New Writing Venture: HubPages!

Just when I was starting to feel disappointed with my writing endeavors, along comes HubPages! What took me so long to sign up there, only the Universe knows. All I can say is that in the last 4 days that I have been a member, I have had more traffic, views and comments on my 'Hubs' than I ever received on Infobarrel in four months. Part of this, of course, is because Infobarrel is much younger in internet years, being a start-up by four guys trying to make a go of it. I totally and completely respect this, as I am a businesswoman myself and began with nothing--zero--from the ground up. However, from the experiences I have had over the last four months on Infobarrel, compared to the last FOUR DAYS on HubPages, the differences are staggering. I'll explain....

1. Instant Publishing: At Infobarrel, approval/publishing of an article can take 1-3 days. They say they try to publish articles within 24 hours which I did experience about 50% of the time. However, the guys are based in Canada, and do not work on weekends or holidays (and remember they have different holidays than the U.S.). So if you have questions, problems and/or submitted articles on Friday or later, don't expect an answer/approval until Monday or Tuesday.

I had a few issues with my articles on HubPages, and received near immediate responses OVER THE WEEKEND from their team so I could fix them. Simply amazing, and very refreshing.

2. User Friendliness: Now granted, I found Infobarrel to be very easy to navigate and understand. Initial set-up with AdSense, Amazon, etc. was admittedly a bit of a struggle, but the forums were very friendly and helpful, and everything was set up very quickly. HubPages offers the same ad sharing opportunities and more, with direct links for sign up directly on the 'earnings' page, so if you don't already have your accounts, you can sign up very easily.

In addition, they offer ad sharing for eBay and their own earnings program, giving you more opportunities to earn money from your Hubs, and more control over your Amazon promotions. While the percentages are a bit different for ad share (Infobarrel offers 75% to the writer, HubPages offers 60%), the traffic at HubPages is so vast it makes up for the difference right there. For example; in the four months at Infobarrel, I have received exactly ONE ad click, and very little impressions. In the four days at HubPages, I have already made money from impressions with only seven Hubs, or articles.

3. External Links: Infobarrel only allows you two 'self-serving' or external links within any one article. As far as I can tell, there are no limits to external links on HubPages whether they are links to your own websites or blogs, or other web pages that pertain to your Hub's subject. It makes so much sense, really.

4. Quality: Quality is a HUGE issue with me, and I have struggled with some of the content on Infobarrel not being what I would call quality. I do a fair amount of reading of other people's articles and works, and have to say Infobarrel publishes a lot of dreck. So far, I've read at least 50 Hubs on HubPages, ALL of them without spelling or grammatical errors, and of interesting and informative topics. Basically, I feel HubPages attracts a more capable writer, at least from what I have seen so far.

5. Layout: The overall layout on HubPages is just more attractive, more pleasing to the eye. As authors, we have more control over what the final layout looks like. Also, there are more choices for 'capsules' or elements to include in the hub. On Infobarrel, you can add things like video, photos and the like, but being able to place links to other websites, articles and Hubs as well as Amazon products within the body of texts--specific products if you like, really give your work a well rounded look.

I'll keep you up to date on my HubPages progress and experiences, but for now suffice it to say, I'm hooked! If you'd like to check it out and read some of my 'Hubs' please do so here: http://alwritetea.hubpages.com/ Wanna sign up for HubPages? It's easy and awesome! Sign up here! Happy writing!

Writing Slacker And Changing Your Life With "The Secret"

Photo by Kittisak
Inevitably, the Holidays have bitch-slapped my writing momentum, causing a dry spell of posts here, as well as my freelancing duties. Ok, Ok, I know I'm ultimately responsible, and I will strive to get that momentum back to where it was-at the very least-or to a higher level when the Holidays have passed. Granted, this is the most successful time of year for my Etsy Vinyl Shop. Between packaging orders, listing new titles and hunting for new inventory, there just aren't enough hours in the day left to devise a witty or informative article, blog post or even a journal entry. I miss it. I miss the feeling of my brain getting a workout, as well as putting something valuable out there into cyber space. Not to mention a few dollars in my pocket, from writing, that is.

