Thursday, December 4, 2014

Employers use social networking tools to “spy” on employees

Somebody's watching your Facebook page. It's your boss!
Today's employer can find information about applicants from their social networking tools websites. There are many questions employers are not legally allowed to ask in interviews. Not to worry, much information can be obtained from a Facebook page or Twitter account. Professional online writers often have both. What do your online profiles say about you that may not appeal to future employers?

Interviewees often hide their true identity from potential employers.
Many times a job candidate has excellent qualifications and credentials, but is impossible to work with due to personality issues or other problems in their personal life. Social networking tools can help to reveal the applicant's true goals in life.

Social networking tools should be used to show your best qualities.


Keep posts upbeat and positive. Avoid bashing other users when using social networking tools. Maintain a professional attitude. These websites can be very helpful in boosting your image if used properly. If you work online social networking tools are invaluable self promotion.

Social networking tools can draw potential customers to your website.


Friendships made while using social networking tools can also bring attention to a business through word of mouth. Use social networking tools to highlight your achievements, not to boost your sex life. Future employers are not interested in your measurements, and certainly won't be hiring anyone who posts such things on their pages.

When using social networking tools, always be cautious about revealing too much personal information.


Take care not to post character damaging photos or statements when using social networking tools. For your own safety and dignity, never post items of a sexual nature. In addition to ruining your reputation and your chances of being hired by a serious employer, this can be viewed by sexual predators and used against you.

The good part:


The knowledge that social networking tools are used by employers to screen applicants can be helpful as long as websites are used in a professional manner.

Don't be afraid of a little self promotion using social networking tools.


Always be honest in your posts. Avoid bragging about qualifications you don't possess. The truth always comes out eventually. Honesty is the best policy.

Social networking tools are becoming invaluable as more and more people work online.


Social networking websites aren't just for socializing any more. These sites, which used to be a dating nightmare, have been turned into valuable business tools. So be careful what you say online. The boss could be listening.

Portions of this article were previously published on a now closed Yahoo property.

Writing more professional online articles

Don't forget to check facts!
There are times when a writer writes with creativity only in mind. There are other instances in which a more professional approach to articles is required. It can be difficult for the creative writer to write professional articles of a serious nature. The creative mind doesn't always lend itself naturally to professional writing.
Writing professional articles requires a little discipline.

It also necessitates a bit of compromise on the part of the creative writer. Interjection must be kept to a minimum when writing professional articles. Professional writing can have personal opinion within, but not to the point that it takes over the article. It's important not to let professional articles become rants on the authors pet peeves.

Write an outline containing vital information and stick to it.


The facts become the outline with each paragraph limited to two or three sentences supporting the facts. The outline makes writing professional articles quicker. There is no pause to ascertain what comes next. Remember to link to other professional materials that support facts.

If there's a point or opinion to express, stay within the outline.


Make the interjection brief and to the point. It's also best not to personalize the opinion with statements such as, "I believe that" or, "it seems to me". Rather it is best to use general terms such as, "some people have expressed". Then proceed to explain why each side feels the way they do. This gives the reader the respect to form their own opinions.

The old news adage still rings true.

Be sure professional articles answer all basic questions regarding the subject. For those who are unfamiliar, that would be who, what, when, where, how and why. The how and why of the article subject is not always clear. This is the place for opinions and interjections.

Make an effort to keep paragraphs at two to four sentences.


It also helps to keep paragraph size consistent throughout the article. This allows for a more profession look and an easier read. Run on paragraphs cause the reader to lose attention. Keep ideas concise and convincing.

Keep publication requirements in mind.


Writing professional articles is like any other job in this respect. Business owners have every right to run their business as they see fit. When writing professional articles you must stick to the rules or get out of the game. This is not an easy thing for the creative mind to swallow but it must be done if you are to earn any money.

Professional articles fill a different need.


Creative articles often fulfill a two fold need. They satisfy the artist's need to create and the reader's need for entertainment. Professional articles, on the other hand are mostly about keeping people informed on subjects of interest to them. The writer's motivation is generally monetary, rather than creative. This is not to say there are not professional article writers who are creative, it's just a different motivating force.

Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ten Items for the Writers Backpack

Writers on the go need a few essentials.
Online article writing can be done anywhere with the right tools. Writers never know where they will be when the next idea or opportunity strikes. Work at home sometimes becomes work on the road. I find it useful to keep a writer's backpack, which I take with me just about everywhere I go. Here are ten things that might be included in a writer's backpack and why.
Notebook computer

If you have one of these, it's a handy little addition to a writers backpack. Notebook computers are a lot easier to lug around than a full size laptop. Online article writers get used to writing with a keyboard. It's just faster and more efficient. You don't have to write everything twice if your notebook is not your main computer. Just put your field work on a flash drive.

 

Notepad and pen

If you don't have a regular laptop or a mini, a pen and paper is the next best thing. When you're out and about, you can jot down quick article ideas or even make outlines for articles. On Saturdays, I ride along with my plumber boyfriend. While he's in a customer's home, I'm outside jotting down ideas, writing, editing and making outlines for online articles.

Camera


Most online article writers place pictures on their published work. Some even post slide shows and videos of places they have visited to give their readers a descriptive pictorial. One of the best work at home strategies for the on the road writer, is to pack a camera with extra batteries or a cell phone with a good camera. Photo opportunities are often unplanned, so make like a boy scout and be prepared.

Cell phone


Having a cell phone in your writers backpack serves a multitude of purposes. In addition to using it for a camera, it can also be used as a voice recorder or to take notes. Those GPS systems come in handy when you're hunting down leads. Use this work at home tool to let loved ones know you'll be late due to a story that came up. Of course, they're great for emergencies too.

First aid kit


Having a first aid kit in your writers backpack may sound like overkill but it really comes in handy. I've used mine on numerous occasions. Usually, that's after climbing a fence or walking through a field to get the perfect picture. You can buy tiny first aid kits for basic bandaging in the travel size aisle at supermarkets and big box stores.

Badge/Business cards


If you do the type of writing that requires access to off limits areas, your writers backpack better carry an ID badge as well as your personal identification. Sometimes a business card is helpful when conducting interviews as well. This work at home strategy allows entry and gives people a way to contact you with further information.

Comfortable Shoes


I can't tell you how many times this summer I've been traveling the back roads of Colorado in my sandals and wished I had a pair of comfortable shoes. As I said before, an online article writer never knows when a photo opportunity will present itself, or where they will have to go to get that photo. A pair of cheap tennis shoes will slide easily into the outer compartment of the writers backpack.

