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|How many WORDS do you write per day?|
How much content can you produce each day?
The best AdSense sites, and those that usually make best money, are those that rely on user created content. But still there are many successful AdSense web sites whose content is written entirely by their creators.
For those who are creating content rich web sites, how many words per day in average can you produce?
The international standard for translators, not writers, is 2000 words produced per day.
I bet there are those out there that write content for their websites in a much higher rate than that. Perhaps some may write 10,000 words per day in average for their sites.
How many words per day in average do you write for your AdSense supported web sites?
I think you all ran off genuine1.
Average per day is usually about 1500-2000 words for me. I update 4 blogs regularly (2 daily), lots of newsy stuff and then general evergreen-type content (the smallest numebr of words).
As for pages, it do not keep count, though I've probably done 1000 blog posts and 500 new pages in the past year. Some pay well, others don't, but it's a marathon, not a sprint.
I learned to write fast, accurately and for deadlines in years of newspaper writing. Elsewhere, I've had heated discussions with paid (amateur) bloggers who think getting paid $5 for 300 words is too little. I usually tell them that they've never actually worked as a writer or journalist (true and verified) and that they have never mastered the art of a 20+ word sentence, which I have just now produced.
Luckily hard disk space becomes cheaper every day. Where else would we put all these words we produce every day ;-)
I am more a programmer than content writer, therefore I write very little. I tend to go for user created content for all my new projects.
But still, my main website has good content written by myself but sadly not updated for the last three years. My day usually tarts like this: "Oh yeah! Today, I'll update the content" and then spend my time doing other things (TLD search, optimization, etc.)
Also, I am penalized because English is not my primary language.
I had already some remarks in a previous post saying that if I can't write content, then I am in the wrong business. Totally accepted. I found a solution, my wife write stuff :) (I made a blog for her) and I already bought a TLD for my children :)
More seriously, since I know I can't do both (developing/managing user created content and writing stuff), I have decided (that was yesterday, I want to monetize a nice TLD I bought last year) to use only .gov content, that is content which have no copyright issues such as president/prime minister speeches and others official content from .gov website. This way, I am sure I'll meet the 1000 words a day and get content. Let's try this!
|Also, I am penalized because English is not my primary language. |
The paragraphs from your last post show that you are quite capable of writing.
You need somebody to proofread your output, may be.
It is important to look at this question from a broader context. How much money you get each month and what effort does it take to maintain/grow that.
We also don't like to think in the context of words since each article is different. In one case you can say a lot in 50 words (I sometimes receive enormous traffic on a blog post with just 5 words); in other article you need 500.
So to share our story, we (2 employee company) publish on an average 15 articles five days a week, resulting in over $12,000 income monthly.
We publish probably around 100 new pages a day. Some articles... some blog posts... some just commentary.
For me, it's not so much a question of writing - that actually takes the least amount of time. My site is an event site, so starting around January, I'll start researching next year's events, which involves going to visit a lot of city / chamber of commerce websites, emailing all my current contacts to start sending me their updates, and in many cases, phone calls to get the latest information (it's amazing to me how many small cities, towns and villages still have no web or email presence in this day and age) Once I get the information, then I have to write a short paragraph describing it, but that takes virtually no time - it's the other stuff that's time consuming.
After decades of destroying keyboards at a rapid clip, I do hardly any writing anymore but wear my fingers to the bone each day editing 10 to 15 stories a day that come in from our staff reporters and free lancers. They're usually at least 400 words each and many run into the thousands. We also have a voluminous section that's almost entirely user-generated, although we edit and clean up everything that's posted.
Besides editing, I spend a lot of time building internal links ("related articles"), doing digests, checking RSS feeds, etc.
All told, we probably add 15 to 20 new pages per day and update another 100 or so with new user content.
Most of our information, happily, is evergreen -- it's still useful a year or two after it was written and we have a couple of articles that have been in our Top 20 for years. I refer to these as my retirement fund.
In Hollywood, they say that content is king. I think they're right.
|You need somebody to proofread your output, may be. |
You meant "maybe"? ;-)
This is a very interesting thread.
I can't really say how many words I write per day. Some days I don't write at all because of my day job. But when I do write it's about 300 to 600 words or one article. I just can't seem to write more than one article per day. Like someone else said, it doesn't come easy to me.
Early in On Writing Well by William Zinsser, says writing is hard.
The writing I'm best paid for is for magazines; remember when starting out, an editor told me one of his main writers might take a week for 2000-word feature. Also a guy at a news weekly, telling me of being able to bang out 500 words or more in an hour (I think it was) - "Oh, easy," he said.
