Monday, December 28, 2009

Writing Sites - My Year in Review

Hi all,

It has been a wonderful writing year for me in 2009 full of new and interesting writing opportunities and also a few flops. But, live and learn. I’ve very much enjoyed sharing new sites with all of my blog readers and trying them myself to see if money could be made. So now I’d like to share with you each of the sites I did write for in 2009 and what my experiences were with each of them. Remember though, that each person has their own likes and dislikes about certain sites and just because a site isn’t a good fit for me doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be for you. I just want to share my experiences and would love to hear about all of your experiences with different writing sites too. Here goes…

Associated Content – I’ve been with Associated Content (AC) for two years so this wasn’t a new site for me in ’09. However, I continue to add articles there from time to time and earn a few dollars each month. I consider it a small extra income and most of the articles I place there are re-prints. I made more money there this year than last and even moved up to the $1.60/1,000 level. I will continue adding to AC and see how it grows, although I am sure I will never get rich there. See my review of AC.

Constant-ContentConstant-Content (CC) has continued to be the highest-earning site for me and this year was no different. I enjoy the flexibility of writing for CC and also the fact that I can name my price on my articles. I haven’t spent much time writing for CC this year, yet I earned a good income from the articles I had placed there in the past. I will continue writing for CC in 2010 and maybe even go back to writing on a regular basis in order to increase my monthly income. Before trying CC, read my review of the site. So many people join and then are disappointed when they don’t follow the rules and guidelines. If you are a good writer, you can do well there. What do I mean by well? Some writers at CC earn $1000-2000 each month. When I was placing articles there part-time, I would earn anywhere from $100-350 a month. CC is really worth checking out if you are a good writer.

Demand Studios – This was my first year writing for Demand Studios (DS) and I did enjoy it at first but lost interest after awhile. When I find a topic there that I am excited about, I do enjoy writing for them. However, I didn’t like their new rating system because I thought it was demeaning to the writers. I think I will put DS on the backburner for now and only write an article from time to time in order to stay on their writer’s list in case I decide I’d like to add to my income with them. The truth is I can make more money at Constant-Content per article without having to deal with silly re-writes. I know several writers who love writing for DS and earn a good income there, so if it is the right fit for you, wonderful.

eHow – This was also my first year with eHow and I have enjoyed writing for them very much. They are my second-highest wage earning site for the year and next year I know I will make a good residual income from them too. I know that there are publishing problems at times and the sweeps can be frustrating, but I am going to hang in there for the long haul and see how much I can earn.  Read my review of eHow.

Examiner – This was my first year with Examiner as their Minnesota Heart-Health Examiner and I have been enjoying writing for this site. I am not making as much money there as I’d hoped, but I plan to stick with it in 2010 and see how things go. I did get one referral there, and that made up for the low earnings. I also recently placed an article there that did get high earnings, so if I am careful with keyword choice I think I could do much better there. I know that some people make a good residual income there, so it is worth it for me to build up an article library there and see how things go. ( See my review of Examiner.)

FireHow – I did sign up for FireHow this year and gave it a try. I’m kind of on the fence about this site. My articles are earning money there, but not at the same rate as they do at eHow. Also, I have had trouble getting on the site over the past few weeks, so I’m not sure what is going on there. I do think this is a good site for writers who are starting out and could end up being as good a moneymaker as eHow in the future. So I’m going to keep it on my radar and see how things go with it. See my review of FireHow.

Life123 – When I first reviewed Life123, I never really intended to write for them. However, my curiosity got the best of me and I did submit two articles to see how quickly they earn the first $5.00 from the first 50 clicks. Unlike other sites I write for, those first 50 clicks are very hard to get even though I added the articles to every share site that I belong to. It took about 20 days to earn the first 50 views on one article I have posted there, so I have earned $5.00. However, since it takes 500 more views before I earn the next $5.00, I’m not holding my breath for that. I’m hoping that as Life123 grows, getting views will become easier. So I am going to keep my eye on this site and probably add one or two more articles to see how they do (I will try some popular keywords this time). I’m not sure yet if Life123 is a keeper for me, I’ll let you know later in 2010. See my review of Life123  Update: Life123 is no longer accepting articles.

Orato – I joined Orato this year and it seemed like a good up-and-coming writing site, but I am sorry to say that I am rather disappointed in them. My earnings have been extremely low considering that several of my articles were popular with readers for a long period of time. I’m going to place Orato on the farthest backburner and check in on them from time to time. The site does have the potential to grow in the future, but for now I need to spend my time on other sites that are more profitable for me.  See my review of Orato.

