Professional Article Writing, From Hobby To Income

by : Brian Ankner

In the art of writing there are several areas or levels of expertise. We will go over a few of them and find out where you would like to end up in the world of professional article writing.

The hobby blogger writes to tell stories of what they have seen, read or about an experience they had at some sort of event, online or off. The hobby writer rarely uses a spellchecker and their posts usually reflect the innocence of a novice writer.

The casual writer is the more serious blogger or website owner that tries to convey a story, write a review or share knowledge in their field of expertise. They will have several sites or blogs in areas surrounding their life and occupations, often times posting in several other peoples blogs or forums daily. Whether they know it or not, they are actually grooming themselves to be a great writer.

The advanced writer supplies content for others in the way of articles, white papers and reports after doing research in that particular field and composing relevant, targeted information about the subject. They may get compensated for the material or submit the articles to directories for distribution for SEO reasons or to establish themselves in the market as an authority for sales purposes.

Professional writers get paid well for their efforts. Sometimes in the tens of thousands for a high conversion sales letter, documentary, biography, or book. They are the syndicated columnists, feature story authors in magazines and the ever popular technical manual composers. They will often have pen names to protect their identity and can be ghost writers giving up all rights to the project for compensation.

In the advanced and profeessional areas, writers are sought after mostly due to the fact that not everyone can convey their thoughts and ideas well, let alone write them down in the proper format or storyline. Hence the growing need for writers.

In the online world thousands of websites and blogs are being created every day and the one common theme between them all is they will need content written.

The majority of all websites are about a company or service, the balance are for selling products either physical or digital. A small percentage of sites are purely informational and are not monetarily driven like the .gov sites and some .org sites.

Almost all offline companies that want a website created will hire it done. A golden opportunity for writers. Just plug in with a few website creation companies and you will have a nice part time freelance writing job.

Online marketers trying to sell products will try to write their own sales pages for the small or low cost products but when it comes to the high end market they will inevitably seek out a professional to be able to convert as many leads as possible thus reducing their cost to sale ratio.

This is where the advanced and professional writer comes in to the play and are eagerly sought after.

An advanced writer can work on an almost endless variety of projects. A writer can either focus on an area of expertise, or write a greater variety of general knowledge articles. The going rate for quality articles in the 500-700 word range is $15.00-$25.00 each depending on the quantity ordered. Not bad considering and article can be made in less than an hour for the groomed writer. A nice paying part time job and a respectable full time income when you build up your client base.

As more high end products and services come online the professional writer can develop an awesome stream of income when they have proven themselves in the market. I know many of the top writers for the online world and it is usually a six month wait before they can get to your project unless you have very deep pockets.

Most of the professional writers for online copy easily exceed six figures a year and rarely do they get a blister on their finger from the keypad!

For the beginner there are many resources for developing the skill of writing. There are workshops, seminars, courses, reference books, and connection with other writers. I currently subscribe to many copywriters RSS feeds so I can study their style. Every day will become part of a your training. Every minute at the keyboard adds to your store of information, ideas, topics, methods and style.

A writer is not a writer until they put words to paper or screen and this is the application of the training that you will have acquired over the years. Yes I said years, it takes time to get good at anything worthwhile.

Usually, most of us see the quality of our work going up as we ramp up our productivity. The old saying is "the first one is the hardest" and it plays true in writing also. My first article had to have taken at least four hours or more and the end result was nothing to be proud of! After a while and the desire to get better, it now takes less than an hour to write a 600 word article, research included.

Article writing is an art form - not only must you be continuously creative, but you also must have the desire to continue. As long as you have an ounce of creativity you will be able to become a good writer.

Eventually, you'll get to the point where the discipline, the passion, and the experience will all come together and your skill as a writer will either produce a nice income or the sites and blogs you create will get highly ranked from the quality content.