Monday, April 21, 2014

How I make money online, and how you can, too.

In 2007, I discovered the paid writing game. I had just turned 18, and I was fascinated by the idea of working from home. From that day forward, I worked hard, tapping away on my keyboard so that I could enter the world of paid writers. By 2008, it happened for me.

Today, I'm 25-years-old with 6 years of freelance writing under my belt. If you come across a paid-to-write website, chances are, I've tried it. In fact, that's why I created Freelance Lady back in 2011---to show people that it is possible to earn money online with little to no experience.

I'd like to share with you my all-time favorite websites for earning money online. I hope that you're able to utilize these websites as well, and start increasing your income from home.




Constant-Content. They've always been my go-to for passive income. I have been with them for a few years now, and I love the platform. The way it works, is you provide high-quality content, and Constant-Content showcases your work to potential clients. If those clients are interested, they may purchase rights to your work. The downside is that Constant-Content takes 35% of your work, and the review period takes up to three days. However, if you have a strategy, then you can bypass those minor inconveniences. For example, I write my articles, and I consider the 35% cut when I price them. If I want $30 for my article, I'll add 35% to the price. That way, when Constant-Content takes their cut, I'll still get $30. As far as the long review times go, that just requires a little bit of patience. But if you're writing an article per day, eventually the review times will catch up and you'll be having articles accepted left and right and ready to sell.

Passion Fruit Ads. This website isn't like most of the sites listed here on Freelance Lady. Passion Fruit Ads doesn't pay you for work you complete for them. Instead, they allow you to set up a market for sponsorships for your blog or website. You offer ad space, sponsored posts, reviews, and giveaways all at your own price, and people can purchase them through your Passion Fruit ad "shop" which is actually a widget that you can put anywhere on your blog. The downside is that you have to pay a monthly membership. However, if you're constantly getting requests for ad space, sponsored posts, reviews, and more, you could certainly benefit.

InfoLinks. Here, you sign up and place a script on your website. That script then generates links within the content on your blog or website. When your visitors view an ad or click on an ad, you generate income via InfoLinks. The earning potential here is rather high, especially if you have a heavily trafficked website. The quality of the ads also play a role. For example, if you're showing high-quality ads, you're likely to be paid more for each click.

TextBroker. My main advice for TextBroker is to take your time on your writing sample, and once you're in, get your W9 form mailed in right away. You can't get paid unless it's been submitted, so working there is generally useless without it. The reason I advise you to take your time on the writing sample is because it will be given a "score" from 1 to 5, five being the highest. If you have the highest score, you're able to write on ANY of the five assignment levels. If you end up with a three, you'll only be able to write on one to three. The highest level is the highest paying. TextBroker pays weekly, which is another perk.

Break Studios.  I love that Break Studios actually wants personality to be included in your writing. That makes it a little different than other paid to write websites. Here, you'll be writing mainly on entertainment topics--and sometimes they're a bit more risqué. If that's not your thing, don't sign up here. Assignment values range from $8 to $12. Break Studios pays once a month.

Private clients. Most of your money, over time, should come from private clients, such as the clients who purchase sponsored posts, articles, advertising space, etc. These are the people that you build relationships with---the people who recommend you to others. Finding private clients is not as difficult as you might think, especially with websites such as Freelancer, oDesk, Craigslist, and Elance. Even TextBroker offers a way for clients to contact you for work outside of the company.

Questions? Comments? Don't hesitate to leave a comment! I'm always listening!





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Friday, April 18, 2014

Freelance Friday is Coming Back!

I have some rather exciting news!

Starting in May 2014, I'm going to resurrect the Freelance Friday series. It's been a few months since I ended it, but I feel that the series adds to the relevance of Freelance Lady, as it provides recently posted freelance opportunities with PRIVATE clients, instead of the "evergreen" public opportunities you're so used to seeing here.

The first Freelance Friday post will be on May 2, 2014, and posts will continue every Friday thereafter.

I hope that you stick around!
 
 




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Saturday, April 12, 2014

16 Useful Resources for Your Blog

When I entered the blogging world, I didn't know much, and everything that I did know was what I had taught myself. If I had known then what I know now, I feel that my journey as a blogger would have been much simpler.

I've learned a lot over the years, and one of the things that I stand by today is the fact that you can never have too many resources. There are so many useful websites, widgets, and tools that you can apply to help improve success and make your blogging experience more enjoyable.

