Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Why you should be flattered when writers use you for a jump off post

My friends, if you find yourself the inspiration for an article, blog post, book or rant, please don't take offense. All writers take material from their everyday world. It's nothing personal. In fact, most of the time, it's not even about what you said, but what you inspired them to consider.

Be flattered that your opinion means something to someone. Be happy that someone's listening. Be assured that even if a writer disagrees completely with what you have said, they value your opinion enough to talk about it.

And speaking personally, as that famous quote suggests, but in simpler terms, I will defend your right to say what you feel, no matter how screwed up I happen to think it is.

Inspiring a writer to think isn't as easy as it seems. Give yourself some credit.

Speaking personally, again:

I've written about every subject under the sun at this point. So, if your thought process presents an avenue I haven't yet taken, you should be flattered. No, really, you should. Even if I'm dissing you, calling you on your bull-crap or reacting negatively to your views, that means I value your thoughts.

Think about it. I'm a writer. Taking ideas from life is kind of what I do. So, don't be insulted if something you say inspires me to express my own thoughts on the subject. In fact, you should expect me to. It's nothing personal. It's my job. I'm always looking for things to write about. And the fact that what you said or did or posted inspired me says a lot about you.

The same goes for the majority of writers out there, I'm sure.

You should be flattered that your subject is the one I chose to write about out of the thousands of subjects I consider addressing every day.

Thanks for the inspiration!


Effective time management for online writers

Having a time schedule for writing may sound strange or silly to those new to the game. Writing online seems like a very easy going lifestyle to those who aren't in it. Those of us who have been at it for a few years or even a few months know better. There's so much more to consider when writing for a living than the writing itself.
Promoting your work is time consuming.
In fact, it takes just as much time as writing. It's not enough to post links on social networks when you first publish your work. If you want to be successful, you have to look for opportunities to promote your older work too. Expect to spend at least a couple hours daily just getting your links out there where people can see them. Plus, there's much more to it than that.
Leave time to support other online writers.

Since these people read your articles, it's only fair to read and promote theirs. Why focus on your own work all the time? It's certainly more interesting to hear other viewpoints and subjects than your own.

Social networking is vital.


Writing online often means being paid per click, ad view or page view. Obviously, it's very important to schedule time to promote articles through social networking. Still, the true value in social networking lies in creating friendships with fellow writers. Other writers are a great source of inspiration, tips, support and more.

Education keeps online writing quality in check.


Schedule time to learn more about producing articles that are well written and search engine optimized. Quality writing is the only writing that sells. Each day the online writer must schedule time to learn more about their craft. Online writing is just like any business in this respect. Writers must hone their skills if they wish to remain a member of the online writing community in good standing.

Consider your personal style and needs


When making up your writing schedule, consider the most important person in your day. It's you! Your writing habits, strengths and weaknesses all determine how you spend your writing day. For instance, I work better in the morning, early in the week, whereas, some of my writer friends work better in the midnight hours or under deadline pressure.

Personal considerations:

  • Where and when do you prefer to write?
  • Where and when are you most productive?
  • Do you work better alone or with plenty of company?
  • Is there a certain individual who invariably distracts you from writing?
Scheduling isn't just about you.

When my partner's home, I'd much rather spend time with him than write. So, I do my work when he's at his job. This has the added bonus of giving us both the same days off so we can spend more time together. Is there anything more annoying than having someone you're trying to spend time with occupied online? I think not. So, when you schedule your writing hours, keep the people who care about you in mind as well.



Writing for my audience and ignoring the naysayers

As I mentioned in my last post, my way of life and my writing are unconventional. I'm well aware of that. I don't follow social norms or do things just because that's the way they've always been done. I try my best to base my actions on fact, not habit, rumors or doctrine.

Those of you who read my posts know that I have recently vowed to stop defending myself. This is a revelation toward that end. After answering some recent comments, I realized that I'm answering comments from naysayers as if they were the people I direct my articles to. They're not.

My articles are directed to people who are not so set in their ways that they ignore evidence in favor of old habits that refuse to die.

Please understand that I mean no offense by this statement. We are all subject to human nature, part of which is adherence to our beloved comfort zones. I'm no exception to the rule. In fact, I'm constantly trying to wriggle out of my own habits and comfort zones in order to remain open to new ideas. Admittedly, it's sometimes a losing battle, but I do try.

Anyway.... The point is that I am now extending my offense, not defense strategy to the comment section of my articles.

I will no longer be defending my point of view to trolls who attack my way of life or express opinions different from my own. Why? Because it's not productive. These are people who will never change, despite evidence that indicates they should. They are set in their ways, with lead shoes on their feet and wearing ear muffs. There's no point wearing out my fingertips trying to explain my choices to them.

