Is web writing all about art, announcements, articulation, or something else altogether? Sure, journalists and creative writers alike enjoy an opportunity for self-expression. But writing careers still include, most definitely, a concern for the proverbial bottom line.
How do writers measure achievement?
Wordsmiths publishing online aim for advancement in a number of ways.
Accolades are awesome for authors. What writer doesn’t love an enthusiastic “atta-boy” or “atta-girl” once in a while?
Several online news and writing sites have added badges as intangible rewards for their top writers. Although these achievement markers generally don’t carry significant financial returns, they do offer a sort of bragging rights to those who have earned them.
Yahoo! Voices (previously known as Associated Content: The People's Media Company) has given these little logo-like badge icons for years. For example, this site has honored me personally (or professionally) with Top 100 badges for the past few years, as well as monthly. My profile page also sports an AC Millionaire badge (which appeared when my articles earned their first one million reader views), as well as a Clout 10 badge that marks me as a top-level writer for that site.
Yahoo! offers top-clouted writers a slightly higher percentage of page-view earnings than they give to newbies.
Recently, Examiner.com has joined the badge brigade, introducing a new dashboard for writers. Apparently, Examiner’s badges will be visible only to site members, offering some sort of internal accolades for top performers. Although readers won't see them on my profile, my Examiner badges include a Charter badge, as I've written for the site for years.
Examiner’s latest policies seem to indicate that writers earning the highest marks (and badges) may receive more visibility on the site. That change could spell somewhat improved readership and earnings for such columnists.
Helium was one of the first such sites to offer badges on member profiles, recognizing contest winners, awards and and approvals for their most prestigious writing assignments.
Even bloggers circulate awards, either reputable or self-created. Look at the sidebars of the sites you frequent, and you may find these graphic displays.
Yes, accolades are affirming and possibly even amusing. Who doesn’t like to be liked? Still, professional writers and seasoned bloggers generally seem something more.
It is actually possible to make a living in web writing.
Advertisements lead to assets.
OK this is not a news flash. The most prolific and internet-savvy writers can draw enough dollars and dimes each month to pay their bills. Top producers at online news and features sites bring in both readership and real money.
Big-time bloggers make significant splashes in cyberspace and reel in rewards. It all comes down to monetization.
Here’s how it works.
If a blog is monetized, it will sport several advertisements, often from sites like Amazon or Google AdSense. Promotional banners may appear between posts. Google or Amazon search bars might show up in entries.
When readers load those links, bloggers make money. It’s that simple.
Actually, that’s not the whole story. Readers cannot repeatedly click ad links on the pages of blogs they adore. Advertisers will reject this sort of participation, perhaps even punishing the blogger for fraudulent link loading.
Some bloggers also publish paid posts after enrolling in promotional programs with marketers. These folks usually earn pre-arranged fees for each post, mentioning particular products and linking to client websites in their blog content.
Other bloggers simply add donation boxes to their blogs.
This practice is particularly popular among bloggers who publish posts about charitable endeavors or promoting non-profit organizations. These folks place contribution graphics, most often linked to PayPal, in the sidebars of their blogs.
Of course, many writers publish out of affection for art.
An abundance of bloggers write and post for free, just because they have something to say. They appreciate an audience and enjoy the opportunity to put their words in print.
And that’s an acceptable and admirable accomplishment as well.
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