ProWebWriter is Shifting Gears – Let’s Talk Writing for Kindle

Shift to KindleAnd…Shift!

I know it’s a big surprise…shifting gears again. This site has gone through a lot of evolving, or devolving as it were, in our 4 years online. With some small successes on Kindle, I’ve decided that this is where I want to focus with ProWebWriter. After all, I can tell you about all the wonderful writing things out there and be an expert in none of them -OR- I can focus in where I’ve had success and become an expert. Right?

When I started ProWebWriter, I put a little bit of everything on the site. I had “experts” tell me, “Choose a niche, you’re all over the place.” Last year, I finally moved some content (including my most popular piece) off the site because it didn’t relate to writing last year. ProWebWriter has sat here virtually untouched save for a post or two. So, I’m back with a focal point that I’m actively working on and in. I’m here to share my experience, skills, and tips with you and create an authority on indie publishing.

Kindle and Me

I don’t even remember at this point when I realized that an average person like myself could publish books on Kindle. I think it was 2008-ish when the first generation came out. At that point, the device was 3 or 4 hundred dollars, and I had no hope of owning one. If you have read any of the archives here at PWW, you’ll find that I’m broke and if it’s not free, then there’s a good chance I’m not getting it. haha I get a new computer every 6 to 8 years. Life is tough out there for the starving artist who has poor financial planning skills. Well, that was more than I wanted to say…oh well.

So, I realized I could publish for Kindle…I believe I put out my first book in 2010 and it’s still on Amazon although it’s quite outdated. I updated it in 2012, and I don’t think I ever published the update. This is the life of a person with Attention Deficit Disorder. The true problem was that I was working full-time, and I have found in my life that this is often all I can handle. So, I would work, and write when the notion hit me. What ended up happening was that I worked 7 days a week. Only two of which were on and toward writing. Having to place it aside, and pick it up whenever I could made for sporadic focus and a lot of jumping around.

I have a total of 5 books currently on Amazon. No, I’m not rich yet, but I have learned quite a lot. I feel that right now is a great time to pick up the journey and to document it here at PWW. Why? Well, because…I’ll tell you in the next section. :-)

Debuts

I am fresh from completing my first novel. This is my first attempt at fiction, and it has spawned many ideas for articles in the coming weeks and months. I am currently in the editing phase. This is a great time to document my journey as a writer because I have gained a lot of insight coming from a mostly non-fiction and poetry background. It’s difficult to even finish this paragraph without saying too much. Let me talk about my other books.

I’d Call It Moderate Success

Or, we could just say it’s enough success to tell me that I want to explore it more. It’s enough to motivate me. My first book was a “how to” book on creating websites with WordPress. Again, there’s stuff in the archives about it, and the book was actually a free giveaway here for a while, and will most likely be returning. I sold more than 100 copies of the book on Amazon and B&N for the Nook. That’s nowhere near huge, but I did not promote the book at all besides mentioning it here and there on Facebook, and here at PWW. It was enough to keep working at it.

About 6 months ago, I brainstormed and outlined several books when I still worked my full-time job. (More on this later.) I started writing, and I cranked out 3 of them in a relatively short period of time which surprised even me given that I was working and well, ADD. Two of the three were busts. They just weren’t quite there, I guess. Again, I didn’t promote the books at all except on Facebook. I only mentioned one of them here at PWW because I wasn’t keeping the site updated at the time. I’m still not doing a bang-up job on that. LOL

Anyway, one of the books has sold well in both the U.S. and the U.K. I had basically ignored it, but I knew it was selling because I was receiving payments every month. Not big ones by any means, but not too shabby. I didn’t write this particular book for profit anyway. I was quite surprised yesterday to find that it had sold nearly 200 copies. It came out February 5th of this year…so in 6 months, it’s done that well with little to no promotion.

I know, right!?! I need to start promoting my stuff!

April Fool’s

Something pretty exciting happened on April 1st of this year. I landed a work from home job building and managing a Social Media department for an established SEO company.  I should write a book about it! I have so many thoughts and feelings on what a positive impact this had on my life. I went from a job with a 30-minute daily commute, 3rd shift, 2nd shift, and just general misery to Monday through Friday first shift hours from my couch! It has been amazing.

Naturally, with all the new amounts of time, I have been able to write! Hence, finishing my debut novel which started in 2006 with a couple chapters hastily typed and saved until I began actively developing the idea and story in 2011. Now it’s 2014, and one week ago tomorrow, I finished the rough draft. I can’t even begin to express how awesome that felt.

I Just Remembered…

I’m a complete idiot today! I released portions of this story already here at PWW. I applied to make it a Kindle Serial, so that I could publish it and start getting paid before it was completely finished. When I was rejected for that program, I decided to release it right here on PWW. I had a few buyers, but nothing special. I now owe those people a free copy of the whole story because I became disinterested. It was 2 years before I completed the story.

Let’s See What Happens

Let’s see what happens. I’m really curious to know how a fiction book performs. Yes, I totally plan to promote this one! Are you thinking about publishing for Kindle? Have you published for Kindle? I’d love to hear from you. I’m open to communication as well as any and all opportunities. If you’d like to write a guest post here at PWW, that would be awesome. Contact me!

 

Writers: Engaging Your Followers on Facebook

Engaging FacebookYou know how it is, Writers…you eat, sleep, and breathe writing, but your Facebook friends never relate to your posts. Sure, you’re friends with some decent readers, and probably even some other writers, but when you post about writing, NOTHING happens. About 9 months ago, I accidentally discovered how to get my Facebook friends involved with my writing. I wrote about it here. Basically, all you have to do is make it about them!

Writers, Introducing Drabbles, Now Engage

So, I’m back, and I’ve done it again. It’s nothing too huge, it’s not like all 171 of Facebook friends jumped on board, but it was just enough to feel like I was accomplishing something. Inspiration can come in many packages. I found it this time in the most unusual of places…a conspiracy theory forum. I was scrolling the Recent Posts this past Saturday evening and came across one that implored Readers to “Share Your Drabbles”.

I had to see what a “drabble” was. Apparently, it’s the dumbest name ever for a 100-word story. I’d been a part of communities of this sort in years past on LiveJournal.com. I’ve had a personal blog there since 2001, so this was right up my alley.

It was on! I posted the following to Facebook:

Engaging FacebookI awoke to 7 Likes the next morning and small crowd who wasn’t going to wait for me to accrue 10. The party was on! So…without further ado, here are my “drabbles” following the prompts I was given:

 From Ms. Beth Dehart, I was given — ” tell me exactly what happened” 

It was a regular day at the beach until sunset. We’d stocked up the house for our week-long stay. On that first night, we sat on the deck with a few brews to catch the long-lost stars and listen to the tide-song.

Just before we went inside for the night, Justin said, “Look!” and pointed toward the sky.

I looked up anticipating a shooting star or an airplane, but the dark triangle loomed silently above us. I’m not sure how long we stood there, but a few moments later, Police arrived.

The officer smirked skeptically, “Tell me exactly what happened.”

Then Marie Ray presented — “Maintenance….can you hold please?”

“Take this job and shove it…” the radio played appropriately in the background. Linda was long past done with this place. Everyday was an endless line of needy nutjobs dialing the phone from rock bottom. Her life had become an virtual sea of schizophrenics and drug addicts. She had dried the well of compassion long ago.

She sat contemplating suicide by paperclip or perhaps a pen to the eye. The phone rang. She answered, “Maintenance, can you hold, please?” Click.

She rose and walked out of the building as a co-worker answered the ringing phone, “Anti-Suicide Hotline…”

“Hi, it’s Linda…”

From Tina Blackwell — “ …and THAT’s how Wal-Mart went out of business.”

The executives sat in the conference room. Paul spoke, “This “People of Walmart” thing is all over the Internet. It’s higher in Google than our own website! How can we stop it?”

Nancy added, “It’s a disgrace to the work we do…offering low prices to our customers.”

“You’re missing the point. These people ARE our customers!” Paul straightened his silk tie.

“Buy the site…this “People of Walmart”. Jerry made the decision. “Promote it. I want a full ad campaign…very image heavy. I want people to see this before they see our products.”

…and THAT’S how Walmart went out of business.

Then I got this one from Lynn Dees — “here she comes just a walking down the street, singing do wa diddy diddy dum diddy do….”

I hated this one! hehe

There she was just a-walkin’ down the street
singin’ do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do
snappin’ her fingers and takin’ off her clothes
singin’ do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do

The Police came, Police came
Arrested her, arrested her
The Police came, arrested her
Everything else was just a blur
Before I knew it here she comes again

singin’ do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do
Still not wearin’ nothin’ but a tan
singin’ do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do

She kept on, kept on
All day long, day long
Just wouldn’t keep her clothes on
Now she’s and ex-con

Singin’ do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do
do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do

ProWebWriter’s own Contribitor, Lisa Lane, sent this one — “And she was never heard from again….”

