Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sticking with Examiner.com

Hi all,

It's been awhile since I've posted because I've been very busy exploring new ways to earn residual income as well as working on a few new up-front pay opportunities.  Ever since my focus has left eHow, I've been exploring new ways of earning income, and have really enjoyed it.  My first discovery was the up-front pay articles at Associated Content that I wrote about in my last post and I also came upon an interesting up-front pay site that I will talk about in another post, after I make sure they pay on time - a big issue for any site.  Right now I want to talk about my new opportunity with Examiner.com.

Becoming a National Examiner

As those of you who read this blog already know, I have been the Minnesota Heart Health Examiner since October 2009.  I have really enjoyed writing in my topic and for Examiner, even though the pay hasn't been the best.  When I began thinking about my options for residual income, I decided that instead of letting Examiner go by the wayside I would reach for a higher position.  So, I applied through my channel manager and am now the National Alternative Medicine Examiner

Why become a national Examiner?  National Examiner article not only appear in the national edition of Examiner, but also appear throughout all of the local editions when there are no local articles available.  That means that my articles have the opportunity to be in up to 50 editions at once, instead of just the one local edition.  More people will see, and hopefully read, my articles.  And that means more residual earnings.

Since Alternative Medicine is a topic that I write on quite often at Associated Content, Constant-Content and Suite101, I felt this would be the perfect topic for me to write about as a National Examiner.  Alternative medicine is constantly being studied and proven effective, so I will never lack on articles to write about.  So far, I've been enjoying writing about my new topic.

What about the Income?

I knew that if I wanted to be successful at Examiner then I had to get a national gig.  So far, I am happy with my decision.  Currently I have only 5 articles as the Alternative Medicine Examiner and my daily earnings are as high as the earnings I get from the 36 articles I have as the Heart Health Examiner.  Compared to the local and national earnings, my local heart health articles had always earned high, but my national articles are exceeding those and I am sure when I have a high amount of articles in the national section my earnings will continue to increase.

I will also be continuing as the local heart health Examiner too, so that will only help to increase my income at Examiner.  There are some Examiners who earn a good montly income there, and I hope to be one of them.

My Advice to Other Writers

If you have contemplated becoming a writer for Examiner but have heard that the money isn't as good as at other sites, I still think you should consider it.  If you cannot secure a national title right away, become a local Examiner as I did and do a good job there for a few months.  Then you can request a national position and raise your income.  If you are already a local Examiner and are becoming frustrated with your earnings, contact your channel manager about a national position.  It's worth a try, especially if you have been doing a good job with your local title. 
I am still continuing with Suite101 and am happy that I stayed on there now that I no longer wish to write for eHow through Demand Studios.  I will let you all know about the new site I am writing for in my next post.

Happy writing,
Deanna

Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Associated Content's Featured Contributor Program

Hi all,

For the past few months, Associated Content has been advertising their Featured Contributor Program on their site and has been sending out e-mails to AC writers inviting them to apply.  Two months ago, I decided to apply and was accepted as a Health and Wellness Feature Contributor.  The program rules are very easy to follow and you are offered a few higher paying assignments in your category, so I figured it was worth trying out.  So far, I am happy that I am part of the program.

About the AC Featured Contributor Program

The AC Featured Contributor Program is offered to people who are already writers on AC and who have shown an interest in a particular subject.  Since there are many topics to choose from, there is probably a category for just about every writer on AC.  You have to apply for a topic and you usually hear back within two weeks.  After you are chosen, you are only required to:
  • Write at least one article a month in your topic.
  • Make sure you have a professional profile name and use an actual photo of yourself.
  • Follow the AC rules and code of conduct.
You can write as many articles each month in your topic as you wish and you can also still publish articles on other topics as well. 

If you are new to AC, you can still have a shot at this program.  Submit a few articles on a topic of interest to you the regular way, and once you've established a good catelog of articles - let's say 20-40 - then apply for a Featured Contributor position.  That way you will have a chance at the higher paying assignments and the higher visibility.

Benefits of the AC Featured Contributor Program

As a Featured Contributor you will have the title of Featured Contributor added to your profile and the site promises higher visibility of your articles throughout the site.  You will also be offered (you have to check the assignment box each month on your profile page) at least three assignments each month that have a higher  than average up-front pay.  This past month there were three "assignments" for the Health and Wellness category that asked for articles of at least 400 words and the pay was $10 each.  You also earn residual income from the articles after they are published. The best part is you can write on any subject within your topic, so the ideas for articles were limitless.

