Monday, January 17, 2011

Associated Content

I got started writing for the web in May 2007, and Associated Content is where I cut my civilian writing teeth. I stumbled on it quite by accident. I was a member of a frugal living/Dave Ramsey forum, and someone posted a link, saying we could use AC to earn extra cash. I thought it was a scam! But, I'll try almost anything once, so I moseyed on over and threw up an article. I made up a separate Paypal account, just in case. The next day, I almost fell out of my chair to see that my article was accepted and paid for, and the money was already in my Paypal account! I was sold! I ended up writing tons for them over that summer and fall while I was deployed and TDY at an Air Force school.

Things have been SO busy then, that I got out of writing for AC. I'd throw up a piece every once in a while, and managed to make it into the Top 1,000 of 2008 and 2009, but I wasn't able to do anything serious with it. Then when Yahoo! took over this year, I heard rumors of not-so-good things, so I was in no hurry to get back to it.

I ended up going back to AC out of boredom and need for $$$ for my debt snowball in October or November. I threw up a couple pieces, and the upfront offers they made me were astronomical compared to 2008 and 2009 rates. They were comparable to the high offers that AC was still giving in 2007 when I signed on. I was astonished! I applied to be a Featured Contributor in 3 areas, and was approved for all three! Featured Contributors are guaranteed three paid pieces on a topic of their choice in their FC area each month. Each article pays $10. So, being an FC in 3 areas guarantees me at least $90 per month. Plus, I keep getting targeted for Finance articles, and articles on several other topics. These articles pay $10-20 each. . I am bringing in almost $1,000 per month between upfront pay and page view bonuses. AC is one of my two main sources of income, and I LOVE it! And the best part - I only spend about a few hours a week writing for AC. The pay is great and the work is enjoyable. That's what it's all about, right?

If you are looking for a place to write, consider AssociatedContent. There is no application process; you simply sign up and begin to write. No writing sample or test needed. Just write! I'm all about helping my friends and readers get out of debt, and AC is a nice little side-gig or even full-time gig for those looking to earn money by writing. Enjoy! :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Please help Leia!!!

Please Help Leia! We are about $90 short - every penny helps. If you have even $0.01, $0.05, $1, $2, $5 - everything helps. Thank you!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Busy, busy, busy...

I haven't forgotten about my blog, honestly! Many of you know that I do a LOT of work for some animal rescue groups. I have spent my "free" time over the last few weeks doing transports for homeless dogs. We take abused and homeless dogs, rehabilitate them and show them LOVE, then adopt them to good homes. And I get the happy job of transporting those dogs to other states in my hot-rod Mazda MPV to their foster or furever homes. And sometimes I get the bittersweet job of rescuing those babies in need from bad situations and getting them out of there. (Those are the times I leave my pistol and my CCH permit at home - I'd go nuts on these abusers if I didn't). So, I have been super-busy with that.

In addition, last week a friend of mine went home to be with Jesus. She fought pancreatic cancer for almost two years, and in the end, she beat it by leaving it behind and going home to our Heavenly Father. She passed away on Elvis's birthday. She was just a couple weeks shy of her 40th birthday, and left behind a husband and three children. I KNOW she is in a better place, and she's not hurting anymore, but it's hard.

So, due to all this, my writing has been slacking off. However, I got together a writing plan the other night, and have been working it hard for the last two days. I am also back on the Dave Ramsey program, as I might have mentioned. I want to get this stupid debt paid off this year!

I am working on a post about a writing site that I'll have up this weekend. Blogging is on my writing plan, and I have it scheduled in on a regular basis, so I won't be such a stranger. Hope all my readers are doing well! :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Whew! What a holiday!

This year, even though I was excited about Christmas coming, it never really felt like Christmas - I'm surprised that it's over. It never snowed or iced. My husband and I are both so stressed, with both of us working full-time AND going to school full-time. I just never really got into the holiday spirit. It came and went in the blink of an eye, and I worked every day. I just can't sit still, I guess.

The puppies LOVED Christmas! They each got a couple of Plush Puppies (cows and allie-gators), and Big Girl got a Plush Puppy stuffed tree with 3 squeaky stuffed squirrels. Little girl got a Plush Puppies stuffed Gingerbread House with a stuffed, squeaky bone, gingerbread man and gingerbread block. Too cute! They were running around barking and doing Wild Husky Freakout for days! They each also got a "grown-up Husky gift" - Mommy is a HUGE Coachie, so the girls each got Coach mini-Ergo keyfobs to wear on their collars - now they have Coach purses like Mama!