Helen’s life was average, and her attitude hellish. Never one to be content, her friends called her “Ms. Unpleasant” behind her back.

For Helen, it wasn’t that she was never happy. It was simply that after a lifetime of teachers, preachers, and doctors trying to slap a label on her, she had grown tired of their ill-fitting boxes. She didn’t need medication and counseling, she needed that one thing to ignite a fire in her belly that wasn’t heartburn.

“Wench needed,” read the ad, “Pirate wannabe seeks companion to sail the high seas.”

…and she was never heard from again.

Then I started getting repeat customers.

Beth DeHart with this one from her grandchildren: Cooper, Sydney, and Dax who is still a bun in the over as of this writing —  “the dragon came from his lair”

Hailey had always dreamed of the rolling meadows of an ancient land where knights in bright armor galloped on fine horses.

She and her best friend, Kate, were hiking the less-traveled routes of England when they came upon a cave that couldn’t be ignored. The air was cool and calm with an odd peace.

Rubbing their eyes with disbelief, they looked on as the dragon came from his lair. Smoke poured from his large green nostrils. He spread his giant wings and took flight. Kate scrambled for her camera, but it was too late. The dragon disappeared above the fog.

I even gained a new follower in the process. Ms. Marissa DeHart with —  “And just why are you”

“JACK!” Raylee screamed from the next room. “What is wrong with you!?!”

Jack sat shirtless in the recliner; his beer belly shining in the light of the TV screen. The football commentator yapped endlessly opposite his typical display of manhood…or something. He didn’t respond which was also typical.

Raylee emerged red with anger with her hands on her wide hips. “JACK!”

He exhaled a loud snore and his eyelids fluttered open. “Whut?”

“You left the toilet seat up again and my butt touched your poop water!” Raylee huffed. “You’re useless! And…just why are you…why did I marry such a loser!?!”

Mr. Brian Dimmig began making up words —  “Jagged vacance, thick with ice”

Mary dreaded going to her support group. It wasn’t helping, but she had been ordered by the court. It was the group or jail. All it did was dredge up all the things she had tried to escape by way of the needle. They called this “treatment”. She called it “torture”.

Today’s exercise was “Describe yourself in 5 words or less.”

“Waste of time.” thought Mary. Finally, she wrote, “Jagged vacance, thick with ice.”

Satisfied, she laid down her pen. She didn’t know it, but that day’s “support” would be the beginning of her long, successful career as a writer.

And last, but never least, Ms. Lily Brand with —  “and that’s how it turned out when she wrote her OWN story!”

“And that’s how it turned out when she wrote her OWN story.” Lana listened as Manny finished the article aloud. She was frustrated. Four years ago, she came this Western town full of what her Southern ideals considered to be health freaks and hippies. She was surrounded with self-help buzz words and friends hell-bent on removing “negativity” from her life.

She had to admit, it had started to sink in and change her. She learned to love herself. So, when she lost her job and moved home to the South, everything was new. The familiar scenery revealed it’s silver lining.

There You Have It

If you would like to be a part of the fun, find me on Facebook! It’s not difficult. If you have something to add, please comment below. I’d love to hear from you!!!

A.D.D. 28 Years and Counting FREE Book Promo

ADD 28 Years and Counting

Starting at Midnight tonight through 11:59pm tomorrow night, you will be able to grab my latest book in Kindle format for FREE. That’s right, F-R-E-E. This offer will only be available for 24 hours.

If you miss out on this offer, you can still grab this title for less than 5 bucks!

FAQ

I don’t have a Kindle.

No problem! Did you know that you can read Kindle books on your computer, or Android smartphone? You can even read it on your iPhone, iPod, iPad, and any other iCrap you may have! All you need is an app! They are all FREE.

I don’t have an Amazon account.

Well, what in the world is wrong with you!?! Did you know that Amazon has EVERYTHING? I mean, literally almost everything. And while they are providing the world with everything, they are giving independent authors like me a platform to share my content, and get paid for doing it! Sign up at Amazon FREE! 

What’s the book about?

A.D.D. 28 Years and Counting is sort of a partial memoir for me. It’s about my life with Attention Deficit Disorder. My story is kind of unique, and I wanted to share it.

Unique how? 

Well, after searching for this type of book for years, I decided to write one myself. Most of the A.D.D. books out there are clinical information written by Ph.D.’s, and M.D.’s…most of whom have no direct experience with A.D.D. I’ve been off medication since age 12. So for 26 of the 28 years, I’ve been medication free. As if that weren’t enough, my education has been rather colorful. Get the book. :-)

What else is inside?

In addition to my story, I’ve included a lot of resources. There are a total of 17 chapters. The first 9 chapters are mostly back-story. Then the book changes gears a bit and I share my methods for coping with A.D.D., how to dispel the myth, etc.  There are also 4 Appendices of additional information, and a short photo album.

I don’t have time to read.

I understand. You could probably read this book in a few hours. It’s just over 100 pages. It’s not a difficult read. If you are touched by A.D.D personally, this book would be an insight for you.

How do I get it then?

I am including detailed instructions below. Just look for the heading for the device you will use to read, and see how to grab it.

Get A.D.D. 28 Years and Counting

For Computer

  1. Click http://amazon.com
  2. Sign into your Amazon account or follow the prompts to create a new one!
  3. Type “add 28 years” in the search box at the top of your screen.Amazon Search
  4. Click the book to grab it FREE for this 24-hour period only. If you miss the promo, it’s less than 5 bucks!
  5. Read the book on your computer by going to http://read.amazon.com and using the Amazon Cloud Reader. Just choose it out of the list of titles.Kindle Cloud Reader

 

For Kindle eReader

  1. Search the Kindle Store for “add 28 years”.
  2. Click the cover of the book to view the information.
  3. Click Buy. Whispernet will deliver the title to your device.

For Kindle App for Android

  • Open your Kindle app. (If you don’t have it, you can get it FREE from the Play Store by searching “kindle”.

Open Kindle App

  • Search “add28″ from the Kindle Store.Amazon Store Search
  • Select the title from the list to purchase and download.Listing in Kindle Store

There You Have It

So, go over there and get it! Remember it’s FREE from Midnight December 18, 2013 until 11:59pm EST.

If you have time, please leave an honest review at Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Engaging People With Your Writing

This was something I have been struggling with for a few years. I just couldn’t figure out how to go about engaging my friends with my writing. It’s frustrating. Every writer wants one thing at the most basic level: TO BE READ. Even if no one reads, I would still write. I write because I have all this stuff in me that I just need to get out. I still feel that I have things to say that will help others. Whether that help comes because it’s something people relate to, or simply because they like what I said…this is the rewarding part of being a writer.

I’d brainstormed how to engage people with my writing. I’d run the gamut of “Poor me. No one likes my writing.” I even had some undying fans…3 or 4. I just didn’t know how to get the masses interested, and I still don’t. However, I had a tiny success last night.

Nitty Gritty Engagement

I came across a Twitter account…I believe it was @VeryShortStory. The owner of that account says, “Hey, send me a noun, and I’ll write a Twitter-sized (140 characters) story about the ones that inspire me.”

The proverbial light bulb went off.

It was supposed to be a work night like any other. Sit in a chair, monitor alarms, make phone calls, do Engage With Your Writingpaperwork, eat…ad nauseum; ad infinitum. In a spontaneous moment that I can’t explain the how, why, or why now, I posted to my Facebook. I asked my friends to comment with a word or phrase. I would in turn write a short story or poem with their word and tag them in the post.

Within a few minutes, I had like 4 words. I started writing and more came in. All in all, I had 16 participants. It was amazing! I was on a high. I had to do some major unwinding to go to bed! I am humbled by the kind words and “likes” I received in response to just some quick poems and stories. The entire thing took about 4.5 hours. Here are the words I received in the order they were posted:

  • true friendship
  • strength
  • drums
  • honesty
  • badonkadonk (LOL!)
  • sincerity
  • grief
  • integrity
  • unbreakable
  • hypocrite
  • loneliness
  • boobies (Mercy me)
  • fart nuggets (o_O)
  • family
  • sons
  • I am enough

Holy badonkadonk. It was a challenge. As you can see, some people were very serious, and some were silly. It was a lot of fun, and I’m glad I didn’t limit myself in any way. I went into it with the mindset that if they posted it, I would write about it. Thank goodness it didn’t get any more questionable than “boobies” or “fart nuggets”. Perhaps next time I will include a disclaimer to ensure it is kept PG. :-D I wouldn’t want to get much more adventurous than “boobies”. My friends are the best!

So What Did I Write?

Here’s a look.