My Opinion of the Featured Contributor Program

I'm happy that I decided to try this program out.  True, $10 up-front pay isn't a fortune, but since a 400 word article only takes me an hour to research and write, I am not against earning $10 an hour plus residuals.  If it is true and my articles will get more exposure than a regular article on Associated Content, then perhaps my residuals will also go up.  I also think that this is a good way for writers who want to establish themselves as an expert in a particular field to get started.

To read more, click here Featured Contributor Program.

Are you already a member of the Featured Contributor Program at AC?  Let us know what you think of it.

Happy writing,
Deanna

Secrets of a Freelance Writer, Third Edition: How to Make $100,000 a Year or More

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Please Write Responsibly

Hi all,

I recently read an article on the front page of eHow that, health wise, was irresponsible and should never have been written in the first place.  (I won't tell you which one it was or else that will result in more views and encourage DS to do more of the same.)  Of course, the article title was one of the Demand Studios' computer-generated titles and, if you've ever written for DS, you know how ridiculous some of their titles are.  But, just because DS offers irresponsible or downright stupid titles, it doesn't mean writers have to choose them.  Really, is it worth $15 to give out worthless or dangerous health advice to the general public?  For me, the answer to that question is a big, fat "No".

Who's at Fault?

Who is at fault for producing these negligent articles?  I really can't blame the writers who chose those titles because they are just trying to earn a living.  However, a writer should use some discretion when choosing the subjects that they write about - but more on that later.  Demand Studios is at fault for allowing such titles to go through in the first place.  And the sad thing is, DS actually pays title checkers to make sure the titles are good to go.  I guess the title checkers aren't supposed to pull a title that will result in faulty or harmful advice to the readers.  In my opinion, DS should be held accountable for any articles that go through the system that give the reader misleading advice which can be harmful to their health.

The ironic thing is that eHow turned over all of the writing to DS so as to ensure quality from their contributors.  Yet, DS places some questionable articles on eHow that makes the site look more like a rag sheet instead of a quality information source.  The bottom line is that all DS and eHow want is to make money and they don't really care if the content is useful or safe for the reader - they just want the right keywords to get the most traffic.  While I'm not against making money, I sure don't want to put articles out there in internet-land that are harmful in any way to the readers.

It's Your Reputation

As a writer, you should be careful about the titles you choose at DS (or any other writing site that is similar) and make sure that the ensuing article will not be harmful to the reader.  After all, your name is going to appear on that article for all-time, not Demand Studios' name.  You want to be considered a credible writer so you can eventually work your way up to those higher paying assignments at other sites or magazines.  DS offers thousands of titles to write about, so be choosy about which ones you pick because after all, it is your reputation as a writer and researcher on the line, not Demand Studios'.

Why Should I Care?

True, since I will not be writing for DS or eHow any longer it really isn't my problem, but I'm tired of seeing so much false information out on the internet and I think writers should be part of the solution, not the problem.  If you write opinion pieces, fine. Make them useful and relevant to those who will be reading them.  If you write articles on any topic, write ones that are well-researched and useful to the reader.  If you blog, write about whatever you want - after all, it's your blog.  But please, don't send out misleading or harmful information into the world just to earn a buck.

Happy writing,
Deanna

(Photo by Bartek Ambrozik @ www.sxc.hu/photo/1198034)

Writer's Digest Handbook of Magazine Article Writing

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Life after eHow

Hi all,

Believe it or not, there is life after eHow.  There are several other sites out there that would be happy to have you join them as a writer.  If you choose to continue writing for eHow through Demand Studios - that is great.  If you are looking for sites where you can spread your wings - and earnings around - then here are a few suggestions.

Triond - While Triond is not a huge moneymaker, it is a source for extra income and you do retain all rights to your articles. You can write about practically any subject that interests you and you earn two ways - through Google Adsense earnings and also other ad earnings that Triond pays out to you once a month.  There is no minimum payout, so you are guaranteed to receive your income each month.  I have had a few articles on Triond for about three years and have found that the Google Adsense income has increased each month.  You do have to submit fresh content, but once it is accepted you own all rights and can place it on other sites as well.  See the side-bar on this page to read more about Triond.

