Tag: blogging tips

Earn money online: Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them

There are a lot of side gigs/hustles that a person may earn money from. Countless! Bloggers, stay-at-home mums, students and even those who are fully employed can earn extra income from writing on websites that pay writers for articles. There are a lot of websites to write for out there but some of them offer low pay. In this article I have compiled websites that pay better than most in the market. If you are interested in writing, go ahead and check these ones out:

Earth Island Journal

Pay: They pay 25 cents/word for shorter pieces (1,200-1,500 words) and for longer investigative features (2,500-3,000 words). You can expect to earn about $750-$1000 for an in-depth feature story.

Topic interests: Environmental issues which include: wildlife and lands conservation, innovations in science and technology, public policy, climate and energy, animal rights, public health, environmental justice and cultural survival, related film, music, and books.

Guidelines: They want stories that will surprise, provoke, and entertain readers and that explore new territory overlooked by other publications.

A Fine Parent

Pay: $100 upon acceptance of an article, with an opportunity to earn a $200 bonus for the author of the most viewed blog post at the end of the year.

Topic interests: This positive parenting website focuses on a specific theme each month. A Fine Parent contains longer articles (typically 1,500-3,000 words), and focuses on quality content over quantity. Submissions open intermittently when the site creator announces the next few monthly themes and accepts outlines for potential articles.

Guidelines: A Fine Parent asks writers to include as many examples and personal anecdotes from their family and friends as possible, as well as links to authoritative references that support their points, with at least one of them pointing to a respected research study or published book.

The FreshBooks (invoicing site)

Pay: $200 a post and up. Be prepared to negotiate to get a better rate.

Guidelines: The ideal story length is 800-1200 words, they only accept original content and do not publish anything that’s been published elsewhere (including on your blog).They also do not accept sponsored or advertorial posts designed solely to promote your business.

Mirasee

Pay: $200 for 1,000-2,000-word posts on marketing, business productivity, and growth topics.

Topic interests:

  • Audience & Engagement – attracting, growing, engaging an audience i.e. list building, blogging, lead generation
  • Online Courses & Education – creating online courses, running a course, piloting a course, etc., specifically
  • Offer Creation – creating an offer, pricing, positioning, etc.

Cooking Detective

Pay: $120-$160, depending on depth of the topic covered Articles (2000+ Words): $75

Topics interests: Healthy recipes, nutrition tips, entertaining menus, fitness guides, buying guides, reviews of cooking courses and kitchen appliances.

Guidelines include that articles must be written following their approved steps, must be new, original and have not been published anywhere before, should have useful and quality content and should be well written and easy to understand.

getAbstract

Pay: reportedly pays $300 for longer (2,000-4,000 word) book summaries.


Sign up with getAbstract here.

Topic interests: Random

Guidelines are writers should:

  • Avoid the use of first person plural (we, us, our)
  • Rephrase – or quote, when appropriate – the original material in accordance with standard rules on plagiarism
  • Avoid long, complex sentences
  • Use active voice
  • Reach for evocative vocabulary, powerful expressions and a smooth style
  • Don’t use phrases such as “the author says…” or “getAbstract thinks”; instead, write as if you were the author. *(Taken from their website)

Christian Science Monitor

Pay: basic rate for a story is $250. Longer stories can pay appreciably more. Short stories or sidebars often pay half the basic rate.

Topic interest: International and national news, features about people making a difference, a Christian perspective on science, books, the new economy, and energy voices.

Guidelines: Every section has different requirements. Get in touch with the right editor and do not start writing before you have been approved and have a contract. Work from new writers is accepted on spec only.

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Upworthy

Pay: $150-$200 for 500-word posts.

Topic interest: Upworthy is open to unusual ideas that will resonate with millions of people, and they love to experiment. Positive news, social justice, original stories that support the mission of creating a better world.

Guidelines: Surprising , meaningful , visual  and shareable. Stories are generally short (usually less than 500 words)

ClearVoice

Pay: varies but in the range of $250-$400.