So I have decided that today is a writing day. No hunting, no packaging, no standing in line at the Post Office. Today is about staying cozy indoors with a perpetual mug of steaming tea, Marilyn Monroe on the turntable and with a little luck, a 600 word article and freelance work in addition to this post.

Normally, it isn't difficult to come up with interesting things to write about. But as I have vinyl on the brain, the subject matter lately doesn't seem to stray too far away from music and related topics. However, a couple of nights ago, I did have the most wondrous dream...

I had submitted a story line to a company I worked for (which seemed to include machinery, office work and comic books) and they wholeheartedly accepted it, paying me generously for the submitted work along with a huge promotion to the writing team. It marked the first time in my life to receive a promotion of this magnitude, also resulting in a huge change in my current life situation for the better.

The reason this dream is so important is because I now know what it feels like to experience the feeling of success in a writing capacity. It has been said that to receive the things in life that you want, the key is to feel what it's like to receive these things, manifesting that good feeling and positive energy flow. In a sense, pretending that you have already received whatever it is you are asking for, and projecting that satisfied sense and GRATITUDE out into the Universe. By doing this, the Universe will immediately go to work to make it happen for you--provided you don't sabotage yourself or fill your head and heart with self doubt, negativity or uncertainty. It can be very difficult to not let these things get in the way of your desires, by seeping into your subconscious and blocking the Universe's work with just a few, poor choices and actions.

If any of these tactics sound familiar, it's because they are promoted in The Secret which is available on Netflix streaming, or for purchase on Amazon. The idea behind The Secret literally changed my life, as it has for so many people. I cannot recommend it highly enough, the principles are so simple and make SO much sense. One of the ideas which struck me the most is to think of a genie up in the Universe waiting to do your bidding. If you say, "Oh I could never afford that!" or "I couldn't possibly lose enough weight to wear that", think of the genie saying "Your wish is my command." And that is a premium example of self-sabotage. You just sealed your fate with a simple sentence. So instead say, "I can't wait to buy that" or "I will feel so good wearing that outfit". Then, again, think of Genie saying, "Your wish is my command". See the difference? IT WORKS. I am not a paid representative, I promise you. I have just learned that these concepts (and many others all explained in The Secret) really do work and it costs NOTHING but a few simple (simple, but not necessarily easy) changes in your thought processes and patterns, choices and behavior.

With the New Year upon us, it's a perfect time to reflect (but not dwell) on the failures of the past year and decide how we're going to tackle them in the coming year. I know for myself, there are many things to work on, improve upon and accomplish differently to ensure, yes, ensure that 2012 will be my most successful year to date. Won't you join me?

Photo by jscreationzs   
Happy Holidays everyone, be safe!

Fictional Story Excerpt: Viggo & Me - A Dreamwork Exchange

*A word or two about this story; this is a brief excerpt from a dream I had nearly a year ago. Currently, it's sitting patiently, waiting for me to wave my magic wand and expand it into a full-fledged short story. We shall see...

Looking down at me, I heard these words; "This feeling is unique to us only. What we share cannot be felt by anyone else." He said this with his eyes. His mouth never spoke a word. All of my fears were conveyed the same way, without speaking. Mind to mind, heart to heart.

I thought I would burst with love for him. "I have a husband, a life. How could I have such feelings for another man, in just an instant?" I thought.

"There are humans with responsibilities in our lives." He said with a wry smile, still without speaking.

I could sense he was quite used to this feeling, more evolved than I was. For me, this was heart-wrenching, a hollow longing that didn't have an end in sight. But somehow, I was comforted by his calm, deep-seated knowledge. His quiet, 'at peace' way of being.

Even though we were surrounded by a bustling film set with people running hurriedly at their jobs with serious, determined looks on their faces. Within the circle of Viggo's embrace, I felt so completely apart from this frenzied world. As if we were invisible, looking in on this human existence and its silly inhabitants.

