How to practice writing: Hackwriting

The secret to prolific writing is to practice writing fast and accurately. It takes many years of practice to be able to write long articles fast, with few errors. Seasoned journalists and columnists, having long toiled under strict deadlines, have the ability to write a long, error-free article in no time, as easily as eating a hotdog.

One way to practice writing is to do hack-writing. Hack-writing means getting paid to write for other people. In the past, the term “hack writer” is often used pejoratively, to imply that a writer is untalented, and can only make a living churning low-level articles or pulp novels to be published anonymously.

Despite the negative connotation, hack-writing is a hobby of mine. You can make very little money doing it (only a few $ per article), but it’s a good writing practice and on top of that, you can learn about different topics too. I have written about, among others: racehorses, garden ornaments, flyfishing, and vacation destinations.

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Some unscrupulous people try to cheat by copying a similar article from somewhere, then making minor changes to the article like substituting a word with its synonym or changing the word order or merging two articles by copy-pasting. Articles made in this way are called “spun” articles. Spinning article is against the spirit of hack-writership, and some hack-writing websites install an anti-plagiarism software to single out spun articles.

Most of the requests on hack-writing sites are bullshit, like writing a fake Amazon review or writing a keyword-laden article to improve the SEO of a website. But there are also requests for high quality work, although these are few and far between.

A good place to do hackwriting is iWriter. I’ve been writing at iWriter for almost a year, and have cashed out a bit (my earnings are transferred into my PayPal account every month). Don’t worry, it’s not a scam — although it does attract some unsavory “internet marketer” types. They also pay on time.

Some of the “Elite” writers (with a ranking of at least 4.6 out of 5 stars) and “Premier” writers (at least 4 stars) are very good. I suspect that these are actual writers, moonlighting in between their freelance jobs and magazine gigs.

On iWriter, you can request articles too for a price, but make sure you choose “Elite” or “Premier” writers to write your article. Otherwise you’ll get a crappy article written by someone whose English is his third language. As of now, I am an Elite writer.

You may click on the link below, or on the right sidebar, to go to iWriter:

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