Sunday, January 31, 2010

What is the hot website, channel or subject

One of the things that I see a lot of writers do, especially those who are in the paid by the pageview category is that they keep searching for the hottest (best paying) websites, channels and subjects.

Now there is nothing wrong with this...unless it becomes your entire drive. If it becomes your entire focus, you are going to end up with very little results after doing a lot of work.

All writers are concerned about who is paying for what material, and how much is getting paid. It is just a part of the profession. But there are some writers, beginners mostly, who will not write something unless it is earmarked for a high paying market.

Now I do understand the logic, or illogic, behind this habit. If you are going to write for money, aim for the top. There are many that believe that all they need is a lucky break, or the right choice of subjects to go from loser to king of the writing world.

Unfortunately, every other writer is also looking for these subjects and markets too. This brings us to an unfortunate economic reality. If word gets out that a subject, or a website, is a good paying subject, all of a sudden everyone is writing about it. And all the resulting articles flood the market, dividing the pie in ever smaller pieces, and the payment rates drop like a rock.

This is one of the reasons that working writers are occasionally tight lipped about their best paying work.

Another problem with this method of choosing your subject matter is that today's hot subjects are chosen at whim. And the whim and interest of the public change rapidly. What is a hot subject today often becomes tomorrow's cold dead corpse. The writers who benefit the most from the changing whims and interests of the public are those who got there first. By the time, most writers learn something is hot, it is already on its way to the not-so-hot list.

It is for this reason that I suggest people ignore what the best paying subjects are. I think that writers should start off in a couple of areas that they know really well (or want to know really well), and build up a set of articles in those areas. After building up a nice block of articles in their field of expertise, then move on to another subject and repeat.

Your goal is to be able to switch gears if you need to (sites come and go as do interest in various subjects); it is also to have a variety of articles online, so that market whims do not wipe out your investment of time and energy when people get bored and move on to the next hot craze or concern.

And have no doubt, writing is an investment. Picking the hot subjects of tomorrow is like picking stocks, it is better to know what you are investing in than to follow the blind wanderings of the herd.

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