Guidelines: When you apply, you set the rates you’re willing to accept. The platform emails you when appropriate opportunities arise. Writing gigs are presented to multiple writers, and then the client chooses who they’ll work with. It’s not a bid site, fees are preset.

I know there are a lot of places where bloggers and writers are finding writing gigs. If you are one who has found other websites (paying ones of course!) that are not on this list, i would love to know them as well. Please leave a comment.

Tips for successful pitching

It is crucial that before you pitch to any of these sites, read and follow the guidelines carefully and study the posts they have already run. Practice a lot before write anything for submission. Make sure you either have a fresh topic or a new way of exploring an issue that has been covered before.

Please note that the list will be constantly updated as the writer does more research. Make sure you bookmark this post and come back for more.

 

©Sharon Chihaka Chanyau ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

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Crucial tips and tricks for blogging beginners

8 crucialBy Sharon Chihaka Chanyau

It’s an open secret that there are millions of blogs out there, but don’t let this worry you! When you are new to blogging, it can be a daunting task figuring out the best practices to follow,  how to start and keep going on. Don’t worry that is why I am here for, helping you through your baby steps until you can “walk” on your own. In this article I highlight some of the tips and trick that have helped me in my blogging journey.

Have ORIGINAL content

Seasoned and experienced bloggers do a keyword search and research on what other bloggers have written about on the topic they want to write on, or similar ones before they put words on paper. The main reason for this is to check out the competing bloggers while intending to grab the attention of their readers. It is always good to check out on what other bloggers in the same niche has written on a particular topic as it can widen your scope on the subject and who knows, you can get inspired! By choosing the right keywords, you can increase blog traffic and gain readers that can turn into loyal followers.

For blogging beginners, you can read experienced bloggers articles as a way of research, planning and preparing your blogs but PLEASE you absolutely should not copy their work verbatim at all. Why I am stressing on this is that, this may not only cheapen your blog but it can end in Google penalizing you for it. How?  You ask. The Google bot runs and gathers all of the information from all websites (yours included) and does its analysis on it. It will find your post and see it as a duplicate of someone’s work, this will result in your website suffering the consequences and your rankings will tumble. Plagiarism is not something that Google tolerates! Check out

Use Killer Titles

Take your blog post title like the cover of a magazine or a book. Normally book/magazine covers are designed for one purpose…to get you to open the book/magazine. These covers are catchy and attractive and the same should be true for a blog post. The greatest blog post in the world might not be read unless you have a compelling and catchy title. There is saying that goes like “first impressions count”, the headline of your post is the first impression to a reader. After you have done your keyword search and you have decided on a post you are going to write, remember it is very important to insert your keyword in the headline, so don’t forget to include it! Read more about how blog titles are important for your blog. How to boost traffic to your website

Remember Less is more

Chances of your audience reading through your entire content are high when blog posts are shorter, instructive and to the point. Only on a rare occasion is there a need to ramble on about an issue. Make sure you use short, clear sentence and paragraphs. Do not let your readers get lost in one long and complex paragraph which can be nicely put across in fewer words. Get rid of unnecessary words! Readers tend to scan through a page before they really read your content, and personally for me, long paragraphs are a biggest turn off. Breaking longer paragraphs of text into smaller chunks makes the post look less daunting to a reader.

Remember sometimes less is more when it comes to blogging. Rambling on and on may bore your readerTweet: Remember something less is more in blogging. Rambling on and on may bore your readers

Map out your way.

Most beginner bloggers who start blogging without any training start with a multi-topic niche blog. There is a saying that goes, “Jack of all trades, master of none”, for you to succeed in a particular field you have to set yourself and focus on one particular thing and become an expert. When you establish your niche, chances are you get loyal audiences and followers who love to know more about the topic that you write on. This grows your brand and makes you an authority and influencers in your niche. You are much more visible to companies for advertising campaigns. With a well difeined niche it becomes easier for you to choose and place yourself  in correct group boards on social media platforms.

Engage in the Blogging Community

Blogging communities are found on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. These platforms can help you in three ways.