True Friendship

I set out on a narrow road
To not write a country song.
It had to be something new,
and not go on too long.
Here I was stuck racking my brain…
When Teresa said out of the blue…
How about you shut your lip
And write about true friendship.
So….
Here’s a list of legit tips:
– A friend won’t give you the slip.
– They won’t come at you with a whip.
– They might teach you how to knit.
– A good friend will share their chips…
And definitely let you double dip.
– They’ll tell their dog not to nip…
– Let you know when you need to zip…
– When you’re dry, offer a sip…
– And pull you from a sinking ship.
When you need someone who gives a rip,
Go for true friendship!

I never said they’d be good. LOL!

Strength

I know nothing of strength. I know well how to be weak. How to shrink from the fight… To run always toward the light… To take the path of least resistance… To dream my way into existence… But there is One whose strength Is made perfect by my weakness. II Corinthians 12:9

Drums

Sheila had a rhythm that lived in her bones ever since she could remember. Often when she was bored, she would tap out a rat-a-tat-tat. As a result, she received a lot of discouraging glares, but had to let the *thump thump* out of her soul..and she would. Friday night at the Carousel Club would be her first gig in ages, and she looked forward to a couple hours behind the kit. This was her Yoga and Karate all wrapped up into one, and it was certainly cooler than both of them combined. The crowd’s applause said that they agreed.

Honesty

Who does honesty honestly honor?
It’s a preposterous ponderance to ponder.
I believe the belief belonging to many believers…
Honesty honors the honestly honest.

Badonkadonk

RHYME BADONDADONK

I said, “Hey, Natalie, gimme a word.”
She said, “Badonkadonk, it’s a serious term.”
I said, “Really!?!”
She said, “Word.”

That’s the story of how this poem came to be.
If you can do better, I’d like to see.

Sincerity

“When I say “sin”, you say “cerity”. Ready? Sin!” Rhonda looked around the room into the faces of the stark silence that was now climbing up her body and into her ear canals like a horrible disease atttempting to infect her body. That was when she knew motivational speaking wasn’t her forte.

Grief

Could your grief Hold hands with my loss? For we are both Tempest-tossed. With all that’s left Might we hold on. At least now We are not alone.

Integrity

Integrity is great because It’s everything wrapped in love. Some words are borrowed, And some made up, But integrity’s the only one About how we all add up. It’s like a recipe. You must break it down, you see? Just the right amount of each… To serve up some integrity!

Unbreakable

Unbreakable – Briefly

The Year 2137

Susan rode on with her mind in a fog of thought. From time to time another car would catch the corner of her eye. On any given day, she might have been wondering what the occupants of that car were doing, but today she couldn’t get this word off her lips and out of her mind: unbreakable.

She didn’t know where it came from. She just woke with it on the tip of her tongue. Unbreakable. It seemed like a lie. What existed that could not be broken?

She arrived at the Repository a few minutes late. Remy was already here. They were researching their lineage today. Not their family lineage, but the other one. The technology had only been out for a few years. They were actually finding out who they were in previous lives. Susan was excited and curious.

The two of them hurried inside. They split apart among the archives searching their names. Susan’s took longer than Remy’s. He was at the table with records spread across one whole end when she got there with hers. She thumbed randomly through before she sat down, and there it was! That word: unbreakable.

She stopped and read as fast as she could…her name was Abby Rotstein. She was a writer…and a teacher. She worked with a team of trainers and writers between 2006 and 2008. They called themselves, “Unbreakable”. Unbreakable. Then she remembered her dream…she stood in a circle with others in some random lot. There were tears, some of them were hugging…and they whispered, “Unbreakable.”

It didn’t seem like a lie anymore.

Hypocrite

What rhymes with hypocrite? I can only think of piece of Sit down and try again. Don’t pass judge me not Even if the shoe fits Then what the Help, don’t be a piece of Sit down, you hypocrite!

Loneliness

What I know of loneliness
I carry inside of scars.
And I hide it safely there
With other untouchable parts.
I only get it out in my
Most secret times,
Or if someone happens to
Read between my lines.
If so many weren’t watching,
I might say more,
But I must put my heart
Back inside its cords.

Boobies

All grammar errors are intentional. Me and Billy…well, Billy and I, or whatever. We was on a road trip. It was a big adventure like that Huck Finn book they made us read in school. Well, we were about half way to Vegas when it happened. We had the trip all planned out. We’d been saving up for it a couple years. We was gonna gamble half our money, and the other half was for fun. We was hopin’ there’d be some free woman shows, and we wouldn’t have to pay for it all. Here we were, half way to Sin City. Well, we got behind this Biker-type guy, and he had a long greasy pony tail like a girl sticking out from under his helmet. Then we saw her. He had this woman on the back of his motorcycle. She looked okay, but we noticed something strange flying out from under her arms. First, we thought it was her scarf or somethin’, but it like a flesh color. It couldn’t be part of her arm because it was lighter. It was the strangest thing we ever saw and we spent a good 5 miles trying to figure it out. Our car moved back and forth as we tried to get a better look. Then suddenly Billy shouted, “Holy crap. That’s her boobies!” I only had a moment to glance at them before the Biker-guy turned and gave us a really dirty look and gunned it. Billy swears on it, but I’ll never know the truth. Once we got to Vegas, Billy didn’t care nothing about going to any woman shows. He said he got his half way to Vegas

Fart Nuggets

Love it.
Hug it.
Touch it.
Buy it.
This year’s holiday craze…
The fart nugget.

Family

I have walked in depths of solitude
Feeling that no one understands…
Coming to a fork in the road
Reaching for a hand.
So many times the open air
Met my wanting grasp.
Onward I searched for anyone
To return a clamoring clasp.
Sometimes the darkness was so thick
The nothingness so deep…
Sometimes the path was narrow
The cliff was much too steep.
Along the way, there was just enough
The tiniest light to see…
The others struggling in the black
They are my family.

Sons

“Sons.” you say?
“None.” I say.
I will tell you anyway…like I know the way
They always warm the heart of a mother.

“None?” says you.
“Not a one.” I says to you.
I will tell you anyway…that sometimes I
Pretend that yours are mine in my mind.

And I say, “Now, Son, don’t do the things I’ve done.”
But it sounded like a Kenny Rogers song, so
I said, “Son, do your Mama well, and your
Daddy too or else.
Your ol’ Mom, er, I mean Aunt will come
And hunt you down.”

And I said, “Son, don’t act too much like me,
And don’t be so much like him to a T.
Suddenly, that’s a lot a don’t’s so, Son,
I won’t tell you I won’t,
But let’s talk about what you love…
Like family, home, and God above.

“Son, I see you’re getting restless, so
I’ll hurry to what the rest is.
Son, be strong and smart and wise
Hold so tight the ties
That bind,
And keep your heart on your sleeve,
But don’t be afraid to bare your teeth.
Son, walk forward and never back.
Give where you see there’s a lack.
Love first, and abandon hate.
I know it’s getting late, but you
Have time and strength and fate.
I know, I’m trying to keep this brief.
The fidgets set in and we need relief.
Hey, Son, don’t worry about them…
Be yourself, you are a gem.
At times it will be rough you see?
To round the edges for you to be.
But you’ll get there soon enough,
Just about the right time, I’d say, Son.
Easy is a blatant lie
That will lead you to trouble wide
Keep to the ways you know
The ones that come from your mind and and soul.
Son, you are an amazing man and
I love you with every piece I can.”

“None?” you say.
“None.” I say.
I will tell you anyway…that yours are closest to mine…

I am Enough

There was once a woman. She had grown from a sheltered and funny little girl in a small town that really wasn’t much of anywhere at all. A series of fortunately unfortunate events jerked her into adulthood never feeling good enough.

There came a day when she dropped it all and left in an abrupt exit leaving her family bereft. Of all places, where did she roam? She went to Las Vegas, yeah, Sin City became her home. She piddled and struggled and worked a couple years. She fought her way to her feet through a maze of many tears.

Then a guy showed up and gave her job. He tried to convince her of many things, but she thought him a fraud. As time went by, she learned how to trust, how to drop the excuses and work toward the good.

Then one day, it all fell apart. The job, her friends, and they guy were gone with a piece of her heart. She high-tailed it home and fell back in line. Now she muddles on through between moments of alive.

She’s better for it…most days, and other she’s not.

There’s a lot of noise in her head and in her mind. There aren’t many moments she has that are quiet. So, when asked to write, “I am enough.” It’s a bit of challenge, in fact, it’s tough. What has she accomplished? What has she done? She hasn’t finished much of anything…not even one.

For two days she thought, and she dug deep inside. It felt that to say “I am enough” meant to leave everything else behind. Then, finally, she had an epiphany. To be enough included all the important things. It included the people, her family, her friends. In included God, and convictions, and everything she is. It wasn’t a selfish proclamation at all. It was saying I need you, I need you all.

