by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
All web writers should have at least two locations (if not more) where their work is saved. Your content can be repurposed. You might also need to reference it for a previous client in the future. Even if you never reuse your content, it’s always a good idea to have a back-up copy of everything. This can be used to prove you are the author, as writing samples for future work, and more. In my opinion, no writer should ever submit their content without having their own copy first. In fact, your content should be written and saved on your own device, then copied for the applicable submission process.
Use a Flash Drive
A flash drive is one of the most common ways to store written content. They’re small and can store a large number of files. Written content doesn’t take up as much space as pictures, video, and certain other file types. Flash drives are also easy to add files to, as it’s just drag and drop on most systems and the drive is easily recognized by plug and play technology via the USB port.
Upload Your Work to Your Smartphone
Depending on the type of phone you have and the amount of storage available, your phone can easily become a storage device. My current phone has 16GB of storage space. Even though I have a good number of apps installed that I use for business and personal reasons, this still leaves a large amount of storage space. Therefore, I often save my work to my phone as a back-up storage method. Some files aren’t compatible without downloading a new app. However, the phone will store non-compatible files as well that can easily be transferred to another device.
Use Cloud Storage
Cloud (online) storage is another popular way to save your web content. There are various cloud storage services, online file sharing sites, and online document storage and reading venues. Which one works best for each person will vary. Some of these are similar to a flash drive and may even be referred to as an online storage or flash drive. Some of them are drag and drop, while others require a single or multiple upload.
Save Your Content on Two Computers
If you have more than one system, saving your web writing on at least two can help prevent future data loss if something should happen to one of your machines. Have you ever lost content due to an error or other issue with your computer? Most of us can say yes to that question. Saving your work on multiple systems helps secure your work in such an event.
Use a Portable Hard Drive
This is getting be an outdated way to save files, since technology is advancing. However, if you don’t have any of the above options or just want an extra place to store all of your writing, this method still works well. The nice thing about a portable hard drive is that even though it is big, it is compatible with multiple systems. Most of them are plug and play via your system’s USB port.
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Many factors go into determining upfront offers and those factors can differ depending on several things. While following this guide may not guarantee that you will receive higher upfront payments, you may see greater opportunities within the network by adhering to the following suggestions. The key is not necessarily to increase every single upfront payment, but to maximize the opportunities available, as well as maximize performance payments.
What is an upfront payment and what content is eligible?
An upfront payment is an initial payment for rights to the content. This is any payment that occurs outside of (and before) the Performance Payment that most content is eligible for. An upfront payment can be made for both solicited and unsolicited content. Assignments for various Yahoo! verticals can come with a higher upfront than unsolicited content. Exclusive, Non-Exclusive, and Display-Only are the three most common rights options. However, there can be others as well, such as Work for Hire. Display-Only content is not eligible for an upfront payment, whether solicited or unsolicited.
Focus on a specific issue
When you have a tight focus on one topic, readers are more likely to be looking for your content. Think about the things you look for when searching the Web. For instance, instead of general tips on pet adoption, you may want something geared specifically toward the pet you are considering adopting. Write your articles on specific subjects that will be relevant and useful to readers looking for that topic.
Follow assignment details
If you claim an assignment (targeted or general), be sure you follow the exact instructions. That means if the instructions say something different from any advice herein, defer to the assignment. When editors see that you can follow all assignment details reliably, they may be more likely to offer you future opportunities.
Do your research
When you need to back up your content with facts, be sure they are from reliable sources. Also, make sure to cite those sources properly, according to submission guidelines and any assignment guidelines. Using multiple sources also helps to build credibility. Wherever possible, use Yahoo! sources, especially within the vertical for which you're writing (excluding user-generated sources, such as Associated Content).
Examine the intended website
Study the Yahoo! website you are interested in. Think of topics that could work well there but are not yet covered. Having an idea of what could potentially align with a particular property can give you a greater chance at upfront opportunities. Being unique is key. That means that you don't want to submit something you already see covered on the property. Instead, try submitting something that works well alongside existing content, provides a new angle, or has not been covered at all but could appeal to that property's audience.
Consider the audience behind the topic
Are you writing about parenting? What stages? Think of the age of the kids you're writing about - and then think of what ages the parents are likely to be; they are your most likely audience, and you should cater your content to them. The tone and style used in your article should be something readers can identify with. For instance, if you are writing an article for kids, using complicated business terms is not going to keep them reading. Upfront payments are more likely on content that shows attention to detail in this and other areas.
