Thursday, December 16, 2010

I was accepted into the Yahoo!TV Superfan program

The results of the "Superfan" for Yahoo!TV are back.  I'll break down the articles one by one to give you an idea of how this happened in my case.

I submitted five articles for the test assignments:

"Blue Bloods" - This article was a recap of a particular episode.  It wasn't reviewed or published in a timely fashion (which is key when doing recap articles) so it published on AC.  I was accepted into the program to write for this show.

"NCIS" - This article was another recap. Like the "Blue Bloods" article, this article took a very long time to publish. Unfortunately, for this one, I wasn't accepted into the program.

"Criminal Minds" - This article was a best quotes type article and even though it was more evergreen than a recap, it was published on AC.  The format slightly screwed up within the article which makes it look bad, but it's getting page views at least.  I was a bit worried about this one.  It was the last to be reviewed.  I'd been told by an AC staffer some time ago that quotes don't count toward total word count on an article, however, the assignment details specifically stated that "Best of" quotes could be a theme idea for the test article.  Even though this article was published on AC, like "Blue Bloods", I was accepted to write for this show.

"American Idol" - This article was in a format of "Where are they now?" which I've had published on Yahoo!TV before.  This one focuses on the past 3rd place "Idol" contestants and what they've done since AI.  It was published pretty quickly on Yahoo!TV.  The funny thing is, while I have followed AI for many seasons, I actually had no intention of watching it again because of all the changes.  But I was actually accepted to write for this show so I will be watching it. It's a pivotal season for them and I am sure there will be many interesting things to write about!

"House" - In my opinion, this was my best article out of all of them.  I did a comparison of House on Vicoden vs. House on Cuddy.  It was delivered to Yahoo!TV but sits in limbo land waiting to be published.  I wonder if they are waiting on a string of new "House" episodes before publishing it.  But anyway, I was also accepted to write for this show.

Not quite what we expected

Several Y!CN members began their excited chatter about what shows they were going to write about and we discovered that it wasn't quite the exclusivity that we thought it would be.  I'm not the only contributor who will be writing on the shows I was accepted for.  It wasn't that I thought it would be exclusive but I actually didn't think that SO MANY people would be dipping into the same shows.  "American Idol", for example, has so many writers on board that I wonder how productive it will be for Yahoo! to pay upfronts for so many articles focused on the same episodes.

In addition, there were contributors who claimed some of the test assignments but for one reason or another, ended up releasing them instead of submitting them.  Some of them were accepted into the program.  I know, say what?  But it gets better.  There were a few contributors who said they never applied and were accepted.  This concerns me.  It makes me feel like the hard work I did on mine was for nothing.

ETA: Now I'm being told that some acceptance emails were sent out in error.  Y!CN is working to correct the problem.  I'll update about this program after the first of the year.

Looking forward to the experience

Even though it isn't what I expected, I'm still excited about it and will be putting on my game face with each assignment that comes my way.  I'm going to enjoy it as much as I possibly can.

Congrats to all others who also made it into the program! Let's look forward to the beginning of our assignments in 2011.

Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!

On that note, this will be the last post of the year on this blog for me.  I'll come back in 2011 with new helpful information concerning the Yahoo! Contributor Network.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings and all that jazz.  Here's hoping you don't get too wasted on New Years!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How to Be a Productive Forum Member at the Yahoo! Contributor Network

So, you just joined the Yahoo! Contributor Network and want to take advantage of the forums? There are a several things to keep in mind when participating in this (or any other) online forum. From simple etiquette, to
following guidelines, and even reporting issues, here are some things I have learned from being a long-time member of the Yahoo! Contributor Network forums, as well as many others.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Yahoo! Contributor Award Nominations

Today is the day when I opened my schedule and decided to do a day of reading.  Everyone has their own special criteria for nominating and mine consists of a variety of factors which I'm not gonna waste time listing.  So let's get right to it, shall we?

There are only three award categories this year (which has shrunk from years past).  And here are my nominations.  Have fun reading and nominate if you wish.

