writing challenge

sometimes, i feel like i don’t have anything to write (or share). this is why i do not have regular updates. so to challenge myself to post regularly, i’m challenging myself to write something at least once a week. good thing, i found this (click the photo to get to the site where i found it):

so, yes, i’m challenging myself to write. i am not sure if i can pass this challenge, but i will try. you can try it to if you like. 😉

Advertisements

Writing Tip: Write your title first

I am guilty with this one. Whenever my clients would ask me to write an article, the last thing that I do before submitting the article is to write my title. However, according to copyblogger.com, writing the headline first allows a writer to clearly express to the reader the possible benefits he or she would get by reading the whole piece. It is similar to making a promise to your readers. In the headline, you promise the audience that you will offer them something helpful, entertaining, or funny. Since it is a promise, it has to be made first before it can be fulfilled.

Another important thing about titles is that it serves as your guide when writing. Whenever I find myself engrossed with my article, I make it a point to look at my title to determine if I am still on the right track.

How about you, do you start your articles by writing the headline first, or are you like me who composes the body first before writing the title? (Not anymore for me. From now on, I promise to compose my title first before starting with my article.)

How a Savvy Writer Can Earn Good Money Online

*first published in Pencil Head Writers blog. You can view the article here.*

Whether you are a college student seeking for part-time job, a Journalism graduate trying out other form of media, or a stay-at-home mom looking out for ways to support your family, you can definitely make some money by writing online. In fact, you do not need to be a professional writer with high-profile resume to earn good money. If you know how to put your thoughts into words, turn these into coherent form, and make this form interesting and informative, you are on your way to make money.

Start by organizing your portfolio

If you are a freelance writer, you need to build your credibility and showcase your writing skills. Creating a blog or your own website is a great way to demonstrate how well can you write. When you apply for job postings, employers normally request for two to three samples of your work. If you have a blog where all your write-ups are placed, employers can easily read your work.

Write about various topics

It can also be advantageous if you write about various topics. Most employers want versatile writers who can write almost every topic available. It also saves time on your part since you do not need to attach files every now and then. You can just include your blog in the signature of your e-mail.

Create a comprehensive profile

Also, remember to create a comprehensive profile of yourself. Write about your expertise. If you had a short stint writing for a lifestyle magazine, you may want to include it in your profile. You may write something like: ____ is 26-year old work-at-home mom who has written several articles for (name of magazine or website). She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing. Her expertise includes health issues, latest technology, and how-to articles.

Search for freelance writing websites

You can find plenty of job openings in these sites but you will need to sign-up first and create an account before you can apply for a job posting. You are also required to build your profile when you sign up. If there is a link that allows you to place your blog, do so. It makes things easier for you.

Aside from job openings, most of the sites provide helpful tips about writing and landing your perfect job. Freelance Writing (dot com) for example has helpful articles like how-to’s on copywriting, business writing, and creative writing. Freelance Writing Gigs (dot com) features articles about job-hunting tips and blogging for a living.

There are websites that look for writers and pay them for what they write. Sign-up is also required before you get to write for these sites. Some of these websites include About (dot com), Associated Content (dot com), Suite101 (dot com), and eHow (dot com). Each of these sites has different application processes before they allow you to contribute for them. About (dot com) for example requires you to undergo one-month training/trial period before you are allowed to write for the site.

Apply to companies that hire independent contractors

If you are not fond of signing up and building profiles repeatedly, you can apply to companies hiring independent contractors. Unlike freelance writing sites, you have to be a little more careful when applying directly to the job postings because some of these are frauds. Craigslist is one site where you can source lots of writing jobs and more.

Blog it

Blogging is another way to earn money. In fact, you can do this in your own blog, though it will be more advisable if you choose a certain topic to write. For example, you may want to explore about diabetes. After writing several entries about diabetes, you can install Google ads (Adsense) on your blog. You will be paid every time a visitor clicks the ads. Other ways to earn on your blog include selling links or posts to advertise a certain product, service, or website. To make this work, you have to get more traffic on your website.

