Right now, thousands of people from around the world, from professional authors to my sister-in-law, are using small, simple articles to make money on the Internet.
How much money can you make writing articles?
Well, that is going to vary from person to person, and a lot of other factors are involved as well. It's not simply how good a writer you are, but the subjects you choose to write about, how you address the subject, where you place your articles, how many sites you get your articles on, how valuable the information is, and the site ( s) you link to with your articles. A few small, 600 to 1000 words, articles properly placed can create regular customers and sales while enhancing an internet business website ranking within the search engines … which also increases traffic to the website. Increased traffic can translate to increased customers, therefore more sales, and, in some cases, repeat sales, which translates to residual (passive)
Some people make thousands of dollars while others just make a few bucks. However, the technique is simple and it's a game that almost anyone can play. Even my sister-in-law figured out that if she simply wrote about some of the problems she encountered growing up, there would be places where her articles could be published, people who would read those articles, and a means of linking from those articles to a site she and her husband have on the internet.
So, what IS the technique for making money with small articles?
In most cases, the first step is to decide on what the general subject is you wish to write about. In this case, I have chosen to write about writing. The general subject is then narrowed down to a niche. Again, in this case, I have chosen to write about how to write small articles for profit. Someone interested in bicycling may write about racing, or even narrow the niche to a specific sort of bike racing or type of racing bike.
The niche should be related to the product. The product may be a physical product, a service, or information. Some people will have a product already. Our bicycle enthusiast above may own a bicycle store or sell bicycle parts and accessories over the internet. I offer various services and information related to writing and publishing articles, so I have chosen to write an article on writing articles … for profit !!
It is important in most cases that you choose a product or service that you enjoy talking or writing about. If you pick a product JUST to make money, but do not really care about the area of interest, you will lose your motivation during periods when income is small or slow. It is a reality, by the way, that the first few days, weeks, or even months may be periods where you will make little or no money. An interest in your topic will help keep you coming back to "open your store".
What if you do not already have a product?
There are many sites on the internet where you can find people or companies which will be happy to pay you a commission for bringing them buying customers. Most of these "affiliate programs" will only pay if the customer you send to them actually buys something. Years ago, you could find programs which would pay an affiliate for a click-through, but, of course, many people would just sit and click on the link or have friends click on the link in order to generate income, so that went away .
Some places where you can find products with affiliate programs are ClickBank.com, commission Junction (cj.com), and Link Share (linkshare.com). If you can not find a product or company that meets your interests, just do a search on related topics and request "affiliate program" with the search. You may have to kiss a few frogs, but there are good affiliate programs in just about every field.
What do you do with your articles?
Make your own website:
Obviously, if you have several articles on a subject, you can always create your own website. A benefit of having your own website is that you control the set-up of your articles and you have complete editorial control of both the articles themselves and the website. You can add, subtract, and edit as you wish, and you can create any potentially profitable links as you desire.
The drawbacks are that your website, and article, exposure will be only as good as your search engine optimization efforts will make it and that your articles will be confined to one spot on the web. You will also have to learn something about website design, buy hosting, register domain names, and provide periodic maintenance, just to name a few responsibilities. If you want to try this route, you might want to cut your teeth with free hosting and, once you have gained competence and confidence, register a domain and host your own site yourself.
Create a blog:
There are a myriad of places to create blogs on the internet, and most of them are free. If you are a prolific writer, a blog may be perfect as you can regularly update your blog with new material. Even if you do not turn out articles regularly, you can fill in with material from the article directories, which we will talk about in a moment. Again, you will have control over most of the linking, but free services are sometimes limited in what they will allow you to do. For one example, I once tried to place a banner for an affiliate program on one of my blogs and it threw the positioning of everything out of whack. However, if you can offer interesting and relevant information on your topic and update it regularly, you can create a good amount of traffic to your business or affiliate program.
Post your articles on forums:
There are a kazillion (my spell checker hates that non-word) forums on the Internet, and you can find at least one for almost any topic or subject area. Many will allow you to create a signature which can include a link to your internet business website. Regularly posting relevant and interesting articles on these sites can create a lot of traffic, and sometimes contribute to enhancing your ranking and placement on various search engines.
Post your articles on article directories:
This is my absolute most favorite type, kind, and sort of method. Once you have written an article, you can go to any one of several good article directories and post your article. Article sites will allow you to include a link to your site. Be aware, however, that many sites will not allow linking directly to an affiliate link provided by the company you are affiliated with, so you may wind up having to create an intermediate information site or portal anyway.
Since this article may appear on several different article directories, I will not mention any specific article directories here, but, if you are seeing this article on an article directory, I possibly posted it there … which brings me to a benefit of posting your article on article directories.
Obviously, the more exposure you get for your article the better … in most cases at least. However, it can be a real pain to go from one article directory to another, cutting and pasting and dealing with the rules or restrictions particular to each site. Since many sites allow for your article, with your byline or links attached, to be copied by others, your article may be copied and placed on other sites or used in ezines. Those placed on other websites create new links back to your site, enhancing the value of your site in the eyes of the search engine spiders, and possibly bringing in new customers.
Still, you are faced with the bother of manually placing each new article on several different sites with different requirements. One way around this is to purchase the services of an article submission service. For a fee, these companies will, once you have posted an article on their site, submit it to several different article directories and forums. This can increase your exposure exponentially.
As with many things, there are few overnight successes. If you are able and willing to write at least a few articles and find places to post, them, however, you will be able to create the start of an Internet success story. The key is not to give up just because nothing happens right away. This is why you choose an area which pleases and interests you. If you are working in such an area, you will find it much easier to continue creating articles even if you are not immediately experiencing fantastic results.