Outstanding Contributor of the Year

Alice Clair Gunkee - She writes a lot of television related items, many of which require lots of research and time.  It isn't easy sitting down to make out long schedules of programming, compiling items from all across many networks, but she stays on top of things and even goes after the holiday specials viewers search for.  She's an A+ contributor.

Angie Mohr - Her articles are highly focused and very helpful.  She writes on a variety of subjects but specializes in finance, food, and wine.  She's more than helpful to a great number of fellow contributors.

Jennifer Wagner - She publishes a lot of quality content mostly focusing on home improvement and decorating.  Her articles are always helpful, creative, and well written.

Jolie du Pre - She's hard working, and produces lots of great quality and entertaining content.

Katie Sharp-Dierks - A great and helpful contributor whose main focus is on pregnancy topics.  

Lyn Lomasi - She is the hardest working writer I know.  Not only does she find time to write but she finds time to promote and help others on a regular basis.

Marie Anne St. Jean - I'm not big on crochet (even though I do enjoy reading about it and looking at new creations) but contributor of the year, in my opinion, isn't always about the content. Marie Anne has proven herself time and again as someone who will spend valuable time helping other contributors. She is more than willing to go out of her way for another contributor.

Lisa Mason - Not only is she kick-ass when it comes to content publishing but she spends time promoting and helping other writers.

Rookie of the Year

Kyla Matton - She produces good regular content which is hard to find in a new contributor. She's a "Rising Star" as well.  It also helps that she's a sweetheart!

Sylvie Branch - This newbie writer has blasted onto Y!CN with full force.  She has over 400 pieces of quality content, has a "Rising Star" award, has a Hot 100 badge, and is already sitting at Clout 9.

Kay Balbi - A "Rising Star" and Clout 9-er with over 400 pieces of content, too, Kay writes on a diverse range of topics.

Content of the Year 

When You Find a Breast Lump, Fear Takes Root - by Angie Mohr - This piece resonated with me because I am one of those women who is dealing with an unknown lump.  This article portrays exactly how I feel. 

Why Sunless Tanning Pills Are Dangerous - by Ann Olsen - A look at a dangerous trend.  Ann outlines exactly why you shouldn't take these pills.  It's eye opening. 

Stan Lee interview with Associated Content - by L. Vincent Poupard - From my perspective, I really shouldn't have to state why I nominated this piece; the headline speaks for itself. Larry has taken his status as a Yahoo! Contributor and taken it to the next level by interviewing the one and only comic book legend, Stan Lee. 

Homeschool Tips: Coping With Sending Your Kids to Traditional School - by Lyn Lomasi - This was a personal piece for Lyn as she dealt with this issue first hand.  As a mom, I understand this.  This article isn't all inclusive to homeschoolers, though.  My oldest will be in kindergarten next year and a lot of the points in the article pertains to that situation as well. 

Why Few Men Teach Elementary School - by Sterling Beaumont - This male elementary school teacher touches on a subject that isn't often thought about... unless you're actually a male elementary teacher.  It's a good perspective on a topic that doesn't get a lot of attention. 

My Story: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease After Childbirth - by Jan Corn - Many people have the misconception that PID can only come from having a sexually transmitted disease.  Not true. I also experienced this after giving birth. A great article and helps debunk a popular myth. 

What I Want You to Know - a Letter to My Daughters -  by Rodney Southern - This brought tears to my eyes and I think it will hit close to any parent. 

Business Alert: Terry's Complete Renovations - a Contracting Business in Scottsboro, Alabama (Video Link Included) - by Pamela Gifford - I'm nominating one of my own. I worked hard on this piece not for pay but so that no one else in my area would be pulled in by the shady contractor displayed in the article.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Using the "Resources" section to your advantage

When I first started with AC, I would often bypass the "Resources" section unless I found a link that I felt compelled to share.  Now that much of my work focuses on similar topics, I learned how I could use that section to place links to relevant or similar articles that I'd written. 

For some reason, though, it took me awhile to realize that I didn't just have to put the links there.  You can't use HTML in the box so it looked like the only option was to just have a link.  And not many people are going to click on a link without a headline of what it is.

