Thursday, December 23, 2010

Setting Writer Goals for the New Year

I love January. Not because its cold and wintry here in Maine. Not because the mad rush of Christmas is past. I love January because it is new and fresh and the expanse of a new year lays before me. I love the feeling that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

As a writer that means setting new goals and striving to reach a new level with my career. If you are writer, and I assume you are if you are reading this post, its time for you to set new goals, too. Although I haven't set specific goals yet, I have created my checklist.

  • My goals challenge me, but are reasonably attainable.
  • My goals align with my personal and professional needs.
  • My goals include check points, evaluation and room to adapt as necessary.
  • My goals are written down in clear concise language.
  • My goals contain short and long term expectations.
  • I review my goals regularly to monitor my progress.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How Online Writers Make Money

If you are new to writing online you may find yourself navigating the various sites and wondering which one is the best to write for. That, of course, depends on you and your interests.

I often hear new writers ask which one makes the most money. Again that depends on you. But, we can address that later. Right now, the important thing for you to do is gain an understanding of your options for making money as an online writer.

Basically your options are: being paid for page impressions, which mean the site your write for pays you according to how many readers visit your work, by revenue from ads clicks, or outright payment. You may see terms like "unique visitors"--a fancy way to say that you won't be paid for every time aunt Betty visits if she chooses to read your article a 100 times a day, or Google Adsense and Google advertising programs--those little ads that show up beside your article.

My article The Top Five Ways Writers Make Money Online explains it all in more detail, so I won't repeat myself here. If you are serious about being a successful online writer and making money from your writing, this a good place to start.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On Selling Advice

Lately, I've noticed that writing blogs are a dime a dozen with anyone who has access to a computer and the Internet declaring themselves online writing experts who are ready and willing to "sell" you their advice. Some, of course, are excellent sources of information and their products may be a great investment.

But I want to caution you today to take the time to research the writer before parting with your cash. There is something inherently wrong when a writer claims to be making thousands of dollars off residual income from adsense--yet they want to charge you for the secrets of their success. If adsense is so successful for them, and they raking in more money that they can handle, why do they need your cash for an ebook or secret lessons?

Things to consider before paying for advice.
  • Writer's Reputation
    •  Check the links to their work.
    •  Do a Google search.
  •  Assess their Success
    • Make note of how long they have been writing online.
    • Look at their number of articles.
  • Determine what they are offering
    • Do they provide specific details?
    • Is the information readily available for free elsewhere?
There are many eager writers out there who want to take advantage of new writers, but who simply don't have the experience to back up their information.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Qualifies Me to Offer Advice?

You may be wondering who I am and what qualifies me to give you advice about writing online. If you were expecting to hear that I am a super writer who rakes in thousands of dollars in residual income from my writing each month--or that I have millions of page views and thousands of followers battling to be the first to read my writing--you will disappointed.

I'm not any of those things. I'm just a writer who writes for a living and has learned a few things along the way. Sure, I've received an award or two, and I've written a few articles that bring a steady stream of readers throughout the year, but that isn't what makes me qualified to offer you advice.

What qualifies me is that I am just like you. I know the path you travel, I know the questions you have and I know that the "successful ones" aren't always eager to share their real secrets with you. Their philosophy is that they had to work hard to learn the ropes and that you should too--or so they say. In truth, I think they are afraid that by sharing what they know, YOU just might become more successful than they are.

I'm not worried about you succeeding--in fact, I sincerely hope you do. I believe there are more than enough readers for all of us to succeed and enjoy a productive and fulfilling life as a writer.

That is exactly why I'm here--to share what I have learned, so you can concentrate on the important task of writing, instead of navigating the maze of online writing alone.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Looking Forward as a Writer

I know its a bit early to begin the talk of the New Years and setting writing goals. But, as I review my success and failures from the past year, my mind is focused on where I will go and what I will do in the coming year. I hope I have learned from my mistakes and grown as a writer over the course of the past year--but even more, I hope that I will grow and learn infinitely more in the upcoming year.

I've learned that writing isn't about stringing together words or finding those elusive high paying keywords. It isn't about my Google ranking. It isn't even about getting paid to do what I do best. Its more than that.

Writing is about finding the courage to announce to the world "I am here." Its about not worrying if the grammar Nazi locates my missing commas, or if the perennial expert who lurks in the shadows of cyberland would have said it differently or written a better introduction. Writing isn't about them. It's about me and its about you. It's about finding the courage to say, "Yes, this is who I am." and not worrying about who is better or worse at the craft.

With that in mind, I have set my first New Year's Resolution as a writer. I'll be honest. This is new for me. Typically, I follow where ever the wind may blow--seeking opportunities as they arise. But this year is different. I know where I want to go.

This year, I will seek out opportunities to write the things that are important to me. I will let go of the notion that to find success I must provide what others seek. I will embrace the knowledge that what I have to say is important--that is is valuable--and that there are others out there eager to hear what I have to say.

Won't you join me in my journey?