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.


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.


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 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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.

Analyze your writing content for fit

Check your writing well to see if it suits you. (public domain photo)
Are you struggling as an online article writer? Your content shouldn't be forced. You might consider analyzing your content. First, concentrate on the articles you are struggling with. Are they within your area of expertise? Are you interested in the subject matter? Does the article fit your writing genre? Do you feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment for having written it? No? Maybe you need to analyze your favorite writing content. What is it about these other articles that suits you so well?
Your area of expertise

It's always easier to write within your area of expertise. Analyzing your writing content to find your talents and strengths can provide some clues. Some online article writers don't even realize they have a niche until they analyze their content. That's when a pattern begins to emerge. Usually, you will find your favorite articles (and the simplest ones to write) are those within your area of expertise.

Subject matter

As online article writers, we also write well on side subjects of interest. When you analyze your content, you might see a correlation between articles. When I recently analyzed my content, I was surprised at the number of articles I have written on the subject of writing. Later, I realized that the subject matter mirrored my other interests. I have an interest in human behavior and psychology which was reflected in my writing advice.


I recently confided to another writer that I do much better writing evergreen content than news articles. It comes more easily to me. Every online article writer has a type of article that suits them better. When analyzing your content, you might see that most of your articles are news, evergreen content or maybe reviews. Knowing what you are good at is helpful for more than one reason. First of all, these are the articles you can produce quickly with little or no effort. Secondly, it alerts you to areas you need improvement in.


Every writer has a mission in mind. Mine is to help people. When I analyze my writing content, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Much of what I write falls under the category of helpful advice. When you analyze your writing content, see if it fulfills your purpose. If not, think about writing a different type of article. One that gives you a sense of self and direction

Which articles make you happy?

When you analyze your writing content, which articles make you feel happy? This is the type of article and subject matter you should be writing. You will find your writing day goes much smoother once you find your writing purpose. Try not to base your decision monetarily. You began writing for a reason. Be the kind of writer you were always meant to be. The money will follow.

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Anticipate opposition to your opinion piece to avoid stress

Be ready for, but unaffected by negativity. (Copyright Jaipi Sixbear 2011)
Preparing for and anticipating opposition is a stress-free solution to the anxiety that comes from comments on your controversial articles. Writing opinion and editorial articles can be a lucrative proposition. Controversy is very good for page views. 
Many online article writers stay away from revealing their opinion. They adopt a neutral approach. This is either out of fear of retribution or hesitation to reveal their opinion. When you anticipate opposition to an opinion piece, there are things you can do to stave off angry reactions.
Present both sides.

One of the best ways for online article writers to anticipate opposition is to research the other side of the argument. Make it clear that you are aware of the evidence supporting the opposition. Present the other side of the argument, as well as your own. Show their evidence, then explain why you feel the evidence is misleading or false. If the evidence for the other side is true, explain why you feel justified in your opinion, despite that evidence.

Do your research.

Online article writers should present an airtight case when writing opinion pieces. Leave very little room for argument. State facts that back up your opinion. Be sure your sources are irrefutable. Provide links to them when possible and applicable. Think about what arguments the opposition might have. Blow those arguments out of the water with a good offense.

Don't be shy.

A good opinion piece is bold and unashamed. Don't be shy about stating your opinion. It would be impossible for every human being on the face of the earth to agree completely on any given subject. Opposing viewpoints are not merely anticipated. Online article writers should welcome criticism. It gives a new perspective and helps with defense strategies.

Value opposing comments.

One of the hardest things for some online article writers to deal with is angry comments from people with opposing viewpoints. Personally, I welcome them. Here's why. The angrier a commenter is, the more likely that person is to tell their friends about your article. They may think they are making you angry with their biting words. In fact, angry comments are the bread and butter of online article writers.

Your article is your response.

If you have stated your opinions clearly, avoid the temptation to argue in the comment section. Just sit back and watch the comments fly. Don't be angry at hostile comments. Allowing the opposition free rein to vent shows integrity and confidence. Joining in the fray only serves to make you look defensive. So go ahead and write those opinion pieces. Back them with fact. Anticipate and prepare for opposition. Bring it on. Let the naysayers have their heyday. It makes for a healthy paycheck.

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

How to be self motivated as a writer

Writing close to nature can be motivating. (Copyright Jaipi Sixbear 2010)
Self motivation is a must for online article writers. Yes, we have deadlines. Yes, we have obligations. Yes, we have a pile of assignments ten miles high. What we don't have is a boss breathing down our necks. Thank goodness! Still, we do have to stay on track.

