Writing Online 101: 5 Essential Tasks for Success

by humagaia

Writing online is not just about creating quality content. You must plan for success; learn & be critical; write for your audience, regularly; rinse and repeat. Not a rehash of....

Advice for writing online has much and varied copy throughout the internet.

It is prolific, and much of it you read over an over again, rehashed by the next marketing advice wannabe.

This is only too true when finding some 'advice' from a writer,
new to the game,
who has not the experience,
nor undertaken the research,
to back up the claims that they regurgitate,
often verbatim.

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Advice For Writing Online


Although I have read, and will reiterate some of, this advice, what you will find in this article is advice borne of research, evidence, and personal experience, mainly the latter at this stage. 

It may fly in the face of the currently perceived wisdom on occasion. It is for you to decide whether this online writing advice is sound and can be actioned by you.

As you will note from the title (101), it is an outline from which additional articles will be spawned, each covering, in more detail, an aspect of the whole subject, or that will point you to articles already written, often by others, that explain what I have found to be true for me.

I hope you gain benefit.

Making A Success Of Online Writing

The tasks needing to be completed

In order to be successful in anything you do, you must take a professional approach. It is no less so for online writing. In fact, because you will not be in a business office environment, scrutinized by a manager, or assisted by colleagues, it is even more necessary to be professional in your attitude, and get organized.

Organization is not just keeping your desk tidy, or setting aside a time of day to undertake the production of articles. An holistic approach must be implemented, that is if you want to make a success of what you are about to undertake.

The 5 essential tasks are in fact just the headings for that which you must implement. They are the cornerstones of any successful business. You are now in business, for yourself. They are:

  1. Plan
  2. Research
  3. Create
  4. Analyze and adjust
  5. Rinse and repeat

Pretty straightforward really. No rocket science here. You pretty much do this already: in your head. The most important advice I can give you at this point is that you must formalize these tasks.

  • Making a plan does not mean "I'll do that next", it means structuring your business to achieve success: not to stave off failure. 
  • Doing research does not mean just read what others have written, and rehash it with different noise words. It means the production of evidence, investigation, questioning, reviewing, implementing that which is right and throwing away that which is wrong.
  • Writing does not mean sitting down and typing without knowing what your intro, middle and conclusion will be. You must plan what it is you are to write. Organizing it so that it flows in a logical sequence. Optimize it so that it has the best chance of success.
  • Analyzing and adjusting is not just being reactive to major external pressures, it is also the tweaking of content such that it performs better - you will never get it exactly right first time.
  • Rinse and repeat does mean taking everything you have learned and implementing the best bits and removing the bits that did not work for you.

It is then that you sit down to write. With a sound plan to hand, and knowledge about your subject. You can now let your creative juices flow: create the masterpiece - even if it is only 400 words you are producing. For maximum success, the less you write, the more crafted, and succinct, it must be. No superfluous chit-chat or extraneous joining words. Straight to the point: Bang!

Plan To Succeed

Essential Task 1

As I said, I would link to articles that I think will be of interest when considering the success tasks for writing online.


                  They are to the right =====>


I am not going to go into the detail of how to make a plan, here. This article is about the necessary tasks you must undertake for your business to succeed.

Making a plan is the first and most crucial of those tasks, because without a plan you will wander aimlessly, shooting at random traffic signs, hitting a few and missing with most.

Whatever you write online you must plan for specific outcomes, whatever it is you choose to write about.

Make a plan to read about making plans by Wizzley authors

From those that have let us in on their plans, and how to make a plan

Make a long time plan to profit from your blog.
Making money from a blog is a dream for many, but a reality for only a few. In theory, anybody who has a grasp of technology, decent skills and something interesting to talk about, could make a blog and make money from writing. But a plan is necessary......by Irune

TeriRexson earnings plan for 2012
This article is Terri's Wizzley business plan for 2012. Here she shares her earnings targets for the year and adds actual earnings figures as the year progresses........by TerriRexson

Income earnings plan for 2012
This page lists Natasha's earnings goals for the year 2012 from WIzzley..........by Natasha

Your plan must include these 5 essential tasks:

  • Plan your environment
    Your environment must be conducive to you being able to think constructively so that you can write proficiently, and with a 'voice' that is your own. Noisy, cluttered environments are not conducive to thoughtful writing, whether it be as informative, jocular, cutting-edge, political commentary and / or to affiliate sales.
  • Plan your work schedule
    Your business will achieve greater things if you schedule your work load as if you were doing a 9 to 5 job. OK you may be doing this part-time, or you may be writing from dawn to dusk (and into the night, too), but allocating your time will focus your attention to do the tasks that need to be done, rather than putting them off until you can be bothered.
  • Plan where you will obtain your sources of information and the analysis tools you will use.
    If you are an expert in your field you will still need to check that the subject matter has not been saturated. If it has then you are unlikely to get any help with free traffic and your readership will be low if you target the search engines. There are plenty of free tools that with a little extra effort, will support your needs.


