29 Dec 2009

Health Blogger Wanted

A blog network is looking to recruit an experienced writer on health issues. Popular topics include weight loss, illnesses such as diabetes and cancer, daily aches and pains such as cold sores and self-image issues such as hair loss.

They want a writer with experience of writing for a health website and who can work with deadlines and editors, so any articles published on general writing websites such as eHow, Hubpages or Xomba do not count as health writing experience.

Payment per post start at $25 and can rise to $35 with payment made via Paypal. Full details of how to apply are posted here. You must include 2 previously unpublished articles which will be paid for if accepted by the network.

Subscribe to On Writing Online for more writing jobs.

28 Dec 2009

A Holiday Gift For Writers from Storyfix

A Christmas article from Larry Brooks's Storyfix blog sends out a repair kit wrapped in tinsel to all those aspiring writers with unwanted novels.

The message is clear and simple: if you are trying to bend the rules of storytelling to fit your novel, then stop it! Novel writing may be considered an art form but a story needs to have a structure so that it can be properly called a novel. There is an architecture of novel writing that is rarely taught but without which you will end up with an unsightly pile of words. Every architect needs a structural engineer. Storyfix is your structural engineer for novel writers.

Enjoy the New Year.

17 Dec 2009

Make Money Writing at eHow UK and Europe

Up until now, eHow was not only based in the USA but only accepted paid writers who were either American citizens or residents. Finally, eHow is dipping its toes into foreign lands and has established eHow UK. For the moment they are still not paying British writers but that must surely change soon, so I'm posting this as a heads-up to those Brits who would like to make some money on eHow.

Amazingly, the 'Join Now' link still doesn't work so you'll have to sign up at eHow.com and wait for the announcement. Sure, we can all write for eHow for free but what's the point in that?

Demand Media, owners of eHow, are also planning to expand across the big European countries but it is obviously easier to port existing English-langauge content from eHow.com to eHow.co.uk making an instant new website without (too many) translation issues.

Steven Kydd claims that thousands of people across Europe have already applied to write content so you may consider going directly to the Demand Media website and sending in a speculative application.

Is Article Writing Dead?

We've had junk food for years, now welcome to junk content.

And, just as junk food is not only the local market stall selling cheap sausages sizzling in recycled oil but is also a profitable global enterprise, so junk content is moving away from the scrapers and automated writing tools and going legit - or at least global.

AOL, that dinosaur that survived when the meteor hit, is churning itself into the disposable portal it was always doomed to be. You've no doubt read it in many places that the best way to write profitably is to launch lots of niche websites with minimal yet SEO-targetted content. Be smart and diligent enough and the numbers will start to stack up. The more worthless the content the higher the likelihood of someone clicking an advert just to find a quick exit to something potentially more interesting. This is now the AOL business model.

In "The End of Hand Crafted Content", TechCrunch writer bemoans this race to the bottom but vows to move on and stay competitive. For every bit of software, or cheap human, that spews out a mangled version of an original article and then rams it in front of an ignorant public, there are systems to track and list the origins of a story thereby rewarding once again the original producers.

The bottom line is money. The old media barons such as Murdoch were surprisingly late to the party as they couldn't figure out how to make any money on the net. They still can't figure it out but are desperate because the new media is eating away at their very existence. Murdoch's threat is to hide behind some payment system. I find it laughable that he should think this a good idea and he should take a long hard look at AOL to see his future. Maybe he should buy AOL and they can sink together.

But the sad truth is that shit sells - and free shit on the net is even better. There was some delusion a few years back that the internet would be different. Back then it was largely filled with techies, scientists, geeks and academics. They are still there but the noise to signal ratio is getting larger... and larger. But in the end we all create our very own individual internet. If a particular portal is spewing out crap we will find another one, assuming one will still exist.

For the writer, one has to decide whether you want to run a junk food franchise or your own gourmet restaurant. In physical space, both models co-exist. In cyberspace, where the food is free and paid for by fluctuating advertising the specialists will flounder, unless they stick together. Arianna Huffington is less pessimistic and insists that the likes of the Huffington Post can prosper in this free for all. But a close look at her final comments shows she can see the same kind of constellation taking place. The single solitary writer has to go where they feel most comfortable and where they will find an audience.

Many writers (or at least American writers) are making some money on eHow. This site shows what the bottom looks like when it is calculated by an algorithm. eHow is owned by Demand Media and they have developed a strict model of article titles they commission based on search and advertising bucks. You won't find anything on life, the universe and everything, but rather life, my family and that stain on the carpet. These are life's minutiae; things that some people obviously need to know, otherwise the article would never get written. But the pay is low and the quality I've seen is truly dreadful. You can read the full article at Wired and you can even copy the same model - just try to write better articles!

Original content is supposed to be king, but in the English language the word 'original' can have many meanings. AOL's writing factory is original in the sense that nobody else could put together those same words in that same order and think it worth publishing. eHow is a step up in that they hope their articles at least appear to be useful, or useful enough to be a stepping stone to an advert. When I take a step back and look at my favourite feeds I find that the writers are either paid a wage or are in another paid employment and write part-time. If originality is valued then it has to be paid for. How that is going to happen in the current online business model I just haven't figured it out yet.

22 Oct 2009

Portugal Property and Real Estate Writers Wanted

Portugal Property, Culture and Leisure Writers Wanted

A property company based in Portugal is looking for two writers to add to its team. Articles must have a property angle to them, but otherwise can be on a broad range of topics, such as holidays in Portugal, cuisine, leisure, travel, entertainment and Portuguese culture.

This will be an on-going position for the successful writer. The writer will be expected to produce about 20,000 words per month, with a mixture of full articles and blogs.

For full details and how to submit your first article just click here.


To find out full details please click on one of the links above. This freelance job is being offered by a third party and is listed here On Writing Online for the benefit of writers wishing to earn an income from contract writing. Please do not contact me directly as I have no further details. Thanks and good luck!

3 Aug 2009

The Ultimate List of Revenue Sharing Writing and Bookmarking Websites

Tired of seeing the same out of date lists getting copied around the net? Then here is the ultimate guide to bookmarking and article writing websites that are currently online, functioning and still paying. There are many sites that come and go or change focus that I will update this every few months.

If you find your favourite revenue sharing website missing then just leave a comment and let me know and I'll add it to the next edition. The current list has general websites that are either article directories or bookmarking sites and that pay their members out of advertising revenue. I have included revenue sharing bookmarking websites as they are useful for writers to promote their articles – and you get paid twice for no extra work.

The list below is more or less in decreasing order of traffic, at least according to Alexa. However, traffic and earnings are two totally different metrics and you'll just have to experiment to find those websites that earn you the most money. This seems to have more to do with the quality of your articles, the membership profile and the advertising value of your areas of interest than it does to raw traffic data. It also has to do with the ad placements in each website as well as the SEO and marketing done by each social media website.

Quick Guide

'Unique' means original articles not published elsewhere. 'Copyrighted' means original articles that you have authored but which may already be published on other websites. In this case it is a good idea to try and register the same, or very similar, usernames across multiple sites as this is the simplest way to see who the original author is. Most of these sites accept 'Articles' or 'Bookmarks' or both. Most websites accept 'Worldwide' members although I have noted those that have extra conditions. I have listed the current percentage 'Adshare' for the user as well as which sites calculate an 'Internal Revenue' and thus pay the user directly. Most have some 'Referral' commission and I have noted those that do not.

The List

[Articles (Unique) – USA only – Internal Revenue – No Referrals]
eHow is probably the most popular site on this list in terms of traffic. If you like writing 'How to' articles then this is place for you. Except, don't bother unless you live in the USA as they do not pay writers from other countries, although you can still submit articles if you think it will help your marketing efforts. For writers who have joined their Writer Compensation Program, revenue is calculated internally based on article popularity with payment via Paypal once $10 income is reached.

[Articles (Unique/Copyrighted) – Worldwide – 60% Adshare – 10% Referral Adshare]
Hubpages has been around a while and you can earn from Adsense, Amazon, eBay and Kontera. You can also add Hubpages to your Google Analytics, which is a huge bonus in finding out which articles (or hubs in Hubpages jargon) are earning the most. Unique articles preferred but you may post previously published articles although they now get penalty points although still earn money. One nice tool is that you can add your Hubpages affiliate code to any article rather than just a signup page.

[Articles (Unique) – Worldwide – 50% Adshare – No Referral]
Triond is different to the other sites in that rather than having different categories on the one website they have created lots of separate websites for each broad area of interest. Your articles are screened but don't worry, from what I've seen the standards are not high. Your earnings are calculated internally based on a secret formula and related to how many pageviews your articles get. Unique articles only. Monthly payments using Paypal with a minimum payout of just $0.50.

