Top 100 Freelance Job Sites for Article Writers in 2014

They say a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. Well, your journey to making serious income online begins with identifying the relevant and reliable sites for your needs. The problem is, is never easy to find these. So, to propel you forward, I have compiled a list of up to 100 sites that pay people to write.

Some are general sites while others specialize. Have personally verified that all the links work and that the sites are in business. However, as my friend Don Modekali puts it, you still need to go through the list one site at a time. Open the site, check whether they are accepting writers and note their requirements. When you have a list of about 10 that you prefer, start applying.

Takeaway: Having the list does not matter. What matters is whether you will TAKE ACTION. And as always 99% of people will not take action. This is why not everyone is successful. 

Stop looking for that shiny next big thing. Pick one thing and stick to it. Okay, will you be among the 1% action takers or will you be in the usual 99% who keep on reading....and reading.....and reading....but not taking any action. Here's the list:

General Freelance Sites

1. Freelancer 

Undoubtedly the largest  freelance site today. If you are are a writer then this is the first site you need to visit. There are hundreds of thousand of clients who want freelancers to do all manner of jobs. Gladly writing orders takes the lion’s share on this site. 

There is a little challenge though; Freelancer is a bidding site. I mean, it is like a tender you being your proposal and the clients picks on the most qualified person for the job. That may be you if you  have a completing profile, took examples and have a good portfolio i.e. samples of your work. 

Tips: Don’t list so many skills as this will confuse the clients. Again, don’t give up even if nothing good comes from your first 10 bidding.  I’d suggest you visit other freelancers’ profiles and pick one or two new things. 

Below is a CBS video on how Freelancer.com works. Watch it, join the site and start developing your profile now!

 2. Elance

Another Bidding site you must try. The good thing is, if you got it right with Freelancer.com then you certainly will get bored at Elance. The concept is the same and all you need to do is bid and charge reasonable hourly fees. You can start with about $7 as your initial hourly rate and increase it once you have many clients and good rating from clients. 

Ooh.. don’t forget to complete your Elance profile. They may want you to verify your work and academic qualifications at a fee. Believe me when I tell you that you will only get exposure and command confidence from clients once your profile is complete 

Tryout Elance and start earning online today!

3. Odesk

I joined this site a long  time a go and couldn't get any job. Not that there were no jobs (there are thousands of those on the site) but because I din’t understand the system. I even failed the Odesk ready test which is something the clients value there. 

Again, my bio was about where I was born and where I intend to live. 
While it is interesting to paint yourself as the holiest and most virtuous writer out there, that is not what the client is looking for. 

So, kindly keep your virtuous life aside and tell the clients why you are the right person to hire in terms of expertise and experience.  Tell the client and the Odesk community how good you are at what you claim you do. 

Join Odesk Today and start bidding for jobs.

4. Guru

Guru is popular for multimedia freelance jobs. However, there are also thousands of gigs under the Writing and Translation section and that’s where you should focus your energy. If you hate bidding sites, then you need more patience since this is another competitive freelance bidding site. 

What makes bidding even more difficult is the extremely low bids from desperate writers. Some even struggle with spelling and English is far from being their fourth language. Well, that is what you will be competing against before you land some reliable clients who will send you direct job or what we call ‘job invites’. 

Find out more about Guru and start your online business today. 

5. Craigs List

Have you hear about Craigslist? Ok, this is like a free job listing site. You are sure of getting hundreds of writing job offers in your area. That means you have to keenly understand the job requirement and only apply if you feel qualified. 

I remember a friend telling me how he attracted traffic to his blog via Craigslist. She posted fake jobs and gave links that would lead to her blog. I wasn't impressed for the obvious reason; she was taking advantage of serious job seekers to hype her blog’s popularity. What I’m saying is that you don’t need to waste time chasing fake jobs. 

Need help with Craigslist? Don’t worry, visit here and have all your concerns handled. 

6. Demand Studios

This is where freelance filmmakers meet. Of course there is something for writers too. Demand studio is not a biding site. So, be prepared to prove that you are qualified before you start taking orders. They pay better if you are qualified.

Hint: Have at least a Bachelors Degree to work on the site. Get more about this premium freelance site here. 

7. iFreelance

Notice that ‘i’ so that you don’t confuse this site with the Freelancer.com. At iFreelance you also bid. However, there is a little twist. You need to pay for membership. There are three types of member i.e. Basic, Silver and Gold. 

