Ten Days to Volume 1

Welp, here we are with day 1 progress:

5,700 words on volume 3! Almost finished with it, I’m going to get chapter 5 polished up and polished off, then post it up first thing tomorrow– or maybe tonight if I get really ambitious. I also got a bit more planning done on volume 1’s revisions, I’d say I’m about 28% done with that, which I’ll get more done on when I can devote myself fully to it as I have with finishing volume 3’s main arc. The interludes will probably be done over the week as I can get a few words in here and there, but I really want to get volume 1 set up and done as polished as I can make it.

I’ve actually been reading some stuff about goal setting and how to get things done, including long term planning and getting motivation going. I’ll share those tomorrow, but McDonalds closes in 15 minutes, so I doubt I’ll be able to get it put together.

That said, here’s the progress wheel for today:

 

Aug21Goalwheel

Eleven Days for Volume 1

So, it’s been incredibly hard to get myself writing. . . As in, I didn’t get much of anything done last month at all– between the depression and feelings of hopelessness (I’m all right now, I’ve had a chance to get my head sorted out. . . I’ll be all right) but in this, I understand that I haven’t really been keeping my end of the bargain here– I haven’t finished Volume 1 as I wanted to!

This isn’t cool and it isn’t acceptable. So, I decided what I’m going to do this month is lay out my plan and do daily updates on it until I get the first volume cleaned up and published. For the sake of completeness, I’ve included my handy daily goal wheel which will get updated as I add to the goals.

The daily goal right now has been to get volume 3 finished up but that hasn’t happened! I’m going to keep working on it, but in the meantime, I’ve set up a rough plan to fix the volume up and give it a cohesive self-contained story that people will enjoy and be aroused by– naturally.

So, I’m going to get started first thing tomorrow and I’ll post an update this time tomorrow night along with the updated graph might have fallen off track, but dammit, I know I’m better than this. I’m also hoping someone will learn something through this, so let’s find out!

Oh, and I also plotted out a pilot for a serial. . . You can expect to hear more about that this week, too.

So, here’s the graphic. Shaded areas show completion:

 

Aug20Goalwheel

A Dark Dance. . . and some perspective.

I’ve been struggling for some time with how exactly I’m going to present this or what exactly I’m going to say. . . As a writer, I know I should know be able to present my feelings in a clear, concise way that makes everything swirling around in my brain understandable to myself and whomever reads these words.

But I can’t.

God, I can’t do it. . . I don’t have the words– the Rosetta Stone, if you will. For someone who attempts to make a living with words, I’m really bad at it when it comes to emotions, hey?

I’ve been struggling for some time with that feeling of ‘I’m never going to get out of this’, compounded by the thought that my laptop, my only option for making any kind of money, and if I’m being honest, my connection to the world at large, is going to fail me. This, after a scare earlier when my lcd panel cracked. . .

It sucks.

It’s depressing. It’d gotten to the point a couple times where I started looking at the things I have with me and I started looking at alternative uses for them… I don’t like being that person. I don’t like thinking that way, and I don’t want to consider the ramifications if I did something stupid. That’s not /me/ god dammit.

I’m sorry I haven’t been around to put more work out, but my muse has been taking a vacation on me. . . I’ve tried wrangling the bitch back under control several times and it just refuses to come. . .

Between the depression and the lack of creative juices, I’ve been having a hell of a time getting my head straightened out. I’m still trying to work on it, but. . . it’s hard. It’s hard to stay focused, it’s hard to remember what it is I’m after sometimes and, more than anything, it’s killing me to try and find the soul to /write/.

With Robin Williams’s suicide, we’re given a very poignant reminder what depression can do if left unchecked. But, by the same token, we need to understand that by asking for help, we’re putting a huge burden on the person we’re asking to help us. . .

I have no point with this post except to say that I’m alive and only by the grace of my girlfriend, the -very- kind words and help I’ve been offered by friends and supporters alike, I’m alive and I’m fed… healthy as can be given the circumstances, and trying my damndest to get something written for you folks.

Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I don’t deserve it. . . But I will never forget it. Thank you.

A million times, thank you.

Spread it! Like Butter!

Hey!

 

So, I wanted to take a quick moment and thank everyone who’s been supportive of the Dragon Slayer and I hate to ask anything, but I’m hoping I can look to you to help spread the message of Sarah Kettar and the sultry shenanigans that fall in her wake.

