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BY SUSAN R. KILEY

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working from home

If you can write, you can become a content writer where the demand for proficient content writers are in demand. If you want to earn a decent living while working at home, content writing might be an excellent opportunity for you. 

You can make a healthy living as a content writer. Starting your content writing journey, career, or business requires you to develop a thick skin. Content writing is currently (as of 2021) in high demand. 

Content writing is a learned skill. I truly believe anyone can learn how to write. You’ll want to practice. You will want to receive critics and feedback. Continue to write and provide valuable content – people will notice, and you will get hired (and paid appropriately).

Overall, you must study, learn and practice writing daily. Content writing is profitable and in demand. I’ve found it doesn’t matter how much education you have, rather the amount of time you’ve focused on getting better at writing.

Initially, finding any paid content creation or writing jobs will be a bit difficult. I don’t care how many ‘experts’ tell you differently. It is the truth. You can start with numerous ‘bid for work’ sites.

Where Content Writers Can Find Work

2021 left many 9 to 5 workers leaving their cubicle life and turning to freelance. Freelancers or gig workers must remain vigilant in looking for new projects. Check out these top sites where freelancers can ‘bid’ on work. Many writers started on one or multiple sites like the ones mentioned below. There is no shame in starting somewhere – know your worth – charge accordingly wherever you begin.

1. Upwork
2. Freelancer.com
3. Fiverr
4. Guru

There are numerous other sites you can find as you begin your journey into being a content writer. Quick tip for those just starting as a content writer: the pay isn’t that good, initially, however with hard work and patience, you can have a lucrative content writing’ business.’ You will work when you want, and from anywhere an internet connection is good in the world.

Numerous content writers tend to ‘niche’ or move into other areas like SEO writing, ebook writing, article writing, white papers, and websites. Remind yourself the choices of being a content writer are bountiful.

Where to Find Content

Let me preface by saying that what I am about to say could irritate and piss people off. I’m okay with irritating people on my quest for truth and accurate information.

You can find content using the sites mentioned below if you are starting or have decided to write in a space you do not know much about (I highly recommend not doing). Using the below-mentioned sites may not be in your professional best interest. Why?

Using sites like those mentioned below are purchased by hundreds of thousands of people, and the content is not original. At some point, the content was curated by a content writer creator before they decided to place it onto one of these content-packed sites, or someone placed it onto the site for them (with or without their knowledge).

1. PLR sites
2. Click Bank

There are people in this world who produce content for pennies – low quality and often plagiarized. Do your due diligence if using any site to buy content.

What is PLR, and how do content writers use it?

PLR stands for private label rights. Numerous sites sell this type of content. Not only do beginners use these sites, so do top industry leaders, experts, and gurus.

But, what is the problem with using most of the PLR available to content writers? The problem is that most of this content is seldom good enough to be on a reputable website.

It’s the old saying if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

For my research on this topic, I recently purchased roughly 500 pieces of content on various topics. I paid under $100 for 500 pieces of content. Do you see the problem? I am paid $100 for one writing assignment as a content writer, though I get 500 (500-1000 word) pieces to use for under $100? 

I ran 25 of the articles through plagiarism software and found all 25 to have significant plagiarism. Of course, I didn’t just look at the plagiarism software and say, “Well, it’s plagiarized.” No, I actually went to the referenced sites and found the exact article on multiple sites.

Here’s an example of an article that was sent as part of my 500 pieces of content. Half the battle is buying 500 pieces when only a quarter of the articles is actually related to your topic you want articles on. This particular article is for insurance – did not request or ask but received. Article part of a PLR site from 2018… today is 2021!

Content Writer

Article Cons: 

  1. Was not 500 words (349).
  2. Came as a txt file (most services send files like this).
  3. Not in the content field I requested (self-help, not insurance).
  4. Poorly written (see the following)
 
For this example PLR article, I turned to Grammarly to do an initial test. Here are the results for performance and plagiarism: 
Content Writer PLR Ex
Content Writer PLR2
Content Writer
Enough said on the topic of buying content for pennies. If you choose to use it, be aware others are probably also using it (this decreases your credibility).

How To Use PLR Content

If you choose to use PLR content, you must rewrite up to 75% of the content. So, if you’ve purchased content for $29 or more and have to write at least 75% of it over, it is a waste of time and money.

Yes, using PLR content to generate ideas is good. But only to generate ideas. Frequently, people copy and paste the content they buy without changing any of it – your reputation as a content writer will suffer as a result. If you submit your PLR content to another blog or someone who has paid you, if they check and see it is not original… OUCH! Do not do this if you’ve worked effortlessly at being a serious content writer.