Being inquisitive by nature, looking up at him I asked suddenly, "You must get paid more for your engineering services than as an actor." Marveling at the elaborate set being built in front of us. He looked at me, gave a light chuckle and said, "You would think so." I guessed not.

*Judge not too harshly, I am not in the habit of writing fictional stories at all. I really only know how to write the truth. But somehow, this brief exchange felt a need to be realized, immortalized into some sort of something...

Follow Your Passions, Feed Your Creativity And The Rest Is Gravy

I just read this very inspiring article How To Follow Your Passion When You're Just Trying To Pay The Bills and it couldn't have come at a more fortuitous time. While I am still highly motivated to write EVERYDAY, I do still need to pay the bills, and sometimes let my inner faith slip a bit when my phone service gets temporarily shut off, or I'm dangerously close to losing my car insurance. You see, my 'regular job' IS my passion. I sell vinyl records for a 'living' (and I use that term very loosely), as well as writing, freelancing and selling vintage clothing and accessories. I know we've talked about diversifying before, and it simply cannot be stressed enough. But that isn't what I want to talk about today....

This article states exactly what I have come to learn; that you need to feed your passions and creativity FIRST before you can expect to create any kind of abundance in your life. I had been going about this all backwards for most of my life until recently. It's like I said in my post: November 1st: A New Year, New Beginnings, etc.. you have to please yourself before you can please others. When you comply with your soul's needs, you are able to be of service to others to help them realize their soul's needs, and so on, and so on. It truly is that simple.

When I got out of my own way long enough to realize that writing is my true calling; and the career path I needed to follow seriously, all the 'problems' worked themselves out and a path was opened up to me. Soon the money will come as a result of exercising my passion and creativity. I'm essentially 'killing two birds with one stone' by writing about subject matter that I'm passionate about, but in a way that is helpful to others who have similar passions. This is why I feel so satisfied with writing, it gives me purpose and fuels my inherent desire to help others in a way I know best. And you can do the same just by doing whatever it is that brings you joy. Honestly.

If anyone has a similar article, post or story, I'd love to hear about it, and would be happy to post it here. This kind of message needs to be shared all over the world and any way I can help spread it is a welcome task indeed.

What's In A Pen Name? Choosing The 'Write' Pen Name For Your Writing

To pen name, or not to pen name? That is a decision every writer must make based on their marketing style and venue choice. Obviously you wouldn't use a 'handle' when writing the Great American Novel, so for all intents and purposes here, we're talking about an online presence.

When I chose alwritetea as my pen name, I wanted something that was clever, not too simple, yet easy to remember. Surprisingly few have commented on my pen name, so I take that as either; 1. No one gets it (alwritetea = think 'alrighty') combining my love of writing and for tea all in one shot. Or 2. I haven't produced enough content to warrant a response on something as trivial as the name I chose to write under. I realize a pen name is a very personal choice, and something you should give serious thought to.

Remember if you're planning on building a considerable online presence; you'll not only want to keep the same name for all platforms, you'll also want to make it easy on yourself when submitting profiles as it can be quite tedious and time consuming. Decide on a name that's on the shorter side, making it easy to type in on several sites, and easy for others to read and input without difficulty. Refrain from using names with offensive or immature connotations. Think ahead and ask yourself, 'will this embarrass me a few years from now'?

Don't forget, your pen name is an extension of yourself, a representation of who you are and the image you want to project. Project a positive image into the minds of your readers to encourage reader loyalty and create a following. People will only take you as seriously as your name and work suggest.

Happy writing!

Helpful Tips To Save Money On Household Bills & Lifestyle Costs

These days, it's become slightly chic to be thrifty--not annoyingly penny pinching--just smart and efficient when it comes to spending money. My newest article, Clever Ways To Save Money (That You May Not Already Know) offers helpful tips to help you save a little extra money on household bills, utilities and lifestyle costs. Particularly now with the holidays upon us, it's always nice to save money wherever possible, stretching the 'almighty' dollar as far as we can.

