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Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

Who in the World is Heather Adams?

In Who in the World? on February 25, 2009 at 8:00 am

heather-adamsThis North Dakota native was a music major in college and actually hid the fact that she could write from the newspaper.  However, her creative talents took over and she now works for the local newspaper as a reporter.  Heather K. Adams is also making her rounds on Associated Content, turning out articles about parenting, music, cooking, health and education and other lifestyle topics.

She says she is now addicted to writing, and is working her way up to becoming a professional freelance writer. I caught up with Heather to find out how she fuels her caffeine addiction, and her best picks of noteworthy CPs:

SK:  How did you get started with writing for AC?

HA: Actually, it was someone who knew Sabah who got me started on AC! I’m a reporter for my local weekly newspaper, and he encouraged me to read Sabah’s content on AC. It took me a while to get into the groove of things, but soon I was hooked.

SK: Your favorite content category to browse at work:

HA: Since I work at a newspaper, news is my favorite category to browse at work. That way, if I get “caught”, it’s at least related to my line of work. I can’t imagine what kind of grief I would get for reading one of Kelly Spies’ articles on sex toys at work!

SK: Do you write for other online sites or publications or only on AC?

HA: Not really. I’ve posted a couple articles on Constant Content, which were accepted right away, but they are just collecting dust. I’ve started looking into other venues, but I’m content at AC for now.

SK: Your most popular/most commented/newsworthy article?

HA: Sexual Abuse of Toddlers: Six Behavioral Signs to Look for in Your Child I have mixed feelings about my best performer. It was such a difficult article to write because it was so personal. I shed many tears when I was writing it, but I felt the need to get the information out there to help other parents who have found themselves in the same situation. When I check the page views every update, I’m torn as well. On one hand, I’m happy that my article is helping so many parents, but on the other, it’s sickening that so many people need the advice offered in that article.

My next highest evergreen performer is Lost Tampon: Symptoms, Removal Tips, and Prevention.  Make of that what you will!

SK:  Name one website you visit at least once per day: Read the rest of this entry »

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AC Announces February Content Drive Sweepstakes

In AC News on February 25, 2009 at 12:21 am

Need some extra cash before tax season?  You could be the winner of the AC February Content Drive Sweepstakes, a contest that’s offering a $500 grand prize.

AC is encouraging all Content Producers to submit content under the ‘Display Only’ license from now, through February 28.  A winner will be selected from a drawing; each article you submit is considered one (1) entry, so your assignment (if you wish to accept it) is to submit as many articles as possible over the next four days.

Read the official rules here, then fire up your writing notebook/laptop/computer of choice to drum up a blitz of articles for the first ever content drive.

Good luck everyone!

Weekly Roundup: Spring Break Planning 411

In Weekly Roundup on February 23, 2009 at 8:00 am

February is almost over (!) which means Spring Break season and March Madness are dead ahead.  If you’re anxious to hit the sun and sand this year, clue yourself in to these Spring Break destinations and tips from fellow CPs:

The Best Places for Writers and Artists to Vacation for a Spring Break by Yona Gold

Best Spring Break Beaches 2009 by H. Elizabeth Hunter

10 Family-Friendly Ideas for Spring Break in Utah by Sara Bolton

Save Gas When Driving to Spring Break by Jule Pamplin

Take Your Spring Break in Las Vegas This Year by Lauren Evans

Service Projects for Spring Break 2009 by Chanda

Best Sun and Fun Spring Break Festivals 2009 by Sheri Fresonke Harper

Spring Break Tips for Couples on a Budget by Stephanie Armstrong

Tips for Taking Spring Break Photos by Amber Donmez

Any Spring Break discoveries to share? Post them below!

Who in the World is Tamara Waters?

In Who in the World? on February 22, 2009 at 10:00 am

head-shot-try-this-oneAs a young girl, this CP would write up her own family newspapers using a toy typewriter for Christmas.  Flash forward a few decades, and she’s cranking out articles about personal finance, home decorating, holidays, education, crafts and history.  She’s a homeschooling Mom who’s happy to share she’s kinda quirky;  I managed to catch up with Tamara Waters to find out how she got started on AC, and who she’s reading right now…

SK: How did you get started with writing for AC?

TW: I saw an ad on freelancewriting.com for a website looking for content writers. I checked it out and decided I wanted to give it a go. That was in January 2006.

