Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Fresh Opportunities For Writers

My thanks to all those who have already submitted articles. Some of the previous titles under mystery stories are still available.

Today, I am pleased to present some fresh Helium Marketplace opportunities. As before use the 'submit an article' link below each chosen category to take part. It would be great to see some more of our readers put forward.

Irreverent Downloadable Game Site needs 400-500 word reviews for online video games.

Darkside Arklight 2, Spandex Force, Caribbean Hideaway, Bloodties, Turbo Subs, and King Mania.

Original reviews must include a rating out of 5 and commentary on game play, graphics, creativity, innovation and sound. Free trials are available. Reviews are needed by 02/05/2008. Earn $20 per selected review.

Submit an article

Publisher: Project Parenting

Deadline: 02/15/08

$16 per selected article

400-600 words

Titles available:

Guide to baby cribs ∙ Car seat buying guide ∙ Best choices in diapers ∙ Timeless costumes for kids ∙ Guide to children’s bedroom furniture ∙ Must-have items for your child’s playroom ∙ The best bedding for your child ∙ Guide to stylish and functional diaper bags ∙ Outfitting your baby from head to toe ∙ Complete your crib with the right crib bedding

Submit an article

A Boston newspaper needs a 350 word article on the best spots to find pet treats in and around Boston. Focus on the top four spots in Boston to buy interesting and unique pet treats. Cover these topics: top-selling items, price range, and location. Selected articles pay $24 if submitted by 2/15.

Submit an article

A Boston newspaper needs a 350 word home buyer’s guide for first-time buyers in Boston. The guide should include quotes from a Boston-based realtor; tips to those who currently live in apartments/condos and want to buy their first home; dealing with the high cost of living in Boston; and what are some red flags to look out for. Submit by 02/15 and selected articles will earn $16.

Submit an article

Best of luck to everyone who takes part, I wish you all every success.

**** NEW TITLES JUST IN 02/01/08 CLICK HERE ****

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Tuesday, 29 January 2008

What Value 'Artificial' Traffic?

I confess to being no expert in search engine optimization but during my first few days of blogging I used a traffic exchange. You know the type of site; click on a few sites, earn credits and use them to have yours viewed in return. My theory was that at least having some activity couldn't hurt in terms of page rank and who knows maybe the odd visitor may be of value.

I no longer use these exchanges for my blog but continue to make use of one for a referral program I am involved in. It was whilst clicking for credit the other day when I was presented with a page from Associated Content. As most of you will know by now AC and Helium pay writers according to page views. My first thoughts were what an excellent idea this was but would this be considered acceptable conduct?

I scoured through the terms and conditions at both AC and Helium to see if there was any indication. Both sites state that driving traffic to articles by automated means such as spiders and auto refreshers are deemed a breach. Helium goes one step further in specifying that utilising 'pay to surf' sites is also unacceptable.

I would interpret this as the use of traffic exchanges would be taken a very dim view of by Helium but perhaps more acceptable to AC. If it is done in the form of an advert which has to be chosen I believe it is less likely to be an issue.

Of course some of these exchanges are better than others. I first used Trafficswarm which while I quite like the format I found would be more appropriately named were it to be called Traffictrickle. Having tried a few, I have found Clickthru to be the most effective for a relatively small investment of time. Whilst 'pro' upgrades are available most of these sites can be used for free

I will let you decide for yourselves as to their value and the morality of their usage. Comments as always are welcome.
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Sunday, 27 January 2008

Societal influences: Have We Lost Our Individuality?

Today's article is a favorite of mine, written by fellow Helium member, Elaina Wicks. As always your comments and feedback are both welcome and encouraged.

In a society driven by ranking, classifications and "status", it's a wonder that anyone could ever be completely content with him or herself. No sooner than we break our budgets to purchase the hottest new garb or "must-have" accessories, the trends have changed by dawn. We are littered by advertisements glamorizing "what's in" and are pressured by our peers to get with the times or else suffer the ridicule of the ever lurking "fashion police." "Oh no she didn't," they'll say, with their haughty smirks and giggles. God forbid; she didn't get the newsletter, comfort is out.

We spend our entire existence trying to find "ourselves;" all the while envying the characteristics or clothing or pricey possessions of everyone else. We go through ridiculous lengths to look like the girl next door and in the end; we find that even she is yesterday's news. Discomfort in our own skin, a tragedy. We pass this obsession onto our children, but do we really take a step back and look at the damage it is doing? We lead by example and are teaching our youth that if you want to be anyone in today's society, you must strive to be like someone else.