  • They help you quickly boost your blog traffic. Create viral headlines. They always bring you instant traffic from social media sites.
  • Use social media sites to build connections with the influencers.
  • You can build your own tribe using your Facebook fan pages, groups or Twitter chats.

It does not matter what niche you choose, it is very important to be involved in a blogging community as there are so many benefits that come with it. Benefits include meeting and learning from your niche influencers, creating working relationships with other bloggers, finding collaborations with other bloggers etc. I have seen great things happen in blogging communities. For example, a travel blogger meets and collaborates with a photography blogger and they all work on one massive project, each one bringing in their expertize and ideas from their respective fields.

Focus on Building an Email List

Most bloggers make building an email list second priority. This is a huge mistake. An email list should be built and focused on way before you have start blogging. If you ask successful bloggers to share their biggest blogging mistake, most of them will say “I did not start list building from the first day.” Would it not be awesome to have 500 or more email subscribers waiting for and reading your very first blog post? Your email list can be built through your friends, family, Facebook and Twitter followers. You can incentivize signing in on the email list by offering a freebie or free eBook, printables etc.
Email marketing platforms that you can use to build your email list.

On another note: Building an email list is not enough for your blog on its own. You have to create engagement. You need to build trust. You have to find ways to sell your email list. That’s a story for another day. Watch this space!!

Do the Basics.

This is basically spell check, proofreading, checking out facts to make sure that your facts are true. A well presented, error free blog post is always a joy to your readers and followers. Read more about the the importance of doing the basics here: How to create great content for your blog

Don’t give up on blogging just yet

It is very common and frustrating to anyone to blog for several months and not see immediate results. You may get frustrated when your comments are at zero and the traffic is not what you thought it would be. You may think your hard work is not being recognized. Always remember what made you start blogging in the first place when you are thinking about quitting. Motivate yourself to continue and focus on the next step.

Blogging is quite enjoying and satisfying when you get the hang of. Like in every aspect of life, anticipate failure and have a counter plan for it. Be focused and resilient.

If you have any questions and contributions on this topic please leave a comment or contact me at schihaka@zoho.com. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Blogging!

©Sharon Chihaka Chanyau ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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3 things bloggers need to survive.

Three things bloggers need to survive.This post contains affiliate links and i may earn from them.

I have questions that I need you to answer as honestly as possible. As a blogger do you strive to dish out the best content to your readers? How much time do you spend on your site upgrading it and making it appealing to visitors?  Are you willing to break the bank and invest in your website? After you hit the publish button are you excited and looking forward to happy readers or are you nervous that the post will not really make a mark? As a blogger and entrepreneur, I have been in the game long enough to know that there are certain important aspects that need to be followed for survival and for a profitable journey. I will just mention the three most important things that have proven to be very vital in my blogging journey.

CONTENT

As a blogger strive to have blog content that is unique. Many might think that the only thing that matters in blogging is the content (the words that people read on the screen). Yes, strong, engaging and life changing  content is hugely important,  – but if your blog’s design shouts “unprofessional,”at first glance and your post looks hard to read, then visitors may not even get to the first line or peruse further. Often times, I have visited sites that look overrun by ads: one thing you should know is that it is  not only the blog design that suffers, but the overall visitor’s experience as well. If you add your banner make sure you do it in a way that it does not over shadow or get in the way of you content.

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Banners and links should be  put in such a way that they co-exist with your content instead of being distractions. I do not like cluttered sites and I bet you do not either. You may not know what makes a cluttered site, but your readers and customers know when they are trying to navigate one. I have met with flashing ads that give  headache, loads of links with ambiguous titles, all on one page!. Your audience would sooner go to another writer’s site that make site navigating a good experience and that does not give him a headache!

TIME

Blogging is such a wonderful yet complex experience and vicious circle. The more time you put into your blog, the more successful it becomes. The more successful your blog becomes, the more it demands of your time. Interesting isnt it?

Here you are, you have done everything right.