[Articles/Bookmarks (Unique/Copyrighted) – Worldwide – 50% Internal Adshare - $5 Referral]
Squidoo is the kind of site you either love or hate. You really do need a network of friends to get your lenses (Squidoo-speak for articles) seen and read. As lenses can be complex documents the only way to get noticed is to create at least one mega-lens and keep updating it. Earnings come from a variety of sources, including Google Adsense, Amazon, eBay and others, and are calculated by Squidoo. They pay authors by Paypal and you can set your minimum payout as low as $1. Your $5 referral commission is paid once a new member earns at least $15.

Associated Content
[Articles (Unique/Copyrighted) – USA/Worldwide - $1.50 CPM – No Referrals]
Associated Content pays per article view rather than sharing Adsense impressions, currently set at $1.50 per 1,000 pageviews. If you are a citizen of the USA you can also submit original articles for an upfront payment, which is far more lucrative. If you live anywhere else in the world then you're stuck with the miserly $1.50, but just copy your existing content and it's free money for little work. Also, although Associated Content publishes referral codes there is no indication anywhere that this actually earns anything for the referrer.

[Articles (Unique) – Worldwide (?) - Internal Revenue – 5% Referrals]
Helium is one of those websites you either love or hate. It has a somewhat complicated income structure based on the community's perceived quality of articles and their popularity. This means you may initially not be earning anything until you jump into their minimum one-star rating. Once accepted, they will pay you through Paypal once a minimum of $25 has been accumulated. They should accept writers from any country but, like all companies using Paypal, there are some countries they cannot accept writers from – I put a question mark because I have seen a few people complain that their payment request was not honoured because of their country of origin, but only after they'd accumulated earnings. To avoid wasting your time it is best to ask admin first. But Helium is more than just an article directory. They can pay an up-front fee for some articles, and have a marketplace in which writers can get paid contracts as well as numerous writing competitions.

[Articles (Unique) – Worldwide – 50% Internal Adshare – No Referrals]
Suite101 is often ignored from lists such as this – I suspect just because they don't have any affiliate earnings. Suite101 is an article directory with strict guidelines for authors on layout and keyword use, with each article being reviewed by an editor. Earnings are based upon a 50% share but are calculated by Suite101, who issue payment by Paypal with a minimum payout of just $10. They have many categories and it is still possible to become a Featured Writer. The writer agreement does let you republish your articles elsewhere after one year.

[Articles/Bookmarks (Unique/Copyrighted) – Worldwide – 50% Adshare – 10% Referral Adshare]
Xomba is a social media website that accepts both full articles and bookmarks – these are respectively known as Xombytes and Xomblurbs. Adsense share is 50% to the author, plus a 10% recurring share for referrals. Perhaps the only website to have maintained a good mix of original articles plus bookmarks to interesting off-site content. Has just undergone a major website redesign, with lots more features to keep viewers reading.

[Articles (Unique/Copyrighted) – Worldwide – Revenue per Pageview – 3-Tier Referrals]
Bukisa is a social media article directory accepting both unique content as well as copyrighted content that you may have already published elsewhere. Has an interesting payment structure and referral system. Bukisa revenue changes according to their Bukisa Index, which is the amount they pay per unique visitor – this is currently $3.45. This is different to pageviews hence the value is much higher than AC's $1.50 CPM. They also have a 3-tiered referral system where you earn 25% of the earnings of your direct referrants plus a quarter of what your first tier earns from the next two tiers down. OK, a little complex but they explain it fully in their FAQ and this could be the most lucrative part of joining Bukisa. Minimum payment is $10 via Paypal.

[Articles (Unique Only) – Worldwide – 75% Adshare – 2% Referral Adshare]
Infobarrel is a social media website where you can create articles, videos, pictures or sound clips. Unique articles are preferred and all articles are read first by editors who then either approve or deny publication. Like Triond, this is really just to stop complete junk rather than a sign of high quality writing. Writers get 75% of ad impressions from Adsense, with 2% of impressions from referrals.

[Bookmarks/Blogs (Unique/Copyrighted) – Worldwide – 80% Adshare – 10% Referral Adshare]
Infopirate has morphed into a revenue sharing bookmarking website. There is the facility to post full articles or blog posts but this currently seems under-used and members concentrate on posting bookmarks. Adsense share is 80% to the member, which is one of highest payments around, with an additional on-going 10% for all referrals.

[Articles (Any!) – Worldwide – 100% Adshare – No Referrals]
Flixya is better known as a social media website where users can share videos and images. It does, however, have a section devoted to sharing the written word: articles. You get 100% of Adsense impressions, with Flixya claiming they make enough from other advertising on their site on non-member pages. However, their article section is filled with copy and pastes from article directories with no control over copyright issues. If you can get your articles noticed then this could be a good site, just don't expect any meaningful feedback beyond 'be my friend' messages.

[Bookmarks – Worldwide – 50% Adshare – 25% Referral Adshare]
Tagfoot is a fairly new social bookmarking site, and still officially in beta, but has an active community and the bookmarklet works like a dream. There is a little bit of a hurdle to overcome before your Adsense code can be activated – it just means proving you're an honest and valuable member and that your bookmarks don't suck. A well-designed site with lots of features that is begging for more traffic.

She Told Me
[Bookmarks – Worldwide – 100% Ad views (50% AdShare) – 33% Referral Adshare]
She Told Me is a very new bookmarking website. Their Adsense revenue sharing percentages need, however, a little explanation. Most websites will split the user's and admin's advert codes into the same ad units using a simple random number generator and depending on the published revenue share. At SheToldMe the code is simpler: your ad unit is shown on all your content pages - hence they claim 100% Adsense revenue share – but your advert is shown on only one ad unit out of two (essentially a 50% split). If you refer a new member then your ad unit is ahown on all of their pages too but as a third advert (hence I quote a 33% referral share). SheToldMe has lots of room to grow which means good potential for such referral earnings.

[Articles (Unique) – Worldwide – 100% Revenue – No Referrals]
Qassia has just recently been renamed Qondio and is undergoing somewhat of a transformation. Articles, known as 'intel' (for intelligence), are first screened and voted on by 12 other members after which they are published or rejected. This quality control has its merit but means your articles are not earning anything during this period and then can get buried if the average vote is mediocre. They do have an innovative advertising solution using uniQlicks advertising manager so that writers can mix together different revenue streams on one page. There may be more changes to come so worth taking a look.

[Articles/Discussions – Worldwide – Pay per Activity – 25% Referral]
MyLot is different to all the other websites so far listed in that it is essentially a discussion forum and members are paid per activity. This may seem far removed from traditional article writing but if you like writing controversial op-ed pieces then this may be a subsidiary income stream whilst showcasing your original writing. The actual formula that generates income is now kept secret, which has the small benefit that MyLot won't go broke, but don't expect more than about a dollar a day without active referrals. Minimum payout is $10 via Paypal.

[Articles/Comments – Worldwide – Pay per Activity - $1 Referral Commission]
MyPage5 is a new social networking website that allows users to blog and share videos etc. It is in some ways similar to MyLot in that it pays users per activity, such as adding an article or comment. MyPage5 does currently publish the income per activity so users can easily calculate earnings. In the past, such business models fail because of abuse and lack of advertising income. However, about a dollar a day is a nice little earner for people in many countries so worth a look. The referral commission is a one-off $1 per new member so long as they start being active.

[Quizzes – Worldwide – Internal Revenue – Referral Commission]
This is another of those websites that may seem out of place here, but then again writers seem to earn money from a huge range of different activities. At Pickjack you earn money by writing interesting multiple-choice questions. You are paid by how popular the questions are and there is a referral commission, but both formulas are kept an in-house secret. The one thing that makes this site a little time-consuming is having to answer 20 questions before you can submit one of yours but they've speeded this up by batching them as 'Take 10'. One useful thing from a marketing point is that every question has to link to an authoritative source for the correct answer, so if you've written an informative article just think up a good question and link to your own article rather than to Wikipedia.

And finally...