No one is perfect, no matter how hip or thin or wealthy they may be. Even super models have problems, they're dying for an extra slice of cheesecake. The irony of the statement, "the grass is greener on the other side," is that it is said from every perspective. You might envy your neighbors expensively lavish landscaping, but you'd be surprised how much they might long to have the stellar relationship you share with your partner.

It's spooky enough that science is making the possibility of human cloning a thing of the future. Let's slow down the pace a bit, focus on what feels right to us. Love ourselves and live life in a way that works for us, as individuals. Life's too short to wear it in someone else's shoes, even if they are Prada.

Anyone else who would like to become a featured writer please state your interest in the comments section. To see more of Elaina's work use the Helium link below.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Writers Wanted, Publishers Waiting

Today sees the first of what I hope will be a regular feature here at howtowritefortheweb. In conjunction with Helium Marketplace the following are real paid articles required immediately by publishers. Use the 'submit an article' link below the relevant details to take part. It would be great to see some of our readers chosen.

Publisher: Mystery Stories
Deadline: 02/07/08
Compensation: $50 per selected story
Word Count: 1,200 – 1,500

The following mysteries need short stories: Medical, Office, Housewife, Cowboy, Cowgirl, Murder, Porsche, Cocktail, Railroad, Current Events, and General mysteries. Mystery should include at least four suspects and four clues weaved into the story. Mystery and solution need to be included at the end; mysteries will be used in school and should be written at a sixth-grade reading level.

Submit an article

Publisher: Search Engine Doctor
Deadline: 1/30/08
Compensation: $40 per selected article
Word Count: 1000 words

Personal transformation: The extreme makeover guide

Write a 1000 word article that speaks about extreme makeovers. Answer the following questions: How does one achieve an extreme makeover? What are the key components of an extreme makeover? Focus on fashion, lifestyle, makeup and appearance and include the following keywords in the article: extreme, makeover, celebrity, girls, TV, show. Also include the keyword "games", but feature this term negatively. Use for POSITIVE inspiration and reference areas of this website with the keywords.

Submit an article

The Name Game

Find out the meaning behind these names: Caitlin, Caleb, Madeline, Logan, Sarah, Brayden, Lilly, Aiden, Ella, Caden, Brianna, Tyler, Mia, Connor, Jackson, and more…Write a 400 – 600 word article including the etymology, origin, history, fascinating facts, variations, popularity, etc. Write 1 or write 20 articles, and for every one chosen for publication, you will receive $20. Articles due by 01/30/08.

Submit an article

Auto Craze

Compensation – $16
Deadline – 1/29/08 EXTENDED FROM THE 1/22 PROMOTION
Word Count – 400-1,000

Car tips & Tricks:

How to choose an auto insurance broker
How to shop for online car insurance
Cheap car rental tips
Guide to kit cars
Guide to shopping for hot rods

Custom Cars & Accessories:

Guide to car CD players
Guide to shopping for radar detectors
How to build a car stereo
Guide to subwoofers for car stereos
Choosing the right truck bed liner

Parts, Performance & Repair:

A beginner’s guide to fuel injection
How your car transmission works
The easiest ways to find auto body parts
How to change your motor oil
How to change your spark plugs

Motorcycles & Recreational Vehicles:

Motorcycle racing 101
Best motorcycle gloves
Must-have motorcycle apparel
A day in the life of a NASCAR fan
Best recreational vehicles

Many more titles are available. Use the link for further information and to take part.

Submit an article

Additionally, Helium are running a contest in partnership with Pulitzer where writers have the opportunity to become a Pulitzer Journalist. For further information on this and to take part use the link below.

Submit an article

I hope that some of you will take part and wish you all the best of luck.
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Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Can You Trust The Honesty Of Online Dating Participants?

Today sees a return to writing. The following is the work of a friend and fellow writer, Helena Simpson. As always, your feedback and comments are both welcome and encouraged.

I have a better question- how much can you trust ANYONE- on-line, real life or otherwise?

Everyone can lie, or pretend to be someone they are not. But generally for the most part, people try to be as genuine as they can. After all, what is the point of being liked if you are not really that person? Who they really are will no doubt surface sooner or later, so there really is nothing to be gained from pretending, and anyone with a handful of working braincells will realize that.

