This one is a freebie. If you want to learn the basics of becoming an online freelance writer, download So You Want to Be a Freelance Writer (also available in Kindle format).

In Response to an Email    

email

This post is inspired by e-mail I received from one of my readers. This reader is familiar with online writing in that he has earned money writing for sites that pay up front. Now he’s looking to increase his residual income stream (smart move).

The reader was interested in my opinion on content sites post panda and also wanted to know how many articles I’ve written for each content site. Additionally, he inquired about how many sites I have and how many articles are on each. I guess it’s his way of gauging the amount of work it takes to build a steady residual income stream. He also suggested that it would make an interesting post, so here it is:

My Article Numbers

Lots of WritingTo give an overview I have 270 articles on Suite 101 about 20 on HubPages, had over 300 on eHow and currently have hundreds of articles (probably about 1,200 or so) sprinkled across my various websites. At last count I’m down to 15 or 16 sites. Of those sites 4 or 5 bring in the most income (the best earning site still doesn’t have 40 posts on it yet).

As far as my opinion on content sites post panda, I think they still have something to offer to folks who are new to online writing and are looking to get their feet wet. Sites like Suite 101 provide some sort of editorial feedback. Because many newbies have never published online before, content sites are a good place to start.

Having said that, at this point in my online writing career I choose not to use content sites. They served their purpose for me early on and I’m thankful for that. However, for me to keep marching towards my goals, I’ve got to drop content sites from my arsenal (or at least severely reduce my time writing for them). Last month they made up 4% of my online revenue stream and dwindling.

A Little Advice

Now that we’ve got the numbers and my opinions out of the way, the most important aspect of my online writing journey isn’t so much about how many articles I’ve written or sites I own. It’s all about what I learned during and after writing each article and building each site. I learned much about online writing and even more about myself.Learning

My last site, to which I bring the most experience, has earned more in 4 months than most of my blogs earned in 4 years. As I continue on this online journey I keep learning what works and what doesn’t. I also learn what I’m willing to do and what I’m not willing to do.

I think the most important lesson I learned is that a common sense search is more lucrative than a keyword search when starting a new site. My least lucrative blogs followed the keyword search formula while my most successful ones were based on common sense.

Oh, and one more thing. You’ve got to enjoy what you do. If you don’t enjoy it, stop now. There’s no way you’ll be able to write the amount of articles it takes for a steady residual income stream if you’re not having fun while doing it.


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Filed Under: Earning MoneyResidual Income

About the Author: Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites which include Tidbits and Stuff, BLULOW, A Dose of Health and a few other sites/blogs scattered around the internet.

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  1. Joni says:

    This is one of your most informative blogs for me. As someone else stated, I wanted to ask you this info also but didn’t want to bother you. It gives me some idea of how much work is required. I agree with you concerning the key words. When I use “common sense”, my articles do much better.
    I have been having severe health problems in last few months so I have had to slow down on all my writing, but I am not giving up. I’m getting older; therefore, I will need to learn how to work around my health problems. I do not like to give out all my info either; I am learning that you cannot always trust everyone and unfortunately, we need to watch our backs.
    Thanks,
    Joni

    • Felicia says:

      Sorry to hear about your health problems, Joni. I’m with you on the getting older thing. I find that I’m using alternative ways to accomplish a few tasks that I used to whiz through when I was younger. I look at it as a new adventure.

      Reminds me of my tech writing days. Whenever the software didn’t do what the client wanted it to do, we called it a “New Feature.” Getting older brings along with it “New Adventures.”

  2. I agree with you, Felicia. I think right now the best way to go is your own site. Content sites are great for people who just don’t have the inclination to make their own site, though. That’s why I first started doing content sites. Now, I’ve bit the bullet and have several sites up and earning.
    Even though Suite has been blasted by Panda, I still think it is a good place for young writers to get their feet wet. It’s important to be able to get your work edited without getting your bloomers in a knot if you dream of writing books, magazine articles and such.
    Alina Bradford recently posted..Demand Media Studios Cuts Writers

  3. Amanda says:

    Felicia, can you explain a little what you mean by starting a site with “common sense”? Do you mean sites that people will visit, instead of sites that are merely stuffed with keywords? Thanks.

  4. Gwendolen says:

    I am getting my feet wet with my own residual sites. I have some good ideas, but I’m really terrible with website creation and design, even with the WordPress plugin. Should i keep on chugging? Get a book? Hire someone? Your blog looks so good…I want to make mine look half that good.

    • Felicia says:

      Gwendolen, how about trying all of the above. You see, I enjoy playing around with WordPress themes. My initial exposure to the Internet was in creating a hand-coded website.

      If you don’t enjoy playing around with themes and HTML get a book or do a bit of research online. I learned HTML by doing online research. If that doesn’t work for you then hire a high school kid to handle your blog’s setup.

      There are plenty of free WordPress themes you can use. For several years I used nothing but free themes. I started with a simple two-column theme. It was the easiest for me to wrap my head around. The more I learned the more sophisticated the themes became. I paid for the theme that I’m using here, but if you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t pay for a theme.

      Keep in mind that the content is way more important than how the blog looks.

      Above all, keep chuggin’. Never give up.

  5. Ken Muise says:

    Hi Felicia..hope all is well.

    I like this guy who emailed you! I wanted to ask the same things and just didn’t have the cajones to do it. Thanks to him for asking the question I got answered.

    Anyway…

    I got this email (plain text) today and was wondering if you could school my newbie little butt! lol

    Email:
    My name is Lienka Mills and I was wondering if you are interested in exchange links, I’ll place your link on my sites exactly here:

    yourchoice4ptonline(dot)com PR3
    theswordmaster(dot)net
    home-based-online-business.bizsite4u(dot)com

    If you agree please send me your site details:

    Title:
    Url:

    I’ll place your link in less than 24 hours, then I’ll send you an email with my info.

    Regards

    If you don’t want to receive more mails just reply with “unsubscribe”.
    (end email)

    Thanks again!

    Ken
    Ken Muise recently posted..5 Tips for Legitimate Online Money Making

    • Felicia says:

      Ken, I get such emails quite often. I don’t participate in link exchanges so I usually just delete the emails. If there’s a blog that I like and want to provide a link to the blog, I link to it without the need for an exchange.

  6. Robert says:

    No problem, Felicia. I understand, and I am just sorry you learned the hard way. Keep up the good work here; I love your blog!

  7. Robert says:

    Hi Felicia,

    I enjoy your site so much and your attitude is great! Forgive me for asking if this is on your site somewhere and I missed it, but do you have a list somewhere of all the sites that you manage, the ones that are not the content sites like Suite 101, Hubpages, etc.?

    Thanks!

    • Felicia says:

      Sorry Robert. I don’t have a listing of all my other sites. I would love to share that information, but I learned the hard way that there are some things I just cannot share. :(