Posts Tagged meta

Final Day of the Blogathon

Posted by on Monday, 31 May, 2010

It’s May 31, and I have been posting for a month, along with the other posters who now have many more posts on their blogs. I actually have 40 posts up for May, and this post will be 41. Why? When you’ve got a newer blog up, you have to put more articles up in the beginning to get some traffic going. Visit the other blogs here.

There are a lot more news articles than I was anticipating. The original design decision was to have evergreen articles on green business topics. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was such a significant event that I ended up writing a lot of articles about that, as the disaster is still ongoing. Lots more upcoming on that, including issues with the dispersants, the start of the hurricane season, burning off the oil, and even the remote possibility that the government nukes the well to close off the leak. Much of this information is not being released to the public, such as how much oil is leaking and what chemicals and methods are being used to clean it up, although university sources explain the basic concepts involved in cleaning up an oil spill.

The goal of this site is also to serve as a source of income for me. That is the reason why there are ads here. I write for Demand Studios, and I do not have another job at the moment. Demand pays better than the fast food and retail jobs, and probably a lot of lower level office work. I decided to write articles for lump sum payments for clients, since it does not seem worthwhile to do revenue share at a site that I don’t own the rights and 100% of the revenue at. This changes if a site has huge exposure – I’ve written a bit more recently at Daily Kos, which does not provide any compensation, since that site is Page Rank 8.

Page Rank? That is the method that Google uses to track your site’s popularity, supposedly they release the new information every three months or so. As of the last update this site is PR 0, a jump from 0 to 3 or 4 on the next update is not uncommon from what I hear. As for what happens when you get PR 8 on a blog? Darren Rowse runs a site where he writes articles, including what you can realistically expect. The first link on this page goes to a Wall Street Journal article where Darren is interviewed. WSJ is behind a paywall, so you might not be able to read this link without a subscription. In my opinion it is worthwhile to subscribe to the WSJ, you will probably receive a positive return from it. This article lists a site called Monga Bay, which is an environmental blog. From the WSJ article, Monga Bay was making around $200,000 a year from Adsense alone in 2008, might even be higher now. Of course, the site owner, Rhett Butler, wrote several thousand good articles, they are a lot better than the article I did on the Pac Man frog, which is the most similar to that blog’s style I think.

Darren Rowse is reminding you that you should not expect to make $200,000 a year from ads on your blog, and people who do so work long hours without a guarantee of a reward. Could you write several thousand well researched articles over a year, without knowing if you will receive anything? If you’re working another job, this is in addition to your other job and family responsibilities. I do expect this to take that long. From what I hear Google gradually raises the reputation of sites the longer they are up, since that establishes credibility. You also have to pay for hosting going this route. Right now it is a few dollars a month, but a site that gets millions of visitors is going to cost a lot more, although ads should cover the cost if you design your site to do so. I like having my own WordPress blog on a hosted server, since the articles do not have to be approved by anyone else before going out, and the ads and links can go in any format I want. The side effect, of course, is that these articles are not professionally edited. The website design is a WordPress theme, I like the way it looks although I don’t know how to create it and there are other blogs with the exact same theme appearance. For example, check out the original theme designer’s page. Note, the designer, Gauson, claims that part of the reason for this design is to raise awareness about the Australian bush fires. We also have issues with wild fire here in California and global warming will only increase the likelihood of these fires, they used to primarily occur here in the fall but now they are happening year round.

Blogathon Haiku

Posted by on Tuesday, 25 May, 2010

Hmm, so we’re doing poetry today? Ah, guess it was yesterday, I’ll do one today anyway. This should set a record for shortest post ever.

Oil in the Gulf
Tar balls on the shore
Bad news for BP

Don’t forget to check out the Blogathon Headquarters and see everyone else who’s participating.

Achievement Unlocked

Posted by on Saturday, 22 May, 2010

Ever notice how many games have achievements these days? Especially on Facebook it is becoming a fad. Your business made $1,000,000 in an hour, achievement unlocked. You reached level 100, achievement unlocked. Trade in the skill points for the achievement and make your character better.

The reason this works is a psychological trick. Video games include the achievements in their design to keep you addicted to a game and keep paying the developers money. Combined with other elements such as randomized rewards, it greatly improves replayability, you never feel that the game is over and you can quit the game and play a new one.