I often have people ask me how I remain self motivated. If I were to be completely honest, I would have to say some days I have zero motivation. Those are the days I take off. Of course, that means I have to be super self motivated to make up for lost time. Which brings us right back to the point. How do online article writers stay motivated?
Give yourself rewards.

I like to give myself a little reward each time I complete an article. It may sound silly, but I deserve it. Most of the time, it's a walk in the fresh air. It might be a cup of hot tea. It could even be a a nap. These small rewards keep me on track. They give me motivation to get the job done. I also try to keep the big rewards in mind when I write. Things like the fact that I'm not doing the old 9-5 any more.

Remind yourself of the past.

Remember your old job? Better yet, remember your old boss? Online article writers can stay on track by reminding themselves what they used to do before this opportunity came along. Whatever the writing struggle (whether it be a glitch, writers block or just a tough assignment) it has to be better than what you were doing before.

Find a financial reason.

What are your financial goals? Are you trying to build residual retirement income with your online article writing? Maybe it's just spending money. Is this how you pay for Christmas every year? Maybe you have a specific goal, like taking your hubby on a cruise or second honeymoon. Keep a picture of your financial goals on the wall in front of you or on your desk. Whenever you feel distracted, focus on it.

Picture this.

Focus on your family, too. Pictures of loved ones on your writing desk can be very motivational. When I find myself drifting out of focus, I glance at a picture of my boyfriend. This man works his tail off so I can be semi-retired. Thanks to him, I finally have a home of my own. Thanks to him, I'm surrounded by the people I love. When I think of what he does for me on a daily basis, I want to help him back by working my hardest too.

Write with purpose.

Whether you realize it or not, your writing fills a void in your life. If it didn't, you wouldn't be doing it. Often my motivation comes from the great feeling of helping others. You might have noticed that I give a lot of advice when I write. I can't help it. It's what I do best. All online article writers are in this for a purpose. What's your purpose? Use it as motivation to get the job done and stay on track.

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

Are you writing for the right venue?

Is your writing day a blur? (public domain photo)
How do online article writers know if they're writing for the right venue? There are a multitude of them to choose from. You can write for a content website, do work for private clients and even ghost write. Some online article writers do best with current events. Others excel at evergreen content. With so many choices, no wonder we find ourselves running in circles at times. Are you writing for the venue that's right for you?
The brick wall

If you find yourself running up against a brick wall all too frequently, you may be writing for the wrong website. It could be that your personal style just doesn't fit their requirements. Maybe you have an issue with the way they conduct business. Maybe they have an issue with your writing. Whatever the problem, try to work it out. Meanwhile expand your horizons.

New horizons

How do you know if you're writing for the right venue if you haven't explored other options? The safest way to do this is to write for several different websites and a few private clients. Think about which are more profitable. Which do you enjoy more? Which fits your writing style better or provides you with the most opportunity for advancement?

Moving on

Once you have firsthand experience writing for different venues, it should be easier to choose the one that works out best for you. Some online article writers choose to write for several websites. Some choose just one. Personally, I feel it's best not to put all your eggs in one basket, unless it's a really big basket. I enjoy writing mainly for Yahoo! Contributor Network, but I keep my options open and active.

What online article writers want

When choosing a venue or website, try to keep in mind what drew you to online article writing in the first place. If it was the flexibility, creative outlet or freedom you might want to work for a website where you can publish what you want, when you want, with little structure. If it was for the money, you might want to choose the most profitable, regardless of structure. Maybe you like to remain anonymous. If so, ghost writing may be the venue for you.

The choice

Keep in mind, the choice is yours. If you're unhappy with one venue, try another. Nothing is ever accomplished by constant complaining. Remember, one online article writers favorite venue could be the wrong place for the next guy to hang his hat. It's all a matter of what works for the individual. Are you writing for the right venue? Are you both better off without each other? Taking the time to think about it is well worth the effort.

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

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Writing is more fun when....

Woo Hoo! Writing is fun again! (public domain photo)
You guys, let's take a break from those tip articles for a moment shall we? Today, I wanted to get more personal with the blog. You see, a couple days ago, I made a huge change in the way I write that has helped me tremendously. Yes, already, after only two days. So here it is.

A couple days ago I started not writing for profit. I know that sounds like crazy talk, so let me explain. For the last year or so, I have been very conflicted. Our fixer upper house is not being fixed up because I spend my whole day writing to make a buck instead.

It occurred to me that I could make more money by increasing our home equity than I could writing. So, I decided to make the house my main priority and just write when I had time, on breaks or wasn't feeling well enough to do physical work (like today).

The great thing is though, that (obviously pretty quickly) I discovered a non-monetary benefit to this strategy. Writing is loads more fun when you don't have to write to make a living. Not only that, ever since I started writing just for fun, I've actually made more money writing.

