"Master Dayton" might be humorous, (I mean if Ph.Ds are called "Doctors," shouldn't MFAs be called "Masters?") but in all seriousness I have made a living freelance writing and after several years I have tons of information I want to share to help out my fellow writers, regardless of age, experience, goals, situation, or background. This blog isn't pretty-but it will help if real freelance writing information is what you want.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Freelance Writing: Freelance Writing Movie Reviews Online

Freelance Writing Online Movie Reviews for Money

If you're a freelance writer who loves the movies, the idea of freelance writing online movie reviews for a living can seem like a dream job. Who wouldn't want to get paid for writing movie reviews and selling them? Aside from the money, you finally have an audience who will hang on your every word while you get to go to movie theaters and watch every film that comes out.

Well if you're hoping to make a full time living freelance writing solely by writing online movie reviews, the bad news is that's probably not going to happen. And by probably, I mean almost definitely. BUT, there are many ways to make really good side money writing movie reviews, and if you have a great writing style, can think outside of the box, and are willing to learn SEO and social & Internet marketing, then there's a good chance that over time you could make an exceptional side income freelance writing movie reviews - and maybe even enough to write full time, even if it's not all simply about cinema.

There are several ways to go about freelance writing online reviews to make money, and in some ways this road is similar to freelance writing video game reviews for money. There are a few main sites to write on that will often times pay for movie reviews, and there is always the option of starting a blog and building up a following, then monetizing that blog once the traffic is right. While there are several options, most will not pay great, and getting even a solid or steady income writing online movie reviews can be difficult, but if this is your freelance writing passion, then it is one that you should pursue.

First, I've found that Constant Content is a good place to sell movie reviews online. This is especially true of reviews of brand new movies that have just been released, movie list articles (like Top 10 Post Apocalyptic Films of All Time) or movies that are in line for an award (like the Oscars), but were smaller and maybe didn't get the press as the larger blockbusters. In my experience if you're doing a review of a movie from opening night, a usage review can easily go for $28 (often times I've found by offering only usage rights I even sell the same review 2-3 times), unique rights for around $39, and I don't believe full rights are usually worth the time as the bids don't seem to go much beyond $44, and at that point you don't even have your name on it.

Once in a while you'll even sell a review years later, as there are always new start up blogs concentrating on movie reviews. As an example, at the end of 2007 I sold usage rights to a movie review of "Trainspotting" for $19, a full 11 years after the movie was released. So this does happen.

Associated Content is another place where you can sell movie reviews, although the up front pay tends to be pretty low, and PPV bonus doesn't last because once a movie has run its course through theaters, there aren't going to be a lot of people looking for it anymore. AC might get you some name recognition and more of a following than selling articles through CC, but still not nearly enough to make any serious type of pocket change.

There are two more main options, which can be (and until you make it big, should be) used if you are going to try to make money freelance writing movie reviews. The first is to create a blog and/or website and monetize it. The hardest part of this is getting a strong readership because online movie blogs and online movie review sites are EXTREMELY competitive. If you're going this route, find some good affiliate programs, but learn about SEO and search engine traffic first to get steady traffic before monetizing the site. Concentrate on Google, and consider Yahoo! traffic a bonus.

Obviously this is easier said than done, but building a readership to a blog in any competitive field takes time, and you have to be willng to be stubborn, persistent, and to do the work (and homework) to get your blog or website ranked as high in the Search Engine Rankings as it needs to be. If you don't know enough about how SEO works, Google "Justin blogging zombie" or "Grizz make money online for beginners." These guys will teach you literally everything you need to know about SEO.

The other part of setting up a killer blog or website is the writing. When you freelance write movie reviews for money, you have a lot of different options as to your writing style, focus, etc. A great writing style is important in this particular niche, because one of your goals should be syndication. That might be one of the best ways to make money writing movie reviews. If you have dozens of sites and dozens of newspapers (or hundreds, even?) that all pay you for your movie reviews on a weekly basis, then suddenly even at only $10 a pop, you can start making some pretty decent money freelance writing reviews.

Writing movie reviews for a little extra pocket change is actually pretty easy - it's turning this gig into a serious money maker that is extremely difficult, and you have to have one hell of a blog/website, a great writing style, and hopefully some serious syndication in order to make more than a restaurant meal's worth.

