Tips and Tricks After 300 Pages on Wizzley

by JoHarrington

Ten months after registering to write at Wizzley, I'm starting to see some return on my hard work. Come and join me on my learning curve.

Making a living by writing online isn't all about typing words in blank boxes. That's just the substance of it.

There are all of those little things that you can do in the background to increase the likelihood of your articles being read. SEO and positioning, formatting and picking topics that are bound to do well.

If you're just a beginner, then the bombardment of advice can feel overwhelming. This series is me pausing every fifty pages to journal what I'm doing and what I learned. May it help you as much as it's helped me.

You Are Writing For This Time Next Year

It takes time for any of your articles to mature to the point of making money.

Image: CalendarSince I first began writing online, veterans further down the road have been unanimous in saying the same thing - it takes time before you see a return on your hard work.

Some of those projections make depressing reading.  No-one makes anything in their first year.  It can take two years for cents to turn into dollars.  It can take four or five years before you're making anything like a living wage.

Of course, there will always be the lucky ones, who fall upon the right topics at the right time, or who bang out the 'sales' articles for a quicker return.  Yet the latter risk losing the long term rewards, as items fall out of fashion before maturity is reached.

From this melee of dire warnings and advice, it was Jerrico Usher's voice which rang most clearly for me.  "You're not writing for today," he told me.  "You're writing for this time next year, or the year after." 

You couldn't get much clearer than that!  By keeping his words in mind, you are looking forward to a time when your work will have settled into the search engines, and gained enough readers to have sprouted organic back links.  Moreover, it's a great check to ensure that your article is evergreen.  There's many years' earning potential in those.

On a psychological level, not expecting any return for a year or two will also stop you feeling despondent, when the riches haven't rolled in immediately. If they do, then that's a bonus worth cheering.

Incidentally, this whole thing about having patience is true.  I've been amazed just recently how many of my articles have suddenly come to life - in terms of readership and traffic - after months of sitting there doing nothing much.  It's like the internet only just found out about them.

Books about Patience and the Power of Giving It Time

I'm in the Money Tra-la-laaa I'm in the Money

Yes! You can make money on Wizzley, as long as you put in the effort and wait for a bit.

It's been the million dollar question since I first arrived.  Forget about stats and party games, are you making any money? 

The bottom line has to be the concern of even the most passionate writer.  We might love to get our words out to a waiting cyber-crowd, but we also need to put bread on our tables. 

For those just starting out, it looks like easy money, right up until the moment when it patently isn't.

A single article, or a handful of articles, thrown out to the masses has as much chance of funding your retirement, as your teenage kids have of recording the world's best selling record.  It could happen.  Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Justin Bieber seem to do alright.

But the reality is that it takes time to see some return on your online writing.  It can take months. It's the hugest test of faith ever to keep on churning out the articles, and hoping that it'll all be worth it; and one day earn hard cash.

Moreover, this is fertile ground for paranoia.  What if it's only the site's owners and a few favorite writers who make the money?  What if you're simply the industry's equivalent to cannon fodder or slave labor?  Doing the work and then being thrown on the scrap heap, before gaining your reward.

I had the faith and I lived through the paranoia.  The money is now trickling in.  Note the trickle.  It's gone from months of zeros, through to cents.  Then the single digit dollars began to appear.  A couple of months later - BAM!

Seemingly overnight, old articles suddenly started making money.  It's not mega amounts, but it's in the low double figures and it's steady.  I won't be buying a tropical island any time soon, but it's all enough to prove to me that the old wisdom was correct. 

Write often, write well, don't give up and it will come.  Just like everyone said all along.

How Long Did It Take You to Earn Double Figures?

Online writers, let's keep this information honest. It's targeting those making decisions while starting out.

Get Rich Quick! zOMG! Money! Wealth! $$££€€

'Seeding' Articles Between Wizzley Categories

Carry traffic from one sub-category over into another that you are populating with articles.

One of the wonderful things about Wizzley is the massive choice of sub-categories in which to write. 

As the website is barely over a year old, there is the opportunity to be here at ground level. Today's Wizzley's authors are the ones with free rein in filling them all. Imagine how that will look, once the rush begins in earnest (as it already has).

However, lonely Wizzles in a category aren't going to do much for your bounce rate.  I've already advocated writing at least two, but now I've worked out how to do even better.

All articles posted here retain their same URL wherever they are located.  You can constantly move them from category to category, until you find the perfect fit. Plus that huge choice of categories means that you have plenty of places to park them.