I will update this in a few months, but in the meantime feel free to comment on any websites I have missed out. The above list does, however, have certain criteria to it. The website must pay the writer, usually a share of the advertising, either indirectly through using the writer's own affiliate code such as Adsense, or directly by calculating the revenue in-house and issuing periodic payments, usually via Paypal or cheque. This list is for the benefit of writers so that any site that shares videos or images, or bookmarks of any other media, are not included. The website must also be immediately usable as soon as a new user signs up. Having some editorial overview or moderated content is fine but I have not included sites that go through an application process much like seeking new employment. I would like to include more blogging networks but most of them have a screening process and you should already have a personal blog to show the quality of your writing. There seem to be sites that claim to be blogging networks but are actually just blog hosts, at which point, without the benefits of shared traffic and cross-promotions, they are no better at showcasing one's writing than using Blogger. All the above social media sites are general in content. I would be happy to include niche revenue sharing social media websites if they exist.

Good luck with the writing!

1 Aug 2009

sulumits retsambew

Now there's a title! What does "sulumits retsambew" mean? What's it for? What is the point?

Well, the meaning is actually quite straightforward: it's just "webmaster stimulus" spelled backwards. Now that wasn't too hard, was it?! However, the point of the whole exercise is an interesting SEO (search engine optimization) competition run by the forum Net Builders.

The aim of the competition is to see which 3 websites hit the top spots on Google.com. The competition started in March and ends on 15th August 2009 at high noon GMT. So only a couple of weeks for budding SEO experts to try and beat the current crop of top websites. To enter the contest, you must post the domain you are entering into the contest in a message here at NetBuilders.

There are prizes too!
First Place: $1,000
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $250

OK, this may seem slightly frivolous so late in the day but one interesting comparison is whether all those newly registered "sulumits retsambew" domains will beat more established websites with articles or features using the keywords. Is the domain name more important than the content? Some of the websites I've peeked at don't have much meaningful content at all and yet rank highly on Google. In one sense this shows that SEO is vital to get noticed... and content is crucial to get people coming back!

Writer’s Digest - 101 Best Websites for Writers 2009

Introducing our 11th annual 101 Best Websites for Writers. This year we sifted through more than 2,700 nominations and pulled the best of the bunch. The list, which features more blogs and free market listings than in years past, has been divided into eight sections: Creativity and Challenges, General Resources, Agent Blogs, Publishing Resources, Jobs and Markets, Writing Communities, Genres/Niches and Fun for Writers.

Strangely, no category for best online revenue sharing websites, although Helium gets a mention in the jobs market category.

29 Jul 2009

Make Money Bookmarking: Update With Two New Paying Websites

In a previous article I somewhat lamented that I could only find two active websites that had revenue sharing systems for bookmarking: Xomba and Infopirate. There are many old lists that drift around the net like flotsam claiming hundreds of adsense revenue sharing sites but one look and most of them have either died or have dropped the money-making side. However, there are two new ones I've found to add to your list of money-making bookmarking sites: Tagfoot and SheToldMe.

Tagfoot is primarily a social bookmarking website that shares its revenue 50-50 with its members. This is the same split as Xomba, with Infopirate's share being 80-20 in favour of its members. But Tagfoot has a very healthy referral commission with 25% of your affiliate earnings going to you. Tagfoot is comparatively new compared to the others but has lots of nice features that make bookmarking a very fast and painless process. SheToldMe sells itself as 100% adsense revenue share but this is not quite true. Yes, one Adsense unit on your pages is yours but the other two belong to the admin and your referrer. So your ad gets shown on 100% of your page views but you only get a third of the advertising space.

Now, I don't like cluttering my browser with too many toolbars but Tagfoot's 'Sidefoot' bookmarklet is just one small icon and works like a dream. Once installed just go to any website you wish to bookmark, highlight a piece of relevant text and click on the Sidefoot icon. You have various options as to which category to place your bookmark, such as under news, videos, images etc. The URL, page title and highlighted text are all automatically copied, leaving you to just write a few appropriate tags. In just a few seconds your bookmark has been added to Tagfoot! Compared to some other bookmarklets I have found this to be the fastest. SheToldMe also has a bookmarklet that works fine but doesn't pick up as much information from your bookmarked page and the server sometimes goes AWOL.

Comparing the four sites, Xomba is both an article directory and a bookmarking website, Infopirate has the potential to have full articles in their blog section but that seems currently under-used and is primarily a bookmarking site. In contrast, Tagfoot and SheToldMe are wholly devoted to bookmarking and the description field is limited to 500 characters. You can. of course, use it to promote your writing on other sites or, as I've suggested before, to make some money bookmarking the websites you are using in your research.

One major difference between Tagfoot and the other three is that there is a 'trial period' between you joining Tagfoot and having your Google Adsense code activated. This is no doubt to avoid spammers and other undesirables and also gives you a chance to know your way around the site and how to use the various features. The minimum requirement is to bookmark at least 10 pages in each category and to achieve a 'footness' of 1000. The latter is a kind of sociability index and it shouldn't take more than a few days to qualify, after which you'll need to request from support to activate your Adsense code. Once done, then all your bookmarks will be earning money, even those added during your trial period.

Although traffic to Tagfoot is not as yet as high as to the other sites, the ease of bookmarking and the overall site design means this is an attractive addition to the paid to bookmark sector. SheToldme is very new so has good potential to gain referral income as well as having increased visibility of your own bookmarks.

How to Write Something Unpopular

Now, everyone wants to be popular. We want admiration, we want comments, we want fame and fortune. So online writers try to write popular pieces. Unfortunately, trying too hard just doesn't work. Today I came across an article "Five Things You Should Avoid Writing About". It was worthless rubbish, but it was popular rubbish. However, it was popular precisely because it was unpopular with a large number of commenters. It's a really difficult trick to pull off consciously. The writer thought he was obviously being sensible but people who've been writing online for far longer just thought it laughably juvenile. Writing something offensive is not the idea - that will just lead to flames and possibly deletion. But to write something so banal that people feel the urge to respond and tell you how you've wasted a few minutes of their lives is pure genius.

Try it and see if you can pull it off.

28 Jul 2009

Get Paid to Blog at Weblogs

Step right up and apply to blog for one of our 90 fine blogs -- or suggest a blog topic and maybe we'll start a new blog! WIN bloggers are paid to blog as little or as much as they like, are unfiltered, and can shift from blog to blog within the network. Our only requirements are that you be totally honest with your audience and passionate about the subjects you cover. Talk to our editorial team if you're interested!

Some of these blogs are already well-established, such as Engadget, but there are many niche themes to suit all tastes and interests. Not all are in English either, so if your native tongue is Chinese or Spanish, or a handful of others, then take a look at which blogs are available. If you're really passionate about a subject that doesn't yet have a blog then make your sales pitch, but make sure you already have your own personal blog which you update regularly and with a few killer posts. Good luck!

27 Jul 2009

How To Write Articles For Cracked.com and Get Paid

Now, you may, or may not, enjoy the scurrilous humour of Cracked.com. You may, indeed, have been blissfully unaware of what Cracked.com is. But if articles such as "5 Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a Pussy" or "7 Insane Ads That Have No Clue What They're Selling" sound hilarious then you too can ape this style and get yourself published on Cracked.

Cracked are always on the look-out for warped individuals who have not yet been institutionalized. So if you'd like to boost your online kudos or have nothing left to lose then take a look at how Cracked can give meaning to your life. There are a few hoops to jump over and lots of cracks to fall through but don't worry... just be yourself. Many on the forum try far too hard to be funny all the time, even when just logging in.

You may, or may not, have what it takes but... give it a crack!

26 Jul 2009

Backup Your Twitter Data and Blog with Bloggled

I have written before on the frustration and loss of work that comes from having one's Twitter account suspended. Since writing that piece have noticed numerous other people equally bemused and angry at Twitter's seeming disregard for fairness.

It isn't just the loss of the account - it's easy enough to open a new one - but all the accumulated data that goes with it. It takes time to grow organically and having hundreds of followers wiped from your network is just not funny. The loss of tweets is perhaps less serious but they could be a source of new links that you just never got round to bookmarking. Twitter itself has no backup feature. This in itself is an oversight but let's not forget that Blogger only recently introduced a backup facility to save blog contents.

Well, in steps Bloggled and its Twitter Backup utility. Now you can periodically save everything so that if your Twitter account is ever suspended it will only be half a disaster. Bloggled has a 30 day free trial for its Twitter Backup service, after which it costs $4.99 per month.

Alternatively, as Twitter sends out an email every time you have a new follower you should save those in a dedicated folder. This doesn't help you remember who you yourself are following. In this case you'll have to save each twitter page that lists your followers. I know, tedious, hence you may find the Twitter backup service useful. It will also automatically backup Blogger blogs, just in case you forget.