Change of clothes


It doesn't take much trouble to roll up a t-shirt, jeans and underclothes and tuck it into the bottom of your writers backpack. An extra change of clothes is nice to have with you, whether or not you're an online article writer. Sometimes I stray off the beaten path and find myself too far from my home office. It's sure nice to have a fresh change of clothes when forced to spend the night away on the road.

Grooming supplies


These come in handy for impromptu overnight stays as well. It's also nice to have supplies to fix windblown hair. Deodorant wears off and so does perfume. Packing grooming supplies in your writers backpack will have you looking and smelling your best at all times. You never know when an interview or story opportunity will come up while on the road.

Water and a snack


Online articles writers need to keep hydrated and energized when a story takes them away from their home office. Most backpacks have a spot for a water bottle and a snack or two. Why not tuck them in there just in case? You might decide to take a nature walk to capture some interesting photos. This work at home strategy will give you the energy you need for any on the road assignment.

Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Article maintenance tips

Edit till your eyes hurt!
If you're new to online article writing, you may not be aware that the real work begins after you write your article. Article maintenance has many components, not the least of which is editing. You will also need to decide where to place your article and how to categorize it. All these thing will determine the success of your article. Lastly, you must promote your article and link to it from other websites. This is how your article gains popularity on the web. Why do you want your article to be popular? So it will get page views, of course. Unless you have a problem with making money.

Editing

Breathe a sigh of relief. Your article is done. You may think it's perfect. It probably isn't. That's where the phrase first draft comes from. All writers have an editor, and for good reason. As an online article writer, chances are, you will have to be both writer and editor. Go over your article with a fine tooth comb. Naturally, you will have to check spelling, grammar and word usage. You should also be sure your title fits your article and that you have stayed on track. Does your article say what you wanted it to? Is it easy to read? Does it make sense? Would you enjoy reading it?

Placement


Now that you have the final draft, where are you going to place your article? If you write for several websites or clients, think about where it would get the most traffic. If it's an assignment, check to see it meets the specifications set forth. If not, you can either re-write it, or place it elsewhere. Remember, until you submit your article, it's yours to do with as you please. This fact may come in handy, if you've departed from the assigned subject matter altogether.

Categorization


Now that you know what venue you have chosen to place your article with, you may also have to choose a category. Some websites allow you to submit an article under more than one. You will have to think about which category your reader will look under for this information. If your article is about curing your dogs fleas with apple cider vinegar, it might fit under pets, alternative medicine or both. Choosing more than one category will make your article visible to more people.

Promotion


Most online article writers use social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter to promote their articles. You will need to have a page on as many social network venues as possible in order to get the most from article promotion. Facebook has a cool option for making your article post visible to all Facebook users. This can help widen your audience beyond your social network circle. As you become more experienced at promotion, you will learn many other tricks like this one, to further your writing career. For instance, you should never stop promoting your articles, no matter how long ago they were written. You never know who might have missed them the first time.

Backlinks


I will close by mentioning one highly valuable technique for promoting your article. Online article writers call this method backlinking. The idea is to link to your article from as many venues and websites as possible. This gets the attention of search engines. It makes your article look like a hot property. You can do this through friends, your own websites, or other venues you write for. Just make sure it's not against the rules of the other sites. So, you see, the real work in online article writing begins after the article is written. Article maintenance makes a huge difference in your success.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Balancing homeschool and writing

Give instruction, then write while your child completes assignments.
Several online article writers I know chose this career partially so they could homeschool their children and still earn a decent living. Balancing homeschool and writing, while excelling at both is no easy task. Here's a few tips I learned when my daughter was homeschooling her kids at my house.

Hand out assignments - Write
Online article writers may find balancing homeschool and writing easier by using worksheets and independent assignments. There are many assignments that are simply practice of lessons learned. Worksheets involving basic math, reading and writing skills can be done independently by kids while the online article writer is working.

Older kids may be able to work on more advanced skills without a lot of supervision as well. When balancing homeschool and writing, it's best to explain the assignment when it's passed out. Make sure the child understands the assignment completely before going back to your writing.

Teach a lesson - Give assignment - Write


At some point there will be lessons that need to be taught. Homeschooling isn't just about handing out assignments and expecting kids to do them without knowing the subject matter. When exploring new areas of study, you will have to teach a lesson before handing out assignments. Once children have a good grasp of the material and are able to move on to a related assignment or project, the online article writer can concentrate on their work.

Pass out a test - Write


Just like regular school, homeschoolers take tests to track their progress. For the online article writer, tests provide an opportunity to write in a relatively quiet atmosphere. Getting in the habit of testing all your homeschooled kids on the same day at the same time will help you keep a set schedule for writing. The more strict you are about your homeschool schedule, the easier it becomes to balance homeschool with writing. Remember to give direction as to what kids should do once the test is complete.

Online homeschooling


Online article writers can buy themselves a little more writing time by enrolling their children in online homeschool. This is not to say you are off the hook as far as teaching responsibilities are concerned. Your children will still need you to explain difficult lessons and teach them when they fall behind in certain areas. You will have to closely monitor their progress to see they are learning everything they are required to learn. Still, online lessons take a bit of the burden from online article writers who homeschool.

Night moves


Online article writers balancing home school with writing may use other helpful strategies. For instance you can write outlines at night. Finish the articles during the day. Some homeschoolers prefer to do this the other way around. This way they have more time for homeschool lessons during the day. It depends on what works best for each individual family. You can also write during recess. Writing while kids are eating lunch makes good use of time. Balancing homeschool with online article writing is a matter of doing what works best for you and your children.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Putting rewrites on the back burner

Save those re-writes for filler in writer's block moments.
Just the other day, I was thinking how tired I am of publishing rewrites from closed venues and how much I am looking forward to all those being done. For some reason, my little ABC order brain was blocking me from moving on. Then, I realized a few things that made me feel that putting rewrites on the back burner is not only OK, it's imperative.

I don't do well with “have to's.”

Even when I dictate those “have to's” to myself, I am discouraged by them. They slow me down. They are uninspiring. They stifle my creativity. They mess with the natural flow of my thought processes. In short, anything I have to do is an admittedly ironic hindrance to getting it done.

They're not going anywhere.

Those articles are just sitting in my queue, taking up space and that bothers my organized side a bit. Still, it took me years to write them, so what makes me think I can get them all rewritten to suit other venues in a matter of months? It won't hurt them to sit there until the mood strikes me. They're just articles. They don't have feelings. LOL

There's no guarantee that my best sellers will sell well again.

Like many other writers who have been the victim of site closings, I have some articles that made me consistent money in page views on a regular basis. I was having a real hard time scrambling to make sure that at least those best sellers were utilized elsewhere. Surprise! Some of the best articles I had on closed properties are doing terribly on new venues. So, why am I in such a hurry? I need to concentrate on moving forward.

