As an article writer, what’s so special about winning an upfront payment from Associated Content? Does it even matter when Associate Content promises performance payment for the life time of the article? As an article writer, should that extra $10 to $15 be enough to encourage you to go the extra mile?

At first glance, Associate Content’s upfront payment doesn’t seem like a big deal. There are other places that offer much more if your article qualifies for an upfront payment. Obviously, this post is aimed at encouraging you to and teaching you how to win an upfront payment. But before I tell you how, let me explain to you why.

First reason, in this down economy every little bit helps. Sure Associated Content has life time performance payments, but there is no where that guarantees that your article will perform. Upfront payments are guaranteed money.

Second reason, and most important in my mind, is because it will help you focus on the quality of your writing. For all of you future article writers out there, there is a secret you need to know: your writing quality does not have to be spectacular to make money. In fact, I’ve seen some awful writing that has earned people hundreds each month. It is possible to make money with crap, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to support it.

As writers, you affect me just as much as I affect you. If I wrote loads of terrible articles and published them on Associated Content, I’m not just hurting myself. I’m hurting all the writers who are coming behind me by tarnishing the reputation of Associated content. The internet reputation has already taken a lot of hits; let’s do our part to at least clan up the image of the writers. Also as a writer, you need to be thinking about your brand. What will set you apart from other writers and push you to success is… (Drum roll) your writing. Imagine that.

Trying to win an upfront payment will cause you to step your game up as an article writer. It will make you focus that much more on content and quality. You be inclined to proof read your article more thoroughly.  Trying to win an upfront payment will put your article in a position where it can earn a lot of money during its life time.

Hopefully, by now I’ve convinced you that it is within your best interest to win an upfront payment. So, I can stop preaching to you and we can get into the juicy stuff. The information I’m about to give to you, most of it comes from Associated Contents own guidelines for winning an upfront payment. However, some of them also come from my own experience and the experience other writers. Remember, it’s good to emulate others who have found success, but in the end you should stick to what works best for you. So don’t feel like you have to follow every point exactly. Feel free to customize them to your own writing style.

And now without any further ado, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: how to win an upfront payment for your article

There are three things that Associated Content is looking for when they consider an article for an upfront payment: quality, uniqueness, and how well it will do in the search engines. Although Associated Content loves to refer to itself as the “People’s Media Company,” its goals are no more noble than any small time article writer or blogger out there: get as much traffic as possible. Because as I explained before: traffic equals money. What’s the best way to get traffic? Search Engines.

So as a professional article writer, quality and uniqueness should be a given. I’ve already done my spill on quality and I think you should know the importance of unique, original articles. The only thing that probably needs  some clarification is how to know if an article will perform well in the search engines.

The first key, is the topic or the niche. I’ve cover this extensively in the post “How to Pick an Article topic that will make you money. But if you want a quick, two-minute overview then here it is.

1.Write on something that a lot of people are interested in
2.Pick a topic where you won’t have to compete against heavy competition
3.Pick a topic that people will still care about a few years down the road.

So now that you have your topic, you need to write an article that Google will love (Google is still the king of the castle).  What does Google love? Great question, I’m glad you asked.

Google loves content, so you’ve already started on the right foot. As the saying goes on the web, “Content is king.” But, I’d have to respectfully disagree. Content is not king; quality content is king. If you write something good, people are going to talk it. People are going to spread your link. Your article will be search engine friendly.

Google loves when you tell them what topic your article is on. This is  when the basic of SEO comes into play. Again, this is just a quick overview.

1.Use your keyword in your article title
2.Use your keyword within the 50 words of your article
3.Use your keyword naturally throughout your article. I place a lot of emphasis on the word “naturally.” If you’re writing about cars, you shouldn’t have to worry about putting the word “cars” in your article. It should happen naturally.

Associated Content has published a list that they feel do not get any traffic, and you should probably stay away from these topics.

1.AC tutorials
Ironically, Associated Content doesn’t want you writing about how to write for Associated Content

Humor is a hard writing category to gain some traction in simply because it because so much harder when it’s in written form and humor varies so widely within people. What may be hilarious to you and your friends may be very offensive to someone else.  So unless you are a nationally recognized, comedian superstar, try to stay away from humor.

3.Creative writing
By creative writing, they mean things such as short stories, memories, etc. That just isn’t the direction that Associated Content is heading. You have to remember that they love articles that are search engine friendly, and the articles that usually perform the best are informational in nature.

4.The topic is over-saturated with articles on Associated Content
If hundreds of contributors have already published similar articles, then why would they need one more? Try to find a topic that is relatively fresh and new.

5.No longevity
Associated Content don’t want articles that will be popular for a few weeks, then die. They are looking for articles that will have a nice long self-life and continue to be relevant down the road. This also in your best interest, since you will be getting paid for the life time of your article.

6.Too many links
If you have to link to many other sites in your article, then that is a sign that you are not covering the material well enough. It’s ok to link to a few sites for background information, but your article should be in-depth enough, that it covers the topic without relying on other sites.

Do I really have to explain why? Don’t submit articles that you’ve already submitted elsewhere. Don’t copy and paste.

8.Copy-right issues
Make sure that the article you submit, you own all the rights for it. The last thing Associated Content wants is cost legal problems.

I know that was a lot to read, but it really isn’t that complicated. Just write something that people will be interested in. Focus on quality and making it search engine friendly. Don’t try to take stupid short cuts like submitting an article that has already been published. If you aren’t already doing these things, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate your writing.

Next in "Associated Content" Series:
How to Build Traffic to Your Associated Content Articles
The Secret to Brand Development with Associated Content