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Friday, February 23, 2007

Review: The Online Writing Wealth System

The Online Writing Wealth System is a new (2007) downloadable manual by professional freelance writer Christina McDonald. As the name indicates, it's all about making money by writing for online markets.

The manual is in the universal PDF format and weighs in at 128 pages. OK, that's double-spaced (as is common with e-books), but it's still quite substantial. The good news is that it's well written and informative, and in my view any aspiring freelance would benefit from reading it. As I'll explain shortly, I do have one or two reservations about some of Ms McDonald's advice, but overall I'm happy to give the manual my recommendation.

A large part of The Online Writing Wealth System is devoted to a discussion of how writers can get work from online job sites such as Elance and Guru. For those who don't know, these operate as "auction" sites for writers (and other freelances) seeking work. Would-be clients post details of their assignments, and writers can then bid on any project that interests them.

Ms Macdonald has both good and bad news for writers about these sites. The good news is that, in her opinion, any half-way competent writer can get work in this way. The bad news is, because you are bidding against hundreds of other writers (many in low-wage economies), earnings are likely to be on the stingy side.

The author has a lot of experience in this field, however, and she explains in some detail how writers can get better-paid work via these sites. She recommends starting with low-paid work and making a good job of it, however, so as to obtain a good feedback rating. This is undoubtedly the best discussion I have ever seen about getting freelance writing work via job auction sites, and if you're thinking of going down this route, I'd say it was essential reading.

Other aspects of making money from writing online are covered in less detail. There is some discussion of blogging, for example, but no mention of services that will pay you for mentioning specific products and services on your blog, such as PayPerPost. Neither is there any discussion of specific techniques for online writing - the unspoken assumption (which may or may not be correct) is that the reader will know this, so the emphasis throughout is firmly on marketing your services.

On the plus side, there are some great resources listed here, including a long list of job sites for writers. Many of these I was unaware of, and I will definitely be adding them to my Favorites list. She also goes into some detail about a website where you can post articles on any subject and sell them, either exclusively or multiple times. This could be a good little earner if you can write the sort of articles website owners require.

As I indicated earlier, I can't say I agreed with every word in the manual. For example, the author says that it is not important for a writer to have a website. This very day I have been approached out of the blue by a marketing company which wants me to write an e-book for them for a fee of around $5,000. Without my website, it's highly unlikely they would have found me. So I think she is wrong about this, and I do rather disagree with one or two of her other comments too.

Nevertheless, I don't want to sound negative about The Online Writing Wealth System. There is a lot of very solid information here, from a writer who has clearly "been there and got the tee-shirt". I would only say, read it with an open mind, and don't take every word she tells you as Gospel!

Finally, I should mention that buyers of The Online Writing Wealth System also get a range of bonus items, and these are actually well worth having in their own right. In particular, you get The Camera Dollars Income System, an illustrated 119-page e-book about how you can create and sell photographs for profit. This e-book could easily be sold separately for the same price as The Online Writing Wealth System. It opened my eyes to how anyone with a modern digital camera could make a very handy extra income selling photos to "stock photography" websites.

* Special Bonus! Buy The Online Writing Wealth System via any link in this review and I'll send you a copy of my free mini-report on how to get paid for blogging. Just forward a copy of your email receipt with the subject line FREE GIFT CLAIM to (change the -at- to the usual @ symbol), and I'll email your free report to you once I have verified your order.

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