Instead, I will focus on writing factual and/or funny articles for those who either agree with me or are open minded enough to at least consider my viewpoint seriously.

You know, those who do not read my articles with the intent to bash me already set in their heads.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love all my readers. I'm just choosing to direct my articles to a more receptive audience.

Naysayers are still more than welcome to read them. I love hearing opposing viewpoints. It gives me article fodder, as well as making me think.

I'm simply not defending myself to naysayers in the comment section or making them the focus of my article subjects. It's a waste of time and energy. Instead, I will focus on those people who are truly interested in what I have to say.

Personal growth makes me giddy. How about you?

Eliminate Facebook comment wars with interest pages

What's the most common problem people have on Facebook? Well, among my friends, it's comment wars. I've been a victim of them. I've been in the thick of them. Heck, I've even caused them. In fact, they used to frustrate me so much, I would write about them daily. I'm writing about them now. Are you at your wits end with negative Facebook comments on your cause posts? Have you considered making or liking some interest pages to keep animosity to a minimum?

I'm a shining example of non-conformity.

I'm not saying this to get attention or to brag. It's just who I am. I'm a card carrying, vegan leaning, tree-hugger. I'm an atheist, an animal activist and a liberal. I speak out for gay rights and gun control. I'm a minimalist and an extreme organic gardener. I campaign against GMO's in our food. I detest large corporation subsidies and loopholes. So, as you can imagine, I am responsible for a lot of Facebook comment wars. That is, I seem to inspire them. I wonder why?

Believe it or not, I don't enjoy arguing on Facebook.

I don't have time for it. I have work to do. What I do enjoy is keeping people informed on the subjects that interest me. I like to post a few things, possibly have a laugh or two, maybe enjoy an enlightening conversation, then go back to writing. It just doesn't ever seem to work out that way. I have a really wide variety of friends with an even wider variety of interests. That fact is the whole reason for posting my pet subjects on pages for my like minded Facebook friends

My most recent experience with comment wars:

It may sound like nothing. I was getting incredibly tired of bacon comments on my vegan oriented posts. You see, I don't think of pigs as bacon. I think of them as fellow animals who are getting a rough deal. You don't have to agree with me to see the problem. To make a long story short, negative comments were making my stomach turn and my heart ache on a daily basis. It upset me so much, it was keeping me from doing my job. When I asked my friends to respect my sensitive nature, it started a whole landslide of comment wars.

It was then that I realized, I was talking to the hand.

What is the point of hammering something into someone's head, over and over if they're just not interested? There is no point. It's absolutely futile.

I also realized I was not merely an innocent bystander.

I can be pretty opinionated when it comes to my passions. Not only that, I enjoy posting sarcastic memes. It gives me a chuckle and gets me through the day. Unfortunately, some of my friends don't find my sarcasm funny. Well, I certainly know how that feels. I don't want to be that person. I don't want to bring my friends down. I want to lift them up. So, rather than posting my slightly “snarky” vegan posts on my news feed, I found several vegan interest pages to post them on.

By posting my vegan stuff on vegan pages, I don't have to worry about offending anyone. We're all on the same page. Pardon the pun.

I also don't have to put up with those bacon comments or endure hour long comment wars with my fellow writers. As you can imagine, writers can rattle off some pretty elaborate (not to mention stinging) jabs and comments. All the more reason for using or creating interest pages.

Do you have an uncommon interest?

Do you tire of promoting and explaining your causes to Facebook friends who have no interest in them? Are you trying to keep the peace in the comment section? If so, you might consider creating a page or two of your own. Just click on pages. It's on the left side of your news feed (home). Once you click, you'll see a button for creating your page. Click that too. Facebook will walk you right through the process of creating your own interest page.

Not into managing interest pages?

Just like a few that align with your beliefs and allow you to post away for those who agree with you and can relate.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Keeping ego out of your online writing

Just admit it, you're no Shakespeare anyway. LOL
If you're like me, you're not too fond of snobbish, perfectionist writers. Now, I have my pet causes, my pet peeves and my long winded rants, for sure. Don't we all? That's not what I'm talking about when I use the term “egotistical” in reference to writers.

I'm talking about those writers who are constantly trying to impress you with their big brains. I usually get about three sentences into their articles and click off. I know all the big words. Language Arts are kind of my thing, you know? I even read actual books sometimes. (Gasp!)

I just don't like those big words shoved down my throat like a spoonful of unwanted peas. Yes, even if I like the peas. And I'm not the only one.

One of the first things I learned about writing online has served me well consistently over the years. What is it? Write on an eighth grade level. Now, that's not because your readers are stupid. It's because they don't have time for your silly, self centered, big worded, headache promoting, requires too much thought for the time they have passages.