Being an independent retailer (that means I sell stuff online), I have been caught up in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales just as much as the next person, if not more. It's interesting, and exciting to learn that online sales are up 24% so far this holiday season, and I'm very curious to see what December will bring. What are your online shopping habits? Do you look for coupon codes, sales and discounts on a regular basis? I would love to hear from you. I am always looking for creative ways to bring good deals to my customers, and if you have a favorite method, please don't be shy!

Also, if you have your own clever ways of saving money, I invite you to share them here. We could all use a little help these days, and after all, knowledge is power. It's free charity too. : )

A Mini Milestone: Challenging Myself FTW!

Yesterday marked a mini milestone in my writing/freelance career; I accepted an article requiring up to 1200 words, researched the topic and wrote it, submitted it and received acceptance and payment within 2 hours! This is a first. Not only was the payment in the double digits (also for the first time), I had never before written an article of that length, proving to myself that I could do it. 'Damn, it feels good to be a gangster...'

My latest article, Little Successes: The Rewards of Challenging Yourself talks about the necessary steps to take to challenge yourself and reap the rewards of an accomplishment well done. Even though a 1200 word article may not be a lot for some people, it was a lot for me. But I am so glad I challenged myself and took it on, instead of allowing another writer to choose the assignment. There was a time not so long ago, that I shied away from 500 word articles. I had never been confident about pulling so many words out of my hat on a subject I may not know much about. But I have safely surpassed that obstacle, and find that now my articles easily average between 550-650 words without racking my brain too hard.

My sincere hope is that this article will help you to challenge yourself within your writing, and accomplish things you may never have dared to dream about before. If I can help even one person achieve this, my job has been done. Choose, Challenge, Celebrate and Carry on...Happy writing!

Summary of the First 90 Days As A Freelance Writer

So what have I learned in the last 90 days of being a freelance writer? A LOT. But where to begin? I suppose at the beginning...

The first thing I did (after deciding to begin a career as a writer) was to sign up at content mill sites, and write articles based on SEO and keyword searches. Fortunately, I did my research and found one of the higher paying sites (which isn't saying a whole lot...but) and got my rusty writing wheels turning on an everyday basis. Then I signed up at article writing sites that offer revenue sharing for ads placed on your articles' pages, and found one that I thought was going to be a good fit for me. I began writing informational as well as entertaining articles on a variety of subjects, submitting them as often as I could, while continuing on with the content mills and other article writing sites that offer a pay-on-performance earning method.

Next I started my blogs, which I find to be a surprisingly enriching experience. As I've said before, I resisted the blog bandwagon for as long as possible, wanting to avoid the feeling of baring my soul to the world. Well, the (sort of) good news is, 'the whole world aint reading your blog, honey!' and it has become a very cathartic process as well as a satisfying one for me. During my lifetime, I have learned this much about myself; I want to help people in some way, give them something that will make their journey better or easier. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I was a waitress for 18 years....

Well, even though I have only been at this for roughly 90 days, the one true thing I have learned is that so many people are willing to do so much for so little. Now don't misunderstand me, I have spent most of my life doing a LOT for very little. Perhaps it's because I have realized my true calling so 'late' in life, that I am unwilling to waste a lot of time with things which don't provide a valuable return in some form or other (hopefully that return includes a financial gain of some measure).

The biggest decision I face at the moment is whether to continue placing my best work on one of the article writing sites I'm currently writing for. This particular site has generated zero revenue for me as of yet, but it can't all be about the almighty (not!) dollar. It's important to me that I don't make every facet of writing about money (or the lack of it), because I am trying to see the bigger picture here. It's more about what opportunities could come from any one of my pieces of writing, in addition to the potential help my articles are giving to those who read them. All while giving myself the sense of accomplishment and experience of building a writing portfolio that someday I can be very proud of.