My writing rate certainly became faster with practice, but still variable; at times may spend quite some time just figuring how to start an article.
Done a handful of features that took up to a month or so, inc research trips - on expenses, happily. But when I don't need to do research, around 1500 words in day seems ok to me.
With my sites bringing trickle of money, only occasionally give myself time to add real articles; more often add short forum/blog posts, and photos.
Definitely a good thread.
I can recommend looking for classes on writing for newspapers. I went on one specifically to help me write web articles. It was superb. I occasionally go back to my notes from the classes to refresh my mind on the techniques. It changed me from being totally useless at writing to being mediocre! Mediocre writing is the best I can do so I was pleased.
I'm in the EFV camp, I need to go out to whatever I'm writing about, take pics and make notes. Back home to do the rest. So I definitely don't write every day. In fact the number of words is irrelevant for my subject. I write maybe an article every week, anything between 1,000 to 10,000 words. And as for pictures, they do speak a 1,000 words and they set you apart from the rest of the crowd. They are the method for providing content on the web at a level that a book (at any reasonable cost) cannot provide. To take that picture requires time in many cases, costs you in others, but readers like them. Words and pictures go together on the web sites.
Thinking in terms of how many words to write per day is harmful. This metric is really irrelevant ....
|Thinking in terms of how many words to write per day is harmful. |
harmful? no, it's a good reality check, in an area that reality checks are hard to come by.
Of course quantity isn't everything. However, people who think there is a vast chasm between quality and quantity are also wrong. Practice makes perfect, and the key to staying fresh is to produce fresh content. Ideas sometimes come seemingly through the keyboard, through the very act of writing. Ideas that you had not thought of, and had no idea were going to emerge from your brain. Sometimes, it's as if the act of writing actually creates the content out of thin air. Have you ever had that experience? I sure have, many times.
That's why it's sometimes a good idea to make yourself produce something. Because maybe it will be crap, and maybe you will surprise yourself. You won't know until you stop typing and read over it.
|I occasionally go back to my notes from the classes to refresh my mind on the techniques. |
I hate to put you on the spot, but...
Any chance you might be able to tell us some of those techniques.
|Sometimes, it's as if the act of writing actually creates the content out of thin air. Have you ever had that experience? I sure have, many times. |
Every time I tell myself I'm just going to type something up, and I end up altering and improving (hopefully) on what I've written. Writing is definitely a "muscle" in your brain that improves with use. I find it much easier to produce work when I'm on a writing spree, than when I've been doing something else for a few days.
I'm not a prolific writer: if I write more than 600 words in a day I feel I've achieved something. But it's encouraging to think that I can teach myself, to some extent, to be more productive.
Here are 10 simple techniques, but they weren't so obvious to me.
1. Put at least 10% of your effort into writing the headline. Short, overtly attention grabbing. Humorous if possible.
2. Make sure you have an intro to the article, 50 words max. Don't reveal all in the intro., let it pose more questions than answers. Tantalise your reader to go further into the article. But hint at all the main points
3. After the main body of the article have a conclusion. The conclusion should refer to the intro, it should entice the reader to return at a later date ("watch this space for more") and/or read other pages.
4. Research, research and more research.
5. Keep words simple and precise, sentences direct and precise, paragraphs short and logically ordered.
6. OBSERVE .... and over-report. Always collect more information than you think you need. It's easier to delete than to go back for more.
7. DESCRIBE .... note every single detail, even trivial ones when interviewing or researching. When constructing an article, the trivial often becomes significant.
8. LISTEN .... get inside the head of the person you are interviewing or reading about.
9. Write press releases. Editors desperately need something to write about. Give them a "bare bones", well constructed press release and they will use it.
10. Use humour, make your audience laugh. Ugly people look beautiful if they make you laugh, the same applies to your web site.
Any more tips on writing articles?
Good list, Nomis5.
Perhaps best advice I ever came across - in book How to Write Like a Pro, By Barry Tarshis [seemed daft title to me; but recommended to me and excellent; lost my copy] concerned focus control.
About having some idea of what's in your reader's head, keeping them focused, following your article.
Seems obvious but my goodness is that an elephant over there...
but if you're clumsy, can lose reader, break chain of thought, and perhaps lose reader for good.
Which isn't to say that have to write one continuous article, a to b to c. But when start para, end should follow from first sentence; next para should follow on too.
It's also good to use "chapters", even within short articles.
To write, also have to read, and read plenty. Try to e aware of techniques writers are using in good articles.
