Can You Still Earn Money Writing Articles Online?

The idea of getting paid to write articles isn't anything new. It's been the first choice of many work at home enthusiasts for a long time, and for a good five or ten years, some great money could be made writing articles online.

Places like Squidoo, Hubpages, and other smaller “Web 2.0” sites would pay people for writing articles, on virtually any subject, and publishing them on their platforms (called web 2.0 because you don't own the site yourself).

It was pretty easy for anybody to get started this way, and after a few months' work, you could earn a few hundred to a thousand dollars a month this way. The best thing was, you didn't really even have to do any selling, just writing and providing information!

Of course, you could also make money as a freelance writer, providing articles for website owners too busy to write their own content, and other outsourcing needs, although this is typically harder for newcomers to get into.

Additionally, you could even make your own website and write articles on there, cutting out the middle man and earning a higher share. It was a longer term project, but with a much higher payout.

Generally those were the main ways of earning money writing articles.

What About In 2014? Can You Still Earn Money Writing Articles?

Things changed a lot in 2012 and '13 though, and a lot of people are wondering if you can still earn money online writing articles.
You can, and in this article I'm going to discuss the various methods you can still use, and the merits of each.

Squidoo, Hubpages And Other ‘Content Farms'

I had a lot of love for Squidoo a couple of years back. I honed some of my writing skills there and earned a decent amount of money for a couple of months too.

Squidoo's model was based on Amazon and Google Adsense earnings. When people visited Squidoo and bought something from Amazon or clicked a Google advert, Squidoo got paid. At the end of the month, they'd share that revenue with the writers who created the content.

The better your article was ranked on the Squidoo site, the more it would earn. One or two of my articles were earning me around $40 a month at one point. If you could get 10 or 20 of them, you'd be doing well!

As mentioned before, there were lots of sites like Squidoo, and a lot of people flocked to them to make money. This was ultimately what resulted in their downfall.

As more people joined, the general article quality declined. People were seeing that it was quite easy to earn money there, and that it was just a numbers game (the more you write, the more you earn), and ultimately it became a case of quantity over quality.

In late 2012 and as 2013 evolved, Google slowly gave lower rankings to articles on these sites, which meant less traffic, less revenue, and less earnings all round. The result? Sites started banning low quality writers, tweaking their rules more, and fiddling around in a desperate attempt to please Google.

These days, it's becoming less and less worthwhile to write on sites like this, your content won't get much exposure in search engines, so it won't result in much earnings. It was fun while it lasted, but their time is done.

You can head there and write some articles if you want, but there are some much better options for you now.

Earning Money Writing In 2014 – What Alternatives Are There To Web 2.0?

Build a website and earn money from it. It's the best way to make money writing articles.

Now before you run away, hear me out, I'm going to walk you through how easy it is to get started, and exactly why you MUST build your own website.

Here are five reasons why you should build your own website:

  1. You get 100% of any income earned.
  2. After you build up the site, it's like your own online real estate.
  3. You can write about your passions and become an authority in your category (also known as a niche).
  4. It's cheap and easy to get started, and you can earn as much as you want.
  5. Once you've built up a website or two of your own, the income is virtually 100% passive.

Setting up a website is nowhere near as hard as it used to be, you can do it yourself (read more here), or you can pay us to do it for you (read more here), either way, it's very much worth your while to do.

Here's An Example

Let's say you want to write about something you are interested in. For this example, I'm going to say Women's fashion. So you get yourself a website set up, and just start writing about women's fashion (or a particular aspect of it). You might think that there's no way anybody would find your site, but over time they would.

By choosing a niche, you can carve out your own piece of internet and become an expert. I've started sites on Kettlebells for women, luxury shaves for men, watches, and even stop smoking, and all of them gradually became well known and appeared in teh first pages of search results in Google.

