Thursday, July 29, 2010

Online writers have to know when to cut back

If you're a writer like me who utilizes some of the online content publishing websites, time is precious to you. How so? Because these sites do not pay much money, and it takes a lot of work not only to write your own articles but also to promote those articles.

For beginning online writers, it's best early on to try out at least a half dozen of these sites, perhaps even more. Eventually the writer should find a site that works best for himself or herself, a site that fits all their needs and is easy to use for them.

For me, the site that best fits all my current needs is Triond, though I have my quibbles about Triond. I also routinely use Bukisa, RedGage, Gather, Xomba and, until recently, Helium. Over the last year that I've been blogging and writing regularly online, I've tried out another half dozen sites, but I've always come back to a core group.

However, I've decided it's time to cut back and to utilize fewer sites, probably just Triond and Bukisa.


Because time is essential to me. Writing is not a hobby for me. It's how I make a living, how my bills are paid and my family gets fed. And since I can't magically create more time, I have to focus on what's essential, on what works for me as a writer.

As I mentioned, I no longer use Helium for writing and publishing. Helium is a great site. In fact, it's one of the better paying content publishing sites out there. But Helium also takes up a lot of time. Not only do you have to write and promote your own articles, but to make money at Helium you also have to spend lots of time reading and reviewing others' writings. Sorry, but I don't have time for that.

RedGage is a nice site, and I like it a lot, but the site pays you through a gift card. Initially the idea of the gift card sounds cool because it works just like a debit card. However, the problem I've found is that after you've had the card for six months, you are charged a fee of roughly $3 per month just to keep the card. While $3 isn't a lot, RedGage isn't exactly a site where I make a lot of money each month. In other words, I would almost be writing at RedGage for free. Sorry, time to move on.

The other sites I mentioned, and other sites I've tried out in the past, have their good sides and bad sides, but they don't pay enough in my opinion or they make it too difficult to make any money at all. So, time to move on.

Yes, there are those who will argue that Triond also is not an easy site with which to make money. And that's true. But I've already spent more than a year on Triond and I've built up an audience there and have learned how to use Triond well enough to bring me in some money. I also like that I can link my AdSense account with Triond, which makes me even more money. Adding AdSense is a huge bonus for me.

Also, there might be those who ask why I'm sticking with Bukisa since Bukisa also doesn't pay well. The reason: Because Bukisa brings a fair number of viewers each month to my Triond articles through my links. Simple enough, yes?

Writers have to make adjustments, and more importantly, they have to know when and why to make those adjustments. If new content publishing sites spring up, or if the old sites make major changes, I'll probably give them a try. But for now, I'm sticking with what works for me. If you're a writer, try out your own things, then stick with what works for you.

Just remember that sometimes you have to make a change.

