How to Write for the Internet

By Eric Hammer

The skill set you need in order to write for the Internet is dramatically different from the skill required to do say journalistic writing. Typically, when you want to write Internet articles, you will need to write in a way that appeals both to people who want to read what you wrote and that appeals to computers that are searching the Internet, trying to find relevant information when someone does a web search.

In addition to this difference, writing for the Internet also involves regurgitating information whereas most other writing involves more research for a story. Here’s an example: Say you are asked to write an Internet article about the best dog food available on the market today. You might find an article in Puppy Magazine that says that Purina is the most popular dog food on the market today. The article might go on to say that XYZ dog chow is however considered the best balance of nutrition and taste for dogs today.

In most cases, when you write for the web, you’re not going to be writing your article by doing independent research where you contact individual veterinarians and ask their opinions about which dog food is the best. With the amount of money you’ll earn, you simply can’t afford that (see below regarding typical salaries for Internet writing). Instead, you’ll simply take material that already exists and regurgitate it into something new.

For example, you may begin your expose on dog food by saying, "Puppy Magazine reports that Purina is the world’s most popular dog food. They interviewed a number of veterinarians and four out of five agree that it’s the most popular, though perhaps not the best for your dog. Veterinarians say that if you really want to give your dog the best dog food, you should go with XYZ Dog Chow." In essence, instead of reporting on the news, when you write for the Internet, in most cases, you are reporting on what others are reporting.

By contrast, Puppy Magazine’s writer probably phoned a number of veterinarians and asked their opinions. He or she may have spent months visiting dog chow factories to learn about the process of making dog food and why this food is better than that food. That however is journalistic writing as opposed to Internet writing; and while journalistic writing can often be more interesting, it is also much, much harder to get into and to earn a steady paycheck from, which is why writing for the web is so popular.

How Much Can You Make?

When you write for the Internet, you are in essence writing what is known as "content." While small, independent web sites may pay more, typical rates for a 400-500 word article range from around $5-$15 per article when you work with major "content" sites such as Demand Media Studios, TextBroker and BrightHub.

Other content sites work with a pay per click system where you are paid based on how many people visit your article and pay around a penny for each visitor, sometimes less. Popular sites for this kind of Internet writing include places like, and

Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

In addition to making money writing basic Internet content, you can also work with companies to help with something call Search Engine Optimization. This sometimes will entail knowing basic HTML, which means that a lot of people who work in content writing don’t want to get involved, but really it’s a matter of understanding how to write headers for web sites, which are relatively easy to do. In addition, many companies will happily pay you to maintain a blog for them about their products, again, a skill that not all content writers are comfortable with but which can pay more money.

Qualifications / Requirements

The reason there is so much competition amongst people who write for the Internet is because there really is no barrier to entry. Anyone who can write in the English language and even many people who really can’t write in the English language but who think this is a way to make an easy living can get into this business. However, to be successful, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the Internet and learn a lot about how writing for the Internet works.

First Steps

Start by visiting several popular content web sites. Drop by places like, and See how the articles are put together in these sites. Then visit some of the more professional content sites, places like or for example, which also work on a similar basis, but pay their writers more and also have much more stringent requirements for those who want to work for them. Note the differences and try imitating the style of writing that you find on sites like these. Once you get to the point where you feel confident in your skills, go ahead and apply for a writing job. Show ‘em what you’ve learned and you too can join the ranks of Internet writers.

Resources - Freelance Writing Gigs; A web site devoted to the business of freelance writing, with some great articles on how to break into the business and especially the business of writing for the ‘Net. - No Job for Mom – One woman’s personal blog about her efforts to become financially independent writing for content web sites.

If you liked this page please let others know with one of these...

Other Relevant Pages

How to Write For Money

Online Profits and Paychecks

The Money Book for Freelancers (a review)

(The newsletter has been discontinued.)

Every Way to Make Money | How to Write for the Internet