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 @VeryShortStories. 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 paperwork, 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 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 14 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
- badonkadonk (LOL!)
- boobies (Mercy me)
- fart nuggets (o_O)
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. I wouldn’t want to get much more adventurous than “boobies”. My friends are the best!
So What Did I Write?
That will have to wait for another post, but you WILL see some, if not all of it here on PWW. I’ve got to make sure it’s okay with the participants, find out who wants to be named and who wants to remain anonymous, and see who wants backlinks! 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.
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
#2. Gradients 4-4-13
#3. #napowrimo 4-4-13
#4. Incorrect Haiku 4-4-13
Today, I learned that…
Are hard to write right.
And this…is not one.
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…
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.
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:
- I like FREE.
- I’m not into selling helpful information.
- 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:
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!
“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.
Many 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?
If 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:
- 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.
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!
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.
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.
Greetings. 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
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.
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.
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 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.
Check out the other posts in this series about Becoming an Online Content Writer:
- So You Wanna Write for the Web
- Building Your Online Writing Portfolio
- Finding Paid Writing Gigs Online
- Making Your First Money as a Content Writer
- Why You Need a Website and Where to Get One Really Cheap
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!
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.
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.
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.
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: $$$ enter the picture, my voice gets lost in the process…the process of writing on topics that are boring. Writing about WordPress or putting together a how to piece can be fun, but I’m preaching to the choir. As I writer, I want to be read. Simply. These topics bring seekers of information, and I’m able to help them, but they grab the info and split…never to return.
A Student of the Internet
I’ve been bangin’ around Internet Marketing forums for about 6 years now. I’ve learned A LOT. I’ve learned the same info over and over:
- Content is King
- Find a niche
- Build a list
- Create a product
- Sell, sell, sell
I’m Gonna Do It My Way
I’ve got my list…with all 3 people on it. I’ve got products. I haven’t struck it rich yet. So, I’m just going to write. I’m going to write about what I want to write about. I’m going to share my life, my Internet travels, my photos, my art. I’m not choosing a niche. I’ve always been really bad at that anyway. Blame it on the ADD. I’m done chasing the $$$.
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.
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*
Check out the other posts in this series about Becoming an Online Content Writer:
- So You Wanna Write for the Web
- Building Your Online Writing Portfolio
- Finding Paid Writing Gigs Online
- Making Your First Money as a Content Writer
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.
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.
Check out the other posts in this series about Becoming an Online Content Writer:
- So You Wanna Write for the Web
- Building Your Online Writing Portfolio
- Finding Paid Writing Gigs Online
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!
Check out the other posts in this series about Becoming an Online Content Writer:
There 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
This is a giant list of sites that pay writers. Good luck!!!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
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, 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!
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.
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.
verb, -vied, -vy·ing, noun, adjective, -vi·er, -vi·est. Informal .
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
2. shrewdly informed; experienced and well-informed
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.
- Viral – Going 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.
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.
- The top 3 email services online are: Google’s GMail, Windows Live Mail, and Yahoo Mail. — http://www.email-marketing-reports.com/metrics/email-statistics.htm
- Popular sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are well-known Social Media sites used by millions of people everyday.
- A non-comprehensive list of browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.
- Google search tricks: http://www.googleguide.com/advanced_operators_reference.html
- Free phone calls on the Internet: http://freebies.about.com/od/computerfreebies/tp/free-internet-phone-calls.htm
- The Blogosphere Stats: http://www.clicknewz.com/299/the-blogging-boom/
- Top 10 Viral YouTube Videos of All Time: http://mattroyse.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/10-viral-youtube-videos-all-time/
- Top 10 Internet/Email Scams: http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/scamsandidentitytheft/ss/top10inetscams.htm
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.
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 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.
Step 1. Click the black arrow beside the Open the Site Manager button.
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
I don’t often endorse products. I am a writer of limited means and it seems that most cutting edge technology falls well outside of my price range. My regular readers will notice that ProWebWriter has a running theme of FREE. If it’s not free, it’s extremely cheap. I’m typing this entry on my three and a half year old laptop, and I’m okay with that. My phone pretty much just makes calls…that’s it. Yes, I can text and I even sprang for a model with a QWERTY keyboard, but there are no Apps…there’s no touch screen…it’s just a phone with a really crappy camera. I’m okay with that as well. My flat screen TV and Nintendo Wii were awesome deals from a secondhand store. In fact, I didn’t even buy them, my partner did.