My tip is to find yourself a center of operations, then blossom out from it.  It's like letting a mighty tree cast out a seed for a sapling.

There will be a general, catch all category, which allows you to corral appropriate Wizzles until you have a fair number.  Ten is good for Twitterfeed.  But amongst their number, you could add two or three which narrow down the field.  They will mature nicely amongst those generally related articles.

But they will also form the basis of the colonization of another sub-category later.  Once moved, they will take with them all of the readers attracted by the article's maturity in search engines.  That's a much better foundation than a lone, newly written Wizzle in a pioneer's category.

Examples of 'Seeding' Articles from one Wizzley Category to Another

This can be done the sensible way, or in reverse, where you send out 'pioneer' articles into other categories, then bring them home.

There may have been some puzzled faces when I placed a Wizzle about women in the American Civil War into the Victorian Era category.  It's not that it doesn't fit, but US History may be a much better fit for the topic.

I agree, and one day The Women Who Fought in the American Civil War will indeed be moved over there. But today is not that day. 

The reason is that I already have plenty of established articles in the Victorian Era category.  They are gaining maturity and helping me develop my authority as a history writer. By being grouped together, readers attracted by one article may easily find the others too.

Meanwhile, I have nothing else in US History.  My lone article about it is more likely to be read in the lesser category, than in the perfect fit.  Over the weeks, I'll gradually add to them, until such time as I can move them over en masse.  By then, they'll have achieved their own maturity and will transfer that into their new and better location.

This can also work in reverse, as I recently discovered. 

This Halloween, I wrote many, many articles about the different costumes available for your spooky events.  At the same time, I was so interested in Bigfoot, that I'd filled that category here on Wizzley almost single-handedly. 

The two naturally merged into Halloween costumes for both Yeti and Sasquatch. They were placed into the Halloween costumes for adults section.

Still there was some crossover.  In writing the Yeti outfit article, I realized that the Bigfoot category did not include one about this legendary creature.  So I wrote it.  Linked up with the Yeti costume article, in the high visibility sub-category of Halloween in October, it did very well.

But then the holiday was over and hits began to fall off.  I judged it time to take 'Halloween' out of the title, and move both the Yeti and Sasquatch costume Wizzles over into the Bigfoot area.  The result astounded me.

Alone of all my Halloween costume Wizzles, these two not only didn't lose internet traffic after the big day, but gained more readers!  Moreover, every one of my Bigfoot and Sasquatch articles registered the same boost.

That's what I call a successful reverse seeding!

Don't Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself

There is already enough of all that by sheer dint of the fact that you're trying to make your way as an online writer!

Image: Pressure Valve

Every guide you will ever read about making your living by writing online will state the same thing. It's not easy money. You will have to work hard to carve your niche in the market.

I've done this myself. How often have I written, in these tips and tricks, that you should write often and write well?  It's still great advice, but it can go too far.

There is a thin line between pushing yourself with motivational techniques, and setting yourself up for failure.

People are always telling me that they admire my stamina on Wizzley. They wonder how I can create so many freshly written articles, so consistently and in so short a time.

The answer is that I'm approaching it as a gamer. I level up with these articles. I hit my targets and run to the next.  But first I have to create the levels to achieve.  Nintendo never did pair up with Wizzley to do it for me.

So here are the motivational targets, which just stacked up and up:

  • Every fifty articles, I stop and take stock.  You are reading the results of that one right now.
  • Every sixth article conforms to the relevant aspect of the Triple Goddess.
  • I've set myself a challenge of having written 366 articles on Wizzley by December 16th 2012, exactly a year after I arrived here.
  • In order to maximize 'sales' articles, I'm following the advice of most of Wizzley, when they point out that holidays and festivals are huge selling times.  Hence the dozens of Wizzles for Halloween and Christmas, and yet another for Bonfire Night.  Such things have deadlines, and I'm horribly aware that those are months in advance.
  • I've joined a Pinterest paranormal group, which has created a huge amount of exposure for my ghost stories.  So much pressure there to keep on producing them.
  • On the subject of promotions, there is the Twitterfeed technique, which does fulfill its promise of increased internet traffic. But optimization involves at least ten articles in each sub-category.
  • The massive milestone of 300 articles required something special, so I planned it in advance. A lot of research and work went into my gift to myself and Wizzley.  As a historian, I really wish that it had existed from the moment I walked into this community.  Writing About History on Wizzley exists now.
  • Also as a historian, I have the entire of time and space to plunder for articles, at least where the human story is concerned. Which means that I'm constantly looking ahead for major historical anniversaries, then writing about them in advance of the commemorations.
  • Posting two articles in a row triggers the competitive spirit that has me wanting to beat Jerrico Usher at Wizzley battleships
  • The look of my profile is a concern. I try not to have too many 'sales' or 'information' articles in the same rows.  Mix and matching for the win!
  • And I'm also keenly aware that Wizzley has a competition running right now, which I haven't contributed even one article towards.

