The following is not about how to write profitable articles for print magazines. In fact, it isn’t about selling articles at all. There is nothing wrong with selling your writing, but it is a difficult field to get into and your income will always be limited.
For example, how much can a new writer make for a 600-word article from a magazine? I recently looked at what various magazines pay for such short articles. It ranged from a few free copies of the magazine up to about $100. Longer articles can be sold for more, of course, but those require quite a bit more work, and sometimes a fair amount of research.
Now consider what you can do with a 600-word article if you have a website to promote. Suppose, for example, that your site is about body building, and you make money referring people to various affiliate products for which you are paid a commission. Assuming the site is based on an interest of yours (that always helps), you can probably write an article on “Six Top Body Building Tips” in thirty minutes or so, just from your own experience.
Afterwards you distribute that article to a dozen or more free article directories. The link back to your site that is in the “about the author” section at the end of each, will help your ranking in the search engine. Visitors to the directories will read your article and click through to your site. Other site owners will take it to use on their sites, providing you with more exposure and links (they are required to leave the link active if they use the article).
If this is done right, you’ll have some additional traffic. If that traffic results in a few dollars per month in additional revenue for you, you’ve done well. A few dollars every month, after all, can add up to more than a hundred dollars over the years, which is decent pay for your hour spent writing and distributing the article.
That’s how to write profitable articles. The income you get is residual, meaning it will continue to come in automatically long after your initial effort. Now let’s look at three rules to make sure that you get the best results with this strategy.
1. Target good keywords.
Readers will find your article mostly through search engines, so it’s important that you target the words they use to search. A bit of research at any of the free sources of keyword traffic information will supply you with a list of phrases that are searched often enough. The keyword phrase, “how to write profitable articles,” which I target in this piece, is a relatively poor one, with only about 200 people per month searching it, but it contains “how to write,” and “profitable articles,” both of which have additional search traffic, plus it is an easy one for me to write about. In general, target keywords that have sufficient traffic, but stay away from those that are hyper-competitive (too many internet marketers are targeting “make money,” and “lose weight” for example).
2. Optimize the article.
Make sure that your keyword phrase is in the title, the first paragraph and near the end of the article, at a minimum. Once or twice more in the middle of the piece is a good idea if it fits naturally. This helps search engines find it, so searchers can.
3. Make a compelling author’s resource box.
This little paragraph at the end of each article is also called the “about the author” box, but don’t make it about the author. At most have one sentence about yourself. The rest should be about why the reader should visit your site. Using the body building example, you might say, “For the single best (and almost unknown) way to add a pound of muscle this week, visit…” Offering a free “how to” ebook or report can help too. To write profitable articles you not only have to provide good information, but you also have to get the reader to visit your site, so you may want to also test that link to make sure it works.