Often people are more honest when not faced with an (often uncomfortable) face-to-face encounter, as they feel less threatened. Pictures are optional, so there is less immediate scrutiny, and their personality can be the first thing that can be judged, rather than what they look like. Of course, this is the ideal in real life, but due to human nature, most of us are incapable of refraining from being at least a little bit judgmental, despite what we would all like to believe.

I have made a great number of friends from random sites (some dating sites, others relating to my points of interest)on the Internet. I find them very genuine, not to mention nicer in person quite often. For two months I was in a healthy relationship with someone i met on-line, but due to the distance between us, problems in our lives and money issues, we decided to break it off. But honesty was never an issue. Be logical, not cynical about what you read, and take as many cautions with who you are talking to on-line as you are in the real world, and you will be fine.

What also should be taken into account is the fact people are also going to be thinking similar things to you...whether you are who you say you are, whether or not you have just entirely made up that list of supposed interests to make yourself look more interesting, or whether your skin really DOES have that gentle radiance your potentially photo-shopped pic says it does. All you can do is assume however honest you are is however honest everyone else is being- I know it is unlikely in at least 50% of cases...but if you want it to change, the best thing you can do is make sure that you are being completely honest before you judge if others are or not.

You can see more of Helena's work by using the link below. If anyone else would like their work featured please note it in the comments section and I will be in touch.
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Sunday, 20 January 2008

Utilising Social Networks

Following on from yesterday I am going to discuss promoting your work through social networking sites and making some extra money through referrals. Sites such as Myspace and Facebook have grown exponentially and are now a resource that cannot be ignored. Anything that gives you a visible presence on the web is valuable.

These sites are exactly as described. They give you the opportunity to establish a network with like-minded people. Your profile is your shop window and your chance to advertise. In most cases you are able to embed HTML codes and link to your own sites. Take advantage.

If you are publishing with Helium and/or Associated Content, link to your work. Helium also has a valuable referral reward system which pays you 5% of the earnings of anyone you refer. Use the social network's search facilities to look for amateur writers, communicate with them and refer them. It's very effective and easy to do.

There are many such networks all with unique opportunities to take advantage of. I joined an online dating community and went to the trouble of answering 500 questions. Why? Because it made me a featured user and gets my journal entries displayed on the homepage. Links are possible on journal pages and with 3-10,000 users online at any time it's great exposure.

The site which is really capturing my interest at the moment is Yuwie. A relatively new social network, it actually PAYS its users to utilise the site. It is totally free and is essentially the same as any other network but it gives back a portion of advertising revenue to reward its members. It is based on page views. Every time you view a profile, even your own, or add content or send a message it counts. Whenever someone views your profile or pics it also counts. This is exactly what you would do with Facebook only this one allows you to earn while your doing it.

Yuwie also pay you for referrals up to 10% and through 10 levels. I have been playing around with it and although it's a little heavy on the ads, I can see no other catch. Apart from the fact they pay you there is no significant difference to the other networks. It has approaching 500,000 members and is growing rapidly. I watched the membership grow by 2000 today. I strongly urge anyone to take advantage.

You can use the link below to check it out. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

ClickThru HotSpot!

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Saturday, 19 January 2008

Marketing Your Work

Don't just let it sit there! Yes, it will earn but it could perform so much better. Use every tool you can think and get it out there. Digg it, stumble it, reddit, blog it, make it visible. Tell your family, tell your friends and tell your colleagues.

I'm going to make some suggestions and I would appreciate it if anyone else can contribute their own ideas. I'm also assuming that you will all be publishing on both Helium and Associated Content as some tips work better with one than the other.

Communities such as digg are an excellent way to promote your work. You cannot, however, just put it out there and hope for the best. Your work will attract little if any attention. Take time to formulate relationships. Support those that you hope will support yourself. Whenever possible, don't just digg someone for the sake of it. Visit their sites, contribute and comment. Make your support stand out from the crowd. It's a lot of work but will pay dividends.

It is important to note that visitors from digg do not produce a residual income therefore direct them to your articles at AC rather than Helium as AC payments are based solely on page views. Alternatively, set up a blog and divert them there and encourage them to click through to Helium articles.