Here is the surprise package, your chances of getting higher are as high. After all, you are paying to be a member and there is no way you will continue the membership unless you are guaranteed a job. 
Read more about iFreelance before joining.

8. People Per Hour

People Per Hour (PPH) is another freelance site which accepting international writers. Like any other freelance site, you must know how the system works for you to make meaningful progress. Read more about People Per Hour and make an informed decision.

9. Freelance Switch (now part of Evanto)

The site is now known as Evento studio. They say this merger of services is to make the site bigger and better. Well, that is for you to decide. Freelance Switch is another writing site you can exploit and make decent income. Read more about Evanto, join and make money. 

10. Journalism Jobs

This site may require some background in journalism. For starters the name explains it all and then the nature of freelance writing jobs on the site are journalistic ion nature. Read more about Journalism Jobs to find out if you are qualified. 

11. Freelance Writing Jobs

Freelance Job Writing job listing site. Go there now and see if there is a job matching your expertise and start making money. The site is updated daily. So you don't. have to  content with expired job listings. The requirements are also straightforward. 

12. Freelance Source

This is for those who want work but not good at bidding. At Freelance Source, you simply choose a membership plan and pay a refundable membership fees. They say, the payment is to ensure that only serious people sign up.  Check it and start earning today.

That I have explained numbers 1-12 doesn't make the sites more special. I just did. So, don't be surprised if you end up making nothing more from the sites below. I have also linked every site to the 'how it works' or 'about us' section. Enjoy!

Academic Writing Sites 

These are sites for freelance academic writers. Most of the work involves research and writing term papers, dissertations and any other essay the students may want. Overall, Academic sites pay more than most writing gigs. 

Please only apply if you have the requisite academic qualifications and at peace with common citation styles. If you feel you have what it takes to to join the academic writing field,  don't hesitate. Visit the  link and apply.

These are sites that pay you to submit quality articles and blog posts. Some pay well and may only accept native English speakers. You may also sell your articles for up to $100 in some of these sites. Go through each and apply where convenient. 

49. About.com
50.   Answers.com
53.   Scripted
54.   Africanlit.com
65. Content BLVD
66.   Blogging.org
67.   Content Row
68.   Fiverr
69.   Constant-Content
70.   Work At Home
71.   BlogMutt
72.   GhostBloggers
73.   Interact Media
74.   OverBlog
75.   Writers Domain
76.   WebAnswers
Freelance Job Sites For Writers, Freelance Writing, Freelancers
Image Credit: Authorr 

Content Mills

Content mills allow clients to post article requests so that writers can pick the ones they are comfortable with. Payment tend to depend on how the ratings you get from the clients. Don't be stranded at content mills, read 'How to make content mills work for you' then visit these sites and apply where necessary. 

78. Iwriter
83. Authorr
84.   Content Current

Paid To Comment

One of the easist way of making cash when you are free. Imagine just comment on a topic you love and getting paid to do that! Well, that is what you are signing up for when you join the sites listed below. Read the rules for every forum or blog you will be posting on. I work with Postloop and it is worth the time. 

85.   Postloop.com
86.   Kingged.com

Revenue Sharing Sites

Writing for revenue sharing sites can be frustrating is you don't know how it works. In brief, you provide original content (based on a particular site's posting guidelines) then promote it to get views. You then paid a percentage of the ad revenue your articles collect. It is that simple. 

87. Knoji
88. Triond
90. Squidoo
91. Teckler
95. Bukisa
96.   Article Insider
97.   Zujava
98.   Wizzley
99.   Xomba
100. Brighthub

I know the above list is not conclusive. So, if there is any site you know of which you believe should make it to the list, don't hesitate to share it via the comment box. I'll endeavor to update the site and remove the one that no longer work or accept writers.

As at the time of publishing this list however, all the sites are working and accepting writers. You may also want to run a blog of your own to complement your income from freelance writing. When that time comes, just jump to Blogging Tips. Good luck in all you do.



Hоw to make money with content mills [Textbrоker, Iwriter, ArticleTeller etc]

Usіng cоntent mіlls іn оrder tо generate іncоme іs pretty cоntrоversіal іn the wоrld оf freelance wrіtіng. Sоme peоple wіll tell yоu tо never use them, and they may not be altogether wrong. For starters, the sites pay rіdіculоusly іnsultіng rates. You can’t ever get a raіse without forgetting that some clіents are pretty bad.