To make it as a content writer:
  1. Value your integrity. Refuse low-paying jobs (to get your foot in the door) while providing top-notch quality content. Yes, it is okay to accept free to establish yourself as a writer (not too many). Don’t worry. If you have patience with your journey as a content writer, high-paying jobs will come your way.
  2. Value your content writing by pricing accordingly. Charging $5-15 for a 500-1000 word blog is not valuing your writing.
  3. Purchase PLR for ideas, not as material for your content-building foundation.

How to Write Content for Success

Start. In today’s digital age, there are plenty of courses on “How to Write.” Here are a few I would recommend you check out for beginners.

  1. The Copy Crew
  2. Udemy
  3. Teachable

 

But, the biggest lesson on how to write for success is to put pen to paper and start writing – today! To be a successful writer, you need to remind yourself why you started and keep writing continually.

Join a Group for Writers

There are tons of supportive writing groups on platforms like Facebook that can be incredibly useful for anyone – beginner to a novice writer. I love creative writing groups – fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance, etc. – help is available. People support others, exchange ideas, and work for a common goal – winning at writing. 

My suggestion is to invest time searching and feeling out the groups. Join the group(s) you feel most supportive and ‘at home’.

The Formula for a Successful Content Writer

P+C+GD+EtR+GG = AGPoC

In 2015, Mark Austin published a short ebook, Writer Your Way to Success: All writers in the world the only way. In his 25-page book, he identified the magic writing ingredients for content writers as:

Passion + Clarity + Good Content + Easy to Read + Good Grammar = A Great Piece of Content

Austin also states, “besides the pen and paper, or your computer is the physical ingredients, and they are easy to find. What’s more difficult is the emotional ingredients, the technical ingredients.”

STOP! STOP! STOP!

Before we go any further, I want to take a moment and share with you facts about PLR and buying content from ‘gig’ sites or dime sites. Go back to the beginning of this section, The Formula for a Successful Content Writer. I quoted and cited Mr. Austin as the author of Write Your Way to Success: All writers in the world the only way.

The book by Mr. Austin is available on Amazon (France)… but wait a moment. I dug deep to find the book, the ‘source of the book. Guess what? Here is the same book on the site IDPLR.com. Do you understand the problem with PLR sites?

Who wrote the book – first – and who has the rights?

If you read any PLR license agreements, they will give you specific guidelines for what you can and can not do with their content. Specifically, some of the rights.:

PLR Rights License Example 

 

Rights Granted: What you CAN DO with it.

 

[YES] Can be edited completely and your name put on it.

[YES] Can be used as web content.

[YES] Can be broken down into smaller articles.

[YES] Can be added to an eCourse or autoresponder as content.

[YES] Can be added to an eBook/PDF as content.

[YES] Can be given away.

[YES] Can be packaged.

[YES] Can be offered as a bonus.

[YES] Can be added to free membership sites.

[YES] Can be added to paid membership sites

[YES] Claim full authorship.

[YES] Added to paid membership sites.

Specifically, you can claim the content you purchased. Other PLR license rights will say what you can not do with it, including putting the content (specifically ebooks) on Amazon, dime sites, etc., for resale. 


The specific license rights for Write Your Way to Success eBook state:

Content Writers Yes PLR
Content Writer PLR No

Overall, the best piece of advice I would give someone is… JUST WRITE YOUR WORDS!

Writing Success, As Defined By You

As mentioned throughout this article, you must write. Spend at least 5 minutes a day writing. The more you write, the better you will become as a writer. All successful writers didn’t just become successful overnight – years of writing, rejection, self-doubt, and perseverance. “Write, write and write… the more successful your writing will be.”

I spent a decade writing and creating content for both the fiction and non-fiction industries. It took years of experience, many transitions, and writing gigs to determine what I truly loved making.

My best advice is to write for as many different ‘niches’ or categories and try everything from white papers to ebooks and blogs. Follow your innermost passions – biggest dreams – and goals for your writing. If you remember to do that, your writing will show, and people will take notice.

If you’re interested in learning how to write an eBook, I’d suggest you try out Leonie Dawson’s ebook writing course. I’m kinda in love with Leonie at the moment – raw, funny, and cool as can be. Hey, if you’re not about bold, colorful language, she is not for you.

Check out my interview and meet the creative and colorful, one-of-a-kind human. Prepare yourself. There is a lot of laughing and randomness!

Now, some probably don’t know Leonie, so you can jump to the time I was privileged to interview her during a snowstorm. Or, you can check out Leonie’s website – she is creative, imaginative, and such an incredible, giving human being living in the beautiful country of Australia!