Yahoo answers is another very useful but limited tool. You will get a penny per view at Helium for visitors originating there. It is important that they actually view before answering so pique the interest but don't give too much away. For my 'definition of cheating' article I posed the simple question, 'Is she cheating?' For the description I added, "please look at this and tell me what you think" plus a link to the article. Sit back and watch the meter tick. I say it is limited because if you send too many links you will get an error message. Restrict it to once or twice a day and answer a few questions as you go.

I shall be discussing social networking sites in tomorrows post. I hope you find this useful, please leave comments and add your own ideas for the benefit of others.
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Friday, 18 January 2008

Understanding Royalty Payments

You have written a few articles, published on Helium, or AC, or both. Now it's time to sit back and watch the cash roll in, right? WRONG!

Both Helium and AC will produce an income on articles written even if you do nothing. You may even receive an upfront payment in some cases. High quality writers can do particularly well when producing work for publishers in Helium's Marketplace or contests. But, how do you generate income from royalties on other pieces?

Royalty payments are paid on every item not sold outright and will generate an income for life. The individual payments are small but the principle has huge potential. Obviously, the more work published you have, the greater the possible income. However, it is important not to compromise quality for quantity as poorly written work will not earn well, if at all.

In order to maximise earnings it is important to understand how royalties are generated. At Associated Content, payments are based on page views at a set rate, usually at the miserly rate of $0.0015. Helium pays better but the system is more complex.

Royalties from Helium are dependant on how well an article rates within its group and how popular the group is that your article is in. Subjects such as finance tend to pay better because of the advertisers these pages draw. Creative writing items are likely to do less well for the same reason.

When an article is accessed directly, a large part of the income goes to the author and a portion shared to other writers within the group with the highest rated articles receiving the biggest slice.

So, quantity, quality and popularity all play a part. Therefore, you should aim to produce high quality work in popular topics and build a good size portfolio over time. To be really successful however, you should not just allow them to sit there. To maximise income you must promote your work yourself and drive traffic to them.

It is also important to note that with Helium, where the traffic comes from is also a significant factor. I shall go into this and how to go about driving traffic to your articles in tomorrows post.

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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Where To Publish

There are many sites on the web where writers may publish their work. The two best known of these are Helium and Associated Content. Both pay royalties and in some cases upfront payments are available.

I much prefer Helium and it is here that I would recommend starting. Income is generated on a pay per view basis and is related topic and how well an article rates. The customer service is excellent and supportive its members.

There has never been a better time to start with helium as they are currently running a promotion whereby qualified writers are given an upfront payment for all articles in addition to royalty payments.

In addition to this, there are publishers featured on site requesting specific titles, often for quite lucrative sums. Many writers have also been offered regular work by publishers browsing the site.

Associated Content also sometimes make upfront payments available, however royalties are paid at a rate of only $0.0015. The author retains copyright with Helium and the same applies at AC, providing you submit as non-exclusive. I would recommend publishing at Helium first and then adding your work to AC at a later date.

Use the links below to visit the sites:

Join Associated Content
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Sunday, 13 January 2008

When You Love Two People At Once

Published my latest article today on Helium and I have to admit I'm not at all happy with it. However, it has been ranked 2nd in a group of 38 which I find pleasantly surprising. I am publishing it here in full and would welcome comments.

Albert Einstein, of all people, said, "If you can drive safely while kissing a beautiful girl, you are not giving the kiss the attention it deserves." The same can be said of love.

Of course, there are different forms of love but assuming we are discussing the romantic variety, is it possible to love two people at the same time? There are, obviously, some practical issues such as jealousy, which would make the likelihood of succeeding in maintaining such relationships, improbable. Aside from the impracticality, however, is it possible to feel the emotion of love for two different people concurrently?

Perhaps we should look at the origin of these feelings. If someone truly loves another, surely there is no need or benefit or even any will, to look for solace beyond the relationship. This is the special bond with another person with whom we are able and willing to share everything. Love, true love, consumes our soul. Developing feelings for another suggests an absence of a crucial component in the relationship.

Most commonly, where such a condition exists, the faltering element is sex related. Issues of this kind would not necessarily mean that love is not apparent between the couple but could possibly be grounds for either to feel the need to seek fulfillment elsewhere.

Open relationships, whereby one partner or both, participate in relations with others, are nearly always for additional sexual options and love only exists between the core couple. The only alternative to this is to enter into an arrangement without the knowledge of the other partner. This precludes love.

