need to do your research first. Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s by pitching the wrong people the wrong stuff in the wrong way!
Check out these resources …
One of my favourite sites is Smartblogger. THIS ARTICLE is an excellent post with a breakdown of what you need to do to write blogs for sites. Smartblogger’s Jon Morrow has many courses you may want to consider. I think he is excellent and can recommend him highly.
How To Write A Guest Post Pitch That Converts is another fantastic resource, this time from Hunter Blog. I love how they have concentrated on goals, as well as finding people who matter. Make sure you bookmark it!
Here’s another great resource for you too … 29 Easy Ways To Make Money Online in 2021 from The Wave Freelance Hub. I love how they’ve broken down all the various routes and markets, plus there’s great linkage too.
Do also read about ‘best practices’ when it comes to blogging. As an example, good headlines are a MUST for great content writing. Find out why at Headline Hacks.
Once you’ve done your research and seen what’s out there, now is the time to get started on your content writing strategy.
STEP 1) Craft a bio and pitch email
First up, write yourself a great bio and add it to all your social media sites. If you have a website, add it there too. No idea where to start with a bio? No problem – check out THIS POST.
There’s a model email in the Smartblogger post. Use that to create your own.
STEP 2) Decide what you want to specialise in
In the past I’ve concentrated on writing about writing tips, movies, TV and books because they’re what I am most interested in. However I’ve also written about stuff like parenting, money/budgeting etc and other life stuff.
Maybe you’re interested in writing about stuff like gardening, pets, health, activism etc … Or maybe something completely different! Making this decision will help you ‘zero in’ on the sites you need to target.
STEP 3) Write a post for B2W
If you like the same kinds of things I do, then consider writing a guest post for B2W. Whilst I can’t pay for guest posts, you will have a link you can refer to in your pitch. I will also ensure your post is distributed far and wide, plus I never retire them. Check out all the details, including the B2W submission gudielines, HERE.
You can do one for my LVH author site too if you like. HERE are the details for that one (note how the two sites differ!).
Both of these links can act as your ‘portfolio’ to get you started pitching for paid jobs.
STEP 4) Create a list of sites that you are interested in pitching to
Before you pitch them, make sure you have checked out their sites. Don’t waste their time or yours by pitching the wrong stuff to the wrong people. People pitch me ideas for articles that could never go on B2W every single day. It’s very frustrating.
STEP 5) Start pitching!
Now you have your research down, a pitch email and a list of places, you’re ready to go. Eeek!
Check out these links for more …
The first few blog posts etc you write will take you a while. But the more you write, the quicker you will get at it. After a while, you will be knocking out 500-1000 words in half an hour no worries.