 

I’ve put together a kind of shareware or ‘demo’ version of the premium Dragon Slayer novella “Four Squared.” I’ve cleaned it up and made all the changes I wanted to in order to get this as clean and polished as I can, so please, if you enjoy this series, have a read and spread the ‘wealth’ around. It’d mean so much to me.

 

Click here to download the Premium version of Volume 1 Chapter 1 Image

Thank you again, dear readers, I sincerely appreciate your support!

Let’s Make Money Part 3!

Welcome to the shallow end of the pool!

Introduction
So, we’ve been going over preambles, questions to ask yourself (these are important, don’t get me wrong!) and all that happy go lucky bullcrap, let’s put some of this stuff into practice. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to make money writing from day one.

It’s not going to be professional freelance wage, don’t get me wrong, but you’ll make some cash and (perhaps more importantly) start building samples and clips for your eventual portfolio. The images you’re going to see here taken in one day unless otherwise marked, just to illustrate the point that you can make a buck right away.

First, let’s talk about goals.
When you’re writing for money, you’re opening yourself up to the vast and wild world of the Internet marketing scene and all the antics that come with it. The Internet thrives on new content (and kitten images), so it’s no oversimplification to say that your skills (and the income earning potential of them) is virtually limitless.

So, start with a goal. How much do you want to earn a day? A week? A month?

Since we’re starting small (like my self-confidence), we’re going to set the relatively modest goal to build on. Remember, this is day one. There’s no reason on earth we can’t make more than this, but we’re assuming an absolute cold start.

Sites We’ll Be Using:
Fiverr.com
iWriter.com
BlackHatWorld.com
WordPress.com
WarriorForum.com
Paypal.com

Be forewarned: This method is going to suck a bit at the start. The idea is to get our boots on the ground, laces tight and start there. We’re working towards a long term goal here, eye of the tiger and all that.

Grab yourself your favorite drink and let’s do this…

Step 1: Set up the passive stuff
Passive stuff in this case refers to setting up some accounts that’ll allow our potential clients to come to us. It also means that whatever wait time these accounts need, to clear or get set up, will have elapsed by the time we’re ready to use them.

Paypal.com
If you don’t already have a paypal account, get one. Seriously. This isn’t negotiable. On the road to making money writing, Paypal is the defacto standard for getting paid. Love it or hate it, everyone has their own opinions… If you’re in the US, grab yourself an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and open up a business account with them. It’s going to take 90 days of having your account in good standing before you’ll be able to get a debit card for the account. You’ll want this so you don’t have to go through this other nonsense…

OPTIONAL:
If you don’t have a bank account, grab yourself a Greendot card (right now, they don’t cost anything to activate, so you can walk in with a 20 dollar bill and walk out with a debit card and, most importantly, a direct deposit bank account number. You’ll be waiting 7 to 10 days before the card arrives in the mail, but that’s not a huge deal. You can deposit your earnings from Paypal into your greendot card via bank transfer. This’ll take 3-4 days, usually.

 

Fiverr.com
You’ll have to do your own research on how to make the most out of Fiverr, but essentially a gig (job) on Fiverr is worth about 3.91 after paypal fees and the 20% (!!) that Fiverr takes out of the transaction. There’s a reason you’ll want to set this up which I’ll get to in a minute. Once you have an account here, open up as many gigs as you’re comfortable doing.

I set gigs for copy writing, articles of various lengths, blog posts, and reviews for amazon ebooks. These gigs will need time to be approved and time to mature (IE: be seen by people). After this, we move on to. . .

BlackHatWorld.com
This is where we’re going to earn our ‘next step’ income. For now, set up your forum account and keep the tab open.

WarriorForum.com
Same with this, but you can close the tab for now.

WordPress.com
Same with this.

iWriter.com
Now… this bastard. We’re going to set up an account with these guys and mix ourselves a gin and tonic as we grab the lube off the ‘naughty shelf’. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m not a fan of these guys, but if you want to make money writing right now, this is a way to start right now.

With me so far? Yes, it’s a bit of front loading, but it’ll pay out in the long run.