17 Jul 2009

Writers Wanted With a Background in the Auto Industry

Title: Looking For Writers Who Have a Background Within the Auto Industry

Description: Looking for writers who can assist with our aftermarket car parts online store, insixthgear.com or also known as ISG. We carry aftermarket parts for Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and more. Our line
includes body kits, wheels, suspension kits, brakes, engine upgrades, and accessories.

Looking to pay .04 cents per word ($40 per 1,000 words) . This project is from the ground up so there is plenty of work to go around.

Subjects: Sample can be the the first body kit on our inventory list, which is the ABT Sportline.

URL: http://www.insixthgear.com/body-kits.htm

All content must be unique.

Other notes: Writer must be knowledgeable in what types of cars each body kit caters to. Some companies cater to Japanese, German or American cars.


To find out full details please click on one of the links above. This freelance job is being offered by a third party and is listed here On Writing Online for the benefit of writers wishing to earn an income from contract writing. Please do not contact me directly as I have no further details. Thanks and good luck!

7 Jul 2009

How to Blog Without Killing Yourself

The original title was “Scalable Blogging Behaviors: How to Grow from 1 to 1,000,000 Readers” and the content did not change.

In the presentation below, including detailed screenshots, Tim Ferriss covers…

- Why I blog
- How I blog and select best practices
- Frequency and tools — best times and days to post
- Blogging myths and how to harness data for better results
- Testing design and surprising findings that can be copied
- How I address comments and community building
- How I write and research for good social media response
- 20 minutes of audience Q&A on Twitter, branding, outsourcing, and much more

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed giving it.

From the Blog of Tim Ferriss.

26 Jun 2009

Articles Wanted on Aquarium Fish

Title:Fish Profile
Description:I want the structure of all articles to be the same. Here is how I want them:

1st paragraph: should talk about where the fish is from and what's is natural environment.

2nd paragraph: should describe the fish. This part is really important. People should be able to identify the fish after reading this.

3rd paragraph: Should talk about keeping this fish in the aquarium. Here are examples of what I am looking for: ideal setup, water parameter and best condition, aggressiveness, compatibility with other fish, feeding,
hardiness, minimum tank size and any other important fact about this fish.

I wrote over 600 saltwater fish profiles like this. If you know about aquarium fish and have some good references, writing this article should be quite easy.

I will buy full rights for this article.

Please contact me if you have any questions
Amount of articles:17
Price per article:$10-20
Length of article:500 - 600
Subjects:Celestial goldfish
Ranchu goldfish
Lionhead goldfish
Pom-pon goldfish
Telescope-eye goldfish
Moor goldfish
Ryukin goldfish
Oranda goldfish
Pearlscale goldfish
Fantail goldfish
Jikin goldfish
Platy Fish
Oscar - (Astronotus spp.)
Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae
Moenkhausia pittieri
Hemigrammus bleheri
Date requested:2009-06-25


To find out full details please click on one of the links above. This freelance job is being offered by a third party and is listed here On Writing Online for the benefit of writers wishing to earn an income from contract writing. Please do not contact me directly as I have no further details. Thanks and good luck!

Selling on Ebay Articles Wanted

Title:Ebay selling
Description:Just looking for 400-600 word articles about selling on ebay
Amount of articles:3
Price per article:$10-20
Length of article:400-600

As three articles are needed by the publisher it may be prudent to ask what the focus should be. As Ebay continues to be popular, if your articles are not purchased by this particular publisher you can leave them on Constant Content priced to sell to other website and blog owners.


To find out full details please click on one of the links above. This freelance job is being offered by a third party and is listed here On Writing Online for the benefit of writers wishing to earn an income from contract writing. Please do not contact me directly as I have no further details. Thanks and good luck!

10 Jun 2009

The Complete Google Analytics Power User Guide

This is a useful series of articles on how to set up Google Analytics and how to understand the wealth of data available to you. Google Analytics is a powerful way to analyse traffic to your site but it can be an intimidating environment for the novice user. Google Analytics was originally designed to be integrated with Google Adwords so that advertisers could track the effectiveness of their campaigns, such as which were the most profitable sources of traffic. However, it can now also be integrated with Google Adsense so that publishers can also see which are the best performing pages and how people reach them.

As I am writing this with writers in mind, and specifically article writers on revenue sharing websites, I will go through some of the articles with this particular focus. If you wish to dive in immediately then just go to VKI's "The Complete Google Analytics Power user Guide".

The first thing you obviously need to do is set up a Google Analytics account. This Setup Checklist is a useful guide to the whole process. But before doing so it is worth asking a couple of questions. What do I need to be able to use Google Analytics? And, how can it help me?

The first question is particularly important as in order to make use of Google Analytics you will have to be able to insert a tracking code into your website. If you have your own website or a blog then just follow the Analytics help pages on where to insert the tracking code and you should have no problems. However, if you are only writing for third party websites then this user guide stops here! As of writing, the only site I know of where you can integrate your Analytics tracking code is Hubpages - if anybody knows of other sites that have enabled this then please let us all know. If you are writing at Hubpages then read on.

If you're still with me then the second question is worth thinking about. The Google Analytics Profile pages and Reports can look complicated so it is worth focussing on what precisely you wish to achieve so that you can put together the most relevant tools and ignore the rest for the moment.

If you are writing online then probably the most important metric is your Adsense earnings, but this is not necessarily the case for all writers. You might be making more from affiliate links than Adsense and wish to analyse those. You may even be making a significant income from freelance contracts from your website and wish to see how prospective clients navigate through to the all-important contact page. You may find that you're getting significant traffic from unexpected countries but that they are not clicking adverts because your articles are not targeted enough to those nationals. All of these things can be done through Google Analytics but it's worth knowing why you might need it and why it might be worth the time and effort spent in learning how to use it.

Now that you've setup your Goggle Analytics account, what now? The Setup Checklist is the best place to start, but I'll write a little more in the next article.

4 Jun 2009

"Why credit report errors appear on my credit report and how to fix them" Article Wanted

Title: Why credit report errors appear on my credit report and how to fix them.

Description:Please try to identify a lot of reasons why the errors get into the credit report. Explain how these errors can be prevented.

Did you know that simple mistake in your name in credit application will automatically add this name as a variation of your name on your credit report, a mistake in social security number will be added to the report as well.

Amount of articles:1
Price per article:$40-50
Length of article:600

Subjects:Please don't write simple blah blah, I need facts and examples, be detailed. Try to dig deeper and find more reasons. The article should be logical from beginning to the end. I will pay for this article $40 for unique rights and $50 for full rights if I like the article.


To find out full details please click on one of the links above. This freelance job is being offered by a third party and is listed here On Writing Online for the benefit of writers wishing to earn an income from contract writing. Please do not contact me directly as I have no further details. Thanks and good luck!

3 Jun 2009

Articles Wanted on Registry Tools and Registry Cleaners

A number of articles are needed about Windows Registry cleaners and tools.

Firstly, five reviews wanted of 350 words for each of these products:

- RegCure
- Registry Mechanic
- Registry Easy
- Jv16 Power Tools
- Perfect Optimizer

Reviews to include the following headings: Summary, Pros, Cons, Likes, Dislikes, and Bottom
Line. Must be unique and should have more than 50 words per paragraph title.

The same publisher is also looking for 4 articles of 450-600 words on Registry Cleaners in general: how to, why we need registry tools, tips, and so forth. The aim is to help prospective buyers understanding what the process the need make to keep their computer safe, fast and like new.

2 Articles about "How To"
1 Tips Article
1 Article About News and "Why we need a registry tool"

To find out full details please click on one of the links above. This freelance job is being offered by a third party and is listed here On Writing Online for the benefit of writers wishing to earn an income from contract writing. Please do not contact me directly as I have no further details. Thanks and good luck!

2 Jun 2009

Article Wanted About Adam Lambert

Title:Adam Lambert
Description:I would like a short post on why Lambert has so many fans
around the world. It must be positive.
Amount of articles:1
Price per article:$10-20
Length of article:300

To find out full details please click on one of the links above. This freelance job is being offered by a third party and is listed here On Writing Online for the benefit of writers wishing to earn an income from contract writing. Please do not contact me directly as I have no further details. Thanks and good luck!

Article Wanted on Making Natural Beauty Products at Home

Title: Natural Beauty Products
Description:Using natural foods you can find in your fridge to make your
own beauty products at home.
Amount of articles:1
Price per article:$10-20
Length of article:300

To find out full details please click on one of the links above. This freelance job is being offered by a third party and is listed here On Writing Online for the benefit of writers wishing to earn an income from contract writing. Please do not contact me directly as I have no further details. Thanks and good luck!

