Thursday, July 30, 2009

Write Moms has Received the Meme Award!


Hi All,


Write Moms has been honored with yet another wonderful award. The Meme Award was given to me by Yonca of Yonca is Cooking. Be sure to stop by her blog! Here are the terms of the award:


*To Acknowledge the person who gave you the award

*List 7 Personality Traits about yourself

*Pass the award on to 7 other blogs that deserve recognition for the personalities that they share with the blogging world.


I will go through my ever growing list of blog friends and pass out this award. Thanks again to Yonca for this award.


I've been diligently working on articles for Suite101 and eHow the past few weeks. Take a peek at my new articles on both sites if you have a chance. There are boxes in the sidebar where you can click on the articles. I hope all of you have been having a good summer and your writing is doing well. I will be continuing my series on Novel Writing next week. (August!) Summer is going way too fast.


Happy writing

DeAnna

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Good Writing Blog


Hi all,

I ran across another great writing blog where the owner shares her writing successes with blogging and residual income sites. She gives all sorts of tips on how to succeed and is doing quite well herself with her residual income. She has two sites you can visit:


I haven't been keeping up with my blog very well because I am also working on building up my residual income at eHow, Triond and Suite101 as well as adding articles to Constant Content. I am taking a second look at my Triond account as a great residual earner because you do earn a good click-per-view income there. I also have many articles at Associated Content where I earn fairly good residual income. My goal is to have a good residual income by winter so I can concentrate on finally finishing my novel.


I haven't forgotten all of you, though, and do plan on continuing my series on Novel Writing. The next post in the series will be on Dialogue, so check often to see if I've finally posted it.

I hope you are all doing well with your writing. Leave comments to let me know how your writing is doing.

Cheers,
DeAnna
(Photo by DeAnna - These are my potted Geraniums - I love flowers!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Writing with Passion!


Hi all,


Writers write because they love working with words. They love sharing information, or stories or beautiful poetry. As writers, we also love getting paid for our work, but writing isn't always about a paycheck. It's about writing what you are passionate about, writing something that will inspire, move, or inform the reader, making your talent of writing a way of communicating with others.


I like writing about subjects that interest me, intrigue me or that I want to learn more about. I like researching interesting subjects and then sharing this research with others in the form of an article. Getting to the core of a problem and helping others by sharing solutions. When I write articles, I prefer writing about subjects that intrigue me, not just subjects that may be SEO popular and will get the most clicks. I don't want someone handing me an assignment asking for 10 - 300 word articles with the word "pension" in them for $10 each. There is nothing wrong with someone writing these articles to earn money, I just don't want to be the one to do it. When writing is no longer my passion, I don't want to do it anymore.


This is why I choose to write for sites that do not limit what I write. With Constant-Content I can write about subjects that I find interesting and think might interest others, set my own price and, hopefully, sell it. At Suite101 I am also free to choose my topics just as I am at eHow and Associated Content. At Demand Studios I am a bit limited, but I usually scroll through the list of articles they want and pick subjects I find interesting to write about.


There is no greater pleasure than writing an article and receiving an e-mail or comment from someone who thanks you for helping them find information on a subject they needed help with. On Suite101 I had written two articles on the detection and treatment of Scoliosis and they did receive a great many clicks, but I also received a message from a family in China asking me for resources on this subject as their teen was struggling with it. Being able to help this family with this subject made me feel good because I know what it is like to deal with this with a family member. The same has been true of my article on Encouraging Boys to Read at eHow. I have had many positive responses and e-mails about this article, and that makes me feel good about having written it.


I think that people can tell when you are writing about a subject you are passionate about even if you are trying to be objective. The old saying is true - write what you know. That doesn't mean that you should limit your writing to only what you know, but also write what inspires you. Keep learning about subjects that you are interested in and turn that into a great article. Being paid for your writing is great - knowing you are helping others through your articles is even better.


Keep up the passion,

DeAnna

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Check Out this Great Blog for Writers


Hi all,


I love sharing finding blogs about writing and I landed on one today that I'd like to share with all of you. It has lots of helpful information on writing sites with feedback by her readers on their experiences to. Be sure not only to read her blogs but the comment too. The blog is called No Job For Mom and is owned by Felicia A. Williams. She writes for many of the main writing sites and shares information about these sites. There are also pages of information on all aspects of writing. I think you will enjoy her site.


Happy writing,

DeAnna
(Photo by me of one of my hanging plants!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Helping to Encourage Boys to Read


Hi all,


I just published an article on eHow that might interest many of you mothers. It gives tips and ideas on how to encourage boys to read. Boys are continually being shortchanged in our schools with reading because they generally learn language and reading skills at a different pace than girls. Yet, our schools do not acknowledge this and continue to pressure children to learn to read very early. Knowing that boys may take a little longer to appreciate reading may help us as parents to continue to encourage them without stressing them. Here is the link to this article: How to Encourage Boys to Read. Be sure to click out the resource links at the end of the article for more information too.