So, she stood up with her chin up and said off the cuff,
“Hey, I just realized, I am enough.”

 

If this post helps you engage your audience, please let me know in the comments below. If you want to participate in the next one, add me on Facebook.

Napowrimo – Day 5

ScreenHunter_04 Apr. 05 16.10

Napowrimo – Day Four 2013

Well, you may notice that there are no Days 1 through 3 posts. I’m playing catch up because I didn’t even know about #napowrimo until yesterday! So, I crafted 4 poems to catch up in about an hour and a half. Definitely not my best work, but then, that’s not what #napowrimo is all about. So, you get 4 poems today, and then I will assume the proper position tomorrow. Enjoy.

# 1. Spring Comes. 4-4-13

2013-04-04 13.07.25

#2. Gradients 4-4-13

ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 04 13.27

#3. #napowrimo 4-4-13

#4. Incorrect Haiku 4-4-13

Today, I learned that…

Traditional haikus

Are hard to write right.

 

And this…is not one.

Yoast SEO Plug In for WordPress

I run several websites besides ProWebWriter. Some are for clients, and some are mine; all WordPress. What else is there? I wanted to throw up a quick post about a recent change here at PWW. For YEARS, I have used the All in One SEO Pack plug in for Search Engine Optimization of this site. It was THE best. Was.

Last week, I migrated this site over to the Yoast WordPress SEO plug in. I tried it on another site and really liked the results. It makes do-it-yourself SEO on par with hiring an SEO firm which I think is a huge waste of money.  If your SEO needs tweaking, Yoast lets you know and suggests the changes you need to make.

Can You Say Traffic?

The thing I had no idea would happen, is why I’m writing about it now. When I tested on another site, it wasn’t one that I monitored traffic on very closely. Since I implemented it here on PWW (LAST WEEK!), I’ve noticed a significant jump in my traffic. Check it…

ScreenHunter_01 Mar. 23 14.55

Yeah…significant as in more than 1,000 visitors, and the month isn’t over yet.

Was the Migration Difficult?

Not at all. I will have to touch EVERY post and do some minor updating, but Yoast imported much of the data from All in One SEO. Since PWW is still a relatively small site (only around 160 articles), it’s not too huge of an undertaking. Larger sites might be a bit of a chore, but they can probably afford to hire someone to update all the posts for SEO. If the content is well-written, it’s no biggie.

Yes, I Will…

…be writing a How To on Yoast. I’ll include the migration information. I just wanted to share and have a post to link to when that’s done. Hit me up if you can’t wait.

 

ProWebWriter’s Pick Three Method for Most Anything

As I was putting together this post,  I realized that this “pick three” thing might be useful to others out there. So, let’s flesh it out a bit. There are a few things that I like to remember here at ProWebWriter:

  1. I like FREE.
  2. I’m not into selling helpful information.
  3. People are pressed for time.

Thus begins my new Unguru series. This method is not unlike something a guru might wrap up and sell to you at 7 bucks a pop. Internet Marketers get rich doing that kinda thing every single day. It can be easy money if you know what you’re doing, but I’m not into a quick and easy buck that rips off someone trying to earn a living.

Another thing I like to emphasize is keeping things simple. This isn’t Congress, and I’m not trying to release a new bill into law that is so many pages long, no one person could read it all in this lifetime. That’s not how my mind works, and I’d venture to say it’s the same for you. Therefore, I present:

pick3The Pick Three Method

Time is tight…for everyone. You don’t have time for big detailed lists of everything, but you do have time most any time to pick 3 things to work on. Am I right?

On the flip side, people don’t have a lot of time to invest in reading your endless yammering (kind of like I”m doing right now). Pick 3 main points and stick to them.

In my latest endeavor which led to the invention of the method for me, I chose 3 places to jumpstart my side job freelancing, and it worked beautifully.

What was great about it:

  • By only choosing 3 places, I didn’t invest TONS of time.
  • Because of the small time investment, the rewards were that much greater.
  • It didn’t waste others’ time.

The Results are Dually Beneficial

The Pick Three Method works as well on the receiving end. It’s much easier to make a decision with three options rather than five or ten, etc. If you’re offering a service, the Pick Three Method can help you keep things concise. Provide three packages, three types, three lengths, buy two get one FREE, three whatever. It doesn’t matter, because three is a manageable number.

Use It, Love It

Try it. Use the Pick Three Method in various areas of your life. Make 3 goals for the week, do 3 chores a day, write 3 paragraphs per day, etc., and see if you don’t become more productive and successful in all areas. If you adopted this method and it helped you, leave a comment. I’d love to hear about it!

 

Who Needs Tumblr?

Tumblr Logo“Need”” is a strong word, but I guarantee you can use Tumblr as part of your web presence. I liken it to a marriage between WordPress and Twitter. In brief, Tumblr is a feature-packed blogging platform that is socially driven. You can “follow” people as you would on Twitter and your posts are fed to your followers via an interactive Dashboard. Even if you don’t use the platform to blog, you can use it to stay on the up and up with your interests or to promote others by reblogging their content.

Let’s Talk About Tags

Check out that “Search tags” box in the upper right corner of the Tumblr Dashboard. Let’s talk about it for a minute.

Tumblr Dashboard

ScreenHunter_08 Feb. 04 10.18Many users tag their posts to send them out to various content seekers and followers. You can search nearly any keyword and get user posts regarding the topic. It’s a unique feature because you get such a variety of content surrounding the subject. It also allows you to find new people to follow and reblog. As much as I believe in WordPress, it can’t do this. So, what’s up with that track button?

ScreenHunter_07 Feb. 04 10.18If you click the track button, you can then track that tag. You can view an endless feed of posts about a certain topic. It’s ideal for research, finding content to reblog, and just to learn more about something you’re interested in. These are the features unique to Tumblr that keep me coming back. I can find images and content to reblog, pin to Pinterest and share on Facebook all in one convenient spot. It’s kind of like StumbleUpon all wrapped up in one website.

Use Tumblr to Promote Your Other Interests

You can also use Tumblr to your advantage. You can use it to promote your other websites or social media profiles. Check out the types of posts:

ScreenHunter_09 Feb. 04 10.28

  • Text: Write about anything. This is mainly for posts where writing is the focus; however, you can still add images!
  • Photo: This post focuses on the image. You can also upload multiple images, and Tumblr will arrange them in a nice, neat collage. Write a caption, add a link, and post!
  • Quote: Quotes focus on what is being said by formatting quotes to draw attention with bold text.
  • Link: Simply post a link! Promote yourself or others.
  • Chat: Post some chatter and stimulate the discussion right on y our blog!
  • Audio: Upload some audio, Podcasters!
  • Video: If a vlog is more your style, there’s a post for that as well.

My Ulterior Motive

Today, I’m reverse promoting, if you will. Instead of using my Tumblr to promote ProWebWriter.com, I want to tell you about my new Tumblr blog.

Wreckless Avand0n

I’ve been following some tags for quite a while like #abandoned, #derelict, #urbanexploration, etc. The images in these posts often depict abandoned places and things across the globe and they always intrigue me. I find myself inspired by the decay, so I began a new blog where I reblog the images that speak to me and add in some original writing of my own.

Sometimes, I write from a general point of view. Other times, I choose an element in the photo to speak for. This is a completely non-profit creative writing exercise that I’ve invented for myself, and I wanted to make sure that I plugged it here at PWW.

If you Tumble, give me a follow or put a link to your own blog in the comments! I’d love to follow you!

Checking Your Kindle Sales

From time to time I get questions that have been submitted through this website. It’s not a quick way to get an answer to a question, but it’s a great way to pay it forward since I answer these questions with a post that might help a future info seeker.

Most recently, a passer-by asked:

How do I check my Kindle sales?

It’s quite simple in fact.

Step 1. Click: http://kdp.amazon.com and sign into your account. If you can’t remember your log in details, you will need to run through the steps to retrieve them or reset your password. Your Kindle Direct Publishing Dashboard will open.

Step 2. Make sure you are on the Reports tab.

kdp reports

Step 3. Click one of the three links to view your sales for the stated amount of time.

You can even download the reports from your prior months’ royalties for your records. So, there you have it. Thanks to the anonymous reader who submitted this question. If you found it helpful, leave a comment.

Publishing Via Kindle Serials

Kindle SerialsGreetings. I know…long time, no write. I’m not really in a position to drop life and blog all the time, so I do it when I do it. It’s not working out that great from an Internet Marketing standpoint, but hey, I have a job.

I decided to release my debut novel as a Kindle Serial (or at least apply). Yes, I’m talking about the one I’ve written about here at PWW on occasion. See, I figure if I’m choking at 10,000 words, maybe writing the story in chunks would help. I’ve since written well past that mark, but still find it difficult to focus on the story when I’m in the mood to write.