So here's a little tip I picked up a while back: you can include the article title and then follow that with the link.  Click here for an example.  Scroll down and look on the right hand side under the tab "Resources".  You'll see how I'm able to utilize that section for previous articles I've written on the subject by including the headline and link.  I just wish I'd realized sooner that I could actually work it that way.

Friday, December 3, 2010

November 2010, Month End Review

So for the past two months, I've been whining about my page views on AC.  There's a sweet spot where if I pick a topic that gets good views and stick with it throughout the month, I do well.  For September and October, I never hit it.  November was a bit different and my page views once again increased enough for me to make a descent amount in performance pay before Christmas.  I've even managed to get my Hot 500 badge back! (It now says "Hot 500 Yahoo!" and is no longer a cute little flame, but that's cool.)
My Profile

But there were many more things that went on in November.  First, entertainment contributors were offered the opportunity to apply for a regular Yahoo!TV gig.  We opened an application window, told them what set us apart as television contributors, check marked what shows we kept up with on a regular basis and sent it in.  A short wait later, we received descent paying assignments that would test our ability to write for those shows on a regular basis.  For me, it included five shows, "Criminal Minds", "House", "American Idol", "NCIS", and "Blue Bloods".

As of right now, I've had the "NCIS" article and "Blue Bloods" article, which were both episode recaps, published on AC.  Now, I'm not sure if that means that I won't get those spots.  Recaps were allowed as part of the test articles but their timeliness in publishing is what makes page views.  The staff did not get around to publishing them until they were a few weeks past air date so inevitably, they went on AC and page views suck because they weren't timely.  Going to Yahoo! TV was more evergreen content.  My "American Idol" article has already been published over there and my "House" article, which is a comparison of House on vicoden vs House on Cuddy, was delivered to Yahoo! TV yesterday but hasn't been published yet.  My "Criminal Minds" article, which was a "best quotes" type thing, is still sitting in my queue waiting review.  I'm anxious, as I'm sure everyone who applied for the positions is, to see who gets the gigs.

November also saw the change from our status as an Associated Content contributor to the Yahoo! Contributor Network (has a nice ring to it).  There are still glitches to be worked out but I have confidence they will be remedied.  As long as I can publish and I'm getting page views and am getting paid, I can live with the glitches without getting too upset.  Annoyed at no notifications, yes.  Angry, no.  There's no point to it.  This was a huge roll out and was inevitable.  It still can't compare to the disaster that was's "upgrade".  After that, I can deal with the stuff YCN is going through.  (Once I hear back from Yahoo! about logo use, there will be a change in this blog's header, too, hint, hint!)

So November was a rising point for me.  And I continue on.

Be looking for an upcoming special post within the next week or two about the Yahoo! Contributor Awards.  Check your account page on YCN if you have no clue what I'm talking about.  I am planning a day devoted to reading and nominating my choices for these awards and I will post my choices on this blog in case you'd like to nominate them, too.  :)

I hope all the U.S. contributors had a lovely Thanksgiving.  Hope your Christmas (or whatever you celebrate this time of year) goes well.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where do my AC page views come from?

I never actually thought this would be such a sketchy issue but after a recent forum discussion, I'm inclined to post this bit of information just to clarify this for some contributors.

People who get a descent amount of page views get them from search results via Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. 

There is a misconception around the block that the majority of page views come from other contributors within the Yahoo! Contributor Network and Associated Content family.  If that were the case, the likes of the millionaires (displayed in the sidebar) would mean that they were superheroes when it comes to networking.  Well, yeah, some of them might be, but you'd have to have millions and millions of followers to get those kind of results.  It's just not feasible.  Now, if you are slowly inching along on page views, this might be true in your case.  How do you get better page views on Associated Content?  You can always post your work in the "Workshop" section of the YCN forums.  In addition, you can click here for the page views topic within this blog.

If you're looking for quick money and a sudden rise to fame on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, you're in for a big surprise.  Networking helps, but ultimately, it's not gonna amount to much.  Learn SEO, dig in and take advice from other contributors, most of whom are more than willing to lend their knowledge and advice.