Like many things in life, writing Internet content is made up of various layers. Unfortunately, there can be a tendency to notice that things are not going as planned. This may cause an author to hit the wall, sooner or later. The author can wonder if writing is worth the time and trouble for such low gains. Unfortunately, that is a question that must be answered by each person. Luckily, you can get some advice from other authors.
Early Writing Phase
At first, writing looks like a very easy way to earn money. Many authors earn significant funds each month. A scan of the top sites shows the same highly ranked names again and again. If someone has just three well paying articles, they can earn in excess of $100 per month. Who wouldn't want to experience some of that success? The newbie author gets their account set up, publishes a few articles and sits back to watch the money roll in. But it doesn't, unfortunately. Not that easily, at least.
Young Author Phase
After a while, a young author realizes that writing isn't a magic ATM. They publish a few articles, maybe a lot of them. Some viewer traffic comes their way, but not a lot of money. It's about then that the young author realizes that writing has a strange, almost magical, earning formula. As well, an article typically must be active for significant period of time to be earning any money at all. Thus publishing an article on the second of a month may not earn much money for 28, or more, days before it becomes a good performer. After the next month, the work may have earned a payment. Now the young writer finds out that the account payouts are not sent out until about 45 days later. That means that in the worse case, work will take 30 days before it begins to earn much revenue from the hosting site, 31 more days for it to be live for a full month and then 45 more days until a payment is received. That is a total of 106 days from the publication date to when money is actually received, again, worst case.
A Helpful Aid
Unfortunately, many writers do the math thinking that they will publish three pieces of text, wait a month or two, (or three), and make $100. Often, (always?), it doesn't work that way. A newly published piece may do well, gathering viewers from day one, but many don't. It will be indexed quickly by the search engines because the content hosting site is prominent, but the viewers may not find it. That's because there is a lot of content out on the Internet now. The teen writer learns that they must promote their work. They have to get people interested in the topic so they have a chance to read the piece. This can involve notifying people on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites, about the new published content. There are ways to do this correctly but a lot of teen writers often do it wrong. You are never to say "Here it is! Come and click on my work!". There are many rules against that. Instead, just show the published content in a natural way. "Find out all about long lasting white exterior paint". You then include a link to your page. Writing it out as the URL is OK but the HTML coding method is much better. Teens who get the word out usually get better traffic.
After you promote your pieces well, you may still find that they don't perform like they should. Now the mature author reads about search engine optimization and quality content guidelines. They edit their work to make them really explain the theme better, well, thoroughly, excitingly and completely. They add in profitable modules such as Amazon affiliates and lots of clickable links. Their page ranking goes up and things seem to be doing much better for a while.
Scott Berkun Tells It!
Secrets are Good
Building on Success
When things are working well, viewers, and money, are coming to your portfolio of work. It is then that being a writer is fully rewarded. They may also receive favorable comments or other indications of success. It is then time to build on the body of work. This involves analysis of what has been working, and really understanding this fact. Then you can duplicate the good work, and avoid replicating the bad. (Note that duplicating here refers to creating similar work, not completely copying the earlier publications!)
Most hosting sites will show you the viewer statistics for your work. It is a simple exercise to see which performs the best over time. You may need to click on the "Views" heading to sort the column correctly. If the lowest number of views is shown first, click on the heading again to reverse the search. With the top viewed work at the top, study the statistics screen. Is the top item the one you thought or is it a surprise? If your portfolio is varied with a lot of different topics, the top item may not be what you expect. Take a look at the second and third items as well. Are they related to the first one? If so, then you have the possibility of becoming an "expert" in that topic. If not, you are more of a general purpose individual. Both are fine.
Duplicating Your Success
When you examine your top ranked item, determine whether you could easily augment it with another publication. Perhaps the first one is a fairly general description of the topic. Maybe a more in depth study would be well received. Write a second piece along those lines. Make sure that you relate the two together so that people reading one can find the other. This increases your stature in the mind of the viewer. It can also lead to more success for both, measured by viewers and money earned.
Getting Over the Wall
If you run into major blockages when writing, you must find ways to get past the problem. Examine your work to find examples of good performance. Highlight those, and expand on them. Don't waste time on the work that is failing. Above all, keep studying the portfolio and publish items that people will find useful. Leverage that success in the future.