October 30, 2007

StumbleUpon Groups

I was just at StumbleUpon networking with some other Associated Content producers, stumbling their articles and playing with the site. I decided to check out the groups my friends are interested in and join if I was interested. I joined two last week--the feature and a photo group--just from cruising around the site. I thought I might like more on my page but I noticed something...

How does one go about joining a group? I joined the feature group because there is information there about the site and it's uses--pretty good reason. The photo group I joined because I liked the photos posted there and I wanted to post some of my novice stuff.

Today I joined the healthy lifestyle group--one of my friends is a member and I'm into living healthy, why not? As I was reading the comments, I noticed that not too many people join in discussions and the posts were all old if they did. As a matter of fact, there were a lot of groups like that.

Now, the awesome pictures group is highly active. Would that be an indicator that today people are leaning toward the visual? Are we abandoning reading? Communication? A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say, and I believe it.

The feature group is active too. A lot of people are information seekers. Learning the features of a site is worthwhile if you intend to us it properly and have it work for you.

I don't think I'll be joining a multitude of groups. I want my page to be clean and truly indicate my likes. If my friends choose to see which groups I'm a member of, they're not going to be overwhelmed.

October 29, 2007

Over the Weekend



Over the weekend we got a lot accomplished at the homestead. Chores that have been put off for weeks. One particularly was the lawn. We have been putting the laborious task off for weeks. In some parts of the yard the grass was as tall as me.
We live in the hill country so the yard only must be done on occasion--when the weeds are so tall we can't see the deer, or the dog gets lost when we take her out.

We did not actually finish the yard--we ran out of weed eater line. I was rather happy when that happened. Of course my husband will be stopping by Home Depot on the way home from work to pick some up so we can finish a bit more everyday this week after work.

As far as my writing goes, I have plans to complete 5 reviews and 2 articles this week. I need to do more but I'm going to set my goal on the low side so I can be sure to get it done.

I read other articles that I subscribe to and they are publishing several a day. I just do not see how they are doing it. Some are coming from SAHMs like me. How can they write several articles a day and still attend to their kids.

My girls consume the bulk of my time. I can only write when the little one is napping or occupied with play doh. I can't write at all when the teen is around because she needs to go here or there and I am the taxi.

I wish I knew the secret. Perhaps the other writers are insomniacs. That must be it. They can't sleep at night so they write all night and live on minimal sleep. They are able to store enough energy in what little sleep they do get to care for and spend quality time with the kids. Kudos to them!

One day I will become a better time manager. That is where my inspiration lays today. I will be able to maintain my house, spend quality time with my family, and write 10 tight articles a day!






October 26, 2007

Goal Setting

Writing on this blog has made me accountable. I feel compelled to complete the goals I have laid out here. Do I get it all done? No. However, I have that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I come to post and go over my last post. Can that be inspiration?

In my reviews post, I wrote that I wanted to churn out 10 reviews. I only did 5. Hey 5 is better than none--as I see it the glass is half full. But I did manage to pick up another referral. So there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Both the articles I mentioned in the post did get published. One was published on an affiliate site so I have yet to see that one. I hope that I get to see it soon because the thought of another site liking something I put out there enough to buy it is compelling. The other article, "Parenting Tips: Teen Dating, Kissing, and Sex" is published on Associated Content.

I am particularly pleased with that parenting tip article. It's a little on the long side but I feel it is informative and covers teen dating issues pretty well. I want to expand on some of the issues I touched on in more detail in future articles.

As for my household goals I got those done. They took a little longer than I expected and that is why I did not get 10 reviews done.

I'm leaning more towards a social networking site than Squido. I researched a bit and found that I would need to put more into lenses than I've got time for. Perhaps I can do lenses in the future.

Funny how this is working out for me. I'm inspiring myself through my blog.

October 22, 2007

More Reviews to do..

Today I've got a lot going on. I want to churn out 10 reviews for shared reviews--I don't know if I'll get it done. They decided to up the pot with another $10,000! With Christmas right around the corner, I better get cracking.

I'm wondering why some of my referrals aren't taking advantage of earning the money. Oh well I guess that just leaves more for me.

Today, beside the reviews, I have some mundane household chores to do. I also need to play catch up with comments at Associated Content. To be quite honest, all I really want to do is sleep--it's raining and I love to sleep in the rain. I guess that wouldn't be feasible with the little one anyway. I can dream though.