What You’ll Need

If you decide you’d like to give Serials a try, their submission guidelines aren’t too terrible. As of this writing, you’ll need the following:

  • A “Brief” Pitch
  • At Least 2 Episodes of the Story
  • One-page Synopsis
  • One-page Biography

With a good bit of the writing done, it took me about a day to put this package together. I then had it edited and proofread. (No, I don’t hire people. I have friends and family do this part for me.)

Get more information here: Submission Guidelines

The Waiting

This is where I am. I sent off the email with all of the above attached 2 days ago. After some minor Googling, I’ve been unable to find any information on how long this wait might be. I’ve read some opinions on how long each episode should be, how often a new one should be released, and how to “serialize” your story. As with most things, people try to make it complicated. I just wrote it, and now I’m just going to wait and see what happens.

What If

Since Serials are by submission only, there is always the possibility that mine won’t be accepted. If this happens, I still have several options for releasing my debut novel. I can self-publish it as a regular Kindle book and even put together a hard copy through CreateSpace. I can distribute it myself as well amongst friends and family. So, the “what ifs” of self-publishing are much easier to take.

What Next

I’ll keep you posted on what’s up next as I travel along this road. There’s some new ideas in the cooker here at PWW, so I hope you’ll bookmark us or add us to your Reader and check back from time to time. Thanks for stopping by.

The E-Reader Experience

The printed book has many die-hard fans. Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like turning the pages of a book, the smell, or thumbing through to the most interesting parts. Many people feel that these things cannot be sacrificed for mere convenience. It will more than likely be many years before print books fall out of vogue. Before they die out completely, they will become items for collectors and novelty conversation pieces.

In the interim, the world has welcomed the e-reader. An e-reader is an electronic device used to display the text of digital content, namely books. Some e-readers can also display images, content in different formats, and even video. E-readers that focus mainly on reading and books are equipped with a black and white screen. More sophisticated devices have full color screens capable of displaying almost any type of digital content.

The main selling point of e-readers would have to be convenience. Standard e-readers are about the size of a medium paperback and can hold an entire personal library of books. E-readers can download entire books in a matter of seconds via the Internet. In addition, books formatted for e-readers have significantly reduced prices since there’s no paper, ink, or other materials to pay for. This matter of convenience has brought many hardcore book fans to the side of the very device that may eventually replace hard copy books.

The e-reader experience is quite different from reading a book. If you like to thumb through your books, this will be difficult when you are forced to page through using the e-reader’s navigation and waiting through page refreshes. The upside, however; is that it is easier to get lost in the story without reference to how far you have read or how much you have left. E-books have aspects that print books could never fathom. E-books can include live web links. E-readers can define a word by simply placing your cursor in front of it. E-readers can save all of your bookmarks and notations in one easy location.

E-readers make finding books simple since most of them are linked to a proprietary bookseller. Many classics have been adapted for e-readers and are available as free downloads. You can’t buy a hard copy of the classics for free. E-readers are light and easy to hold. They have a long battery life and the battery is rechargeable. Many e-readers offer additional features to reading such as games, video, and web browsing. A well-equipped e-reader is likely to become your constant companion when at home, the doctor’s office, or doing some summer reading on vacation.

For the price of a large bookshelf, a user could own an e-reader with the capacity to hold twenty of the same bookshelves full of books, and have room to spare. It’s a cost effective solution to obtaining the personal library you have always wanted.

Monetizing Your Website

Check out the other posts in this series about Becoming an Online Content Writer:

Moolah!

Get Paid!

Now that you have a website, and you’ve begun filling it with great content, why not make some money while you’re sleeping? First things first.

  • Traffic — You need to have some traffic to your site before your begin to monetize. It’s debatable as to how much. Once your begin to see a nice flow that is steadily increasing from month to month, I would say go for it!
  • Content — This really only pertains to sites that are or include a blog. If you only have a few articles, don’t bother. Concentrate on updating your site regularly first…then monetize.

NOTE: If you’re a writer, and you don’t have a blog, why not? Where are you going to put your articles, or link to your content you’ve written for other sites? Maybe you don’t feel like you really have anything to say or blogging just isn’t your thing? That’s respectable, however; it’s up to your how your use your blog. You write what you want. Having a blog can benefit your website because:

  • It creates more pages for search engines to index
  • Search engines LOVE new content
  • It allows you to diversify your site

Get to the Money Part!

Adsense

The single most popular method to monetize websites is Google Adsense. If you’ve been around the Internet any time at all, you’ve seen Google Ads EVERYWHERE. It’s quite a simple process to create an account and begin putting these ads on your site. You get paid various amounts each time someone clicks an ad on your site. If you already have a Google account for your Android phone or email, you can get started in minutes.

Remember, you don’t want your ads to be so intrusive that they take away from your writing. However, you want them front and center enough that they grab a bit of attention. There are other ad networks like Adsense that you may like better. I have only used Adsense on my sites and have been pleased with the result. You won’t get rich quick…or really get rich at all, but you will make money while you sleep, work, eat, and shop.

Affiliate Programs

There are literally HUNDREDS of affiliate programs to promote on the web. An affiliate program is when you endorse products or services on your website and get paid a commission if someone buys using your links. One of the most popular and user-friendly affiliate programs is Amazon Associates. Again, if you already have an Amazon account, it quite simple to get started.

Private Advertising

If your site is a hit, you can consider selling advertising spots on your website yourself. It’s as simple as putting together a page on your site with the available spots and setting a price per month. This allows you to help someone who maybe has less traffic than you share your visitors by placing a ad on your site. This is a great way to advertise, but it requires that your website stats be stellar. You need better than average traffic and content.

You’re Too Vague

That’s because you need to hone your research skills. Get on Google, read some of the other information on this site, research, research, research! No more Mrs. Nice Writer. The methods I’ve listed here are simple and don’t really require yet another tutorial online.  You can do this, and figuring it out on your own will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment that I can’t. I’m always available to answer questions via the Contact Page.

 

Edible Post

Whirling Dervish

Come ride with me?

I might eat this post in the future. Whatever. For just over two years, I’ve been putting my blood, sweat, and tears into this website. It’s changed gears a couple times and gone from being my personal sort of resume site, to a half-baked community for writers. The problem? I HAVE NO READERS. Sure, I get traffic…make a few bucks in Adsense, but ultimately, there’s no community here. Why? Blood, sweat, and tears isn’t enough.

Why I Write

I write because I love it. I write because I can’t NOT write. That’s the short answer. Why do I write on ProWebWriter? Well, as I said, it began as a way to procure online writing work…to make money…and…that’s where I got lost. As soon as these: $$$ enter the picture, my voice gets lost in the process…the process of writing on topics that are boring. Writing about WordPress or putting together a how to piece can be fun, but I’m preaching to the choir. As I writer, I want to be read. Simply. These topics bring seekers of information, and I’m able to help them, but they grab the info and split…never to return.

A Student of the Internet

I’ve been bangin’ around Internet Marketing forums for about 6 years now. I’ve learned A LOT. I’ve learned the same info over and over:

  • Content is King
  • Find a niche
  • Build a list
  • Create a product
  • Sell, sell, sell
Mix in some SEO, throw up some ads, and collect a check.
I’m done. I’m done listening to the gurus. It’s like the music business. The gurus are the mainstreams artists and I’m Ani Difranco. That’s the edible part. Everything I know and have read tells me I’m setting myself up for failure. Well, if I haven’t been wildly successful, will the fail be much of a step down?

I’m Gonna Do It My Way

I’ve got my list…with all 3 people on it. I’ve got products. I haven’t struck it rich yet. So, I’m just going to write. I’m going to write about what I want to write about. I’m going to share my life, my Internet travels, my photos, my art. I’m not choosing a niche. I’ve always been really bad at that anyway. Blame it on the ADD. I’m done chasing the $$$.

That’s What I’ve Been Missing

Passion. If I put the passion in, then it won’t return fruitless. Perhaps I’ll get the ultimate reward. Readers. The fire…that’s what I’ve been missing.

What’s Coming?

More candid posts! Links to all sorts of everything. What about my Becoming a Content Writer series? I’ll finish it. I’m building a cigar box guitar…I’ll be writing about that and whatever else tickles my fancy. Nichemongers, eat your heart out! I’m doin’ it MY way.

*No cupcakes were harmed in the writing of this edible post*

Why You Need a Website and Where to Get One Really Cheap

Check out the other posts in this series about Becoming an Online Content Writer:

Retro Typewriter

Why?

I know you’re a writer, but have you ever thought about having your own website? What has kept your from exploring the idea? Does it seem too complicated…too expensive? Well, it’s not. I’m a huge advocate for getting people websites! I found a super cost effective way to get, develop, and maintain my own sites. I’ve been trying to share this with the world ever since. There are TONS of places to build a FREE website online. If you’ve read this blog at any length, then you know that ProWebWriter LOVES free. BUT! In this situation, my advice: Don’t go free.