Add all of these things together and the questions need to be asked - What ails thee?  Whom does it serve?

Because way beyond targets now, it's a big ball of pressure, which needs to be pricked.  I've got to the point of writing what I 'should' instead of what I want to.  Such an approach is fatal, when you're already under stress.  Plus a little silly too.  I had an article planned in my head, which would have gone out a week ago, had I not been sticking so strictly to my schedule.  Another Wizzley author wrote about it yesterday, gazumping me to the post.

When motivational techniques and a gamer's approach become a heavy weight of 'must' and 'duty', then they are no longer doing their jobs.

The trick is to strike a balance.  Write often, write well indeed, but not to the point of burn out and tears.  It's a trick that I'm still in the process of learning.

Help me Wizzley! What's Sensible Up There?

I've got to shed some of that pressure that I've placed upon myself. But if I'm noob enough to make the mistakes, I'm not in a position to evaluate them!

The great motivational techniques on the list above are...
ohcaroline on 05/29/2013

Absolutely, positively wonderful. Thank you for shedding the light of your experience to this noob.

vikksimmons on 03/04/2013

I like having an overall strategy.

Thamisgith on 11/17/2012

Write often and write well is sound advice - but not when you really don't feel like it. It's good to have targets and deadlines, but even good writers need a break now and again.

One More Motivational 'Game' at Wizzley

At least with this one, I don't have to actually do any work! Perhaps this is the way forward for my gaming instinct.

Every Wizzley author checks their statistics.  Even if we weren't after the confidence boost of knowing that there are actually readers, we'd be looking for clues as to what we should be writing about.

I've kept the stamina levels going, on a daily basis, by checking out those ordered by seven days; and picking a number.

Originally it was ten, then fifty.  Now it's 100.  I count the number of articles that have attracted over 100 readers in one week.  Then I rejoice and pat myself on the back, if they amount to more than ever before.

Currently my record is twenty articles with over 100 readers in a week.  I don't beat myself up if that falls below, but I congratulate myself heartily if it goes above.  A new entry for the Wizzley hiscores.

Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Stats November 8th 2012
Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Stats November 8th 2012

That huge Reddit spike is still making things difficult to see, so let me show you that in close up.

I'm also indebted to Lobobrandon for showing me HOW to zoom in on certain periods in your stats.  You click on one date, hold your mouse's left-click down, then move to a later date.  The whole chart zooms in!

Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Stats November 8th 2012
Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Stats November 8th 2012

That takes us from the day after the Reddit spike and, as you can see, things are bubbling along quite nicely.

In my earliest weeks of writing online, I was told that consistently attracting 1000 unique readers a day means that you've made it.  I've since been told that this was just a throw-away remark and shouldn't be heeded too closely.  But it stuck in my mind.

This period, I came so close!  Five or six days in a row would be over the 1000 mark.  Then I'd have a 'mere' 952 readers to break the run.  I've yet to get there for a whole week, but it's close.  So close.

Right now, I'm averaging between 800 and 1100 readers a day, which sounds wonderful to me.

My Wizzley Statistics in Context

Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Progress November 8th 2012.
Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Progress November 8th 2012.

It's all still moving on up!  Wizzley is good for internet traffic and it's getting bigger all the time.

If you're not already here, then I most definitely do recommend the place.  You can sign up for Wizzley here.

More Tips and Tricks for Writing Online at Wizzley

The first fifty articles on any site are hard work. Yet that crash course provides insights that soon become second nature.
The learning curve goes on and with it comes some amazing insights. But what will work in the long term?
My articles are consistently amongst the most popular on Wizzley. But I'm new to this writing game. This is how I'm doing it.
Every fifty pages, I pause and share all I've learned. This time there's been an emphasis on money-making; and an article that went viral.

Wizzley Tips and Tricks Amalgamated

I've written a guide to writing on Wizzley. All of the Tips and Tricks are included in there as bonus material.
A Writer's Guide to Wizzley

Wizzley is one of the youngest and brightest writing platforms on the internet today. Online livelihoods are made in writing articles there. Jo Harrington is one of its foremost...

