Blog Blog Bling 2019

Connecting Online Again

Once again, I have experienced online connections that are entirely real, and mutual.  This has happened within the past 48 hours.

During that same time period I have also watched videos online that made me feel connected but really just cause me to participate in the freebie portion of a complicated advertisement.

Today, I have looked at my WordPress “Stats” and have found that most likely, the underlying causes for the downward change are the following: 1) a few days went by without my blogging new posts.  2) I didn’t spend at least 30 minutes reading other bloggers posts at WordPress.

In-system versus Domains

Wealthy Affiliate

Many of you know what is going on, but some may not have yet noticed.  What we get depends a lot on who we know, how much we can afford to spend and what kinds of things we spend on.  Thanks to this, millions of us have access to free or extremely low cost websites and blogging technologies, but there is a caveat: the freebie versions are normally limited to ‘in system’.

I most noticed this in-system versus domain name difference when I belonged to Wealthy Affiliate.  I joined there to get a free website and to market my own products (books and ghostwriting services).  There was an opportunity to learn about affiliate marketing.  I was not honestly interested in that, but as that was most likely the real motivation behind the organization, I went ahead and learned about it.  In truth, I tried it at my website.

All the business for my own interests that I found when using Wealthy Affiliate, was other members of Wealthy Affiliate hiring me to help them improve their websites by paying me to ghostwrite web content or to edit their website content or writing papers related to their business websites.

So far, I have tried Wealthy Affiliate twice.  The first time, I did earn significantly more than the membership cost me, but nothing like what a real, supportive full time job or good husband (yes, I have female bias due to being female) but the second time I lost money.  In one case, I earned about $0.70 from the “affiliate marketing”.  In the other case, I didn’t make money any better from that than I did from selling my own products and services via the same website.

The people who were members came across as very pleasantly friendly.  It was fairly easy to connect with them online and sharing information was smooth.

There was a large contingent of us who were dealing with websites that were low-cost but were only even functioning within the realm of the Wealthy Affiliate zone.

It was possible to free ourselves of that situation, but it required spending a lot more money.  Given that our need was to earn money, a lot of us got sort of locked in or ‘locked down’ at that stage of the process.

SBPRA

SBPRA is the publishing company of both of the novels that I have released so far.  They have provided author websites that can be accessed from the outside but both have their name on them still.  I have had to both spend more money and have had to learn in an effort to even get the website to function beyond ‘in system’.

I have mixed feelings about SBPRA.  I am very happy that they did or claimed to have accepted my manuscripts entirely because they are good enough and not because they are self-publishers who don’t care whether or not it is good as long as I will spend.  I am very grateful and happy that they have helped me to get respectable quality bound novels with good covers.  I am grateful that they provided me with a literary agent for one year for my first novel.

I am aware that really don’t have a good reputation, so much so, that they can be found on Writer Beware.  I realize that it is both true that innovation which threatens the status quo can get a ‘bad rap’ and it is also true that often a bad reputation develops as a direct consequence of bad practices.  SBPRA tried to charge me fees for services which a traditional publisher would provide me with at no fee.  Instead of paying me, the author, for the privilege of publishing my book, they did not.  However, they did grant me a nonexclusive publishing contract; they have produced respectable copies of the novels.  They have provided websites.  They have offered other services to support the work.  In my view this is much worse than the kind of publishing deal that I would like and vastly superior to what the situation would be like had I been limited to self-publishing.  It is that another publishing company did pick up one of my novels in another variation of deals that are horrible compared to excellent publishing deals and great compared to “shark tank victimization” deals.  The other publishing company offered to publish at both no fee and no pay out to me of an advance….in an exclusive contract but then didn’t release the book within the year and a half that they had the book.  They did get the cover together during that time.

The websites had an ‘in system’ look about them, but I have spent on a domain name so they hopefully won’t have this kind of problem.

WordPress

Here we are at WordPress, having our blogs.  We can spend enough to make it so that our blogs won’t be limited to having an ‘in system’ type of circulation.  It could be argued that WordPress has tacitly told us that as long as we promote WordPress using their logo on our blogs they will let us blog without spending a lot more money but society has also told us that we may be frowned upon as being insufficiently professional in approach and online appearance, unless we operate without these other organization’s labels.

You (plural) i.e. You all

I’d love to read responses or comments from any of you about this.  Is this a great topic or does it seem too elementary: intro to use of the Internet for business?

Have you (plural) had the same kinds of experiences?  How have you overcome these challenges?

Changes in professional writing 2016

Online, I have managed to gather some writer friends.  I am not always the greatest person about learning every aspect of the job but interacting with some other writers sometimes helps.

About that: I have been particularly bad about learning every gory detail about the industry.  For over 20 years I was just one of the writers who is an artist about writing and was looking elsewhere for a day job.  I had not forgotten that my mother advised that I either try to become a technical writer or else make sure to have a day job.

Harsh reality: there was a reason for that advice.

There have been many changes in the industry during the past ten years.  In truth, the situation has continued to improve and to become worse right along with the improvements.