Personalize the experience
When you write an article, readers should see the real person behind the story. At the same time, you don't want to ramble about something that has nothing to do with the subject matter. Find that perfect level at which the article provides the information needed with relevant personalization where it fits in with the main point of the article. For instance, if I'm writing an article about picking the perfect daisies, instead of telling a long story about a time when I picked daisies, I would mention how I determine which daisies to pick. I would do that in a way that readers can tell I am knowledgeable and passionate. But it would also need to be something readers can benefit from to answer their questions. When you can use your own unique experience and style, readers can relate more easily. But at the same time, you don't want to say so much that they get bored and click away.
Focus on evergreen material
Focusing on evergreen material is one way to maximize upfronts. Evergreen content is that which will draw a reader's interest for long periods of time, such as unique ways to solve common parenting issues. Evergreen slants can also be applied to trending topics. Some editors may value those topics that have a longer shelf life. This is not to say that other content will not be valued, as articles with a shorter shelf life can be useful as well. They each have their own place and are both great ways to maximize upfronts in different ways. Getting the most out of upfront opportunities often involves taking advantage of more than one way to earn.
Pay attention to spelling, grammar, and style
Category and vertical style guides are used for many assignments that offer upfront pay. For the best chances at getting those assignments accepted, be sure to follow them closely. This also goes for any and all other instructions mentioned within the assignment details. Proofreading, even after using spelling and grammar checkers, has always been a lifesaver for me when writing for Yahoo!. Programs can miss little things, such as skipped words or typos that are actual words but not words you intended to use.
Optimize your content for the Web
Studying "The Yahoo! Style Guide" is a great way to learn basic html, grammar, editing, formatting, and style as it all pertains to writing for the Web. Content submitted via Yahoo! Contributor Network must be publish-ready. While some content may be edited slightly, never rely on editors to fix poor writing. If your writing needs to be thoroughly edited, it is much better to study up so that your submissions are more likely to get upfronts than declines. You can then submit at a later date when your skills allow you to submit content that is more in line with the platform's needs. Good Web content displays certain qualities. Apart from being interesting, it must be easy for a wide audience to read. It also must be easily found by search engines. Keep your articles concise and informative in an easy-to-scan format. Web readers often look for something that answers their question quickly and accurately in an engaging manner. For more on writing for the web, start with the Contributor Academy course titled "Writing for the Web 101". The Yahoo Style Guide is also an invaluable resource.
Maximizing upfront payments is about taking advantage of the many ways to earn. It's also about covering your bases all-around. A solid article is not just well written, but also speaks to the intended audience, giving them exactly the information they expected and needed in a clean, easy-to-scan format.
More from Lyn:
Maximizing Performance Payments on the Yahoo! Contributor Network
How Much Money Can I Make Writing for Yahoo! Contributor Network?
Why Am I Not Making Money at Yahoo! Contributor Network? Page Views, Offers, and More
**Image credit/copyright: Lyn Lomasi
***I originally published this content at Yahoo Voices on 10/5/2011:
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
One of the questions I get asked most commonly as an experienced freelance writer is “Which photos can I use in my articles?” There’s much more to it than just doing a search. In fact, doing a search without knowing what to check for could land you in some very hot water if you use the wrong image. I generally recommend using your own images to avoid common issues. However, not everyone is a photographer, so that isn't always possible.
Where should I look?
First, check with the client or site you are submitting to. Some prefer specific sources. Once you know the rules as far as this goes, you can go from there. You can look pretty much anywhere, but the photos need to be licensed for what you intend on using them for and be within the guidelines of where you will be posting them. Many sources offer free stock photos with various licensing rights attached. Some of my favorite sources besides my own images include Flickr and Wikimedia Commons.
How do I know which licensing types to use?
This will depend on your usage of the image, as much as the site as it's going on. If you are using the image for commercial purposes (meaning you will earn in any way from anything the image is used for), you must look for either public domain images or images that can be licensed for commercial use. All images available for use should clearly indicate the licensing type and terms.
What about Google Images and Yahoo! Images?
It may seem that because these two search engines are specifically for finding images that the images found there would be safe to use. But before you use one, stop!! Retrace the image tracks. What do I mean? Check the licensing rights with the source link (hint: Yahoo! and Google Images are not image sources).
I read all this and still have no clue what to do
When in doubt, don't use the image. Ever. If you can't understand whether you can use an image or not, then you should only use your own images. Ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense and you'll be better safe than sorry using only images you yourself have created or none at all.
