Friday, August 27, 2010

Article Writing Tips: Quality versus Quantity

 Lisa Mason is a very knowledgeable person who has been writing for over 10 years.  She has a lot of excellent tips and articles out there on her various sites.  It would be worth the time to look over them.

There is an ongoing debate in the article marketing community about quality versus quantity. How many articles do you really need to have a good article marketing campaign? There really is no magic number when it comes to this but there is a debate over quality versus quantity.  Read More...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My First Yahoo! Assignment

I've just had my first direct Yahoo! experience and I want to share that experience with you so if you can manage to snatch up a Yahoo! partner assignment, you'll know what to expect.

Usually I'm not quick enough to grab a partner assignment like this but I happened to be sitting at the computer working on another project when the email came in.  There are other times when the assignment doesn't pertain to me at all.  But this one did.  I'm a regular watcher of "Royal Pains" on the USA Network so when Yahoo! wanted an article about the strangest medical cases on "Royal Pains", I immediately logged on to AC and to my surprise, I was able to claim it.  The assignment details were on point and gave me tips for the style and tone they wanted as well as what they would pay me.  I reviewed the examples and the next weekend sat down for some research.

Even though I'm a "Royal Pains" fan, there was no way I would be able to remember every case and every plot line.  So I sat and sifted through episode recaps, reviews, and commentary until I found the episodes and cases I wanted to write about.  I wrote the piece and submitted it just like I would a regular Associated Content piece.  A couple of days later, it disappeared from my queue and I noticed the little notice at the top of my account page that said, "1 payment pending".  Was my piece accepted?  How would I know when it was published?  So I asked my questions on Facebook and my writer pal L. Vincent Poupard responded.  "If you go under your content tab, you will see a tab that says, 'Partners.' If you click on this, you should see your article. Once it publishes, you can link it from this location."  Although I haven't been able to link it from that tab, knowing that it was going to be on Yahoo!TV, I just kept an eye on the site.  I suspected that they would wait until today to publish it because the finale is on tonight.  I was right.  Today, it is being switched out in the top feature block on Yahoo!TV's homepage.

It's rather exciting to be able to say that I've been published on one of the largest websites ever.  To me this is a big deal.  It's why I heart AC!  If you want to read the article on Yahoo!TV, here it is: The Most Bizarre Medical Cases on "Royal Pains".

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Freelance Writing Online: A Guide for Beginners" by Suzanne Alicie: An Ebook Review

Suzanne Alicie is one of the most helpful writers there are.  She provides excellent info across all her sites.  So when I saw this review by Jean Brewer on Suzanne's book on freelance writing, I knew I had to post.

"Freelance Writing Online: A Guide for Beginners" by Suzanne Alicie: An Ebook Review
An essential reference for anyone considering a career as an online writer.
Read More

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Useful Info for New Contributors

I've linked up articles from Community Guide, Lyn Lomasi before but I don't know just which ones.  So when she released a blog post on her Article Writer for Hire site, I thought I better snatch it up to share.  Browse through and you're sure to find some great information in there.

New to writing for Associated Content? After signing up and reading the FAQ, TOU, and Submission Guidelines, you may still have questions. As a seasoned AC Contributor and Community Guide, I've compiled answers to some of the things new writers may wonder about and need help with. Read more...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

About Your Byline on Associated Content

You can have a pen name on Associated Content if you want.  But if you want to reprint the same article you use on AC to other sites, you have to use the same byline.  This is rule number one in the Submission Guidelines.

For example, let's say you're known as Tim Patterfoot on Helium.  When you get to Associated Content, you decide you want to be known by your real name, Jim Patterfoot.  This is completely fine... unless you want to republish your Helium articles on Associated Content or vise versa (click here for content right information which includes how you can have the same article on more than one site).  If you want to do that, then your names have to match up on both sites.  This prevents stolen articles and increases your credibility.

If you have any questions concerning bylines, then feel free to ask them in the comment section.  I'll answer them the best I can and if I don't know the answer, I'll find someone who does.

Another Option in Purchasing Tickets

There's not too many wide range ticket sellers online.  People automatically go to the one they've heard of most.  But is it always the cheapest?  Where else can you go to get a good price on many different events?

I don't know how long has been around but from the looks of things, they certainly know what they are doing.  They have theater, sports, concerts... any kind of event you want to see, they seem to have it.

I haven't bought a ticket from them yet but the next time that something comes along that I would love to see, I'll definitely try them out, especially if it can save me a few bucks.  And you don't have to just browse by event.  You can search for your local arena, browse through the schedule of upcoming events and choose whatever you'd like to see.  They have everything from Georgia Dome tickets to Cowboys Stadium tickets, to Arrowhead Stadium tickets.

If you've ever bought a ticket from them before, I'd be interested in hearing your experience.  Feel free to comment below.  PP

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

AC Etiquette: Commenting on Other Articles

There are three major points today that I'd like to bring up.  The first I've already written about in this blog post.  I don't think it bears repeating.

The second is inspired by three, huge paragraph-type comments that I received on an article a couple of months ago from another contributor.