Articles Wanted on Forex Trading

Title: Forex Articles
Description:Looking for someone who can write 15 articles about forex.
Some of the articles can be generic, others educational and a few
comparing various forex platform providers such as fxcm, dbfx and
Amount of articles:15
Price per article:$10-20
Length of article:350
fx trading
forex platforms
Date requested:2009-06-01
Other notes:Need them all within 1 week

To find out full details please click on one of the links above. This freelance job is being offered by a third party and is listed here On Writing Online for the benefit of writers wishing to earn an income from contract writing. Please do not contact me directly as I have no further details. Thanks and good luck!

31 May 2009

Making Sense of Google's Adsense Reports

I have been asked a few times about the meaning of some of the data in Google's Adsense reports, so here is a short list plus some strategies to increase earnings.

The basic reports page within Adsense gives numbers for Page Impressions, Clicks, Page CTR, Page eCPM and Earnings.

Page Impressions and Clicks should be fairly obvious. Note that Page Impressions shows the number of times your page or article has been viewed, not the number of ad impressions. So if you have three Adsense units on one page it will still count as one page impression, not three. The Adsense for Feeds data, however, gives the actual number of ad impressions.

Page CTR is the Click Through Rate and is simply the number of Clicks divided by the number of Page Impressions expressed as a percentage. Your Earnings are obviously the total value of all the Clicks and is the actual amount you will be paid once you have accumulated at least $100 in unpaid earnings by the end of a calendar month.

The value that seems to cause some confusion is the eCPM, which is the "effective cost-per-thousand impressions". I have no idea why they have called it this as a "cost" is to the advertisers whereas for publishers like us it is an "income". Anyway, to cut through the confusion, all this number really represents is the your Earnings divided by your Page Impressions - that's all! However, this raw number is likely to be in fractions of a cent so to make it look more meaningful it is scaled up by a factor of one thousand. So if you look at your Adsense earnings and have exactly 1,000 Page Impressions then your eCPM will be exactly the same as your Earnings. One direct comparison that can be made is with those revenue sharing websites that pay per page view. Associated Content pays $1.50 per 1,000 page views and Bukisa pays a variable amount but roughly $3.50 per unique page view. Your eCPM should be much higher than these.

One value that Google does not give in their reports but which I find useful is the average earnings per click. To keep track of this you'll need to download one of the csv files and calculate the figure within a spreadsheet: it is just the Earnings divided by Clicks. These earnings per click (EPC) can then be compared to the theoretical Cost per Click (CPC) published in Google's Keyword Tool, as well as to the Potential Earnings (PE) that I described in my article on finding the most profitable keywords.

So, what can we do with these numbers? The ultimate aim is obviously to increase our total Earnings but a quick look at some of these basic statistics can be a guide to what to do in order to drive up that income.

A high CTR but low eCPM shows that your articles are well-focussed with relevant adverts that people click but with low unit values: this would show up in your spreadsheet as a low EPC. Analyze your pages to see which keywords are being picked up then put these through the Keywords Tool to see whether there are higher paying keyword combinations within the same topic. It may just be a matter of adding more focus to the keywords or writing more articles about very specific areas within your broader topic.

A high eCPM but with low CTR shows that the articles are generating high-value adverts but few people are clicking them. Sadly, your article may be too good! Your article may be so good that readers don't need to look elsewhere, or you may have too many links within your text. Remember that people are more likely to click on a contextual link rather than an obvious advert. Try either taking out all the links or, alternatively, create quick bookmarks and link to those instead. Give people a good reason to want more and hopefully that extra is an advert.

A high eCPM with average CTR but low Page Impressions means having to focus on generating more traffic. Everything seems to be working well apart from the lack of readers. One thing is to link your articles together. This may be a link to your private blog, to an index page or contextual links to previous articles. The other thing is to start promoting your articles on social bookmarking websites. Sure, they don't in themselves earn money directly but they can be a good source of traffic. Don't spam them as they will ban you for it, but try to promote one of your articles plus one other site and you should be fine. One other trick is to do a search for your article's keywords and see which links come in the first two or three pages. Many will be blogs or forums or news sites; if there is an opportunity to comment then do so with a link back to a relevant article. Yet again, spamming can be counter-productive as your comment may be deleted and you will be banned from commenting again.

A very low eCPM is a sign that your articles are just not generating very much income. Writing about philosophy, life, the universe and everything may be personally enriching but it won't fill your wallet. If you're happy doing so then fine. If income is of secondary importance but you'd quite like to dine out at Google's expense every so often then think about mixing a few quick and tightly focused bookmarks to complement your longer articles.

The ultimate aim is to increase one's total Earnings. Hopefully I have shown that even with the basic report data it is possible to see which areas need some work to improve that all-important monthly income. Any other advice you feel I've left out then please leave a comment.

22 May 2009

Articles Wanted on Natural Weight Loss

Title: Natural Weight Loss
Description:I am currently collecting articles related to Natural Weight
Loss, Fitness, and everything related. This is for a holistic web site and
therefore I will only be considering articles written with such an
audience in mind. I'm ONLY buying full-rights articles!
Amount of articles:100
Price per article:$20-30
Length of article:any
Subjects:Natural Weight Loss
Dangers of "Bad Dieting"
Anything else you think may apply.
Date requested:2009-05-21
Other notes:I am limited to paying $25 for an article, and will accept
ONLY full-rights articles. Please don't waste my time or yours submitting
anything else, it's very annoying and will get you nowhere.

To find out full details please click on one of the links above. This freelance job is being offered by a third party and is listed here On Writing Online for the benefit of writers wishing to earn an income from contract writing. Please do not contact me directly as I have no further details. Thanks and good luck!

20 May 2009

Twitter Account Suspended? What to do next.

What To Do If Your Twitter Account Has Been Suspended

Your Twitter account has been suspended. You're confused and angry and want answers. You're not alone; this is becoming a frequent occurrence and Twitter admin like to hide behind some fairly nebulous terms of service.

The bottom line is that Twitter reserves the right “to refuse service to anyone for any reason at anytime.”. They can suspend your account for any reason without telling you why. If you know why you're account has been suspended then you probably won't need to read this and can merrily go ahead and create another account. If you're afraid of losing the network you have established and any reputation you feel you have gained then read on.

Twitter has gone from a lowly start-up to a major online presence in a short time, but their resources are just not keeping up with their new status. This seems to be affecting both their physical resources such as servers and bandwidth as well as their human resources such as their help system. If you feel that you need to use Twitter then you will have to protect yourself from account suspension and the consequences that arise from it, but that's for another article.

One example of this is that Twitter's help pages have a number of dead links. This look bad and means having to go the long way round to find out how to complain about your account suspension. There seem to be two ways to seek to get your account reinstated.

Twitter Support

Twitter Support currently uses the Zendesk platform to generate help tickets and (hopefully) answer them. This means they have two URLs that point to the same place:


If they ever stop using Zendesk then the first URL should still work.

If your account has recently been suspended and has not been deleted then you can login to this helpdesk with the same details as your Twitter account. Some people have found it expedient to create another Twitter account and use those details to open tickets about their suspended account. This can be useful as some users have found they can no longer login to the helpdesk if their Twitter account was terminated. The downside is that if Twitter upholds the original account suspension then you may find your new account also targeted. This choice is yours.

Online companies often hide behind the anonymity the internet affords them and Twitter is no different. You will firstly receive an automated response, which merely means a human may eventually look at your case. Most people's reaction is to then send an angry reply. From reading some people's stories the best way to get your suspended account reinstated is to make a clear logical case that you have done nothing against Twitter's TOS.

Mistakes happen and there are unpleasant people out there who want to take you off the net just because they don't like your politics, religion, race, sexual orientation or whatever. There are also spam rings on Twitter and if you unfortunately follow one of them accidentally you may be flagged as part of the ring. Whatever the reason for your suspension you might, or might not, get to know and can then act upon it either with a new account or your reinstated account.

Get Satisfaction

The second place where you can complain about your Twitter account suspension is at Get Satisfaction. This is similar to Zendesk but has the advantage that it is also a forum and other users can comment on your case and share experiences. This means you're not alone in dealing with Twitter and can see who has been reinstated and who hasn't.

Get satisfaction also has a section of Twitter Known Issues. This lists known bugs on Twitter that have led to various account problems such as the inability to login, tweets or followers gone missing and accounts accidentally blocked. If you had a lot of followers you can try to get them to support your reinstatement here. That, however, assumes you've kept an offline list of your followers: how many people do that?