Questions? Experiences to share?
Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
(Photo is free to use for both commercial and non-commercial purposes with credit to Lyn Lomasi as the photographer and a link back to this page as the source)
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
The other day some friends and I were discussing working from a smart phone. Some of them felt it would be too difficult. I actually felt the same until trying it. True, the keys and screen are smaller but there are many ways to make it easier to write and even post using a Smartphone.
Take your own pictures and use your cell phone camera
You’d be hard-pressed to find a good Smartphone that doesn’t include a camera these days. Some of them are better than others but they all do the job. Always take the pictures for your posts with your cell phone camera. This will make it much easier to upload the pics when posting your writing online from your phone.
If you take notes, take them on your phone and make them usable in your post
Most cell phones have some sort of application that stores notes. Use that if you need to jot down information before writing. Better yet, formulate any notes in a way that they could be a part of your writing. That way, you can just copy/paste the needed info into your post straight from the phone, if necessary. If you don’t have an app that will allow note taking and don’t have room or capability to download it, text the notes to yourself. If you text yourself, you’ll have two copies of each thing you send. But it works in a pinch.
Use a stylus pen
Some people complain that the keys on a phone keyboard are too small, making it more difficult to type. Try using a stylus pen. This object looks like a pen but it has a tip designed to touch Smartphone touch screens instead of using your fingers. This can save tons of time, especially for those who haven’t yet mastered typing from a small touch screen.
Use voice recognition
Most newer smart phones have voice recognition capabilities. You speak into the phone and it translates your text into the application you’re using it with. It does sometimes get the words wrong. However, fixing a few typos is probably easier than typing out all of those words for someone who isn’t experienced at quickly typing on a Smartphone.
Stay logged in to applicable websites
Keep in mind that it can be more risky security-wise to stay logged into websites at all times. However, at least during the time that you’re making your posts, it is so much easier if you are logged into the sites that you need and they stay remembered. For sites that store your post drafts while you’re working on them, this is even more important. You don’t want to receive a phone call and have a post lost because the information didn’t auto-save while you were entering it. Not all sites allow you to save drafts. Therefore, this advice mainly applies to those that do.
**Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
(Yup, that pic was taken using my cell phone)
I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Try doing a Yahoo search on anything related to freelance writing jobs and you’ll pull up a multitude of opportunities, many of them scams. The simplest way to tell if one’s a scam is that it usually starts with “make easy money” just like any other scam. While it’s true that some aspects of a freelance writing career will become easy to an experienced writer over time, freelance writing as a whole is NOT an easy full time career path. But it’s worth it.
As a full time freelance writer, I used to spend countless sleepless nights thinking, researching, and typing out the results endlessly. Wait, “used to”? If I’m no longer a full time freelance writer, what do I know? The thing is, I spent years as a full time freelance writer and I slowed down, not because of the lack of money or interest, but because I wanted to help other freelance writers. That’s right. Now my full time job is helping others do what I did. But I still write almost full time as well. Therefore, I assure you, you can trust my experience.
Some people think “Oh, I can write. My poems from high school are great. I should be a writer.” And if that’s you, writing might be a good career choice for you. But just keep in mind that writing for the web and writing a poem here and there are two entirely different things. Freelance writing as a full time career path will involve writing for a considerable amount of time most days. Decide which you REALLY want to do and do that.
Writing for the web as a full time freelance writer is hard work. Yes, work. Forget all those scammers out there telling you it’s easy. Yes, it’s easy for them at first because they’re copying and pasting the text that I (or another talented writer) put real time and heart into in order to create it. But it no longer becomes easy for them when we decide to pursue it legally.
Ah yes, there’s another thing about freelance writing. You’re not JUST a writer. You’re a writer, researcher, marketer, CEO, manager, self-appointed attorney, and many other things.
The first part – the actual writing – may come easy to you sometimes and maybe even most of the time. But there will be days when you may not be able to form a complete sentence no matter how many deadlines you’re facing or how much money is on the line. Even for writers who seem to just sprout creative words in an instant, writing all day every day can become difficult. And you WILL need to write very often (among other things) in order to make the most money at web writing.
I know what you’re thinking because it’s me as well. I definitely said it too. You’re saying “but I love writing. I already write all day long, nonstop. I can do this.” If so, then you probably can, just like me. However, keep in mind that even you will likely have days where you just can’t. Also keep in mind that everything you write, though it may come from your heart, is for someone else. And, while you are in charge of yourself, you do still have to actually work. Otherwise, what are you getting paid for?