Nobody enjoys reading old news.

The news in some of my old articles is out-dated. Some of the subject matter is too. Plus, who wants to read the same article twice? I'm sure that my readers would appreciate me producing more newer, relevant articles instead. Oh, I'll throw a few oldies in here and there. But, all in all, piquing the interest of my readers usually entails providing new information, thoughts and tips. While those old articles are great as jumping off points, many of them just don't stand the test of time without a ton of revision.

Life stages

I'm in a stage of life where I am re-evaluating everything I do to make life more enjoyable. Call it a mid-life crisis if you will. Personally, though, I look at it as living life the way I should have been all along. My writing is a big part of my life. Why shouldn't I do everything I can to make it more enjoyable for both myself and my readers? And sure, rewrites are easier than new articles. But if they don't pique my interest or that of my readers, why not time them so they do instead of rushing to get them done? Did you hear that? That was the sound of a brick hitting my head. Duh. Moving forward is always better than dwelling on the past.

Tips for ill or handicapped writers

Old school writer's wheelchair.
There are a large number of online article writers who chose their career path due to a handicap or illness. Writing articles online can be worked around the schedules of ill or disabled individuals. It provides a way for elderly, disabled or handicapped individuals to earn a living. The online writing community also provides a way for the home bound to socialize. Writing with an illness or handicap can present some difficulties. Here are some work at home strategies that may help.
Give yourself regular breaks

Online article writers who are home bound due to an illness or handicap may not always have the stamina of other writers. Sitting at the computer may be tiring without frequent breaks. If you are an online article writer who has been struck with an illness, you may need to take breaks more frequently than you used to. It's alright to take breaks when needed. Treating yourself well is not a sign of weakness.

Fidget a bit


Sitting at the computer all day can be hazardous to even the healthiest of writers. If you are home bound, be sure to exercise while at your desk. Simple things like moving your feet and having a long stretch can help with circulation and dexterity. It's OK to fidget a bit or get up and walk every few minutes if you are able while writing.

Put your feet up


All online article writers should make this a regular practice. When sitting in a typical office chair, fluid can build up in your legs. Those who sit for a living are also more prone to blood clots. When coupled with certain illnesses and handicaps, this can be a double threat to your health. So be sure to put your feet up while writing as a life saving work at home strategy.

Watch out for snack temptations


The sedentary work day of an online article writer can lead to weight gain for those who don't watch what they eat. Snack on fruits and vegetables instead of high calorie junk food when you work at home. Most diseases and conditions worsen when you are overweight. Even if you are not ill or handicapped, watching out for snack temptations is vital to your health.

Stay hydrated and don't wait to medicate


It's easy to get carried away while writing and forget to stay hydrated or take your medications on time. Those who are ill may need more water than the average individual. Avoid the temptation to go past your medication time in order to finish up an article in the works. Keeping medication and water close at hand while writing is of utmost importance for online article writers battling an illness or handicap.

Keep reasonable work hours


Online article writers who are ill or handicapped may need to work shorter hours than those who are healthy. Once again, you should not look at this as a character flaw. Everyone works according to their own set of strengths and limitations. Knowing and respecting your own capabilities is a strength, rather than a weakness.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Take writing advice from the opposition

Hanging with a different flock can open your eyes.
Online article writers should not only anticipate opposition, they should embrace it and learn from it. Some of the best writing advice I have ever received has come from people with different points of view. We all have belief systems we get stuck in from time to time (or all the time). Taking advice from the opposition can pull us out of that rut.
Birds of a Feather

Rather than hanging with the same old crowd, why not branch out a bit? If you're a serious bookworm, make some funny friends. Are you perpetually positive? Try hanging out with someone depressed and surly. Surround yourself with people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Taking advice from the opposition might bring up some suggestions you hadn't thought of. Online article writers keep their ideas fresh and varied by having diverse friendships.

Take Advice from Strangers


Want a really different form of advice? Try asking people you have never met. How do you do this? Well, it's pretty simple for online article writers. You spend your whole day on the web. How about a post on Facebook or Twitter? Your fellow writers are usually willing to offer their opinions. Maybe someone with an opposing viewpoint will see your post as well. I get some of the best ideas from people I've never met who see thing differently than I do.

Take Advice from 'Winners'


Instead of envying successful online article writers, learn from them. Don't be too proud to admit they may know something you don't. Sometimes the best advice comes from writers you have absolutely nothing in common with. They might give you a different angle or just a new way of getting things done more efficiently. Taking advice from the opposition sometimes means swallowing your pride for the sake of self improvement.

Take Advice from 'Losers'


Does this sound like bad advice to you? Think again. How do we learn best in life? By falling down, right? Sometimes losers are the real winners. Everyone falls down occasionally. Everyone makes mistakes. Almost everyone learns from those mistakes too. Online article writers who stick with it and turn themselves around might have a thing or two to teach you about the pitfalls of your chosen career. So go ahead and take advice from the opposition. They just might teach you a thing or two about online article writing.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Online Article Writers Tips - Avoid Stereotyping

How do you see yourself as a writer?
What do I mean by avoiding stereotyping in online article writing? How can this widen your writing opportunities? Stereotyping comes in many forms. It could be the way you categorize yourself. Maybe it's the type of article you choose to write. Labeling your audience or your subject matter can effect your diversity as well. So, when I say, "Avoid stereotyping to widen your writing opportunities," it's an all encompassing statement.
Are you stereotyping yourself?

It's human nature to categorize. We put a name on things to make them real. Sometimes we're even guilty of naming ourselves. Learning and growing as a writer necessitates being able to reinvent yourself and change with the times. Getting stuck in the same groove may mean you just go around in circles, never really getting anywhere.

Are your articles diverse?


It's one thing to have a niche and another thing to fall into a habitual writing pattern. Stereotyping your articles can lead to readers losing interest in what you have to say. Not only that, it limits your writing opportunities in a big way. If you only write on one topic, new clients have no way of knowing how diverse you can be.

Do you always write for the same audience?


Stereotyping your audience hinders your continued success. How successful are companies who only cater to their regular customer base? To put it bluntly, eventually those customers either lose interest or pass away. In order to be a successful online article writer you must write for a diverse audience and continually bring in new customers.

Is your subject viewpoint slanted?


It's OK to be opinionated in online article writing. How do you express that opinion? If your entire article is a jaded view of your subject or main character it only serves to make you look foolish. On the other hand, if you present your article as a factual piece, interject your opinion at the end and clearly mark it as commentary, the article appeals to people with all different viewpoints.

Learning as you go nixes stereotyping.