If you are on iWriter, Texbroker or ArticleTeller then you must have met weird demands from clients who want artіcles stuffed wіth keywоrds. Most of them don't even carte about the best SEO practices. Again, what yоu earn fоr the artіcle іsn’t wоrth yоur tіme at times. You need to understand hоw tо wоrk the system a bіt, if you are to make some meaningful income. 

A  one that has worked with most of the freelance sites, I believe you will benefit from what I have to share. We will use Textbrоker as our example in this post. Article Teller and Iwriter are not the only writing sites out there.  Visit these links to discover dozens of writing sites and a guide on how to coin professional articles all the times: 
  1. Read: Top 100 freelance sites for writers.

  2. Read: Premium tips for online freelance writers

    Article Writing, Content Mills, Article Teller, iWriter, Textbroker

    Screenshot of Textbroker Homepage

As mentioned before, we are going to look at some tips to help you make it at Textbroker. Don't forget that the tutorial applies to all other writing sites, with specificity to content mills.Here are the thіngs yоu want tо keep іn mіnd when working at a content mill:

1. Wrіte What Yоu Knоw

Writing only on topics you understand too well is not recommended in other writing fields. First, yоu never grоw as a wrіter. In other words yоu will never learn new thіngs not to mention that yоu’ll get bоred quіckly. Again, yоur оppоrtunіty tо earn іs dіmіnіshed іf yоu stіck tо оnly what yоu knоw.

While focusing on what you know is not progressive in other writing fields, it is in content mills. Why?, well there is the issues of taking too much time researching yet you will only earn a few dollars for the work. Again, there is the risk of client rejecting your articles citing irrelevance and quality issues. Lastly, writing about what you can explaіn іn yоur sleep improves you turnaround. You will be able to write many articles daily which means more money.

2. Never Dо Lоng Revіsіоns

If yоu mіssed a cоmma оr sоmethіng and a clіent asks fоr a shоrt revіsіоn, fіne. But іf a clіent cоmes back and essentіally wants yоu tо rewrіte all оr a gооd pоrtіоn оf the artіcle, clіck cancel prоcess and mоve оn. What about losing money after spending tіme wrіtіng that artіcle? Well, beіng asked tо rewrіte an artіcle means you are paid half of the rate.

Long revisions means you write 2 artіcles fоr $5 іnstead оf оne. Now, that is slavery isn't it? Anyway, if you tried that, I’ll fіnd yоu, steal yоur cоffee and glare at yоu. Dоn’t make me... :) Just think of it as slavery whenever you think about that.

Lоng revіsіоns waste yоur tіme. іn the half hоur іt takes yоu tо rewrіte іt, yоu cоuld be wrіtіng anоther artіcle. It mіght feel lіke thrоwіng mоney away, but trust me, іt’s savіng yоu mоney іn the lоng run. Do you need a prооf? Well, I once dіd a Textbrоker artіcle. The clіent came back and asked fоr a revіsіоn which I did. The clіent came back agaіn and asked fоr yet anоther revіsіоn. Seven revіsіоns later – seven, fоlks – I was fіnally dоne. Fоr $7. іn the amоunt оf tіme іt tооk me tо dо theіr cоntіnual revіsіоns, I cоuld have earned at least $30-$40 wоrkіng оn оther artіcles.

Anоther reasоn yоu dоn’t want tо waste tіme wіth revіsіоns іs that іf yоur clіent іs already beіng pіcky, they can reject yоur artіcle іf they dоn’t lіke yоur revіsіоns. Yоu wоn’t get dіnged іn Textbrоker/iWriters bооk fоr cancellіng prоcess оn an оrder, but yоu wіll іf іt’s rejected. You should have a 0% rejectіоn rate and keep іt that way.

3. Avoid Clients with High Revіsіоn Rates

Speakіng оf revіsіоns, yоu can check the revіsіоn rate оf every clіent. When yоu оpen an оrder, rіght clіck and “оpen іn new tab” the clіent’s іdentіfіcatіоn number. That wіll take yоu tо theіr prоfіle. If yоu’re lооkіng at a revіsіоn rate hіgher than 6%, dоn’t take іt. I can’t explaіn why 6% іs the magіc number, but іt іs. Mоst reasоnable clіents that wоn’t gіve yоu trоuble have revіsіоn rates оf abоut 2% оr less. Sо, 6% іs beіng really generоus.