Horror Movie Of The Month: Snow White - A Tale Of Terror

As you all may know, I am a huge horror fanatic. It's Halloween time all year round at our house, as hubby and I watch horror movies almost every night. I have begun a Horror Movie of the Month article and coinciding blog post for each one. This month's entry is Snow White - A Tale Of Terror, a fantastically dark and accurate portrayal of The Grimm Brothers' famous fairy tale. This is no Disney offering. You will not find seven little people dressed in clean, matching dwarf garb, dancing gaily around Snow White while she sings, dances and twirls around on dainty little feet. No, this is dirty, realistic, scary and expertly executed.

Starring the incredibly talented Sigourney Weaver as the wicked stepmother; Sam Neill as her pawn of a husband and Monica Keena as Snow White, or Lilliana in this adaptation. The cast includes several other well known and capable actors, giving even more credibility to an already credible film. Beautifully shot in the Czech Republic with an impressive backdrop of vast forests, castles and all things medieval, this was obviously a well-thought-out effort from screenplay to art direction. The costumes alone are enough to transport us back in time effortlessly, and willingly.

I hope you'll give Snow White - A Tale Of Terror a try. It's certainly no 'chick flick', and not for very young children either. But it will do nicely for all fellow horror fanatics out there who may have missed it, or overlooked it purposely, thinking it was all fluff and nonsense. Au contraire, mon amies, au contraire.

Like this? Then please check out last month's Horror Movie of the Month premiere entry; Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. Definitely not to be missed.

Overcoming Adversity with the (Hand) Written Word

After recovering from the initial stress of finding myself without an internet connection, (ain't being broke a blast?) I then decided I wasn't going to let it get the better of me and got out some paper and a pen. After all, how many centuries have we been putting ink to paper to form our words? Check out my article on the Power of the (Hand) Written Word on HubPages!

I liken the hand written word to collecting and listening to records (as you may know by now I'm an advocate of both), as it's something everyone used to do. Both are considered to be 'old fashioned' and in danger of becoming extinct, unless we keep the love of them alive and kicking. Both are considered a craft; DJ's are highly respected on and off the dancefloor, and scribes were highly regarded in their day, centuries ago. It was a precious thing, to know how to write in the physical sense as well as the mental one.

The internet is a mind boggling, amazing invention. It allows me to 'make a living' from the comfort of my own home, while connecting me to people all over the world. But let's face it, it's also an insidious distraction. I know that when I sit down at my desk in the morning to begin my writing projects for the day, two hours will have unwittingly slipped by me before one single word is written on any virtual page. From email accounts (and I have 5 of them), daily news, social networking, to searching freelancing sites. While all of these activities are necessary in my line of work, they also keep me from doing the one thing I have set out to do: write.

Perhaps it's a matter of prioritizing. Self discipline (No, you may not check your email before you have written a 500 word blog post!) whatever the case, it just may be that I have found a solution to the not-enough-hours-in-the-day syndrome: write by hand. Somehow the words flow effortlessly when you're not staring at a blank screen , empty editing box or cold, pretentious keyboard.

So what have we learned today? Well, I for one have learned not to let anything stand in my way of my passion for writing (this post was written and submitted by my iPhone), especially not a little thing like a disabled internet connection. We have gotten along without it for basically our entire existance. Besides, I've had the most wonderful day; sipping cups of tea with the iPod on shuffle, watching the rain outside for inspiration and hand-writing today's post within a 3-D skull notebook in vibrant purple ink. In fact, may just do this more often...

My point is, we can work around life's little obstacles with a bit of ingenuity and perseverence. And overcoming any obstacle should be treated as a victory, no matter how small.

Happy (hand) writing!

Writing Quality Content: You Get What You Give

Forgive my absence of the last few days, I have been busy at work promoting my other blog about all things vinyl, learning the intricacies of internet marketing and writing my newest article: Tips For Writing Quality Content.There just aren't enough hours in the day! There is so much to be learned, tried and explored in the freelance writing and internet marketing world. It can be a little overwhelming at times, but so far I am managing to keep the ball rolling.

