Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finished with Fourteen and Back to the Land of the Living

I finally finished my last article for the 14 in 14 challenge at Suite101.

I will say that the 14 articles in 14 days challenge really helped to get me into a writing state of mind. Now writing four to five articles a week will be fairly simple.

I would recommend setting up a disciplined writing goal to any writer. Though you might feel like a bit of a word zombie at the completion of the challenge, you'll end up being a much better writer. Plus, it adds a large bump to daily page views and revenue.

Now I must place a heavier focus on my jewelry making as I've got a holiday show just around the corner. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 25, 2009

14 Articles in 14 Days: Working the Writing Muscles

Right now I am in the middle of a 14 articles in 14 days challenge for Suite 101. At first I thought this would be relatively easy. I mean, there are days when I can sit down and write 3-5 articles with little problem. 14 in 14 is turning out to be slightly more challenging than I first thought though.

I guess I would liken this challenge to training for a marathon. Training for a marathon requires running every day. Some days are great and you feel like running for miles. Other days, just putting on the tennies is an arduous task. The same is true for writing.

Some days I can crank out 3-5 high-quality articles before lunch. Other days, I could labor away all day just to produce one presentable article. I find that this is the challenge with 14 in 14. Writing one article every day for 14 days challenges you to work the writing muscles even when they're aching and tired.

On the positive side and in keeping with the sports theme, the challenge is instilling a "just do it" or, better yet, "just write it" attitude in me. It is exciting to see my page views dramatically increase and my revenue go up. I'm going to stick with it and push through the writing pain and hopefully I will reap the benefits when I cross the finish line.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Internet Radio - My Work-At-Home Friend

When you spend a large amount of time on the computer during the day, Internet radio can be a sanity saviour. I spend a lot of my time listening to 3WK or 3WK Classic on I-Tunes. The music keeps me going and I enjoy hearing a lot of artists that I don't typically hear on my local radio stations.

I also was listening to Pandora, but they started putting limits on the amount of time you can listen per month. I understand why they did this, but it's still slightly annoying. If you haven't tried Pandora though, you should check it out. The site allows you to create your own radio stations based on your favorite artists and songs. It's a pretty good concept. You can also mix artists on stations, so you could have a Prince and Annie Lennox station.

Anyway, I have also been wasting time on the Internet watching music videos on Youtube. Though I haven't done this too often, it is easy to lose track of time when watching your favorite artists. That said, do enjoy one of my favorite musicians in this Youtube clip. After all, we all need a little escapism now and then, right? What do you listen to when you work?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Creating, Creating, Creating. . . Making Money????

Lately I have been trying to create both jewelry and freelance articles in an attempt to eventually make a living working from home. Notice that I used the word eventually. Though I am seeing modest returns for my hard work, I am by no means even close to paying a mortgage with my writing or jewelry. It would be easy to get disillusioned and give up, but I am actually pretty optimistic. Why?

Knowing What I Don't Want to Do
Well, over the last few years, I was working at a dependable job, but I hated it. My stress level was through the roof and I lacked sleep, exercise and sanity. My pay and benefits were great, but every day on my way to work, I would imagine what it would be like to just keep on driving and not go in. There were some aspects of my job I enjoyed, but not enough to make the stress and fatigue worthwhile.

Trying Something New

So now that I am working from home, there are other stresses, such as making enough money and staying on task, but I am thoroughly enjoying directing my own path in my career. The amount of work I do is directly tied to my earnings and there is endless potential for growth. I can also express myself creatively with few limitations. So far, the experience has been invigorating. In fact, I feel like I've been awakened from a deep sleep. So how do I get this new direction in my life to sustain my financial needs?

Laying the Groundwork

First, I know I must lay the groundwork by amassing a large cache of online articles on the top-paying residual sites. I am going to avoid upfront pay for as long as I can because the residual sites will allow me to establish long-term financial growth. I find that the best site for financial growth is Suite 101, followed by eHow. I am going to focus my energies on those two sites to produce a future of substantial residual earnings.

Second, I am going to focus on making high-quality and affordable jewelry and promoting that jewelry online and locally. I am going to look into wholesale opportunities for some of my pieces. I am also going to apply to shows to reach new audiences with my work. By establishing a client base, I can then start to make more sales and reach more people through word of mouth recommendations.

Staying Vigilant and Putting in the Hours

Finally, I have to look at my writing and jewelry as a full-time job. I have to put in the same amount of hours, if not more to make my dream a reality. I can't let up in a month, two months or a year if I want to make it in the residual writing or jewelry business. Luckily, I am fully dedicated to working as hard as I can to make this happen. Keep your fingers crossed for me though, because I will need a lot of luck too!