Two ways to experience my interview with Leonie Dawson – multi-millionaire working less than 10hours a day! Check out the podcast above or go to Success You’s YouTube channel below.

*I am an affiliate of Leonie Dawson. Purchasing from my link provided, I will make a small commission.  

40 Days to a Finished Book 

Money, Manifesting + Multiple Streams of Income

40 Days to Create + Sell Your E-Course

Where to Publish Your Writing

1: Blog

Start a blog. No, you won’t get paid, but you will begin developing your voice and gaining exposure. Blog writing is where a lot of writers started their writing journey.

Writing on a blog takes perseverance, patience, and time management. Allow yourself grace. You don’t have to write daily long posts that seem more like an assignment than writing.

One of my favorite blog writers and creative human beings, Leonie Dawson, writes, speaks, and creates all about writing and blogs – she’s been blogging since 2004. The cool thing about her, she didn’t stop (like me) or delete (like me) her blog in fear of criticism or shame.

The key to blogs is that you will quickly realize if you enjoy blogging based on the type of blog you create. Blogs are educational or funsies. I, like Leonie, prefer a mix. I’m not as consistent as Leonie. I am challenging myself in August 2021 – 30 days of blogging. Want to join the fun? Sweet! Send me an email, and I’ll support your blog by signing up and commenting: susan@susanrkiley.com. (I could be asking for thousands, but LET’S DO THIS!)

2: Guest Blog

Years ago, guest blogging for another blogger, business, or brand was coveted and generally paid. Guest blogging today, you will submit your blog based on their writing guidelines and styles – if they like your writing, you’re in. If not, you make it to the slush pile. But, if they LOVE your sample blog, not only will you get published (sometimes you’ll have to give up rights of the post), but often you could find yourself securing a long-term writing JOB! Like, a PAID writing job!

Finding blogs to guest blog on is tedious and time-consuming, like a writer submitting their book to publishers. You could submit 10 article samples and get ten rejections. Keep pushing forward. You must remind yourself that if you are offering your selection, so is hundreds or thousands more.

Take each guest post as a way to grow as a blogger – you’ll receive feedback (hopefully) on how to improve your writing.

Most importantly, as a guest blogger, you’ll learn real quick what you enjoy writing and what you do not. If writing a post doesn’t feel good, or feels more like a dreaded assignment, know you are in the wrong field. You want to write for people, places, and about things that set your heart on fire – getting up daily to write fills your heart, not suffocates you with dread.

3: Social Media

Social media communities are always looking for content for their communities. My recommendation is to reach out to the admins of the community you are interested in writing content for.

Prepare yourself for rejection; it’s part of the thick skin journey I discussed earlier. Content writers are needed. You must be tenacious in your aspirations of becoming a content writer.

6 Best Writing Engagement Tips

Here are the 6 Best Writing Engagement Tips for content writers.

  1. The 5 W’s. Who, what, when, where, and why. Remember learning this in school?
  2. Brevity. Why do readers care to read your story? Time is of the essence, so tell your readers in the first paragraph why they should read, or they will leave quickly.
  3. Specificity. Most writing is specific and not a rambling mess. Be consistent and precise, or you will lose your reader.
  4. Audience. Be aware of who you are writing for and tailor your writing to the specific reader reading your content.
  5. Active Sentence Structure. The use of solid verbs will make your reading more enjoyable. Passive reading can be dull, and the reader is likely to move on.
  6. Honesty and Vulnerability. People want to feel like you are writing specifically to them. They want a “me too” moment – a head-bobbing ‘yes’ as they read through your content.

Self-Edit Your Content Before Publishing

There are several, okay, thousands of articles, books, and courses on editing your writing. There are software programs that will help you become a better content writer.

  • Grammarly
  • ProWritingAid
  • Hemingway

 

I use a combination of all three before publishing my pieces. Is this overkill? Sure, but I feel I become a better writer and editor every time I see a correction. 

Most content writers, authors, and students use either a free version editing program or pay a subscription to edit their content writing.

Quick Tips For Editing Content

1. Delete excessive, repeated words. Run word find to ensure you are not overusing words like it and this.

2. Needless words and phrases. Watch for redundancy. Avoid clutter.

3. Flowery language is a common mistake of new writers. Use strong nouns and verbs and fewer adjectives and adverbs.

I have a free editing eBook, if you’re interested, shoot me a message, and I’ll send it over. susan@susanrkiley.com if you want your free editing eBook. *If you are reading after 2021, the ebook may no longer be free or available.

