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Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Who in the World is Ryan Christopher DeVault?

In Interviews on January 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm

He’s a stay-at-home Dad who enjoys spending time with his family, tuning in to the latest sports news and keeping up with the latest TV shows. He’s turned his hobbies and interests into a career, and Ryan Christopher DeVault continues to be among the top Sports and Arts & Entertainment Contributors on Associated Content by Yahoo!

He’s a full-time freelance writer and happy to have the luxury of working his own schedule. When he’s not busy writing and taking care of the fam, you can find him hiking or spending time exploring new cities. I caught up with this talented writer to find out what his writing goals are, and who has inspired him to continue building his flourishing writing career on AC by Yahoo!…

SK: How did you get started writing for AC?
RD: Originally I started out as just someone posting articles sporadically, and that lasted for more than a year.  When the 2008 Summer Olympics started though, I became extremely active, and really got into the flow of participating on the site.

SK: What inspired you to join?
RD: One of my friends was talking about how fun it was to write on Associated Content, so one day I finally decided to give it a try.  His name is Alex Diaz-Granados.

SK: Your favorite content category to browse at work is:
RD: Definitely Arts & Entertainment.  There is always so much going on in the television and film industry that you can miss a lot by taking a day off.  There are so many great contributors on Associated Content that provide quite a bit of news about what is going on in entertainment.

SK: What are your goals on Associated Content by Yahoo!? Read the rest of this entry »

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Exclusive Interview: YCN Year in Review with Sr. Community Manager Darnell Witt

In Interviews on December 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

It’s been a year of BIG changes for Associated Content Contributors and the migration to the Yahoo! Contributor Network platform is finally complete. Many writers are already finding their work on some of Yahoo!’s most popular media channels, including OMG!, Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! Shine and Yahoo! News and the transition has been a smooth one.

I caught up with Senior Community Manager Darnell Witt (formerly known as AC Darnell) for a recap of some of the highlights and improvements from this past year. And there’s even more to come! A brand new Contributor training program and a revamped referral system are a few new projects on the horizon.

Take it away, DW…

SK: What changes have you been most excited about with the AC/Yahoo! transition?

DW: To my mind, the expanded beta of our Performance Payments program, extending it across the Yahoo! network, is the single most exciting aspect of our new platform. Associated Content pioneered this performance-based compensation model, and now we’re rolling it out to some of the most popular sites on the Web!

SK: The Yahoo! partnership was announced over the summer of 2010. Did you anticipate the site migration this early?

DW: Immediately following the acquisition, our game plan was “business as usual.” We wanted everyone to know that Yahoo! didn’t just buy AC for the technology, but was also committed to carrying the torch of “The People’s Media Company” and continuing to provide contributors with as many opportunities as possible. At that point, the timeline for our full integration into the Yahoo! network was still “TBD.”

Over the summer, Luke (AC Founder and current Yahoo! VP) set the ambitious goal of launching a new, integrated publishing platform by the end of the 2010.  It sounded crazy at the time, because the process would require us to rethink and rebuild our publishing and page view tracking systems, not to mention redesign each page on our site, and develop an entirely new brand. But the whole team rallied around the plan, and put in lots of extra hours to make Luke’s crazy dream into an awesome reality.

SK: What are some significant changes Contributors can look forward to in 2011?

DW: We will be introducing Performance Payments on additional Yahoo! sites. We’re also working on new badges, a new blog, a revamped referral program, contributor training materials, and various interface enhancements. Of course, we’ll also be ramping up the publishing volume to Yahoo! sites as time goes on, so that means continually increasing opportunities to be published on the sites aligned with your interests and expertise.

SK: Are there any big plans or changes in store for the original AC Community? Read the rest of this entry »

Who in the World is Jolie du Pre?