Now that you found your dream writing job, make sure the keep these few reminders in mind:

  • Writing for several websites can surely put some money in your account. If your goal is to make writing a full-time job, you have to write for several different websites. Doing so makes you a more flexible writer. It also helps you in your writing. At times, you will feel as if you cannot write anymore (writer’s block). One reason this happens is that you have been writing about the same topic repeatedly. If you have various topics to write about, you become a more productive writer.
  • Always write as if it will be your last. It is a cliché but you have to give your best in every article that you create. It gives a good impression on your employer, which could mean more writing jobs for you. In addition, it makes you feel proud of yourself when you see your article online.
  • Find your specialization. There are articles that you write because your client requires you to do so; then there are articles that you write because you enjoy writing about them. When you know your niche, you can easily find online writing jobs that best apply to you.
  • Always be professional. The last thing that a client wants is an unreliable writer who keeps on saying that he or she will meet the deadline but fails to do so.

Lots of writing opportunities are available online for savvy writers. Whether you want to augment your monthly income or to make it your bread-and-butter, writing online is something worth your time and effort.

On Writing: Writing is a Learning Experience

I’m currently writing about diabetes. I’m actually learning lots of useful information about it, specifically about what a diabetic diet should include. It is surprising to know that there is no such thing as diabetic diet. There is no need for a special meal plan or food selection. It simply includes healthy foods eaten in right amounts at regular times everyday. However, it is important to be consistent with the amount of serving and the schedule of each meal.

Being a web content writer expands my knowledge about plenty of things. I learned how to concoct tequila drinks without even knowing how tequila tastes like. I discovered bath seats for the aged and disabled, which make bathing easier and safer for these people.

At times, writing becomes stressful especially when there are deadlines to meet. But most of the time, it is my way of releasing my innermost emotions, of contributing something to the world, and of influencing and moving souls.

Yes, I’m definitely looking forward to more writing projects.

I Just Fired My Employer

or I quit from my part-time writing gig. Which sounds better?

After firing my employer, he emailed me and said

By the way Melodie, I do 30 day evaluations on all of my writers and pending their performance and reliability, give a raise to those deserving. I have many writers who have been with me over a year, because I continue to increase their wages and help them grow professionally. I’m sorry you didn’t have the time to experience that, but if you wish to continue to do some work in the future, contact me again and we can ‘try again’ – okay?

(Your) writing was good and you were on track for a rate increase. The only issue was your reliability and consistency…

Take care,
EMPLOYER

I responded by saying:

I’m a little pressured with how you set your deadlines. I feel like I’m in an office where my boss keeps an eye on his employees. I like to be given some leeway, especially with deadlines. One reason why I gave up writing a few years back is because of the pressure and stress it gives me. Researching is one thing, putting up your research in a sensible article is another. I hope you know that.

Thank you for your offer. Sometime in the future, maybe I’ll be ready to adapt your system.

O well.

Unemployed

I officially belong to the unemployed statistic. Who would have thought that?

KL, while having coffee a few hours ago, asked me about my plans after BPI. I remember answering “I don’t know yet.” Not very me. And not really a good answer when it’s KL asking you.

But that’s the truth. I think I’m having quarter life crisis. I reached a point in my life when I really don’t know what to do. I just want to rest. Be with Melvin and Kaila. Be a RICH housewife. I was actually telling people that I will play majong that’s why I resigned. The truth is, I don’t want to explain any further. It’s hard for people to understand my situation because not everyone can relate to it. I’m glad my Dad understands. I was really touched when he texted me not to worry, “may trabaho pa naman ang daddy,” he said. I’m a lucky girl. My manager even told me that I am my Dad’s favorite. Yes, I think so. Haha.

But I really don’t know what will happen next. Maybe I’ll just take it one at a time. No need to rush things. Everything will fall into place in it’s proper timing. For now, I’ll sleep then pack my things.

Building empires

Today, I’m starting my writing project for Mike and Wendi. Last month, Wendz mentioned that she will be setting up a web-based company and asked Jeng and I if we would like to work for her web content writers. I remember joking ad told her, why not make us her business partners.

