The purpose of this article is to show you one path to paid articles. With paid articles, you can build a significant side income or even do it full-time. In my case, I write for some publications already, which allows me to make a steady, substantial side income.
Therefore, the article covers topics such as:
- starting your blog
- choosing an area of expertise
- writing consistently
- promoting your articles
- applying to write for FreeCodeCamp
- pitching websites to write for them
Starting your blog
The first step is to open your blog. By "yours" I mean to own your content. You can blog on platforms like Medium, for example, but you do not own your content. If the platform closes tomorrow, so is your blog.
Thus, I advise you to buy a domain and a hosting. Once you have the domain and hosting, find a platform or software for your blog. For instance, you can use Ghost, WordPress or build a static site blog.
Alternatively, you can use Hashnode because you only have to focus on the content. Their team takes care of everything else. It is similar to Dev To, with the most important caveat being that you can use your domain. Instead of having a URL like "yourname.hashnode.com" or "dev.to/yourname", you can have a domain like "yourname.dev". Moreover, Hashnode allows you to export your content, which means you can always migrate to another platform if you choose so. These are the reasons why I choose to host my blog on Hashnode.
In conclusion, the main idea is to start a blog. Ideally, your blog should be on your domain, and you should own the content. To recap:
- Buy a domain
- Buy hosting
- Choose a platform or software for your blog
Area of expertise
The next step is to define your area of expertise. For instance, if you are a back-end web developer, you can write about back-end development. Additionally, if you want to learn about a new subject, you can write about that too.
A rule of thumb is to write about a subject that you understand it at least at a basic level. You do not have to be an expert to write about a topic, but you should possess at least basic knowledge. On the same note, you should be able to differentiate between wrong and useful information when you research a topic. Distinguishing between bad and good information becomes easier if you have at least basic knowledge about your subject.
In conclusion, define your area of expertise, and write about that. Additionally, you can blog about the things you want to learn, to enforce your learnings. Remember that you do not have to be an expert about a subject, but you should have at least a basic understanding.
One of the most important things is to write consistently. If you write for one week, and then you do not write for the next three weeks, you are not going to achieve much. As an example, if you feel like writing six articles in a week, do not post them all in the same week. Try to create a schedule, and post each article in a separate week. As a result, you have content (at least one article) for six weeks.
Establishing a schedule is essential because the readers know when to expect an article from you. Also, it keeps you more organised. In my case, I have my best results with my blog when I keep a schedule and post regularly.
Thus, for beginners, I recommend trying to post one article per week. If you want to ramp up the intensity, and if you can keep it, try a maximum of two articles per week. To recap:
- Keep a schedule
- Write consistently
- Limit yourself to maximum two articles per week, if you are a beginner.
One of the most challenging aspects of having a blog is to get people reading your articles. If you go independently, using WordPress or Ghost or any other software, you are solely responsible for promoting your content.
On the other hand, if you choose a platform such as Hashnode or Dev To, you are part of a community. What does that mean for you? They promote your articles on their social media channels, and newsletters. That means people are more likely to find your articles and read them. On the same note, you find other people and their blogs. It is a win-win for everyone.
In conclusion, I advise you to join a community because it brings a lot of benefits; the most important one being that your blog is discovered easier.
After you write on your blog consistently for a while, consider applying to write for FreeCodeCamp. I advise you to apply only after writing on your blog for a while because they ask for three articles of yours which you consider the best. Having examples of your work, and even a blog, the odds of getting accepted are bigger.
But why should you write for FreeCodeCamp? The reason is that you get to help millions of people through your articles. FreeCodeCamp has millions of people that follow them across all social media channels. Moreover, they always share the articles of their writers. As a result, you are exposed to millions of people. You are not going to get that in a lot of places.
Besides that, they have an editing team that reads your articles and gives you feedback. Professional feedback is of tremendous importance, and it helps you to improve quickly as a writer.
Therefore, I highly recommend applying to write for FreeCodeCamp. You get feedback for your articles and exposure.
I wrote an article a while ago about websites that pay you to write technical articles. In the article, you can see the name of the publication, how much they pay, and where to apply.
How to pitch them? If you read the other article (embedded above), you should see the link to each publication. Click on the link, and you are taken to their website where they explain how to contact them.
After reading the article, you should have an idea about how to go from nothing to paid articles. To recap:
- Start your blog
- Choose an area of expertise
- Write consistently
- Promote your articles (join a community)
- Apply to write on FreeCodeCamp
- Pitch publications to write for them