  • Plan your goals
    Plan for the long term. Although it is not universal, most online writers find that significant income arrives after much blood,sweat and tears. Do not assume that you will earn what you require, overnight. That said, if you take a professional, measured, analytical approach to writing online your rewards will arrive commensurate with the planning and analysis you have undertaken.
    The long term is one thing, you also need to plan the smaller steps that will get you to where you want to be. The long term objective will change with circumstance. Plan your medium term strategy and micromanage with short term strategies also. Each plan is made up of incremental steps, the short-term, that accrue into a stroll, the medium-term, which get you to your destination, the long-term. 
  • Plan how you are going to measure your success
    You are aiming to fulfil the targets you set yourself, but these can be many and varied. Plan how you are going to know when you have met, exceeded, or failed to reach, a target. It may be that some targets are less important than others. By planning the measurement criteria, it will hone your skills in determining the factors that are relevant and those that are not.

Planning is all about controlling what you can control. There will be many things that will be outside your control, so limit the damage by planning to keep control of that in which you have a say. Remember you have started your own business.

Research Everything

Essential task 2

Again you will find links to articles related to planning your research to the right.

                                              Here ====>

5 tasks for which it is essential you make plans, with regards to research, are:

  • Investigation

    Where will you find the information you need? Will it be over the internet, from books and encyclopedia, market research, magazine adverts, keyword research, or other? These items will need to be available to you. You will also need to be aware of affiliate programs, and advertising platforms, so you can make money. Ensure everything is to hand at the outset and determine what you will need at any later stage of your plan.
  • Questioning

    If you are using the internet for your research, plan to verify anything that you read (including this article). Once a 'truth' is unleashed on the internet it becomes the truth. If it is market research and / or adverts that you rely on, ensure that there is a good market into which you can fit.  

Essential Research Tasks

From the pens of them that know: from me to you

Chitika ad program
Chitika provides on-line advertisements that complement, or act as a replacement for, Google Adsense; but they work in a different way........by JoHarrington

Writing for the captive market.
Are you sure your target market audience is available where you are writing online? Each writing site has its own developed demographic.

Finding subjects that are not yet saturated.
Finding topics nobody is already writing about, but a lot of people would love to read about, is easier than it seems, here are some points to get you.........by Sam

Gaining an audience
Pinterest is a powerful force for driving viral traffic to your blog or online articles. There are several things you can do with your images so that ....by Jimmie

Plan to connect ad accounts
Connect your Adsense and Analytics accounts: the benefits of doing so are huge!

Plan to avoid targeting overlapping content
Overlapping Content – What that is, why it is bad and how to avoid it!.........by Sam, yet again. You might want to follow.

Plan your search engine optimization
If you love to write but are struggling with getting traffic to your articles - this page is for you. SEO for writers is a very simple step-by-step ...by Lissie

Keyword research
Think you've found a great keyword? Think again - you may be using the tool incorrectly!....by WryLilt

  • Evidence
    The follow on from questioning whether your research is valid, is that you will gain evidence to back up what you will be writing about. If it is a formal writing gig then that evidence is essential. By planning ahead and keeping a log for evidence you will not waste time finding it again.
  • Review
    Plan to review what you have found. You will find that you probably have more information than is necessary for a single article, eBook or whatever. Plan to publish on a wider platform than just one site. Relevant articles placed on different sites lead to a good backlinking strategy (and a 'white hat' one at that).
  • Implementation
    Collecting batches of relevant data  and sorting them for interlinking series of articles is a good marketing ploy. If you know that you have further articles to come in a series, then you can preview them or run a little trailer, to get people interested in checking back to see if they have been published

Create With Skill & From Your Soul

Essential task 3

Writing is not just about words, grammar, sentence constructs, proper language or punctuation.

It is about communication. Communication comes in many forms. 

You must learn to communicate in as many ways as you can.

That communication does not necessarily all have to come from you. 

You can climb upon the shoulders of giants and relay their message to your readers, if it completes the picture.

Reviewing and communicating another's message is not plagiarism if the originator is compensated with an acknowledgement, a link, and some traffic.

