Saturday, October 1, 2011

iWriter: Can It Serve Your Publishing Needs?

The iwriter platform has certainly earned some of the early naysaying it's received, but there's another facet to the site that a lot of publishers have probably overlooked. In the high-tiered dimension of iwriter, there exist writers who are friends with grammar, style, and tone. These sparkling inksmiths might visit the lower tier once in a blue, but the likelihood is slim you'll see them very often in that section of the iwriter woods. If your thinking of writing the site off completely, you might want to give the pros earning top marks a try.

Before you grimace with the assumption that iwriter's rates will only deliver horribly botched writing that can't be salvaged, consider its hidden tier. At the general tier, writers are sorely underpaid (at the time of this writing it's close to half a cent per word when they get their cut...), but once they break through 20 projects and have earned a current sum of at least 4 stars, they can easily earn .02 per article in the upper tier.

The upper tier saves iwriter from a swarm of spinware-variation plagiarists. If a writer can pay rent writing for you, they won't need to rush and can take time and pride in their work. Factor in the following tips when you purchase iwriter items, and you'll find excellent writers and copywriters you can return to again and again:

1.Pay For Quality

Article costs can mean the difference between acquiring an article for your site that inspires visitors to return with friends or leave with a snap judgment about the worthiness of your website that isn't in your favor. If you're using your pieces for backlinks, you might do well in the general pool, but if you're looking for pieces that will win loyal readers, pay for the talented scribes to contribute their ink to your cause. The iwriter site treats its publishers far better than its writers. Expect high-turnover of who is available until this changes, and give writers you love an incentive to log in and look for your projects specifically.

It helps if you know which authors are in line with the voice you're seeking. Look for links or mentions of places you can read writer samples on their profiles (maybe even make a request to iwriter to allow writers to show samples of their writing quality on the hire page), or throw a few cheap assignments into the writing pool and keep track of the writers that display talent (even the high-tier writers have a start in the low-tier for their first twenty 4-star (or above) rated assignments.

If you get a beyond unacceptable piece from a writer that is gaming the system, you can always reject it and try again. Be careful with rejections, though. Because there are some “publishers” who seem to like to reject more than they receive, writers will guard against potential scammers that are stealing articles without paying. Too many rejections could make writers avoid you altogether, even if you pay top price.

2.Outline The Format You Want

You don't have to provide an extremely detailed outline, but be sure the writer knows what amount of search engine optimization you're looking for. Some publishers want a post-Panda experience with less keywords and good LSI, others want the keyword to appear in the first sentence, last sentence and in each in-between paragraph. Writers have to choose an SEO path if you don't choose it for them. The results of letting them decide for you may or may not please you when you have the finished piece in hand.

3.Keep A List Of The Writers Who Deliver Good Content

You can hire a specific writer from their profile page, and even if your favorite doesn't work weekends, you'll still have a list (eventually) of true winners to choose from. Keep inventory of which writers have delivered works that prove they know their grammar, care about content accuracy, and the tone you specify for your pieces.

4.Avoid The General Pool For Articles You Need At High Quality

You may get lucky, some publishers do, but expecting 5 star work at nearly half a penny a word (what writers receive after the platform takes fees) is unrealistic. At that rate, the work is being done for slave-labor. No one can write enough articles a day to pay rent and eat on that kind of pay in the western world. As a result, writers will take less care with pieces from the general pool than they would an article priced to respect the time available in their work session.

In the general tier, you can expect rush jobs, grammatically incorrect pieces, rewrites that are just a hair above plagiarized, plagiarized works, and the odd shining articles that won't be back once the writer gets into the higher tier. If you just need works to rewrite, the general pool can't really disappoint if you are fair about getting what you're paying for. If you need quality work, however, order through the higher tier and make it worth the writer's while.

The iwriter platform can grant boon or bane if you're not careful. They are the lowest paying content interface to date at their low tier. This easily attracts writers with lacking or sporadic-motivation (and then there are those who haven't gotten a handle on writing but write for you anyway) and publishers interested in taking liberties (some of these jokers expect 25.00 quality for 2.00 and abuse the writers that accept their projects – read through the low feedback on writer's pages for a few chuckles).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Independent Income Sources

In brisk financial times, multiple streams of income help ensure a reasonable degree of financial security. When the majority of them are independent, all the better. Embarking on a freelance venture can be daunting at first when you're conditioned to expect income to arrive in your hands via a weekly paycheck, but it doesn't take long to see the viability of indie business if you start off slow and take the time to experiment with what works. Some sources are steady income streams, others are fallbacks. Identifying which is which makes it possible to live fully on an independent income stream fairly swiftly (given the right attention and stick-to-it-iveness).