Here's a few things I have learned so far about getting yourself out there and promoting your writing (cuz no one else is gonna do it for you unless you're paying them, in which case you're probably vacationing on the French Riviera, not reading how-to tips from a newbie freelance writer like me!).

-Write, write, write, then write some more. This seems to be the thing of first and foremost importance. Which makes sense because we're writers, right? Not only does it build your writing portfolio, it gets you in the habit of writing EVERYDAY which is a recommendation you will always receive from the likes of Stephen King or any successful writer.

-Diversify. Don't put all your writing eggs in one basket. When writing for content sites like Infobarrel.com, Associated Content (Yahoo), or a whole slew of others which are out there, it's really important to choose the right content for the right vehicle which can optimize your potential earnings from Ad Sense, Pay On Performance and other forms to generate a passive income.

-Research, research, research. There are definitely enough resources out there to make an educated decision about which sites are worth your time, and which ones should be avoided. It also will help you to decide which direction you want to go with your writing if you don't have a clear vision of that already. Don't get discouraged if you try one and it doesn't work for you. Part of being a freelancer means tailoring your work to suit your strengths, so try a few and move on from whichever doesn't feel right or gel with your style.

-Start a blog. Previously, I shied away from blogging from the very beginning. As I've stated before, I am not interested in plastering my personal life all over the internet. However, what I have discovered is that I really enjoy documenting my writing experiences, and feel a sense of accomplishment by offering my perspective in the form of helpful information as I go along. Now that I am beginning to market my writing and promote my articles and blogs, I realize the benefit of having a place to sort out all this information and hopefully give others some helpful insights for their own freelance writing journey.

Recently, I applied for my first real freelance writing gig and have passed the initial process. Of course I am very anxious to see if I get the job, but will not give up on trying for other freelance jobs in the meantime. (diversify, remember?) I will keep you posted. So for now, I hope you'll take a look at my latest article: Tips For Writing Quality Content and find it useful. As always, please feel free to post comments or suggestions of your own, which may be of help to others as well. Have a look at the list of my favorite websites and blogs which all offer valuable information on blogging and writing, located in the sidebar along the right side of this page. Happy writing!

November 1st: A New Year, New Beginnings and the Day of the Dead Part 1

For some people, November 1st marks the beginning of a new calender year. Belonging to no particular  religion, this day has always been a marker for me; a time to let go of misfortunes that may have happened in the last 365 days; a day to start anew with a fresh outlook and attitude complete with resolutions. What's that you say? How do I manage this with the 'biggest holidays of the year' approaching faster than you can say 'Merry...'? Easy. I gave up doing things just because the calendar and society says so.

Every year, we hear more grumblings about how the holidays have become so commercialized, so far from their original meanings and history. It's no wonder that Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's are not happy holidays for a lot of people, and increasingly so. For a lot of people it means undue stress, sadness, loneliness <----- just look at all those 'esses', no one would look forward to that. But perhaps some people just don't know how not to feel these things because they've never found any answers that strike a chord within them. Well, if I can get even one person to make a change in their life, then I've done my job.

Most people are a 'slave' to the calendar, and by that I mean deadlines, work schedules, school schedules and the like. Try to focus on implementing the things you can control, while focusing less on the things you can't control. Do not allow the uncontrollable to control you. My Dad always used to say, "can't lives on won't street", but it took me many years to understand what he meant by that. Of course, we all understand what that means now, but perhaps the wise words of Yoda can better express what I am trying to get across here; 'Do or do not. There is no try.' Exactly.

Since much of these upcoming holidays revolve around family, take the time to consider this; does making the long haul to Aunt Viv's house only to be subjected to embarrassment and a possible family feud really sound like a valuable way to spend your time? Do you allow yourself to go overboard when it comes to gift giving, only to be disappointed by the after effects of bills, less-than-appreciative friends, family or acquaintences? Why? Because the calender and society tells you to? Perhaps this year you should try something different. Try pleasing yourself, because by pleasing yourself, it becomes very easy to please others.