So, now that free is out, let’s explore the next best thing: CHEAP! Cheap is okay here. First off, let’s not mistake cheap for poor quality or bottom of the barrel software. I’m talkin’ top of the line here. We’ll come back to this in a minute, but first, we need to cover WHY YOU NEED YOUR OWN WEBSITE:

  • It’s all about you! Chances are, if you’re following this series, that you’re trying to make a buck or two with your writing. Showcase it on your OWN site.
  • Monetize it. Once you have established your site and you’re seeing some traffic to your articles or other writings, you can start making a little extra cash with an ad network like Google Adsense.
  • Network like a pro! Having your own real estate on the web gives you a platform to network from. You can comment on other blogs, list your site on Facebook, Tweet your articles, and a whole host of other social networking tasks.

Get to the Cheap, Cost Effective Part!

It starts with WordPress. WordPress is a FREE open source blogging platform. Don’t let the blogging part turn you off. You don’t have to be a blogger or even include a blog as a part of your site if you don’t want to. ProWebWriter has not one, but THREE packages to get you started with your own WordPress website. Why WordPress? We’ll get to that…just bear with me for a moment. For as little as a one-time payment of $20, you can have your own website. That’s cheap, my friends. We don’t offer a package that costs more than $60. Click that link above to find out what’s included.

Why WordPress?

I don’t endorse WordPress just because it’s free. I endorse it because I LOVE IT. Let’s take a look:

  • Search Engines love WordPress. WordPress sites index in the search engines almost immediately. Why is this important? Well, it helps people find your website when they search for stuff at Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
  • WordPress is incredibly easy to maintain. It has a comprehensive Dashboard where you can write, edit, and maintain ALL of your online content with a few simple clicks.
  • Customize, customize, customize. WordPress can do anything! You can customize everything about your site. If WordPress out of the box won’t do it, there’s a plug in that will.

What Do You Think?

Not convinced? I’ll go a step further. I’m offering two free website set-ups…that’s a $40 value…FREE. The secret word is: CHEAPWP That’s all you need to take advantage of this offer. Grab the secret word and head over to the Contact Page. Send me a message including that code and we’re in business.  Oh, and you shouldn’t already own a website. This is for newbies only.

What You Can Expect

Two lucky people will get:

  • 1 Domain name of their choice — One year paid — costs vary per year after, but as of this writing are running about $11 for dot com domains
  • 1 month of free hosting — $2.95 per month after
  • WordPress installed
  • Free WordPress video training
  • Free WordPress consulting with yours truly

*Extras available upon request for a nominal fee*

What I Need From You

Nothing. A testimonial would ROCK, but is not a requirement for this offer.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Next up? Monetizing your new website.

 

 

Making Your First Money Online as a Content Writer

Check out the other posts in this series about Becoming an Online Content Writer:

Accepting Payments

You’ve got a solid portfolio and you’ve been cruising various sites looking for your first paying gig. The first thing you need is a method to receive payments. The most popular online payment processor is PayPal by far. It’s safe, fast and secure. PayPal also gives you the ability to accept payments by credit/debit card. Setting up your PayPal account may take a few days because you do have to confirm your account using your bank account. You can still accept payments without this step, but you’ll want a way to transfer the money your make into your bank account so you can access the funds. PayPal also offers a Mastercard debit card that is free and will allow you to have instant access to your funds wherever Mastercard is accepted. You can beat it!

NOTE: There are other options besides PayPal, but I’ll leave those up to your research skills. Also, keep in mind that there are fees involved anytime you use an online payment service. PayPal takes a small percentage of your money to pay these fees.

When you make a payment or receive money with PayPal, you don’t communicate any personal banking information. You only use your email address.

How To Get Paid

We’ve discussed where to look for writing jobs. Now, you can accept payments. The only thing left to do is land that gig and get paid! Most gigs that you run into are going to pay you upon completion of the work. There’s nothing wrong with requesting up to half of the payment up front to begin the work and the other half upon completion. Becoming a content writer is about 75% writing and 25% marketing. You need to get that portfolio in front of as many potential clients as possible. It’s going to be slow at first. It really depends on YOU how quickly you advance in the business. Working smart and working hard will end in results.

Get To Work

Okay, let’s recap! So far you have:

  • Made a decision to become a content writer
  • Built an online portfolio of your writing
  • Learned where to look for writing gigs
  • Gained the ability to accept payments

Next up: I’ll tell you why you need a website and show you the cheapest way to get one! Yes, your very own corner of the web.  There’s much more to come. Subscribe so you don’t miss it!

 

Finding Paid Writing Gigs Online

Check out the other posts in this series about Becoming an Online Content Writer:

Downtown Winston-SalemThere are hundreds of thousands of places to find paid writing gigs online. Some are better than others. None of them will make you rich, but it is possible to earn a comfortable living. That being said, you will be disappointed by the going rates as a writer just starting out. Until you learn where and how to look for better-paying gigs, you’ll be writing for peanuts. Like anything else, finding good-paying clients take a bit of luck.

Where to Look

Well, who needs web content the most? You guessed it! Website developers! Your best bet at securing some decent rates is to network with web designers and developers locally. That’s right, locally. This may require that you step outside your comfort zone and do a little offline marketing. If you’re just not ready to do that right now, start with webmaster and internet marketing forums.

Forums

I started at Digital Pointin 2006. Digital Point is a HUGE webmaster forum that covers LOADS of topics. In later years, it has been dominated by diminishing quality posts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find work there.

Digital Point Forums

Digital Point Forums

This next one is HUGE! If your portfolio is good, you will garner some attention at the Warrior Forum. The Warrior Forum is a large and helpful community of website owners and internet marketers. The rules are tight and there is a private area for paid members, but it’s not a requirement to find gigs and gain a lot of insight into doing this web thing.

The Warrior Forum

The Warrior Forum

 

Bid Sites

Bid Sites are websites where you land gigs by bidding. Usually, the lowest bid will win the gig. There is A LOT of work on sites like this, but it is often difficult to win gigs in the sea of bidders. A little bit of research can give you some tips on how to make your bid stand out.

  • Guru.com
  • Elance.com
  • oDesk.com
  • GetAFreelancer.com

Craigslist

Craigslist has had its moments of scandal and scam, but you can find legit writing gigs there. It’s a good place to start locally. Plus it’s free advertising. Check out their Fact Sheet. Here are a few highlights:

  • 30 billion page views per month
  • 50 million users in the US alone
  • More than 1 million new job listings each month

So now you’re thinking about how much time you’re going to spend searching all those cities? There’s a solution for that as well. You can search ALL of Craigslist in one easy place: SearchTempest.com

Google

Wouldn’t that be a dream gig? Write for Google! Yes, please! But alas, I’m talking about searching Google for paid writing gigs. There are dozens of keyword searches that will bring you millions of results. As a writer, you need to know how to use search engines effectively to do your research. Start now by finding some places that will pay you to write.

BONUS

This is a giant list of sites that pay writers. Good luck!!!

Next Up…

I will discuss making your first money online. How to do it, different ways to get paid, and the basics of what you’ll need to start getting some money!

 

Build Your Online Writing Portfolio

Getting Started

So you’ve decided that you want to write content for the web. The first step in this process is to well, start writing. It’s not rocket science. The only requirement is a good command of the English language. It’s a good idea to know what good web writing is. YoU CaN’T jUmP oUt ThErE AnD wRiTe LiKe ThIs and using cliches like “it’s not rocket science” isn’t great either. ;-) There’s no place in content writing for text speech either. If u wrte like this, U will jst make ppl mad. You won’t land any paid work like that either. There’s a time and place for this type of communication…and it’s not in article writing or blogging.

Think of some articles you’ve read recently online. Maybe it was a link a Facebook friend posted, maybe it was another post in this ProWebWriter series…whatever the case, a well put together article is one that uses simple language and is consistent with its focus. It’s a good idea to format your online writing in digestible chunks using bullet points and subheadings. This caters to two types of readers: the reader who reads an article start to finish, and also the reader who scans for the specific information they want to read.

Publish

At this point, you should have a topic you’d like to write about. If you’re really proactive, you might even have some content that’s ready to publish. Now the question is where? Where to publish? Here are some options:

  • Content Mills — I don’t necessarily condone doing much work for content mills, but it’s a great place to start and change your status from unpublished to published. What is a content mill? A content mill is one of the many places online that hire A LOT of writers to populate a site. It might pay or it might not. Either way, don’t expect much. Very few writers have made significant money this way.
  • A Free Site or Blog — There are a lot of places on the web where you can claim a free website or blog. It’s a good place to start publishing your content. You can always move your work later if you upgrade to a paid website. Some places to get a free site are Blogger.com, WordPress.com, Weebly.com and Webs.com.
  • Your Website — If you have your own website, there’s no better place to publish your content. It’s a good idea to write for a couple other places as well though if you plan to procure freelance jobs in the future.
  • Guest Posting —  Write a guest post on a friend’s blog or site that is already established. Don’t know anyone? You can contribute to ProWebWriter. Contact me by writing your idea or pasting your original article directly into my Contact Form. I will be in touch with you within 24 hours.