Last Christmas, I received a piece of modern technology that I consider pretty cutting edge, and it’s about to get a whole lot better. I remember writing about this gadget when it first appeared on the scene in 2008. The first Kindle retailed for $399 I believe; nearly 400 smackers. It was certainly well out of my price range then and now. Something amazing happened though as happens with all tech eventually, the price dropped…drastically. So last Christmas, I got one as a gift. The Kindle changed what I read, how often I read it, and where I read it for the better.
By the time I got my hands on one, Kindle was in its 3rd generation. I’m glad I waited a while. Back in 2008, there were about 90,000 books available for Kindle. Now there are more than a million, and I’m only counting the FREE ones. In addition to ebooks of all lengths about everything you could imagine, there are also games, audio books, applications, newspapers, blogs, and magazines all available for Kindle. All of this great content is delivered to your Kindle in less than 60 seconds.
Imagine what college would have been like if all of your books were on a Kindle. Some of the lesser known features on Kindle are my favorite. For example, the My Clippings file. When you read any type of media on Kindle, you can highlight, make notes, bookmark pages, and clip entire articles. All of this content is saved in a file called My Clippings. That’s right, all of your most important content is saved for you in one place that you can access from your Kindle or your computer. Not to mention, Amazon backs it ALL up to your Amazon account. The Cloud. That’s what they’re calling it now.
I usually abhor companies who release a newer, better product every year. I guess that’s why people who go gaga for Apple baffle me. I might be gaining a new understanding though. Within the last month, Amazon has announced its new family of Kindles. I’m sold already. Amazon has answered every gripe that owners of other ebook readers could have presented:
- It doesn’t have a light
- It doesn’t come in color
- It doesn’t have a touch screen
- It doesn’t have Apps
- The web browser is laughable
- The music player is “experimental”
- It costs too much
- It doesn’t do PDFs
Their answer? The Kindle Fire.
Just in case that wasn’t enough, Amazon decided that the latest, greatest Kindle should be your one stop for all your entertainment on the go. For the bargain price of $79 a year, you can access 10,000 movies and TV shows. Anything else? Well, it has a customized Android operating system (which means Apps!), a new revolutionary browser called Amazon Silk, FREE cloud storage for all your content, Wi-Fi, and a dual core processor. That laptop I mentioned earlier…dual core. It blows my mind.
So all of this should set you back 400 bucks at the very least, huh? Based on comparable tablets available on the market like the Samsung Galaxy or the Motorolla Xoom…this thing should be right up there. Even though I nearly drooled in my keyboard when I first heard about it, it certainly never occurred to me that it would be even remotely in my price range. I mean for $400, I could buy a much needed new laptop, right? As I read hungrily through the many features which only turned me green with envy, I finally got to the bottom. They always stick the price at the bottom of everything. I literally had to pick my jaw up off my touchpad. $199!?! Someone at Amazon needs to lay off the sauce! They’re serious! ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE for this fantastic device.
My 3rd gen Kindle is a mere shadow of the Fire, but has been one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. $199 is cheaper than the most rudimentary smartphone. On top of that, you’re locked into a data plan that is inadequate or you could feed a small country with your cell phone bill every month. It seems like a no brainer to me. The Kindle Fire is set to ship of November 15th. You can even pre-order it now:
Amazon stopped with the Kindle Fire. But before they got there, they improved on their E-ink readers. Not only are they releasing the Kindle Fire, but they’re releasing an entire line of Kindles to meet the needs and means of any user. For $79, you can own a Kindle…cheaper than any other e-reader manufacturer on the market. You get all the wonderful Kindle content on a basic device that anyone could use. To make navigation a little simpler, you can invest 20 more dollars and get the Kindle Touch for $99. If you think you’ll miss your Kindle QWERTY keyboard, you can still get Kindle Keyboard for $139 including Wi-Fi and FREE 3G. So, you see, Amazon has something to offer every existing Kindle lover. If you’re new to the world of Kindle or just can’t decide which e-reader is for you, look no further than Amazon and the Kindle…proudly endorsed by ProWebWriter.com.
I have put off getting a favicon for ProWebWriter since I launched the site. Those tiny pictures fall to the back burner rather easily, but I came across a favicon generator on StumbleUpon today and decided to throw one together real quick.
That’s Nice, But What is a Favicon?
– a 16×16-pixel icon associated with a particular website, usually displayed before the URL in a browser.
“Favicon” is a combo of the words “favorite” and “icon”. They first became popular in older browsers so that users could easily recognize their favorite bookmarks.
The red squares in this image indicate the favicons.
Why Do I Need One?
