One of the fastest ways to make money online without any technical knowledge is by writing articles. If you have a decent English vocabulary and can write fluently, you can make money quite fast.
Webmasters need fresh and ORIGINAL content and articles for their website. If they copied articles, no one would come to their site. Also, they wouldn’t been shown in Google search results, which is very bad and harmful for them. Many wouldn’t have the time to sit and write articles. So they hire people to write articles for them.
All you would need for this is a decent text editor (like MS Word), a good spell and grammatical error checker (inbuilt in MS Word) and lots of motivation.
Usually, the rate is quoted per 100 words. At the beginning, I strongly recommend that you do 2-3 jobs at 80 cents for 100 words. Try to write the best articles. This can earn you a good reputation and some iTrader’s. Then you start charging $1 per 100 words. If people feel you write great articles and you get a great reputation, you can slowly increase your price. You could start earning $2 per 100 words in a matter of a few weeks.
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I'm not sure but I think you will make the most money when writing for yourself (generally speaking of course). You have to be able to pump out a considerable amount of articles everyday if you want to do only this for a living.
Yesterday in the chatroom, I asked around if anyone knows how fast an experienced writer can write articles. Some can write a 500 word article in half an hour. For others -like myself- it may take a couple hours to do the same thing (and I would quickly feel like Toni). And then of course, you need sufficient demand. Quite challenging I guess.
One article took me maybe some 40 minutes or so,article writing is OK if you are passionate about it and if you are able to charge enough to make it worthwhile. If that's not the case,I would recommend to try getting into niche sites, if you can afford to invest some $50 for 4 domains and some cheap hosting, and your time on learning: keyword research, on-page SEO, link building and a few other things you will need in a matter of 3-4 months you should see some $100/month from those sites (assuming that you did GOOD keyword research,enough link building and wrote decent content).
I agree with Loko. I think it's much better to just keep writing for your own sites and blogs. Everything that you do will then slowly pay off over time, and will keep paying off. But writing for others just gives you a (not very good) hourly rate only for the time you're doing it.
It's like renting as opposed to buying a house. Writing for others is like renting; writing for yourself is like buying a house. The payoff comes at the end when you own something that's a profitable asset in itself.
It all depends on how bad you need money and how fast. I still do a mix between my own stuff and for others based on the amount of funds I need to flow in that particular week/month. My stuff has been slowly growing, and while it does I back off of contract work...but I still do both.
If you need money sooner rather than later, then contract writing could be the ticket to help. Really a case-by-case basis depending on the individual needs of the writer.
Writing is something that takes a combination of natural talent and professional training. It's not something that 'just anyone' can do. Just like any other industry, if you offer something of value, you can make decent money off of it.
I have to agree with Nicole. I have been writing professionally since 2007 and though I have no degrees in writing or experience in professional journalism, I never have a day when writing is cumbersome or exhausting.
I find that writing for myself is the best option as I do not work with a team of writers, but the turnaround time I can achieve is simply due to fine tuning research and knowing how to write for the Internet.
I can build a website in one day and feel fantastic about that website, but it is the content writing for other clients that still brings me the most joy.
If writing is your passion, you should find no reason to have a tedious attitude towards it. It should flow naturally from you. Some days it may seem like your schedule is overwhelmed, but that is an outside influence and should not be considered as your entire attitude towards your craft....
I generally write articles for myself, but at times I feel lazy and out of it. That is when I consider the option of outsourcing the writing.
If I start writing on a topic I have knowledge on, I can continue writing for hours at a time. If I really put my mind to it, I can complete about ten articles in a day.
The only thing I don't like is the fact that many of the writer's claim they have excellent knowledge of the English language, and yet they supply articles with grammar and spelling mistakes. It really sucks, but I never make it a big issue and just pay off the writer, and blacklist them from my list of writers.
EDIT: A while back in 2008, I needed 250 articles, each being 400 to 500 words. I specifically asked for residents of the States and Canada. I got many requests by PM, and what I did was, I made potential writers sign up on my Wordpress blog. Once the signing up was taken care of, I checked out the IP addresses of the people who did sign up, and honestly, there were only 3 people from Canada and the States. The remaining 15 or so, were from elsewhere.
I did message back to the 15 people, and asked why they had applied for the posting, if they weren't from Canada/USA. A few of them apologized, and a few of them I got no answer from.