SK: Your favorite content category to browse at work:

TW: Well, I work at home, but when I browse I like Lifestyle, Crafts & Hobbies and Parenting.

SK: Do you write for other online sites or publications or only on AC?

TW: I write a weekly column for a local newspaper. I write for PNN – Personal News Network (frugal advice and money saving tips) I’ve just started writing for Demand Studios and eHow.

SK: Your most popular/most commented/newsworthy article?

TW: Hmmm, I’ve had almost 10,000 hits on an article I did on teaching kids about Easter, but I’ve had plenty of comments from real, live people about a tongue-in-cheek piece I wrote about dealing with a zombie infestation in your own community.

SK:  Name one website you visit at least once per day:

TW: The USGS earthquake tracker – I’m just quirky that way.

SK: Three CPs that have inspired you/whose work you enjoy reading regularly: Read the rest of this entry »

Who in the World is Rose Kitchen?

In Interviews on February 17, 2009 at 10:00 am

She’s a musician, illustrator and writer who loves life and all its challenges. R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen has been making waves on AC with over 350 articles on medicine, health, history, travel, teaching, and a myriad of other topics.  You may have ‘met’ her on the AC Forums, but I had a chance to catch up with this talented CP to find who in the world is the mysterious Rose…

SK: How did you get started with writing for AC?

RK: I was just searching the internet for some writing opportunities and AC popped up.  I signed up and the rest is history.

SK: Your favorite content category to browse at work:

RK: Definitely, Diseases and Conditions.

SK: Do you write for other online sites or publications or only on AC?

RK: Yes, I write for BrightHub, eHow, DietSpotlight, Constant Contact and Textbroker as well as for private clients.  I am currently working on a few articles to submit to medical journals.

SK: Your most popular/most commented/newsworthy article?
Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Roundup: Black History Month Greats

In Weekly Roundup on February 15, 2009 at 10:00 am

Black History Month is in full swing, and CPs have been writing up some great articles about celebrations, events and, of course, the history of Black History Month.  Here are a few highlights from this month’s published lineup:

5 YouTube Videos That Teach About Black History for Black History Month by Rachel Carpenter.

Top Ten Famous Quotes to Celebrate Black History Month by Kassidy Emerson.

Black History Month Poems by W. Diane von Zwol.

Celebrating Black History Month in Oregon by G.L. Morrison

Free Black History Websites for Black History Month by Momma J.

King’s Dream by Dave.

Black History Month: A New Journey Begins by John Gugie.

Are you doing anything special to honor Black History Month?  Share below!

This Valentine’s Day: I Heart AC!

In AC Nuggets on February 14, 2009 at 4:00 am

‘Tis the season for chocolate, roses and Valentine’s Day revelries so I was intent on baking up at least one chocolate treat this season.

Here it is…a sweet tribute* to Associated Content and the community at large!

ac-valentines-cake-005

(scroll down to read the rest of the post)

Read the rest of this entry »

Who in the World is Linda StCyr?

In Interviews on February 12, 2009 at 3:00 am

linconcert1When she’s not painting up a storm or diving into her antique book collection, this talented writer is busy sharing her unique point of view on a variety of current topics and newsworthy items.

Linda StCyr is a professional freelance writer and freelance artist who’s been with AC since May 2008 (she’s an AC young’un!). We’ve been enjoying her articles ever since, and you’ll probably catch her in the Forums more often than not.

I swung by Linda’s world to find out who in the world this CP really is:

SK: How did you get started with writing for AC?

LS: Accidentally, I was bored at home and decided I needed to find something to do at home in my spare time. I couldn’t get a regular job because my youngest was in school although I work as an Administrative Assistant to a real estate firm it is only a weekend job. Since I needed to earn more money to cover some extra expenses like cable I browsed the internet. I was delighted to find AC and really thrilled that they paid me for my first article. That was a lesson though, it was sent back 2 times before it was accepted.

SK:Your favorite content category to browse at work:

LS: Religion and Spirituality. I love hearing other peoples views on Religion so it is among my favorite categories to browse. You can learn a lot about people by the way they write about their spirituality. Although I am Pagan I really enjoy everyone’s diversity on AC.

SK: Do you write for other online sites or publications or only on AC?