This subject is close to my heart because we experienced this with my son years ago in grade school. Even though he was already reading and loved reading before even starting school, as the years went on he became frustrated with how they were teaching reading and began to lag. Before I knew it, he was having trouble keeping up with his level of reading. Because he felt he must be stupid and that was why he couldn't read well, he just gave up. The teachers he had just brushed my worries aside saying that boys didn't like to read anyway. This response just floored me. So, after working with him myself for a couple of years I was able to bring up his reading scores and he became a straight "A" student through high school. Yet, even today, he still doesn't read for enjoyment, which I think is a shame, but he can read and that is the most important thing.


Our schools have to recognize students as individuals who function on their own time clock. Since it is a known fact that boys take longer than girls to develop language and reading skills, it is unacceptable that schools don't recognize this. It may not be cost-efficient to teach children in different styles and levels, but it would make for more successful students.


Okay, I will get off my soapbox. Since this is a writing blog, I felt this subject might be of interest to the mothers who visit. Another website you may want to visit to learn more about this subject is Getting Boys to Read.


Happy writing,

DeAnna
(Photo by Sophie at Stockxchng)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Business of Writing

Hi all,


I just added this article to my articles at eHow but also thought it would be a good one for my blog. Many of us are striving to be writers but we forget that the business of writing is also important. I hope this article inspires you to get out those spreadsheets and keep track of everything!


Also, I have just added two more articles to Suite101 if you are interested in stopping by there. One is Helping Children Adjust to a New School and the other is Vacation at Home like a Tourist. Stop on over there is you get a chance.


Happy writing,

Deanna


How to Organize the Business of Writing

Writers love to write. They love placing one word in front of another, creating sentences and building articles or stories. And if writers can earn money doing this, that’s even better. As the money begins coming in though, it is time for the writer to turn into a bookkeeper. Whether you like it or not, organizing the business end of writing is as important as the writing is. So it is time to get out your spreadsheets, receipts and folders and get organized.

Know Tax Rates - Whether you write part-time, full-time or as a hobby, writing income is taxable. If you earn more then $400 a year, you are liable for self-employment (SE) taxes, which includes social security tax and Medicare, as well as state and federal taxes. For writers earning a small, part-time income, taxes can generally be paid when you file your income taxes at the end of the year. However, if you are a full-time writer or one who is earning a great deal of money on a regular basis and you think your taxes will add up to more than $1,000 during the year, you will have to pay your income taxes quarterly. For 2009, the SE tax rate is 15.3%. This does not include state and federal taxes which you will need to figure separately. Check at IRS.gov or with an accountant for more tax information.

Do You Need to Pay Taxes? - If you are trying to become, or are a full-time writer, not only is it the law for you to pay taxes on your income but it will also benefit you. Paying SE taxes on your writing income will ensure that you will receive social security and Medicare benefits when you are old enough to retire. If you didn’t pay these taxes, and did not have another source of income that paid these taxes, then you could not collect from these programs. Another reason is that businesses that pay for your writing are more than likely sending you a 1090 form for the income you are receiving. If you were to get audited for this money that you never claimed, you would owe much more in back taxes than if you had just paid the taxes to begin with.

Keep Good Records of Income – If you are like most freelance writers, you earn your income from several different sources. The best way to track your income from all of these sources is to set up a computer spreadsheet (or a handwritten one will do) that tracks the customers/websites you write for, income from each of these sources and other details such as date submitted, date paid and who sends out a 1090 form. Track this by month and by year so you have an idea where you are earning your best income from. This is also a good spreadsheet to automatically tally your SE and federal and state taxes due on each amount earned so you can put that amount aside and have it when tax time comes.

Keep Good Records of Expenses - Because you are earning an income, it is important to keep track of your writing expenses. Keep receipts for everything you buy to use for your writing and place these receipts in a separate folder from your household expense receipts. It would also be good to make up a computer spreadsheet for income and expenses. You can list each month’s income on top and the expenses below for the month by category. There are many expenses you can deduct for items you use for writing such as pens, paper, printer ink, envelopes and postage. If you use Internet for your writing, even if it is the household Internet, you should be able to deduct a portion of that cost. There is also the depreciation of your computer, printer, and computer programs. If you have set up a room in the house specifically for writing, you may be able to deduct or depreciate that, along with office furniture. Keep track of all expense that you incur throughout the year so you can use these deductions at tax time.

Keeping good records of your writing income and expenses is a good thing to do whether you are a hobby writer or professional writer. Not only will it allow you to keep track of how well you are doing as a writer, it is also a good way to track where you make the most money so you can spend more time in those areas. If you are serious about being a writer, then you should be serious with the business of writing also.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Up-Front Pay Writing Sites/Constant-Content Update


Hi all,


I am going to cheat a little here and direct you to Willow's site The Freelance Home Writer so you can read about many of the up-front pay writing sites. I'm sure she won't mind the clicks on her site. I have reviewed several writing sites here at Write Moms, but I don't always have time to review of them. She has already done the work, so you may as well enjoy reading her reveiws of them. Her reviews may be able to help you find writing jobs that you didn't know existed or were wary of. Hope this link helps you in your writing pursuits.
(The picture is of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. (Copyright DeAnna Sletten) Some of you may remember it as the hotel in the movie "Somewhere in Time". I love visiting this island and going back in time!)