More writing links.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

100 ways to show I love you

  1. Dance together with music.
  2. Dance together without music.
  3. Give roses. Out of the blue. For no reason.
  4. Give chocolates. Anytime.
  5. Leave short, romantic notes about the house.
  6. Write a sappy love poem and leave it for your loved one in a special place where you know they'll find it.
  7. Sing a song for your loved one.
  8. Play a musical instrument for your loved one.
  9. Bake cookies together.
  10. Jewelry is always nice.
  11. Read poetry to the one you love.
  12. Take a carriage ride together, preferably through a park or other wooded area.
  13. Be there for the good times.
  14. And the bad.
  15. Carve your names on an old tree.
  16. Hold hands.
  17. Cry during a movie.
  18. Go on a picnic together.
  19. Take a day hike to a romantic spot.
  20. Go simple. Go old fashioned. Dinner and a movie.
  21. Give a single rose.
  22. Have a movie date night at home. You make the popcorn.
  23. Teddy bears are quite popular.
  24. Just talk.
  25. And pay attention to what the other one says.
  26. Give coupons for free a back massage.
  27. Give a back massage.
  28. Smile when he or she enters the room.
  29. Always say goodbyes.
  30. Shovel the sidewalk when it snows.
  31. Leave a trail of rose petals from the front door to a pleasant surprise, perhaps a hot bath or special dinner.
  32. Sing together.
  33. Sip cocoa together by a fire.
  34. Go on a vacation together. Just the two of you.
  35. Make dinner.
  36. And don't complain about it.
  37. Foot massages are often popular.
  38. Take dancing classes together.
  39. Take cooking classes together.
  40. Teach a class together.
  41. Spend a weekend together at a bed and breakfast.
  42. Leave a rose and love note on his or her windshield.
  43. Send an e-mail from work that says you miss them.
  44. Say, "You are the best thing to ever happen to me."
  45. Let him or her take a nap while you answer the phone, run the errands, take care of the kids, etc.
  46. Write a romance novel or poetry collection about your significant other. Have it bound and/or published. Give them a signed copy with the words "I love you" written above your signature.
  47. Laugh together.
  48. Cry together.
  49. Do something fun together.
  50. Snuggle.
  51. Especially when watching TV.
  52. Wash all the laundry in the house.
  53. Sleep in together.
  54. Rub noses.
  55. Go for long walks together.
  56. Make love, not sex.
  57. Say something nice to him or her.
  58. Compliment him or her.
  59. Look at old photos together.
  60. Take out the garbage. Without being asked.
  61. Thank his or her parents for bringing them into the world.
  62. Create a blog about how much you love them.
  63. Play his or her favorite board game together.
  64. Go house hunting together. Even if you aren't buying a house.
  65. Go for a long Sunday drive.
  66. Go bicycling together.
  67. Watch sunsets together.
  68. Surprise him or her with a night out on the town.
  69. Whisper sweet nothings in their ear.
  70. Go shopping together at his or her favorite store.
  71. Sit in the same room and quietly read books with one another.
  72. Do house chores together.
  73. Work in the yard together.
  74. A good hug can mean a lot.
  75. Call a radio station and have his or her favorite song dedicated over the air.
  76. Slip a secret note into his or her pocket.
  77. Make a present. Yes, with your own hands.
  78. Share secrets about your childhoods.
  79. Lay atop a grassy hill and watch the stars together.
  80. Read bedtime stories to them.
  81. Play footsie under the table.
  82. Play footsie on the couch.
  83. Just play footsie.
  84. Throw them a surprise party.
  85. Go parachuting together.
  86. Watch soap operas together.
  87. A favorite is "All My Children." Pretend you're Kindle and Zack.
  88. Make a scrap book together.
  89. Take care of them when he or she is ill.
  90. Walk the dog(s) together.
  91. Go jogging together.
  92. Caresses.
  93. Sit close together.
  94. Did I mention chocolate? Yes? That's fine. Chocolate deserves two spots.
  95. Take them out for ice cream.
  96. Bring home their favorite ice cream.
  97. Make their favorite ice cream at home.
  98. Really, just about anything including ice cream will do.
  99. Say, "I love you."
  100. More than once a day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Too Many Links Can Ruin Online Articles

You've seen them. They're those articles that have tons and tons of links in them. Some of them can even seem like they are nothing but links.

It's annoying, isn't it?

First off, it can be jarring to the eye. All those links pop out at you, and with limited use can help to drive traffic to the link. But when there are seemingly nothing but links, all those bright colors and underlined text can strain the eyesight. That's not good for readers, and they're not going to like it. Which lessens the chances they'll click on the link anyway.

Too many links can also make it difficult to read an article because the reader won't know what is important. A link on a particular word or string of words can take a reader to more information, possibly adding to the original article. But too many links can leave the reader unsure as what is important, which link to click. And most readers aren't going to bother trying to follow every link because that is time consuming and just plain silly.

If you are an article writer and you have a lot of links you feel are important to an article, collect the links and add them in a box or sidebar to one side of the article, or perhaps inserted in a colored box within the article. This is more pleasing to the eye and allows the reader to look over the list so they can decide what is important to them. Remember to give your readers options, because it gives them a sense of control; otherwise they feel they are being controlled and they're likely to move on to someone else's articles.

And you don't want readers to move on to someone else's articles.

Why? Because you need your readers. If you write for money, you need your readers to help pay the bills. If you write for the love of writing, you need your readers to provide feedback and hopefully to help pay your ego.

Otherwise, why write. Right?

Yep, here are some links