Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Newest Page is About a Very Sad Story

There was a tragic fire in a warehouse in New Orleans, which killed 8 young people who were travelers, musicians, and artists. The press is doing all kinds of crazy inaccurate s%!t with the story, in many cases depicting the young people who died as homeless vagrants when each of them was a valued member of their community in their own way. If you'd like to know more about it, or have information you think I should add, please have a look at this page:


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I made some updates.... and on some other sites I write on. Take a look particularly at the Squidoo lens I've been putting together about making money online with writing, I think it's becoming a good resource full of information. Feel free to make suggestions!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Yup, I'm doing really well with Squidoo, really quickly!

Yesterday, I made level 42 as a lensmaster, and I've only been working on this site for about a month. Lot's of people who have been around for a several years haven't made it that far. It's working for me because I'm creating a lot of pages very quickly, and using the knowledge I've gained blogging and submitting articles and pages to other places.

Here's a list of a few of the lenses I've been working on, please go have a look and let me know what you think! :-).  

( Or, if you'd like to join and create your own pages, JOIN SQUIDOO HERE
( If your write on AC and would like some ideas on how to integrate the two, read this article.)


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Want to Write about Weird Stuff and Get Paid? A Submissions Call for the Bizarre, Strange, and Funny.....

If that sounds like you, you just might like "Weird Worm". It's a site I ran across today that accepts articles from online contributors, and pays a flat $15 fee per article. I haven't experimented with it to find out all the ins and outs of submitting myself to the weird and bizarre...ahem.... but you can be sure I'll try. :D

Check out the morning find here:
Weird Worm

Submit Content to Weird Worm


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Squidoo Updates and "Writers Make a Difference" Challenge

I've now been experimenting with Squidoo Lenses for just long enough to figure out how to put a few together. I'm having a lot of fun with it. I like the interface and the things you can do with it. On a level of profitability, I have no idea yet- other than my own research says that other writers are making money with it in several ways. If you want to join Squidoo yourself and try it out, click HERE.

If you want to see what you can do with Squidoo lenses first, check out this new one about a writing challenge you might enjoy participating in:

Writers Make A Difference Challenge

Or, if you'd rather go shopping, have a look at some great Holiday gift ideas:

Holiday Gifts for Musicians

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Schedule "Writing Maintenance Day" to Promote Your Blogs, Artices, and other Online Writing.

Organize Your Writing Projects 

As you begin working on multiple writing projects, it's easy to loose track of what all you are doing well. There are many different ways to organize your work, and starting to use Google Documents and Google Notebook. I really like the features of Notebook and am still using it, but unfortunately they are no longer working on it or accepting new sign ups. I'll look for a similar free online service to suggest here later. With documents or an online notebook you can organize what you're doing in a fashion that you can access online from anywhere, and share easily. It's also useful as a way to preserve your work, just in case your personal computer fails or you have to move suddenly. Life throws us many curve balls- and backing your work up online may help preserve your writing.

Schedule time to Promote Your Articles and Blogs

If you have online blogs or post articles online, you should work towards making it easy for interested people to find the material they're looking for. Regularly make sure your new articles and more important blog posts are indexed as pages on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. ( Links to these and several others are in the right side bar of this page ). There are also many other ways to promote your writing. Post links to it on Facebook and encourage your friends to read and comment. Many people also use Myspace, Live Journal, Gather, and other social networks. Social networking can really help promote your articles and blogs, but only if you are involved. More people are likely to find your articles and blogs if you are also reading what other people post and commenting on some of it. Community spirit drives a lot of mutual appreciation and recognition. You can also use Stumble upon, Linked In, Shooving, and other places that allow you to share pages and links with a wide audience of readers.

It will probably be very useful to keep a swipe file, make time for free writing, and at least once a week do some "Writing Maintenance" in terms of promoting your content.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Most Recent Published Articles by Nicolette Stevens

As though I could actually keep track of how much I'm writing these days, LOL. My general approach to writing all kinds of articles right now is one of both pleasure and practicality. I enjoy writing, and right now I have some real time that it makes sense to devoting to honing that craft. Much of what I'm doing right now is really something like practice, for more serious projects I'd like to get into in the future. Still, I'm in a position where making money, any money, is a really good thing.

Sometimes the articles I write actually pay "decent money" these days, but a lot of those assignments are hit and miss and involve a kind of luck in networking. Someone sees what I am doing elsewhere, has a need, and a short term business arrangement is made that's usually pleasing to both parties.  Other articles, essays, blogs, and things I write either generate no money, or something small. Then again, every bit counts in this economy. There's nothing like the sheer joy I feel when I get paid for writing. Every time, even if it's just some small amount, I feel like dancing in my living room. Possibly in my pajamas, and in fuzzy slippers, while drinking coffee and typing and making money at the same time. ( Well, okay, I don't actually own fuzzy slippers or wear pajamas, but you get the idea ).

