Sunday, May 29, 2011

How Panda Has Changed Where I Write

How could something so cute cause so much trouble?
Photo: Juha Soininen
Hi all,

Google’s Panda took a bite out of my residual income just as it did for many of you. And, it did not discriminate. Almost all of the revenue share sites that I write for, including Suite101, Triond, Associated Content/Yahoo! and Examiner, have suffered from the changes at Google. The result has been losing up to 75% of my residual income. Needless to say, this has made me rethink where I am heading as a freelance writer and what I want to do next.

Why I Had Been Building Residual Income

When I first started writing, I focused all of my attention on sites that paid per article, clients or print magazines that paid upon publication. After starting my blog, I began connecting with other writers who were very much into earning residual income and that idea intrigued me. Earning money for years off of the articles you write once sounded much better than selling one article at a time. So, for two years I tried many of the revenue share sites (and shared my experiences with all of you) to find the ones where I would earn the most for my articles. And, through a few of them, I did begin to build a nice monthly residual income. Then, Panda hit and eHow gave the ultimatum to buyout or get out. Not only am I now losing my monthly eHow money, but all of my residual income has dropped to barely anything. Luckily, I hadn’t placed all my eggs in one basket.

What Saved Me From the Ferocious Panda?

For the past few years while I was working on my residual income, I was also working on building two other sites, continued to look for and find new up-front pay writing opportunities and continued placing articles for sale on Constant-Content (CC). I never completely trusted that the residual income would last forever, so I wanted other income to fall back on. Let’s face it – even if Panda had not happened, articles on sites like eHow, AC and Triond do eventually get old and out-dated and the traffic will eventually go down. Only by continuing to add new articles would a person be able to keep the income level up. And since the best earner, eHow, had closed its doors to anyone who didn’t write for Demand Media Studios, then the income would have eventually faded away. So even in pre-Panda days, I wanted to make sure I could always earn money from other avenues other than revenue share sites.

Over the past month, I have decided to concentrate most of my energy on my two other sites and writing for CC. By building up an even bigger cache of articles for sale at CC, I can enjoy a constant stream of income coming in each month while still having the freedom to choose the topics that I write on. And, once the two other sites I am working on begin earning an income, (if they do!) I may branch out and create other sites. I have also been searching the web, finding new opportunities for up-front pay at sites that pay far more per article than DMS, Break Studios or any of the other content mill style sites. There are many opportunities out there, it just takes time looking for them.

What about Revenue Share Sites?

While I may not continue to write for many, or any, revenue share sites in the future, it doesn’t mean I don’t believe that they will not eventually re-build themselves to their former glory. I do think that some of them will make the necessary changes and bask in Google’s glory once more. And since I have articles at many of these sites, I really want to believe this is true. I just don’t want to put my faith, and income potential, into them again because you just never know. Google giveth, and Google taketh away. So I think I will stick with what works and earn my money one article at a time.

What are all of you doing different since Panda?

Happy Writing


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Unable to Answer Comments & eHow Buyout Question

Blogger having some difficulties.
Photo: Malkowitch
Hi all,

Just so all of you know, I haven't been able to answer any new comments due to some problem with Blogger.  So, if you've asked a question, I'm sorry that I haven't been able to get back to you.  When I try to post a comment, I get the run-around.  Blogger asks for my login information, then says my name is Anonymous and then won't post the answer anyway.  Hopefully they will fix this problem soon.

However, I do want to answer one person's question in the comments about the eHow buyout.  I was asked if I knew whether or not eHow kept your name on the articles after they buy them.  From what I can see, eHow changes the name of the contributor on your articles after you agree to the buyout.  At least that is what happened to my articles.  So be aware that if you take the buyout and eHow keeps your articles on the site, your name will probably not be on them anymore. Hope this answers your question.

Happy Writing,

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Writer’s Guidelines for Magazines that Use Freelance Writers

Hi all,

As I continue looking for new freelance writing opportunities for myself, I also want to share these opportunities with you. Many small to medium publications pay fairly well for articles and new or experienced freelance writers are always welcome. Not all of them state what their pay rate is, so be sure to always ask before actually writing an article. Here are some more magazine opportunities for you to check out.

Family Tree Magazine - Covers genealogy, ethnic heritage, personal history or any way that you connect with your past history.

BackHome Magazine - This is a down-to-earth, how-to magazine looking for real-life experiences on anything home-grown or home-made. Gardening, building, crafts, home business and more. Pays $35/printed page.

The Growing Edge - Looking for articles on indoor and outdoor gardening/growers and those using high-tech ways to grow gardens. Pays up to .20 cents per word.

American Profile Magazine - Looking for profiles of people, places and traditions that make America unique and great.