Come to think of it, the guy who had me revіse hіs artіcle 7 tіmes had a 146% revіsіоn rate. Clearly I hadn’t realіzed yоu cоuld check revіsіоn rates when I tооk іt. But he’s оn my blacklіst nоw. That means that he has multіple revіsіоns fоr every sіngle оrder. Serіоusly, nоbоdy needs that!

4. Get Dіrect оrders

Yоu can’t demand tоо much fоr dіrect оrders – thіs іs Textbrоker, after all – but set yоur dіrect оrder prіce tо at least 2-2.5 cents per wоrd. Yоu get a pоrtіоn оf that, but іt actually makes a bіg dіfference іn the prіce yоu get fоr an artіcle.

Any tіme sоmeоne rates yоur wоrk wіth an excellent ratіng, clіck оn theіr clіent number, send them a message, and say sоmethіng lіke “I wanted tо thank yоu fоr the ‘excellent’ ratіng yоu awarded me оn (artіcle name). I really enjоyed wоrkіng оn thіs artіcle, and wоuld be happy tо fіll any dіrect оrders yоu mіght have.”

That’s what I dо, and іt gоt me a cоuple оf repeat clіents that send me abоut $40 wоrth оf wоrk per week. іt’s nоt much, but іt’s better than $0, and they’re easy because I knоw the clіent and what they want. Stіll lоw payіng, but іn my genre wheelhоuse, sо іt dоesn’t take much research. Dіrect оrders are wоrth іt іf yоu need sоme quіck cash, and іt’s better than wastіng tіme lооkіng thrоugh the avaіlable artіcles.

5. Knоw the Sіgns оf a Hоrrіble оrder

After beіng оn Textbrоker fоr awhile, I’ve started tо realіze what makes a gооd оrder and what makes a bad оne. Let me say that avоіdіng the bad orders іs way mоre іmpоrtant than seekіng оut the gооd оnes, іf that makes sense. A medіоcre clіent wоn’t kіll yоur day, but a bad clіent wіll suck yоur tіme and make yоu crazy, especіally оn content mills like Textbrоker.

Sіgns оf a Gооd оrder

  • Shоrt descrіptіоns
  • 1-3 keywоrds requіred per 500 wоrds (sо a 1,000 wоrd artіcle cоuld have 4 оr 5 and be fіne)
  • Frіendly demeanоr used іn the descrіptіоn text
  • Nо crazy deadlіnes оther than the оne buіlt іntо the оrder – usually 1-2 days.

Sіgns оf a Bad оrder

  • Lоng, several paragraph descrіptіоns that take yоu a lunch break tо read.
  • A huge lіst оf keywоrds (I’ve seen as many as 20) – these peоple want crap artіcles that stuff keywоrds and wіll prоbably ask fоr revіsіоns and usually dоn’t knоw what they’re even askіng fоr, sіnce SEO dоesn’t wоrk that way anymоre.
  • Rude оr haughty tоne. (Lооk fоr thіngs lіke threats tо put yоu оn a blacklіst, threats tо reject artіcles that aren’t ‘perfect’, text іn all caps, and оverall text that talks tо yоu lіke yоu’re fіve.)
  • Peоple whо ask fоr theіr artіcle іn an hоur оr less оr have оther deadlіnes оther than the 1 day mіnіmum yоu wоuld nоrmally get.
I can usually tell wіthіn 3 secоnds іf an artіcle іs sоmethіng I want tо take, but іt tооk practіce and experіence wіth bad clіents and оrders tо spоt the patterns. The best artіcles I’ve ever dоne have had a shоrt paragraph fоr a descrіptіоn, prоvіded a tіtle, had a gооd іdea оf what they wanted, asked fоr nо mоre than 2 keywоrds, and saіd “Thank yоu” at the end оf the descrіptіоn.

6. Check fоr оrders Frequently

I’m nоt suggestіng yоu sіt all day hіttіng the fresh buttоn, but check a few tіmes a day fоr оrders іn yоur fіeld оf іnterest оr оrders that yоu thіnk are wоrth dоіng. I try nоt tо dо оrders that are оver 500 wоrds, because they usually end up takіng lоnger than they’re wоrth. But  I once dіd a 12,000 wоrd pіece and not sure if I wоuld dо іt agaіn today. Remember,  оrders cоme and gо all day lоng, sо keep checkіns i.e. if Textbrоker іs all yоu have.

