Why I Write the Articles that I Do

What Am I Aiming for when I Write My Articles


Often I just write what articles on whatever comes into my head, but sometimes I have a thought to write an article that I know will be controversial to some people, and I write about it in such a way as to hopefully generate a lot of detailed comments by visitors who both agree and disagree with what I have written.

I think that we can break down the reason to write articles into three main categories.

Firstly, the ones that we feel like writing, the ideas that leap into our heads, the ones that are fun to work on. These often include poetry, or stories from our past, but whatever the theme, it’s something that we are passionate about. This type of article however, usually attracts visits from our followers on AC, and some outside friends, but often doesn’t travel much further, unless it is on a popular topic.

Secondly, we have the articles that are on a newsworthy item, something that is maybe scandalous (eg: Tiger Woods), or about a recent tragedy (eg: Haiti). These are often high traffic articles, however they often disappear from view as quickly as they came and are short lived.

Finally, we come to the item or location reviews and the ever popular keyword topics, like food and recipes, fashion, travel etc. These might not be every author’s passion, and they may or may not generate masses of traffic, depending on the topic, but they are usually very durable articles and over time the traffic does make them worthwhile.

The other area to consider aside from Page Views is of course Up Front Payments, which can make a huge difference to the amount that an author earns. I haven’t personally managed to write an article yet that qualifies for up front payments, but it is my intention to do so as soon as I can find a topic.

As far as promoting articles, I find that blogging about them helps, especially when the blog posts act as links back to the original article, which can result in the article being listed higher in the search engines. Outside visibility to your articles is critical if you want to achieve a lot of traffic, but this again is determined by the popularity of the topics on which you are writing.

But going back to where this article started, one area that many authors don’t think about is the interaction with their visitors. If your article inspires visitors to leave comments, either in agreement with what you have written, or in disagreement, you can turn the article comments into a whole discussion thread that can go on for ages. This leads visitors to keep returning to see what new comments have been left, and the page views and popularity of your article go up exponentially.

This is one area that I try to explore, and a twist on this is to leave controversial comments on other articles too. Expressing your views, not in a negative way, but throwing a twist on the contents of the article, can lead to visitors looking at your profile and articles to learn more about you. If they like what they see and decide to follow you, then all the better.

Ultimately I think we are all looking for the article that will go viral. Can you imagine how it feels to write something that people distribute to their friends, and their friends of friends, and in just days it circles the world and you have thousands of visitors? That is what we all need to aim for I think, because being found will make a huge difference to our writing future.

If just 10,000 people were to visit one of your articles, and only 1 percent were to look at other articles that you have written, that could be worth hundreds more page views. Now if half of those were to follow you, that is potentially 50 more page views per article that you write in the future. Now 10,000 visitors is great, but something that truly goes viral could get a million visitors or more. At this point your …

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Fresh Start

The first half of your homeschooling season is now over. How does your report card look? Did you accomplish your goals? Did you even write down any goals? Did your kids learn less than you had hoped? Did your kids learn more than you ever realized they would? Did you keep good records? Did you engage your kids in lively lessons to hold their attention? Did you bury your head in lesson plans every night and stay up late grading papers? Did you include fun learning field trips into your lesson plans? Were your lessons boring and bland or riveting and contagious? Did you skip learning too many days in a row and then have problems getting your kids back into a school routine? Did you push your kids too hard, or were you too lax? No matter what happened last semester, you have a brand new opportunity to start fresh this semester. You can celebrate your past accomplishments and set even higher goals. You can atone for your mistakes and set off on a new homeschooling journey full of promise. Mistakes are simply great learning opportunities. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Start this new semester off by making a written list of your goals. Actually writing your goals down will help go farther in accomplishing them. Think about what your kids did and didn’t master last semester. Think about their learning styles and set new goals to meet those needs. Ask your kids for input about what they would like to learn, places they would like to visit, and activities they enjoy most. Examine your teaching style to see if it matches your kids learning styles. Make adjustments as needed. Take an honest look at your homeschool curriculum. Does it meet the needs of your children? If yes, great, see where you can supplement extra bonus lessons. If no, begin researching new homeschool curriculums. Read homeschool curriculum reviews, join Yahoo groups that discuss and review curriculum choices you are interested in, and talk to other homeschooling families. Dare to make a change. Contact potential companies and ask for samples or a trail membership so you can test drive their product.