Bird Times
Cats & Kittens
Dog and Kennel - Needs articles and photos for their three magazines. Great magazines for animal lovers. Guidelines for all three at above link.

New York Spirit Magazine - Topics include spirituality, personal growth and holistic health. Looking for essays, how-to, humor, inspirational, interviews and fiction. Would love to work with new writers. Payment up to $150. Visit link for more information on how to submit a query.

Portland Magazine - Looking for articles on anything to do with living in the Portland, Maine area. See link for guidelines.

Long Island Woman - Covering topics of interest to women age 35 and older. Lifestyle, family, health, beauty, home, travel and much more. Pays up to $200/article depending up length. Buys reprints. See guidelines at link above.

Happy Writing,


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thanks to the Moms Who Helped with My Articles

Hi all,

I want to thank all the mom writers/bloggers who answered my request for help with some articles I was writing.  Although I wasn't able to use everyone's submissions, I do appreciate their willingness to help.  Because I work at home and not in an office, I don't have as many connections to other moms as I used to, so I really appreciate all my online friends. 

To thank everyone who participated, I'm listing the links to their sites:

Felicia at No Job For Mom

Anitra at The Mama Zone

Miranda at Work at Home Adventures

Julie at The Family CEO Blog

Sarah at The Creative Writer

Pat at Chicago Women's Spirituality Examiner

Denise at Write and Get Paid

Thank you all for participating - you were a great help.

If you'd like to read the articles they helped me with, here are the links:

Real moms share: My favorite family activity

5 Reasons family time rocks

Happy Writing,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Freelance Writing Opportunities for Online Magazines

Hi all,

Once again I spent some time searching the Internet for new writing opportunities that, hopefully, pay. Although some of these online magazines did not tell how much they pay per article, it doesn’t mean that they don’t pay. Always ask for details before submitting an article so you aren’t surprised if you don’t get paid. For writers just getting started on their careers, the non-paying publications are a good way to get published clips. Good luck.

Honest Horse Magazine - Love horses and everything about them? Then you may want to check out Honest Horse Magazine. This northern California magazine is looking for interesting articles on the topic of horses. They accept e-mail submissions only and would like you to query first. Visit the link to read more about submitting articles to this magazine.

Family Magazine of Michiana – no, I did not misspell the title - is a parenting publication that services the Michigan and Indiana areas. They are always looking for interesting articles on parenting and family life. Check out their submission guidelines by following the link.

Dogs Naturally is centered around owners who use natural foods and products to care for their dogs. They are looking for articles about your experiences as a pet owner using natural products and other dog-related information. Guidelines available at the link above.

Homeschooling Today Magazine is looking for articles that are focused on everything to do with homeschooling. They pay up to .10 cents per word depending upon the type of article you submit. They have very detailed writer’s guidelines which you can find at the above link.

The Lookout is a Christian magazine looking for bible teachings, interviews, news stories and other information related to being a Christian today. They pay up to .17 cents per word depending upon the type of article you submit. Read their writer’s guidelines at the link above.

Happy Writing,


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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sites that Pay Up-Front for Articles and Blog Posts

Earn money writing for these websites.
Photo: Peter Nielsen
Hi all,

I was searching around the Internet for new writing opportunities that pay up-front for articles and blog posts and I came upon the following sites. I’ve never written for these sites myself, so I cannot vouch for them personally, but here is the information for you to find out more yourself. Many of them want “tech” articles/blog posts, so if you are computer savvy or know more about blogging than most people, these may be the jobs for you. Good luck!

MakeUseOf is a site that wants writers who are addicted to the Internet and can share information on topics like Twitter, StumbleUpon, blogging on Wordpress, and just about anything else that is Internet/Blog/Web related. Payment starts at $45.00 per blog post and there are other ways to make money. Visit their page to learn more about what they are looking for and how to apply.

Tuttoaster offers $10-$25 per tutorial and more for articles if they are accepted. Tuttoaster publishes articles and tutorials that are computer, Internet and business related. Visit their page to learn more about them.

Forward – The Jewish Daily This newspaper-style website is looking for freelance writers to contribute news articles that are related to or connected to the Jewish community. There area also sections for arts & culture, lifestyle, food, entertainment and much more. This would be an excellent opportunity for people with newspaper writing experience.

ProBlogDesign will pay up to $125 for your tutorials on anything to do with web design. If web design is your niche, this is the place for you to earn money. Visit their site for more information.

Mental_Floss is a website and magazine that caters to people who are knowledge junkies. If you love trivia, you will love writing for this site. Look over this site carefully to get an idea about the type of articles they are looking for.

SitePoint is read by web developers, designers, marketers, and site owners and reaches over 3 million people a month. They pay money up-front for articles and also pay additional money for page views. They have a list of topics they are currently looking for on the link above.