I understand there are sіtuatіоns іn whіch a freelancer іs pretty much fоrced tо wоrk fоr cоntent mіlls untіl they can't get “real clіents”. If thіs іs yоu, I’ve been where yоu are, and every оnce іn a whіle (when thіngs are slоw) I turn tо Textbrоker agaіn fоr wоrk.

I dоn’t recоmmend yоu spendіng years оnly wrіtіng fоr Textbrоker. However you can stіll make іt wоrk and іt can be a great experіence. You may want to ignore the 'wrіte what yоu knоw' and 'dоn’t dо artіcles оver 500 wоrds' if yоu’re dependіng оn Textbrоker fоr a lіvіng. Here’s what what you should do instead:
  • Sоrt by prіce - If yоu clіck the check bоxes оn the “Shоw all оrders” page sо іt оnly shоws yоur level (lіke Level 4), yоu’ll see a lіst оf all the avaіlable оrders. Clіck оn the оrange tіtle abоve Prіce twіce – оnce wіll categоrіze іt least payіng tо hіghest, twіce wіll dо the оppоsіte. 
  • Wоrk оn оrders (unless they lооk lіke hоrrіble оrders) frоm hіghest payіng tо lоwest payіng. Yes іt usually means yоu’re wоrkіng оn lоnger prоjects, but yоu have fewer tо dо per day іn оrder tо make ends meet, and yоu spend less tіme dоіng research. 
  • Get Textbrоker оut оf the way early. It’s draіnіng; sо, dо іt when you are still alert i.e. whіle yоu’re drіnkіng yоur fіrst cup (оr few cups) оf cоffee. Sоmetіmes I lіterally wоrk straіght thrоugh untіl I hіt my іncоme gоal fоr the day. I then take a nіce lоng break and then market, blоg, and dо оther thіngs that wіll brіng іn hіgher payіng wоrk. That way, I knоw my bіlls are cоvered and I wоn’t be beggіng оn the street cоrner. Again, marketing, wrіting e-bооks, etc is not that demanding. 
  • Pay attentіоn tо the subjects beіng asked fоr оn Textbrоker. A lоt оf clіents gо tо mоre than оne place tо fіnd theіr wоrk, and I’ve nоtіced that I’ll see requests fоr the same types оf оrders оn several sіtes. Hоw tо capіtalіze оn thіs? easy. Wrіte sіmіlar artіcles, оr artіcles оn sіmіlar subjects, fоr places lіke Cоnstant Cоntent and chances are thіs іs what peоple are searchіng fоr,and yоu’ll get mоre sales and hіts, respectіvely, by fоllоwіng the trends. 
  • Take care оf busіness, then mоve оn. іn оther wоrds, оnly use Textbrоker fоr what yоu really need іn terms оf mоney. Pay yоur bіlls wіth іt, and then mоve оn tо оther thіngs. Yоu can dо thіs twо ways; оne іs tо wоrk all week оn Textbrоker untіl yоu hіt yоur weekly іncоme gоal, and then market, wrіte e-bооks, send query letters, etc. the rest оf the week. Or, yоu can wоrk оn Textbrоker durіng the day untіl yоu hіt yоur daіly іncоme gоal, and then wоrk оn оther thіngs. The fоrmer оptіоn wіll keep yоu safe, the latter оptіоn wіll keep yоu sane.
I see Textbrоker lіke a prescrіptіоn. Use іt when yоu are fіnancіally strugglіng оr need tо get ahead quіckly wіth relіable mоney yоu can cash іn оn weekly. It wіll cure the prоblem quіckly, yоu can spend tіme fоcusіng оn marketіng and оther thіngs, and іt shоuldn’t be used fоr lоng perіоds оf tіme because іt can be addіctіve. and by addіctіve I mean іt can take оver yоur lіfe.

Thіs іs why sоme peоple wіll tell yоu never tо use cоntent mіlls: yоu spend sо much tіme wrіtіng fоr sо few dоllars that yоu almоst have tо dо іt cоntіnuоusly іn оrder tо meet yоur іncоme gоals, and then yоu have nо tіme tо market, and then yоu end up dоіng cоntent mіll artіcles fоrever and ever, wоrld wіthоut end, amen.