Next, take a look at your learning environment. Do your kids benefit from a traditional style learning space, or are they more productive working at the kitchen table, on the couch, or outside? Don’t be afraid to be nontraditional. Even if your children are content with the way you school now, play around with new ideas. You will never know if a simple change can make a huge difference unless you experiment. Sometimes, “leave good enough alone” is not the best answer.

Now, take a close look at your daily schedule. Do you begin lessons too early in the morning, or perhaps too late? Do you try to cram in too many lessons in a row without taking a break? Do you school too many hours a day so that the kids get cranky and you are too tired to cook dinner? Do you forget to leave time for the unexpected learning opportunities that come your way? Remember, YOU are in charge and you have the freedom to teach your child they way you see best. Don’t try to be like the brick and mortar school; dare to be better! You know your kids best, you love your kids the most, and you want only the very best for them. They are not a ticket to more state funding. Learn to be flexible.

Finally, tell your kids that the best is yet to come. Get them excited about this coming semester. Share your enthusiasm with them, after it’s contagious. A fresh start just might be what the doctor ordered.…

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Why would you need an air humidifier in your house?

During the long and cold winter months and also during the summer days when you put the air conditioning on, you may feel the air in the house dry. Just as humid air can be bad for your health, the dry air may have the same unwanted effects. In this context, it is important to keep the humidity of the house at the right level which is suited for you.

Dry air can be easily solved with a humidifier. These are devices that make water vapors to maintain the humidity on a room. When they are used correctly, they can improve the air in the interior of the house.

What is an air humidifier?

When the air is too humid, it can help the forming of mold, resulting into health problems and damages for your house. When the air is too dry, the ideal environment for respiratory problems such as allergies, asthma or skin problems is created. A humidifier can be successfully used during the winter in areas with warm weather, where the heating systems are used constantly in houses. Dry air can affect not only people, but also the floor if it is made of wood, and the wooden frames of windows.

Types of humidifiers

Mainly, humidifiers classify in two categories

  • Humidifier that forces air through water pulverizing it in the room
  • The atomizer type, which ‘breaks’ water into particles to create a fog

Humidifiers are recommended for people that live in areas where houses must be heated for a long period of the year, and for people living in areas with a dry climate. These devices can help people suffering from throat pains, headaches and coughs. Generally, a humid house is more comfortable as long as humidity is kept in optimal levels.

Things to consider

All the humidifiers need cleaning. Otherwise, they will be contaminated with mold and become dangerous in the long term. Make sure to follow the instructions of the manufacturer to clean it and don’t use it unless you are sure it is maintained properly.

Ideal humidity

Ideal humidity level in a house must be between 30%-55%. It is why you might want to buy a humidifier which can measure this level, so you can adjust it to the one required by your family.

This level is different in office buildings, where the spaces are wider and it has to be adjusted for tens of hundreds of people’s needs. It is why a home humidifier is smaller and cheaper, but you have to check the maximum surface it can cover.

If you want to buy a humidifier for a newborn, make sure to check with his or hers doctor before buying it. Only this way, you can be sure of the ideal humidity required in the room of your new child, so you could buy the right humidifier. In case your child has health problems are requires an exact level, there are devices with adjustable level of humidity and even with a timer that could set it on and off at different times of the day or night.…

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We Need a Book Store in Missouri City, Texas

This article I am writing for my daughter, Carrie. She is an avid reader with many books. We both are book fans. As a matter of fact, I am currently writing my first murder mystery novel. Here is our dilemma: We need a book store in Missouri City, Texas.

As far as I am aware, there are not very many book stores in Fort Bend County. There is a Borders in Stafford, a Barnes & Noble in Sugar Land and a Half Price Books in Sugar Land. What about the 80,000 people who live in Missouri City and the outskirts? We read too!

The parking lot at Barnes & Noble is always so packed that you have to park really far and walk, not to mention the traffic congestion is terrible between Missouri City to Sugar Land. I feel it’s time we start getting more good quality businesses in Missouri City. I would like to see a store of the quality of Barnes & Noble or Borders with a coffee shop. An in-store book club would be nice with authors who come and do book signings, and maybe there should be some live music in the coffee area. My daughter and I would be regulars there. Most of our extra money goes for books anyway.

Unfortunately, I am not currently in a position to do much about getting a book store in Missouri City so all I can do is write about it, but that’s something, right? Maybe this article will plant a seed in the mind of someone who can put a book store in Missouri City.

As Fort Bend County grows, it is getting more time-consuming to navigate Highway 6. If we had some of the same businesses in Missouri City that are in Sugar Land we could keep our tax dollars here instead of going out of the city to shop elsewhere, and it might also help with the traffic in Sugar Land. A book store in Missouri City would also create a few more jobs for our residents.