FireHow - I really believe that now that eHow has made it more difficult to write for them that FireHow will begin to grow faster than it has over the past year.  At FireHow you can submit fresh or already published articles as long as they are in the same How To format as the articles you wrote for eHow.  Actually, you can also submit all your old eHow articles there too.  You earn money from ads, views, etc.  If you reach the $10 minimum payout, you are paid through PayPal monthly.  You can read more about FireHow by clicking on the review on the side-bar on this page.

Examiner - Why not spread your wings and apply as a local Examiner.  Don't let the application process scare you, if you have been writing for eHow, you will most likely be accepted at Examiner.  Examiner pays per view and it is generally at least .01 cent per view.  They also pay an up-front $1.00 for each article that uses a local source - up to 5 articles (or $5) per month.  You can earn $50 for every person who you refer to Examiner and who is accepted.  I truly believe that Examiner will grow now that so many people are looking for a new place to write and the views and pay will grow with it.  You can read my review of Examiner on the side-bar of this page.  (And, if you want to be really nice, please use my number when applying at Examiner so I receive credit as the person who referred you.  The number is: 28293 - or you can put my name in: Deanna Sletten.  Thanks.)

Suite101 - Suite101 is a wonderful place to earn high residual income and write quality articles that will reflect your talent as a writer.  You can write on almost any topic.  You do have to apply and be accepted before writing for Suite101, but don't let that intimidate you.  They have very specific instructions as to how they want articles formatted, but you can easily learn how.  If you enjoy writing quality, well-researched articles, Suite101 is the place to do that.  They also pay you through PayPal monthly once you reach the $10 minimum in earnings.  You can read my review of Suite101 by clicking it on the side-bar on the right side of this page.

Associated Content - Associated Content (AC) is a good place to earn some extra money each month from your writing.  You can submit articles for up-front payments as well as earn residual income from the articles monthly.  Up-front payments are between $1 and $20 per article, with the average article receiving about $4-$5 an article.  You can also submit already published articles for residual income only.  Almost any topic is accepted and you can publish as much as you want.  You can read my review of AC by clicking the review on the side-bar on this page.

Constant-Content - Yes, I always rave about Constant-Content (CC) because it is such a good earning site for writers.  If you are a good writer, you can do well placing your articles on this site to sell. You set your own price and when it is sold you receive 65% of the sale price.  You do not have to apply to join this site - just set up your account and begin submitting.  Read the writer's guidelines carefully before submitting because all articles go through an editor for approval first.  You can read more about CC in my review on the side-bar of this page.

Instead of being upset that eHow has pulled a fast one on you, use your energy instead for finding new ways to increase your monthly earnings.  Maybe one or more of these sites will work out well for you. 

Happy writing,

Deanna


(Photo by Deanna Sletten - These are pink flamingos sleeping in the sun at the garden around the Flamingo Hotel in L.V.  I am refraining from spelling out the city name because it messes up my Google ads. But you know where I mean.)

Travel Writing (How to)

The Big eHow Change - What Now?

Hi all,

Well, I was gone on vacation for a week and I came home to find out that eHow has pulled the rug out from under its writer's feet.  Since I am a week late with this information I will refrain from repeating all the information about the eHow changes and direct you to two sites that have already done a good job writing about the new eHow changes.  Felicia at No Job For Mom and Willow at The Freelance Home Writer have both written excellent posts on this subject.  If you don't already know about the changes at eHow - check their sites out.

As for me - I wasn't too surprised to read that eHow has turned their writer's program over to Demand Studios.  For months it looked to me like this might happen in the future - I just didn't know it would happen so fast.  My plan had been to come home from vacation and load up articles onto eHow so I could increase my earnings for the summer.  Now, my plans will have to change, but that is okay.  I do have other sites that I can write for and luckily I hadn't invested all my time to eHow only.  However, I do feel bad for all the people who did put their time and effort into eHow only to be blind-sided by the site they were loyal to.  Thankfully, eHow will continue to pay out revenue to past eHow writers for as long as their articles earn money.  I hope eHow doesn't change that in the next few months too for the sake of all the writers who have such high earnings there.

Moving Forward

I was automatically accepted into the DS program, which is funny because I am already a writer for DS under my real name.  So now I have two accounts.  I'm not sure if I will continue to write for eHow through the DS format.  I may try an article or two under the DS format and see how it goes.  It has taken almost a year to build up the income I already have at eHow, and I'm not really excited to try building it again through the new format. If I do try - I'll let you know how it goes.