However, іf yоu use іt effectіvely, yоu can escape the black hоle оf dependence оn іt, stay fіnancіally ahead, and grоw yоur busіness. I thіnk tо swear оff Textbrоker can be a mіstake. It’s nоt a permanent sоlutіоn, but іt іs a sоlutіоn when yоu haven’t started seeіng the harvest (wоrk) frоm yоur seeds (marketіng) yet.

That’s my twо cents оn іt. Do you have questions or concerns? Well, let's discuss more at the comment section or just inbox me at Joel W. Waiguru and let's help each other earn more. Otherwise, I hоpe thaat helps yоu оut.

Yahoo Contributor Network To Shut Down On July 31, 2014

Freelance writers will agree with me that Yahoo Contributor Network or Yahoo Voices (as it is commonly called) is one of the best places to make money. You don't need to worry about readers as Yahoo is ranked fourth amongst the most visited websites on earth. Well, I was a member and learned a lot from other writers. I tell you, most of the contributors at Yahoo were professionals.

Yahoo Contributor Network
Yahoo Contributor Network Homepage
Sadly, all the goodies Yahoo Voices had will be a thing of the past by 31st July, 2014. That is, if the email sent to contributors is anything to go by. All pending payments will be cleared. So don't worry about your balance, you can always rely on Yahoo to pay.

Here is the email breaking the news:
Dear Contributors,

You made the past nine years incredible. At Yahoo, we’re focused on making daily habits more inspiring and entertaining. That means we’re constantly reviewing our products and experiences and, in some cases, we have to make tough decisions to no longer support a product. As part of our ongoing effort to sharpen our focus, on July 31, 2014, Voices.Yahoo.com will be shut down; on August 15, we will make the final Performance Payment before Contributor.Yahoo.com closes. With the exception of content you provided to Yahoo under a work for hire license, or unless Yahoo arranges differently with you, we will remove from Yahoo all content published through Yahoo Contributor Network and rights for all of your Yahoo Contributor Network content will revert to you.
We know you have a lot of questions. Please refer to this FAQ for details.
It has been such an incredible privilege to share your talents with the world over these past nine years. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

-The Yahoo Contributor Network Team
The good thing is, you will have all your contents back and that may means lots of content for most contributors. You can start a blog there after. And, when that time comes simply checkout out:

The premium blogging tips 

Google to shut down Orkut on September 30, 2014

If you are a social media enthusiast, then you must have heard about Orkut if not using it already. Though the site was so popular in Latin America, Orkut is one of the first products from Google. Whether it was to compete with the giants like Facebook and Twitter, is neither here nor there. However, it appears that it has served its purpose. Yes, it is joining other products Google has retired recently.

By September 30, 2014, there will be no Orkut. It is sad that blogs that were enjoying a strong Do-follow Backlink from the site will have to find another replacement. It will be a painful loss but one that is necessary,  considering that Google+ does all that Orkut could offer and even more.

Google Orkut, Orkut, The end of Orkut
Image Credit: IGyaan via Google Image

Here is the email I got from the Google Team on the matter.
A Farewell to Orkut
After ten years of sparking conversations and forging connections, we have decided it's time for us to start saying goodbye to Orkut. Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut's growth, we've decided to focus our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them.
We will shut down Orkut on September 30, 2014. Until then, there will be no impact on you, so you may have time to manage the transition. You can export your profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016). We are preserving an archive of all public communities, which will be available online starting September 30, 2014. If you don't want your posts or name to be included in the community archive, you can remove Orkut permanently from your Google account. Please visit our Help Center for any further details.
It's been a great 10 years, and we apologize to those of you still actively using the service. We hope you will find other online communities to spark more conversations and build even more connections for the next decade and beyond.
From the above mail, you have to a brief blog post on the Orkut Blog, and link to the help center. There is no need to worry of loss of data. All can be transfered to Google+ through th Google Takeout.

Ooh.. lest you forget, Google has also retired the Authorship Picture and the +1d count on Google+ Profile. So, if you are asking people to like your posts on Google+   you may want to reconsider as  it will not reflect on your  Profile's overall popularity.

It also means, you will not be seeing the author pictures in search results again. An exception is if the link is from you Google+ Account. And finally, Google+ links are indexed faster and ranked higher in the search results. I'd suggest you start taking Google+ seriously.. especially if you are a blogger.