If you are continually learning from your mistakes, you keep an open mind. Your articles will reflect that growth and maturity. On the other hand, if you stubbornly jam biased opinions down the throats of your readers, they may soon tire of your writing. I know my early articles clearly show me as a different type of person, because I was. Now that I've learned from my earlier mistakes, my writing is constantly changing. Now that I know to avoid stereotyping for continued growth, my transition will be smoother.

Portions of this article were originally published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Getting a life beyond writing

Fingers glued to the keyboard?  (Public domain photo)
Online article writers often struggle to find a life beyond writing. Social networking can become a cheap substitute for a social life. Although it's true that online friends can be very supportive, getting a life beyond writing is essential for your mental health. Taking a break from writing about life (to live your own life) is one of the best things an online article writer can do for themselves. Here are some work at home strategies I use on a daily basis. Getting a life beyond writing also gives online article writers something to write about.
Getting a life boosts writing ability

In order for online article writers to compose effective and interesting articles, they must have some experience in life. It's easy to separate writers with real life experience from those who have no knowledge of real life (outside of what they see on the internet or TV). They have no interjections to share, other than those mass media teaches us are the right attitudes. No personal insight, no controversy and no contrary opinions to offer. In a word, they're boring. Getting a life beyond writing gives online article writers something worth reading to write about.

9-5 and that's usually all folks


Most people begin a career in online article writing in order to spend more time with loved ones. Once that career takes off, they find writing takes up a very large portion of their day. A writers brain is like any other brain, it never shuts off. The problem is, that when a writer gets an idea in their head, they want to write about it. One of the hardest work at home strategies for online writers to follow is setting regular hours and sticking to them. Still, it's probably the most effective way of getting a life beyond writing. I'm not saying to nix all those great ideas you get from life when you're not on duty. Just make a note of them. You can write them during business hours or late at night when you can't sleep and loved ones are snoozing anyway.

Take the weekend


Do you remember the other reason you started working as an online article writer? I sure do. I wanted the weekend off. Every weekend. I wanted a job where if I was sick, I didn't have to explain it to anyone. I could simply crawl back in bed, pull the covers up over my head and get well. If you're not taking the weekend off, you should be. Too much writing to do? For heavens sake, just write more during the week. You know you're worth it. You deserve to get a life beyond writing. Your friends and family deserve to spend time with you. Take the weekend off for you and everyone else in your life.

Chained to the desk


I once sat at the desk writing so long that I forgot to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. My ankles were swollen, my rear end was sore and when I finally got up, I came very close to fainting. I had to clutch the walls to make it to the restroom. Those days are over. One of the best work at home strategies I have is a walk around the block between articles. Getting a life beyond writing is necessary during the writing day too. Walk around the neighborhood, get some fresh air and along with it, a fresh outlook on life and a clear head. All online article writers can benefit from getting a life beyond writing.

This post was originally published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Online Article Writers Tips - Avoid Stereotyping

Your articles should be as diverse as these carrots! (public domain photo)
What do I mean by avoiding stereotyping in online article writing? How can this widen your writing opportunities? Stereotyping comes in many forms. It could be the way you categorize yourself. Maybe it's the type of article you choose to write. Labeling your audience or your subject matter can effect your diversity as well. So, when I say, "Avoid stereotyping to widen your writing opportunities" it's an all encompassing statement, however ironic that may be.
Are you stereotyping yourself?

It's human nature to categorize. We put a name on things to make them real. Sometimes we are even guilty of naming ourselves. Learning and growing as a writer necessitates being able to reinvent yourself and change with the times. Getting stuck in the same groove may mean you just go around in circles, never really getting anywhere.

Are your articles diverse?


It's one thing to have a niche and another thing to fall into a habitual writing pattern. Stereotyping your articles can lead to readers losing interest in what you have to say. Not only that, it limits your writing opportunities in a big way. If you only write on one topic, new clients have no way of knowing how diverse you can be.
Do you always write for the same audience?

Stereotyping your audience hinders your continued success. How successful are companies who only cater to their regular customer base? To put it bluntly, eventually those customers either lose interest or pass away. In order to be a successful online article writer you must write for a diverse audience and continually bring in new customers.

Is your subject viewpoint slanted?


It's OK to be opinionated in online article writing. How do you express that opinion? If your entire article is a jaded view of your subject or main character it only serves to make you look foolish. On the other hand, if you present your article as a factual piece, interject your opinion at the end and clearly mark it as commentary, the article appeals to people with all different viewpoints.

Learning as you go nixes stereotyping.


If you are continually learning from your mistakes, you keep an open mind. Your articles will reflect that growth and maturity. On the other hand, if you stubbornly jam biased opinions down the throats of your readers, they may soon tire of your writing. I know my early articles clearly show me as a different type of person, because I was. Now that I've learned from my earlier mistakes, my writing is constantly changing. Now that I know to avoid stereotyping for continued growth, my transition will be smoother.

Portions of this article were originally published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Creating a peaceful writer's home office

Look familiar? (public domain photo)
Creating a peaceful home office can make all the difference in the work day of an online article writer. Keeping your head clear is essential. In order for thoughts to flow freely, your mind must be as uncluttered as possible. Essential work at home strategies for online article writers should always include a peaceful home office environment. Whether you have a separate room to yourself or just a corner, tranquility can be obtained easily using these ideas.
Physically blocking out the world

If your home office is just a small corner of a room you have no door to close. Adults will often stand behind you, reading over your shoulder to see what you're doing. Kids are free to stand behind you too. They fiddle with your chair and ask incessant questions. They love you and want to spend time with you.

You love them and you don't want to push them away. Try creating a subtle physical barrier. Rather than having your desk face the wall, turn it to face the room and your loved ones. The area behind the desk then becomes your private, peaceful home office space. Your back is no longer turned on family members so they feel included.

Keep it clean

A cluttered office creates a cluttered brain. Keeping your office neat and tidy keeps your mind at peace. Try purchasing desk organizers to fit your needs. Every online article writer works in different ways. No two writers will need the same accessories to organize their home office. Once your desk is organized, you should notice a big difference in the tranquility of your home office.

Music

Some online article writers like a little peaceful music in their home office, while others prefer silence. You can go online and get all kinds of free music to play at your computer. I have a personal play list at a popular online music venue. I like it because it takes no time to pick a few songs each day and add them to my list. I just click on the bookmarked page and press play. If you have no young children, using headphones can help shut out other distracting noises. It also creates a peaceful environment for those who don't share your taste in music.