Will you get your Twitter account reinstated?
Maybe, maybe not.

How long will it take?
How long is an elastic band? They seem woefully under-staffed and have seen accounts reinstated after 2 months!

Is it worth the aggravation?
That really depends on how much effort you've put into your Twitter community. If you really feel you haven't done anything wrong then it is worth pursuing as otherwise you're likely to fall into the same trap with a new account.

Where can I find Twitter's Terms of Service?
Here are Twitter's Terms of Service and Rules Policies. The section that probably affects most people is their Twitter Rules page.

Good luck... just don't hold your breath waiting.

19 May 2009

Articles Wanted on Affiliate Marketing

Title:Affiliate Marketing Blog Post
Description:I am looking for folks with knowledge of affiliate marketing
to write blog posts on the subject. I am looking for exclusive rights to
this content under the unique content category. Again I want to be able
to have some go to writers I can rely on consistently.
Amount of articles:ongoing
Price per article:$40-50
Length of article:500-800
Subjects:The subject again is affiliate marketing and I'm looking for
quality content. I want to be able to review the article in full before
Date requested:2009-05-18

Please note, this job is available at Constant Content; to see full details just click on the links and sign up. This is published here for the benefit of readers of On Writing Online and to show that there are freelance opportunities beyond revenue sharing websites, but please do not email me about this as the work is offered by a third party. Thanks.

16 May 2009

Make Extra Money Using Monetized Short URLs in Articles and Twitter

You've all heard of Tinyurl: the short URL service that turns long unwieldy URLs into short ones you can easily post on forums, chatrooms or micro-blogging sites like Twitter. Well, that's nice but now I've found two services that have monetized the short URL market - adf.ly and Linkbee.

How They Work

Linkbee and adf.ly work in very similar ways. Just as you would with Tinyurl, just input your long URL and the services will abbreviate them for you. The diference is that when someone clicks on your link there is an advert before they are taken to the actual website. You are paid for every click-through. As both systems are fairly new the rates tend to vary, but even so, it is an extra bit of income for your contextual links.

The adf.ly service just has interstitial adverts, which are monetized landing pages before automatically going to the actual link, with the user able to click directly to the target website if the advert is of no interest. Linkbee has both interstitial adverts and the option of displaying a banner above the website, which is within a frame. Indeed, Linkbee also has an option not to show any adverts at all so you can also use it just as you would Tinyurl, or any other URL shortening service. The other neat thing about Linkbee is that you can also pick your own link URL (so long as it is still available).

Short URLs in Twitter

If you're using the micro-blogging service Twitter then you'll know that any URL you may enter is automatically abbreviated. Now you can use your own abbreviated URL and make a bit of money out of your tweets. I've tried it and, so long as you keep your URL short then Twitter doesn't abbreviate it a second time. This is also useful in terms of branding your links, which is impossible to do with automatic URL shortening.

Short URLs as Marketing

Tinyurl has been around for a long time and although you can select your own short URL using, for example, your website name, the chances are that anything really good and meaningful has been taken a long time ago. However, both Linkbee and adf.ly are fairly new and there are many good keywords that are still available. So, even if you're not interested in monetizing your links you can still use these services to capture and keep those marketing keywords that are important to you. Once you have created a short URL nobody else can use it (otherwise complete confusion would reign) and you can also change the target URL whenever you want too.

Make Money from Short URLs

However, the main benefit from these services is that you get paid for people clicking your links. Remember that people are more likely to click contextual links than they are text adverts (unless they are really interested in the advert). The actual payouts vary a lot and you will need to check their current rates but are generally about one to two dollars per thousand clicks. This does not, at the moment, seem very high, but remember that this is now an additional revenue stream to any adverts you already have. Both Linkbee and adf.ly will pay via Paypal and have similar minimum payouts of about $15-$20. This means you will need quite a few thousand clicks before first payment but, as already stated, treat this as a nice little bonus. If you publish a lot of bookmarks then this will be a good source of traffic, although do read the TOS of each site as some will allow only the original URL to be posted.

Overall, this seems to me a welcome step forward. Will users be irritated with the adverts? Well, they are not pop-ups or pop-unders so they are really no more intrusive than many corporate websites that have adverts crawling across the screen with a well-camouflaged 'close' button. The links still go to where they are supposed to go, so you're not redirecting users to an altogether different website. It is best to experiment and see if you get any feedback. With Linkbee there is the option to have no adverts at all and it is simple to change this status to any existing URLs you may already have created.

One last thing is that both Linkbee and adf.ly have referral programmes so you can make a bit of extra money by getting your friends to join or promoting your affiliate link. In closing, I think these will be great for Twitter and contextual links.

12 May 2009

Email Me

I've had a few requests about this and, strangely, Blogger doesn't have an email facility without revealing one's email and therefore open to harvesting and spamming.

So, if you'd like to send an email to On Writing Online that isn't related to one of the articles or posts, then please send your message here as a comment. Include a reply email and I will respond directly.

Many Thanks

8 May 2009

Writing for Adsense Revenue: Miracles do Happen!

There has been a lot of recent chat on Xomba about writing online and how to earn a decent amount from Adsense advertising. This shows, firstly, that there are a lot of new members, and secondly, that the advice from older members should be more accurate as they themselves gain in experience. There are, however, a few points that I don't feel have been aired enough.

Do you feel lucky?

There are times when one article will earn hundreds of dollars in just one day. There have even been articles that have made thousands! These are rare, but they do happen. Luck plays a big role in this. But like many other things in life, you need to work at being lucky. I wrote a similar thing about getting a book in print - luck plays a huge part but so does working to generate your own luck. Some things you cannot control and some things you can - concentrate your efforts on those things you can control and prepare to be lucky. This isn't to denigrate those writers who've earned big, but I'm sure they were both very happy and very surprised when an article went viral. They couldn't predict what would happen but they saw the opportunity and worked towards being successful.

Most lotteries like to advertise the obvious fact that if you don't play you can't win. the other obvious fact that they don't advertise is that most people lose. Writing online is similar in that if you don't write you won't earn, that your jackpot is also largely out of your hands, but the difference is that you can actually win something every day.

One of the things that attracted me to Xomba was that I made some money on the very first day - if memory doesn't delude me was 27 cents! - but was more than I was seeing on some other sites. I also found Xomba by accident as a link from a Google search. So, I figured, these people have done their SEO and they know how to place adverts, and they have a layout that encourages interaction and further reading. Not many other writing websites have all of those elements together.

Mix and Max

I must say, I haven't hit a jackpot as yet, however, I have recently had some success with one article generating a few hundred dollars over a couple of week. Firstly, to show what I mean about luck, the same piece was posted in three places - only one of them grew, the other two went to sleep. Why? I think because the audiences are different. We can't control what happens to our writing - who posts a link where - but we can work at analysing what works where. The other thing is that this article isn't even an article: it's a simple bookmark! Again, work at what works and prune the rest.

Writing original content takes time and skill. Whatever you're interested in, try to mix your output in order to maximize it. I've written in my On Writing Online blog that the joys of revenue sharing bookmarking sites is that you can be making money before you've even finished writing your article, just by bookmarking your sources. Don't worry, the chances of anybody following the same trail and duplicating your original article are minuscule. If you can write one or two good articles a day and bookmark maybe half a dozen sites then that's probably a decent day's work.

Drop those dead donkeys

Use your Adsense account data and Google Analytics to see what is working and what isn't. Different writing websites will develop their own communities and styles and what is popular on one site may not be on another. There are only about a dozen revenue sharing writing websites at the moment so worth trying 2 or 3 at the start and maybe drop one that isn't working and try one new one on the list. Use the revenue sharing bookmarking sites to promote your own articles as well as your other bookmarks. Use some of the popular social bookmarking websites to promote your own writing - mix in some of your other bookmarks so you don't get flagged for spamming (you often won't know it, but you will be!).

On the subject of pruning what doesn't work, if you decide to stop writing for a website don't delete your account. Those articles will still be listed and could still be earning. There is one website where I stopped submitting work as it didn't seem worth the time. I'd login once a month just to see if anything was moving and to my surprise found that my earnings were slowly increasing to the point where it was worth putting some effort into it again. Some long tails are longer than others.

Waiting for Lady Luck may not seem much of a strategy but as you can see, I'm not advocating sitting back and waiting for the finger of fate to stab you in the ribs! All your work is slowly but surely loading the dice in your favour. The point I'm trying to make is that the social web is a complex system and that trying to push it doesn't always work - sure, if you already have an army of followers it's easier but if you're reading this then I'd guess you're not at that stage. A better analogy is to scatter your seeds across the social web and, miraculously, some of them will grow and you will reap the harvest. I don't think there are any magic beans waiting to be found.