Suite101 – If you have been reading my blog, you already know that I am disappointed in my earnings at Suite101. I’ve been writing for Suite101 since April of this year and currently have 30 articles there. Yet, I have only earned $48.50 there for the entire year. Not a good return considering these are original articles that I cannot place elsewhere for one year. I know there are people who earn a good residual income there; I’m just not one of them. However, Suite101 has been a good showcase for my writing and I have had some good offers for writing assignments from other websites that have read my articles there. I plan on completing my year contract with Suite101 and then I will decide if I will continue there or not. See my review of Suite101.

Textbroker – Earlier this year I did some writing for Textbroker and I have to admit I enjoyed writing for this site. However, the pay for articles is very low, so I moved on to Demand Studios who paid more per article. What I liked about Textbroker was the varying assignments available. I wrote many press release type articles and travel articles there that were fun to do. I doubt if I will go back to writing for Textbroker but I do think it is a good starter sight for writers who are new to Internet writing. Read my review of Textbroker.

Triond – I’ve been with Triond for about two years now, so it wasn’t a new site for me in 2009. I only add articles occasionally at Triond, so I don’t make a lot of money there. One problem I have with the site is that they only accept articles that have not been previously published. After they accept it you can place the articles on other sites. However, I can earn more money by placing new, fresh articles on other sites first, so that is why I rarely publish on Triond anymore. Also, since they have started placing your Google Adsense earnings directly into your Google account, I earn less in ad income there. Let’s face it – it takes a long time to get up to the $100 minimum payout at Google, so the $3-4 dollars I earn on Google ads at Triond each month are going to sit there for a long time before I can get the money. I doubt if I will be adding articles to Triond in 2010 as there are other sites I can earn more money at. Read my review of Triond.

XombaXomba was a nice little surprise for me this year. I had never even thought of looking into Xomba until I noticed that you can place links to articles there like a sharing site. I really liked that feature, and the fact that you earn Google Adsense income from these links. I did add a couple of articles on Xomba and many article links and I will continue to do this in 2010. I earn a few cents here and there in my Google account from Xomba while promoting my articles on other sites. All these little additions to my Google Adsense account will hopefully get me closer to a payout (so I can enjoy that Triond money too!). See my review of Xomba.

Write Moms Blog – I started my Write Moms blog in April of 2009 with an idea of sharing information on writing and am so happy to see how far it has come in less than a year. I don’t earn a lot of money from my blog, but I’ve made many new writing connections and new friends which have really meant more to me than money could have. When you work for yourself, it can get boring at times. But with my blog, I am able to share experiences and hear about other writer’s experiences. As I’ve said before, Write Moms is like my office and my readers are like my co-workers. It’s been so much fun and I will continue sharing with my readers through 2010.

That’s it – my writing year in review. Let me know how you did in 2009 and what your goals are for 2010.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a safe, healthy and prosperous 2010.

Happy writing,

(Photo by Owais Khan Stock.Xchng 1205301)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Examiner Article Picked For "Year in Review 2009"

Hi all,

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday.  We are in the midst of a very long-running snow storm here.  Luckily, we are having breaks in the snow every so often so the roads are plowed and then we start all over again.  These pictures are of our front yard and driveway this morning. 

I received an e-mail the other day informing me that one of my articles at Examiner, "Niacin and Cholesterol",  was chosen for their special section of the Year in Review.  The e-mail stated that their criteria for choosing articles was:

We considered a few criteria when selecting articles:

-Written in a timely matter on a major news story that was unique to the Health Channel
-Aesthetically pleasing
-Incorporated a local angle (where possible)
-One of the best articles written on a major news story that was unique to the Health Channel

I was very happy to have my article chosen.  As many of you know, I have been the Minnesota Heart Health Examiner for only a couple of months, so to have one of my articles chosen after only being there a short time is an honor. 

If you are interested in joining as a writer, you can read my review first to learn more about the site.  If you do join, I'd really appreciate it if you use my referral number on the membership form.  It won't cost you a thing but will be a great help to me.  My referral number is 28293.

Happy writing,

(Top photo - our driveway; Bottom photo: Our front yard 12/26/09.  Photos copyright Deanna Sletten 2009)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Hi all,

Before I get too busy with cleaning, baking and cooking I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!  This has been such a wonderful year here at the blog.  I have met many new friends from all over the world, something I would never have had the chance to do otherwise.  I also want to thank all of my regular readers and welcome all of my new readers.  Thanks for visiting.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I wish you all much success and joy in the new year.

My daughter and I drove down to Minneapolis this week (a 4 - 5 hour drive) to visit the Mall of America, do some shopping and see the mall's decorations.  The pictures are ones we took while we were there.  We try to go there one or two times a year just for the fun of it.  We had a good day there but it was a long one as we drove home that day, too.  Enjoy the pics.

My next post will be the "year in review". I will let you know what my thoughts are one all of the sites I wrote for this year.  It will be a long list.  Hope you check back to see how the year went.

Happy writing,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where do All the Clicks Come From?

