Saturday, September 25, 2010

You Are What You Read

As a continuation of my post, 'Helpful Resources for Freelance Writers' I'd like to mention another writing book I recommend. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg is a quick, insightful read writing and life.

In her book, Goldberg takes her readers inside her own process and outlook on writing, encouraging writers to develop their own practice and make it a seamless part of their own life. Although I don't agree with all her personal views on writing, I found her book to be motivating and thought provoking.

As a writer, you should always been searching for new books to read, because as a wise person once said, 'You are what you read'. It is impossible to become a good writer without first reading good writing. Carefully evaluate the books you do (or don't!) read each month, and make it a habit and goal to keep fresh books on the end tables. Your writing will thank you for it.

What are some of your favorite books on writing? What are you reading now?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Update on My Keyword Academy Progress

As most of my readers know, I started the Keyword Academy this month to help boost my online income, learn more about SEO and target better keywords. My original goal for the month was to finish the core videos and compile my list of keywords. So far, I have watched all the core videos (which were by far the most helpful thing about TKA!) and a few of the webinars. I also have come up with a few potential keywords to start my niche sites.

I went ahead and bought all my domain hosting from Host Gator. I like that I can host as many domains as I want for only $7 a month! I also went ahead and bought 2 domain names and have already set up one of the 2. So far, I have 3 posts on this one site and plan to add at least 3 more before starting on the next one.

Even though the first month with TKA was free, I plan to continue my membership for the time being ($33 month special) because I've found it extremely helpful. I've learned more this past month than I have over the course of the year!

As a new segment to this blog, I will be updating on my TKA experience at least once a month. I will share my failures, progress and accomplishments regarding earning online income from my own websites. I hope this will help further contribute to this blog and help others who may be contemplating delving into residual and passive income online as well.

Friday, September 17, 2010

References: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Most articles require references in order to fully cover a subject and for the reader to trust the advice given in the article. With search engines like Google, it has become increasingly easier to get references on just about any topic in the world. But are all references created equal?

As an online writer, one of the most important skills you'll need is the ability to sort out bad references from good ones. The last thing you want is an editor or client discovering a piece of your writing contains errors or isn't backed up by facts. To avoid this, here are some tips on gathering references for online articles (or any article for that matter):
  • Check with .gov, .org and .edu sites first for authority on a subject matter. These are solid references that are trusted above .com or .net sites.
  • Search for professional organizations or societies on a topic. These websites typically go into greater detail and provide facts about a topic that can be hard to find elsewhere online.
  • Check the sources of the particular article. What goes around comes around!
  • Avoid websites with frequent misspellings or grammar mistakes.
  • Stay away from spammy sites that load pages with ads and completely irrelevant information. Websites that sell a product are generally not good sources for references either.
  • Avoid wikipedia. Anyone can edit articles there, so it cannot be trusted as a source of reliable information. If you are hunting for specific information about a subject, a brief look at a wikipedia article may help you discover better terms to search for, but avoid using it as a basis for facts in your article.
  • User-created pages (such as Yahoo! Answers) should be avoided as well, since the information they contained are typically not backed up by reliable sources. Again, you can use these pages for additional insight or better search terms, but do not reference it as fact or use it for the basis of your article.

You can create a special sub-search engine on Google to help weed out unreliable sources. Use Google Custom Search to include one or more websites or specific web pages. Or simply search within the main google search engine using the Advanced Search options. Typing the subject followed by the website directly into the main search bar is another option. (i.e. Plant Database

Remember, your article is only as good as the sources behind it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Earnings Update

Is it September already?! Although I am very excited for fall and cooler weather (the heat this year has been excessive and draining), I can't believe how fast summer went by. I suppose having a new baby can help make things seem like a blur!

Here are the stats for August:

Suite 101: $18.96
eHow: $20.26
Adsense: $6.32
Amazon: $0.00

Total= $45.54

I added 4 new articles to Suite 101 in August and managed to write 2 DS articles all while dealing with a colicky baby who refused to take naps. So considering the limited amount of time I was able to put in, I am pleased with that. I also added 3 new hubs to HubPages.

At the end of this month, I started the Keyword Academy, which is where I will be placing my efforts in September (if you've never heard of TKA, read my post about it- the first month is FREE). My plan is to get through all the core videos, and make a good sized list of keywords. I also would like to buy my domains and start assembling a few websites by the end of this month.

Depending on how much time I have, I'd like to get to 70-75 Suite 101 articles (I currently have 64) in order to stay on track for my goal of 100 by Thanksgiving.

How did you do in the month of August? Did you meet your goals? What are your goals for September?


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