Once you've started getting traffic to your sites, there are almost unlimited ways you can earn. You can refer people to useful products in your niche (maybe they want to buy something related to women's fashion), or you can place adverts on your site, anything!

To really learn about making money from a website, read here.

One Thing To Consider

Where the appeal of web 2.0 sites like Squidoo was that many people could just start out writing, and track earnings almost instantly, or at worst have to wait 1-2 months for payments, building a site and doing it on your own is a much longer-term affair. It could take you as long as 6 months to a year before you really start getting good payment….BUT, once your site starts getting successful, there's NO LIMIT to how much you could earn.

It's up to you, but since there's not much point in going for the old fashioned web 2.0 methods, you might as well build your own business.

The best place to get started, is by reading this guide.

6 thoughts on “Can You Still Earn Money Writing Articles Online?”

  1. Hey Bryon, Congratz on your success so far, keep up the good work! Would you say that I should just take my Squidoo lenses content and place it on my own website, may be rework it where necessary? I only really have one lens with enough content and potential to really justify moving it, the others are more personal in nature. Thanks David

    1. Hey David. I’m not really sure about how worthwhile it is to move something from one place to another in this case. In the long run (or even a shorter time frame these days) it is definitely advisable to just focus on your own site(s), but if a lens is doing well on Squidoo already, it might be best to just leave it there. If you do move it, delete the lens first, and wait a couple of months before adding it to your site to avoid you getting penalized for duplicate content.

      As for reworking, I think that’s a good idea, as it gives you double the chance of getting traffic/earnings etc. The more you focus on a site, the more it will grow. Once you’ve got some stable traffic, it’s generally smooth sailing from there!

  2. So, the rule of thumb is: concentrate less on writing for others, and more on writing for yourself and your own websites? Makes sense, actually. Enjoyed the article, Bryon. As always, it was a fun read. Love the style. 🙂

    1. Well, always write for your audience, but I know what you mean. At the end of the day, most people are doing this to make money for themselves, give themselves freedom, and build a business right? So why not build your own site out instead? It’s slow and steady, but slow and steady wins the race!

  3. Chris Desatoff

    Hey Bryon,
    I think the biggest problem with these types of revenue-sharing sites is that they set themselves up as targets for spammy practices.
    If your earnings are based on how much traffic you get to your articles, and if you want to earn more money with those articles, then what do you do? Well, if you’re like most writers on those sites, you spam the heck out of all your friends on social media, and maybe you also try to build backlinks all over the web to pass some link juice to your articles.
    And then Google penalizes the whole website, and everyone loses traffic and money, and then they all start looking for other sites to write on, and the whole cycle repeats itself.
    I think there’s still a place for user-generated content sites like HubPages and Squidoo, but quality controls have to be in place to ensure that the articles are good. HP and Squid have already made that adjustment, but they fail to fix the much larger problem…they still pay their writers based on factors that can be manipulated and spammed, and that is why they are dying.
    I have a new site and am looking for niche bloggers to contribute, and I’ll pay them to keep their articles on my site. But earnings on my site (pukitz.com) are not based on traffic or ad clicks or any of that stuff.
    I pay contributors 50 cents per post, per month. So every single article earns 6 bucks per year. That can add up with lots of articles published. And it doesn’t matter if the article gets 1,000 views a month or zero views…either way it earns 50 cents per month. Consistently. Every single post, every single month.
    A lot of bloggers don’t even make that on their own blogs, so I think it’s a good income stream for bloggers to add to their online arsenal. Plus, all Pukitz writers get a byline on every post with a link back to their blog. I think it’s a pretty good deal. It’s more than I ever made at HubPages or even with my own blogs, and I’ve been doing this for over 2 years.
    Aloha, Chris

  4. Great article and this is true, the article writing is not an old method to earn but this takes a lot a time to achieve the Goal to Earn. it maybe takes 8 to 10 month to withdraw your first earning.
    By the way, I really love your writing style and discussion about the blog.
    Thanks!

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