Being a web writer is usually a freelance job, meaning that you have full control of your working day, but you have to find work for yourself. You need to be good at networking and at selling yourself. There are two kinds of web writing, writing web content and web copy writing.
Web Content Writer
Most website owners want unique content for their web pages and blog posts. This is your opportunity to step in as a web content writer and produce the needed content.
There are several ways you can earn money by writing web content.
Website owners may contract with a third party provider of web content such as constant-content.com, rent-a-coder.com, demandstudios.com. The third party provider then contracts out the writing to to a web content writer on their list, who is paid a fixed sum from $15-$75, depending on the complexity of the work. Most of this web writing is in the form of 500-800 word articles.
In most cases the contracting party will want full ownership of the article’s copyright; you lose all ownership of the article when you send it off.
Web writers must know, or learn, how to incorporate key word phrases into their articles without disturbing the natural flow of the piece. Any piece of web content writing must not read as though it is stuffed with keywords, but as a natural piece of English writing. You will be told how often the required keyword phrase should be repeated and must stick to that frequency if your work is to be accepted.
The three large outsourcing agencies for web content writing work in different ways. Demand Studios is very difficult to work for, with rigid Associated Press style for all writing. You choose articles from a list of titles and write in different formats, all of which are described in excruciating detail on the site. If you are writing an article that you know something about it is a lot easier but still extremely time consuming with endless edits required to both the article and your signature.
Content Content are slightly easier to work for. You will be sent a list of available articles every few days varying from 300-800 words. Content Content pay a much higher rate than Demand Studios, often $40-$50 for 500 words, against Demand Studios’ $15
On Rent-a-coder you bid for work, so be aware that you will be bidding against web writers from very low wage economies such as India or China. Unless you are prepared to work for Indian wage rates you are unlikely to be successful in many bids
Sometimes web content writers will be required to provide an article, complete with HTML paragraph and header tags. This is very easy. Download a free HTML editor, such as that included in Netscape Navigator 7.2. Type in normal mode, including side headings where appropriate, then switch to HTML mode and copy and paste the text into a text editor such as WordPad.
Web Copy Writer
The main sources of web copy writing work are through sites such as elance.com and freelancer.com. You must bid for work against web copywriters and coders from the developing world, where wage costs are only a fraction of US and European rates.
In many cases those looking for web content writing work will take the lowest cost option, then pay someone to rewrite the shoddy work when it arrives. You might have a better chance of editing work than as a web copywriter, because you can write in the perfect English idiom that is expected.
Whatever type of web content you are writing can be extremely rewarding. Everyone who writes anything for Internet use should sign up with at least Constant Content and write and submit a few articles to that site. The rapid turnaround and payment that these article outsourcing companies provide might help you out of a financial hole at some point in the future. As a freelance web content writer your future is always insecure and knowing that you can always bang off ten articles for Constant Content and receive a payment of three hundred dollars in a few days is reassuring.
No web content writer should spend more time than they have to working for this kind of up-front payment. With all of these websites you that forfeit all copyright and any future earnings from your articles. Think of the upfront writing payment sites as short-term income to pay the rent or to buy a new computer when you need one. Even if your situation is dire, put some time aside every day to write articles for other sites that will pay you a share of the advertising your article earns.