I have other suggestions for making our beautiful city better. I can’t run for city council because I’m too busy trying to launch a new career and get an education, but I can write about my opinion of what our needs are. People may not agree so they can write their own articles.

If there is anyone out there who wants to start a new business, please give us a bookstore in Missouri City, Texas and my daughter and I will give you our business.…

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Writing Song Lyrics

Writing song lyrics is a challenging and rewarding process. Challenging in the sense that it can take you many hours or days or possibly even weeks to write. Rewarding in the sense that you have accomplished the difficult. I won’t say that you have accomplished the impossible because you haven’t. While difficult, it is far from impossible. Writing song lyrics is a lot like writing poetry. Either you must have a way with words, or you had better have a good book on rhyming with you. Of course, not all songs have to rhyme. It is just easier to get a reaction out of the audience if you do rhyme it. If you feel confident enough to write a song that doesn’t rhyme, then go for it. Confidence is key. Just remember that it had better be a very good song if it’s meant to be successful.

 

If you do not yet have a talent for rhyming, then do not panic or give up. All is not yet lost. There are dozens, possibly hundreds of books out there that were written specifically for rhyming. There is no shame in it. You are not “cheating”. I used to use a rhyming book myself. It is very helpful when you are stuck on tough words. It also helps you become a better writer. I found that the more I used my rhyming guide, the less I needed. All of those hundreds upon thousands of rhymes will eventually stick to. I rarely use a book anymore. I don’t need to, but I advise any newcomers to the game to use one. It will save you a lot of trouble. Be wary though, some of these books are better than others. If you can, pick a book that rhymes sounds rather than words. It is easier to rhyme sounds than it is to rhyme words.

Never forget what I am about to tell you. You can have all the rhymes in the world in your song, but it means absolutely nothing if you do not have some sort of message or story in the songs. You can’t just run things. Every word in your song must have a purpose. If it has no purpose, it will become weak and the audience will be more inspired to reject it. It must have a meaning. It doesn’t necessarily have to have a message, but it must have a meaning. It must have a purpose. That’s really all there is to song writing. Except for the fact that you have to be creative, but I’m sure you are if you are reading this. Happy writing, colleagues.…

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Book Review: Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Book Review: Story of a Girl

They made us clean our lockers on the last day of sophomore year. I tore down the class schedule I’d taped to the inside of the door at the beginning of the semester and tossed it into the pile of recycling that already included ninety-five percent of the crap I’d busted my ass to do all year. What was the point of all that so-called learning if, in the end, it was going to the trash?

After reading a particularly interesting review at Maw Books Blog, I went to look for a copy of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl. This is the hard, bittersweet story of a sixteen-year-old girl named Deanna.

Deanna made a mistake when she was thirteen: she had sex with a seventeen-year-old boy, and was discovered by her father. Now that she’s entered high school, she’s still branded as the school slut, and her father can’t look at her in the eye. It doesn’t matter that Deanna hasn’t touched a boy since Tommy: her mistake seems to have defined her forever.

Deanna has a lot to deal with. Things at home aren’t going well for her: her father’s angry and distant, her mother is tired, and her big brother is a young parent living with his girlfriend and their baby girl in his parents’ basement. Deanna also has two best friends, Jason and Lee. Too bad she has a crush on Jason, while he’s dating Lee.

When Deanna gets a job for the summer, she happens to be working at a pizza place with Tommy, the boy she once was with and who still teases and provokes her. Can she manage to leave her past behind and go on with her life?

I really liked this book. The reader’s made to feel for the main character, a girl who once made a mistake and who can’t let this get past her. A girl who’s made remembering her sorry past every single day of her life. Deanna’s only outlet for her feelings is dreaming that one day she will be able to move in with her brother and his girlfriend, and writing stories in her journal.

Deanna’s story is a search for her own identity, a quest to find out that she is who she wants to be, and not what others think that she is. I’d definitely recommend this book, and I can’t wait to try out some other novel by Sara Zarr.…

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When Should Freelance Writers Proofread Their Work?

Freelance writers will spend hours crafting their work, drafting assignments, and then correcting their work until it meets with their clients’ requirements. But when would it be best for freelance writers to proofread their work? Should they proofread their work as they go along or wait until they have finished to proofread their writing?