Lighting

If you've ever seen the movie, "Joe Vs. the Volcano", you might recall a scene where he replaced his overhead buzzing fluorescent lights with a cutesy little spinning tropical lamp. Online article writers need light to do their job. Harsh lighting can really make for a stressful work at home day . To create a more peaceful home office, purchase a soft lamp that illuminates your work without causing eye strain.

Decorative touches

Whether it be a painting that makes you feel at peace, or pictures of loved ones, decorative touches can bring tranquility to your home office. Take the time to decorate your office using peaceful tones and positive images. The more at home you feel, the more peaceful your home office becomes. I like to place a small water fountain on my desk. I also play nature sounds CD's when I need to relax and be at peace in my home office.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Self confidence precedes writing success

Chin up! (public domain photo)
Self confidence precedes success. As online article writers we must believe in our own abilities if we wish to be taken seriously. This holds true with any endeavor in life. Why should writing be any different? When I think back on the times in my life when I was most successful and fulfilled, they all have one thing in common. These were the times when I had the most self confidence. I believed in my own ability to tackle the task before me. This fact allowed me to move forward in my endeavors.
Be of good character

In order to believe in ourselves, we must first give ourselves a reason to do so. Self confidence begins with good character. Those who feel they are lacking in this area often stumble awkwardly through life, feeling lost, ashamed and confused. Find the good in yourself. Do the right thing, even when it involves making sacrifices. You will feel self confident and fulfilled as a human being. This faith in your own good character will be reflected in your writing. As a writer, you owe it to yourself and your readers to project good character.

Be irreproachable

Writers must assure themselves of their facts. Become irreproachable by checking facts with multiple irrefutable sources. Hold your sources to the same standards you would expect from yourself. Knowing your facts are indisputable gives you the self confidence you need to submit your article for publication. In short, have the same high standards for your sources that you have for yourself. Responsibility carries success on it's shoulders.

Hold your head up

Don't be afraid to hold your head up and walk tall. Be proud of your abilities and all you have learned along the way. It's OK for online article writers to project self confidence. The more faith you have in yourself, the better your writing will become. Remember, it's impossible for your readers to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself. Still, self confidence does not mean placing yourself above others. Don't forget to help others on your way up the ladder of success.

Give a hand

As writers, we are sometimes consumed with our own obligations. We forget about the other people we pass on the road of success, or even those who gave us a hand in getting there. Remember, your self confidence and success are enhanced greatly by those around you. Never be afraid to share your success by giving helpful information or a shoulder to cry on. Be the type of person you would like to be friends with. Taking time and energy to help others is the surest way to gain self confidence. Self confidence precedes success, so write with your head held high, but not so high you forget about the people who helped shape your destiny.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Writing productively while kids vacation around you

You can write at the beach while kids play. (public domain photo)
School's out for summer break. Suddenly your peaceful work at home atmosphere is peaceful no more. Remaining productive while your kids are on break from school may seem next to impossible. Concentration is key for online article writers. How can you get any work done with all the noise? How can you spend time with the kids when you have deadlines to meet? There are a few work at home strategies that are especially useful for online article writers whose kids are on vacation. You don't have to ignore your kids or your writing. Try implementing these work at home strategies instead.
Four day work week

You may think I'm crazy, but it is possible. You may not get the whole three days off but you can lighten the load to the point where you have time to spend with your vacationing kids. By working Monday through Thursday and writing up your article outlines on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, you can actually get more done in a four day work week than you did in seven days. Why? Because your online articles are good to go when you start writing them.

Set up a permanent craft corner

Keeping kids busy on vacation is the name of the game if you want to remain productive. By setting up a permanent craft corner and other play areas, your kids can flit from one activity to the other without interrupting your work. Keep your craft area simple. Provide paints, crayons, clay, glue, paper, feathers, beads and string as basic craft supplies. Let kids use their active imaginations to come up with creative projects.

Keep a puzzle going

When I was a kid, my Mom always had a card table in the living room with a jigsaw puzzle going. Whenever we got bored, we would sit down and work in a few pieces. My Mom never mentioned the puzzle. It was just there for us to discover on our own. Leave a puzzle out for kids to work on while you write your articles. It's quiet, it's educational and it can keep some kids occupied for hours. Just what the online article writer needs to remain productive.

Diversify with library books

Wouldn't it be nice if the older kids could just sit down and read a book? Online article writers should make it a point to take their kids to the library regularly. This practice keeps a variety of interesting books in the house for kids to enjoy. Let kids pick out the books that interest them if you want to remain productive.

Activity books

Kids can develop and nourish other talents and skills with activity books. As an online article writer, you may be partial to reading, but other books help educate kids too. Things like color books, joke books, puzzle books, mad-libs and more can keep kids occupied while you write. Plus it's a sneaky way to educate them.

Lunch kits

Pack lunches for kids on vacation just like you would if they were in school. For a real time saver, cut up and divide lunch and snack foods at the beginning of the week. Let kids make their own lunches. They'll have a ball creating their own masterpiece sandwiches and salads, while you remain productive.
Don't forget to pack a lunch for the online article writer too.

Invite the neighbor kids

This may seem counter productive but inviting the neighbor kids over is a great work at home strategy for online article writers. Having someone new and different to play with and forming close friendships with other children keeps kids from getting bored. It also frees up your time so you can remain productive. Kids won't be as needful of your attention when they're having fun with friends.

Write outdoors

Kids need fresh air and sunshine. So do you. Online article writers who sit at a desk all day don't get their daily dose of Vitamin D. If you have a lap-top and a backyard, take your work at home job outside for a few hours a day. Your kids can enjoy the fresh air on their vacation while you write. No back yard? Remain productive by taking the lap-top and the kids to a local park, beach or playground.

Hire an occasional sitter

It's not a sin to hire someone to take on your parental responsibilities once in a while. Remain productive while the kids are on vacation by hiring someone to watch them occasionally. It won't hurt them to socialize with other responsible adults or teenagers. Don't forget, in order to remain productive while the kids are on vacation, you need some time for yourself too. Take a break for yourself and see a movie or have lunch with a friend while you have a sitter. Your writing will be better for it.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Writers retain information through outlines

Outline (Wikimedia Creative Commons Share Alike 3.0 Sfoerster)
Writing article outlines (and taking brief notes within those outlines) is invaluable. Online article writers sometimes forget their own strengths. One of those strengths is retaining information. Writers retain information the same way they impart it. As an online article writer, one of the best ways to retain information gained from sources is to write it down. A well written outline can boost your online article writing speed and quality.
How does writing outlines help?

Outlines are an online article writers best friend in many ways. They allow you to recall subject information readily. They remind you of your train of thought. They present your angle so you don't veer off track. They also help you to write articles quickly and efficiently. By writing your headline, sub-title, sub-headings, trains of thought and notes out in advance, you can come back to an article the next day and dash it off like nobody's business.

