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Archive for the ‘Writing for AC’ Category

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 »

What’s In Store for Associated Content Contributors?

In News, Writing for AC on October 30, 2009 at 1:27 pm

As some of you already know, I jetted off to Associated Content’s New York HQ this past Monday to get the grand tour of the AC digs and meet with the staff (yes, they do exist!).

I had the opportunity to sit down with several AC staff members to share my impressions of the site and ask questions about their short and long term goals, content strategy, and also learn about the role each member of the team plays in the company.

Here’s a quick rundown of Q&As we covered:

Q:  What’s in store for Contributors in the next six months?
A: AC’s CEO Patrick Keane reports that AC will be focusing on creating higher quality content across all categories.

This means there’s a need for strong writers and a high demand for unique, highly-specific content. AC is on the lookout for niche experts, and will be rolling out a verticalization strategy so that Contributors are publishing highly targeted content. Contributors whose content consistently performs well will see the highest returns on their investments in the oncoming years.

AC Darnell and AC Brenna also mentioned the Featured Contributor Program, the first step in rounding up the niche experts in different categories. This is a new opportunity for select Contributors who continue to publish outstanding work in a given niche, and who also have expertise in a certain field.

The Community team is also working on an organized system for newbies who want to learn the ropes at AC…more to come soon.

Other things in store:

  • More Assignments (yay!)
  • A fresh new accounts page with detailed reports
  • Gallery of images that can be used by any Contributor (rights cleared)
  • Overall improvement in quality content
  • More aggressive promotion and distribution of published content
  • Increased demand for hyper-specific, usable content

Q: Can we expect to see increases in upfronts, pageview bonuses and/or paid assignments in the near future? Read the rest of this entry »

Writing Great Headlines for AC: A Refresher

In Writing for AC, Writing Tips on June 25, 2009 at 10:00 am

Writing compelling, click-worthy headlines is an important part of publishing articles on Associated Content. According to CopyBlogger.com, 8 out of 10 people will read the headline copy and only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.

If you’re determined to get those pageviews, paying attention to your headline will help you get more clicks. A high-impact, keyword rich headline will attract readers when it’s listed in a feed or posted anywhere else on the web, and also has the potential to rank high in the search engines.

You don’t need to  do keyword kung fu or use over-the-top statements to write some great headlines, but you will need to think about keyword placement, and choose certain words that attract clicks. Here’s a refresher on writing great headlines for AC articles:

1. Keep it Simple and State the Obvious

Let your creative side run free when writing your article, and stick with a direct, no-nonsense approach when creating the headline. The headline needs to tell the reader exactly what’s in store, so avoid using clichés or creative phrases. However, don’t be afraid to use superlatives to emphasize your point. You can keep your headline simple but make it more effective when you add words such as ‘best’, ‘worst’, or ‘most effective ways’ to the sentence.

2. Pose a Question

Readers like to have their questions answered directly, and an article that answers a specific question might just help you get more clicks. Rephrase a declarative statement used in your headline as if you were a reader looking for answers. What type of questions would they be asking? Use one of these questions as your headline to pique a prospective reader’s interest.

3. Generate a List Read the rest of this entry »

5 Reasons to Continue Publishing with AC

In Writing for AC on June 9, 2009 at 5:08 pm

There has been a lot of speculation and debates on the AC Forums lately about AC’s potential and page ranking ‘problems’ the site may be experiencing, but in spite of it all, I think it’s worth looking at all of the benefits of publishing with AC compared to other options online.

Whether you’re a newbie or have been with AC for years, here are just five reasons to keep on keeping on with Associated Content:

1. Associated Content is still one of the best publishing outlets online that pays upfront. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a site that pays on schedule for content that you choose to publish. When you need some extra cash, you can write about whatever you want and get paid for it. Sure you could make more if you published on your own blog, or sold your work to a magazine, but do you really have the time, skills and opportunities to do that?  Some writers on this site do, but the majority don’t.

AC’s system is efficient, easy to use, and really can be a reliable source of income.

2. You can improve your writing skills with each and every piece. Even if you don’t get the highest possible offer, or the highest ranking on Google for your article, you’ve gone through the writing process and are that much better than you were yesterday.

Keep at it, and you’ll only get better and better.