Here are links to a few recient projects:

Coco Robicheaux - New Orleans Blues Legend    ( AC Article ) 

Fun Things to Do For Halloween in Seattle ( AC Article )

Free Charity Cars- Pictures of the Car I Was Awarded    ( AC Slide Show )

Make Money Online With Writing ( Squidoo Lens ) 

Gas Works Park : One of the Best Parks to Visit in Seattle   ( A Hub on Hub Pages ) 

Creative Writing Techniques - The Basics and Benefits of Free writing    ( Helium Article )

How to Use Swagbucks to Win Cash, Gift Cards, and Other Prizes   ( AC Article )

Defining Self-Integrity  ( AC Article ) 

Useful Free Software - Free WinZip Alternative - jZip

My win zip evaluation expired, and I needed to open a zip file, so I started searching for an alternative. I don't usually promote stuff, but jZip is free and just bailed me out in the middle of a project. It worked better than win zip. Not only did it open and extract some files I need right now, but I discovered that for some reason it will open this folder of tracks from an audio book I've really been wanting to listen to again which didn't open with Win Zip. Goes on the list of useful tools and programs that are free for everyone. Check it out here:


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Squido Lens Updates

I made a bunch of updates to my squido - make money with online writing lens today. Squido is another great way to promote and share your writing, as well as make a little money.

What's Squidoo? You can create 'lenses'  focusing on a topic of interest which can be about anything you have experience with. On Squidoo you can share your knowledge by publishing collections of links and material that relate to your topic, and earn money from it. If you write elsewhere, you can also use your squido lenses as another way to promote your work elsewhere. The Internet is an enormous place, people are more likely to find you with sign posts.

Better yet, follow this link to join Squidoo yourself and try it. Like the other projects, it may take some time to really start earning money, but it is one of the places your content can earn you actual money.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Increasing Page Views

There are many different ways to widen the audience of the people who read your writing. One way is to be involved in many different social networks, and cross post about similar interests. If you write articles on AC, Hub Pages, or other places this may give you opportunities to share you thoughts with a wider range of people. When making a post in a community about a topic you've written an article about, always include a link.

Regardless of where your work is seen, some articles or posts will get more interest than others. Some of that has to do with how your work shows up in a search engine, and many factors such as good use of keywords may play in. Other factors such as the popularity of a topic will play in.

Here's a good example. I wrote a couple of silly little articles about Halloween related topics a few weeks ago. I put some time into sharing good ideas, but I can't say that either piece was very weighty. Both received about five hundred page views within a day! One reason may be that it was the right time of year for people to be interested in articles about Halloween.

The first article was about "Fun Things to do for Halloween in Seattle" . I didn't expect it at first, but sometimes I get a lot of views when I write an article that is based on a certain locality. In the article I included more unique ideas as well as standard ones. For instance, Seattle has a number of great Ghost Tours- which would be a fun and spooky activity for a group of people at this time of year.

The second article I wrote had even more views than the first, and was about "Cool Ideas for Halloween Costumes with Thrift Store Finds" .  If you have a look you'll note that I included lots of different types of costume ideas. Including an array of related topics that fit key words and concepts may draw more viewers. "Halloween", "Costume Ideas", "Pirate Costume", "Greek Goddess Costume", "Costumes for Kids", and "Costumes for Adults" could all apply as keywords. An underlying concept that may draw more attention is the opportunity to still have fun, but do it on the cheap. In this economy many people are struggling to take care of basic needs, and may not have much money for things like entertainment. Those people effected will all be looking for less expensive ways to celebrate than they may have in other years.

Paying attention to these simple things made the difference between 50 page views over time and 500 page views in a day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Juggling with 3 balls for Writers: Helium vs Associated Content vs Hub Pages

One topic I'm getting into a lot in this blogs is different online venues that allow writers to post and promote their own work with the potential of making money. Again, each of these places do things a little differently. On Associated Content you have several publication options, which includes upfront payment under some circumstances. On Hub Pages, the writer's earnings come entirely from ad revenue, and to make a little money you will have to sign up for those different services and activate them on your Hub pages account after you have posted several good hubs. AC is more journalistic, but hub pages can also get a lot of traffic and has a fun and artistically appealing interface for creating your 'Hubs'. Helium is another website that allows people who like to write to earn money from sharing their work.

It is possible to write for all three of these places, and several others, at the same time. It should be noted that to do it well you're not going to be able to focus on three or more at once unless you have time to treat it like a full time job. Over time, if you experiment with several and link some of your work together, you will up your traffic and earn more. If you are not already doing this and want to try one to begin with, I'd suggest that you join Associated Content first , look through the notes here, and then start experimenting with the other options. There are a lot of options, but AC is one good place you can start that I can verify payment from.