Today, I am going to share with you 16 useful resources for your blog. Enjoy!



 

1. Free Images

We're visual creatures, and high-quality, captivating images are one of the most precious resources out there. If your photography skills are lacking, or if you simply cannot find a photo relevant to your content, you'll benefit from the Free Images database.
 

2. Even More Free Images

Along with believing that you can never have too many resources, I also believe that you can never have too many free image sources. I used to use Flickr for images---simply run a Creative Commons search and bam. Done. Today, there is an easier tool. Enter Photo Pin. Photo Pin searches Flickr FOR YOU, and the results are much better than if you were to search Flickr yourself.
 

3. Blog Prompt Generators

Writers block sucks, and visiting a blog without updated content due to writer's block sucks even worse. Don't fail your readers simply because your brain cannot come up with a relevant topic to write about. Explore all of the options available with The Imagination Prompt Generator.
 

4. Google Drive

Oh, how I wish I had known about Google Drive sooner. This nifty tool allows you to create contact forms, upload documents, make calendars, and so much more. I actually use Google Docs via Google Drive for my media kit and my printable recipes on Mommy's Castle. Very, very handy!
 
 

5. Google Keyword Planner

You have to create a Google AdWords account for this one (and if you don't have a Google AdWords account yet, you don't know what you're missing--it's an excellent advertising tool). This nifty little planner helps you decide which keywords are best for your website or blog, and what type of competition you're up against in terms of keyword usage.
 

6. LinkWithin Widget

Below my posts, you'll see four different blog posts under a "You may also like..." heading. That is the LinkWithin widget. It allows readers to easily see other posts on your blog that they may be interested in. It's useful for your readers, and it's excellent for your stats.
 

7. The Beginner's Guide to SEO

Search engine optimization is perhaps the most important part of your blog's ranking, so you're going to want to know all that you can on the subject. This is where Moz's "The Beginner's Guide to SEO" comes in. It is a complete comprehensive guide to SEO. You need this in your life.
 

8. Viral Content Buzz

If you want your content shared by influencers, then this is the place. Meet new people, see your traffic increase by 200%---I mean, the benefits are endless. Promote your articles on major social media websites including Facebook and Twitter. Check it out. You won't be disappointed.
 
 

9. Dlvr.It

One thing I used to hate doing was sharing my blog posts over and over again on different social media sites. It gets repetitive, especially with all of the new social media websites popping up. With Dlvr.It, you can share your blog posts with ease, all with the click of a mouse.
 
 

10. Meme Generators

If you're running out of things to say on your blog, let a meme say it for you. People seriously love these things and if you add a funny picture to it, chances are, it'll satisfy your readers--at least for a few minutes while they share it all over Facebook and Twitter.
 

11. Pinterest

I wish that I had known that Pinterest was going to be as big as it is today. When I first started blogging, I hadn't even heard of Pinterest--and even when it finally started coming up in conversations and on social networking sites, I never bothered to really get into it. Big mistake. I never thought it was relevant to my blog, but what I didn't realize is that with beautiful vertical images (even with just text--see the image at the top of this blog post), you could easily increase your following and receive page views. Check out the Blog Maven's Pinterest tips for bloggers and 5 Ways to Create Highly Shareable Pinterest Pictures for Your Business.
 

12. Pixlr

If you don't have an image-editing program like Photoshop or Gimp, you should try your hand at Pixlr. Those images aren't going to beautify themselves. Pixlr is a pretty comprehensive tool, so you'll get the hang of it in no time. In fact, many people prefer it over Photoshop and Gimp if they're looking for a quick pick-me-up on a rather bland image.
 

13. Klout

Sadly, I've only recently begun using Klout (I am so far behind, aren't I?). Klout is a platform that allows you to keep track of your social media influence, and also helps you get an idea of what type of following you're creating. It's a great tool for keeping stats, and you can also use your "Klout Score" as a way to lure in companies looking to work with you.
 

14. Dictionary.com

This is pretty self-explanatory. You don't want grammatical and/or spelling errors all over your blog.
 

15. Thesaurus.com

I'm a sucker for wordplay. If you ever think to write, "for lack of a better word" on your blog, you better head on over to the virtual thesaurus and find a better word. Seriously.
 