In Interviews on December 2, 2010 at 8:09 pm

She holds the enviable position of full-time freelance writer and is also a published author with short stories in over 15 books. Jolie du Pre has taken the Arts & Entertainment category on Associated Content by Yahoo! by storm with the latest dish on celebrity gossip, “Dancing with the Stars” TV summaries and updates on music awards. But her writing talent isn’t limited to Hollywood’s latest and greatest. You might already have stumbled across her work on Yahoo OMG!, Asylum, Good Meals, Parent Dish, Noise Creep, Spinner, Made Man, eHow and other online publications. Jolie is also the editor of three anthologies and has a new flash fiction site called Leodegraunce .

I caught up with this Chicago-based writer, married mother of two and “The Office” fan to learn more about her AC writing career…

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

JP: I’d read on the Internet that AC was a place where you could make money with your writing. I was skeptical at first, and I asked a lot of questions when I joined. I was used to scams, and I thought AC was just another scam. The first amount of money I made was less than $5, but it was enough for me to see that AC was not a scam. Needless to say, today that $5 is but a distant memory.

SK: What inspired you to join?

JP: The positive testimonies about Associated Content that I had read on the Web inspired me to join. I also noticed that Associated Content articles ranked high on Google. That intrigued me.

SK: Your favorite content category to browse at work is:

JP: I work at home and when I browse, I tend to browse the types of articles I write. That would be anything Arts & Entertainment.

SK: Do you write for other online sites or publications, or do you publish exclusively on AC/Yahoo!? Read the rest of this entry »

Who in the World is Summer Banks?

In Interviews on October 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm

With over 1,100 pieces of content published on AC, Summer Banks is a busy Medical Assistant and freelance writer, turning out hundreds of articles on health and wellness, business, dieting and weight loss, and fertility. She’s been publishing on Associated Content since 2007 and is now a Clout 10 writer.

I caught up with this talented writer to find out more about her AC career and what has inspired to stick with writing on this site for almost four years…

SK: How did you get started writing for AC?

SB: In January of 2005, our family moved to Iron Mountain, Michigan and I left work to be a stay-at-home mom to our one year old twins. After 18 months, my brain was trying to push its way out of my ear and I knew I needed to exercise my most precious commodity. I started searching online for work at home jobs and stumbled on Associated Content in January 2007. Soon after I published my first piece, Confessions of a Cutter, and the rest (as they say) is Associated Content history.

SK: What inspired you to join AC?

SB: The ability to write words and be paid for it and occasionally share my passion on topics most people will not discuss. I have never been the homemaker type and needed, more than wanted, to contribute to the financial pot, so to speak. I needed to feel responsible for more than diapers and child care so Associated Content filled that void.

SK: Your favorite content category to browse at work? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Sherry Wight

In Interviews on March 4, 2010 at 2:15 am

She’s the lucky Contributor who published the two-millionth piece of content on AC this week, and also hit the Hot 100 list this month with her lineup of engaging and informative content about the 2010 Winter Olympics and entertainment. Sherry Wight is one of AC’s Featured Arts and Entertainment Contributors and has been publishing here for almost three years.

I caught up with this busy mom and self-confessed Dancing with the Stars junkie to find out what her writing goals are for 2010, who she’s reading, and how she’s making most of her experience writing with Associated Content:

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

SW: Good question!  Though I shy away from calling myself an addict per se, I started spending more and more time on AC after daily pageview stat updates were implemented.  I thrive on seeing how my content does on a day-to-day basis, so those updates are like chocolate: Addictive and delicious.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

SW: I’m a busy, often harried mom to three children, ages 5, 3 and 1, so time is of the essence.  When I first stumbled across AC back in July of 2007, I was skeptical.  I submitted a single article to dip my toes in the water and see how it would go, and then slowly added a few more pieces until I got a good feel for how it worked.  (Of course, I was happy to see that I’d actually get paid as advertised as well.)  I’m still here because it does work, it’s easy, I’ve seen my readership and pageview numbers increase, and I really enjoy writing.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

SW: I’m a Dancing with the Stars junkie, so my recaps and reviews are a given.  I write them as I watch the shows, and then publish almost immediately.  I keep an eye on Google Trends to see what’s hot, and will occasionally crank out an article based on a hot GT keyword, but my priority is writing about things that are genuinely of interest to me.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Matthew Lubin

In Interviews on February 20, 2010 at 3:18 am

As one of AC’s Featured Travel Contributors, Matthew Lubin has been busy writing about destinations in the Far East, medicine, film, movies and topics about English as a foreign language.