Happy Writing,


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Friday, May 6, 2011

Say Goodbye to EHow's WCP Earnings

Wave goodbye to EHow's WCP.
Photo: Aleksandra P
Hi all,

If you haven't already heard yet, EHow announced they are ending the WCP and will be offering past EHow contributors a buyout of their articles.  As of May 31st, if you haven't accepted your buyout, you will lose it and your articles will be deleted.  So, if you used to write for EHow and you earn revenue share money there and you haven't yet received an e-mail about the buyout, then you need to go check your account there.  Sign into your account and click the Articles tab.  Above your articles should be a notice about the program ending.  Follow the prompts to find out your buyout. 

Felicia at No Job For Mom explains the details of the EHow WCP ending, so for more information, click here.

As for me, I am sad to see this revenue share program go.  Since last November, my articles there were earning double their normal rate and my monthly EHow income doubled.  At the rate I was going, I would have ended this year with twice the income without having to do a thing.  While the buyout offer I received was good, it was about what I'd made in 2010 at EHow, so it's not as good as I probably would have made this year.  I know there are a lot of people who will be losing a big source of income from this program ending, and I feel bad for them.  At this point in time, I'm not sure I will trust placing my time and effort into any other revenue share program.

However, if you write revenue share articles for EHow through Demand Studios, then you will not be affected by this change.  I currently have about 24 articles through there and they are doing fairly well.  I doubt if I will be adding any more though. 

Oh well, nothing lasts forever.  On to the next....  :)

Happy Writing,

2011 Writer's Market

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Call to All Mom Bloggers for Help

Mom bloggers needed.
Photo: Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo
Hi all,

I am looking for bloggers who are moms to share some tips in exchange for a link to your blog from a prominent woman's website.  I am writing three articles for this site and need some moms to share ideas/tips.  Moms with teens are especially needed, however all moms are welcome to reply.  You can certainly participate even if you don't have a blog, but for those who do blog, I will submit your link along with your tips.

I do need your help quickly though.  The deadline for replies to this call for mothers is Monday, May 9th.

Please e-mail me here for more information on what information/tips I need from you.

I may not be able to use all the tips but I do appreciate all the moms who reply to this request.

Happy Writing,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Earn Money off Your Feeds with Google Adsense for Feeds

Make money on your blog's Feed page
with Google Adsense.
Hi all,

Okay, I may be slow but I do eventually find out things about my blog that I should have probably known all along.  If you are one of the few people, like me, who still isn't earning Google Adsense income from your blog's feed, then here is how you can change that.

Adding Google Adsense to Your Blog's Feed

If you already are using Google Adsense to earn money from advertising on your blog pages, then you can expand that by placing Google Ads on your blog's feed too.  Once you set it up, your feed will display ads targeted to the content on your feed that other people subscribe to.  You will then earn money the same way you do with regular Google ads and it is reported in your account on the same report page as your regular Google income.

It's easy to set up Google Adsense for feeds.  Log into your Google Adsense account, hit the Reports tab and look down the page for Google Adsense for Feeds.  Click on this and follow the prompts.  All you need to know is your blog's URL or the feed URL.  It is simple and you will be done in seconds.   For more information on Google Adsense for Feeds, click here.

Since adding this to my adsense account (3 days ago) I have had 140 impressions from the Feed page.  This proved to me that adding this as another source of Google Adsense income is worth the few seconds it took to do it. 

Happy Writing,

Work at Home Now: The No-nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-based Job, Avoiding Scams, and Making a Great Living

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Make Your Blogger Blog Mobile Compatible

Make you blog mobile compatible.
Photo: Andrzej Gdula
Hi all,

Thanks to Felicia at No Job For Mom, (read Felicia's post here) I learned how to make my Blogger blogs (blogspot) mobile compatible.  Apparently, blogger blogs are not usually compatible on mobile phones but by adding a new code into the HTML of your blog's template, your blog is supposed to be more compatible.  Being much like Felicia (I also only use my cell phone for emergencies and travel, not for entertainment) I never really thought about my blogs being mobile compatible.  When I went to check to see if any of my blogs were compatible, I found that they weren't.  So I went to the link Felicia supplied and followed the easy instructions.  You can too.

Visit Felicia's blog post (link above) to learn more on how to make your WordPress blog compatible.

To check if your blog is already mobile compatible, go to dotMobi  and type in your blog's URL.

To make your Blogger blog mobile compatible visit Blogger How To Tips and follow the easy instructions.

Remember, before changing any HTML, you should always backup your blog into a file in case you make a mistake.  Blogger makes backing up your file easy, just follow the prompts on the page when you click Edit HTML.

Happy Writing,

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