Sure, I could place it right here and have your download and never engage with me again… but, that’s not my style. 🙂

Content Ethics

Unfortunately, the topic of ethics needs discussing. Numerous content writers hack people’s content – plagiarism – a crime. The problem is that plagiarism is tough to monitor and enforce.

Heck, there are inner circles all about hacking (not plagiarizing) other content creators’ work. My opinion is ‘hacking’ is a fancy, money-making word and business for plagiarizing or stealing someone else’s work. Period. If this offends you, maybe you should sit quietly and ask yourself why you are offended by my definition and views. Curious…

To keep yourself from infringing on someone else’s content, please remain original by:

  • Identify your sources whenever you can (provide links)
  • Quote your references accurately (adding words is a bad idea)
  • Research and use current information (cite your sources)
  • Do not alter videos or photos

 

If you find yourself infringing on someone else’s work, acknowledge, take accountability and fix the content you’ve infringed upon. 

Be confident in your content writing abilities. You’ve got this!

Content Writing Opportunities

Ready to leave your 9 to 5? Looking to make a little extra cash for a holiday getaway? Let’s have a look at some of the content writing places for you.

#1: Fiction & Non-Fiction Writing

Writing a book is for everyone, but not for everyone. Writing requires patience. When writing a fiction book, the writer involves an abundance of creativity and imagination. Stories that take a reader to a different place or time.

As a successful writer, you must keep your reader engaged. If your reader wants to throw the book away, you’ve not mastered your craft of writing. Reader engagement is a sure-fire way of success.

#2: Technical Writing

Technical content writers are in high demand. The requirements of technical writing are clear, concise, articulate, and research.

Landing a technical writing job will pay above many other writing jobs because of the in-depth research involved. There are a lot more hours in technical writing, and deadlines are strict.

#3: Content for Podcasts

Content writing for podcasts is booming! Podcasters are always looking for quality content to speak about on their podcasts.

My recommendation is to write a few sample pieces first for a particular podcast. Then, reach out to the host of the podcast you want to write for. Keep reminding yourself that the person may not respond to your request.

Protect Your Content Writing

I recommend all content writers – any writer – always have a legal agreement of some sort in any writing field. I recommend using contracts developed by actual lawyers.

If you are starting and do not have the funds to pay a lawyer in your hometown, I suggest using a legal template service like . Alternatively, you can find numerous legal contracts on the internet to CYA (cover your a**).

How to Choose A Profitable Writing Space

Profit is relative. There are a few ways to move into a more profitable writing space, but like life, nothing is guaranteed. Here are a few ways to push yourself into a good content writing space.

  1. Make a list of your passions. What sets your heart on fire? What can you ramble (ahem, research) about daily?
  2. Research magazines.com or dummies.com to see if there are “How To” books on your interests. If there are, then you are a step ahead of being profitable. Of course, nothing is guaranteed.
  3. You, without a doubt, love the topic you want to write about. If you have no interest in cars, do not attempt to write and expect to succeed.

 

Remind yourself that success comes when you are patient, tenacious, and love what you are doing. Success doesn’t have to equal millions in the bank. Success is relative and defined differently by everyone. Listen to any of the Success You podcasts to learn how each of the guests defines success. You’ll be shocked to hear their definitions!

Before we end, I do want to mention places to get FREE or low-cost content. Beware, though, and use caution when using any FREE or low-cost content.

As a reminder, many FREE or low-cost content-generating places are being used by thousands of people daily. There is no ‘cap’ generally of how many times the article or content is released or sold.

Be diligent in your search for content.

Use articles or content supplied by a product owner like Clickbank.

Have low-cost articles written at iWriter.com or other outsourcing writing businesses like Fiverr. CAUTION: content could be plagiarized or of poor quality.
PLR sites.

In summary, how to be a good content writer is nothing more than writing. It would be best if you strived to write daily to become a successful content writer.

I wish you nothing but all the success in your writing journey!

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Success & Happiness

Susan R Kiley is an author, content creation expert, blogger, podcast host and YouTube host. She provides real-world information on how to build wildly happy and successful businesses using content without overwhelm. The Success YOU podcast is all about empowering today’s content creator, aspiring writer and YOU to finally do the dang thing and start doing today that truly makes you happy! Susan also runs a digital agency, Kiley Media.

One Response

  1. Your video is not available, did you know? In any case, I’ve not used PLR, so thank you for that information. I was not aware so many ‘experts’ do. My company uses content, like most, to drive engagement and increase our digital footprint, much like you Susan. Thank you for another great post! Keep posting, appreciate all your effort.

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