You don’t need one. Like I said, I ignored the fact that PWW didn’t have one for well over a year. The favicon is simply an attention-getter. When someone adds your site to their bookmarks, your favicon will appear in the listing with your URL. Also, since most browsers have all those convenient tabs, favicons help users identify your site quickly while they are browsing or working. Having a favicon surely won’t make you or break you, but it can’t hurt. Not to mention the implication toward your site being a place for professionals.
Tell Me How To Get One Already!
You need a source image. I’m going to assume that you have some basic graphics skills and a graphics editor like Photoshop or an online one like SplashUp. If not, skip this part and Contact Me instead. I can help.
Here’s the specs I used for my source image:
- 50×50 pixels — It needs to be square
- 72 dpi — Standard web quality
- Colors directly from my color scheme
I saved the final as a JPEG and was able to use that with no problems in the next step.
Step 1. Upload your source file to Favigen.
- Navigate to your source image on your computer by clicking the Browse button.
- Select your size using the drop-down menu. Most favicons are 16×16 pixels.
- Click the Create Favicon button.
Favigen will generate your favicon file and you can download it to your computer. The file will be automatically named Favicon.ico
- Rename the file with a lower-case “f” like so: favicon.ico
The next part of this tutorial will assume you know how to upload files to the domain you have WordPress installed on using an FTP Client. Again, if you need help with this part, Contact Me.
Step 2. Remove any old favicon.ico files from the main folder of your current WordPress theme.
Step 3. Click Appearance in the left navigation of your WordPress Dashboard. A menu will drop down beneath Appearance.
Step 4. Click Editor underneath the Appearance menu. This will open the WordPress Theme Editor.
Step 5. Click Header under Templates to the right of the Editor window.
Step 6. Find the following line of code between the <head> tags and remove it:
<link rel="shortcut icon" and ends with /favicon.ico" />
This code may not exist, so don’t fret if you can’t find it. Just move on to the next step.
Step 7. Paste the following code between the <head> tags:
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_directory'); ?>/favicon.ico" />
*TIP* The <head> tags probably won’t be close to each other. You really only need to find one. Make sure you’re not posting your code inside other scripts or code. Find the </head> tag and create a line above it by pressing the Enter key. Paste your code there.
Step 8. Click the Update File button under the Editor window to save your changes.
Step 9. Clear your browser’s Cache and restart it to view your new favicon.
That’s it! Now when users load your site or save it as a bookmark, your favicon will come to represent your site as a quick visual reference.
Prepping For Critique
Once you’ve got a good start on your novel or you’ve completed the rough draft of your manuscript, it’s time to enter the editing phase. This is the point where you let go of your baby and see if it can stand alone. It’s not an easy step, but necessary in the publishing process. The first step is Proofreading. While it’s difficult to proofread your own work, you will catch mistakes.
If you would prefer your manuscript to be a little more polished before you let others critique it, you can always run it through editing software like Editor by Serenity Software. Editor will set you back $55 for the standard version, but it will find mistakes and inconsistencies that you will initially miss during your proofread. Personally, if I bought every 50-dollar piece of software that I could benefit from, I’d have no space on my computer AND I’d be broke.
Finding an Objective Eye
More than likely, as you seek out a beta reader or critique partner to put an objective pair of eyes on your draft, you’re going to have to count on getting lucky. There are communities online dedicated to such pairings but the caveat is it will be difficult to find a dedicated reader and you may be expected to return the favor. If you haven’t started using Twitter to meet and interact with other writers, now’s a good time to start. That’s the next post.
You can also find readers by blogging. Those who take the time to comment are already reading what you’re putting down. Most Writers’ forums have an area where you can post your work for critique. I suggest that you find a writers’ community where you feel comfortable, interact, and post some good information BEFORE you ask for critiques. You should never have to pay a beta reader, but remember, the relationship is usually a reciprocal one where you will be asked to critique your partner’s work as well. Look for someone in your genre. Writers’ communities are a dime a dozen.
It’s time to hire an editor. After you’ve done everything you can to get your work to a polished state, bring in an editor. Why now? Well, because it will be a less time-consuming task at this stage in the game. It’s always a good idea to send the editor you choose a sample to edit so you will have an idea of their editing style and what you are getting for your money.
Why Are These Steps Are So Important?
As an indie publisher, the odds and resources are stacked against you. Following these steps will ensure that your work is on a level with mainstream publishing. Churning out the best product you can helps quell the stereotype that indie publishing is less professional and shows readers that you are serious about writing and providing them with the best product possible.