Check List

  • Grown your email list.
  • Networked on many bloggers platforms
  • Promoted on all social media
  • Probably were fortunate to guest blog on some awesome websites and you are rocking it.
  • Responded to every single blog comment.
  • Did every other thing on your secret list to make your blog successful.

Everything is going great but it’s OVERWHELMING. You can’t handle the pressure anymore.  Time, which was never on your side in the first place, begins to mock you, it is just not on your side . As your   influence in your niche and blog grows, it may feel as though you have 80 hours of work to do and only have a few hours to work on it. You have to keep up with hundreds of comments, come up with new juicy content, promote, live a life, do other side hustles and at the same time stay sane. The day is only 24 hrs!

Before it was easy to respond to only a handful of comments but now you are faced with comments and emails that are streaming in from all corners of social media and mailing services. As your blog grows and you have more demands of your time, it’s imperative you use that time the most efficient way possible. You can no longer afford the pleasure of being disorganized. For more tips on time management check out.. 6 Time management tips for bloggers

MONEY

This one is a bit personal for me. I am still on the Personal WordPress package for I am still deciding on whether I should go full time and monetize my blog or not. I know some bloggers, I included, hate the idea of spending money on advertising. It’s a real shame and disadvantage on our part. Just think of it this way, how many competitors are there, that are doing better than you in your niche?   A lot, right? Well, one way to improve your authority is to devote a little bit of money promoting your work to a targeted group of people who are likely to be interested in your work. In my ongoing research I have noticed, much to my delight, that sponsored posts and advertising on Facebook and other social media is relatively cheap and very effective.

Here is where you can spend money on your blog

  • Good Web Hosting example include Dreamhost , Hostgator, Siteground etc
  • Buying traffic through advertisements (Social Media)
  • SEO
  • Good Branding
  • Hire a freelance writer to guest post on your blog, creating targeted backlinks for you.
  • Premium themes and Plugins.

Most bloggers work from home and need a comfortable and convenient place to work from so you can invest on home office equipment too.

There are various pros and cons to working at home but here are guides to help you get through it. Tips to work from home

While we’ve all heard that “it takes money to make money”… the more accurate way of saying this in terms of your online business, is that “it takes money to be taken seriously online.” Ryan Biddulph

What I have learnt so far

  • It takes money to make money *this applies to all aspects of business whether online or offline
  • Blogging can be a very lucrative business if done well. That is why you need proper preparation and goals0
  • If your goal is to take your blog and business to greater levels you need to invest more time, more effort and indeed more money.

I am learning every day and will update the list as the knowledge comes.

Let me know your own thoughts, experiences and other things that helps bloggers survive in this blogging world.

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©Sharon Chihaka Chanyau ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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6 Time management tips for bloggers

6 time managementBlogging is one way that you can generate passive income from. It can also help you generate more referrals for your projects and business. It may seem like an easy way of earning money, at least for some it is but getting to point where everything is smooth sailing can be a very hard way. One of the hardest things about blogging is finding the time to practically put pen to paper. In this article I will cover time management tips. Hopefully they will help you and other bloggers find the time to blog even when you are also on a full-time job. If you have been finding it difficult to balance your time in blogging then this article is for you.

Set specific goals for your blog

Having specific goals as you approach your blog each day or week helps you cut out unnecessary things that will not help you achieve what you want. It helps to write out a number of goals for your blog for the month/year and keep them at hand from where you work from. I have made my goals as a wallpaper for my phone! Refer to them often. It can also help to make your goals public, in order to help put some pressure on you. I always share my goals with my Husband and children. (My seven y.o is very good at reminding you of what you have said). It is always good to start small, make sure your goals are attainable and will not leave you burnt out for the whole year.  Goals are a huge motivation to doing something. Work progressively, step by step and as you attain that goal set another one.