Sorry if that offended anyone. It's natural to try to impress with your writing. I do it myself on occasion. Maybe I'm doing it now, to a certain extent. Still, the whole point of online writing is to entertain and/or provide an answer to your reader's questions, not to rival Shakespeare. Online readers are looking for a chuckle or quick answers in an easily understood format. That's it.

The point is that your readers don't care how eloquent you are. They just want to skim your article, find the information they came for and move on. Leave your inflated ego out of it if you want to be read. Simply put, it's not that tough to write for an online audience. Pomp and circumstance aren't really necessary here.

Just be easy to read and you'll be read!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Daily earnings charts for online writers

Do you know how much you need to earn a day from your online writing in order to generate a decent income? Online article writers often forget to do the math. It's easy enough to stop and perform the calculations. Do you have the time? If not, maybe this earnings chart can help you put things in perspective and meet your writing goals. Pardon the formatting please. These are charts I made for my own personal use and decided to share with you.

These figures are based on writing 5 days a week (20 days per month)

Daily                 Monthly                Yearly

10.00                 200.00                   2,400.00
15.00                 300.00                   3,600.00
20.00                 400.00                   4,800.00
25.00                 500.00                   6,000.00
30.00                 600.00                   7,200.00
35.00                 700.00                   8,400.00
40.00                 800.00                   9,600.00
45.00                 900.00                  10,800.00
50.00                 1000.00                12,000.00
75.00                 1500.00                18,000.00
100.00               2000.00                24,000.00

These figures are based on writing 7 days a week (28 days a month)

Daily                 Monthly               Yearly

10.00                 280.00                  3,360.00
15.00                 420.00                  5,040.00
20.00                 560.00                  6,720.00
25.00                 700.00                  8,400.00
30.00                 840.00                 10,080.00
35.00                 980.00                 11,760.00
40.00                 1120.00               13,440.00
45.00                 1260.00               15,120.00
50.00                 1400.00               16,800.00
75.00                 2100.00               25,200.00
100.00               3000.00               36,000.00

You can have a lot of fun comparing these statistics. For instance, look at the enormous difference between the lower right hand totals on the two charts. Obviously, it pays off in the end to work those longer hours. However, you must weigh your own odds when it comes to what you're willing to give up for the larger paycheck. Plus, there are those viral posts to factor in. Don't despair!

By the way, in case you are curious, in order to reach an income of 100,000. a year (a six figure income) writing online, you would have to earn an average of 277.77 per day, working 30 days a month, or 416.66 per day, working 20 days a month. And remember, these figures do not account for income taxes!

Better get to writing, I guess!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Blogging is great for ending writer's block, etc. etc.

Sometimes you just have to write away your writer's block. Informal blogs are the ideal place to do just that. For the most part, blogs are about jabbering away on whatever subject strikes your fancy. Yes, I know. There are some very serious bloggers out there. I respect them. That's just not the kind of blogging I'm referring to.

Now comes the confiding part. You see, every once in a while I used to go into a mode where serious writing just wasn't something I was all that into. With casual blogging, though, I was able to free myself from writers block by just rattling off about any old thing that struck my fancy too. With all the censorship and rules now dominating the internet, that was a refreshing relief.

I liked that in their own blogs, people from all walks of life and writing levels could express themselves freely, without the grammar police stepping in with their badges and whistles. I liked that I could write like I talk in my blogs. In fact, I could write however I want.

And then, it happened. Turning to blogs to unclog my writer's blog brought about a realization. Which is this:

If serious articles cause me to experience writer's block and blogs never do, perhaps I should be blogging instead of trying to write like someone else wants me too, just to make make a buck.

And that realization is exactly why I stopped writing for private clients, and other venues.

And furthermore:

I also just don't see the point in forcing myself to comply to whatever standards some dude back in the 1800's set for all writers everywhere. I know that's not a popular thought among professional writers, but it's exactly how I feel

A writer should bleed their personality onto the page without a filter. They shouldn't be writing how someone else wants them to. They should be writing how they write. They should write as who they are.

Maybe it's just me but I feel that otherwise, we would all essentially be writing the same exact way, which would encourage living and believing the same way too.

Following someone elses rules is just not my thing, you guys. It's not worth my health, my sanity and my freedom. I love writing how I'm naturally inclined to write and for myself and myself alone. Well, and for my readers, of course. The majority of whom are just as sick of outdated, unreasonable formalities as I am.

And yes, I do believe that there is something to be said for writing and spelling well enough to be understood. I get it. I just don't think the world is going to come to an end if someone puts a comma in the wrong place or a period outside quotation marks or whatever.

I also don't believe that people who are still learning the language should be expected to speak or write it “properly.” As long as I understand them, or even if I don't, I hope they continue to write. Because practice is what it takes to hone your craft, ladies and gentlemen. And neither practice nor any human being on the planet is ever, ever perfect.

Personally, I like it that way.