I have been busy working on my own writing and trying to build up my eHow articles as well as my Constant-Content articles. I will try to continue my novel writing series this week or next, depending upon how nice the weather is. We've had extremely beautiful weather the past two weeks and I have to enjoy it while it is here. I have all winter (6+ months of it) to sit inside. :)


Speaking of Constant-Content, I have already raved about this site for writers in a past post but just want to let you know that they are experiencing an influx of article requests right now so there is plenty of work available. Of course, at CC you can also write your own articles and place them there to sell, but if you like to fulfil requests, now is the time to join CC. Be sure to carefully read their Writer's Guidelines and Terms of Service before joining. CC is a very legitimate site and I trust them completely to always pay what is owed you, but sometimes people don't read all the fine print and get confused. Don't be one of those people - know what you are getting into and how the site works.


Thanks to all who have posted comments and who are following this blog. I hope it has been helpful and informative so far.


Happy writing,

DeAnna

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Update on eHow and Demand Studios



Hi all,


eHow Update

Now that I have been writing for eHow for one month, I thought I'd update you on what I think of this site. I was only able to submit 6 articles on eHow but I am pleased with the residuals so far for so few articles. I earned as much this month with only 6 articles on eHow as I did with 77 articles over at Associated Content. As far as I can see, eHow is a really good residual site where the potential to earn money is unlimited. One blogger (click to view her site) I know earned $177.00 in June in residual income with 140 articles on eHow. Now, you may think that initially this adds up to only a little over one dollar an article, but remember, she earned money on these articles every month for the past 6 months and will continue to receive residual income on these articles. As someone who has been writing for paying sites for years, I am impressed by eHow's residual income.
(The picture has nothing to do with the post - I just like it. It is one I took of one of my favorite places to visit: Multnomah Falls, outside of Portland, Oregon in the Columbia River Gorge area.)


My goal this month is to produce at least 10-15 new articles for eHow and continue to do this in the months ahead. My overall goal is to earn enough residual income from eHow and Suite101 so that I can spend a few months completing my novel this fall/winter. We'll see....


I do have some tips for those of you thinking about writing for eHow or who are writing for eHow and haven't had much success. First of all, I've found it is better to spend the time writing a well-thought out article full of interesting information instead of just writing quick articles and tossing them on the site. You will make a better return on your residual income with only a few well-written articles compared to many so-so articles. Find a topic that is interesting and has longevity. Example: An article on Lyme Disease will be searched by people every summer as compared to an article on a bill the senate is passing today. Do your research, fill in all the boxes, have at least 5 steps in your article, use at least 2-4 pictures (yes, I know it is difficult to find pics sometimes), fill in the tips and warnings section whenever possible and fill in the Resource section. Doing a thorough job of writing your articles gives a professional appearance. Informative, well-written articles will be read for years as opposed to ones that are just slapped together quickly.

In the forums at eHow, I've read that the site has been going through and cleaning out old articles that no longer follow the correct format. That means they are getting rid of the sloppy articles to help upgrade the site to make it more professional. This is another reason you will want to do a good job on your articles. Also, articles that are very professional and useful will be chosen for the home page, meaning you will receive many more page views. If you enjoy writing for sites that pay residual income, I think you will be happy with eHow.

Demand Studios Update

For those of you who don't know, the company that owns eHow and many other sites around the Internet also owns Demand Studios. I've explained a little about Demand Studios in an earlier blog, so scroll down if you want to learn more about Demand Studios. Demand Studios pays writers to write articles for their sites, including eHow. The general price they pay for a 400-500 word article is $15.00. They have a selection of titles to choose from, give you the format that they want and you write the articles. June was the first month I've written for them, and I produced 6 articles for them earning $75.00. While they have many different formats to choose from, I did 3 in their About format and 3 in their How To format. I found that the How To format was the quicker of the two to write, making the earnings more profitable. Of course, this How To format is exactly what they use for eHow, so I was able to get a better perspective on how a proper eHow article should be written. I enjoyed writing for Demand Studios and I think anyone with writing experience would also like it there.

Now, you may wonder why I would write for eHow for residual income when I could just write for Demand Studios and earn up-front money instead. The reason is that while I enjoy writing for Demand Studios to earn a little extra money, I also enjoy coming up with my own topics and writing on subjects that interest me. I can't always do that with assigned articles. So I like to do a little writing here, a little there and so on. I also place articles on Constant-Content when I find a subject I think might be interesting to customers and I also write for Suite101 which is a residual income site. Maybe I'm ADHD, who knows, but I like doing my own thing and earning extra money on the side. You just have to find the method that works best for you.

I hope this information helps you with your writing endeavours. I will continue my series on novel writing in my next post.



Happy writing,

DeAnna
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