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Making Money Writing Online Articles: Is It All a Lie?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 8 21

There are so many scams, exaggerated stories and blatant lies on the internet that it is difficult to know the truth. The whole scheme about passive income generated by articles you have once written seems too good to be true... So what's the truth? Is this whole a myth or is it reality?


Earning Even When You Don't Work

Or Working Even When You Don't Earn?

Many people promote online articles by saying how nice it is to get passive income, to earn money even while doing nothing. But the problem is that when you start writing, you have to work hard and you earn little. It is more working even while you are earning nothing. And then you start questioning the whole thing. Is this all a lie?

I would admit that "passive income" is an exaggeration. Not only do writers need to update their content to satisfy their readers but if they want their articles to rank high, they also need to follow some "SEO" (Search Engine Optimization) rules that are sujects to changes

However, sometimes, I get money from an article written 6 months ago and maybe updated only once or twice since then. So earning has indeed a passive part.

Is It Not Possible to Make Money Then?

Don't Throw the Baby out with the Bathwater

Sure, earning is not completely passive, sure, some of the stories out there are clear scams to convince you to sign up somewhere or buy a product (like this mom of three working one hour a day and making thousands of dollars every month, or this guy who got rich from his caravan) but rejecting the possibility of making money writing articles altogether is too extreme.

Many people make some money and you can too if you don't give up. Making a living with can be challenging though. By the way, here are some more explanations about how people make money with online articles.

The Success Curve Is Not Linear

Either a Hit or a Miss

The other thing about writing online articles, or making money online in general is that the revenue curve is not linear. 

You could compare it to songs. Many songs are not popular and only few people know them. They are not generating money as almost noone is buying the CD, etc... And then, you have big hits. Those songs everyone knows and that so many people want. Those are the ones making all the money

Articles are a bit similar. You want to write THE articles that everyone reads and likes. Those are the articles that advertisers want and will fight for. Those are also the easiest to make money through affiliates sales.

So, the Conclusion?

It would be surprising for me to conclude: "it is not worth it, we can't make money online" because then, why would I write this article in the first place? But, on the other hand, I want to be honest. 

Making money writing articles is not easy and it is probably not as passive as you are told. However, it is possible to make some money online and I am managing it myself.

I like to think about it as a hobby that instead of requiring a lot of money (golf, bikes, ...) generates a little revenue. Isn't it already something nice?



Jun 14, 2013 7:52pm
Well said! The guy in the caravan made me smile, though. I looked at what he was doing to make money online, and how he was persuading folks to jump on board and duplicate his successes, then I ran in the other direction. That isn't who I am.

Hit and miss is so, so true! And we don't always know WHY. Sometimes (maybe most of the time) we can't even replicate our own successes. I used to sit back and watch that a lot at Suite 101. People had a "hit," so they wrote similar articles, but those articles only flopped.

A hobby that generates a little revenue rather than eating a hole in our pockets? What a great way to look at it! Not all of the benefits we receive from writing online are about money.
Jun 15, 2013 12:48am
Thanks a lot for taking the time to write this insightful comment and I am glad you liked it. I agree that it is hard to replicate success, even our own.
Jun 15, 2013 10:13am
Some people are making a living with online writing, but they are the distinct minority. It is possible to make some money. How much, I don't know. This type of writing is a lot of fun though.
Jun 15, 2013 1:02pm
Thanks for your comment, glad to you have fun writing articles too!
Jun 16, 2013 8:53am
Vaguely depressing article, but I suppose it has to be said
Jun 16, 2013 9:21am
Sorry to hear you find it depressing, I did not mean to write it this way.
Jun 17, 2013 4:08am
Like any other sector, those who succeed have to overcome a lot of obstacles to do so.
Jun 17, 2013 4:13am
Thanks for your comment! Yes, life is full of obstacles no matter what we do. I agree with you that successful people are the ones to overcome them.
Jun 17, 2013 3:27pm
Hi--I found your article depressing but ultra honest--2 big thumbs from me and a rating.
Jun 17, 2013 4:03pm
Sorry to hear it was depressing. I am an eternal optimist and I really did not want to be negative. My conclusion is not: "this is all a lie" but more "it is true people can make money but they don't get rich overnight with it". Please keep up the good work!
Jun 27, 2013 8:22pm
It is depressing since I am reading to get into my so called writers mindset for my 3rd article ever. :) Thanks adragast! I am now motivated just enough to read "Making Money Online: My Own Adventure" and "How Do I Make Money With My Online Articles?"

After that I should be good to go. When someone cares, they tell people how it is. Thanks for being honest about my future and how I need to look at it because I am not going to quite.

Jun 28, 2013 12:42am
Thanks for your comment and sorry for the negativity this article generated. I have re-written some passages to try to be more positive. My aim is not to discourage people and my message isn't "it is not worth it" (otherwise, why would I do it myself?). I wanted more to say "it is possible to make money online, but it is not easy and it is not entirely passive".

I am really glad you are not going to quit because this is the best way NOT to make any money at all.
Jun 28, 2013 3:08pm
Boy you are so right. I think your article isn't negative and it is very well written. It is just negative in the fact that I, like others want to be in a fairy tail with that red easy button in it and you are bursting our bubble. Sorry if it seems the comments are about the messenger and not the message, what we all need to know to be successful. Thank you.
Jun 28, 2013 3:10pm
I found you on bubblews and will sign up for the other stuff through your links when I feel I can do them justice.
Jun 29, 2013 1:19am
Thanks for that!
Jun 28, 2013 1:58pm
A very different and important side of the business. People need to hear something other than the ol' "buy my magic book and never work another day in your life"
Jun 29, 2013 1:20am
Jul 8, 2013 5:07pm
I like your article, blunt and honest, no sugar coating is more my style. Yes I get jealous when I read about people making so much money online and it ticks away but if you look at what they have written you can only imagine how many hours they have sat there for. It is hard, but it is not impossible and over time we will all get there IF we put in the hours.
Aug 3, 2013 3:33pm
Your article isn't depressing to me. I actually clicked on it to read because I wanted to read another person's perspective on writing for a living (if you can survive with it). lol

I don't feel so bad now. Here I was thinking that most folks out there are making a killing as freelancers when it's the exact opposite. Thanks for your insight on this. Two thumbs up from me as well.

Very well written. Straight and to the point. Nicely done. Thanks!
Aug 4, 2013 12:00am
Thanks for your kind comment and for the thumbs. I am glad that you don't find this article depressing.
Aug 24, 2013 10:40pm
Thanks for being honest. I don't find this article depressing, I feel its honest and it seems everyone will have their own unique experience in the earnings dept. For me, it hasn't been great at all. But I did have maybe for five months I din't have my tier 1 earnings button enabled. So I'm in the process of building a second wind and strategy to submit more Articles for InfoBarrel.
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