I submitted two more Associated Content articles over the weekend. I hope they both are published before Friday. I want to write at least two more articles before week is up--we'll see how that goes.

I've been thinking about starting some lenses with Squido. But, isn't that basically what I've been doing here? I'll have to look into it a bit more, I don't want to spread myself too thin.

Today I'm inspired by the thought of a rainy dream.

October 18, 2007

Trying to Work With Feedburner

Yesterday I registered with feedburner. I think I may have done something wrong. All of the subscription links feed to my Associated Content/delicious stuff. I'm also having trouble inserting and getting to view some html I'm putting in my blogger template.

The feedburner seems to be working all right otherwise. I actually think it's cool. I can see what kind of traffic I'm getting on my articles and my cp page.

I can't get the email signature widget to work. That's too bad. I did manage to work around it though and picked up a signature with a link to the cp page. That worked out pretty well and should increase my traffic.

I'm gonna have to figure out the feedburner thing. As of right now I can't even get access to my RSS (atom) for my blogger posts. I'll be working on this today for sure.

Update: I fixed the atom problem. I changed the rss to say "subscribe to my AC page." I hope that's enough and won't be confusing. Now I need to figure out how to burn the atom for my blog to feedburner to use all of the nifty feedburner tools here.

October 17, 2007

Progressing

The more I write, the easier it gets. I have been putting a lot of effort into trimming my articles to be more web friendly. That being said, I've done a lot of research on writing for the web. I found a few good sites that might be of use for others like me:

Writing is of course re-writing. Edit, edit, edit! I cannot believe that some content producers churn out 10 or more articles a day. I'm lucky to do one. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I go over my articles too much with too much scrutiny.

I would like to leave it as it sits sometimes, just close the browser and move on. But I'm not like that. I can't just "let a sleeping dog lay," I have to edit. Some readers may not like my style, and that's okay, but I'm progressing. I will work on this until I have it because I am determined--that is my inspiration.

October 12, 2007

When All Else Fails: Restore

I had some problems with logging in to Blogger. I went to the help center and tried every tip they had listed. Nothing worked!

After a great deal of frustration, coffee, and hair pulling, I finally decided to restore. That did the trick. Okay that must be obvious because I am posting.

Earlier in the week I had some issues with the next blog feature. I only started blogging recently and I had never noticed the button. I clicked and to my surprise porn stared me in the face.

Don't get me wrong. I am not a prude. I tried to get out, as I have two kids and I don't want them to see that kind of stuff; I could not next blog, flag, or return to my dashboard because their navbar was not there. The back button would not work and only refreshed the page. I finally clicked the home button to my home page.

I did a bit of looking around and found how to disable my navbar. I learned how, did it, and a fellow Associated Content writer told me doing that may be against the Blogger TOS. I put the bar back up because it is.

Now I know there are a lot of people who like porn. I don't care either way. I just don't want my children, my reader's children, or any reader's who might be offended to be subjected to it if they don't want to be.

Today I will be looking more into this navbar situation, TOS, and something about FTP servers and not having the navbar if you are on an FTP. I have found that I rather enjoy this blog and I want to continue to use it; however I can't share it if the risk of viewing porn rears it's head when you hit next blog.

October 10, 2007

On Cloud 9

The editor accepted and paid for my articles! I posted (and here) about my dismay and I thought I better update. I knew just a little re-framing would do the trick.

When ever you are faced with opposition you should counteract not react. I'm glad I have this blog for the reacting part. Murphy's law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Or something to that effect.

I should have re-framed the article I posted for PVs only a couple of weeks ago. Well, I've since learned that there are ways around the system. I don't want to beat the system. I just want to get my just dessert. I want to have my cake and eat it too!

I'm finding that writing is coming a bit easier for me. Not that I can crank out 30 articles a day like some; but I can write more concisely in a shorter time frame, opposed to the first articles I published.

Today's inspiration: give them what they want and you will be rewarded.

October 9, 2007

Promotion

How the heck does one do that? I've been working on promoting my material to no reward. I email my friends and I have come to the realization they think my emails are spam. I've been blogging about my trials and errors else where, so I'm going to let off some more steam here.



I really have been working hard at trimming up my article submissions to be more tight, include more keywords for SEO, and write about subjects I think will be around for the long haul. That seems to be what the Associated Content content managers/editors say they are looking for. But as with everything else, it's all pretty vague though when it comes to what they want, what they take, and what they pay for. One minute you hear they want this, but what they are really looking for is that. Isn't that a little tit for tat?