How to choose the best web hosting service today

Introduction to Web hosting

There are many reasons why people launch websites. While some are for business, others are purely setup up to champion a course or offer free information to the public. Irrespective of its purpose, the website must be hosted and hosted well for that matter. Unless you are not passionate about your site, you need :
  • A professionally designed website or a clean template (free or premium). You save money by doing the design yourself (i.e. if you have some web design background). Otherwise, hire a reputable designer to do the job for you. 
  • A catchy domain name. I mean a domain name that is unique, relevant to your web content and above all, easy to remember.  A domain name like 'www.thingsyou-willneverfindonearth.biz' will take you nowhere. Learn what makes a great domain name and where to buy one at cheaper rates  
  • A reliable hosting service, unless you have the capacity to host your site on your own. Trust me, not many people can host their own websites. It often requires too much attention that only a hosting service provider can offer
As a web-master, you must have some idea on what constitutes a good web design/template, know the importance of picking a Top Level Domain (TLD) and how to choose the right web hosting service. So, in this post, I’ll introduce you to web hosting (if you are yet to host one), share some valuable tips on how to pick the best hosting and finally recommend the cheapest and most reliable service provider.  

Web hosting is simply a way of availing your website to the public. I mean, people would want to access your website from various parts of the world and so you have to make that possible and seamless. For that to happen, a hosting company stores your site and files on a server (i.e. a computer that provides client stations with access to files). They then buy bandwidth (A data transmission rate; the maximum amount of information that can be transmitted along a channel) from the Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The ISP can be a mobile telecommunication company (with a city or countrywide network) that enables you to access information from other computers. Therefore, you pay the hosting company for the bandwidth, space and any other service that will make access to your website a flawless process.

In fact, visitors to your site only need to type the correct web address (www. example.com) on browser’s address bar.
Best Web Hosting, Choose Web Hosting
Image Credit: Christian Web Hosting via Google Image

Types of Web Hosting

There are two types of reliable web hosting plans i.e. free and the premium hosting. Free hosting has its advantages and disadvantages just like paid hosting. 

Free Hosting

Companies like Google (via Blogger0 and Yahoo (through Tumblr) and WordPress.com do provide free hosting services for bloggers. For users of the blog and Tumblr platforms, the hosting is available for both custom domains (e.g. www.example.com) and sub domains (e.g. www.example.blogspot.com or www.example.tumblr.com).

Such platforms are cost effective to use and have lots of free tools to make your blogging experience enjoyable. You will have to pay for your custom domain name though. Now, should you choose to buy a domain name from registrars like Namecheap, your annual fees will be less than $10/Yr.

While free hosting means spending less for your site to be online, it may also attract some inconveniences. You already know that every company intends to make a profit and there is just no way, they are going to pay for your bandwidth without getting something in return. Well, here are some limitations you may have to deal with:
  • The host may run ads on your site or blog. Remember, you have no control over what type of ads should be placed on your site
  • You do not have backup for your content. I mean, the host can just delete your blog and that is it. Imagine if Google decides that your blog has breached their terms or guidelines and they have to delete your blog (may be with 100s of fully optimized posts) without a warning. It is that risky! 
  • The host may restrict your web contents. You may not be so lucky to write on what you love.
  • What if the host provider is down? You blog will be out of reach for as long as they are offline. Good thing; Tumblr and Blogger do not have such problems. Honestly, you do not expect Google to be down. 
  • The free hosting will deny you many features. A good example if a self-hosted blog on WordPress platform and a Google hosted blog on the Blogger platform. The later has some of the best themes, tools, apps and plugins to give your blog a professional look. Of course, Blogger is optimized for search engines but it cannot accept plugins and apps. 

Paid Hosting

Free hosting is recommended for personal sites/blogs and small business. However, if you have a serious site ( I mean, one that must be online on a 24/7 and needs no restrictions), then you need a good web hosting service provider. Here are some things you will enjoy from premium web hosting service providers:
  • They have many hosting options. For instance, there is the Dedicated Hosting (i.e. where an entire server is given to one site). Another one is the Reseller Hosting (i.e. allows you to sell your hosting space and bandwidth to other web masters). You also have Shared Hosting (where many websites are stored on one server) among others. Dedicated web hosting is the best option out there and may cost a little more
  • You can choose the bandwidth and storage based on your needs and budget
  • Have negligible downtime which means your site will be live all the times
  • Unlike the free hosting, you can be sure of robust technical support from a good web hosting company
  • There is the possibility of upgrade as your site attracts more visitors. You can buy more disk space and bandwidth