Creating Hub Pages

Since I'm experimenting with multiple online venues for writing, I finally posted to hub pages. I've researched a lot about Associated Content, Hub Pages, Helium, AmTurk, ODesk, and a lot of other places writers can submit their content to and potentially earn money. Each of those spots have different arrangements, and I've heard positive and negative reports on all of them. I think the best way to know is to try them all.

One thing I like about the interface hub pages uses is the capsule form of adding photos, text, videos, links and related information. They don't offer the same up front payment options that Associated Content does, but quite a few writers swear that it works well for them. To see the difference between what a hub page with pictures and what an AC article with pictures looks like, check out these two examples I put together.

Hub Page: Gas Works Park is One of the Best Parks to Visit in Seattle

Associated Content: Beautiful Places Near Seattle: Mt. Si and Mt. Terriniffe

Any thoughts on what you like more or less about the look and feel of each?

777 Words on Free Writing

It's easy to underestimate the usefulness of free writing, once you get to the point that you are working on all kinds of 'official' or 'professional' writing projects. I've been doing free writing since I was a kid, which I think I started doing when I was about 9 and my third grade teacher did a creative writing project with the kids. I was already writing on my own, and had figured out that you could string pretty words together to make poetry.

Free writing is something that even a child can do, but many adult writers seem confused about what it is or how you do it. It's not unlike meditation in it's simplicity, and simultaneous difficulty. You just sit down and write, that's all.  Write about what? Whatever you want. You can do it in journal style and simply talk about your day and what you're doing, feeling, or thinking about. You can also pick a specific topic and write about it for a certain period of time, or a certain number of pages.

This for example is actually free writing on free writing. I'm simply typing away at my thoughts about free writing,  and how it can be very useful to the writing process at any level. I can share examples from my childhood, when I was developing early writing skills. I can also describe how freewriting is useful at a more professional level.

Taking a little time every day to just sit and write about whatever comes to mind can help clear out intellectual and emotional cob webs. If you really let yourself go with it in a journal style, it can help you to see what's going on inside of your mental landscape on a subconscious level. In this, it can be very therapeutic. It can also help you to "catch thoughts" which may turn out to be useful starting points for articles; essays, blog entries, term papers, class exercises, stories, songs, poetry, and whatever else you happen to like creating.

If you also do the same kind of thing based on a specific topic or concept it can help you to create a lot of raw material quickly. You don't have to feel intimidated by it, because all you are doing is babbling at the page. You can go back through it later, read it, analyze it, see if there is anything useful in it. With specific topics it will help you to see your own level of knowledge and experience, as well as where you need to do further research or work. You can get a lot of phrases and paragraphs that may work for a more well crafted article or paper, if you give yourself the time to do this. Like meditation, the more frequently you do it, the easier it will become, and the more apparent the benefits of the exercise. 

Whether you are free writing in a very free journal style, or with specific topics in mind, there are a few techniques you may find useful. Try to write without stopping for the most part. I mean, take a breath, or have a sip of coffee or a cigarette when you need- your creature comforts whatever they may be will help you relax into the right frame of mind. The point however is to keep writing, and rapidly, without a lot of self-editing as yo do. Editing your work may be a very important part of the process, but so is freeing your mind.

You may find it useful to create a personal ritual around your own free writing. That can be anything that helps establish the pattern and trigger your mind. For one person that might mean that they do three pages of writing after they have their morning coffee, before they do anything else. For another it might mean that they always do it in the same room, and light incense and a candle to symbolize inspiration. Someone else might choose to take a journal into the woods for an afternoon walk every day. However you do it, you will find that it helps to get the creative juices flowing.

Some people like to discipline themselves to a certain amount of time, or a certain number of pages or words. Online, 750 Words (link) has me actually doing it myself again. It's like meditation; you will fall off the wagon, realize it was better when you were practicing regularly, and get back on the wagon. Most people who get into free writing find it useful for all kinds of applications, and they go in cycles with it but still find it a useful lifelong practice.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More Toys for Writers... Type Trigger :-)

Ooh, this looks fun too. Type trigger posts a 'trigger' every few hours, encouraging you to write up to 300 words from the suggestion. It can be a story, an essay, poetry, or whatever you want. It's something like communal free writing. The same trigger is available to all the other creative folks using the site at the same time. You can see things that other people are posting on the current trigger as well as previous triggers. It's really entertaining to see how one person will take the word "vacuum" and write about space, and another person will write a poem about how the dog is scared of the vacuum cleaner. ;-)~

Go to the page, hit the join button and request an invite. You'll get a link by email probably later the same night, like I did. This could be fun, and could be a good place to check into whenever you need a little inspiration.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Toys for Writer's....750 Words