The project officially starts today and I really admire them both for starting their own company. Based on what I learned in my network marketing biz, the people who became rich are those who start out their own businesses.

This great leap from being content providers to buyers stirred my desire to start out a company of my own in the future.

Yes, someday I’ll build a company. An empire.

Fruitful, Healthy, Wealthy and Happy 2010

After recapping the year that was, here’s a list of what 2010 would befor me–the goals, the wish list, the plans, and everything else in between.

– I want to change career this year. In fact, I already took the first and second steps by resigning last January 11 and applying for online writing jobs. I want to go back to writing, be a full-time wife and mom and still earn P40,000.00 per month.

– I am targeting a seven-figure savings on our joint account. I already started savings last year and will continue to do so no matter what happens. Melvin promises to be diligent with his expenses this year. I still have doubts about this, being the spender that he is, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

– I’ll start the countdown to buy a 150 sq m lot (or larger) in Bauan Grand Villas. I told Melvin I want a house already by the time we’re three years into our marriage. This year is the second year of our marriage so we better start preparing for that dream house. The house will be two storey, with a library-cum-office for myself, den for our family get together, a garden that I will take care of and a garage for at least two vehicles. It will have four bedrooms, two tub&bath, a maid’s quarters and veranda on the second floor. I want my architect friend to design the house for me. I want it fully furnished, contemporary yet still very homey.

– For my fitness goals, I want to wear small size shirts again and weigh 45 kilos again. I will eat fruits and vegetables everyday. Will keep a daily diary on what nutritious food I ate or simple a food diary.

– I will learn how to cook–Filipino cuisine first, then Italian. (Since I’ll be home based!) I should learn to cook a hearty breakfast, lunch, merienda and dinner meals for the whole week (so that would equal to about at least 21 types of dish for Filipino cuisine) plus several variations of pasta dishes.

– Kaila and I will uindergo swimming lessons in Bert Lozada swimming school.

– Melvin and I will go on an out of town trip. This should be a yearly celebration–US time, only the two of us, for a week maybe. And I want it to be a family tradition, which we will always look forward to every year.

– Another out of town trip, this time, with Kaila. Hong Kong will be a good destination, though I doubt she will remember it when she grows up. (Childhood amnesia). I want to go to Subic or maybe somewhere south.

– I want to treat my whole family (Dad/Mom/Shara/Joemar) in an out of town trip, maybe in April in time for Joemar’s graduation. We don’t go out of town. It has never been a family affair but I want to intriduce it to our family this year.

– I want to organize a family reunion, I’m thinking to do it on my Mom’s birthday but it may be too soon. My siblings will be the one to cook the meals, but our relatives will also bring their share. Create a program for that. There will be games and prizes too.

– Organize high school reunion on December 2010.

– Read at least 50 books this year and write reviews about each.

– Be a positive person. Create a daily gratitude list. List down that everyday, simple things that make me happy. Faithfully keep a journal.

– Learn to be patient. Learn to keep my temper.

– Talk with Melvin often. Say what I feel.

– Talk with Mom and Dad. Heart to heart conversations. Talk with Joemar and Shara about life. Build a strong family relationship.

– Watch at least 20 movies at the Cinema.

– Wake up and get up from bed before 7 am. Sleep before 12 midnight. Try to have at least 7 hours of sleep.

– Drink lots of water. Cut down on soft drinks. And iced coffee.

– Cut down on sugar, sweets, chocolates.

– Aside from swimming, take up a sporty hobby and stick to it!

– Renew my faith. Talk to God. Go to church. Pray the rosary.

I plan to make 2010 and 26th year a very memorable, fruitful, happy, healthy and wealthy year

Writing Update – Week 1

So far, I’ve written eight articles and received a few dollars. Despite being rejected on the first project that I did, I am writing for two buyers, whom I believe are very good employers. The writing tasks are demanding. For the first one, I have to write 10 articles a day (or 200 articles per month). For the other one, I have to create three 1000-word articles per day for three days per week.

This is a real challenge, at least for the next 30 days. I am still employed and write only at night. Tired from the day’s job, I am forced to think, creatively, and submit the articles on time.

I know I can do this.