LS: AC opened doors for me that I didn’t think were possible to walk through. I can now call myself a Freelance Web Writer because of the start AC gave me. I write for Demand Media, Bright Hub, Helium, AC, Textbroker and currently am actively sending stuff out to print magazines.

SK: Your most popular/most commented/newsworthy article?

LS: Right now my most commented on article is Michael Phelps Caught Smoking Pot- Torn Feelings from a Previous Pot Head. Read the rest of this entry »

Who in the World is CJ Mathis?

In Interviews on February 9, 2009 at 10:00 am

She’s happily married to an Army soldier and has traveled around the globe to find newsworthy places, people and destinations to write about.

CJ Mathis has reached the 8th planet on AC by writing about consumer issues, healthcare, relatioships and travel.  I caught up with this talented, coffee-loving writer to find out who in the world CJ Mathis really is:

SK: How did you get started with writing for AC?
CM: I ran across a blog post regarding AC and how great the site was.  I checked it out and thought perhaps I could share some of my knowledge with others.

SK:Your favorite content category to browse at work:
CM: I am retired so I don’t usually do any browsing at work.  I like to look at all the different categories on AC so that I get a taste of everything each week.

SK: Do you write for other online sites or publications or only on AC?
CM: I am involved with other sites for photography only.  I have not branched out to other sites for writing though.  I am not in it to earn a lot of money so that being said I guess AC is a hobby for me.  I am way too old to be discovered as a Journalist and my dream of being an overseas correspondent will never come to light.  I am just satisfied to be able to write articles and have others enjoy reading them for now.

SK:Your most popular/most commented/newsworthy article?
CM: I think my biggest PV article is my article on The Trojan Finger Massager – it gets a thousand PV’s each update.

SK: Name one website you visit at least once per day:
CM: Ning – I usually visit it late at night and see what the group is up too.  I also visit the National News sites and my Bank at least once a day.

SK: Three CPs that have inspired you/whose work you enjoy reading regularly:
CM: I love reading the work of Angie Mohr and Elizabeth Kitchen and I must admit I look at all of the Barefoots and E’s new articles each time they publish.

SK: Your favorite form of caffeine?
CM: I make my own espresso so that is my kick for the day.  I drink about 25 cups of coffee a day and love each cup to the last drop.

SK: A favorite hobby when you’re not writing for AC:
CM: I love to travel, ride horses, read books, and am an avid crime scene follower.

SK: One pearl of wisdom for any AC Content Producer?
CM: I would love to see everyone strive to excel at AC the better we write the more we will achieve.

SK: Your favorite quote about writing or otherwise?

CM: I don’t really have a quote.  My mother taught me that if I am going to do something I should do it the best that I can.

Writing Tips: 5 Ways to Power Up Those Headlines

In Writing for AC, Writing Tips on February 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Writing attention-grabbing headlines is a critical part of your article’s success.  Many avid readers are using RSS feeds and other readers to keep up with your latest published articles, you need a great ‘hook’ to encourage a click.

Here are five simple strategies for powering up those headlines:

1.  Tempt them with a number.Six Ways to Lose Weight This Month’, ’11 Tips for Decorating the Living Room’ and ‘5 Ways to Power Up Those Headlines’ give the reader an idea about what to expect.  Numbers simply work; try them in your next article!

2. Command an action. Making the title an imperative resonates with the reader looking for solutions.  ‘Learn to Speak French Like a Native’, ‘Discover the Secret of Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies’ and ‘Improve Your Fitness Level in 7 Days’ spell out a definite purpose for your articles.

3. Reveal a secret. Make a promise to deliver the ‘truth’ to make your headline more compelling.  ‘What X Didn’t Tell You About…’ or ‘What Car Manufacturers Know About…’ adds a feeling of intrigue or mystery to your title.  This doesn’t work for every niche, but if you can find a way to use it and weave in your keywords, the headline can be very powerful.

4.  Keep it short and sweet. The ‘perfect’ headline is only 65 characters long.  That’s about 5-6, one and two-syllable words.  Read the headline out loud or visualize it on the front page of your favorite newspaper; would you want to read more if it caught your eye on the newsstand?

5. Use power words. Marketers have a long list of persuasive words that encourage action. Some of the most effective include:  win, inspire, lose, earn, learn, find, compete, sell, surprise and avoid. Can you use any of these as the lead to your headline?

Play around with your headlines this week to freshen up your article and attract more attention.  Have any tips of your own?  Share them below!