To be continued....

C'Mon, C'Mon, Let's Work Together: An Open Invitation

 With so much information of varying kinds being hurled at us from all directions, it can sometimes be difficult to decipher good content from nonsensical dreck. Since beginning this new career path of freelance writing, the amount of research required to make a pseudo-educated guess at time-worthy ventures threatens to exhaust the brain as well as the eyes. But in the short time along this path I have been fortunate to connect with some quality people offering quality information. Which brings me to my point: networking.

I have never been a joiner, social butterfly or extrovert in any way aside from makeup, clothes and hair color. However, I am finding it really easy to converse with people of like minds, and help each other out in the way of promoting blog and website links. The idea of sharing valuable information is so appealing to me, especially when potential opportunities can arise from networking with others to produce a mutually beneficial collaboration. Almost everyday brings a new experience with a fellow writer or entrepreneur, perhaps this is one of the reasons why I know I have found my true calling.

Since I have yet to make up my mind regarding the focus of this here blog, I like the idea of being able to invite others to share their knowledge via website, blog or article. I believe the subject matter shouldn't really matter provided it offers valuable content in any way, shape or form. Case in point: Super Earthling is the latest addition to my list of favorite blogs and websites, which is written by a wildly talented lady who provides the reader with an artistic perspective on life, love and laughter. This fellow writer brings such a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table while entertaining us with her amazingly creative projects. I personally love her outside-the-box way of thinking and find her blog very inspiring.

So I invite you, dear reader, to share your website, blog or article with me and let's walk hand in hand along this information super-highway. We need the stability of each other to keep from falling in the abyss of unnecessary bullshit which often paves the road here. I for one know we would all do a lot better with less bullshit in our lives. It can be quite a daunting task to provide something unique and interesting for others to learn from and appreciate, so let's do it together by networking. Ya dig?

Getting Started: Writing Articles For InfoBarrel

Life in the freelancing lane has been wonderful so far. I went from barely there writing, to writing everyday in addition to freelancing. Remember, there have been an embarrassing number of years which have passed since I've done any kind of regular writing, with the exception of a personal journal. I had to start somewhere to get the rusty wheels turning again with some amount of fluidity. There is an unbelievable amount of research information to absorb out there, so I've done my best to wade through the masses and choose the avenues which struck me as valuable first.

 Enter Infobarrel.com. This site allows you to write about pretty much anything you want, provided it's informative and well written. The more articles you write, the better chances you have to develop an audience and gain traffic. Traffic = revenue. The ultimate objective here is to earn a little money for your articles through Google AdSense. Little being the keyword, but with the right kind of articles and researched keywords it can really start to add up.

The InfoBarrel community is friendly and welcoming to newcomers, and readily helps us newbies figure out all the tech-y stuff while we try to get a good article base going. The site is user friendly and there are always a lot of interesting articles to read, comment on and rate. Perhaps it helps spark new ideas for your own writing as well.

I'll keep you posted on my experiences with InfoBarrel, so keep checking in or subscribe to my blog's feed to learn more about it and see if it's right for you.

UPDATE: I have made the decision to remove my articles from InfoBarrel and post them on HubPages instead. This was a very smart move on my part, because not only have all of my articles--or Hubs--received an amazing amount of views and positive feedback in a very short period of time, they have already generated revenue, which is the added bonus.

I wish all InfoBarrelers well and continued success, it just wasn't the right fit for me and my writing. If you haven't signed up for HubPages yet and would like to, you can do so under my referral

Awesome Horror Movie of the Month

Better late than never, it must be said that October is my favorite month of the year, and of course with it comes Halloween, my favorite holiday. In honor of my new career path and my favorite holiday, I am starting a monthly article called "Awesome Horror Movie of the Month". Featured this month is Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon which is currently available on Netflix streaming, but well worth purchasing either online or at your favorite DVD outlet.