Where does your angle come into play?

Write your angle down. Depending on the search-ability of your subject matter, your angle should be presented either in the title or subtitle of your article. What would your reader search for? This is your headline. What new information do you have to impart? This is your angle. Would someone be searching it? If so, it can be your headline. If not, use a dash in your headline (followed by the new information) or use it as your sub-title.

How can you record your notes and train of thought?

How can online article writers record their train of thought in an outline? Where do notes go? How do you designate these so they aren't mistakenly written into your article? Your subheading should reflect the direction you wish to take with your article. These are the main points. Under your sub-headings, place your notes and trains of thought in parenthesis. Now when you actually write your article, you will know exactly what you wanted to say.

When do sources come into play?

Your sources should be listed at the end of your article. Occasionally, you will quote your sources within the article. When that happens, link directly to your source. When writing an outline for your online article, paste your source URLs after the body of the article. Now you can go back to those sources anytime for a reference.

Do I always need an outline?

While I can't answer that question for you, I can tell you this. I always use an outline. Why? I never know if I will have time to complete an article right then and there. Having an outline insures that I can come back and write an article based on my previous research, both quickly and efficiently. My personal opinion is that online article writers produce higher quality content when an outline is used (irregardless of whether they write the article now or later). Writers retain information best the same way they impart it, by writing it down.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Writers - Times change

Mayan calendar (public domain)
Your online article writing career is going along smoothly. You've discovered your niche. You know all the rules. You follow them to the letter. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the rules have changed. The methods you have always used aren't working. It's time for a change. If your popularity or page views have taken a turn for the worse, don't be afraid to make timely changes. Those old rules served you well. Now it's time to move on. Savvy online article writers go with the flow, not against it.
Search engine optimization

The definition of SEO hasn't changed much over the years. Still, the methods of using SEO have definitely changed. While keywords play a major role in search engine optimization, we no longer have to keyword stuff articles in order to get them picked up by search engines. Most online article writers have learned to shun this practice. It's now possible to use keywords sparingly and include related words instead. Next year, that may change too. Who knows? Times change. The wise online article writer changes with it.

Your niche


Most online article writers have an area of expertise, or niche. While this can certainly build readership, it can also drive readers away. Writing on the same subject for a long period of time can have the effect of making your articles too much alike. If you have said all you have to say on a subject, don't be afraid to move on. Times change. Be flexible enough to recognize when it's time to move on.

Format and style


As online article writers, we tend to favor certain formats and writing styles. I know most of my readers are aware of the format and style I favor. After all, it's staring you right in the face. While a structured format is appealing to search engines, your readers might think of it as stale or boring. Why not change things up occasionally? Crack a joke or two. Surprise your readers with your many talents. Surprise yourself with the ability to do something new. Change with the times or just for the moment. Your online articles will be better for it. So will you.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Writers - Don't let rejection defeat you

Take direction as intended. (public domain photo)
As an online article writer, rejection is something you will face quite often. Try not to let it get to you. Jiminy Cricket said it best, "Pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start all over again" I've always loved the words of that song. Of course, I'm one of those people that believes in fresh starts. Not only that, I love a fresh start. I even like rejection, to a certain extent. Why? It gives me an opportunity to see areas that need improvement.
Why embrace rejection?

Rejection can be a positive experience if you look at it that way. Why celebrate rejection? As an online article writer you are your own boss. Naturally, you agree with yourself. Think of rejection as a second opinion. Without it, online article writers have no idea they are on the wrong track. With it, they can get back on the right track. It's not you, it's your article.

Take rejection as intended

Maybe your editor is just trying to save you both from looking like a pair of idiots. Maybe your article is not the type of thing they are looking for at this time. Maybe your article is no good at all. Maybe it has some merit but certain parts need work. Wouldn't you rather hear all this from your editor than have those facts publicized?

Be thankful for rejection

Someone has taken time out of their day to read your article and give you an expert opinion, for free. Now, what are you going to do with all that valuable advice? Complain about it, or use it to your advantage? Think of rejection as an opportunity to do better. Be glad your editor was kind enough to give you a learning tool.

Use rejection as a tool

Take a good look at your rejected article. Why do you think it was turned down? Did the editor make mention of areas needing improvement? You can use that information to your advantage. Maybe re-submission is not an option. That's OK. Use this rejection as a tool to write your next article in a style or format more to your editors liking.

Continued rejection

Don't take offense to continued rejection. Use it to take a long hard look at your work. Submit to different venues. If they give you similar reasons for rejecting your articles, take that advice to heart. Make changes as recommended. Your editor is there to help you. Don't let rejection defeat you. Use it positively without complaint.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

More ways to stay off Facebook while writing

Use those auto-post buttons! (public domain photo)
Today, after several days of being extremely productive, I spent the whole day on Facebook. Well, not the entire day, but pretty close to it. That made me remember some of my own advice and renew my conviction to follow it. It also prompted a new writing tip that might be beneficial. So, here's some tips to keep away from Facebook while you're writing. I'll use them if you will.

#1 - Don't go there.

Ha ha ha No kidding. Facebook is like Hotel California for writers. Once you check in, you'll never leave. But seriously, how often do you get stuck on Facebook writing clever comments and posting memes when those thoughts could have made you some money? It has happened to me more times than I can count. So, from now on, I will not do that thing where I check into Facebook first thing every morning before work. You know. You stop by to say your Happy Birthdays, etc. and wake up 4 hours later, realizing you're still there.

#2 - Is not a new concept. Write with Facebook closed.

Ding, ding, ding. Someone messaged you on Facebook. Al Young, pumpkin Butt's friend also commented on her status. Gina liked your post. Doris Whats-her-name liked your post in “Facebook Lovers of the World.” Suzy suggested a page you might like. George added you to the group, “Thrill Seekers.” None of this matters. So, I've said it before and I'll say it again. Shut it down while you work. It'll still be there later.

#3 - Post all your published work together, after the work day.

With Facebook closed, you can write and edit all day without interruption if you follow one rule. No, seriously, I just came up with this. I'm a genius. Not really. I'm sure other people do it. Here it is. Don't open Facebook every time something of yours gets published just to promote it. It's a trap and it feels like legitimate work. The truth is, though, you can just wait until the end of the day and promote all your published works of the day at the same time. THEN you can have fun because you're done working.

#4 – If you're really serious....

