For several years people have joined websites where they can write articles for upfront payment or revenue share. Now there is a much better way.

In recent years many people have turned to the internet as a way of making money from home, either as a primary or secondary income source. A popular income source is writing articles for websites. There are many choices but none of them are going to make you an instant millionaire. The choices are:

  1. Starting Your Own Blog or Website
  2. Working for private clients
  3. Writing articles for upfront payment websites
  4. Writing articles for Adsense revenue share websites
  5. Writing for the new breed of websites

Below is a discussion of the pros and cons of each, and why the new breed of website is the best way for a writer to maximize the income potential of their articles.

Starting Your Own Blog or Website

These days you can start a blog and even a website for free using things like blogspot and Google websites. You can monetize your site using Google Adsense and every time a visitor clicks on an advert you get 100% of that revenue. You have to do all the work yourself, will start with no pagerank and will find out just how difficult it is to get traffic to a newly formed site. If you are prepared to put a LOT of work in you can make money this way.

It may sound simple but there is a huge amount to learn about page design – did you know that where you put your ads on the page and even what colours you use can influence the chances of web clicks? You are supplying all the content and in order to keep visitors returning to your site you will need to update frequently with new content and although it can be fun for the first week or so it soon can become an onerous task and you will wonder if it worthwhile when you put you heart and soul into it and have a total of less than 60 visitors after 3 months.

Working for Private Clients

You may be lucky enough to know someone who wants articles written for their own website and can negotiate a fee to write them. Most people have to find clients through websites like elance and odesk. Most of these types of websites will allow you a couple of free bids a month and after that you have to pay. Clients put up writing requests eg "Thirty 500 word articles on acne" and you submit a bid of how much you will charge.

In the past I used to get some good jobs through Elance but now there are hundreds of people willing to write 500 articles for $5 each, $2 each, $1.50 each and sometimes even less and if you work out what this gives you as an hourly rate you would be better taking a bucket and cloth down to the nearest set of traffic lights and clean windscreens for tips! Don't forget you spend time looking for jobs and bidding on jobs, and will probably have to pay to be allowed to bid on those jobs.

Writing Articles for Upfront Payment Websites

There are sites that give you a one-off payment for articles. These include sites like Demand Studios and Textbroker. Articles must be written to very strict guidelines and you have to be approved before you can write there. Demand Studios currently has $15 articles. They are often sent back for edits and some articles can be rejected entirely (in which case you can place them somewhere else).

This is a good way to make money if you have an unexpected bill and no other way to pay it. Not all of these sites accept writers from outside the United States so these sites are not for everyone. Also remember that if they pay you $x then they expect to make more money from the article than $x over its lifetime. This is why revenue sharing models are better than upfront payments if you do not need to have the money straightaway.

Writing Articles for Adsense Revenue Share Websites

Google makes a lot of money through Adsense. Advertisers pay money for adverts and revenue share websites place adverts throughout the articles on their site. When someone clicks on an advert the site makes money (after Google takes its share) and then shares a percentage of that revenue with the writer whose article the click was made through. This is residual income that can keep paying for many years if you write on evergreen topics.

To make money you must learn about SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques and pick topics that are likely to lead to clicks. Most of these types of websites will let you write on any topic you want which is a big plus. Example sites are suite101 and factoidz. Some sites are more upfront than others about how your earnings are calculated. For example suite101 does not tell the writers what percentage of Adsense they get or which articles are earning money whereas factoidz show earnings by article. Sites with a high pagerank will mean your articles automatically place fairly high in search rankings without having to work on backlinks.

Writing for the New Breed of Websites

The new breed of websites are based on the Adsense revenue share websites but offer their writers a much better deal and additional options to earn income from an article. The best example of this new breed of website is Info Barrel. As well as Adsense revenue writers can get sign up to Amazon associates and Chitika and make additional revenue through those programmes.

Infobarrel gives a minimum of 75% of Adsense revenue but you can get a higher percentage of 80% or 85% by writing more articles. They have monthly contests and writing on specific topics will give you an increase of up to another 5% as well as the chance to win Amazon vouchers. You have a signature box on each article where you have two self-serving links which can be to anything you want including links to affiliate products or your own website or blog. As if that is not enough you get paid 2% of the Adsense views for your referrals.

If you are interested in writing for InfoBarrel you can sign up here under my referral link. The new breed of websites are exactly that – new – which means they have not had time to build a high pagerank yet. Info Barrel is currently a PR4 and could reach PR5 soon as it is growing very rapidly. Getting into a site early means you will see your articles get a boost in the search engines as the site as a whole rises. Another new breed website is The InfoMine which is only a PR2 site but allows writers to have Amazon and Ebay Partner Network ads. Both InfoBarrel and TheInfoMine allow writers from anywhere in the world.