Okay, this is cool, you should try it. The basic idea is that you use 750 words to do some regular free writing, and when you do it will break it down into algorithms that tell you things about what you were feeling and thinking. I'll babble more about it later, but I'm in the middle of writing another 750 words ;-)~

Check it out here:

750 Words

Swipe File Project

* in progress for a page to be added, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. :D
Swipe File
Ideas for Articles and Collections of Essays

Interesting Quotes

Possible Topics


---Slit experiment- both possibilities a reality /2 slits/ with observer 1 then other.
---Quantum Physics
---What is reality?
---Objective Philosophy
---Subjective Reality
---String Theory
---Nikola Tesla

--- Tips for college students,  how to pick the right classes; make the most of college life, cook on a budget with leftovers, why take philosophy, etc.

Pychological Concepts
---How to develop self discipline
---Fritz Pearls/ Gestalt Therapy

--- How to look for poetic inspiration

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Using Shvoong to Promote Your Work and Share Thier Profit

Shvoong is another way to promote your blogs, articles, and other content on the web. Shvoong allows users to post reviews of Books, Movies, Newspapers, Websites, Articles and other media. Do some searches and you will find all kinds of useful reviews and summaries from folks that enjoy using this site.

It's a bit of a double opportunity for you writers out there. Shooving is another place you can promote your own articles and other writing, by doing a review and posting it with links on the Shooving website. Interested people that read your reviews may be lead back to your websites, blogs, articles and whatever you share. It's a good place to find information on things you're interested in, and a way to share all kinds of fun ideas with others.

Shvoong makes it's money from advertising revenue, with adds placed variously on their review pages. They share a portion of the revenue with the writers who post summaries and reviews. Over time, based on the traffic your entries pull, you will also earn a small amount from shvoong.

Click Here to Check Shooving Out :-)

Back Up Your Writing : A Repeated Learning Experience

This morning's reminder is to back up what you write, submit and post- at least if it's something you might want to see again.

My example today comes from a much earlier post, where I talked about travel writing on a website and community called Ruba. It was a pretty neat idea, a social interface that allowed people to join and share travel photo's and tips, creating their own guides to favorite places in various cities. I remembered posting a lot of cool stuff there when I came across the post I mentioned it in here,and went back to that site to have another look. Instead of finding my profile, I found a note from the creators of that site that they've moved on to bigger and better things.

The site was so well put together that I thought it would be around for a while. Whoops! Oh, well. It's not like I don't remember all the places I wrote about, or couldn't put my own similar guides together without the use of a site like that- in fact, some of my articles on Associated Content are travel guides about fun things to do in some of the cool places I like.

But it does remind me to keep copies of everything I submit anywhere that could in some fashion be useful later. It's why I have a 'hidden' blog, where I keep copies of submitted articles, so I can go back and use the information in them for further research. It is also one more way to prove authorship, a time stamped record.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Get Paid to Write: Examples of Articles that Pay

A few days ago I submitted four more articles to Associated Content, all of which were accepted for upfront payment. They paid slightly higher than some of the previous articles I submitted, so I must be doing something right. I focused on things of local interest, useful information, and tips. The article I added photography to made the most, which is another thing to take into account. One thing I had to remind myself to do was convert my resource links to properly hyper-linked text, but that's fairly easy to do within the AC text editor.

Check out these three articles as examples of some that have been accepted for up front as well as performance payents:

Fun things to do Near the Space Needle

Ten Tips for Traveling by Bus

Beautiful Places to Visit Near Seattle: Mt Si and Mt. Teriniffe

Friday, October 8, 2010

Swagbucks Update

I suggested in a post somewhere earlier that it might be useful to use swag bucks as a search engine while doing research for articles. I find a lot of interesting bits of information through their search engine along with several others, and whenever I use their service I get points towards various prizes. Now I'm actually starting to redeem those points and wanted to post proof. Here's a screen shot of my account on, after redeeming a $25 gift certificate I got from swag bucks.

If you haven't already tried it,swagbucks is worth joining!

Search & Win

Adding Slide Shows to Your AC Content

People like pictures, and often articles with pictures or slide shows on a theme get more hits than text based articles alone. If you are using Associated Content as a platform to share your writing, you can add slide shows made up of your own photography.

Here are some examples of slide shows I've put together. :-) :

Traveling by Bus
Civil War Reenactment
Greenfield Village Train Ride
Henry Ford Museum Exhibits

It can be useful to create slide shows related to things you write about, because you can inter-link them all. For instance, I've been writing a few articles about things to do in Seattle. If I were to go out to places I've referenced in some of those articles and snap pictures, it could make the presentation more dynamic through the use of photography. You don't have to be anything like an expert photographer to make this work, all you really need is a digital camera and a laptop. :-)