Up until this point, I may have turned some people off already because it sounds like a big complaint. But heck no! I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for the world. The thing is, if you’re going to be in the business, someone needs to tell you the real facts. Yes, I can spend more time with my kids (human and fur variety). Yes, I make a fairly decent income when I’m consistent with it. But it does take real work and effort and if you can’t commit to that, this is NOT the career for you because if you stop working, the money stops coming.
For me, the benefits of staying home with my kids, the satisfaction of knowing my words may help people, being able to finally start saving some money, and some of the other things directly related to being a freelance writer are worth the hard work. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Still want to be a freelance writer? If you said yes, I commend you. Feel free to reach out to me on my Facebook page for help getting started: facebook.com/LynLomasi
(No, I’m not going to charge you anything for advice, unlike those scammers out there looking for a quick buck. NEVER pay for work. You’re the one working. YOU should be the one getting paid.)
**Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this here on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Oh no! You were just submitting an article or blog post and poof! Now your hard work is gone! What happened? That's right, you didn't back up your work and you typed it up online instead of on your computer. Online submission templates are awesome, but they aren't fool proof.
Save your work offline first. Before ever placing your work in any online template, you should be typing it in an office program first. If you're like me and either hate Word or their price, try OpenOffice.org instead. Whatever program you use, write and save it there and then copy/paste t into the online submission template. I learned this years ago – the hard way, of course. I lost an incredibly awesome post (because all of my work is amazing, right?). Never again.
Websites crash. Computers crash. Servers time out. Submission processes malfunction. Just because you've submitted fine by typing into the template for years doesn't mean it's foolproof. When I had my revelation, I was submitting my daily piece to a site I had been using for a couple years already. I always typed into the template directly. That day when I hit the submit button, the site went down at that exact moment and my article that I spent two hours researching was completely lost.
Trust me. Save the work offline or at the very least in an online office program. I personally triple save my work. I work in OpenOffice and save the work on my computer from there. Then, I also upload a copy to an online file database, as well as save it to a flash drive. This way, if anything happens to any of those copies, there's likely to be another one saved somewhere. I actually lost an article just yesterday because I hadn't made it to the other steps yet and my computer malfunctioned and had to be restarted. Always save in more than one place.
How do you submit and save your work? Tell us in the comment section.
Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
(my original artwork)
Many people are looking to the internet for careers they can do at home. Naturally, web writing is one of the choices people often consider. You log on, string some words together, and someone buys them. Sounds simple, right? People ask me daily if it's easy to be a web writer. In turn, I instruct them to figure out if web writing will be easy for them because each person is different.
How easy is it to get started in web writing? The answer to this actually depends on what your goal in web writing is. Who will you write for? Yourself, community-based sites, private clients, or some other venue? Once you make that decision and learn more about how that particular web writing career works, then it will be fairly easy to figure out how to get started.
Can anyone make money writing for the web? Yes and no. Honestly, anyone can make some kind of money in web writing. But only those with talent and dedication will make consistent and legitimate income as a web writer. Like any other career, you have to put in real effort in order to succeed. It's only an easy career choice if quality web writing comes easy for you often enough to make it a career.
Is writing for the web easy? Writing takes time and effort, as with most other careers. If the type of writing talent needed comes easy to you, then this role may suit you. Of course, even if it takes a bit more effort, that doesn't mean it isn't right for you. It may not be as easy to dedicate yourself to web writing if each piece produced comes with too much difficulty.
How do I know if web writing is the right choice? Do you enjoy spreading the word about causes close to your heart? Maybe reporting sporting events or celebrity news is your forte. Do you have special experience in subject that is close to your heart – and can you write about it? Can you meet deadlines imposed by clients with their specifications? Ask yourself these and other questions, based on your research of writing for the web as a career. Figure out how many words you can reasonably write in the time period you want to dedicate to this. Then, figure out how much you would potentially make for that number of words. If your ideal income is nowhere near those figures, then web writing will not be an easy career choice for you.
Do you have non-exclusive writing lying around collecting dust? If you write for a living, chances are that not everything you submit or publish is exclusive to one party. What are you doing with the work that you still hold publishing rights to? If you answered "Nothing" you are not making the most of your work.
What are reprints? Put simply, reprints are pieces that have been previously published but can be published again.