Use those auto posts and buttons. You don't have to physically go on social network sites to promote your posts any more. It's as easy as clicking a button for whichever one you want to post on. We all know that. How often do you do it? So, at the end of the day, open all the articles you want to promote and start clicking those buttons. All of them. If you're like me, half the time you only post on Facebook since you're already on there. So, who knows? Maybe this way, you'll even increase your exposure.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Writing with a baby in the house

Perhaps big sis can help with baby? (public domain photo)
Many parents choose an online article writing career so they can stay home to raise their children. Having a newborn baby in the house is a challenge even without a writing career. Your child must always take priority over anything else in your life. Still, there are simple things you can do to make life easier and allow yourself time to write with a baby in the house.
Bassinet in office

You need time for article writing if you expect to be paid. A newborn baby requires constant attention. Whether you are feeding, changing or just monitoring their well being, they should be close to you. Keeping a bassinet in your office can save you steps and give you more time to write. A simple glance can tell you baby is alright with the bassinet in your work at home office.
Keep supplies close

The bassinet isn't the only thing you should keep close at hand with a baby in the house. Your online article writing career will go much smoother if you keep all the supplies you need for baby in your office while you are writing. So make room in your office for baby's things. You can even purchase a mini fridge for formula or breast milk storage.

They nap / You work

Take advantage of baby's naps to get some writing done. If you are too tired from balancing your career with a newborn baby, take a nap yourself. You will be a better article writer when you are alert and happy. Consider asking a family member to watch the baby occasionally so you can write as well.

Use your lap

The baby wants to be held and your article deadline is one hour from now. There is nobody else available to watch the baby. What do you do? Online article writers in this situation can do what every mother does; multitask. Simply hold your baby on your lap with one hand and type with the other hand. Baby is happy and you meet your deadline.

Use your family

Perhaps one of them can mind the baby for a little while while you work?

Keep regular hours

Online article writers with a baby in the house may be tempted to write after hours. It does work occasionally. A better work at home strategy is to keep regular hours and allow yourself proper rest. Remember to always put your baby's needs ahead of your writing. One of your baby's needs is a healthy, stress free parent who can care for them properly. Online article writing gives you the freedom to care for your children while earning a living but you must take care of yourself as well.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Share your writing goals

Share material too! (public domain photo)
Why should online article writers share their goals? What does that mean exactly? Online article writers may find it difficult to focus on their goals. Being your own boss means you must motivate yourself to get things done. Sharing writing goals with fellow writers helps you do just that. Online article writers are more likely to carry through with their plans when others have been told about them. Sharing your goals is easy with social networking.
The forums

Most online article writers belong to one or more writing forums. Sharing your goals in the forums may help you stick to them. By posting your goals, you might encourage other writers to do the same. You will also feel more obligated to carry through with your plans. Better yet, why not issue a challenge to your fellow online article writers?

Challenges

Challenges to other online article writers might include writing a certain number of articles per day, week or month. You could share an article idea and see what each writer comes up with on that particular subject. Striving for earnings together is another way for online article writers to achieve their goals.

Social networking

Facebook, Twitter and other social network sites are excellent venues for online article writers. Why not take your social networking one step further? Don't just use it to promote your work. This is no time to be shy. Let all your friends (whether or not they are writers) know your writing goals. Sharing your goals all your Facebook, Twitter or Stumble friends makes you more likely to follow through.

Articles

Lets not overlook one of the best places to share your writing goals (in your articles and blogs). If you have the freedom to write and publish at will, why not take advantage of it? Publishing an article or blog outlining your goals means you have to back it up with action. Why? As an online article writer you have an obligation to build a positive reputation for yourself. That means standing behind your work.

Friends and family

Your friends and family are always there when you need them. They can also be your worst critics. If you share your goals with them, they will be sure to expect you to follow through. Be ready to answer questions about your progress on a regular basis. Online article writers who share their goals with friends and family, fellow writers and social networking friends are more likely to follow through with their plans.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Love your writing ballpark or leave it

The wind-up (Copyright Jaipi Sixbear 2010 all rights reserved)
There are many practical business tips that can be applied to online article writing. Playing by the rules is one of them. Sometimes freelance writers forget that everyone has to answer to someone. We have to learn to play by the rules or find another ballpark. Applying this practical business rule to online article writing is not only in consideration of the website you write for. It helps you as well.
Is it right for you?

Do you find yourself constantly complaining about the website you write for? Does it seem as if there is a brick wall at every turn? Are you continually frustrated with rules that make no sense at all? It might be that you are simply writing for the wrong website. It might also be that you are a more of a conventional writer, than an online article writer.

Making money on the web

Articles on the web differ from conventional journalism. They fill an entirely different need. In order to make money in any job, you have to fill the needs of your customer. Sometimes the rules of internet article writing make no sense to conventional journalists. This is because they sell to a different market. If you wish to write for the web, you must learn to speak to web customers.

Speaking to the web

How does writing for the web differ from conventional journalism? Well, first of all, web articles are brief and to the point. Web surfers are looking for quick facts. Online article writers must also word their titles according to what the reader is searching for. They must word their articles so the search engines will find them (when someone is looking for information). All this makes the rules different.

Are you right for them?

Maybe this just isn't a good fit. Before you begin writing for any website, familiarize yourself with the type of articles featured there. Is your writing style a good fit? How about your subject matter? Does the site seem out of your league or not up to your level? Maybe your articles just aren't right for this website. Not every website is a good place for you. So, if you can't follow the rules, find another ballpark.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Increase your writing income using the 10 V's

V is for.... (public domain photo)
Sometimes it's interesting to discover where the idea for an article comes from. Take this article. This morning I started my day thinking about how to increase my income. As I pondered the ways I could make my online article writing pay higher monetarily, I came to a realization. Most of the ways online article writers do this begin with the letter V.
Visibility

If no one can find your work, no one can read it. Get the word out about your article. Promote it. Link to it. Post it on Facebook. Tweet it. The more visible an online article writers work is, the more it will be read. You are your best promoter.

Volume

For online article writers, producing volume is one of the simplest ways to increase your income. By this, I do not mean producing millions of substandard pieces of content. We are talking about quality as well. Write often and well to increase your odds of monetary gain.

Voice

Finding your voice is essential for online article writers. If you want to increase your writing income, you will have to strike a chord with your readers. Have a distinct, likeable style. A writing voice can be pleasant or unpleasant, just like a speaking voice. Be the writer people enjoy reading.

Vitality

Success as an online article writer requires vitality in everything you do. You must be passionate about your chosen profession. Take a positive approach to writing. Support your fellow writers. Inject positive energy into your writing. It will act as a beacon to draw readers to your work.

Variety

Writing varied content is something all online article writers can benefit from. Not only does it increase your income, it makes you a well read, interesting individual. The more varied your subject matter, the more educated you become. It also increases your odds of page views.