Brilliantly written with a refreshingly new take on the slasher/serial killer subgenre, and keeps us horror fanatics on our toes with plenty of references to our beloved franchises of the 80's. See why I like it already? Ok, I may be a little biased because it's partially shot in my hometown, on very familiar grounds. This is what grabbed my attention within the first 15 minutes, when I realized they were filming in the parking lot of what used to be Johnny B's on Hawthorne, not-so-very long ago. We all love to see our beloved hometown captured on film, it sparks an instant connection, and perhaps keeps us watching a little longer when we may otherwise be getting ready to give it the gong. But that certainly isn't the case for this film. Hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and were thankful for the 90 minutes of quality entertainment which is so hard to come by these days--particularly within the horror genre of today.

So give this one a looksee if you're wanting something to set a perfect Halloween mood, maybe even play it at your upcoming Halloween party. The filmmakers are trying to get a sequel made but need our help to fund it. Check out their Facebook page which features a fundraising contest where you can win a prop from the film, or at the very least get an autographed soundtrack (which is awesome, by the way). Two thumbs up!

Click here to purchase Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon DVD on Amazon

If Only Everyday Were Like Today...

Today began with a flurry of article writing, a rare occurrence, as I am not the speediest writer in the world. I know, I know, patience and practice, patience and practice. And I have to remember that I am only in my fifth week of freelance writing. I guess I'm excited because it only took 40-something years to figure out this career path for myself, after being a Jill-of-all-trades for most of my life. Each day unfolds another little layer in this writing process, and I'm astonished at how well I'm managing to learn and implement this new knowledge into my craft. Anywho, back to today...

After writing said articles for the content mill site I work for, I had the pleasure of wrapping up several record sales most of which were Halloween related. Being that Halloween records are my personal passion and most favorite genre of records to sell, you can see how this quickly became one helluva good day. Before getting involved with freelance writing, packing up records was by far my favorite part of my job...ok, maybe record shopping is my favorite part of my job, but you get the idea. Sales equal $$ and $$ means I get to keep the lights on awhile longer.

I know everyday can't be like today, but as we progress into Fall, the holidays and Winter, I'm likely to see more of them as 2011 comes to a close. I've spent a good amount of time and money gathering up a delightful collection of Christmas records for the upcoming holidays, but have found that they tend to sell all year round. Hey, who am I to try to figure it out? I just try to please my customers and continue to hunt for the rare and hard to find, as well as the just cool records which keep vinyl alive.

Have I confused you? One minute I'm talking about writing, the next I'm gushing about vinyl records. What's this bloody blog about anyways?? Well, both. I'm still figuring it out, so if I haven't lost you yet, stay with me, at the very least it won't be boring...

Giving it A Shot...Launching My Freelance Writing Career

OK, after finally figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, I have been soaking up as much information about it as my big eyes can drink in...but only as much as my brain can handle. Whew! There is SO much information available out there, and it's up to me to figure out the best of the best and run like mad with it. With a LOT of help from an internet pal, and a LOT of moral support from hubby, I am taking the leap.

So far, so good. I signed up with a content mill site (one of the better ones), to get in the practice of writing everyday, and clearing the rust from my mental wheels. At least it pays a little with every article completed, so I don't feel as though I'm sending all these words off into cyberspace without getting anything back. Check. Then I signed up with a few sites to produce content of my choosing, and get paid via ad revenue. The process for this has put me in a catatonic state for the most part, but I must admit a lot of people have been very helpful and patient while leading me through it step by step. Check. The jury is still out on this one though, as I'm discovering it takes a shit-ton of content to produce even the smallest results. However, that being said, I am only in week 5 of my new profession, and really loving it so far.

While my blog is supposed to be about all things vinyl, I think I'm going to change the format a bit and perhaps split the content in half...or should I start a whole new blog dedicated to my writing trials, tribulations and (hopefully) successes?? Hmmm.