For web, those short paragraphs seem to me more important than in print: text may look daunting on screen. Lately read book by Joe Sugarman, on writing copy to sell, and he used lots of headings: also worth considering; I've increased numbers of headings (tho only one h1 per page).
Well, not really answering first question here, but maybe of some relevance and use.
More on topic: I mentioned writing articles for print. Later, providing I own copyright, can put them on my site(s). [Or, ask copyright owner if ok to use.]
That's an awesome list of 10, nomis5.
Especially this one:
|5. Keep words simple and precise, sentences direct and precise, paragraphs short and logically ordered. |
this is so true. So many people think that quality writing has to be flowery, or stilted, or have big words. Not true. Clear and simple is best.
Thanks for sharing your list with us.
I think writing output vary tremendously from writer to writer, different people have different working methods. I seem to write in fits and starts, for example.
At the beginning of the week I knew I had to get a 1500-word article done, but I had "writer's block" right up until the deadline. I was reading a discussion going on in a forum related to the site's general topic, something came into my head, and "BANG!"... that was it. I knew exactly what I was going to write, the words flew onto the page, and I got it done and polished in about an hour or two, and I had detailed ideas for follow-up articles.
The odd thing is, people said afterwards it was a well thought out article, but I hadn't actually thought about it at all before I wrote it. In fact I'd spent most of the week worrying that I couldn't think of anything to write about.
The only hard productivity rule I'd suggest is that there should be at least one new and exclusive article or news item on your site every single day, so that your visitors can build your site into their daily routine.
gibbergibber, there are methods for overcoming writer's block.
thanks for sharing with us your experience in detail. it is a typical example of how some well rounded creative articles are written. the process goes like this:
1- Starve your pen (or keyboard) from writing an article and let your brain go crazy trying to come up with something to write. (This step vitalizes the brain abilities and makes it ready to fire 'unexpectedly' at any time.)
3- READ content. The mind works and creates output not by squeezing the output from it but by feeding it with more content, then the output will flow out of it automatically. This took place when you immersed yourself in that forum related to your topic. And BOM (or "'BANG'" as you said), the brain starts flowing with complete creations of stuff.
What you have experience gibbergibber is no accident, but is the typical way the brain works. I remember that I always get the most creative ideas to write about flowing while I am actually in the middle of "reading" something.
|I'm sorry this letter is so long, but I did not have time to make it shorter. |
-- Mark Twain
I have a full time job not related to my webbery. My goal is to write a page a day that is anywhere from 200 to 1000 words, when I am able. Sometimes I go a while without writing anything, sometimes I write several such pages a day.
The actual writing is not always the most tedious and time consuming - I try to put at least one photo on every page, which means looking through stock photo catalogues, downloading/resizing/thumbnailing/uploading. I also dread the work involved in hyperlinking, but I make my pages like little term papers; they are non-fiction and I owe it to my readers to provide documentation of facts that are not obvious. I believe that this is essential to much of the (limited) success my sites have. And even though I have a pretty good CMS, there are still sometimes HTML formatting issues with tables and other stuff. Then when I am done writing, I ping the RSS services and put a few social bookmarks up. The actual writing and editing of words takes less than half of time needed to 'write' an article.
Not sure, around 25 articles on an average day with app. 300-600 words each, so I probably average the 8000 words or so - most of which will never see the light of day again once published.
Other days are spent looking up crazy things - just for some inspiration. Not unusual to look through 400-500 websites in a day when i'm doing that. I'm a bit click'n run type of visitor ;)
But then again, don't need to actually work or do anything else than I want to do - so guess i'm more privileged than most people.
Web 2.0 content made around $100.000, self made is neglectable. It's essentially pointless to write anything for profit in my field, although I wrote 100 articles with 100 videos and added 3000 self made pictures, just cause I have fun in doing so.
The same is probably added in Youtube, flickr, WP every second or minute.
The best is to charge your users for writing like WP essentially does .. :)
That's Web 3.0 I guess.
|The only hard productivity rule I'd suggest is that there should be at least one new and exclusive article or news item on your site every single day, so that your visitors can build your site into their daily routine. |
Not all sites lend themselves to a user's daily routine. On a destination travel-planning site, for example, the vast majority of visitors will be people who are planning trips to that destination. When their vacations are done, they're unlikely to come back until they're planning new trips to the destination(s) that you cover. Similarly, a site with information on major appliances or emergency plumbing repairs will get visits only when people are thinking of buying something like a refrigerator or have leaky toilets.