Create an editorial calendar

Do a brainstorming session where you come up with a list of blog post topics that you would want to work on. From your brainstorming session, transfer your topic ideas to days you will publish your blog articles and plug those topics into an editorial calendar. This will help you determine what day you will publish a specific blog post. The calendar helps you when to write your blog post and what topic exactly you are to write about. You can also add other bits and pieces to your editorial calendar, such as keywords, an outline for your blog post. Editorial calendars come in various formats, you can choose a wall/ desk calendar or Google calendar. Choose the one which works best for you and your style of work.

Limit social media

We all know that having a blog isn’t just about the writing. After writing we PROMOTE our content. It is very important to promote your blog and normally bloggers do that by networking through social media. Social media is good but it can swiftly waste all of your time. Spending too much time on social media can leave you all hyped up, feeling like you have accomplished a lot with hardly any work done. I can work more effectively and come out with good and well researched content when I limit my time on social media. It’s very hard, but I think we can do it. Good, well placed comments and encouragements may come via the mediums you have used but do not get caught up glitz and glamour of social media! When I started blogging and promoting my content I got carried out away by the traffic and feedback I was getting that I spent time monitoring my stats and the comments. It’s important to interact with your readers but set a time in a day for that.

Schedule and stay organized.

Scheduling is setting up your posts to automatically post to Twitter, Facebook, and wherever else you want. I have noticed that, in terms of readership numbers, the more you publish posts the more your readership will grow. This however should not force you to do hurried and low quality posts. Yes, frequently give new and exciting posts to your readers. Scheduling your posts can be helpful on this one.

What has helped me to schedule my posts:

I use

  • Hootsuite to schedule my twitter status update.
  • Facebook to schedule my Facebook posts.
  • Tailwind to schedule Pinterest and Instagram

There are other apps like  scheduler

Also, remember you can schedule for today, tomorrow, next week and even for the whole month.  Please, please go right ahead and schedule a few posts over the next several months and do not forget to come back and thank me.

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Use a timer.

 A timer has helped me a lot and I have grown to love my timer! I use it to keep myself on track when I need to get specific things done. I set my time for every task I have to do on a day. I set a timer every morning to check email. I have loads of mail coming in so I give myself  45 minutes to deal with them, then I check my mail every 2hours for 5 minutes. It will be very helpful to use your timer when you are on social media so that you do not get carried away . For example on a day that promoting your content on social media is not high on the priority list. Set aside 10 minutes for every hour and a half to check posts that needs your attention and replies.

Focus on one task at a time

As women we pride ourselves in our ability to multi task. I recommend that you put our focus on thing until completion. It is good to jot down your ideas as they come, even if they are for another post scheduled to release in a month. When it comes to blogging, whilst it is good to have a few outlines on various post, when it comes to completion, work on one, polish it and finish it. By putting half the amount of effort on two tasks, put 100% of your effort into one, this will help you dish out good blog post.

Extra thought: Think of blogging as making a family meal plan. You plan your menus in advance, making sure you have the right food items in your kitchen, it will be much easier to plan and prepare fo meals. The same is true for blogging: plan and you will be able to serve up a blog post that will satisfy your readers — all while saving you valuable time.

I would also like to know how you manage your time as a blogger. Please get in touch!

________________________________________________________________

©Sharon Chihaka Chanyau ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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How to boost traffic to your website

Picture: Simple ways to drive traffic to your blogA lot of people when you talk about how to drive traffic to a website or blog think mostly of on-page SEO techniques and Google Analytics. Well, these are all very important aspects, but much take time to learn and master. How about for beginners and for new bloggers who are just starting?  Don’t get me wrong, SEO is not dead. Optimizing your content for search engines is still a valuable and useful practice.  You should always make the most of image alt text, create internal links to new content and use meta descriptions.

However, it is important that you know how to grow the traffic that is coming to your website, and not rely entirely on search engine optimization. Otherwise, if your primary traffic source fails you, it could be a disastrous end for your business. To formulate great content for your blog please read this: How to create great content for your blog

Want to know 20 ways to make money online?  click here

In this post, we’re going to take a look at how you can increase web site and blog post traffic without having to rely only on SEO. You may be already doing some of the techniques already but I urge you to brace yourself for what’s coming.