Before embarking on a freelance venture, identity your strengths, and then identity strengths you can develop overtime.

Optimizing Immediate Strengths

All of us have talents. You may be a wiz with numbers, formidable with a pen, a born organizer, an exemplary imagist, or talented in another field your services are needed in. Identify what you do well, and decide whether or not it's something you want to freelance. If it is. Start brainstorming your service plan and marketing approach. There are content mills and virtual staffing companies you can join but its always advisable to build your brand, at least on the side.

Long-term Strength Training

For those skills you don't quite feel secure in or learn completely from scratch, there are opensource digital program tools, online schools, virtual libraries, and social groups where you might find someone to apprentice under. We're in a time of great possibility, despite appearances. Devote an alloted amount of time each week and you'll be an old hat in swift time.

Markets and Freelancing Tools

The following are markets for some of the more readily visible categories of freelance work supported by online presence. They aren't by any means all there is, however, just a listing of some of the best, legit tools and potential clients. If you know of any worthwhile additions, drop a line in the comments.
(writing forum)
(SEO marketing blog)
(writing, general business/marketing)
(writing, graphic design/visual, tech)
(easeful writing for spare change)
(bid-based virtual staffing)
(Sell digital wares)
(Open Digital Market)
(Open Market For Spare Change)

Check back for updates.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Why Cheating Your Customers Is Silly, Subway.

Could Subway be any stingier of late? Extra finger motions midsprinkle "delivering" two tablespoons of shredded mozz (on a footlong no less), or a teaspoon of olives for those cheeseless vegan flatbread numbers doesn't make customers want to return. I've broken up with at least four Subway locations in less than three weeks for this ridiculous display of amnesia on the former grinder-haven's part.

As an eatery of such wide-reaching acclaim, Subway should be ashamed to have staff literally giving the least amount of fillings possible during sub orders. If one can't enjoy their sandwich without worrying about a miserly sub-maker growling "that'll  be extra" every five seconds or so, one will have to find an eatery that actually cares about whether or not their customers are happy with their purchase. Only a foolish merchant plays with their customers' food.

At this point, the only Subway I'll shell out cash to acquire a veggie delight from is one that can part with the overflowing buckets of green goodness laid out not as a tease, but as a promise of swoons and heartlight flickerings to come. If you know of locations that still deserve to be open to the buying public, do post them in the comments.

Feel free to post the locations hungry patrons would fare best avoiding.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stretch Thy Dollar: Luxury Brews

During a visit to the illustrious Red Lentil today, after ordering a Berry Rooibos tea (pure magik), it occurred to me that while I'll continue to support my current favorite vegan eatery I will need to keep the beverage fund tightly leashed for awhile. Whole Paycheck has a decent selection of teas, as do online purveyors, that I can make at home (added vanilla extract and all) for a much smaller pricetag. The same is true for the cheerful frothy charms of the ubiquitous smoothie.

I can, for the price of a banana and a cup of pineapples, blend a small bit of liquid heaven in my humble green kitchen and err on the side of caution in such treacherously tight-fisted times where prices grow bold and sometimes cruel to keep merchant heads above water.

If you're paying heed to this particular lightbulb, what homespun creations are satiating the spendlust within?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Finding The Self

We're in an age that promotes homogeny before a backdrop of flashing lights, big booty vixens (many with the new injectables filling out their apple bottom jeans), and all manner of trend-regurgitating target-market candy. Mainstream music has grown more soulless and sensational by the day, and nearly anything-baseless-goes in the media. It's a circus of half-assed distractions, but most are so exhausted after several hundred miles on the fiat-paper hamster wheel that even drivel of this microtude has become acceptable.
When you can't feel anything anymore, distortion's sweet nothings feign the capability of filling the void.

But the void too many are running themselves into the ground to get away from can only be contended with when we have the metal to face it. The discontent of many years is an amalgam of experiences seasoned with criticisms from the "other" and the learned nitpicking assessments we make of ourselves well before we know who we truly are.

If we're ever to gain a sense of harmony and peace in this world, we'll first need to excavate the part of us that is willing to peer into the mirror with eyes that have fallen out of the habit of scorching what they look upon.

There's a certain amount of receptivity in that: a kind of freeflow in which we surrender our (perceived) dire need for (transitory) definition or foundation laying labels and categories.

When we can go here, we can find the self where its at home shining in truth.

Saturday, July 30, 2011