Thursday, July 31, 2008

Helium Marketplace article purchased

I finally sold an article on Helium Marketplace: How the stature of the horse creates opportunity and obstacles: Movement. The money for this was quite good, almost enough to make up for the several articles that were not purchased. I hope to try again with this publisher, and maybe they'll like my work enough to ask me specifically to write more for them. Maybe not, but there's always hope! I don't know how much more I'll do for MP unless the titles are really intriguing, easy or well paying. It's a lot of work to just earn pennies if they aren't purchased.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Helium is another article warehouse of sorts. The way it works is, there are hundreds of article titles on the site, and you write an article that falls under one of those titles (you can also suggest your own, but you don't earn the page view bonus unless there are more than three articles in the title). You and other writers at Helium rate the articles, so the best ones rise to the top. You earn a few pennies for page views, and every once in a while someone will come along and buy your article. There are also contests you can participate in for cash prizes and debates that help to stimulate your creativity.

The best part of Helium is the Marketplace. Publishers contract with Helium to purchase articles written by Helium authors. The publisher posts the articles they want, along with guidelines and the price. Helium writers write the articles and rate them, and the publisher reads the top few and chooses one. Those that aren't chosen are transitioned to the Helium website to earn pennies. The great part about this is that the article prices range from $16 to $200 (that I've seen). The drawback is that you might be writing the article for nothing. I've done a couple that really didn't translate well to the regular site, so they were a waste of time. I haven't sold any there yet, although I have four submitted to a new online horse magazine, so I hope at least one sells!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Where are you saving?

I learned a harsh lesson tonight. Well, it's one I already taught myself, but managed to forget and apparently needed a reminder. I sent an article to the editor at a magazine I write monthly features for last night, and today she wrote back and asked if a page was missing, because it only had 288 words! I had somehow sent an old version. After over an hour of searching every possible spot on my computer, the correct version is GONE. I had to rewrite it...thankfully, 288 words of it were there and I remembered everything I'd written so it didn't take as long the second time. Still, it sucked. I could have written another article during that time.


1. Double check where you are saving your file, especially if you downloaded it from an email (I'd worked on it at work, then saved it in a draft in my gmail so I could access it at home). These often go to a temp folder that is hard to find. I have done this before and found the files, but not this time.

2. Double check your attachments and make sure you are sending the right version of the right file!

The joys of

I generally keep my resume upated on Recently, I updated it to show that I am available for freelance writing work, so I guess it sort of revived it, because a lot of people are looking at it. At least twice per week, I get an email that says something to the effect of "I have reviewed your resume and feel you have some of the experience or qualities we are looking for." The email then goes on to say they are hiring sales representatives, either for a mortgage company, a financial advisor firm, real estate or insurance.

Apparently it wasn't clear by the objectives listed on my resume what I was looking for, so I added a line that said "I am not interested in any sort of sales position." Yet, I still get these emails. Obviously, you did NOT review my resume, because you would have seen that I am not interested in your sales position. It's really nice of you to make the offer, but I am not leaving my well-paying day job to take an entry-level sales position--I'm leaving it to be a freelance writer. Very different objective. Sending these emails is a waste of your time and mine, so why do you do it? Take the few seconds to actually read the email to see if it's even a match before you send the email.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Associated Content review time

Associated Content has been behind on reviews ever since the $5000 call for content contest. I submitted one on July 1st and one on July 2nd and received offers on them yesterday. Today I received offers on articles submitted on July 4th and 5th, so maybe they're starting to catch up!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Get the basics right!

I don't know if I've talked about this before, but if I did, it bears repeating! Many writers never learn the basics of writing. Their spelling and grammar are bad and they have no idea of how a story/article/book/whatever is supposed to be structured. If you want people to pay you for your writing, you have to give them good quality for their money. Do whatever it takes to get the writing basics: take a class, buy a book and study, whatever works for you. Nail your spelling and grammar, and your writing will automatically improve. Of course, you sometimes need to just write and let it flow...but if you have studied your grammar and spelling, they will be innate and you won't have to think about them while your creative juices flow. Until then, go ahead and write, but be prepared to go back through the work later and correct it.

My grammar is not always perfect, but I have several resources I refer to when I'm unsure of something. Of course, boo-boos will still slip through, but the majority of my work is clean, and that goes a long way.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thank you for helping me reach my goal!

A couple of weeks ago, I asked for some pity clicks on my Associated Content articles so I could meet my goal of earning $5 in page view bonus this month. We did it! With 4 cents to spare at $5.04. This month, I would like to reach $10. Can I do it? I am adding some new articles, all of which are in queue at the moment. They are mini dance lessons, so check them out when they post! You can subscribe to my profile and receive an email every time I post an article by clicking on the "subscribe" button on my Associated Content profile--there is a link on the right-hand side of this blog.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

1st Place!

I am excited to announce that my story The Fire was the first place winner in the June Accentuate Writers Forum contest! I will be receiving my $50 in prize money tomorrow. Yippee! Even better than the prize money is the fact that my stories will appear in an anthology of all of the contest winners, produced by Accentuate Services (Michy may need to correct me on which entity is actually producing it, but it's too darn late for me to think about it) and due to come out next February. I will have copies available for sale, or I'm sure you will be able to buy them through outlets Michy will announce. I am becoming increasingly incoherent, so here's the announcement!

These contests are a great way to stretch your skills as a writer and get some feedback while you're at it...with the possibility of winning some money and a publishing contract! I highly recommend them.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

OMG...I'm a finalist!

Michy just announced the finalists in the June contest, and I am one of them! Yippee! The winners will be announced next will I sleep until then??

Michy's announcement on her blog

Michy announced the new short story contest!

Michelle L. Devon has done it again...and this time, first prize is $100! What are you waiting for? Get on over to Accentuate Writers Forum and sign up for the short story contest. The theme is "Winds of Change". I'm furiously trying to think of what to write about. We have until August 20th!

Friday, July 4, 2008


ODesk is an online bidding site for freelancers. They have jobs in a number of different categories from technical to voice-overs to writing and editing jobs. I have secured and completed one job through them so far and it was quite satisfactory. I have also made contact with a couple of people who may hire me for future projects. It is free to join and use as a freelancer--the buyer of your services pays a fee to oDesk. Like any online bidding site, many of the buyers are pretty cheap and you have to compete with people who will work for $3/hour, but there are some buyers who are more interested in quality and are willing to pay more for a native English speaker with good writing skills.