Dancer and freelance writer Marisa Wright interviewed

by BardofEly

Marisa Wright is a dancer and freelance writer. She runs a number of websites and has written for Wizzley, HubPages and Squidoo.

Introduction to Marisa Wright
Hi Marisa! I notice most of your online writing is about dance. What made you choose that subject?
I'm different to most of my webmaster friends because I didn't choose my subject based on keyword research – it chose me. I'm a dancer, and any dancer will tell you that dance isn't what we do, it's what we are. It's such a big part of my life, I couldn't not write about it!
What was it like being a professional dancer?
I was never truly a professional dancer because I was never able to dance full-time. I started ballet too late to get into a company, and when I switched to flamenco, there simply wasn't enough work to make a living from. So I've always had to have a “day job” as well as dancing jobs. That's not unusual – I know a lot of flamenco and belly dance performers who dance professionally by night and have an ordinary job by day.

Marisa Wright dancing

With other dancers

Best books on belly dancing

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Belly Dancing for Fitness: The Ultimate Dance Workout That Unleashes Your Creative Spirit

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Grandmother's Secrets: The Ancient Rituals and Healing Power of Belly Dancing

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Belly dancing

Dance styles

How many years did you dance?

I'm still dancing! These days I've moved on to belly dance, which is very gentle on the body so it's ideal for a 50-something woman like me.

I have over 40 years study and experience of ballet, jazz, flamenco and belly dance under my belt so far. I hope I'll still be dancing when I'm 70!

Dancer Marisa Wright


Writing articles and freelancing for websites

Running websites

How did you get started creating websites?

I've always enjoyed writing stories, but between work and dancing, never had much time for it once I left school. Then about five years ago, I landed a part-time job which turned out to be terminally boring! I stuck with it, because the hours let me do more performing.

I started surfing the net to ease my boredom and stumbled across an article-writing site called Helium. After several months there I realized what a rip-off it was, and looked for somewhere else to write. I found HubPages, which was a great stroke of luck – not just because it's an enjoyable place to write, but because I met so many incredibly knowledgeable people, willing to share their expertise. I learned so much from them that I felt inspired to start my own website – and today I have six!

Making a living online

Google Panda

Would you recommend making a living online?

I don't make a living online. At one time, I thought I would, but it hasn't worked out for two reasons.

One is that although I'm a bit of an introvert, I hate isolation – and there's nothing more isolating than sitting at home alone all day, in front of a computer. There's no way I could do that full-time – and if you want to make a proper income from online writing, you must work at it full-time. The “4-hour work week” isn't a myth – I do know one or two people who've achieved it – but they all spent two or three years working 9 or 10 hours a day to get there. That's not for me.

The other reason is Panda. At the beginning of 2011, I was projecting an online income of around $20,000 for the year. Then Panda hit. It decimated my HubPages earnings and although my blogs weren't hit badly, their former steady growth came to a standstill, and most of them have gone slightly backwards.

Unfortunately, making money online is much harder than it used to be, and Google keeps making it harder. Truly passive income doesn't exist any more – it's no longer possible to write articles or create a website, then sit back and wait for the dollars. Regular maintenance is required to respond to Google's constant changes and keep your work high in the search results. I wouldn't honestly recommend it to anyone as a career. However, it makes a good hobby – because how many hobbies are there, which actually pay you?

Copyright © 2012 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.

Best books about search engines like Google

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Search Engines: Information Retrieval in Practice

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Google's PageRank and Beyond: The Science of Search Engine Rankings

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Updated: 10/15/2016, BardofEly
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BardofEly on 11/03/2012

Hi Marisa! Thanks for your additional thoughts on this. I always promote my work at Facebook and on twitter but it's not enough I know. Have also tried posting links at Redgage,, Shetoldme and others in the past but stopped doing this as it didn't seem to make much difference and someone told me Google don't like this.

Marisawright on 11/03/2012

I think it all depends what your expectations are. At one time, it was possible to create "passive" income online - you could write articles then virtually forget about them, and they would gradually earn pennies, ultimately giving you a good return on your initial investment. These days with Google constantly shifting the goalposts (and sites changing their rules to suit sometimes, too), there are always tweaks and updates to be made - and you can't expect traffic without promotion, either. So the income has ceased to be truly passive.

BardofEly on 11/01/2012

Thanks for your comments, Mira! Personally I need "palpable results!"

Mira on 11/01/2012

Right. Thinking of what she said in the last section of your interview: Maybe we should start thinking about online writing as a hobby, too. Although I still believe that if we put in enough hours, we'll see some palpable results . . .

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