As far as promotion, I have been reading and commenting on other producer's work. That has been of some benefit. I set up accounts with stumble upon, digg, and delicious. Which I believe is helping somewhat.

I was reading an article on self promotion and it suggested Myspace. I had been hoping to avoid signing up to yet another site, but you gotta do what you gotta do. So I guess I'll have to take my non-techno self over there to learn how to set up a page.

I'm still learning how to link things here. Yikes my brain hurts.

Well, my motto is learn something new every day. How about upgrading that thought to ten something news every day.

October 5, 2007

Learning SEO

I just don't know how some people do it. I have been reading everything I can about search engine optimization and I haven't been able to make heads or tails of this keyword thing. I have found a lot of great keyword tools:

I even went as far as getting an SEO ebook. It was all Greek to me.

So what I have decided to do is take my written articles, put them on TagCrowd, and develop a title from the keywords I generate. Sounds simple enough, but applying it is for not.

Update on the butterfly book I talked about in my Rejection post. I changed the title again. Now it's Butterflies: Apollo to Zephyr Metalmark. Why? Because the editor program in the titles on Associated Content would not let me use the capital letter "A" in the title. I searched the new title and found that I may fair better with it anyway. We shall see.

I guess that is what the keyword thing is all about. That kind of search: to hone in on the words that are going to get the most hits in the search engines.

I'm sure this will not be the last time I talk about it. Stay tuned.

Today's inspiration finding the right title.

October 4, 2007

Facing Rejection

Today the editor rejected an article I wrote. Actually it was a children's book review. They said the title was not search-able. No big deal. I just reworded it and resubmitted. We'll see what happens.

I took that information and reworded two other article titles. Those were not reviews though. I've been learning so much about key-wording, writing, editing, and developing topics. Writing is re-writing. That's what they say.

Reading the Associated Content forums has been a vast resource of knowledge for me. I've only made a few posts but I lurk a lot. When I got the rejection, I decided to hit the forum to find some insight. I found that they don't necessarily pay for book reviews. When they do the review must be of a non-fiction work. Okay my review was non-fiction--The Butterfly Alphabet. Linking letters to butterflies and acquiring facts through reading and association. That's non-fiction, it's based on facts.

I changed the review title to omit the word review and made it just "Butterflies A to Z," which is more SEO friendly. I also put some stuff in the subtitle to beef it up. I hope it works.

My inspiration for today would be finding acceptance through rejection, but I don't know if I've been accepted yet. So I'm looking at the rejection as a learning curve for now. It's guiding me in the direction I need to turn my writing towards.

October 1, 2007

My Thoughts

The weekend was full of grime for me. I helped hubby give the Ranger an oil change and tune-up. I thought it was a fun, interesting, bonding experience. I told him what I thought and his reply was, "yeah, right!"

Now, I know he did not mean to hurt my feelings but in a small way he did. Sure, some of the spark plugs were difficult to retrieve and we had to spend some time locating a wire clip that fell out of sight. Overall it was a great time for me.

Maybe I'm hypersensitive. Perhaps the fact that I was only a helper, not a worker, and did not comprehend the frustration he was having, got me that sarcastic response. Who knows?

Next time I'm not going to say anything. I'll just help silently.

Another thought I've been mulling over, and mentioned to him, was adding another site to write for. He thinks I should just concentrate on one (Associated Content). That's fine except I want to broaden my scope. I think adding the site I've been looking at will help me increase my knowledge base and help me generate ideas for articles. We'll see. It's not like I have to ask him for permission; I just like to share my findings with him--especially when they spark my interest and pad the piggy bank.

Working at home is work. I thought way back that it would be something like what you see in cartoon clips--the lady sitting in front of the computer with pink fuzzy slippers and a bath robe or the man in boxers and an unshaven face. The caption reading: just another day at the office, casual Friday everyday!

I've done more reading and research since I've started this than I ever did in college. It will pay off in the long run; I know it will. Things are slowly starting to come together. Ideas pop in my head like popcorn. Right now I've started writing the ideas in a notebook for future research, writing, or inspiration. I wish I had more time in the day to get in more writing, but I have to tend to the house and little one.

I found a great way to gain inspiration: Stumbleupon. Very interesting site. You can "stumble" web sites, rate them and bookmark them, or stumble your own stuff for other stumblers to see. Here's my pages.

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