AC Commenting Etiquette: Don't Leave Disrespectful Comments on Other Articles

Disagreeing with a subject matter in a respectful manner is a completely different thing than openly trashing someone's work on a comment section.  I give the person who did this to me gut points for not hiding behind a "Guest" name, though.  This guy started off stating how his opinion differed from mine, which was fine.  Then the second comment escalated into a "Do you even know what you are talking about?" and the third comment completely demeaned me into a "You're the reason AC has such a bad name," type of comment as if he was getting angrier with each comment.  I left the first comment on my article but deleted the last two and sent him a message that in the future if he wanted to comment on my articles, he needed to do so in a respectful manner or next time I'd report him.

I just finished telling someone that the premise is different when dealing with anonymous comments (which we now have a way to block, yay!) than dealing with comments that come from fellow contributors; our working peers.

You get the gist.

AC Commenting Etiquette: Commenting Just to Put Your Name on Someone Else's Article

I'm completely aware that not everyone will agree with this so take it however you wish.  It is not my intention to "call out" or "scold" anyone for doing this.  This is just my personal opinion and not something I would consider doing.

I don't think that commenting just to comment or just to leave your clickable name on an article is very good etiquette.  I can't tell you how many times I see a " :) " or a "Thanks!" or a "Good job!" on my articles.  It's not that I don't appreciate the page views but I've always been of the mindset that if you don't have anything relevant to add or really feel moved to say a meaningful thank you to the author, then move on.

I read a lot more articles than what I comment on.  I enjoy a great deal of them, but I'm not gonna put a generic comment on something just to leave a comment.  And I also wouldn't want anyone to feel obligated to click on my articles if they weren't interested in reading them in the first place.  I'm not into the whole "follow just to be followed thing" although I understand that's the way some people like to do it.

Whichever way you like to do it is completely okay.  But just don't make me feel like just because you left ten " :) s" on my articles that I should feel obligated to do the same for you.  And don't think that just because I don't comment that I'm not reading.

Shopping for the Perfect Car

Guest written by our friend Sergio Chaney

I recently found myself having to move due to a new job position. I was hoping that I would get the position; however I knew that some things would have to change before I moved. One of the biggest things that would have to change was the car that I had. The car was not going to be able to continue to get me to places and was becoming increasingly unreliable.Besides I was in the mood for a new car to go along with my new position. With my huges net satellite internet service I was able to start searching for different dealers in my area and see the many cars that they had available at that time. I knew that it was something special that I was looking for and I would know it when I saw it. Sure enough I found the most beautiful, black car that provided me with the sleek look that I was hoping for. I was so happy that I found the car that fit my budget. Also the car dealership allowed me to do a trade-in with my previous car; so I received a great deal. I am overjoyed with my satellite internet in Allendale Michigan, my new job and my new car. PP

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Work at Home Myths

I will look at this as part rant, part informational for those considering working at home.  This is also for those who have family that work at home so that you may better understand what it is your family member does on a daily basis.

  • We can lounge around in pajamas all day.  
I don't know about others but I can't just wear pajamas all day.  Well, I guess I could if I wanted to but that isn't the point.  I look at my work at home job like I would an outside job.  I get dressed which helps me mentally prepare for the day.  And lounge? Phhhhpppppt!  Who has time to lounge?  I sit at the computer and I work in between bouts of caring for and playing with my children.

Lounging.  I wish.
  • We don't really "work".  
What is considered work?  Would it be considered work if I got into my car and drove for 30 minutes or more to another building made with wood and concrete to do the same thing I do at home?

For some, work is measured in physical exertion.  But I don't think that applies here.  Someone is considered "working" even if they go to an office and sit behind a desk all day.  Location doesn't matter.  I work.  End of story.
  • We don't make any money.
This was relatively true at first.  But as time goes on, working at home gets more and more lucrative.  You just have to learn and grow, just like with any other business.

  • We make tons of money.
On the flip side, there are people out there who think we're filthy, stinking rich.  That's why I drive a car that 10 years old, right?  While I make some money, it isn't a large amount and not near enough what people generally think I make.
  • We can watch all the TV we want, take breaks anytime, etc.
Blah, blah, blah.  I tend to think that the people who accuse those who work of home of doing nothing but sitting back and watching TV all day are actually expressing their jealousy when they say stuff like this.  I actually don't watch television at all during the day and the only "breaks" I take are child care related.
  • I have all the time in the world to watch your kids, run your errands, etc.
I get so sick of people thinking that I can just take off on a whim.  I have deadlines, I have a paycheck to earn, and I can't do it if you want me to watch your child, go to the bank for you or whatever other insignificant non-emergency thing you want me to do.

Breathe in, breathe out.

This is the biggest problem I have.  But I'm beginning to think it does no good to tell others that I work for a living.  People think that because I'm home, I don't have a "real" job.  But I've written on that before (in this article) so I won't elaborate further.

You wanna work at home?

If you're going to work at home, just know that it takes a lot of real work, determination, and persistence to make it worthwhile.  And it's ten times harder to keep up with when you have children.  You can't just say you want to work at home but then make no effort to do so.  And know that working at home means that you will most likely work HARDER than you did outside the home.  This is especially true when you are first starting out as you learn and create a name for yourself.

Is it worth it?

You betcha!  Now that I've gotten to a point where I'm pulling in a fair amount, I am more confident in the knowledge that I can, in the near future, pull in enough to reach my goals.  But it has taken me a long time to get here and I didn't give up.

If it is something that you really want to do, don't give up on it.  And I would like to recommend a friend's blog called Work at Home where she lays all of her experience out for you for free to let you determine how to best choose how you want to earn your living at home.