Content Creation for Beginners

I was recently on a brief vacation where the subject of local content distribution came up, though primarily, how one can start putting together an online portfolio of sorts around content creation.

Now the following is simply my own advice and what I deem are worthwhile activities for those looking to go into this type of career.

While it goes without saying that you have your own site, even if it’s simply a blog to display your writing, content production is a little different than your typical creative. For example, if I were simply a graphic designer, artist or photographer I could put up a site with my artwork, photos, etc. and when asked I could send a link to people who were interested in seeing my work. They look at it and if they like the style they hire me – very simplified; but accurate.

With content production you don’t always get to write how you want. You’re hired to produce content for company XYZ that makes ABC item. Ideally this means you have to be diverse in your abilities to write for any given niche at any given time.

So while a personal blog is a good idea, it’s hard to get traction with a blog that covers various topics. My blog is a good example of this as it makes SEO very difficult. It’s worth noting here that if you’re really only interested in writing about one thing, and one thing only, you should probably focus more on being a freelance writer or journalist instead of a content producer.

In either case you’ll still need to build an online portfolio of content, but there are a couple things to consider. One, if I write for other sites and I’m not being paid, how much effort should I put into this? Two, can I get paid while doing this so that I don’t have to starve while I look for work?

If you’ve never written anything online before, or at least not something you can portfolioitize (heh that word is fun) then I’d recommend spending a fair amount of time on non-paid sites like Yelp and EzineArticles. Yelp because you don’t have to be a good writer to get your reviews on there, but users are very active here and you can gauge how good you’re doing from the interaction your reviews receive. I know EzineArticles is hated by many online writers and content producers because they don’t pay their authors, but I still recommend it as a good starting point as they actually have people who review your writing. This helps if you tend to struggle with grammar and spelling.

But what about making some passive income on the side? For that there are a lot, though the sign up is generally easy enough to do. Some places like Examiner will have you submit a piece first, then if they like it they will accept you as a writer, after which nothing is ever checked again accept by users of the site or spot checkers – this can be good and bad obviously. Other sites include: Hubpages.com, About.com, TextBroker.com, Helium.com, eHow.com, and AssociatedContent.com (Yahoo). While you could join all, I’d recommend just focusing on one or two, anymore than that and you’re either planning on making this you’re full-time job or you won’t have enough time after getting a job to maintain all of them.

Once you have your articles up you’ll then be able to take advantage of the backlinks to your site, the RSS feeds you can utilize and you’ll be well on your way to creating a diverse online portfolio of content that you have created.

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