If you tend to watch a lot of movies and like writing movie reviews, then you mine as well freelance it for some extra cash (and then the movie tickets become tax deductible). There are a few ways to do this, and this article went over the main ways to do this through freelance writing. If you're happy with about $100 a month extra through Constant-Content, then this is fairly easy to do. If not, then be prepared for the long haul if you want any serious success freelance writing movie reviews for money. If this is your writing passion, then it should be one you're willing to fight for.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Freelance Writing: Why Is Full Time Residual Online Income so Hard?

Freelance Writing & Online Passive Income

Why Online Passive Income is Too Hard for Most Writers and Why They're More Likely to Become Mutant Super Villains Than Online Gurus

Freelance writers and would be freelance writers, yes, you read that title right. Let's be frank here: most writers are incredibly stubborn whether they have accomplished something or not. Or most would-be writers are stubborn. The ones who choose to learn, adapt, and change thrive. The others who don't call us hacks or liars when we say you can make a living writing online for money. But even beyond this, there is a difference between writers who always work extremely hard and never make much beyond the $20-30,000 a year range while working 70 hour weeks and wonder why things never get easier, and then there are the online freelance writers who learn to make really good passive income and have the freedom of time, place, and income that most freelance writers dream of, but never achieve.

So what's the difference? It rarely is the best writers who accomplish the dream freelance writing life style they envision, and many times it's not even the smartest. Why is making passive online income so damn hard?

Well I'm going to show you, using numbers of mine back when I had absolutely no clue whatsoever what I was doing and hadn't found any number of great blogs or mentors to learn from. A lot of these numbers will look familiar to struggling freelance writers, and underscores why you are more likely to work yourself to the point of mutation (and if you're going to I suggest going for telekinesis - the Fire Starter thing is so 1980's) than you are to make a full time living off of passive income if you're a stubborn writer, or one who simply doesn't understand how residual income works.

We'll call the old writer and his numbers "True Noob." This isn't meant to be mean, it was just a pretty accurate description. He's going to try to build passive income using AdSense (mostly through Hubpages & Xomba), Constant-Content usage rights articles, Associated Content's PPV, and Squidoo. Okay, the one thing the writer did right was thinking about multiple income streams. That way if one site folded down the line, all the hard work wouldn't disappear with it.

So at the time the writer figures out what each article, hub, or lens is making on average per day based on the passive income already coming in. This writer knows pretty much nothing about article marketing, back links, and hasn't found Justin's SEO blog or Court's Internet Marketing blog or Grizz's Make Money Online blog. So True Noob is swinging and missing, but credit where credit is due, he's persistent and does the numbers.

The numbers he comes up with: out of 200 Associated Content articles, he makes 1/2 cent per day per article in passive income. Constant Content with 100 usage rights articles makes about $1 per day with a little over 100 articles, Squidoo lenses make about 2.4 cents per day per lens, hubs make about 2.3 cents per day per hub, and Xomba articles make about a penny a day on average & ehow does the same, although he is just getting started there.

These are all mathematical averages, and depressingly low numbers. And to freelance writers who don't know anything about marketing their work or SEO, this probably sounds closer as opposed to the much higher numbers that writer who know what they're doing are reporting.

So based on how many articles (or hubs or lenses) True Noob can write in one 12 hour work day, he figures out how long it would take him to get to $100 a day passive income, assuming the numbers he had so far were accurate reflections. He then tried to figure out how long it would take working 12 hours a day, EACH and EVERY day, all 365 days a year.

For Associated Content, this was 4 years, 207 days. That's if he worked each and every day 12 hours a day, one article an hour.

For Constant Content, this was 5 years, 175 days.

For Squidoo, this was 3 years, 294 days.

For Hubs, this was 3 years, 348 days.

For Xomba, this was 2 years, 103 days.

If you're trying to translate that into normal 40 hour work weeks, take the numbers given and multiply them by 2.2, more or less. And then you're probably still hitting low.

These are unrealistic numbers for a life time. If you want the article break down for that, it's 20,000 articles for Associated Content, 8,000 articles for Constant Content, 4,167 Squidoo articles, about the same in hubs, and 10,000 articles on Xomba.

Not good and not a chance. If True Noob seriously tries this, he's more likely to develop multiple tumors that press into usually dormant areas of the brain, creating the ability to read minds, move objects, or possibly start fires with no more than an angry thought. At this point, becoming a super villain and fighting for world domination is more likely than ever making $100 a day in passive income.