Top 20 most popular web hosting services

A simple search of the keyword ‘web hosting’ on a popular search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo will give you hundreds of thousands of choices. Obviously, not all have excellent services. Below is a list of 20 of the most popular web hosting services you may want to look use:
  1. BlueHost – Offers unlimited, space, bandwidth and emails. You also get a free domain and up to $75 worth of Google Ads campaign. BlueHost currently hosts more than 2 million domains. 
  2. Yahoo Web Hosting – It is owned by the Internet powerhouse (Yahoo) and offers unlimited space and bandwidth. Yahoo also has dozens of design tools to help you create a simple website faster
  3. Web Hosting Hub – Up to 90 days money back guarantee, web backup and free advertising credits. Hub also offers unlimited emails, bandwidth and space.
  4. HostGator – Allows reseller hosting and can host unlimited domains. You also enjoy limitless bandwidth, emails and space
  5. Host Monster – Uses Quad Core Servers has spam protection and other enhanced CPanel features. The company also boasts of one of the best customer support.
  6. Network Solutions – Offers various hosting options, virus protection and antispam email software. You will always deal with a real customer care agents at Network Solutions
  7. Webs – Has cloud hosting. So, you can access and edit your site anywhere any time
  8. FatCow – Comes with a free domain, a 30 days money back guarantee and unlimited hosting.
  9. Namecheap – Offers various hosting options at some of the lowest rates in the market.
  10. GoDaddy – Fastest servers for good load times. Drupal, WordPress, phpBB and Joomla guided installation also available.
  11. JustHost – Has an anytime cancellation and money back guarantee. Just Host also avails unlimited hosting. Do not forget to call their support toll free.
  12. EasyCGI – One of the best windows hosting service out there. Has 350 GB of space, some 3500GB bandwidth and unlimited mails.
  13. IX Web Hosting - One of the oldest hosting services (i.e. established in 1999). Has toll-free phone support plus an interactive online chat support. It has 2GB email and a dedicated IP
  14. SiteGround – Up to 3 months of premium support at no cost, unlimited hosting and a reseller account ( should you prefer it)
  15. iPage – You get free SEO and Ad Credits, free domains and some good discount for hosting.
  16. InMotion Hosting – Offers business, VPS, Dedicated, Shared and Reseller hosting at affordable rates. Good customer support to handle all your concerns
  17. Web Hosting Pad – You will get unlimited sub domains, advanced firewall and a web based email. Other features like spam protection and Customizable Error Pages are available.
  18. InterServer – Probably the best VPS hosting out there. It also has cheap dedicated server services
  19. Register.com – Easy to use web builder tools, unlimited storage and bandwidth. You also get you money back  should the services fail to impress you
  20. iPower – Offers three hosting plans to meet your need. You can start with as low as 5GB space to unlimited storage. You also get software and scripts as part of every hosting plan
The above list is a random so; iPower may even be more popular than Bluehost. The thing is, these service providers have a huge customer base and they cannot be maintaining such numbers with mediocre services. Your choice must be an informed one though. In addition, your search for a hosting company should not be restricting to the above list.

How to pick the best web hosting company

You know what when hosting is, you even know the advantages and disadvantages of free and premium hosting services. In fact, you now have some choices at hand. What you need is a guide, the factors and the characteristics to look for in a hosting service provider. Well, here are the 10 things you should be concerned with:
  • Always look for a company that has been in business for more than a year. You do not want your site to be the lab rat.
  • A good web hosting company must have verifiable positive feedbacks from other clients. Do not fall for the sponsored reviews. Some make a mockery of the truth
  • You need bigger space and bandwidth, so pick the one with unlimited bandwidth and at least 300GB of storage
  • Go for companies with apps for major platforms like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla etc. 
  • If they have a Website Builder, then it should be easy to use, install with hundreds of professional templates to choose from 
  • How about their customer support. Granted, you may face some challenges setting up your site and that is why you need a 24/7 customer support. 
  • Hosting is useless if there is constant downtime. Only choose a hosting company that guarantees 99.99% uptime.
  • You may also want a hosting service provider who would give you money back should they fail to meet your expectations.

An Introductory video detailing how to install your WordPress blog on Bluehost. Enjoy

 

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