This talented writer, editor and academic writing professor has lived in Southern China and has published work in The Aroostock Review, Ink Collective and other publications.

I caught up with this AC Rockstar to find out how he found AC, and why he enjoys publishing here:

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

ML: I wouldn’t consider myself an AC addict as I don’t use it that frequently. When I first started using AC, I was working in China and figured it was a good way to make a few extra bucks for when I returned to the states. As I found other venues for my work, I used AC with less frequency, but always went back every now and again to see what was going on.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

ML: AC has been a consistent purchaser of my work. While I’d prefer to sell my work for more money, at least I know I have this site to fall back on. It also helped build my confidence as a travel writer, which got me my first freelance gig with a tour book publisher.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

ML: Most of my articles are about my travels because it’s what I enjoy writing about. I have never used AC’s suggested topics or calls for content. If I find a topic that interests me I’ll write about it.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Tamara Waters

In Interviews on January 12, 2010 at 6:47 pm

If you’re a regular AC Forumite, you’ve probably already caught this AC Rockstar patrolling the boards with almost-daily updates. Tamara Waters is a Featured Home Improvment Contributor and Featured Arts and Entertainment Contribtor, and has published over 370 pieces of content to date.

She’s been with AC since 2006 and has become one of AC’s most prolific Contributors. I caught up with Ms. Waters to find out what she’s busy writing about these days, and why she’s stuck with AC for so long…

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

TW: I actually signed up and started publishing in January, 2006. I published a few articles then life interrupted and I stopped writing for awhile. In late 2007 I decided to start writing again and then started writing more regularly in April/May 2008. It was during the late spring/early summer of 2008 that I started getting serious about what writing on AC. By the time I received a Top 1000 badge in January 2009 I was hopelessly addicted.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

TW: I like the fact that AC is quite versatile. I can write whatever I want and earn limitless money. I like having the opportunity to earn upfront payments on my articles. I’ve found some great friends thanks to AC and even though there are things that I get frustrated with about AC, it is still my favorite publishing platform.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

TW: I really have no rhyme or reason – I do a combination of targeted calls, partner calls and general assignments (when there are any that strike my fancy) as well as DO articles that I simply enjoy writing. I always write home improvement articles in a given month – probably because I’m a Category Editor for the Home Improvement section.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently?

TW: I would learn more about writing for the web at the beginning. I had no clue when I first started. I would probably also get into the Forum and learn the ropes – my time spent there has been invaluable for helping me grow as a writer.

SK: Do you use any social media tools to promote your content? If so, which ones? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Rose Elizabeth Kitchen

In Interviews, Writing for AC on December 27, 2009 at 1:36 am

Illustrator, musician and rockstar AC writer Rose Elizabeth Kitchen has been publishing away since December 2007 and has almost reached the 600-article mark. She’s a Featured Health & Wellness Contributor and has a background in healthcare as a freelance medical writer. She’s also an editor and writes on a variety of subjects including nursing, criminal justice, alternative medicine and dieting.

I caught up with this talented writer to find out what’s in store for her AC career and where else we can find her online…

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

RK: Just a few days.  Once I got my first upfront payment I was hooked.  It felt great to find a place that would pay pay me to produce great articles on the subjects that interest me the most.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

RK: Because I believe in AC.  Sure the glitches are aggravating, but I truly believe AC has our (the Contributors) best interest in mind.  AC allowed me to learn web-writing while making an income.  By writing for AC I also picked up several private clients that contacted me because of my articles on AC.  The community also plays a major role.  The people I have met at AC are some of the most amazing people and they have greatly enriched my life.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

RK: When a holiday is approaching I dedicate time to writing articles about that holiday because it always pays off.  When a holiday is not approaching I work on my niche which is health and wellness.  Health and wellness always pays off and it gives me the chance to still work in medicine without actually working in a hospital or clinic.  I like being able to further my medical knowledge and the knowledge of others by writing health and wellness articles.  I also keep track of medical news and awareness months and focus a few articles around those.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently?