Go social!   facebook 1.pngtwitter

Advertising and content promotion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other networks is relatively cheap. These social platforms also allow you to segment down by demographics or target by keywords so that you reach your ideal audience. Some other people have started Facebook groups that drive traffic to their sites. This is where they target a niche-specific group where members get support and also the privileges of networking with their colleagues. The trick here is mainly pointing back members to your site’s content thus improving your traffic.

Create and promote boards and pins on Pinterest

Pinterest is one strong domain that you can use to boost traffic to your blog. Carefully created Pinterest boards can rank very well but you need to promote the content, you cannot just create content and expect it to flourish and drive traffic to your blog. Conduct a typical keyword research for your website, then take some of those keywords and target them on Pinterest. Another successful tip is to link your other online resources (website, Instagram, etc.) to get your pins and boards indexed faster. Rankings are influenced by engagement stronger than ever before, so use some budget to promote pins on Pinterest to your target audience.

Here are 10 easy ways to make 10k per month.

Submit your blog posts to StumbleUpon – This works wonders!

Engage Google+

Content shared through Google+ often ranks in regular search results, available to everyone who uses the web, regardless of their social affiliations. What people should know is content shared on social platforms like Facebook and twitter basically stays there. Shocking, right? Your network will only access that information when they are looking at Facebook and Twitter. On the other hand, when you share content on Google+, your network can see it every time they search Google. Take time out to expand your Google+ network and share good content at regular times.

Join a blogging community

Becoming member of blogging communities like Stackstreet ,ProBlogger and CopyBlogger is a great way to network with other bloggers, and to cross-promote each other’s content. Other bloggers network sites include

Use them!

Build and maintain relationships with others in your niche

This always works out!! Building and maintaining personal relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your niche will often result in organic inbound links. You can also benefit from traffic referred to your site by other bloggers.

Write and accept guest Posts

Guest posting is not just about receiving backlinks. It is also a great opportunity to target new audience, increase subscribers, and grow your online audience. You can also use it to build relationships with other niche influencers. Accepting guest posts brings more traffic and popularity for your blog; you will be able to put out decent amount of posts on your blog in the form of guest posts on regular basis. This in turn can help with getting more pages from your blog indexed by the search engines.

The more pages indexed in search engines, the more traffic and popularity for your blog. Many people will be able to know about your blog when they find your blog in search engine results for their searched terms. Guest bloggers are automatically removed from the direct competitors’ list. A guest blogger has invested in your blog and will promote the content that they have produced, which also gets you in front of their own audience.

Create a Better Content Marketing Strategy

This right here is where many people and business alike miss it. They either don’t have a content marketing strategy, or if they do they do not have a proper one. You can try utilising all the SEO hacks, but without a solid content marketing strategy, you’ll be playing with your time. Your content marketing strategy is your “why” guideline. Why you are creating the content, who you are creating it for, and how you will make their lives better in a way no one else can.

 Internal Linking (important!)

What is it?  An internal link connects one page of a website to a different page on the same website. In an internal link, the source domain and target domain are the same. This can mean you’re adding links from one blog post to older posts or from certain pages to other pages. These types of links are useful because they keep your readers navigating your website and help improve the search rank of the pages you link to. Internal linking strengthens the overall search-optimized value of a website. Inner linking provides clear website navigation paths and prolonged sessions for users.

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Make Sure Your Site is Responsive and is fast

In April, 2015 Google officially claimed that responsive design will affect search rankings on mobile devices. Responsive design is a web design and development technique that creates a site or system that reacts to the size of a user’s screen. Today, more people than ever before are using mobile devices to access the web on the go and most users do not want to use webpages that take minutes to load. An unresponsive site is one good way of telling your visitors to go away. If your site takes forever to load, your bounce rate will be sky high. Ensure that your website is accessible and comfortably viewable across a range of devices, including smaller smartphones. Make sure that your pages are as technically optimized as possible, including image file sizes, page structure and the functionality of third-party plugins.

 


Up next :   Boosting blog traffic via social media

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