Promote

When you begin publishing your writing on the Internet, share it. Post up a link to your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google+ or all of the above. The more the merrier. (another cliche) Not only will you get support and feedback from your friends, but it lets them know that hey, you can write for the web. It’s basic “word of mouth”. In addition, this begins building traffic to your site or articles you’ve written on other sites so it’s easier to monetize in the future.

Then What?

Next, ProWebWriter will discuss how to find paid writing work online. Having a few pieces published on the web is essential to this step, so what are you waiting for? Get started! Subscribe or bookmark us, so you don’t miss the next step!

So You Wanna Write for the Web?

It seems simple enough, right? You enjoy writing. You might even have some experience writing online in the form of a blog or even a Facebook status. Hey, it counts! No one said it had to be good…YET! With the questionable economy, many have turned to the Internet to find work just to stay afloat or supplement offline work. You might be surprised to know that thousands of people make their living working online.

I had this epiphany in 2006, and I’ve pursued it in various ways in the last 6 years. You’re reading one of them. I figure if those people can do it, then so can I…and so can you! There’s a lot of things to know about getting paid to write online. I’ll be covering these right here at ProWebWriter. Now is a good time to subscribe to the feed in your favorite Reader.

Gather Your Resources

Whadya got? No, I mean on your hard drive…what kind of writing do you have saved there? Pull it out. Your best stuff that shows you have the ability to not only string 2 sentences together, but do so coherently. It can be creative or informative. It can even be a school or college paper. Get out your diary/journal. No, I don’t want to see it! Thumb through it. I’m sure there’s something there that is brilliant and worth sharing. Find it and bookmark it.

Brainstorm

I am an avid brainstormer. Sitting within arm’s reach right now, I could show you no less than 8 brainstorming lists. I’m not saying you have to write a list, but you need to think about what kinds of writing you like to do. This will help you consider what areas of online writing you should focus on. Consider the websites you like to visit and what kind of writing you read there. If you’ve ever visited a site and thought, “I could write better stuff than this”, you are probably right.

Do Your Research

If you don’t know how to use a search engine, NOW is the time to learn. I don’t mean just “Googling” things…I mean seriously know how to find answers using a search engine. Here’s your first assignment: research some sites that will help you learn what effective online writing is like. Here are a couple hints: “writing articles for the web”, “writing for the web”, “copywriting vs. article writing”

Up Next…

I’ll tell you how to get started. Yes, making money from writing…now. Don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss it.

Private Label Rights and What You Can Do With It

PLRgraphicWhat is PLR?

PLR stands for Private Label Rights. PLR can included different types of content and media such as articles, web copy, autoresponder series, images, video, and music. These “rights” include nearly all the rights to a created work such as web copy, articles, images, video clips and music. PLR usually does not include resell rights unless otherwise specified. This post will concentrate on written content.

Why PLR?

Because it’s cheap. PLR averages about $1 per article or page. Custom ghost-written content of the same length can cost $25 and up. There is a place for both, but if you’re looking for a lot of content fast, PLR is your best bet.

The One Rule

When you use PLR content, the one rule is that you MUST rewrite it. There are exceptions to this rule. It’s not necessary to rewrite the content if you:

  • Use it as an autoresponder series
  • Use it in a print campaign
  • Use as a mail info pack
  • Use it as a newsletter

Why Do I Have to Rewrite It?

One simple reason…search engines do not like duplicate content.

If I Have to Rewrite It, I Might As Well Write My Own Stuff…

Not necessarily. There’s a number of options. First of all, you need only add in your voice and reword it to your taste. If you’re pressed for time or you’re just not a writer, here are some options:

  • Use article spinning software (not recommended)
  • Hire someone to rewrite the content for you

You can usually hire someone to rewrite the content for your at fairly cheap rates since the main ideas of the content are already there.

Ways To Use PLR

Well, besides the obvious like blog posts, web copy, etc. I’m going to provide you with a link. This isn’t just any link. It could be the most valuable link you’ve come across online in ages. You might already have it.

http://www.warriorforum.com/main-internet-marketing-discussion-forum/566982-unique-ways-use-private-label-rights.html

 Where to Get It

Try my new PLR site: http://prowebplr.com

Don’t see a pack you can use? Try my friend’s site: http://plrcontentmarket.com

Staffing Your Web Empire

Let’s Face It…

It’s a feat to do this web thing on your own. It’s not impossible, but if you’re doing it right, it eventually becomes a full-time endeavor. If you look over any of my other sites, you will find they are in varying stages of production. Unless you have an endless cash flow that enables you to buy stock images and hire help as needed, then you’re about the busiest person on the planet.

Behind the Scenes

Maintaining a website or blog is a ton of daily tasks. Skipping a day could mean skipping a dollar or several dollars. Aside from the obvious like writing content, here’s a glimpse of the daily behind the scenes here at ProWebWriter:

  • Check Analytics
  • Check and reply to email
  • Brainstorm topics
  • Make lists of things to be done
  • Create graphics
  • Find royalty-free images
  • Take pictures

That list is JUST for PWW, and doesn’t include any special things like theme and page updates or integration of services like AWeber and e-commerce.

Who Should You Hire?

There are several options. I began with family members. I’ve had my brother proofread for me, or my partner check over a graphic for an objective eye. Most recently, I’ve hired my nephew to proof for me and will be paying him. You can always outsource any aspect of your tasks as a website owner. There are tons of sites that allow you to hire freelancers who do just about anything. Elance.com and GetAFreelancer.com are a couple ones that come to mind. Even more affordable are sites like Fiverr.com that allow you to hire people to do all sorts of things for $5. It’s worth perusing that site just to get some out-of-the-box ideas. Proceed with caution. You are trusting your content into the hands of a stranger.

How Am I Supposed To Pay Them?

Well, this is where family and sites like Fiverr are helpful. If you’re not rolling in the dough, you have to pay for services as you can afford them. Like with my nephew, I’m paying him Fiverr prices for editing. He and I have agreed on a word count and dollar amount. It’s affordable to me, I can trust him totally, and he will learn some new things in the process. Heck, he’ll probably teach me a thing or two! If you’re hiring freelance, you will more than likely need a PayPal account, so you might as well get that out of the way.

It’s Not For Everyone

Maintaining a site has meant years of acquired skills for me; an evolution if you will. If you’re only running one site say to display your writing or simply a personal blog, then a staff will not be necessary. For those of you putting your blood, sweat, and tears into your little corner of the web, outsourcing a few of your tasks could be the answer.

Blame It On ADD

Dropout!

I dropped out of the contest (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award). What did that last? All of two days? I decided the biggest push for a goal I’d ever endeavored was TOO BIG. Upon deeper examination of the contest, I noticed that the others who entered were talking about their polished manuscripts. Here I sat with mine only half-finished. So, after accepting the giant challenge of completing it in two weeks, I would have still been uploading half-baked content. Unacceptable.

Aside from that, my manuscript would have been tied up in the contest just for entering until June 16th. That means even if I was eliminated as a winner early on, I couldn’t self-publish or shop my book anywhere else. No thanks. Maybe next year. It’s okay. It motivated me to write nearly 5000 words on a manuscript that was just collecting dust. It’s a momentum I don’t plan to let die.

Now What!?!

I’m going to focus on completing the book while setting regular goals for ProWebWriter. I’ve let the site go back and forth between regular content and a couple months with no new content. Again, unacceptable. PWW has too much potential, and I shouldn’t let my lack of focus ruin that. I have a strong vision; I just have problems with the day to day implementation needed to work toward that vision.

Upcoming

So, what can you look forward to? That’s a loaded question. In the coming weeks and months, here’s what coming to ProWebWriter:

  • Regular content updates
  • A PLR store
  • Site design update
  • New Freebies!
  • A periodic newsletter (probably quarterly, I’m not trying to invade your inbox)

The 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

It’s been nearly a year ago that I decided to write my first fiction novel. I had a robust start with 10000 words in just a few days, and then…I lost momentum. I posted a bit about it here on ProWebWriter. The file for the book has been sitting on my hard drive since June and I’ve made NO progress. My weak defense excuse is that I started a new full-time job in July. I struggled to find motivation.