If you submit your work to someone non-exclusively, you still have publication rights. Always read the fine print everywhere that you publish your work to be sure who has the rights. Just because you still hold the copyright, does not always mean you still hold publication rights.
Once you have determined that you do hold publication rights, there are several ways you can offer reprints.
Here are some of my favorites:
Ever come across a news or information article only to discover that the facts are all wrong? Don't let that be your article. If you represent something as a fact, be certain you have confirmed the information with more than one source.
Do your research and do it well. Check, double check, and then check again.
Letting misinformation slide even once can damage your web writing reputation. More importantly, misinformation can be potentially dangerous to your readers.
Before you submit that article you just wrote, be sure you have done your research. Readers will trust you more and you know you are only putting the actual truth out there.
Need to create an HTML link but don't know how?
Simply use the code below and replace the red areas with your intended text and link.
<a href="http://www.articlewriterforhire.com">Article Writer for Hire</a>
Insert this text into your intended html template.
When you use the above code in an html template, it will display like this:
Article Writer For Hire
That's it! You have now created an html link or hyperlink.
Readers and fellow writers often ask me why I enjoy helping so many people? Am I worried about creating competition for myself? Why do I just freely give advice and inform others of what I do to succeed in writing? Am I creating competition by helping others succeed?
If I were creating competition, I am not afraid to play the game and I'd play it fair. However, I don't believe I am. Why? There is a vast sea of opportunities, gigs, jobs, and contracts in the writing world. It's not humanly possible for me to have every writing task to myself, nor would I desire to.
Aside from that, I am wise enough to know that every assignment is not for me. I don't know everything there is to know. Also, each writer has their own style. Why take on a project I know I can't do when there could be someone else better suited to it and who may need it more than I do? Instead, I could refer a good writer and move on to something better suited to me.
I have always believed in helping others, no matter the situation. Whether in my career or in every day life, if I see someone who needs help, I'm going to provide it if I have the means. If you knew a secret that could change the whole world for the better, would you keep it to yourself? Of course not - at least, I hope not.
No, writing advice is probably not going to change the world. However, if I can offer some guidance that can help change someone's perspective or career for the better, you can bet I'm going to tell them. One small piece of advice or word of encouragement could be all that is standing in the way of someone living their dream. How do I know this? People have given me that kind of hope and assistance. Were it not for fellow writers pushing me and offering me advice, who knows where I'd be today?
So, am I creating competition by helping others succeed? Does it really matter?
Even the best of writers make errors. From typos to grammatical mistakes to run-on sentences, mistakes in writing are common. In internet writing, many writers are editing their own content. This works well most of the time, but we all have our off days. Even a star editor can make a mistake in their own writing. So, how can you solve that? One way is to get a writing buddy.
What is a Writing Buddy?
A writing buddy is another writer whom you trust with your work. This writer also must entrust their work to you. Writing buddies give their final proofread copies to each other to be sure the work is of good quality.
What exactly do writing buddies do?
Writing buddies read over each other's final drafts and make correction suggestions if needed. If both writers also are good editors, there may not be many corrections, but it always is good to have more than one set of eyes looking over a project. It's a great way to ensure quality work is produced as often as possible.
Why Should I Get a Writing Buddy if I Never Make Mistakes?
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. No one is perfect. I'm sure that anyone combing this very post will find at least one (if not more than one) suggestion to make. There always is more than one way to look at writing. Also, like I stated, nobody is perfectly accurate all the time. I have gone over pieces of work several times, thinking they were up to par. Then, after they've been published of course, I've found grammatical errors or typos. Having a writing buddy can minimize the chance of inaccuracies.
How Do I Find a Writing Buddy?
If you're a writer, chances are you know at least one other writer. If not, you really should start networking. Having other friends who write can be extremely beneficial in more ways than just the one listed here. I recommend choosing your closest writing friend for this particular project. Be sure that you and this person can fully trust that neither will misuse the other's work in any way. I won't give legal advice on this because I am not a lawyer. Only you can decide how you should handle the legalities. But, I will say that it can be extremely helpful to have a fellow writer give an opinion on work before it is turned in to the client.
How Many Pieces Should My Writing Buddy Check?
All of them, if possible. However, if you are like me, then that may not be possible. I write way to many articles in a day to fairly have a buddy check them all. You and your buddy should decide on a fair number that is feasible for you both. Once you get a balanced writing, reading, and editing routine down, you may be able to add to that number.
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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