Along the journey…

writeI cannot believe that December is in full swing, and with that comes the end of the year. Now I often find myself contemplating the goals I set for this year, and what I will set for the next. To my surprise, my blog often finds itself linked by other authors as a resource. This became an unexpected result of writing for this blog. I had no idea so many readers would find what I say that helpful, and I’m so glad they do.

It gives me hope that I write well enough to be considered a ‘real’ writer.

This past year endured trials and errors, and explorations on the Web and delving into writing for the Web. There’s been up and there’s been downs.  So here I will share with you what I’ve found whilst on the journey…

I’ve learned that writing for the Internet wasn’t what I expected. There are writing opportunities out there, many of which also provide wonderful feedback and learning experiences for a writer. There are also a number of scams to avoid, and a measure of knowhow you should glean before taking the plunge into publishing in this medium.

For starters, you need to understand the important of keywords. Keywords help your words to be found by searches. In fact, keywords become more important than actual grammar or spelling with some sites. In addition, you also need to find topics to write about that are demand. Some unethical writers might add keywords that have nothing to do with their article, but it gains them ‘hits’. (readers to your site).

I also learned that writing for the web isn’t the road to success that it promises. Any writer, no matter the genre or style, no matter the skill level, still must offer regular writing to keep up a decent income.

I’ve learned that too many blogs by writers will post writing opportunities, but the author has no real experience or knowledge of how the site works. I’m not clear why an author would lead so many other writers into the unknown like that. So many sites promise a means to earn money, and yet scam the writer for their talent. If you’re going to share a link to a writing opportunity, at least make sure its a valid resource.

You earn three ways with writing for the Web; 1) up front payment for articles or reviews, which is cash payment often via, 2) the number of hits your article or review receives earns a small amount of income, also payable generally via Paypal, and 3) earning revenue through Google Adsense. Unless you understanding marketing and how to gain more readers, don’t bother writing for sites that work with Adsense or require a number of hits.

I’ve learned that where the real money lies with writing is with articles, stories, novels, essays, and other pieces that get published through valid publications. Nearly every website I’ve read about, visited, or even participated with pays very little money for what you do. Better money also includes a writer’s understanding of their own copyrights, and how to milk an income from each piece of work that they do. This means marketing, resubmitting to other publications (depending on the copyrights you give to the publication), and also making sure to keep writing new work as much as you can. Just because you publish one book or article means you sit back on your laurels. A writer keeps writing to be a successful author.

I’ve learned that making a living as a writer takes various level of skill. For instance, one writer I know is not that skilled or eloquent with her writing and yet published an article for $150 in a magazine. The trick, I think, has more to do with taking risks to getting your work out there, to also finding various mediums to be published in. Knowing the right people helps, and also finding that certain topic that strikes interest in readers.

I’ve learned the computer, though a wonderfully powerful tool for a writer, can also offer many distractions. Only the past month have I put my foot down in response to my own procrastinating. Watching TV online, finding weird and bizarre web sites, or even losing myself in chat rooms wastes valuable writing time.

In response to this, I rid my browser of all toolbars save the Firefox Bookmarks toolbar. In that single toolbar I set it up to hold only the essential, writing- oriented links I’d use.  I cleared up my desktop to have nothing to sway me from writing, and I promised myself to spend a short time each morning reading about writing, which often inspires me to get into writing something myself.

In short, this year provided insight in my quest, and guides me along towards my goals.


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