Proofread Gradually

Some freelance writers proofread their work gradually as they go along in the hope that they will be more likely to spot a typo, spelling error or incorrect usage of a word. This works well for some freelance writers, who are then able to spot a mistake and put it right straightaway. But, this method can interrupt and disrupt the creative flow and make the drafting process much more laborious and time consuming.

Limitations of Spell Check

Spell check Software can help freelance writers to craft their assignments. However, spell check Software has its limitations. While it can help freelance writers to spot obvious errors in spelling and grammar usage, relying on a spell check alone to discover all errors in your writing will not work. For example, a spell check will let you know that “threough” is incorrect and offer you alternative spellings such as “thorough”, but the spell check will not pick up on the wrong usage of words such as “their” when you really meant to say “there”. That is why it is important to keep spell check Software in its proper place and not rely on it too heavily to alert you to errors in your writing.

Proofread at the End

Many freelance writers wait until after they have produced the final copy of their work before they start to proofread what they have produced. This is a good method to use, as it means that the bulk of the work has already been done. The final stage of proofreading can then proceed. It is also easier for some freelance writers to spot typos and errors more easily if they wait a day or more after they have finished their work before they start to proofread their writing.

Freelance writers must decide for themselves what proofreading method works best for them and to then stick with that method. Some have great success in proofreading their work gradually as they go along. While this method can help freelance writers to spot errors early on, it can be quite time consuming and disrupt the writing process. Proofreading the completed article or assigment at the end can be a better option for some.…

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Five Ways to Put an End to Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block is an Occupational Hazard for Authors, but it Can Be Remedied!


Writer’s block occurs when writers are stuck in the middle of their manuscripts or can’t find inspiration to write about new ideas. Writer’s block generates the feeling of being mired in creative quicksand. Writer’s block is one of the biggest crosses that virtually all writers have to endure in varying degrees of fashion at least once during their careers. This condition can be remedied if you will apply the tips I have implemented to navigate myself out of this:

Research Markets: I strive to follow this rule: “If I am not writing, then I need to be researching markets, and if I am not researching markets, then I had better be writing.” Oftentimes, I come across new ideas to write about because I spend some time daily checking the market listings of newsletters and databases. The way editors craft their market listings varies from publication to publication, so you will eventually come upon a market listing that will reignite your creativity. In addition, you may find a new place to submit one of your unpublished or published works to.

Write at a College Library: If you normally write at home, seek out your closest college library to put an end to that writer’s block. There is an ambiance of creativity and intellectual pursuit in these places of higher learning. Most college libraries allow any local resident the opportunity to use many of their facilities for free. And a writer also gets the benefit of being out and about rather than being all cooped up alone. Being in the midst of others can spawn new ideas just by people-watching.

Listen to Your Favorite Music: Get works from your personal collection and crank it up to your desired decibel level. Don’t listen to the radio, unless you have commercial-free type, because with traditional radio flare, you often have to wait for your favorite tunes to come on while being barraged with endless advertisements and the same current hits being played every two hours. A flow of quality music has this special way of bringing deep emotions to the surface. It is when we tap into our feelings that new ideas and our best writing will emerge.

Take Some Time Off from Writing: Give yourself a break from attempting to produce something. Take a day, weekend, or a longer amount of time off. If you can, leave town for awhile. I come back from my journeys ready to write with a new sense of purpose. One’s writing is best when it is done with interest and from the heart. The writing profession should not imitate the role of Inspector #48 on some assembly line. If it gets to that point, ask yourself why you aren’t solely working in a factory, where the paychecks come a lot easier! Furthermore, apply for all the press trips you can which are in your area or beyond. Going to these events will result in more writing ideas, as well as networking opportunities with other scribes who may even help you find some good tonics for treating writer’s block.

Watch Writing-Themed Movies: When I see my profession showcased on the silver screen, I’m able to identify with the characters portraying writers because they are often going through the positive and not-so positive issues onscreen that I go through in reality. Two of my favorite movies about writing are “Reds”, a three hour-plus epic about writers during the time of the Russian Revolution in the early 1900’s. My other favorite movie with a writing theme is called “The Shining”. This movie, if nothing else, will scare you out of your writer’s block! I mean, you’ll realize what real writer’s block is after you witness Wendy Torrance peeking at her husband’s manuscript that chillingly reads “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, typed over and over, page after page!

