Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Profit Power of Writing 'Display Only' on Associated Content

Top contributor Will Stape talks about Diplay-only articles in the following article and why there is a lot of value in this "free" work.

Before I provide the link, though, I want to reiterate that while this is a good option (I should know because some of my biggest paid months have been when I've just published DO articles), you shouldn't also dismiss upfront payments just because it seems hard to figure out.  Getting declined?  Then head to the forum and place it in the Workshop where experienced contributors can tell you why.

While I don't always have time to write on AC as much as I'd like to, I still see the value of utilizing both the DO side and the upfront side of AC.  Don't stop because you may be getting frustrated with it.  Doing so will hurt the amount of money you could make.

If you want to read more about the "upfront" topic, look in the right column at the label cloud at the top and click on the word "upfront" to see more posts.

Profit Power of Writing 'Display Only' on Associated Content
Don't like giving it away? Hate the idea of dealing in freebies? Does the thought of publishing display only give you the chills? Here's why you shouldn't hate nor fear the 'free' on Associated Content.
Read More

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The truth about labels: Getting blogging categories right the first time

This post is actually related more to blogging but I can also attach it to AC's keyword section when you are publishing content.  The keywords you type in at AC have nothing to do with how your article ends up in a search and more of how AC will match similar content to your article.  Those similar content links will be on your page.

Until AC allows us to pick "Related Content" from our own article garden, we're stuck with everyone else's links on our page both on the right side and underneath our articles.  A way to try (and I emphasize try because the process is completely computerized and random) to get more of your related content on the same page as your latest article is to try to use the same keywords on each.  This works for me sometimes but not all of the time.

Read further for more about how labels define blogs.
 When I first started blogging, I thought that the box where labels go at the end of your blog post were aides in helping your content be discovered through a search.  So the more labels you use, the better your chances, right?

That actually has nothing to do with search-ability at all.  Your blog's search-ability has everything to do with content and nothing to do with labels. 


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Remodeling with Glass Tiles

For the last two years, I've lived in a construction zone.  There seems to be an ongoing remodeling project in one or more areas of the house (right now it's the bathroom floor and building walls in the basement).  While that's enough to drive any mom slightly insane, it's not a completely negative experience.  Shopping for the new items to decorate with is one of the fun aspects.

I was sent a link to Glass Tile Store.  They have beautiful tiles of all kinds.  Case in point, I'm having small fits over the verde diamond glass tile.  I can see that making a beautiful backsplash in my kitchen when we get ready to tackle that room.  There are also great choices for bathroom tiles.  Unfortunately, we're already in the grout (which, btw, they carry grout, too) stage of the bathroom so we'll have to pass on that.

They also have subway tiles which is great for bathroom, kitchen, walls and more.  This is certainly a site I'll be bookmarking in our "Remodel" folder.  PP

Monday, October 18, 2010

All About Multiple Sclerosis

I don't know much about multiple sclerosis or otherwise commonly known as MS.  I know that the percentage of people who have it isn't very high and I know that it is debilitating.  That's the extent of my knowledge.  I don't have it and I don't know anyone who does.

But what if someone I care about was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis?  How would I find information that would tell me what it was?  How would I know about MS treatment or symptoms? 

If you find yourself needing to learn more about MS, then you should check out the website  I never knew there were so many topics that focus on MS.  There is everything from living with MS tips like how to keep cool during the summer, sexuality issues, traveling with MS, and info on multiple sclerosis diet.  It looks like a good site to keep up with news, too.

If you have MS or know someone with MS, this site may be exactly what you are looking for.  PP

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is AC/Yahoo lifting articles again? What about AOL buying Yahoo?

Okay, first, I'm going to address the AOL thing.  If you haven't heard this, here's the story.  From what I understand, this is not concrete.  There is more to the process then someone saying that AOL is bidding on or saying they are going to buy Yahoo.  To be honest, I know absolutely crap when it comes to stuff like this.  I don't understand the jargon and when it comes to reports like this, I don't know what to believe.  What I do know is that this is just talk right now.  As far as I know, we are not all suddenly going to be thrust into AOL.  For right now, AC has more important things to worry about.

So moving on....

Is Yahoo! lifting DO articles again?  For a bit of background on what has happened, read this.  Apparently a contributor thought that a DO of hers was put on Yahoo! recently but to my knowledge, the content was actually a non-exclusive.

Okay, so as far as I know, the feed error is not happening again BUT this doesn't completely cover all the issues that contributors have over the whole Yahoo! thing.  I've actually learned some things since that last post that I will share and try to explain.

First, giving $5 to contributors for the distribution of content to Yahoo! seems like a slap considering the number of page views Yahoo brings in and how many page views can be taken from the original.  But contributors are certainly within their right to go with the flow of that if it suits them.

