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On Web Writing

Even though I've been an avid writer and consumer of print media ('been published in various publications like Elle Magazine, Philippines Free Press, Manila Bulletin's Panorama, Woman Today, Today's Child, etc. and even had a children's book published), I've embraced web media completely from the moment I first heard the crackle of a modem. I still love print. But, I'm almost exclusively an online freelance writer and publisher nowadays.

I think the world of online publishing is great because it just opens up so many opportunities for both beginning and seasoned writers. The international market also becomes everyone's playground. We no longer need to limit ourselves to writing for local/national publications. I can be sitting here in a quiet suburb in Adelaide, writing for a US-based publication (a New York Times company at that!).

David S. Hirschman's MedioBistro article, Don't Bother Writing For Print (Why you can make an easier living online) says:

Breaking in as a writer no longer means you have to slave away as a Condé Nast editorial assistant in order to work your way up to someday landing a byline on a 50-word blurb. With more ad dollars moving online, the market for online content is also growing, and for writers there are expanding opportunities and more money to be made online than ever before. Increasing numbers of writers are finding that they can score solid bylines on the web and get paid on the same level as their print counterparts. While the nature of web writing lends itself to shorter pieces (and not to the kind of long-form investigative journalism that can snag $3+ per word at the high-end mags), online writers can still net anywhere from $.25 to $1.50 per word and make a reasonable living.

Rafe Needleman, a top editor at CNET.com, says that the pay scale has pretty much leveled between print and online content. "There's certainly more money to be made on web writing now that the advertising is increasing," says Needleman. "For writers it's really an interesting time, because the opportunities are out there. I pay just about what I do for writers online as I would for print content. The fees are more or less the same."

And, it also mentions:

Web writing has a few obvious advantages over print. Aside from interactivity—instant feedback and comments from readers—web content has a lot of staying power. Where a short magazine article may fade into the ether a few months later, an article on the web will pretty much always available on search engines, with your name attached.

Articles on the web also get distribution to a wider audience than might normally read your work in print. Writing about a charged topic in a women's mag, for example, won't be read by most men (who would be unlikely to buy the title), but on the web the same article can circulate among blogs and get linked all over the web, creating a much larger forum. "Bloggers can triple the traffic to your article," notes Slate columnist and NYU journalism professor Adam Penenberg. "Sure, the web and particularly bloggers can be a highly vitriolic culture, but if your ideas are good, your work can endure in a way that it never could in the past."

So, if you're someone who always wanted to write and get published, there really aren't that many excuses anymore. If you want to write and earn some money from what you love, then the web can definitely work for you in more ways than one. You can be a (published and paid) writer regardless of your level of experience and your location.

Also See: How To Be A Freelance Writer

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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