Thursday, April 29, 2010

Want to Win an iPad? Join AC!

Sign up for AC under my referral and publish one piece of content by May 31, 2010 and you'll be entered in the sweepstakes to win an iPad.

I know several of you who are wondering if Associated Content is worth it come to this blog for information.  If you're an experienced SEO writer, you can earn good on AC.  And even if you're just starting out, AC is the perfect place for you to get your start.  If it wasn't for the confidence I've gained as a result of writing for AC, I wouldn't have the success that I've found.

I tell you this not just to get entered in the iPad sweeps (although winning an iPad would be a great bonus) but I've made really good friends, I do what I love and if I hadn't had my start on AC, I wouldn't be where I am now.

Check out the Associated Content blog and read all about the sweeps.  If you want to join AC, come on back to this blog, click on the graphic below, sign up, and start writing!  Everyone gets their start somewhere.  Why not make AC your start?

Join Associated Content

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tracking and Comparing Contributors (Info on New Sidebar)

First of all, I want to thank the readers of this blog for making it successful.  I started this blog almost a year ago when I was relatively new to AC and had no clue what I was doing.  It now ranks well with Google, has a good following, and has hopefully helped others.  Having said that, let's move along.

If you're a regular follower or visitor to this blog, you'll notice that I've rearranged the sidebar a smidge.  In one category, you have feeds from AC Millionaires, in another, you'll see AC Hundred Thousand-aires (for lack of a better word).  Look a bit down and you'll see those who really want your page views.

The entire purpose of the new sidebar categories is for those who are considering AC or are new to AC and want to learn, to view, track, and compare various contributors, see which contributors get the most page views, what they write about, and over all help give a better rounded outlook on Associated Content in general.

I appreciate each contributor who has volunteered their feed for this.  I was overwhelmed and flattered at the sheer number of contributors who have asked me to add them to the side bar.  If you are a contributor and would like your feed on the side bar for this project, all you have to do is PM me from my profile and I will get you added as soon as I can.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy this new feature on Writing for Associated Content.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bad AC Experiment - Anyone Wanna Hire this Girl?

Thanks to my writer pal Ann Olson, I came across this tidy little gem of a site called "All Freelance Writing".  Apparently this site is to help other freelancers or online writers find success.  But don't be fooled.  The web is all a-flutter with these type of sites.  But pay attention to the writing and to what the writer says about themselves to decide for yourself if it is a quality site or not.

Take a look at this article.  Go on.  I'll wait.  Come right back.

Like what you read?  If you're one of the AC writers who makes good money from AC then this "experiment" probably just ticked you off a little.

Do I make good money from AC?  I make descent enough for what I need.  I could do more but I also write two topics for Examiner and I write on whatever fiction project I have currently going (I'm working on my third novel right now).  On AC, though, I remain in the "Hot 500" so I'd like to think I've learned a little something along the way.  So, are you going to listen to someone who does make money on AC or are you going to listen to someone who wrote two "craptastically fast" articles and then whined that she didn't make much money?

This "experiment" is flawed from the beginning.  First, you can't expect to write a holiday article only a few days before the holiday and expect it to perform well.  Next, you can't write it badly and expect it to perform well.  Third, you can't expect to do an experiment half-assed, let it ride for a couple of weeks, and expect the results to be something you can try to pull over on the world.  And that is the problem with many writers who whine that they can't make the money they'd like.  They have an over inflated version of themselves and feel like every thing they touch (or write) should be gold.  Then they refuse to listen to the experts and then whine that they aren't making what they'd like... well, go figure.  This is not AC FAIL.  This is contributor FAIL.

So the AC writers came out to defend their work but with every point made, the writer and other members of the blog had a reason for everything.  Thus another sign of the inflated contributor.  Instead of listening and trying to take to heart what was done wrong and learn from it, they obsessively try justify their actions.  But watchya gonna do?  Oh, well.

Point is, I think this writer has actually hurt her chances of picking up jobs.  If I were a potential client looking for a writer to do work for me and I saw that particular post, how the writer knew she was writing bad but didn't take care to correct that, that she couldn't find a good enough topic to gather page views, and that she ran such an obviously flawed experiment and proceeded to dis a website and it's contributors because of it, I'd move on to another writer.

And I definitely won't be promoting that freelance site as anything worth reading.

What's next?  All the good writers who actually make good money from AC are liars?

Alright.  Let's all move on with our lives and continue doing what we love.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Few Points About Word Count

  • General guidelines state the word count should be at least 350 (excluding poetry).  This isn't a case of "Your content should be 350 words, no more or no less," like I've seen some people ask, but 350 is the minimum.  Feel free to go over that word count if need be.
  • Yes, some time back, the minimum was 400.  Now it's 350 which, in my opinion is a better option.  Personally, I'd like to see it cut down to 300 as there are many times I struggle to keep on point while still meeting word count guidelines.  I hate having to "fluff" my articles to meet the word count.
  • Some assignments will specify a higher or shorter word count; pay attention to the assignment details.  
  • Don't get all upset if someone flags your content and it gets pulled due to you not following the word count guidelines.  You're not above the rules and it's not your site.
  • If you use quotes within your content, they do not count toward your total word count.  Surprised?  I was, too.  For as long as I've been writing, to be scolded by AC for not following word count guidelines due to quotes, is disconcerting.  So I hope my faux pas will help prevent someone from making a similar mistake. 
Time to rewrite and resubmit.  Catch ya later.

*Author's note:  Since this blog post went up, word count minimum guidelines have changed for DO's (display only) and those articles submitted for upfront.  Please consult this forum thread for the explanation of changes and always (ALWAYS) check submission guidelines.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Choosing More Than One Category

Think it can't be done?  Wrong!

Okay, you might laugh at this but after all this time with AC, it occurred to me during a recent assignment that I have the power to pick more than one category for my articles.  But, I figure if it took this long for the light bulb to come on for me, maybe someone of you out there might not have made the connection either.  After all, AC doesn't have the distinct instructions in the publishing tool on how to choose more than one category.

So, lets say you have an article that is part Parenting, part Green.  All you have to do is pick one category and then press "Ctrl" and choose the other (or more if need be; up to three).

You see, this is a practice I've been using on Examiner forever now.  I know to select more than one of something I use the "Ctrl" button but I've never made the connection with AC.  Yeah, I know.  It's a wonder that I've survived at AC at all, much less grown on it as I have.

You may laugh now.