16. Blog Hops

This is probably the best kept secret in the blogosphere. Actually, it was never really a secret at all, I've just been rather slow at finding all of the awesome resources out here in the blogosphere. Blog hops are exactly what they sound like. It's a full list of blogs where you can post your link as well. You check out all of the blogs, leave a little message telling them you stopped by, and in turn, they visit your blog. It's great for traffic. It's great for exposure. And it's actually fun. Check out this blog hop directory.
 
 
Let's talk! What are your must-have resources, widgets, and/or tools for your blog?
 
 
 
 




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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Weekly Earnings and Writing Jobs

I just recently got back into the swing of things with my "paid writing," and today, I'd like to share with you my earnings from this week (3/30 through 4/5). I'm also going to share a few leads from companies looking for writers.
 
First off, have a look at my earnings:

Articles Sold: 1 - $29.00
Sponsored Posts: 1 - $25.00
Advertising Earnings: $7.00
Revenue Share Earnings: $58.13
 
Total: $119.13

It's not much, but considering that I had been slacking and had only been making $20 or a few weeks before, I'd say that it's been a productive week.

Now, for the writing jobs! Enjoy!

Financial Writer Wanted
Artisan Creative is looking for a freelance writer with a background in journalism, public relations, or blogging. Must have experience in the financial sector. Ideal candidates have experience writing for financial publications. Assignments are on an "as needed" basis.
 
Industry Dive is looking for freelance writers to provide articles for digital products. The subject matter includes a variety of different business-related fields. You must have experience in the business field. Pay varies.
 
An experienced health writer is needed to produce six stories per month, based on interviews with St. Louis physicians. Must be familiar with the medical profession as well as medical terminology. Payment is about $1,000 per month.
 
Writers needed to assign images to articles and write smart captions for them. The caption should tie the image to the article on a variety of topics. Ideal candidates have prior experience working from home. You must be a native English speaker, have a Bachelor's degree, have high-speed internet, and be able to work at least 5 hours per week. Pay is $15 per hour.
 
You will develop articles related to the categories reviewed by Angie's List members. You must be fluent in AP style, must have a Bachelor's degree in PR, marketing communications, journalism, or a related field, must be able to write creative, engaging headlines, have experience with Drupal, Excel, and Google Drive spreadsheets.

Wall Street Journal Writers
Looking for journalists to cover a broad range of stories on political developments. Experience covering national politics is important. You must have experience executing stories quickly, and should turn political news stories into sharply analytical pieces, both for online and print.

HireMojo Seeks Bloggers
Writers needed with a strong voice and a knack for knowing the trends in the job industry. Looking for individuals who can write well about employment, human resources, jobs, and everything related to the hiring industry.

Editorial Web Producer for The Cooking Channel
Looking for onsite and offsite freelancers who are tech-savvy foodies. Must have 3 to 5 years of experience at an online print publication (preferably food-related). Must have writing, editing, and content management system experience.

I1 Mulino Needs Food/Beverage and Lifestyle Writers
Looking for freelance writers who have experience covering the food and beverage industry and lifestyle. Writers are needed for the preparation of I1 Mulion New York's magazine launch.

Get those cover letters and resumes ready!


 




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Working to Lose: How Young Mothers Can Make Time to Lose Weight

Being a young mother myself, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to lose weight after having children. Between caring for your little one and trying to make time for yourself, losing weight can seem like a lost cause. As moms, we don't have time for strict diets and long, drawn-out exercise routines. Fortunately, there are simple weight loss tips for young moms that will allow you to see big results.

 

Focus on your health, not the scale.

The first mistake that women make when trying to lose weight is focus on their weight instead of lifestyle changes. Being healthy is far more important than how much you weight. Pay attention to your daily life, and start changing things day-by-day.

Let's say you're eating lots of high-calorie snacks and sweets. Gradually replace those snacks with healthier options, such as whole-grain crackers and hummus, vegetables with fat-free ranch, or even chopped up fruits with fat-free vanilla yogurt.
 
 

Implement more vegetables into your diet.

Sometimes, we as moms forget to eat our vegetables, even though we spend so much time reminding our little ones. Try to consume at least three servings of vegetables each day. If you're unable to bear the taste of certain green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, invest in a blender and start making green smoothies. Coconut milk, fat-free yogurt, and your favorite fruits can make an otherwise tasteless vegetable taste amazing.
 
 

Consider vitamin supplements.

Because you're so busy with appointments, errands, and other responsibilities, sometimes it's difficult to get all of the nutrition you need. Fortunately, there are vitamin supplements that can make sure you're getting what you need. A women's daily multivitamin should be enough to provide you with the minerals and vitamins your body requires.
 
