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How do I earn money writing from home?

Who wouldn’t like to earn money from home? Who doesn’t think they could string a few sentences together? Who actually likes going out to work?

Earning money on the internet from the comfort of your own home is a dream many people share, but few actually make a reality. It is, however, a very real possibility and something that you could do today.

“But how?” you may be thinking, “how can I earn money from my own home just writing for the web?”

There are many different ways you can make this a reality, and I’ll talk about a few of them here:

Become a blogger

One way you can earn money by writing is by setting up your own blog and earning something called affiliate commissions. As an affiliate, you earn a percentage of any sales made through your website. This is a popular method for people to earn money from their websites because it means they can write about things that interest them, and their website earns money 24/7.

There are many websites offering affiliate commissions, such as affiliate networks like Commission Junction and Affiliate Window, and websites such as Amazon have their own affiliate schemes as well. It’s easy to join as an affiliate, it’s free, and you can start earning commissions almost immediately. The only issue with going down the affiliate route is that you’ll need a lot of traffic to your website to make any real money from it, and you’ll ideally need a targeted audience for your content.

What do you mean by targeted?

Well, if you decide to write a blog about anything that interests you, from holidays to gadgets to parenting to food, you can join lots of different affiliate schemes and earn money from a variety of different companies. However, the people who read your content won’t all be interested in the same things, so having an advert for a food website isn’t going to interest someone who is on your website reading something you’ve written about the latest iPhone. It’s also much harder for your website to rank in search engines if it’s a bit scattershot with theme and topics.

Instead, it’s much better to pick a niche and stick to that. For example, you could write a holiday blog and review all of the places you’ve been to, the hotels you’ve stayed at and the things you’ve done, and you can earn affiliate commissions from holiday and hotel companies. Travel is a very competitive niche, but at least it is a niche.

Of course, even if you do that, you’ll still only earn money when someone visits your website, clicks through to the retailer and makes a purchase. If the retailer you’re promoting isn’t competitively priced, or the person who clicks through wants to look around at other retailers, you might not make any money at all.

This type of commission is called EPA (earnings per action), but there is another way where you can earn money when someone just clicks on an ad on your website. They don’t have to buy from the retailer, just click on the advert. This is called EPC (earnings per click).

The most famous, biggest, and easiest EPC affiliate scheme to join is owned by Google, and is called Google AdSense. Google pays out billions of dollars in payments to website owners every year, and it’s something I can personally recommend – in fact I did some years ago when Google asked for videos endorsing its AdSense program.

It’s a bit cheesy, but I convinced myself that’s what they wanted. As an AdSense affiliate, I ran websites which, at their peak, earned over $4,000 per month (around £2,500 at the time). That’s a full-time wage for many people, and I was earning that just by writing the odd piece of content for the odd website.

Whether you choose to go down the AdSense route or the EPA route, you still need to pick your niche, and it’s absolutely vital you pick a niche that interests you. If you choose something you’re not really bothered about just because you think you could make some money from it, you’ll soon lose interest and motivation. Take it from someone who knows – if you have a passion for something, it’s much easier to make time to write about it.

It is about making money though, so you should also choose something that pays well. If you’re into films or video games, that’s all well and good, but affiliate commissions from somewhere like Amazon on DVDs and games are very low. You would have to make a lot of sales through your website to earn anywhere near as much as you could earn by writing a successful travel blog. Equally, though, fewer people will spend thousands on a holiday than the number of people who will spend £20 on a DVD.

Getting paid to write content

Once your blog is successful, and you’re attracting a lot of people who are reading your content, you can contact the retailers directly on occasions to get paid to review a product. This is an increasingly popular means of monetising a website because online marketing companies (those companies who try to get their clients to appear higher in the search engines for different keywords) are very keen to get their clients mentioned on good quality content websites.

There are lots of websites offering to connect bloggers with retailers (for a cut, of course) or you can specify on your website that you’re willing to review products. It’s useful to boost your case for being paid to review products by knowing how many visitors your website gets, where you rank for particular keywords, how long people spend on your website and what your most popular articles are – and you can find all of this out for free by using Google Analytics. Make sure you add this to your website as soon as you set one up.

Reviewing products on your blog may seem a more exciting proposition, but companies often only want to pay the blogger with the free product. They deem that sufficient payment for their time. I would recommend against this route, as your time should be more valuable than that. Additionally, the more bloggers that hold out for actual monetary recompense, the more companies will start actually paying.

But what if I don’t have a blog?

All of these avenues rely on you setting up your own website, but if you’re not technically minded, or you don’t want to put in the time unpaid to start with, there are other opportunities for writers to be paid for their work online.

For example, there are many websites offering contracts for people to write content for them. Most of these websites pay either per article or per word, and they assign you with a brief that you must complete and submit within a determined deadline before getting paid. How much you get paid really depends on how much work you want to do, and how capable you are at writing the content in the first place.

It’s a lot harder than it seems, as you could be lucky and receive a brief for something that interests you and you know a lot about. On the other hand, you could receive a really dry brief to write content on a subject that’s deeply uninspiring and bores you to tears. This is the disadvantage with going down this route as opposed to setting up your own website. You don’t decide what you write about, so it could be something uninteresting to you. This requires you to be motivated and organised in order to find the time to write, and to stay on track with the work you have been assigned.

writing-anywhere

Writing content for someone else can be very lucrative, however. I personally know of many people who do this full time and earn a good living from it. The real benefit to you in doing this is that you get regular work that you can complete in your own time, from wherever you are in the world. You don’t need an office, you don’t need to commute to work, and you don’t need to worry about missing time to pick up the children from school, or to take the dog to the vet. You can fit your writing work in around your life, giving you the perfect work-life balance.

Interested?

If all of this has sufficiently whetted your appetite to start earning money by writing for the web, our course on doing just that covers everything I’ve talked about and a lot more, including how you go about actually finding work and which websites to approach. It talks about the technical aspects of writing, how to find and research subjects, and how to make your content more readable – something that’s very important if you want it to earn you money.

The course is £295 but, as a reader of our blog, you can get the course for the discounted price of £29 for a limited time by entering the coupon code WRITER in the checkout. The coupon code will update the price before you need to enter any payment details, so you can be certain of receiving the discounted price.

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Are you looking to earn money writing from home? Maybe you’re looking at freelance writing as a way of bringing in a second income, or perhaps you have higher ambitions…

If you have any comments about anything I’ve said, or any questions, do let me know in the comments box below.

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