The reality for those who were getting some income by writing online is just one area where changes made by a relatively small number of powerful business people caused a lot of people to lose their income as writers.  Part of it seems to have been a side effect of ‘affiliate marketing’ and ‘content mills’ but not all of the changes are clear.  In some cases it is just that the environment became much more competitive.

Freelancing websites abound but more people are participating.  Job openings for full time staff writers have been growing in many nations including the USA and UK for those using English.  Even so, many of the writing jobs that women working from home were doing, suddenly disappeared and many pro writers were suddenly told they would no longer be paid for their work.  Elsewhere online, some freelancing sites told people they could work at beginner rates their entire lives or be blackballed.

Meanwhile, more affluent writers balked at the horrors some of their counterparts were going through and urged those others to either switch to way better paying clients or to switch jobs entirely.  The underworld of writers has made it so that some people who want to get paid to write actually can, but like much in life it has both a bright side and a dark side.

In 2016, this situation has not come to an end.  There is some writing work available serving affiliate marketers and there are still plenty of jobs – full time and freelance positions, for professional writers in the English language.  Landing and keeping clients is just one of the many aspects of the job aside from the writing itself that writers may learn at any time in the process.

Most writers are known under the nomiker ‘journalists’ and many others work ‘at magazines’ or other types of ‘staff writers’.  Such people often manage to earn a living which often impresses other writers but literary authors and artistic writers are often left with a bitter or sour feeling about it.  Journalists themselves, including quite successful ones I have personally met, have themselves felt beaten into submission and found themselves proud to have earned a living for decades as professional writers but still wondering if anyone would ever pay them for anything they wrote because they wanted to write it.

During the past ten years, as most readers may already know, there has been drama about how much the world of publishing has been changing and about how much electronic publishing formats were becoming powerful and whether or not they were a threat to print media.

Some readers may recall that one of the big thrills of the computer revolution was supposed to be reduction in consumption of forests for use as paper.  That might not be great news for the paper industry.  However, in actual practice, the dynamics and the drama between that kind of ecologically friendly motive and also the reality of where the money in the industry is and how people honestly feel about using electronic and print formats.  The more recent introduction of e readers created another great opportunity for people to look into electronic books versus print books.  Consumer trends, pricing, what will really work for whom and why or why not.

There were hopes and fears that ebooks would overtake print books but after a few years it now looks as if print books are still more popular but that e readers and ebooks now have a nice healthy niche within the book industry.

As it happens, and as referred to earlier, the majority of professional writers are not book writers, but some are.  The most famous of writers are quite often the book writers and a few journalists.  Every once in a while a play write or a poet becomes ‘famous’.  In the meantime, the TV and film writers pull in good livings and end up in situations that are reminiscent of corporate executives or university Deans – they are not really treated as stars, but they really do well for themselves and have good reputations.  Studio musicians with good reputations have a similar kind of experience.

Print and online article writers and blog writers are most likely to be the most numerous kind of writers – especially when ‘ordinary, real journalists’ are included in the count.  It also includes hordes of writers working from home, sometimes as parts of groups and other times as individual freelancers.

The industry continues to change.  The biggest mystery of the world of professional writing is that for those in this vast and broad ranging industry, the paths to success are somewhat diverse and what counts as success is to.  As in acting and so many other professions, the majority are not the most successful and many suffer from shattered dreams.  Many professional writers do best early on and when young whereas there are large corps of others who become successful after age 50 or even after age 65.  Of those, some just try it as a new thing later in life but here and there are success stories from people who really tried hard for 47 years to become successful writers before they finally ‘made it’.  In that respect, some writers give each other a lot of advice and some say only that people should really get a job in a different field if one wishes to earn a living.

How To Use A Ghostwriter – For Your Business

How To Use A Ghostwriter – For Your Business

How to use a Ghostwriter  -  For Your Business

Your Need

You have a business. It may be online, or brick-n-mortar or both. You have communications that you need written up. Now and then you need some help. Maybe you need help regularly but not enough to provide a full time job to someone. You want to outsource but would like to establish a relationship with whoever helps you meet your writing needs.

You can hire the work out to a writer. Many freelance writers are willing to work as ghostwriters. In these cases, a ghostwriter is not so much a specialist as someone who will simply not have their own name on the finished piece.

You can find these people online or by networking with people who you know on or offline. Ghostwriter Needed is the website of Miriam Pia, who works as both a ghostwriter and author.

Every writer has their limitations. Miriam Pia is not willing to just do your university doctoral thesis for pay. Miriam is not able to write a medical book for a physician without a lot of research and help from the doctor or nurses because she is not a trained medical professional.

Miriam Pia is excellent for books, and for articles. She has written reports and has done some academic writing. She has written online curriculum. she has written for adults and for children but has more experience writing for adults.

Research projects are acceptable, but the less the area is one of experience, the more research is needed. Fees are commensurate with the size and scope of the project and the amount of research involved.

Editing and proof reading services are also available.

Deadlines

Deadlines and schedules need to be discussed during negotiations. If Miriam is not otherwise busy, it is often feasible to get 1000 words or fewer turned around in 24 hours from when the deal is made. Entire books require 1 full year when the author is not too busy.