View on Amazon

Updated: 08/09/2013, JoHarrington
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


JoHarrington on 05/22/2013

For future reference, I'm quite happy for Wizzley authors to link to other Wizzley articles in the comments of mine. Obviously only if it's relevant and saves our readers having to scramble about looking for things. :)

pkmcr on 05/22/2013

@JoHarrington thanks Jo and you are very welcome. Thanks for adding the link to my page - I am always loathe to "link drop" but hopefully people will find it useful and/or informative :-)

JoHarrington on 05/22/2013

Thank you very much for your insight, Paul. For the convenience of Sandi, and anyone reading these comments in the future, I've found your Wizzley/Squidoo comparison article:

I didn't know that you wrote on all four of the aforementioned sites. That makes your take on the matter even more useful!

pkmcr on 05/22/2013

Thanks for the mention Jo which I really appreciate. I did create a page about 12 months ago (Wizzley for Writers) which did a direct comparison of Wizzley and Squidoo in terms of load time of the sites, bounce rates etc which I probably need to update. On balance at that time I came down on the side of Wizzley for usability and Squidoo for earnings.

I think that would probably still be my perception but with a couple of caveats. One is that Squidoo is going through a massive period of change whch is making the environment quite challenging for some. This can be seen when you look at their forum. I am sure they will come through the change but right now, for me anyway, earnings from their Tier Payments are down but sales are continuing at a good pace.

The second caveat is the points that Jo makes about Wizzley growing and something which she didn't mention is that Wizzley has quality approaches built into the fabric of the site from the start.

Ultimately each of the sites and HubPages & Zujava offer similar tools to do similar things. I create content at all of them and enjoy the different approaches. If you are just starting out I would suggest trying one and getting used to the approach, creating content and building traffic and in time earnings. If I was starting out today I suspect I would go with Wizzley :-)

JoHarrington on 05/21/2013

Thank you very, very much for getting my book. I hope that you like it. :)

Unfortunately I can't comment on Wizzley v Squidoo, as I've never written for the latter. Might I direct you to Wizzley authors like Pkmcr ( instead please? He writes regularly for both, and may be able to provide more insight. Or I could try and lure him here to answer your question publicly!

My feedback is this: there are no rights and wrongs in this business, insofar as I can tell, in which platform you decide to use. The usual advice is to not place all of your eggs in one basket - write for all of them. The major benefit there being that if one site goes down, the others are still making you money. The downside of that is the time it takes to build authority on a site. You will be asking your readers to traipse all over the internet looking for you, or else you'll be creating so-so portfolios for disparate readers.

Sites like Squidoo and Hubpages have been around for years. You will get a bigger initial exposure there, hence more potential traffic. However, you'll be a very small fish in a large sea. Sites like Wizzley and Zujava are brand new. It's easier to become a big shark in a little pond (that analogy sounded so much better in my head...), thus building up a base of loyal readers and making your name that way. But the traffic is slower, because you're in at ground level.

In a year or two, I'm confident that Wizzley will be huge. Your articles will be here, all mature with your name authority stamped all over them, poised and ready for the ride.

It's your decision; and there isn't a fundamentally wrong way to jump. Good luck!

Sandi on 05/21/2013

I ordered your book a few minutes ago. I can't wait to read it. Do you have any politically correct (LOL) comments about the pros and cons of writing, as a newbie, for wizzley or Squidoo? I've only done a couple of articles on the other platform and after reading about the climate here thinking about switching. Plus, I like that this is new platform. Any feedback would help. Thank you for taking time from writing to comment.

JoHarrington on 04/30/2013

You are very welcome and I'm glad that you found it so. :)

pawpaw on 04/30/2013

Thanks for the tips and tricks. Very useful information.

JoHarrington on 01/06/2013

Hi Jean,

Thank you very much for your insights. They are very well received.

Also a hearty welcome to Wizzley. This really is a lovely and very friendly site.

JeanBakula on 01/02/2013

Hi Jo,
What you say here is about the same way it worked for me at Hubpages. I started to see double digit $ when I had about 4,000 visitors a day. There are too many rule changes and the site is not as popular, so I'm making Wizzley my main site now! I started my own blog last year, and had a lot of time tied up in getting that off the ground. But I know that's more a hobby thing, I can't make much money just on my own! Stay enthused! I started with astrology, and branched out with other metaphysical topics, but found they didn't do that well here.

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