So why not use this method in business? It’s possible to set achievements as goals for any type of business you want to start. A blog includes goals as well. For example, you can create an achievement for blog viewers. 1000 unique views in a day, achievement unlocked. 20,000 views in a month, achievement unlocked. Revenue metrics are another goal. 10 ad clicks in a day, achievement unlocked. 50 ad clicks in a week, achievement unlocked.

Setting this up, like setting up a budget or recording expenses, does not require any special software. A spreadsheet program works fine, a lot of people use MS Excel, I use Open Office because it is free and it can save and import many different types of files. Separate the types of achievements into categories, and list each achievement in a category. Then, place the date the achievement is met next to each individual achievement. It will help greatly with motivation; it is harder to go from $0 to $1000 than it is to go from $1000 to $2000, since you just have to increase your effort doing what you already know is effective.

The May 2010 Blogathon

Posted by on Sunday, 16 May, 2010

And I’m halfway through it now. I’ll be posting every day during this month, as part of a blogathon event which is being hosted by Word Count. The link contains lists to everyone else who is posting this time around, and there are now more than a hundred participants.

Why participate in a blogathon? Several reasons. There will be prizes awarded, and many of them are geared toward making the blog posters better writers. I could definitely use that help. I didn’t study journalism, communication, English, or one of the other fields that trains students to become professional writers. I studied business, specifically cost accounting. Nobody was hiring cost accountants when I graduated so I had to find other work, and writing work is available.

Also trying to build my site up more. I do intend to use this site as a portfolio to apply for writing contracts, although that is not its main goal. After realizing that many employers wish to have writers write for free for them, or keep 90% of the profits or something similarly unreasonable, I wondered what value the employer brings to the table. CPAs, pharmacists, and other professionals will not hire workers under the kinds of terms that media and journalism, as well as political, organizations commonly offer. I am glad the federal government is cracking down on unpaid internships now, as it was becoming abusive. The challenge with writing online is mostly promotional, setting up a quick WordPress blog and putting up some Adsense banners isn’t that hard. The tricky part is getting blog traffic and readers. The main requirement here is that you’ve got to know how the search engines operate, and it helps to be able to write about many different subjects quickly. Why quickly? It’s not cost effective to spend 20 hours to write an article unless you’re getting paid hundreds of bucks for it, so a lot of these posts go up in an hour or less. Better to stick to a topic you know, for me that’s finance or chemistry, for you it may be something else.

Getting Accepted to Write For Demand Studios

Posted by on Wednesday, 5 May, 2010

Demand Studios is a company that pays freelance writers to write articles about many different topics. The main advantage of this site is that there are lots of article jobs available, which saves a lot of time searching for assignments elsewhere. The site focuses on how to articles that are posted at sites such as Ehow.

The editors want to hire people who know how to write for the web. It is helpful if you have a blog since it demonstrates that you are familiar with writing for an internet audience. Other articles at online magazines or newspapers are also helpful. The application does allow you to submit samples of your work, but the more information you can provide, the better.

Research is important when writing for Demand Studios. Make sure that the articles you submit show off your research knowledge. It is especially important to show that you can provide source material for How To articles such as installing a car stereo or building a fence. The acceptable articles include references to reputable sources, so your sample articles should include useful references.

Make sure your resume focuses on writing. Like with other writing jobs, showing that you have written for several years is helpful. It is not necessary to have a university degree in a writing major such as English, Communication, or Journalism, although it does help. Include details such as college newspapers and magazines that you have written articles for or edited.

Learn their style. It’s not wise to send in samples of generic articles, articles written for school projects, or articles written for unique projects such as research papers or grants. The style involves simple How Tos that target searchers who look up keywords on Google, so you are writing for readers who have no knowledge of a specific subject. Read some of the articles on Ehow to get an idea of the desired format. Articles do not use long sentence constructions or passive voice.

Now writing for Demand Studios

Posted by on Monday, 15 March, 2010

Update on my writing. It should also be showing up at Ehow and several other sites. Lots of topics to write about over there, I am mostly writing about general business topics there and writing about green business on this site. Always on the hunt for new places to write at, of course. Good to be over there since they have forums and articles who offer advice on how to get better at writing, as well as the comments from the editors. I’ve written for other sites, but the pay rates are too low at many of them to be worthwhile right now.

Location Change is in progress

Posted by on Tuesday, 2 March, 2010

After I installed the original blog I realized I could not alter many aspects of it since I had used a setup method which was easy to use and foolproof. So now I have changed to another method and am in the process of migrating the posts over to this format today, fortunately there were only four posts when I realized the situation.