3. AC staff members are doing a pretty fine job with the tools and resources they have. Every company has its setbacks but things can change. Things can improve. We don’t have any idea what is going on behind the scenes, and speculation or excessive criticism downplays a lot of great things about this site,  and the hard work that the AC team has put into it.

(scroll down to read the rest of this entry) Read the rest of this entry »

Announcing: The AC Source Book

In Writing for AC, Writing Tips on May 11, 2009 at 9:00 am

AC Source Book Paperback

It’s official!

The AC Source Book is now available for purchase as an eBook download and in paperback!

I’ve written this book to help anyone succeed with Associated Content; you’ll learn everything you need to know about SEO, formatting your articles, keyword research, and article promotion.

It’s all laid out in an easy-to-read guide.  It took me well over a year to learn everything in this book, but you can learn it all within a few hours!

Check out the promo video for more information (you may need to turn up the volume):

AC Source Book Intro Video

Don’t miss out on the introductory offer to snag the FREE Social Media Report and FREE subscription to the AC Writing Tips newsletter.

Click here to head to find out more about the book and jumpstart your writing success with AC!

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!

Question of the Week: What’s Your Writing Goal for February?

In Writing for AC on February 1, 2009 at 9:00 am

How many articles do you plan to write this month?  Have you set a goal, or are you waiting for the creative engines to kick in?

I’m a big supporter of mapping out my goals each week so I can visualize exactly what I want to accomplish.  This strategy helps me focus at the beginning of each day and turns the project into a priority task.

My February goal:  at least 35 articles (non-C4C or Partner Content)

How many are you going to publish this month?

Share your goal in the comments below!

Making the Most of the AC Community

In Writing for AC on August 10, 2008 at 6:00 am

The AC Community is a great place to share your ideas, pick up tips on writing for AC and promote your work.  If you’re not already active on the forums, you can head over to the ‘General Discussions’ and ‘The Workshop’ for some great insights and input from veteran CPs. 

Checking in with the AC Community at least once per week will keep you in touch with the latest news on AC, feedback from content managers and give you a chance to learn from other CPs. 

Here are some other ways to make the most of the AC Community:

  1. Introduce yourself!  If you’ve recently joined AC, don’t be shy about introducing yourself in the ‘Newbie’ section.   Get involved with the AC community with a positive start, and post some information about yourself.  Many CPs will post back for your official ‘AC Welcome!’
  2. Engage in constructive criticism.  Avoid getting caught in negativity on the forums, especially if you’re just starting out.  If you have some constructive criticism to share, feel free to post but be prepared for sometimes ‘too honest’ feedback on your work as well.  
  3. Tune in for Sam’s Happy Hour.
    Read the rest of this entry »

AC Nuggets: Writing On Topics That Pay

In AC Nuggets, Writing for AC on December 28, 2007 at 6:40 pm

230px-dollar_symbol_goldsvg.pngMany CPs first starting out on Associated Content want to know which topics pay well, and which ones aren’t worth the trouble.

Writing for AC is a trial and error process; since anyone can write on just about anything, it’s difficult to gauge what types of articles are really got a high offer when they were published.

How did I figure it out? By writing on all sorts of topics, and submitting according to the guidelines and requirements.

After you get the full range of offers (and humbly accept a $3-$4 offer on your first few rounds), you’ll get a fairly good idea of topics that the Content Managers love you for—and the ones they’d rather not see again.

I’ve published almost 2,000 articles on AC (a big party after the 2,000th article is published, I’ll keep you posted), and have learned a *few* things along the way.

Here are just five hot topics that always pay well on Associated Content, and five that will get you a low offer, or none at all: Read the rest of this entry »

AC Nuggets: Online Promotion 411

In AC Nuggets, Writing for AC on December 27, 2007 at 7:59 pm

Promoting your content online is one of the best ways to make each and every article that much more profitable. You write, you publish, and then your work starts to earn residual income all by itself.

For some people, promoting online is a cinch; they’re connected to a myriad of social networks, are MySpace gurus, and can quickly rake up those pageview numbers after just a few clicks. For others, the whole process can be overwhelming and might seem as though it’s not worth the trouble.

It is.

No matter what type of offer you received from the AC editor du jour, you can bump up your revenue by generating as many pageviews as possible, and even though it will take some time, the extra hour or so each week can really pay off.

When you’re looking for ways to increase page views, build up subscribers, or just make a few friends with your must-read content, here are some tips for online promotion:
Read the rest of this entry »