Love cannot exist without trust and intimacy. Having an affair or even harboring secret emotional ties to another, is not conducive to either. Romantic love is such a deep and concentrated emotion and as Einstein suggests, to not give it your devoted attention is to do it a disservice.

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Friday, 11 January 2008

Some Tips For Writing For The Web

Writing and publishing for the web requires different criteria to other platforms.

Points to note:

1. A web reader is more likely to scan an article rather than read it more thoroughly as they would with a magazine or newspaper article. Use shorter than average paragraphs of no more than two or three sentences. This will aid in maintaining concentration.

2. Try to incorporate 'buzz words' in an opening as this will increase the likelihood of your article featuring in search results. However, do not compromise quality in doing so.

3. White space is beautiful. An article that pleases the eye is more likely to please the mind.

4. Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Research and write articles that will attract an audience.

5. Seek feedback and take heed. Listen, learn and improve.

6. We all make mistakes. Use spellcheck.

7. The last sentence is almost as important as the first. A killer ending can give reason to forgive a whole multitude of preceding sins.

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Love At First Sight, Fact Or Fiction?

Love at first sight is, unfortunately, a myth. Love is far too complex an emotion to be decided with the eyes alone. Under any other circumstances, it would be considered socially unacceptable to make a judgment of another person based on what amounts to a brief glimpse of physical appearance........

This is the opening paragraph of my latest article, written today. It has been published and early indications are that it should perform well. I would welcome any and all feedback, follow the link below.

Any other writers/publishers are also welcome to post/link their work here and invite critique.
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Wednesday, 9 January 2008


I thought I would post my latest article here in full. I'm rather proud of it as it has achieved a first place ranking. Feedback would be welcome.

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are two very different things.

The definition of an alcoholic is someone who has a physical dependency to alcohol. Alcohol is always, by necessity, present in the bloodstream. Much the same as a smoker's need for nicotine, it is an addiction.

Alcoholics are rarely, if ever, sober. Alcohol is the first thing on their minds when they wake and having a nightcap is likely to be the last thing they do before retiring to bed in the evening. Drink rules their lives, they are a slave to it.

Alcohol abuse is another thing altogether. It is not necessary to have addiction to be a substance abuser. These people are not physically dependent on alcohol and often go days, weeks or even months without drinking.

The latest buzz term for alcohol abuse is 'binge drinking'. Binge drinkers are, most commonly, in their teens or twenties. They are usually known to go out once or twice a week on weekends and consume extraordinary and potentially lethal quantities of alcohol.

One of the most interesting and significant differentials between alcoholics and alcohol abusers is the social perception of them. Alcoholics are usually stigmatized; universally frowned upon and sneered at. Conversely, alcohol abusers are often encouraged, praised and sometimes even worshiped by their peers.

It is alcohol abusers, however, that fill the emergency rooms each weekend. It is estimated that 70-80% of all those treated during this period are alcohol abusers, or are in some way related to alcohol abuse.

Both alcoholism and alcohol abuse have serious health implications and can result in irreparable liver damage. Perhaps the most important difference between them, however, is this one: sooner or later alcohol abuse COULD potentially prove fatal whereas eventually, alcoholism WILL result in death.

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Tuesday, 8 January 2008


I wrote an article about what constitutes cheating within a relationship and I was pleased with it. I submitted it for publication and waited to see how it would be rated amongst other articles within a group of similar work.

A couple of days passed and its rating gradually settled into 22nd place of 127 articles in total. I know that's not bad but most of what I have submitted so far seems to have been better received and I was fond of this one.

I decided to look at it again. I concluded that I was happy with the content but that it was perhaps a little lazily written. So, I spent some time polishing it until I was satisfied, re-submitted it and asked specifically for some feedback.

I received some appraisal from a well established writer who was of the impression that the piece was of high calibre and even called it 'profound'. You can imagine my disappointment then to discover that the new improved version had risen to a lofty 21st place!

I would appreciate any and all feedback on this article, follow the link below:

Monday, 7 January 2008


Calling all writers, would-be writers and wannabes! How To Write For The Web is intended to be a place where any and all writers can come to share ideas, learn, promote and get critique.

This is the place to express your creative abilities and opinions. All contributors are welcome. Feel free to post your work and invite constructive criticism and leave comments and suggestions for others.

Links are most definitely welcome providing that they are for your own articles or work likely to be of specific interest to other members of the community.

Anyone looking to get started in writing/publishing may leave their details and if they wish, I will contact them directly.