RK: I would have taken the time to learn more about web-writing and SEO first.  I encourage all new writers to take advantage of the AC forums prior to submitting their first article.  If I could redo my first several articles I would.  Though they were written well, they really had no SEO and, for the majority of them, it shows in the page views.

SK: Do you use any social media tools to promote your content? If so, which ones? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Mary Kirkland

In Interviews on December 12, 2009 at 11:50 pm

When she’s not writing about pets, parenting and scrapbooking, you might catch Mary Kirkland watching a horror movie or working on a craft project. This AC Rockstar has been publishing with Associated Content since December 2006.

I managed to catch up with her to find out what she’s tweeting about, why she enjoys publishing on AC, and a few pointers for being successful on AC in the long-term.

Here’s the scoop…

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

MK: As soon as my first and then second article was published, I knew I was addicted. I knew from the time I was little that I wanted to write. I wasn’t sure what type of writing I really wanted to do until my first article was accepted. The rush you get when you realize you are actually getting paid to write and people are reading what you write and leaving good comments because they like what they are reading, becomes very addictive.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

MK: I’ve heard about other sites where I can write and get paid for my articles but this is the site that I like and feel comfortable publishing my articles with. I can work at my own pace and I really like the interaction with the other Authors on the site. Most people are very receptive to questions, and are willing to help other authors with problems they might have.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

MK: I tend to write about things that I know about. I write about small exotic animals ie…hamsters, rats, gerbils, mice ect. I always keep a notebook with me and when I get an idea I write it down. If I see something while watching a television show that I think would be a good article, I write a note to myself. So whatever I happen to want to write about at any given moment is what gets written

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently?

MK: I would definitely have taken more time to learn about writing for the web and how it differs from other styles of writing. After getting that first article published I figured I knew everything I needed to know. I thought, “Hey, I got published. I must be doing something right.” After a while though, it became apparent there was alot more to learn.

SK: Do you use any social media tools to promote your content? If so, which ones? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet AC Rockstar Kassidy Emerson

In Interviews on December 6, 2009 at 12:52 am

As she makes her way to the 10 million – yes 10 million – page view mark, Kassidy Emerson has attracted a steady following with thousands of articles about gardening, DIY and home improvement, family and lifestyle topics. She’s an AC rockstar who’s been with AC since February 2005 and has worked as a professional freelance writer for over a decade.

With over 5,000 articles published on the web, you’ve probably run into a few when searching for how-to articles and product reviews. Here’s what Kassidy has to say about promoting her content and her plans with AC for 2010 and beyond:

SK: How long did it take you to become an AC addict?

KE: I started when the site was rather new. AC was craving content and  I was searching for a decent site to write for. When we found each other, it took time for me to trust AC because so many similar sites had gone belly up. Once I determined they were here to stay, we clicked, and I’ve been an AC addict ever since.

SK: Why have you stuck with AC for so long?

KE: I’ve written for similar web sites over the years. I can honestly say that I’ve never written for such a top-notch site before. AC values their writers. They reward good work and performance.

SK: Out of all of the topics you write about, how do you decide which ones to develop or focus on in any given month?

KE: I think ahead to upcoming holidays and special events. I also think about articles that match the month. Examples: Sept.-canning produce, Oct.- raking leaves, etc. I then brainstorm possible article topics. The ones I feel inspired about, I write.

SK: If you could start your AC writing career over again, what is the one thing you would do differently?

KE: I would have gotten serious about writing for AC earlier. (see #1)

SK: Do you use any social media tools to promote your content? If so, which ones?

KE: Mainly Digg and LinkedIn.

SK: Are you on Twitter? Tell us where! Read the rest of this entry »