Hi all,

The Internet never ceases to amaze me when it comes to my writing endevours.  I check the views daily on the various writing sites I work for to see how things are going.  Generally there are a few clicks here, a few clicks there, (here a click, there a click, everywhere a click, click - okay I just had to, sorry), but once in a while I will be amazed by a sudden jump in clicks on a particular site or article.  For example, an article on Suite101 that has been sitting there for two months earning about 10 clicks each day suddenly had a 400+ click day yesterday.  Why? Where did the sudden interest come from? I searched where the clicks were coming from (you get detailed info at Suite) and yet could not understand why the sudden interest in this subject.  Now, I'm not complaining, but it always baffles me when a seemingly dead article suddenly comes to life. This happened once before on Suite with another article, and I always find it interesting.

Yet...I am struggling for every click I can get for my articles at Life123.  One article is at 32 clicks and I am waiting for the day it hits 50 so I will earn that treasured first $5.00.  I didn't think it would take too long to rack up the clicks, because I am used to Suite101 and eHow articles getting at least 100 clicks the first day.  It has been an interesting experiement.

I have finished my special article assignment that I mentioned in the last post and will now spend my time adding more articles to eHow and Examiner and possibly Life123 (because I never admit defeat).  My eHow clicks are slower this month than last month, yet my Associated Content clicks are up high.  Triond clicks are higher than usual this month but they will not make me rich. And this blog is enjoying the clicks of many, many visitors.  I don't make a lot of money from my blog and have yet to reach the Google minimum payment, but it was never my intention to earn a living off of my blog.  I just enjoy sharing information with other writers and meeting all the new people who come along.  My blog is like my office where I can visit with co-workers.  It's fun!

How are your clicks doing this month??

Happy writing,

(Photo by Samatha Mesones @ Stock.Xchng 723000)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taking the Plunge with Life123

Hi all,

I couldn't stand the suspense any longer so I just had to give Life123 a try and see how quickly a person could make money there.  (See my review of Life123)  Before I reviewed the site, I had signed up as a member so I could share the experience with all of you, but I had yet to submit an article there.  As I said in my review, I wasn't completely happy about the idea of selling full rights to Life123 for only a lifetime maximum earnings of $20.  But after reading how Kidgas of My Online Income has been doing there with his articles, I just had to try it myself.  As the saying goes, leave no stone unturned. 

So, last week I placed my first article there (Evening Primrose Oil: Herbal Remedy for Heart Health and other Ailments - Please feel free to visit the article - I need the clicks!).  It took a full 24 hours before it was reviewed and accepted and placed on the site.  Then I did all the social networking sites for it and sat back to see my clicks add up.  So far I've only had 13 views.  Ugg.  Because I am so used to placing articles on sites like Suite101 where you can get 200-400 views the first day, I was disappointed that this one only received 13.  At Life123, you make your first $5 on the first 50 clicks.  I really thought it would be easy to get that first 50; now I see it will take longer than I originally thought.

Of course, subject matter makes a big difference too.  I am aware that not everyone is going to Google and Yahoo searching for Evening Primrose Oil articles.  So my next article there (yes, I will try a few more before deciding if it is worth my time) will be more keyword friendly on topics people do go searching for.  But this one article did satisfy my curiosity as to how hard/easy it is get views and I will be more careful of the topics I submit in the future.  I think with the right articles, a writer could make a fairly good residual income from Life123.  Maybe nothing like eHow or Suite101, but every little bit counts.

Another Benefit of Writing for Several Sites

There are other benefits of writing for several sites around the Internet.  Last month I was offered a full-time writing job from a large website after an editor there had seen an article of mine on Associated Content.  Even though the per-article price was definately very good, I declined it after much thought because I really didn't want to be tied down to one site and one or two subjects.  I don't want the stress of weekly deadlines anymore, and luckily I don't have to have them.  Then, last week I recieved another very good offer to write a series of articles for another large website after an editor there had seen articles of mine on Suite101.  This is a one-time deal for a good price, so I did accept it.  The topic of the articles is also one I enjoy writing about, so that makes it especially good.  (And I wouldn't mind if they offered me more assignments, either. :))  So don't just think of your articles as a way to earn one income, think of them as a showcase for your work too; a way to possibly get some prime assignments.


And don't forget about referrals.  A very nice lady in Detroit used my referral number when she signed up for and now I will receive referral money from that.  Robyn Adams is the Detroit Allergy Examiner and she writes very helpful articles for families with allergy problems.  Be sure to visit her articles if that subject interests you.   And if you decide to join Examiner as a writer, and you want to be really nice, you can use my referral number 28293 when you sign up. :)

Happy writing


There was some confusion over the minimum amount you must earn before Life123 made a payout and that has all been clarified in updates at my Life123 Review

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