So this is what we’re going to do…

 

Step 2: Opportunities
Hop over to BlackHatWorld and check out the ‘Hire a Freelancer’ section. Browse through for anything that looks doable to you and post a reply to the thread. These jobs tend to run the gamut from writing short blog posts to articles, code or anything else. Put a replies up with some kind of contact information (setting up a ‘business’ skype ID for this is pretty useful).

ImageFrom here, we wander over to the freebies section and post a freebie thread offering 5 free 300 word articles in exchange for reviews, tips and referrals. Here’s the thread I created and got replies to in about 10 minutes. BHW is /very/ busy, so you’re going to get a lot of replies. The fact that you’re offering free stuff makes it a no brainer. We’re not going to do these right away, this is for reputation building and we can spend a bit of time on it without loosing any traction. The idea of this entire method is efficiency and forward momentum. Give yourself a couple days and do these in your free time, like when you’re waiting for the bus or your drug dealer.

 

Image

 

By the end of this, I found a hand full of gigs to do, did them and walked away with about 10 dollars for almost no work on my part which is awesome. I also got some leads for potential future work this way.

30 minutes in and 10 dollars up.

Hello kitty approves.

Update: by the time I finished this article, I’d scored 2 more jobs for a net total of 60 dollars.

Day 1 Success.jpg

That deserves another cheerleader:

Image

 

Step 2.5: Time for Some Soul Crushing Tedium
While we’re waiting for replies to these gigs and things, we’re going to hop on over to iWriter and do up some articles. iWriter pay is notoriously craptacular. Even their premium writers make peanuts for the amount of labor involved, but the idea here is to generate samples and make some income on the side.

You’ll need to make 20 dollars before you can cash out of iWriter, which comes at about 2.42 per article, so while it might not be worth it, it’s a necessary evil. You’re being paid slave wage for quality work, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best. Some buyers will tip for high quality work and will request articles from you again and again.

I’m not in the habit of doing this and you certainly shouldn’t get into the habit of doing it with your real clients, but once we’ve written a few articles, we’re going to use them to build up our sample page on our WordPress blog which we’ll show to future clients.

The upside of iWriter is that once you hit 20 bucks, you don’t have to wait for payment and you don’t need to feel bad if you get responses to your blackhatworld postings. As an added up side, we’ll automatically have the 20 dollars we need for. . .

 

Step 3: Setting up the Inner Warrior
Good god will this never end, I hear you saying. We’re not done yet!

We’re going to mosey on over to the Warrior Forum and open up a Warrior for Hire thread under the appropriate sub-section (it’s under WSO). This is where we’re going to advertise our services for real money. Price yourself competitively but appropriately to your skill level and goals. When asked for samples, link people to your WordPress blog and try to be active in the community otherwise, with a link to your thread and even your blog in your signature.

 

Step 4: Make Your Blog Work for You
Your blog is also a great place to set up a sales page to offer your services. Think of it like your hub where you can show off samples, sell customers on your service and make the actual sale. Paypal provides the code that allows you to set up all kinds of pricing options. They’ll handle payment processing (via creditcard or paypal) and send you an email when a sale is made. To take advantage of this, you might need a premium blog, but with a little bit of google-fu, you can find ways around that, too.

 

Step 4.5: My Brain is Burning: More Blog Stuff
Now that our blog is set up and we have some kind of sales page… here’s what we’re gonna do with it: we’re gonna cheese the fuck out of it. Why? Because being broke sucks. We’re going to go through our Fiverr gigs which, by now, have been approved but probably don’t have any orders yet. I’ve been having some pretty craptacular luck getting orders, but the impressions (the number of people who’ve actually seen my gigs and read them) has been pretty good. So I decided I’d throw up a link to my writing samples blog. This turns my gigs into little mini-sales pages and helps build up ‘link juice’ with relation to your name.

Image

From Fiverr

Step 5: ???
So this is pretty much the absolute basics of making money writing. In less than 24 hours you can get your feet under you in the shallow end of the pool. You’ll make some money right away with very little effort (or a whole lot) and start building a portfolio to hook higher paying clients.

 

Step 6: Profit
From here, we’re going to build our clients. The SEO and Internet Marketing crowd are always in need of good quality content, but they don’t always want to pay ‘professional’ rates for it. Strike a balance, get your feet under you and get mobile while you’re looking for those high paying opportunities.