Next, contributors are of the mindset that Yahoo! can't be interchangeable with AC while at the same time being a "partner" that can pick up content.  Actually, at this stage, yes, they can be both.  This leaves all the rights with Yahoo/AC and NO rights with the contributors.  If Yahoo! wants to pick our content and throw a minimal amount of money at us for it, they can. Additionally, according to these policies, Yahoo! can also take whatever else they want without paying us or even without notifying us.  It's their site and they can do whatever they want, right?  From the responses, legally, yes, they can.  While AC and Yahoo! are still in the initial stages of the "merge" or "integration" as they call it, they are legally covered.  They can pick up DO's or anything they want.  The writers of the site, the ones who are doing the leg work for AC, apparently have no rights whatsoever.  That's the way it appears anyway.  The only issue that stands out is that the original agreement means that we're supposed to be paid performance for every article unless specifically arranged otherwise.  This is really the only legal leverage we have.

So now comes the obvious question.  If this is the case, why aren't many of the more experienced writers running for the hills?  This has obviously caused many contributors to be leery; some contributors are publishing a lot less and some have stopped publishing altogether.  But while the writer's rights are minimal to none while this happens, the honor system of AC is something that has enough merit to me to continue.  I believe AC when they say they would never intentionally republish our DO content.  I believe AC when they say they are working toward integrating page view payments for content published on Yahoo!.  While my trust is leery after having discovered the feed error on my articles myself (it wouldn't have been so bad if AC had alerted us that it might happen) , AC has always paid me what they agreed to and I've not had any other outstanding payment or display problems with them.

Think about it.  What good would it do Yahoo! or AC to completely alienate the contributors, to piss us all off enough that we not only look at legal options but also enough that we stop writing for them?  AC would be worthless without continuous content.  We are the base of what keeps the site going.

There are still matters to clear up and I doubt this will be the last of the story but here's my take on it.  I would encourage contributors to continue to write, pay close attention to the rights and distribution rights when you publish, and keep an eye out on your content on any other site (which is something I hope you do anyway).  Hopefully, we'll all get answers and a resolution soon.  In the meantime, let's encourage the integration so we can start getting some Yahoo! page views!

This post brought to you by AC Contributor Becca Badgett.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Lost my Hot 500 Badge :(

September was the absolute worst in page views I've had all year.  I made just a little over half of what my lowest PV bonus has been since January.  Why?  Well, I did slack off a bit on the television writing in favor of working on my latest novel.  I have my test readers for my novel getting a chapter a week and they are starting to catch up with me.  I've also been working on private client work and other projects that has kept me from doing my normal AC work.

My overall freelance/contract earnings were lower than usual as well so it wasn't just AC.

In the meantime, while I hope I get the badge back next month, if I don't, that's fine because I know I have more to write than just AC articles.  :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Don't be afraid to stick up for yourself when your photos are lifted

When you sit and work on a slide show for Associated Content or any other site, it's disheartening when you see others lifting your photos to use without your permission. 

So here's the scenario I had to deal with a few weeks ago.  I was doing publicity for a local event.  Knowing that I'll be doing the same next year for said event, I put up pictures on AC in the form of a 2 part slideshow in order to help promote the event next year.  Then I stuck the links up on Facebook for both my local website and for AC.  The next thing I know, I had over a handful of local Facebook friends posting MY PHOTOS on their Facebook pages.  I get that they were excited about the event.  I get and appreciate that they had a great time at the event and liked my photos enough to share them.  What they didn't understand was their actions were illegal and was directly causing me to lose money via page views.

Dealing with a plagiarizer is a different tactic although the premise is the same.  This is copyright infringement.  So how do you deal with people you interact with, your real life friends and family, when you know they really meant no harm?

First, don't fly off the handle.  That's southern speak for remain calm.   When it comes to people who don't work online or don't do much online period, chances are, they just don't know any better.  Second, send the "lifters" a polite message letting them know while you appreciate that they like your photos, you get paid from page views and they've just taken money out of your pocket.  Instruct them in a nice tone that if they wish to support you as the photographer, they can delete the photos they put up and proceed to share the link to your slideshow.  That way, others get to enjoy the photos and you get paid for your work.  In most cases, you'll see this is all you need to do.  If they are educated about photo copyright infringement, most often, they won't do it again.

What do you do if they don't take the photos down?  Well, that's really up to you.  Is it worth it to you to report them?  Is it worth it to cause a rift?  Only you can determine, based on the relationship you have with the person, whether it is worth it to pursue a legal path.

But whether it's an article or a photo, don't feel like you're being petty if you stand up for your self.  It's YOUR work and you are entitled to compensation for it.  Other people don't sit at their desks for 8 hours a day doing their work for nothing, yours should be no different.

Related Article:  It's okay for me to "share" any photo, right?

This post brought to you by Becca Badgett's Growing Blueberries in Gardening Zone 7