Isn't that something? In fact, on one site, my daily PV pay doubled. Yup, you heard me. It doubled. Now, I don't know if that's because my writing reflected my mood or people were just checking to see why I hadn't written so much or something else altogether.

Are you sick of having to write every day? Well then, maybe you should make something else your priority too. It really makes a difference in my enthusiasm, my attitude and even my pay scale, for whatever reason. Maybe it could help you too.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Don't worry - Just write

Worrying is a waste of time. Just get to writing! (public domain photo)
Some online article writers are naturally analytical. We worry so much about doing things the right way that we forget to do the most important thing. Just write. Why take the risk of doing nothing? You could be writing, rather than over-analyzing. While it's important to follow the rules, getting lost in the method can leave you without a single article written for the day. Meanwhile, you have missed out on the most important lessons of all. The ones that come from practical application.
Don't panic.

Understand, there is just as much risk in doing nothing at all as there is in doing something wrong. Don't let panic and uncertainty hold you back. There is no such thing as a perfect writer. I know my first articles were far from perfect. So are the ones I write now. In fact, I don't ever expect to be perfect. Every day I discover something new about online article writing. It's all a learning experience.

It's not about fame and fortune.

Online article writers make the same mistakes as everyone else when it comes to their career choice. No matter what path you choose, don't do it for the fame and glory. Don't do it for the money. Do it because you love it and it's what you feel you were meant to do. Writing done for any other reason will show. Why? Because writing must be sincere above all.

Write from the heart.

You may not feel that writing from the heart applies to online articles. That idea couldn't be further from the truth. Your readers can tell the difference between a sincere article and one that was written without conviction. Write varied articles. However, if you don't have passion for a subject or the knowledge and research to back it up, don't bother to write it at all.

Write now, edit later.

Sometimes online article writers over-think individual articles. They compose that first paragraph over and over, editing it down to nothing. Little is accomplished by doing things this way. Doing a whole lot of something that gets you nowhere is the same thing as doing nothing. Going back to writing from the heart, the best way is just to let it flow. Get it all out there and edit later. Don't take the risk of doing nothing. Don't worry. Just write.

This post was previously published on a now closed Yahoo! Site under another title.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dare to improve – Move forward with your writing

Never be afraid to pack it up, fix it and move on! (public domain)
Do you dare to improve your online article writing skills and effort? With the recent closing of YCN, I've been going through my old work for republishing on other sites and blogs. It's surprising just how much editing I have to do. That led me to wonder if I'm truly doing my best work. 
I have no desire to go back to the "career" I was pursuing prior to writing online. Just the thought has inspired me to step up my game. The fact that I can follow through with that tells me my effort was indeed lacking. Are you doing your best work? Why not step up your game with me? Make some positive changes. Move forward!
Keeping a schedule.

A regular job is eight hours or more a day with no choice about the matter. Part of the reason we become online article writers is for the flexibility. Unfortunately, the temptation to take advantage of this is strong. Now I know that to improve my work, I need to take this seriously, or not do it at all. Even without the frequent breaks, I love writing online. I don't want to be forced into a J.O.B. for lack of effort.

Distractions are many in the world of online writing.

I'm frequently dragged away by this distraction or that. Whether it's Craigslist free items, Facebook, Twitter or the occasional snack, I can't seem to stay on task. Before I know it, my writing day is over. That's why I've decided to eliminate the fun until the work is done. I'm going back to the work before play policy I was forced into at my regular job.

How many articles can you write in one day?

When I first started doing this my goal was to write ten or more articles a day. It wasn't all that difficult, as I recall. While I do this occasionally now, it's not every single day anymore. I've been using the excuse that it's harder to write higher quality articles. Still, my page views have taken a nose dive, just like everyone elses. I think it's time to not only do my best work, but pump up the volume as well.

How can I justify myself to the naysayers?

We online article writers are always complaining that other people don't see this as a regular job. While our points are mostly valid, I have to say, sometimes I don't blame them. While they are busy every minute of the work day, we are free to do as we please. We do have periods of nose to the grindstone effort. Still, we have a lot more fun during our workday than is conducive to productivity.

Are we fooling ourselves about the importance of social networking?

Most of us spend just as much or more time social networking as we do writing. True, networking is vital, but playing games and chatting isn't. Some writers belong to (or manage) several Facebook groups as well as participating actively in forums. Part of what we do there is essential to our work. On the other hand, I can't help but wonder if our quality of work would improve with a little less socialization and a little more writing.

Portions of this post were previously published by this author on a closed Yahoo! Property.