Wag that long tail

Most sites will also tell you that this is a long-tailed game: the more you write the greater the probability of having some articles do very well while others provide a steady income. What nobody tells you is how long the tail is! I suspect some people just get tired of seeing a few cents here and there and get disheartened. I had to stop writing last December because of travel and having to sort out certain things. I was expecting income from articles already published to trail off, and it did. But what was more worrying was that as I started writing again it just wasn't picking up. Was I doing something wrong?

Well, looking back and looking at the trend the income was actually growing again and steadily. (There was also the issue of advertising revenues across the net falling so this didn't help.) I was just looking at it too closely and on a daily basis there can be huge variations. Download your Adsense data into a spreadsheet and calculate something like a 50-day average; that will give you a good idea of progress. Going from an average of $2 a day to $3 a day doesn't sound like a recipe for giving up the day job as yet, but that's a 50% increase. Another 50% increase did actually take it to $4.50 per day, on average, for the following month, and that means getting paid every month.

So how long has that taken? Well, I'd say if you can hit that within 6 months then you're doing well - perhaps other writers have done better, only they can say. It also depends how much time you're willing to spend not just on the writing but also marketing and analysis. If you hit on a jackpot then these numbers will get blown away and you can start thinking about how to turn this into a decent income - or splashing it all on some object of desire!

Being lucky takes work. Be prepared for it.

Key points

Success = Work + Luck

Write about what you enjoy

Mix your output - articles plus bookmarks

Analyse what works where

Prune what isn't working

Spread yourself on the social web

Look at your long-term income growth

Enjoy the challenge!

22 Apr 2009

Six Writers Who Accidentally Crapped Out Masterpieces

The original article is on Cracked.com, so don't expect any deep literary analysis but rather an amusing stroll through half a dozen accidental masterpieces.

6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thomson

I suspect "cracked out" would be more appropriate in this case, as Fear and Loathing erupted onto the public as the incoherent ramblings of a bored Thomson recording all the things that didn't happen at the motorbike race he was supposed to be covering.

5. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

This surreal tale of twisted logic spun into a children's book would have remained a family heirloom had Carroll not been badgered into publishing it. Yes, Carroll is a strange character in his own right but in an age when suffering from epilepsy was liable to lead to a stretch in bedlam it was better to be weird and free.

4. Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Burgess himself considered it one of his weakest works, writing that it was, "... knocked off for money in three weeks, it became known as the raw material for a film which seemed to glorify sex and violence. The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about, and the misunderstanding will pursue me till I die." I know, success is hard to take when all your other books get trashed.

3. Franz Kafka

Literary genius doesn't always come with a bloated ego and in Kafka's case any sense of self-worth had been erased as an extension of his insurance day-job. Luckily, his executor ignored Kafka's wishes to have everything burnt and promptly published it all. Kafka wrote for himself, something to bear in mind when screaming at the world for some success.

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley was just 19 when she penned this now classic gothic horror story, trumping her more illustrious literati friends Byron and Shelley. All a product of being holed up in the Alps with no satellite TV and with two guys who couldn't keep their pens out of the ink-well.

1. William Shakespeare

He did it for the money, the adulation and having a neat lifestyle at a time when most jobs would either be the death of you or would get you in someone else's line of fire. He didn't even bother publishing his plays as that meant other theatre companies could copy them. Shakespeare wrote popular plays as otherwise an empty theatre would mean getting a real job. Sometimes, the fear of poverty can be a creative spur.

So is there anything we can learn from this? One thing that has gone unnoticed is how fast all of these works were written. When you know what you need to write, just do it - and do it quickly! Revising your revisions is a recipe for a patched quilt, not a bestselling novel.

The other mantra that is often chanted is "think about your readers". Frankly, apart from Shakespeare, who wrote plays and therefore needed an audience, the best writers write for themselves. The readership is an abstraction consisting of solitary individuals - your readership is one person, one at a time. Write for yourself - if you can't stomach it then chances are that nobody else will. Actually, even when you think you've written a masterpiece chances are that it isn't. The point, however, is that unless you write for yourself, the chances of it being above mediocre are vanishingly small.

21 Apr 2009

Kurt Vonnegut, Miss Snark and the Search for Your Unique Style

This blog is largely about trying to earn some money writing. It is therefore rare that I discuss writing styles and the mechanics of writing. However, sometimes I do come across interesting articles and don't feel this is going too far astray sharing some of them.

As I recently wrote in The Statusphere for Writers and Journalists, a writer's voice is one's brand - we have little else to offer save for words that move to action. But does that voice sound like your own, or has it been fabricated in a vain attempt to succour success? As Kurt Vonnegut says, there are styles that demand the eradication of the writer - the literary equivalent of a government form. If that is your metier then the style of clarity and brevity is your zenith. In Vonnegut: How To Write With Style, the author stresses that whatever voice you choose to adopt clarity and brevity are not so much matters of style as of good hygiene. Rambling should be preserved for country walks.

To find a subject you care about, and to sound like yourself, are recurring themes. Aping another writer's style is not going to reproduce their success. What can be successful is to transpose a style from one genre to another. The literary geek or the barrow-boy market analyst both work because of the seemingly counter-intuitive juxtaposition of style and content. Find your own voice... then do a bit of oral hygiene before inflicting it upon your readers.

Talking of hygiene, pity the literary agents who have to read through what nobody else will ever read because it is just too awful! Miss Snark is a literary agent with a blog. Actually, the blog has been silent for a long time but has been kept online as it has a wealth of advice for writers, especially novelists. Her Crapometer is particularly revealing in how she judges the first page of a novel. Here both style and content are crucial. There is no point trying to sound like an author who has already been published. Also, the imagination is an infinitely fertile plane and although there is nothing new under the sun you can cast new shadows. The novel as novelty has to be taken seriously if you're going to get an agent to read more than the first few pages.

I don't think that creating one's own style is all that difficult. I think what is difficult is putting an end to the thought that copying someone else's will duplicate their success. In a world full of noise being unique is the first step to being heard.

20 Apr 2009

The Statusphere for Writers and Journalists

When Walt Mossberg was asked, "are newspapers worth saving?" the WSJ journalist replied,"It’s the wrong question to ask. The real question we should ask is if whether or not we can save good journalism.” He continued, “Think about it. Of the hundreds, thousands, of newspapers around the country, there are really only a few that matter. Good journalism and journalists, on the other hand, are worth saving.”

Seems like yet another traditional profession is going through a tech-tonic shift caused by the internet. When distribution costs are minimal and income streams at the mercy of advertising revenues, what does the future hold for journalists? To be fair, there have always been freelance journalists and perhaps their numbers will just increase. What the successful ones are embracing - and what their publishers should also be concentrating upon - is the growth in social media.

This all sounds like more hype for social networking, blogging and community building, but these movements are not going to go away any time soon. As publishers experiment with social media tools they are at the same time locked into their traditional way of thinking as they also test out micro-charging systems and other payment methods. After all, consumers are there to consume, not to just interact then flutter away to the next social buzz.

But journalists and their publishers are now up against bloggers and blogging networks that have had to survive and thrive under the new rules. Marketing people love to talk about brands, but in the case of written content I'd rather call it a voice. Columnists who have personality, insights and engage with their public across the social media networks are creating their own voice. If they were to move to a different site I'd bet many users would follow them. The dedication is to another human voice, not to the corporate brand they may be flying under.

However, all of this means extra work for the writer who wants to succeed. Your personal voice, or brand, has to be created through your own energies and dedication. As in so many other areas, the freedom to freelance comes with an obligation to do all those other tasks that were the responsibility of the publishers, such as marketing, advertising and distribution.

The Statusphere is another of these ugly hybrid words designed to conjure up this new world of fast-moving social interactions. In contrast to the blogosphere, the statusphere is the sum of interactions and contacts that can form across multiple social media websites. However, in all the hype it is easy to forget that this statusphere has no memory - the interactions are ephemeral and what remains are the connections formed. For this reason alone I very much doubt the death of blogs or websites as repositories of histories.

However, one thing that the statusphere is changing is the direction of information flow. Once it was quite simply from publishers to readers, with a trickle of feedback. Now, any article that has the good fortune to spread virally has also spread out of control of the original author. This is good for voice recognition but has already become unwieldy keeping track of one's own influence as so much discussion can happen off-site, or off-blog. It is common to see discussion on a social bookmarking site being far more active than at the site of the original article. People read what they read where they read it and comment where they are - there is no protocol to go back and comment on the source.