Writing online

Trials and tribulations

Writing for a major brand
Are you wondering how to approach affiliate marketing? For some people it just clicks, others struggle for a long time. Terri shares her approach ..... by TerriRexson

Researching ways to increase sales from your articles
Advice for writers who are writing for money and looking for ways to increase sales. You'll be surprised what a little creative writing can do!....by OtherCat

Resilience is what you need to write online
Your writing isn't making you money, isn't getting traffic and isn't winning any awards. Who cares? That doesn't mean you should give up! Here's 5 .......by OtherCat

Writing online is not all about the words, pictures count
The next time you need a picture for an article, don't waste your money paying for one. Instead, check out one of these websites for free professional ...by OtherCat as well

The 5 essential tasks you should learn to master are:

  • 'Voice'
    You must be you. It is no good being someone else. Communicate how you normally interact with others. For instance: my style is formal, logically structured, with a hint of sarcasm and humor. It is borne out of my writing style in corporate business and computer program design documentation. It may not be to every one's liking but it is me - the real me. I have found my voice. You should not copy me, or anyone else. You are an individual, and so is your writing style. Learn what it is and develop it for your situation. 
  • Language
    Again, my language is formal. It is structured according to particular rules (which I break occasionally, intentionally or unintentionally). Your language could be txt, or tweet-style, or graphic, or verbal. Just pick a language that suits those you target, for it is they that hold your future in their grasp.
  • Visual
    A picture is worth a thousand words. How true that is for online writing. A picture can convey so much more than words. A video even more. They stand as design features also. Making the page visually pleasing as well as informative. Use them wisely and they will pay dividends.

Picture / Thousand Words Wiki

The adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to ...
  • Audio
    Video with sound is the norm to convey an audio message. But audio alone allows you to message those without sight. They are out there to market to also. They have a voice. They can purchase. They have spending power. Make your offerings as available as possible to as many demographics as you can - it will pay off. 
  • Sharing
    Something there is too little of in the online writing world. We are in competition are we not? You might think so. I do not. Whatever I have researched comes with a price to pay. That price is acknowledgement. If I think that my argument will be enhanced, or my design beautified, then I link and tell those that benefit that I have done so. It is my payment for what they have taught me, or allowed me to utilize.

Writing online is a skill, an art and a science. Conjoin all three and the experience you generate is pleasing and will attract a loyal following. Exactly what you were planning to achieve from the outset.

Analysis and Adjustment

Essential task 4

Analysis of that you have written online does not stop until you have implemented the changes indicated that should happen. So, analysis and adjustment should go hand in hand. There is no point in doing the analysis unless you act on the conclusions:

The 5 essential tasks you should undertake to implement this strategy, are:

  • Analyse the statistics
    There are many free tools for this process. You will have found out about them in the research stage of your plan. They are essential to understand how you are performing: how your work is performing. They give you information that, if interpreted correctly, will pay dividends for your conversion rate, audience participation, your 'call to action', and everything else that is relevant. Statistics tell lies. Check and double check them, but once known to be safe, act upon them.
  • Analyse the content
    Small adjustments can make a huge difference at times. The adding or replacement of a word in a title can mean the difference between 10 hits and 1,000 hits. Your research should have given you an idea of the best structured title but time and the internet do not stand still. You are marketing for the present. Do not be afraid to bring content up-to-date. The search engines will thank you for it, as too will your audience.
  • Analyse the format
    The positioning of certain modules may have an influence on customer actions. At Hubpages for example, a little judicious manipulation of the number of words in the first module could allow you to force the ad block into the most advantageous position according to 'heat map' analysis. At Wizzley, the floating right column takes care of this for you. But for affiliate marketing the adjustment of design could make a real difference to conversions. Time to experiment and analyze your findings.

Heat Map Wiki

A heat map is a graphical representation of data where the individual values contained in a matrix are represented as colors. Fractal maps and tree maps both often use a similar system of color-coding to represent the values taken by a ...
  • Analyse the inclusions
    Adding a small thing like a Wiki can have an effect on the SEO for your page, and add to the long-tail keywords for which you rank. Each has its merits in terms of income potential. Experiment with what you have to hand, analyse the results, and conclude one way or another, whether it makes a difference.
  • Adjust to fit the new parameters
    Whatever the analysis throws up, it should be implemented if the interpretation shows a positive or negative effect. Remove the offenders if it is negative. Insert or adjust the inclusions if it is positive. Add the results to your notes and plan of action. Rinse and repeat.

Rinse and Repeat

Essential task 5 - Conclusion

What does that mean? It means that the cycle starts from the beginning again, and you go through a now improved iteration of the plan.

  • You have created a plan of action for your:
    sources of information
  • You have constructed your research plan for:
  • You have created a design for your offerings where each of the following interacts:
  • and, you have a plan of action for analysing your product and amending it, with and for: 
    all parameters.