The kids also had a great Christmas! They each got NETBOOKS! Plus a few other things, but those were the biggies. They feel so grown-up and are so thrilled.

Daddy Claus also hooked Mommy up. I got two GORGEOUS, rare Coach Bleecker keychains, the Limited Edition Coach/Estee Lauder set from Dillard's, AND a WIRELESS KEYBOARD AND MOUSE!!!! Plus the kiddoes got me a $25 gift card to Starbucks. I can write like a fiend now. I got my keyboard and mouse the week before Christmas, the night that I had a little mishap with a sweet tea destroying my old keyboard. I was IRATE at myself, til hubby brought out my gift, and I melted into a puddle of tears! LOL And my parents sent me cash, so I bought a pair of Coach eyeglass frames with that. And I bought a pair of Coach sunglasses. PLUS, I got a digital picture frame from hubby and the kids, so I can keep pics of all of them with me on my desk!  I am SO blessed!

And not to forget Daddy Claus - I got him a Blackberry (phone), a set of magnetic gloves from Summit (he's a mechanic), and the kiddies got him a $40 gift card so he could snag some software he wants.

So, all in all, it was a great Christmas, even though it didn't SEEM like Christmas. Just really subdued and low-key, without the holiday excitement, I guess. I will get pictures of my gifts later - now I have to get some articles submitted so I can pay some bills. hehehe

Hope everyone had a FABULOUS holiday season, and looking forward to a great NEW YEAR!~

maggie mae

A picture - more pictures to come later:

 Matching Ergo Keyfobs for Mommy and her girls!~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How I Got Into Writing, Part Three

Well, I wasn't able to post part 3 of my little adventure yesterday. I got involved in a couple of work projects, and was just too wiped out at the end of the day. So, where were we? Ah, yes - I was a budding little content mill writer when we left off. Okay, so....

In the fall of this year, I made the decision to write full-time. Scary, but freeing and empowering at the same time. I started seeking out more sites to write for, and found several private clients. Thanks to my 3 legal degrees (2 AAS, 1 BS), I also do freelance paralegal work and am a notary. My little business is coming along - I am making enough to cover the bills, put money aside for taxes, and put some in savings. Dave Ramsey would be proud. I have a definite plan to get debt-free by the end of 2011. :) I've already paid off my business debt - there was none to begin with! I started a viable business with what I had on hand here at the house already. I bought a couple packages of nice pens with one of my paychecks, but I had everything else on hand. I am SO very blessed.

So, that's my exciting story. I have about 20 eggs in my little basket, and my business is still growing. I'm still going to college full-time as well, so it's busy around here, but I am happier now than I have ever been in my life.

Tomorrow's post: Some Resources for Freelance Writers

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How I Got Into Writing, Part Two

So, we have the story of my military writing career. Let's move on to how I got started as a civilian freelancer. :)

In May 2007, I was really working the Dave Ramsey plan, and was a member of a forum that concentrated on ways to become debt-free. Someone posted a link to I was skeptical, but set up a separate Paypal account and submitted my first piece to AC. I was amazed when it was published, AND they deposit payment into my Paypal account for it! I began writing more pieces for them, to include a 3-piece series on books for military wives. My page views went nuts, and really boosted my confidence in myself as a civilian writer. Right after that, I deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While I was gone, I was contacted by a newspaper at Fort Lewis, who purchased my series for military wives for a couple hundred dollars. I was flying!

When I got home, I kind of played at the writing thing while I continued my active-duty military career. I signed up with Helium, DemandStudios and others, and wrote during my lunch breaks at work, or on the weekends. I didn't start freelancing full-time until October 2008. That's where we'll pick up the story again tomorrow. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

How I got started writing.

We'll break this up into a couple posts, from day to day. I'd like to talk about how I got started writing.

I've always kept journals, and have loved writing, ever since I can remember. And my family enjoys reading what I write. But, I thought they were just saying that because they are my parents & siblings. So, when I had been in the military for about four years and transferred to a new unit and my Colonel started pushing me to write an article for him, I tried to get out of it. He was much smarter than I, though, and kept pushing me. Finally, I wrote the article for the base newspaper. I got so much great feedback on it, I began volunteering for more and more writing assignments. Soon, I had gone from "office helper" to full-blown military journalist, and began attending military journalism courses and teaching them to other airmen and soldiers from our sister unit. Sadly, a few years later, I accepted a position as a military paralegal and my writing was turned in a different direction. I did still manage to get a few journalistic and even legal pieces published in the newspaper about once a month, and I continue to do so today.

Tomorrow's post: How I got started as a freelance writer in the civilian sector!