Viral potential

How do you know which of your online articles has viral potential? One way is to write on popular search subjects. Check popular searches on Yahoo! daily. Go to Google Trends and Google News to see what people are talking about and what's in the news. Write what interests you, based on these sources. Viral articles keep your page views spiking, while evergreen content keeps them steady.

Virtual references

Using virtual references in your title really keeps those page views up. Some of my best performing articles have popular websites or venues, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter in the title. Online article writers increase their income by paying attention to where people go online.

Verbiage

How are your articles worded? Do you use proper grammar and punctuation? Nothing can defeat your purpose faster than bad spelling, grammar or word usage. Can anyone read your articles, or are they just for rocket scientists? The internet is a venue for people from all walks of life. Make sure they can all understand your online articles. This is no place for snobbery.

Valuable information

Your online article will get very few page views if no one cares about the subject matter. Think about what you would likely search. Answer your own questions. Provide valuable information on commonly searched subjects. Think of online article writing as providing a service to web surfers. This one tip will increase your income greatly.

Vivid imagery

Your title should convey exactly what your article is about. It should also include the angle or point it is making. Any photos you use on your articles should represent the article, or a point you make in the article. They should grab the attention of readers in a concise and honest manner. Start using the 10 V's of online article writing today to increase your income. You'll be a page view millionaire before you know it.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

How to be both a tourist and a writer

Don't forget to have fun! (public domain photo)
Online article writers often turn their vacations into one or several articles or slide shows. Every experience is a learning experience. Likewise, every experience is an article waiting to be written. When the online article writer goes on the road, he or she is both tourist and writer. How can you be a tourist and a writer at the same time? How can the online article writer enjoy his or her vacation and still come up with quality travel articles?
Take notes

Tuck a notepad and pen inside your shirt pocket or purse. Rather than missing out on the action, simply stop from time to time to jot down notes about the place you are visiting. This way, you enjoy your time as a tourist, while still gathering useful information for your article. If you're traveling with family, they will be less resentful of your writing career as well.

Grab brochures

Sometimes we online article writers tire of taking notes excessively. We want to enjoy the road trip and forget about work for a while. Grabbing brochures for later reference is an alternative to taking notes. You can leaf through brochures to remind you of points of interest and your experiences. Brochures also contain vital information such as driving directions, admission prices and hours of operation.

Bring a camera

Online article writers should always carry a camera. Pictures, slide shows and videos bring your words to life when writing about tourist attractions. Slide shows and videos can stand on their own merit as well. Be sure to bring extra batteries for your camera. This work at home on the road strategy can help you write well rounded illustrated articles.

Stop and smell the fun....er flowers

Probably the most important thing online article writers can do on vacation is stop and smell the flowers. In other words, don't forget to have fun. If you are constantly taking notes and snapping pictures, you will have no personal experiences to write about. Personal experience is what gives travel articles their individuality. So have fun on vacation. With these work at home road trip tips, you can sort out the details of your articles later.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Dedication pays - Ignore the naysayers and write!

Smile and get it done! (public domain photo)
Dedication pays. If you like what you're doing, don't pay attention to the naysayers. Online article writing is just like any other job in some respects. There will be those who doubt your capabilities in any line of work. Dedication pays. It's one of the basic principles of business. It works for high paying executives. It can work for online article writers as well. Nobody likes a whiner. Everybody loves a dedicated, hardworking employee.
The writing community

Most online writing websites have a forum or other venue for the writing community. If not, you will likely have friends on Facebook or other social networks who write on the same sites you do. Quite often (either in the forum or when social networking) you will hear the naysayers and whiners spouting off about some problem or other. Rather than joining in the negativity, post a brief helpful message and leave it at that. Then go back to your work. Dedication pays.

Work more than chat

It's very tempting for online article writers to get caught up in social networking. Being online is their job. There is also a certain amount of satisfaction that comes from helping others. It's easy to become everyone's hero. Unfortunately this sometimes causes you to fall behind in your own work or have less time for family and friends. It's better to remember that dedication to your work and your family pays. Be helpful, but don't neglect your work and personal obligations in the process.

Give them what they want

Hard work and dedication will earn you the respect of the venue you write for. It's true that most online article writers are freelance writers. Technically, you're not an employee of the company you write for. That doesn't mean you don't have to cater to their needs. Giving the website you work for the type of material they need is wise. It will make them more likely to offer you more assignments in the future.

Stick to it

Online article writing doesn't mean just sitting at the keyboard, typing a bunch of nonsense and gorging yourself on bonbons. It's hard work. There is research to be done. There are facts to verify. Your work has to be checked and rechecked for errors. You have to follow the rules. You have to know what you are doing in this business if you expect anyone to read your content. Lastly, you have to know how to promote yourself. Dedication pays. If you like what you're doing, ignore the naysayers and get on the job. Your online article writing success depends on it.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

Attitude is everything - Let yours light the path to success

Let your writing attitude shine! (public domain photo)
As an online article writer, you'll encounter many obstacles. How you face those obstacles is a hundred times more important than whether you succeed or fail. The right attitude can take you far. The wrong attitude will bring you down in a heartbeat. You may notice that some online article writers never seem to be satisfied, while others take it on the chin and keep plugging away. Who do you think has the most success? Who has more potential for future advancement? Attitude is everything, whether you are an online article writer or employed in another profession.
No whining

I once had a friend who pinned a no whining button to her car visor. She was just that tired of all the negativity she had to encounter on a daily basis. How many times have you heard another writer whine about the lack of assignments they are handed? Then there are those who panic every time the website they write for goes down due to maintenance or high volume. There are even some who threaten legal action whenever a new policy goes into effect. They never stop to consider that the powers that be are probably many times more frustrated than they are. You will get much further ahead in your writing career with a positive outlook and attitude. Your co-workers will appreciate your patience as well.

Example

Believe it or not, as an online article writer, you have the power to influence many people. Media is the force that leads the people of the world. Do you doubt it? Can you tell me one sentence of the President said in his last speech? I'm betting the answer is no. On the same note, I bet you can recite as least one fast food jingle from beginning to end. (Tell me again, what percentage of Americans are overweight?) How will you influence future generations with your writing? Adopting a positive attitude with your writing is not only good for your future success, it's good for the success of your readers.

Attitude dancing

Some of you who grew up "back in the day" might remember a song by the name of Attitude 
Dancing. I'll spare the rest of you the details. It wasn't a very good song. The point is that in order to do the attitude dance, the only thing you did was find a pose you liked, turn it around 180 degrees and change your attitude. Writing with a positive attitude is quite a bit like dancing with attitude. You don't have to change your style or compromise your integrity. By simply changing your attitude, you change your likelihood of success.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.