I found out about the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award via the Kindle Direct Publishing Newsletter. The brief description intrigued me. Two categories, two grand prizes, a publishing contract, and a $15000 advance. It didn’t register right away that the contest required a completed manuscript. I was on board until I figured that out. My manuscript is MILES from complete. Oh well, there’s always next year, or the next contest.

I was telling my partner about it later. How I found this awesome contest and submissions were in three days. Then I realized I needed a complete manuscript to enter, so I just figured it wasn’t possible. “Why not?” she says.

“Uh, because submissions open in THREE days.”
“So.”
“So, I’m not anywhere near done.”
“Well, get it done. You can do it, I have faith in you.”

I was devoid of any excuse. Why couldn’t I do it? So, I’m writing this post in the midst of this endeavor. Submissions open tomorrow, and I have until February 5th to complete my manuscript and write a pitch. Apparently, there’s a whole horde of people who have been waiting since last year for this contest to roll around again. I took a very brief look at the discussion forums before I decided to wing it. I’m a little late to the game to be all researchy and scientific about it.

So here goes nothing. I’ve written nearly 6000 words in 2 days with a long weekend coming up to make an even larger dent. Even if I don’t make the deadline, I win because my debut novel will be complete and ready to publish. I needed that push! If you’d like to enter, check the link above. You’ll find all the info you need there. I’ll keep you posted. Either way, look for some new informative posts headed your way. Happy Writing!

Are You Internet Savvy?

Being Internet savvy is quite a blanket statement. The Internet is such a vast domain that having a broad knowledge is an ongoing process for any enthusiast. The first time I ever saw the Internet was at my brother’s house in the mid-90’s. I remember he showed me Yahoo and how you could search for people you know. It was a brief introduction, but I was completely intrigued.

A WebTV setup from RCA.

Being a teenager of limited means, I finally got online in 1997 via WebTV. WebTV became kind of a laughable phenomenon as computer ownership became more widespread. It was really an innovator and ahead of its time given all the Internet-ready TV’s and TV compatible devices available today. It was a limited experience without a computer, but my brain was a sponge. Two years later, my parents (God bless them) shelled out nearly $2500 for my first desktop and I haven’t looked back. So with nearly 13 years online under my belt, I am attempting to write a comprehensive list of criteria that makes one “Internet Savvy” since I can’t really find one online.

What Does “Internet Savvy” Mean?

Let’s break it down. If you’re reading this, you know what the Internet is, but what does savvy mean? The beauty of the Internet is that as I’m writing, I can pull up a dictionary definition of any word.

savvy [sav-ee]

verb, -vied, -vy·ing, noun, adjective, -vi·er, -vi·est. Informal .
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)

1. to know; understand.
2. shrewdly informed; experienced and well-informed
Are you experienced and well-informed in using the Internet? Take a look at some criteria.

Criteria for Being Internet Savvy

To consider yourself Internet Savvy, you should have knowledge in the following areas:

  • Email – This is an Internet staple and usually where newbies begin. Can you name the 3 most popular Internet providers?
  • Social Media – As a web-savvy person, you should know first and foremost what Social Media is. Social Media envelopes all Social Networking sites and services. Your Social Media skills should well exceed writing a Facebook status or Tweet. You should know what Social Bookmarking is. You should also know how to recognize when a website is intended for Social Media and when it’s not.
  • Browsers – Another staple of Internet knowledge is the browser. You can’t get on the Internet without one. As an Internet Savvy person, your knowledge should exceed merely double-clicking the blue “e”. In addition to using your browser to surf the ‘net, you should also know the features of your browser. You should know how to clear your cache, cookies, history, view page source code, etc. You should understand the convenience of tabbed browsing. Can you name five popular browsers?
  • Search Engines – Being Internet Savvy also means that you can use a search engine effectively. You should be able to find answers to questions of all types on any subject. You should understand that it’s possible to filter and refine your searches. For example, using Google, you can define nearly any word by simply typing define: and then the word into the Search box.
  • Telephony – Did you know you can make free phone calls using the Internet? I thought you might.
  • Forums – Message boards have been around since the inception of the Internet. These boards were vast social networks long before the term Social Media arrived on the scene. Forums aren’t too complicated, but they vary from place to place. You should know how to post, where to find the rules, how to use BBCode, and what the term “PM” means.
  • Instant Messaging – Along with forums, lots of people use Instant Messaging to chat with friends, family, potential love interests, and business associates. Like Forums, Instant Messaging is an important enough part of the Internet past that modern Social Media sites like Facebook and MySpace have included these features. Instant Messaging has given us the emoticon :-) and terms like LOL.
  • Blogs – The Blogging Boom began in 2004. The number of blogs have doubled every 5 to 7 months since. There are now more than 53 million blogs. Being Internet Savvy means that you know what a blog is, what blog means, and you have knowledge of a few different blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress.
  • Domains – At its most basic,  a domain is the address you type into your browser’s Address Bar to visit a specific website such as yahoo.com or prowebwriter.com. :-)
  • ViralGoing viral is an Internet term that can apply to any type of content on the web such as pictures, videos, articles, etc. Many Internet connoisseurs try to create viral content over and over. Being Internet savvy means you understand “viral” as a term used in marketing, blogging, writing, etc. Can you name a viral YouTube video?
  • Scams – Can you recognize the scams? If you can, odds are that you have avoided the Nigerian email scams, the UK Lottery, or a scammy offer on Craigslist.

 Who Cares?

Well, really, just geeks care. This post is more of a challenge to the casual Internet user. There is so much more to the Internet than you can possibly imagine. Owning a piece of the World Wide Web can be like owning a costly piece of real estate without a major monetary investment. It’s possible to make millions if you know what you are doing…just off the sale of one domain. The Internet isn’t going anywhere. As an enthusiast, I honestly feel that it’s worth my time to learn and know all I can about it. You may soon find that your employer cares, your church needs a website, your kid’s report card is only available online, and you get a huge discount if you buy your next big whatever using your Internet skills. Be savvy.

Fact Box

 

Using FileZilla

Overview

FileZilla is an open source (FREE) FTP client. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. While it all sounds a bit complicated, FileZilla basically helps you transfer files to your website manually. As WordPress has evolved, more and more of these functions have become automatic. However, it is still necessary to transfer files to your site manually. As a WordPress website owner, using an FTP client is something you’re going to want to know how to do. This article will cover FileZilla because it’s what I use and recommend.

Links

http://filezilla-project.org/

How Does It Work

Download FileZilla from the link above and install it. Open it up an take a look. FileZilla has a basic two-pane interface. The files on your computer appear in the left pane, and files uploaded to your website appear in the right pane once your are connected to the server. Again, it sounds complicated, I know, but you can do this.

Setting Up FileZilla

Step 1. Click the Open The Site Manager button. Make sure you don’t click the back arrow beside this button. The Site Manager will open.

Step 2. Click the New Site button. Your New Site will appear under My Sites. Rename your site. As you can see, I just name the sites after what domain they are on.

Step 3. Fill in the information at the right on the General tab as follows:

  • Host: Type your domain name in this format: yourdomain.com
  • User: Type the username from your main hosting account
  • Password: Type the password from your main hosting account

That is all you need to connect to your server. The other tabs you see are merely for personal preferences. I never use them.

Click OK.

Click Connect and make sure you can connect to your server. Once you connect successfully, the files on your server will appear in the right pane of FileZilla.

Now FileZilla is set up and ready anytime you need to use it. FileZilla will save the information you put in about your site and now you can connect to your server anytime with ONE click.

Using FileZilla

 Step 1. Click the black arrow beside the Open the Site Manager button.


Step 2. Click your domain/site name in the the drop-down menu. FileZilla will automatically connect to your server with this one click. Your website files will appear in the right pane.

Transfering Files

Transferring files between your computer and server requires that you know how to navigate the file structure of both your computer and you server space. If you can navigate to a image file in My Pictures on your computer and upload it to Facebook, you can upload files to your server.

For this example, we will transfer a new theme to a WordPress site.

Step 1. Navigate to the theme on your computer by double-clicking through the folders until you reach the theme folder.

I’ve chosen the A_Thousand_Word theme on my computer represented by the left pane in FileZilla. You can see it is highlighted. You can also see the navigation path just above the pane which tells me that the theme is located in a template folder inside my Documents folder.

Step 2. Navigate to the themes folder on your server in the right pane.

When you’re using WordPress, the themes folder is always located using this navigation: public-html>yourdomain.com>wp-content>themes

Step 3. Right-click the selected theme folder in the left pane and select Upload from the pop-up menu.

FileZilla will upload the theme to your WordPress site. You will be able to select the new theme from the Appearance menu in your Dashboard.

You manually upload plugins using these exact steps except you upload them to the plugins folder instead of the themes folder in the right pane. The navigation is as follows: public_html>yourdomain.com>wp-content>plugins