Some young moms have also had weight-loss success with Human chorionic gonadotropin, also known as HCG. The hormone is found naturally in pregnant women, which is said to allow the body to protect the developing baby by breaking down fat and making it easier to develop lean muscle. You can find out more at hcgdropsexplained.com.
 

Put your body in motion.

With children, it's nearly impossible to devote enough hours to the gym every week to make it worth the membership cost. Instead, start taking small steps to get your body moving. When you're grocery shopping, pick a parking space far away from the store and power-walk on your way in. Weather-permitting, put your child in his stroller and walk around the block a few times, or even take him to the park. Once you get to the park, chase your little one around. Play tag. Climb the monkey bars. Dance around on the jungle gym. There are so many ways to get moving with kids, and not only are you spending time with him, but you're also on your way to a better life. Just because you're a mom trying to lose weight doesn't mean you can't make it fun and stress-free.
 
 

Indulge every now and then.

No, this does not mean that you can go eat a whole bag of Hershey Kisses by yourself (sorry). It simply means that you shouldn't feel bad if you eat what you like to eat, but in moderation. If you're craving chocolate, then by all means, have some! Half of a dark-chocolate bar should be enough to satisfy that craving. Another delicious, yet healthy snack option is chocolate popcorn. That's right. Drop a handful of M&Ms into a warm bag of unbuttered, unsalted popcorn and shake! Believe it or not, popcorn itself is quite healthy--it's the salt and butter that make it an unhealthy option.
 
 

Pack snacks when you're out.

If you're out on the road, resist the urge to stop at a fast-food restaurant for a quick bite. Even the salads at these restaurants are laden with sodium which causes water retention and bloating. Instead, before you leave the house, pack up! Bite-size vegetables such as baby carrots or chopped up celery make a great snack, especially with a side of peanut butter. Fill a bag with flax seed, sunflower seeds, or nuts for a quick pick-me-up when you're feeling hungry. For lunches, a turkey wrap with raw spinach, feta cheese, and a bit of low-fat mustard is a great alternative to a fast food burger.
 
 

Early to bed, early to rise.

Stop staying up so late and get to bed at least an hour earlier than usual. Set your alarm so that you have exactly 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and try to get up before your children. This will allow you to get a little bit of exercise in before they wake up. If getting up before your children is nearly impossible, exercise with them! Not only does it teach them healthy lifestyle habits, but you're also spending time together. Don't forget to stretch before and after!
 
 

Stay hydrated!

This is one of those things that most people forget when trying to lose weight. You must keep yourself hydrated. Not only is water one of the most important "ingredients" to weight loss, but it's also the most important ingredient to keep your body healthy. Drink at least 48 ounces of water each day. It may sound like a lot, but it's only six 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
 
Changing your life and getting on a road to better health and smaller "mom" jeans starts with small lifestyle changes. Don't forget to stop using the words, "I can," and instead, start telling yourself, "I will."
 
DISCLOSURE: I have no relationship to any brand mentioned in this post. 

 
 




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Friday, April 4, 2014

Sell Ads and Sponsored Posts Directly on Your Blog

For the past year or so, I've been dealing with sponsorships on my own. I've done all business via e-mail and PayPal. Needless to say, it's pretty time-consuming and at times, can be downright frustrating.



Today, I had just had enough and decided to look into services that might be able to help me with the whole sponsorship process.

That's when I came across Passionfruit Ads. To be honest, I'm kind of kicking myself for just now having come across this little gem. It's exactly what I've needed for the past year and could have prevented a lot of stress in my life when selling advertising space.

It is so easy to get started. I seriously created my sponsorship shop in less than 20 minutes. All you do is enter your website, create "spots" for advertisements, sponsored posts, social media promotions, and whatever else you'd like, and then add the widget to your website.

I'm so serious. It's that easy. The little shops are also aesthetically pleasing, which is another plus.

Now, you have to pay to use Passionfruit Ads, but I promise you, it is totally worth it and will save you a lot of headache later. For the full subscription (unlimited websites, unlimited ads, etc.), you'll only pay $9 per month. That is incredibly reasonable, if you ask me--especially for all that's offered.

And no, this is NOT a sponsored post. It's just a true opinion of mine about a service that I love and believe you can benefit from. So, go ahead. Help yourself and check out Passionfruit Ads.






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