October 28, 2010

Do regular writers regularly write for Internet sites?

Writing regularly for Internet sites can offer various perks at various stages of your writing career. For example, Internet sites give you a way to:

Get into writing.

Talk about your favorite topics.

Investigate other areas of interest.

Build your publishing credits.

Establish an Internet presence.

Get free exposure for products or services that you already have in place.

Most of those reasons apply to writers at all levels, but what if you’re a well-published poet or writer who’s made a career of freelance and assignment writing? Would you ever write for an Internet site that pays per view, so, at first anyway, your work would collect only pennies?

Everyone has unique reasons for doing or not doing almost anything, so maybe my rationale will help you to decide what’s next in your writing life. As I recall, my thought processes on the subject went something like this:

• If I’m going to tweet on Twitter, link with groups on LinkedIn, and show my face on Facebook to reconnect with old friends and peers, I can talk about weather for a while, but I might as well talk about the subjects on my mind or how I actually spend my time.

• After years of stressing toward deadlines, I knew I did not want to sign a contract promising X number of articles in X number of weeks. What if wonderful weather beckons me toward the beach or my grands want to play or a delicious book of poetry invites me to drop everything and read?

• When I heard that a particular company required a security check but no contract, I decided to check them out. Since the company is still relatively new, they need writers for a diverse range of categories and/ or experts in a field. So, I inquired about some yummy choices and liked the editor's upbeat response.

• I also liked the short, clear training videos that explain the technical stuff that concerned me. As an unexpected bonus, the quick courses helped me to improve my own blogs.

• In my own sweet pace and time, I clicked onto courses about format and style, such as writing effective headlines or using second and third person rather than first, to find out exactly what they wanted and needed.

• As a poet-writer who loves paper and pencil, not even a pen, I did not want to use equipment that required high levels of techno-skill. For me to even consider writing for an Internet site meant I needed to be assured of easy-to-correct options for posting and editing with forums, discussion boards, and support tickets as needed to get me unstuck.

• If I had not become a writer, I probably would have studied the art of picture book illustrating, and I still may. Meanwhile, I like to play with artistic renderings of photos that might otherwise be “just a snapshot.” So I was glad to see the site encouraged me to upload my photos and (when I’m ready) videos to illustrate my articles.

• Since Internet sites often emphasize linking each article to others – not just my own, but those related to the topic I’m writing about – I liked the potential for building synergy and cooperation with peers. This also reminds me that, in today’s Internet world, writers and poets do not need to live in solitary confinement. We can encourage one another. We can help each other to succeed.

Success also depends on me, my commitment, and my view of the bigger, long-term picture while focusing on what I can bring to readers now. If I keep writing regularly and letting potentially interested people know what’s up on the site, pay-per-clicks might increase as readership builds, especially since viewers can continue to find and view articles for months (maybe years) after they’re posted.

These Internet efforts can build synergy with other projects, such as this blog, and also help to strengthen a company, which in turn helps me and you to keep on investigating and writing about topics we love to discuss – ones our readers really want to know about too.

At least, that’s how it should be.

(c) 2010, Mary Sayler
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