Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Paid Blogging - No Substitute for Quality

Paid blogging is a practice that is all too common on the internet and you will find that the lower end of the scale it is basically a sweatshop of amateur content writers pumping out thousands of useless articles everyday. The type of site that will take any content and allow you to spam it full of links to a product or website who has paid the hosting company or middle man a lot more.



There are two types of paid blogging and to know the difference between good and bad you must first consider the structure of the transaction. Bloggers are effectively journalists, not in the traditional sense but on a small scale. You will find many people who started in blogging are now having articles commissioned by large newspapers who have grabbed hold of the idea of opinion pieces and seek 'experts' to help their readers understand a topic that may be hot in current pop culture. So what are the different types?

If you Google paid blogging you will find a number of article farms that let you connect to people who want to buy content, the problem is that you will find the pay is between $1 to $10 regardless of your expertise. This in effect means quality is low as anyone who blogs professionally does not spend less than 30 minutes writing an article and for that kind of money your talking about taking work that is below minimum wage in the US and UK. So who does take all this bottom level work? Well either people who do not value their time very much, or people who have English as their second language. This means that you can find a whole array of badly written articles about different products. The company paying has been sold a false promise of increased traffic and great content, many of these sites proclaim to have hundreds of thousands of social media followers who will see your article but that in itself is not entirely true. Most twitter and certainly Facebook followers will never see your content, they will never engage with your brand. The reason being is that the majority of their social media followers are in fact people who want to write and get paid by them, hardly your target audience for selling car parts. Facebook has begun to realise this and thus has removed your posts on pages from the majority of your fans timeline, on average only 5-7% of your fans will ever see a post you make, that is unless the page owner pays a handsome fee to promote it.

The second type of paid blogging is like a special club that you only get into by proving your worth. This is where the best bloggers reside, working for big companies and websites who value quality and realise that they need to pay good money for the great articles. This is where your big business have departments that look for exceptional bloggers and approach them with a decent offer of pay for an articulate and worthy blog post. The pay can vary from $100 up to thousands for a quality article. They do not go in for shady social media tactics instead allowing the quality of the work to speak volumes and the writers, if in a niche field, will already have a great network of hungry consumers waiting on their next article. To actually make a living from writing you must break into this circle, and how do I do that you may ask? Well unfortunately there is not a simple answer otherwise it would suddenly become a wash with poor quality and drive the price down for everybody. The only sure fire way to make good money is to invest time into some of your own blogs, build up a reputation and engage in social media and forum interactions with others bloggers and PR workers. If your website consistently pumps out good quality informative articles then you will find that these high paying jobs will find their way to you. Of Course is does help if you advertise the fact you are willing to write content for pay.

How to get started

Get a blog, its doesn't have to be your own domain you can open one easily on a free blogging site. Consider what your content will be about, try to avoid going too broad brush you can have a lot of niche websites but if it is confusing to the reader then you may find it is counter productive to your aims. Once you have built up a steady stream of content you will then need to start trying to build links so that Google can find you and value your blog. Guest Blogging is a good way to do this and another aspect that it provides is that other people will edit and critique your work. If you get a lot of rejections from guest blogging opportunities this is an indication you certainly aren't ready to recieve any paid work. Keeping it all in your niche is key to ensuring that quality is built from the Guest blogs so do not be tempted to write about a foriegn subjects just because its a page rank 4 site that offer two backlinks.

Monetise your Blog

Google ads are a great way for you to have a trickle income, this is a passive income stream that can be valuable as your build your portfolio. Many well read informative blogs can get around $200 easily from their ad revenue and if you have three or four blogs this could really add up.

Start to Engage with Others

Once you have a well ranked and informative site that is producing good quality content on a regular basis (minimum 3 articles per week) then you can begin to seek out others in the paid blogging arena. This may take some time as there is no website where they all hang out. Start to engage on linkedin and Google+ with other content writers and you may find they have some great advice. Keep your writing CV up to date with examples of your own blogs and guest blogs that you have been published on other website.

The First Paid Pitch

To begin you may wish to find a freelance job board and look for opportunities in your field, these will pay between $20 and $40 per article. Doing this well is the key, think of it like an audition. Do not rush your work as to have it rejected would kill your confidence. These smaller but wholesome opportunities will provide you with another rung on the ladder to your full time paid blogger status.

Summary

The one over riding aspect of blogging for money is to make sure you build a reputation before you begin. There is no substitute for time and content, the longer your blog has been established and the more quality content you have then the rest will take care of itself. So if your looking for an instant pay off you may be better to just go and get a job in your local town and do this part time until your starting to see some pay off.

If you'd like more information or want to find some decent freelance job boards then drop me an email at Steve @ Vinyl Puppet .com