When you really think about it, writer’s block has some messages for you: It’s to let go of having to have a new idea in every waking moment; to go out and explore the world around you; and to get into touch with your …

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Freelance Writers: How to Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients

While working on your own as a freelance writer has certain perks, there are also a few drawbacks. When it’s just you, your computer, a high-speed Internet connection and your clients, you open yourself up to potential problems, such as unscrupulous clients who refuse to pay you for your work. Here are a few tips for freelance writers on how to protect yourself from those unscrupulous clients.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Prepare a Contract

Although a contract doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be paid for your work, it is definitely good insurance. A contract is an agreement between two people-the freelance writer and his or her client-that states the specifics of the project as well as the payment terms and the consequences for non-payment.

Have an attorney create a standard contract for you or talk to other freelance writers who might have a contract template. You can find pre-made contract templates at FindLegalForms.com and USLegalForms.com (state-specific).

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Be a Good Judge of Character

As a freelance writer, it isn’t your prerogative to accept every client who comes your way. If you’re getting a bad vibe or if you’ve heard negative things about an individual or company, feel free to say “no”. Even if you’re worried about paying the mortgage next month, you won’t be farther ahead to do work for free.

It is also not inappropriate to ask a client for references from previous contractors. Even if they’ve only worked with web designers or virtual assistants, it will give you peace of mind to know that other contractors have been paid in full and on time.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Be Firm From the Beginning

One thing that I’ve learned during my short tenure as a freelance writer is that you have to be firm from the very beginning or clients will walk all over you. State your terms up front and let the client know that there isn’t any room for negotiation. Don’t let a client talk you down for your price or convince you that your work isn’t worth what you advertise.

That said, don’t be rude or inconsiderate either. Act like the consummate professional that you are and you’ll earn the respect of your clients. Turn in projects when they are do and send prompt invoices to encourage payment on time.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Don’t Advertise That You’re an Amateur

If you’ve only been freelancing for a few months (or a few weeks!), don’t advertise that fact to potential clients. Instead, behave as though you’ve been freelancing for years. This will discourage clients from trying to get one over on you and will further illustrate that you’re a professional.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Don’t Start a New Project Until You’ve Been Paid for the First

If you’ve completed a project for a client, wait until you receive the check before starting a new project for that same client. This will ensure that you’ve judged his or her trustworthiness before putting more work and effort into their cause. If you’re sent a check, wait for the payment to clear in your bank before starting a new project; bounced checks are hell on a freelance writer’s income.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Hire an Attorney

If you’re knee-deep in a dispute with a client, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney for representation. Sometimes just a demand letter written by an attorney will be enough for a client to pay up, but if you are forced to take it farther than that, you will need an experienced attorney to help you through the legal process of collection.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Don’t Allow Mid-Project Changes

If your client wants to change the scope or content of the project when you’ve already begun work, charge a fee. As a freelance writer, you must remember that you need to be compensated for any work that you perform, regardless of whether the client changes his or her mind. Put that policy in your contract and make sure that your client understands ahead of time.

Freelance writers are taken advantage of every day in America and overseas, but ultimately, it’s up to you to protect …

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The Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market is a Excellent Resource for Aspiring Artists

The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market is a must have for aspiring children’s writers. It is a valuable resource for anyone trying to break into the business of writing for children. The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market is a book that guides you on your quest to writing success.

The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market gives writers information on how to market and sell their writing. Writing, revising, and editing is a long process. When we finally have the perfect manuscript, we don’t want to waste our time sending our submissions to publishers who are not looking for the kind of story that we have created. The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market makes it easier by giving the listings, and submission requirements of book and magazine publishers. There is even a section for marketing greeting cards, puzzles, coloring books, and games.

The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market offers important tips on how to create queries, cover letters, proposals, and how to handle contract negotiations. The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market also provides information on properly formatting your manuscripts, organizing your office space, and keeping submission records.

I know that when I first started, I was really confused about things like first rights, one time rights, first North American serial rights, second serial rights, foreign rights, and subsidy rights. The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market makes learning about these things easy, by breaking them down into sections and explaining them.

The subject index is really a plus. If you have a humorous story that you want to submit, simply refer to the subject index to find out exactly which book, and magazine publishers are looking for that genre of work.

The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market provides sections on writing great children’s stories, listings on workshops, and children’s writing competitions. The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market offers a list of online resource that may be helpful to children’s writers. If you have questions or doubts on a particular issue pertaining to the business of writing, you can always refer back to the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market.

The cost of the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market is minimal, compared to the wealth of viable information that it offers. The book is available at most large chain bookstores for less than thirty dollars.

If you are an aspiring children’s writer and you don’t have the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrators Market, you need to go out and buy it. The book is a great time saver when you are looking for the perfect publisher to market your work.…

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