Still, even on a site that readers visit only occasionally, productivity can be useful for other reasons (such as creating more opportunities for internal traffic and "long-tail" search-engine referrals).
You mention $100,000 which grabs my attention. What does the rest of your post mean? How do you define web 2.0? If it's making that amount I'd love to know what it is is and a bit more of how you use it. Some specifics would be great.
you said you average 8000 words on such day, now that's really IMPRESSIVE. That's why I started this thread in the first place. Your reply gives me more insight into extreme writing.
I loved your ending note: "The best is to charge your users for writing ... That's Web 3.0 I guess". Yeh, Web 3.0 it is ;)
I like the expression "long-tail" referring to such types of search engine referrals.
ok nomis5, by Web 2.0 content, Mattg3 probably means that his users are the ones that actually provide the content (write the content, or upload it if it is video ... etc). Such is a winning model, your users create the content, you only manage it and AdSense brings in the money.
|You mention $100,000 which grabs my attention. What does the rest of your post mean? How do you define web 2.0? If it's making that amount I'd love to know what it is is and a bit more of how you use it. Some specifics would be great. |
You use legal content that other people wrote, have forums, wikis ... everything where other people write and and the money is of course over 2 1/2 years, divided through 2 people - taxes expenses and all the other shoot. So this ends up as somewhere being a £20.000 pound salary before taxes, not that spectacular ..
Web 2.0 is for me others writing, there might be a better definition. The same as youtube, flickr, facebook and so on do it so much better than me, feed of the hobby market, the desire of people to portray their egos .. Give the silent, technical and mostly artistically inept masses an outlet to their self perceived grandiosity.
The rest of my post means, I do some self created stuff that earns money ranks well, but i would need to write about 30 years to make that niche an income on writing myself. It of course shows some enthusiams for the topic which might have a knock on effect on the other operations .. but from the data I have, self made stuff is way to labour intensive to be viable. In other markets, computers , travel it seems to work. Additionally I am more an optical image creating type than a writer.
My market is heavily plagued by hobbyists and WP, so no chance to make work pay, really if millions others work for free, the only chance is to harvest their efforts. I am still not good enough at it, sadly...
I am also 50% shareholder of an offline business with a much higher turn over, which tells me that my online operations are still pathetic at best ... but no bank loans, 95% profit before taxes ..
What helped prebust was to find some hapless non techies with web ambitions that pay you $20.000 for 10 minutes work and then get shut down by their business angel.
Alexa tells me that the biggest publisher in my field with loads of money doesn't do much better than us. The only advantage they really have is that they have old connections with ad agencies that pay them 10 times as much as adsense does. They rented our domain for 2 years at around 40.000 Euros, but then couldn't turn it into a profit, so handed it back to us. We then of course cashed in the IBLs, which was nice. :)
So in a nutshell, the online business is still largely a hobby outfit ..
What helps is to look for a partner that balances out my weaknesses. I am the chaotic PhD type with too many ideas, while he gives the things a bit more grounding in the legal and administrative stuff, I can't be arsed doing cause of my genius.. [that's a self critical joke]
My granddad became a millionaire by having a business partner balancing out his weakneses. My dads a millionaire too, sadly they don't part that easily with their money and are of the distinct opinion that each has to do it on their own. That's possibly also a reason why they are millionaires .. , ya ain't get rich by wasting money on your offspring ... so I am still driving an old but paid type motor.. ;)
Hope that's enough info.
I think better info on how to become a millionaire with adsense is the guy who actually did it. He provided paid services on the web for free, as such doing the old lower your prices game. Sadly this is a short time strategy as the the next step after free is you get your users paying for the privilige to work. "Charities" like WP and the various environmental cruises ala "meet the blue whale" get people paying for work.
I think there was a tech talk on G Video of the guy who made a million out of adsense. Google invited him.
[edited by: mattg3 at 1:21 am (utc) on Sep. 25, 2007]
|So in a nutshell, the online business is still largely a hobby outfit ... |
Not really, but it's true that some topics and audiences lend themselves to "monetization" than others do. Still, that's always been true, offline as well as online. A computer or car magazine might pay its writers more than a dollar a word, while a respected literary quarterly might pay in copies. An editorial Web site devoted to travel planning might generate significant income from targeted advertising and affiliate commissions, while an editorial Web site devoted to travel narrative ("armchair travel") might be trying to subsist on low-paying run-of-network ads and Amazon.com links. A cooking magazine that caters to the upscale "lifestyle" crowd can earn a lot of money fom ads, while a cooking magazine that caters to people who live on homegrown vegetables and roadkill will be lucky to sell any ads at all.
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