This is also the stage of the game where we’re going to start researching high quality markets that are harder to break into. The reason we’ve gone with IM sites as opposed to more popular ones, like oDesk or Freelancer.com is because those markets are super, super saturated and can take days or longer to get any work.

Plus, if you’re building your skills from scratch, you’re going to want to get started and get feedback quickly. This method ensures you’ll get that feedback, referrals and other such goodness going on. You might not make a mint, but you’ll get yourself established.

 

Conclusion:

Well, I hope something I’ve said in this post has been useful for you! When it comes to making money writing, you really can’t go wrong with some of these (reasonably basic) tactics that’ll get you started on your path to riches. It’s not a complete method because, ultimately there is no one size fits all tactic. I’ve used this method to decent effect and I advocate it because it’s simple and gets you rolling, you can build on it with a little research and patience. Agree? Disagree? Have a better method? By all means, post it in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Let’s Make Money Part 2 – Self Evaluation

I Want to Make Money as a Writer

So here we sit in front of our computers, playing flappy bird between bouts of downloading porn or connecting with friends and family on Facebook. You know, the ones who’re sitting across from us on the couch? Yeah, them.

Then suddenly and without warning, you’re struck by an idea; instead of wasting my time doing this, I could be making money with my massive writing talents! It sure beats trying to roll drunks or stealing from destitute orphans, doesn’t it? It has to!

Doesn’t it?

No, sadly not– but it can!

 

07fa414

 

Before you can pick up, though, you need to ask yourself: ‘Self, how can I make money writing?’ If you reply with something like ‘I bet I can make money writing articles’ then give yourself a clap on the back and go sign yourself into a mental care facility because you shouldn’t be replying to yourself!

Let’s Get Started: Evaluate

Before you decide how it is you’re going to make money writing, you need to take an honest look at your skill set. Fortunately, I’ve prepared a very quick questionnaire:

Mindset:
Do you actually enjoy writing? Is it something you could do (or do do!) without pay?
Are you disciplined enough to work day in and day out with no one looking over your shoulder?
Are you motivated to make money?

Skills:
Can you or are you willing to learn how to do good research and bang out words quickly?
Can you string words together in such a way to inform, motivate to action or sell someone on something?
Is your grammar at least reasonably passable?

 

02-memes_in_circulation

 

If you’re finding a lot of negatives here, don’t worry too much about it, skills come with time but it requires dedicated practice to really hone them to a fine edge. You can’t settle for less, here. It really does pay to have someone in your life with high expectations, but if you’re like me (that is to say, everyone you know far out strips your own abilities) you need to motivate yourself to greatness.

 

Reality: Must Have Skills

Strong Writing Skills
Obviously, in order to make money writing, you’re going to need writing chops. These come with time and experimentation, but writing professionally and asking people for money to write for them isn’t like writing a letter or firing off a text or email.

Ability to Write Quickly
Equally as important, your ability to provide your clients with content and quickly is going to be one of the pillars of your writing business. This is true for everything from fiction to advertising and comes with practice. There are plenty of sites out there to help you improve your word per minute ratio, consider taking some of them on!

Communication Skills
You know someone who hums and haws in person, can’t string together three words without a break and couldn’t write a paragraph without face rolling the keyboard. Someone that, should you try to read something they wrote, would probably be like trying to make out with Chtuhlu– I know this because you’re reading my blog; pucker up!

Oh, and don’t be that person.

 

Sleeping-spider-lips

 

Drive
Getting paid to write requires drive and consistency. You need to put words to paper and get projects finished in a timely fashion for your clients or your fans. This is where we come back to enjoying what you do. If you have passion and drive, you’ll go far. Consistency is the key!

Planning
Ho. Ley. Crap. This needs to be said again and again, planning is going to be your first, last and best friend if you’re going to try to write to make money. You plan out your articles, you plan out your stories, you plan out your business strategy and how you’re going to promote your skills to potential clients.

Conclusion:
This is a shorter post than usual, but I’m still not 100% and I’m getting my feet under me again so please bear with me.

In our next article, we’ll take a look at goal setting, polishing up your skills and getting yourself established. Then, after that we’ll get into the real meat and potatoes about finding yourself clients, how to start building your business from day one and how to really get the ball rolling.

I’ll see you tomorrow!

 

hqdefault