Keeping track of all this is surely the task of automated scripts - that do not yet exist and are sorely needed. If all of this gives you a sense of statusfear then just concentrate on your most successful social arenas and let the rest of the network take the strain and bring to you those well-deserved new readers. As this blog is for general writers rather than specifically for journalists, how does all this affect you?

If you are earning from freelance contract work, then perhaps very little. If, however, you are writing for third party websites such as revenue sharing networks then you already have some help in distribution and marketing. But to really spread your own voice you will need to manage this statusphere in the best way you can. The bookmarking and interactions are all your responsibility. The bookmarking is rarely done automatically, although some have added semi-automatic scripts to speed up the process for you. Experiment with spreading your wings and just clip those websites that are not pulling in new readers. At the same time don't forget to engage with those that do show genuine interest or the network will flow elsewhere. Decide where "home" is, set the wheels in motion and let the network do the work.

19 Apr 2009

Paid Bloggers Wanted at Dyalogues

Dyalogues is looking for bloggers interested in engaging in public, two-way conversations (in the form of reviews, like Siskel & Ebert, and debates) on technology, politics, or arts & entertainment. It is like blogging back and forth, but having the resulting conversation published in an attractive, easy-to-read format.

We are looking for bloggers who:

* like expressing their viewpoint in an honest, engaging way (about politics, movies, books, technology and gadgets, etc.)

* can invite a friend or fellow blogger to participate with them (they will be paid too!)

* can provide feedback to us

Each completed, approved dyalogue earns each participant $5 (so $10 in total). So you can invite a friend who writes well, too, and they will earn $5, too. Because you have a lot of freedom to choose your topics, you can have a lot of fun talking about the sorts of things you'd discuss anyway.

Here are some samples (to get a feel for the format):
Review > Books: http://www.dyalogues.com/sample/on-beauty-by-zadie-smith.html
Debate > Politics: http://www.dyalogues.com/sample/should-illegal-immigrants-be-granted-driver-s-licenses.html

You can participate in a number of dyalogues concurrently, and with different people, if you like.

Note that Dyalogues has passed its private alpha stage and is now in private beta in preparation for a public beta launch. This is why - for the moment - it is best to request membership in pairs so that you are guaranteed a debating partner.

For contact details please click here.

18 Apr 2009

Freelance Writing Jobs at Textbroker

Textbroker is a mediator between writers and content clients. Anybody living in America can register as an author at Textbroker. There are only few exceptions to this which can be looked up in our Terms of Service.

After a short application text you will receive your first quality classification. You can then directly view and accept client orders (OpenOrders). Often there are more than hundreds of orders to choose from.
Also, there is the possibility of you specifically being requested by a client. This order type is called a "DirectOrder". DirectOrders are usually assigned when a client is pleased with an author's previous work, or if an author stands out because of his excellent profile.

Payment is made by Paypal once a minimum of $10 is earnt and a payout request is made. As they use Paypal rather than sending cheques it seems odd they insist on US residency, but there you go!

For everybody else in the world the site has one useful page which is how much money they pay writers. Their sliding scale goes from $3.50 up to $25 for a 500 word article.

This is a similar service to Elance, but if you're just starting out and find Elance complicated then Textbroker can help build your portfolio of work before launching towards more lucrative contracts.

14 Apr 2009

Articles Wanted on Breast Augmentation Surgery

Title: Breast augmentation surgery
Description:I am looking for three articles, one on breast augmentation
asurgery in general, one on the two types of implants (silicone vs
saline)and the safety of the implants, and finally an article about the
different incisional patterns that can be used, namely periareolar,
inframamary, or transaxillary. The purpose of the articles is to be put
on a plastic surgeon's web site and be informative
Amount of articles:3
Price per article:$10-20
Length of article:150

Go to Constant Content for full details and to submit your article.

Reviews of Forex Software Wanted

Title: Reviews of forex software
Description:I need honest reviews of forex software written in the first
person. One article per software, needs to be a fairly well known
Amount of articles:5
Price per article:$10-20
Length of article:500
Subjects:signal software
charting software
trading software

Go to Constant Content for full details and to submit articles.

8 Apr 2009

Make Money Writing News Articles at AllVoices

AllVoices bills itself as "The first open media site where anyone can report from anywhere." It is thus essentially a citizen journalism website, so the focus is on news rather than general articles. Joining is free and there is an incentive program based on page views. However, they currently pay only by cheque. So if you don't live in the USA and don't have a US Dollar account you'll have to think seriously if the bank fees to process a dollar cheque are really worth the effort. If you do live in the USA then this could be a profitable string to your bow.

Go to AllVoices.

7 Apr 2009

Network Blogging Survival Tips

I find the obsession with “top 10” lists slightly puerile; there may only be six or seven really worthwhile points dragged out into a neat decad. Anyway, you can read the full “10 Network Blogging Survival Tips” at Problogger. Here I have tried to distil the essentials.

= Don't be put off by the seemingly low base rate. The remuneration package is likely similar to a sales job with basic plus bonuses. The better you perform, the more you will earn.

= Don't blog on a topic you don't care about! This is self-evident – you will get bored and fed-up and it will show in your writing. This is not the same as starting to blog on something you know nothing about. If you're interested in the topic then being a newbie can be positive as you will have a refreshing view on the subject.

= Be a team player. You're working for a network, and by definition a network has more than one person. As in many industries, you may be competing with other bloggers for eyeball counts and subscribers but the whole network sinks or swims together. Do your share of the rowing, whether it be participating on forums, training sessions or special events.

= Hit that quota! If you're having fun, your blog is growing and there are no real life issues then this shouldn't be too hard to do. But if you have multiple blogs, or something happens that means you are physically unable to be online, then be prepared. Make friends, invite guest bloggers, share your success and you will be able to call on cover if you need it. Expect the unexpected.

Erm... that's it, I think!

Good luck.

6 Apr 2009

BlogHer - The Community for Women Who Blog

On Writing Online is primarily about making an income writing online - or at least some income! I don't want to branch out too far on this as there are plenty of ways of writing without making a penny. However, here is a website where there is potential but no guarantees.

I say this because although BlogHer is a blog network for women, their page requesting new bloggers seems to be frozen in a state of 'wait and see'. However, there seem to be new bloggers joining so this may just be a ploy to see who really really wants to join the network. Actually joining the site is open to anybody but getting some money is an altogether different thing.

To get a flavour of BlogHer here is a bit of their vision statement.

At BlogHer, we're working together to deliver on the same mission we wrote at a kitchen table in 2005: To create opportunities for women who blog to pursue exposure, education, community, and economic empowerment.

Working together, BlogHer's members are building a unique community for women online:

* A do-ocracy where BlogHer doesn't serve women online, but rather creates opportunities for all women online to help ourselves and work together to voice and achieve our individual goals - professional, technical, social and personal.

* A robust BlogHer community hub equipped with the tools we need to deliver on our mission, branching out beyond a single blog to create a true community resource and meeting place.

That's visionary enough for now! And, before anybody asks: men can join too!

5 Apr 2009

Articles Wanted on Dating Websites, Advice and Tips

Title:Urgent Article Request
Description:We urgently require 500 word + articles using the following
keyword phrases: -

fresh new dating sites
dating profile tricks
how to be a sugardaddy
rich women looking for men
newest dating sites
internet dating vs modern dating
newest dating site
dating tips
dating advice
rich men in america
professional matchmakers
new dating sites
dating your friends ex
meet rich sugar daddies
dating advice for women
best online dating sites
latest dating site
online dating tips
dating tips for men
latest dating sites
dating ideas
best dating sites
wealthy women dating
rich men dating sites
dating professional women
online dating advice
top dating sites
internet dating sites
dating older men
meet friends online
meet rich men
dating older women
dating younger men
new online dating sites
single dating sites
dating agencies professionals
singles dating websites
best dating websites
best dating site
dating sites in uk
dating site wealthy man
new dating site
online dating websites
wealthy dating sites
dating web sites
how to meet women
best online dating site
best online dating
dating single women
uk dating websites
matchmaking sites
date a millionaire
uk online dating agency
best dating website
singles and dating sites
how to find a sugar daddy
dating sites online
singles dating sites
internet dating tips
dating single
match making sites
match making services
on line dating websites
top online dating sites
sugar daddy dating sites
Amount of articles:As shown
Price per article:$10-20
Length of article:500 words

To see full details and to submit articles click here.