But some of you are asking, "Wouldn't you have to be a total idiot to be able to write 10,000 articles and not make solid passive income." Most definitely. Or at least ignorant.

Some of these numbers are off. There are many problems with this idea. With that much sheer writing, even by accident True Noob is going to hit some "home run" articles that hit well above average and earn well above the average. Second, there are other options like ehow that this writer didn't even know about.

But this idea of just making it by sheer effort is idiotic, and these numbers prove it. So what's the difference? Knowing just a little bit about marketing, SEO, and learning about the real ways to make money with AdSense will boost earnings way up dramatically. Instead of just throwing up articles on any and everything, use keyword research and SEO to earn a LOT more per article, hub, lens, or whatever else. Also keep in mind, that True Noob figures out keyword research, and suddenly less time is wasted with useless articles that will never make serious (or any) passive income, while every article after that will make a lot more.

That's part of writing online. If you are an online freelance writer who wants to be able to make a full time living on passive income (a la "The 4 Hour Work Week"), then you MUST learn SEO, keyword research, and how to make money with AdSense.

Could someone make a full time living on passive writing income with Squidoo, Hubpages, ehow, Xomba, Associated Content, and the other sites? Sure, but it's a lot harder and knowing SEO and keyword research is still critical. There's no way around that.

Anyone who is trying the results by volume approach like the old True Noob, here's one last bit of evidence. When I really had no idea what I was doing, 140 articles on Associated Content made me about $13 in passive income a month. When I began to learn about SEO and keywords, I took one single article on AC and got it 4 back links. The result? That one article makes me $10 a month in passive income each and every month. Now if every article you wrote made $10 a month or more in passive income, 300 articles or less would make you over $36,000 a year in passive income. That's much better than 10,000 or 20,000 articles. One good article a day that earns that much, and the back links, can get you where you want to be.

Is it "just that easy" to get that level of articles? No, it's not. You have to do the research, write the article, collect the back links, and then sometimes you have to wait for the articles to age and gain authority. But it is far more plausible.

Learn about AdSense, and you can do even better. Have multiple income streams, and learn SEO and keyword research, and you will definitely be on your way to the freelance writing dream. Either that or try it the old way, sprout some horns, grow some awesome telekinetic powers and wreak havoc. But either way, it's easier to just learn SEO and keyword research. Even a basic knowledge of these skills can be a godsend for a prolific writer.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Freelance Content Writing: The World of Online Freelance Writing

Freelance Writing: Writing Content

The easiest way for beginning writers to break into the freelance writing business is to get online and look at freelance content writing. There are thousands of new web pages being made every day, and all those websites need content. The millions of websites already online also need content, and the millions of blogs out there need content. Not everyone is going to write their own, and that's where becoming an online freelance writer offers opportunity for either a secondary income, or even a full time living.

Freelance content writing is always going to be in demand. While many people look at writing forums for writers or put an ad out on Craig's List, I strongly recommend either Guru.com or Elance.com. These are auction based freelance writing websites where employers can post projects for free, while writers pay for a monthly, quarterly, or even an annual subscription. While there are hundreds of different types of writing jobs available, the largest demand BY FAR will be for content writing.

Some employers will try to be insane misers. Don't take a job of 90 articles for $1 an article. Don't bring the market down to that level, and don't waste that much time for peanuts. If you're building a reputation for the very first time, you might need to look at some 10 or 15 article jobs (assuming articles are 3-500 words each) for about $5 each just to get some feedback on the site and boost your profile. Once you have experience, $13-$17 for a 400 word article is not only plausible, but many times I've found enough work to start turning down for anything less than $15 an hour – and still had 70 hour weeks at that rate.

Elance and Guru take care of the difficult task of finding employers who need writing and who need freelance writing content specifically. Once on these sites you will need to take a few months to build up your reputation and profile, and once you do that getting work writing content will not only easier, but you will get paid a lot more for it.

Being a freelance content writer isn't an impossible niche to break into: if you're a decent writer, stubborn, and are willing to work to build your career, then you can actually do very well. In fact, there are content writers on both Elance and Guru who make full time livings off of those websites alone. Some make very good livings.

So if you're looking to break into freelance writing online, take a look at these auction sites and getting started as a freelance content writer. There is always room in this field for more writers, and it is a place where you can make a full time living as a freelance writer.