All you need do now is rinse and repeat.

You are now a professional writer of online content, ready for the big dipper ride that is your chosen new career path. You have the tools to hand, the environment ready, the schedule for production and the will to succeed. If this has not put you off, that is.

Welcome to the world of earning a living from home. It can be a lonely place if you do not implement a plan and a schedule. It can be a profitable place, if you approach it professionally. It can be your retirement income if you are nearing that time.

The way I set out on this path was with a long-term, 8-year plan (the time to my retirement date). I had worked, saved for my pension, and then got ill. I cashed my pensions. The plan was to create an income, whilst semi-retired, that matched my pension plans' income. I have managed to match that in 22 months instead of 8 years. I have adjusted my plan. I hope to over-achieve to the same degree this time around.

Good luck with your plan!

Updated: 02/08/2021, humagaia
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Marko on 04/10/2012

Thanks, I found this article very useful, and so are the additional links. I hope I will improve my first-time on-line writing experience.

humagaia on 02/26/2012

@Tim - there are many good platforms on which to write. It is a matter of personal preference which you decide is the most appropriate for your genre of writing, or the available monetizing opportunities available to you on each. If you do not have Adsense then your options are limited.
Wizzley, in my opinion has the best and most diversified of monetizing options. It is therefore open and available to the majority.
You should not take my word for it, but I have stopped writing at HP until such time as they show some capability of alleviating the problems they see themselves in.
And yes you should diversify as much as possible. Both with regard to writing platforms, as well as for your monetizing options. Adsense is not the only game in town. You should try to write for affiliate programs such as Amazon, and if you do decide that Wizzley is a place for you, you should take every advantage offered you with the VigLink / Wizzley collaboration. This I do not believe is available anywhere else. It is probably your best and easiest way of making your writing future profitable, in the shortest time - if you do it right.
Keep an eye out for my next Wizer article which is about the way to set your VigLink affiliation up just right.

timgraphics on 02/26/2012

Thanks for the informative article. I am very new to writing online. Wizzley seems an excellent place to start. I also hear about the importance of diversity; should I consider writing on Squidoo as well. Presumably not HP as it seems no longer in favour.

humagaia on 02/20/2012

@Yeirl - be afraid....be very afraid!
Honestly though, the buzz word here is ..................application.
Apply the principles and the rest will fall into place.

Yeirl on 02/20/2012

Very thorough...but scary... Thanks anyway.

humagaia on 02/16/2012

@Jean I have never liked the concept of 400 word articles unless they are throwaway items for me where I am not writing for others, just for me to get something off my chest. I know my style did not suit HP because, if the reader read my article there was little chance for them to see the ads. At Wizzley that is different, the ads move down the page as the reader moves. They are always just a glance away.
As for how to migrate from HP - you always need to diversify - I am going through the same quandary. My solution at the moment, is to write parallel articles, completely different in content but covering the same subject, and testing to see which platform performs the best for me. The first of that article pair will be complete today.
The method suggested to you may well work. It would be best to test the concept out on one hub, and then see how you feel about it, and how it performs. My initial thought is that it is difficult enough to get one click-through let alone 2. That said I do link to my websites and they do receive click-throghs, so I suppose it does work.
If you want to discuss anything please go ahead, I will try to assist, especially if you decide that Wizzley is a good place to write, and sign up from the banner on any of my wizers.
Best wishes whatever you do.

Jean Bakula on 02/16/2012

Thanks for the very informative article. You put more time into this than most people put into the pieces they write, and it's a very comprehensive plan. I like to write, and think I'm a decent writer. I don't have the computer skills though. I began on hubpages, like many here. I know more now than I did before, but mostly make money from their HP program, not SEO. I want to make my own blog, but struggle with the idea, I'm not sure if I can do it. But I don't want to be subject to ever changing rules either. I understand about transferring the hubs. I'm leaving most of them there, just rewriting them, I found my voice there. Well, I had a voice, it just took time for me to write in it! You'll still be making money on them. I was also advised to leave part of each hub on HP, and then say, "If you want to read more, go to ---my blog.) That seems like it would annoy people, so I'm up in the air. Best wishes and I will come back to this.

humagaia on 02/15/2012

The start of a series, but it may be a while until the next one arrives as I am considering transferring all my hubs here. Big decision. Hope I can fit in the time to create something to complement this article.
Thanks for yours comments

SeanMac on 02/15/2012

Writing online is difficult but you have outlined many key points to help new writers like me. I will return again and again as the information in your article is very good. Thank you.

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