If you are a newbie freelance writer, your biggest problem is information overload. Thanks to the internet, you are bombarded with different ways to succeed as an online writer every single day. The downside of this is confusion and paralysis because each shiny new method seems more attractive than the previous ones. Many of them are expensive but promise to make you an overnight millionaire.

However, if you want to make a steady online income as a freelance writer, you don’t need to spend money on expensive courses or e-books. Instead, choose one of these three hassle-free ways to get started today, depending on your writing skills:

1. Constant-Content
Constant-Content (constant-content.com) is the leading provider of original high-quality content to over 10,000 websites as well as print media. By joining Constant-Content, you gain access to thousands of regular customers who want to buy high-quality original content.

Once you join Constant-Content, you can set your own price for your articles—from a minimum of $7 to $100 or more for every article. After your article is sold, you receive 65 percent of the price.

However, you should submit articles to Constant-Content only if you are confident about your writing skills. Constant-Content will summarily reject your articles if they contain grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors or do not meet their stringent editorial standards.

To join Constant-Content, read the guidelines (constant-content.com/about/writer-guidelines.htm) and complete the author registration form (constant-content.com/area/registerauthor.htm).

If you are not confident enough about your writing skills, consider writing for Squidoo, Suite 101 or Bukisa.

2. Squidoo
Squidoo (squidoo.com) is a revenue-sharing service that enables you to build a site (called “lens”) on any subject of your choice. Once your site is published on Squidoo, Google ads will be displayed on it and you will get a share of the ad revenue. In addition to ad revenue, you can also earn 50 percent affiliate income by displaying and selling products from Amazon, eBay, Cafepress, and iTunes. Besides using Squidoo to earn money, you can also use it to drive traffic to your blog or website.

To create your Squidoo account, complete the simple application form (squidoo.com) and explore the site before you create your first lens.

3. Suite101
Suite 101 (suite101.com) is another site that pays you a share of the revenue generated by Google ads displayed alongside your articles. Suite 101 pays you directly through your Paypal account. Unlike other revenue-sharing sites, you don’t need to have a Google Adsense account to get paid, which is a significant advantage. Suite 101 also offers better editorial support than most of the other sites.

To start writing for Suite, you have to fill an application form and submit a sample of your writing (suite101.com/freelance_writing_jobs).

Benefits of these three sites:
All these three sites:

  • are free to join
  • offer equal opportunities to writers worldwide
  • do not require knowledge of HTML
  • allow you to write on the topics of your choice
  • pay via Paypal (paypal.com)
  • have extensive free resources to help you develop your skills
  • have forums that offer additional support and guidance
  • help you to build a portfolio and showcase your work
  • give you access to additional writing assignments
  • enable you to promote your work using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

(If you already have a Google Adsense account, Bukisa (bukisa.com) is another good option, especially if you are completely new. If you don’t have an Adsense account, Bukisa helps you to apply for one. Bukisa also allows you to publish articles that you have already published on your blog or elsewhere.)

If you are a new writer, choose any one website and stick with it for at least three months. Read all the guidelines before you submit your first article. If you publish articles consistently at any of these sites, you will soon start earning a steady income. Best of all, you will gain confidence and build a sound foundation for a successful career as an online freelance writer.

8 February 2012

Rohi Shetty is a medical doctor, Vipassana meditator, writer, editor, translator and blogger. His short stories and articles have been published online and in print.

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