Rates

Rates are dependent upon negotiation. Miriam prefers $0.20/word or better, but has worked for less and would rather work and get paid than get nothing from lack of better paying clients. Flat rates are possible. For example: $50 per article, $15K for a draft of a book.

Contact

Please contact Miriam Pia at the Contact page to make your deal, and meet your business’s writing needs.

Writer’s Advice – Don’t Quit Your Dayjob etc. 2014/2019 edition

The following are simplified forms of writer’s tips I have received over the years:

For amateurs:  write every day, if in school or university take English classes.  Join a writer’s group.  Learn to accept constructive criticism.  Read the greats.

For professionals: Don’t quit your day job.  Don’t expect to earn a living doing it.

Get a communications or journalism degree and then you might be allowed to earn a living as an in house staff writer.

It is actually both what you can do and who you know or can get to listen to your pitch.

Lack of Help

There are ways to earn a living at it but people act as if letting you know what they are is more secret than people’s raunchiest sexual secrets or secret service classified information of their nation state, so good luck finding out.

Get a Mentor

It is possible to get mentors within professional realms and within higher educational organizations.

Simple Methods

Move to New York City and meet editors and land a literary agent.

Move to Hollywood and get a job as an editorial assistant.

Figure out how to get invited to parties given by publishers, editors, literary agents and anyone else in the industry.  Learn to schmooze for professional purposes instead of being designated as being solely for the entertainment of those in attendance.

Pitch using the Internet.

Attend conventions, professional writing groups, anything and everything you can try to get anywhere.

Nurture relationships with any editor who accepts your work.

Realize that many editors will not respond to even your best work for a variety of reasons.

Pay to get additional training.

Writing and spiritual growth 2014

A natural question for some is: how is writing related to spiritual growth?  Well, most of know that some writings have been held sacred for thousands of years.  During phases in any culture where literacy rates are low or books are hard to come by then hanging onto sacred writings or treating them with respect is all that can be taught. 

There are people who earn a living writing spiritual books and work along those lines.  Both clerics and lay folk do so, although their motives may not always be identical. 

People may engage in private writing or professional writing that those doing it do not perceive as being for spiritual reasons. 

Privately, people may write about their spiritual lives or about their own lives from a spiritual angle.  For those practicing a religion intentionally, who want a means of keeping track of what happens, writing in a journal may help. 

A few months ago I read a nice article online by another writer.  He wrote of how personal and professional development went together for writers and authors, at least in his own perception. 

Many years ago, one of my professors who was also a martial arts Olympic Judoist I took just a few lessons from talked with me about it.  I was wanting to write more but treasured the opportunity to take judo lessons from such an esteemed teacher.  He was a psych professor and was actually alive despite having been a WW2 Kamikazee pilot.  What he told me back then was that it was all about growing as a person and if the writing was more useful to me for that, at that time, then just do that and don’t worry about it. 

Types of writers continued

Last week one post was about types of writers and some of the types of professional ones.  Like most industries, it all seems the same at first, but the more you learn about it, the less like that it stays. 

Advertising: there are writers who work for advertising agencies.  Some agencies do work with freelancers, others do not.  For people who do not only write, this can be a good match.  You have to like people, creativity and the true nature of advertising.  If helping people is everything to you – this may rapidly decay into mere profiteering.  If you just like to get paid and deal with creative people, you might really like this industry.

Documentation: I didn’t even know about this until I was over 40 years old.  These are corporate positions.  If you already work in a large company with numerous departments – ask around, and you just might find that you can get a spot in the documentation department. 

Writers in documentation departments are less likely to have journalism or communications degrees than the people working in TV, newspaper staff, magazine staff and ad. agencies.  They are more likely to have a technical skill such as engineer and want to write.

Grant proposal writers:  These people may or may not admit that they are even writers depending on how they got there and how they really feel about it.  They do write, but normally they make their money writing proposals for an organization to get grants.  There are a few specialist freelancers who write grant proposals.  This is another one of those weird little jobs that one might not have thought of when one think “writers”.

There are more than just these.  Hope this helps those wondering what “writers” means in terms of job titles.

Helping Other Writers early Dec. 2013

Here is the reality of the situation.  As a writer, other than ‘losing’ to competitors, I don’t feel that I can be of any real useful assistance to all other writers out there.  There are many I have made online contact with who have been published more times and by bigger publishing houses or who have more experience selling their wares or their skills to higher paying markets.  Because help is often based on experience, I don’t feel I have much to offer people like that in the way of assistance.

However, there are types of writers that I probably really can help without having to ‘be a loser in relation to a winner’ to do so.  I did offer some writing workshops as one small effort to do so.  I just brought in regular people: one group, I helped to write a unique poem about themselves.  The other group I helped to clarify and organize the intergenerational stories and experiences that they want to be able to carry on or even to pass on to future generations of their families.  They did not view themselves as professional writers but I was able to help them.

There are writers who are novices to the profession that I can offer a little help to, but I still need help from editors and inside contacts and publishers and agents and more experienced pros in order to even learn what I need to do, and then I also have to do it, or else it doesn’t work.