Instead, I do plan to put more energy into writing for Suite101 and Constant-Content.  I've always enjoyed writing for CC and only put effort into eHow because of the good potential for residual income.  Since eHow will now own all rights to the work you place on their site through DS, I'd rather sell full rights through Constant for much higher income per article.  That just makes more sense to me.  I also plan on working more on my novel and less on articles. eHow was so addictive it was hard for me to chose between writing for them and working on my book - now I no longer have that temptation. 

Good Vacation

At least we had a good time on vacation before coming home to all of this controversy.  I'm glad I was too cheap to pay for Internet at our hotel - otherwise I may have learned about this eHow change earlier and it may have affected my vacation.  Where did we go?  My husband and I spent the past week in Las Vegas, enjoying the beautiful weather and walking miles everyday to see all the sites.  We hit all the high spots - fountains at Bellagio, Treasure Island Pirate Cove Show, Eiffel Tower, Strastophere, etc - and saw a few shows.  We didn't buy tickets for big name shows, but saw some of the side-shows instead.  Mostly, we walked and walked, rode the monorail and walked some more.  But the weather was perfect and we had a great time. 

How about You?

So, what are your thoughts of the changes at eHow?  What are your plans for the future?  Are you going to try writing for eHow through DS or try other sites?  I'd enjoy hearing how others are reacting to the news.

Happy writing,
Deanna

(Photo by Deanna Sletten of Bellagio Conservatory)

Las Vegas Then and Now

Thursday, April 1, 2010

SEED.com - Writing Site Review

Hi all,

In my never-ending search for high-paying writing sites, I ran into SEED.com and thought I'd share some information about it with you. SEED could turn out to be a good money-maker for the right writers and you never know the outcome until you try.

What is SEED?

SEED is a writing site that is owned by AOL and was launched in late 2009.  Much like Demand Studios, SEED requests articles for the many websites owned by AOL.  But, unlike DS, SEED pays up to $300 an article, with the majority of articles in the $30 to $50 range.  Now, don't go clicking over to SEED yet until you've read the rest of this review.

Joining SEED

It is easy to join SEED and start writing for them.  Simply set up an account with your name, address, and log-in information and you are set to go.  You do not have to apply or wait to be accepted.  Anyone can join and anyone can claim titles and begin writing. 

How Does SEED Work?

With SEED you join, look through a list of article titles available, choose titles and then write the article and submit it by the due date.  It will generally take 5 days after the due date to find out if your article has been accepted or not.  If your article is accepted, the amount SEED owes you will appear in your Dashboard.  You can request to be paid at any time and you will generally be paid within a week of your request.

SEED expects you to write high-quality articles which use quotes or information from experts.  Some of the requested articles can be drawn from your life experience.  SEED looks for interesting, informative subject matter, perfect grammar and a unique writing style.  These articles will be used for high-profile AOL websites and should look like they belong there.  SEED also has their own extensive photo gallery where you can choose a photo to go along with your article.

What is the Downside of Writing for SEED

The downside of writing for SEED is that many writers can pick the same title request and submit an article and the editors choose the article they like best from this pool of submissions.  In some instances, they may choose more than one.  So, this lowers the odds of your article being chosen.  But, if you are a good writer and your article is chosen, you earn enough money to make it worth writing the article.

SEED doesn't offer as many titles as Demand Studios does, so the list is rather short.  But some of their titles are interesting and can be easily used elsewhere if the article is rejected.

The Upside

If your article is chosen it is a great opportunity to be featured on one of the high-profile AOL websites.  If your article isn't accepted, you still own the rights to the article and can publish it on another site.  Either way, you win.

My Take on SEED

I did join SEED and submitted two articles.  One article has already been rejected (in a very nice e-mail that encouraged me to continue submitting - although this may be what they tell every writer) and the other one is waiting for review.  I have already turned the first article into an eHow article, so it was not a waste of my time even if it was rejected.  I think I will continue to try submitting articles that interest me at SEED just to see if I can actually sell one to them.

I think this site is worth looking at if you are looking for a new place to write articles for.  If nothing else, it will give you new articles to submit to your favorite residual sites, or Constant-Content, if they are not used by AOL. 

Would love to hear from anyone who has written for SEED or who tries it.

Happy writing,
Deanna

Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web
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