5 Must-Have Gas Grill Accessories to Buy

Introduction to gas grilling

Those who have attended a barbecue party may not be strangers to the grilling. This is a popular cooking method where heat is put directly on to the surface of food. In other words, there are no cooking pots when grilling. Instead, there is an open wire grid (also known as grill) with heat source placed above or below it.

Cooking is achieved through thermal radiation or direct conduction. All you need to do is expose the food to the right temperature and over given time (depending on the recipe). From charcoal to gas to eclectic grills, homeowners can pick what matches their grilling needs.

Advantages of gas grilling 

Unlike charcoal or electric grills, gas grills utilize propane or natural gas for heating.  The fact that gas grilled food and those grilled using charcoal have almost similar flavor is an added advantage. Not only are gas grills easy to use but also have numerous essential grill accessories and special features. Here are the common features you will find in a good gas grill:
  • Storage Drawers – Provide storage for grills accessories such as the gas tank and hold food residues 
  • Smoker Box – Ensure your food have smoky flavor just like the ones prepared on charcoal grill
  • Electronic Ignition – Saves time since you only need to push a button to ignite your grill
  • Burners – You primary source of heat for cooking
  • Rotisseries – A feature that enables you to cook big portions of meat and chicken etc
  • Cooking Grates – This is where you put the food. Grates are made of cast iron, coated aluminum or stainless steel to suit your grilling needs.
Gas Grill, Gas Grilling, Gas Grill Accessories, Grill Accessories
Gas Grill Accessories
Credit: Belson


The above features make gas grills more convenient. For instance, you simply push a knob to turn it on. They also have inbuilt thermometer to guarantee controlled temperature while grilling. Again, gas grills are easy to clean because they cool down faster. If you are looking for a portable barbecue maker then you have it in a gas grill.

Essential gas grill accessories

As alluded to earlier, gas grills have many accessories. However, you cannot do without some grill accessories. These not only make your grilling easier but safer too. Here is a list of five accessories you should have before you invite people to your barbecue party:
  1. Grill Thermometer – This is the only way you will know if your food is cooked at good temperature. Without a thermometer, you cannot rule out the chances of serving undercooked meals.  
  2. Seasoning Rub – The rubs makes the preparation of meats or fish simpler. They are available in organic food markets and have various herbs to give your meat and fish a pleasant taste 
  3. Grill Brush – One of the grill accessories that ensure you prepare meals on clean grills. The brushes are mainly for cleaning and should be chosen carefully. In fact, you should consider quality and length when buying a grill brush
  4. Grill Basket – This is better than a foil since it allows the smokiness to permeate through the basket to give the best flavor. You get the same taste you you’d have if you used charcoal
  5. Griller’s Cookbook – It may be erroneously listed among the least important grill accessories. However, a Cookbook gives ideas on how to grill almost all type of food. From grilling fruits to side dish recipes, you have all you need to complete your menus in a Cookbook.
Other grill accessories you should consider buying include the long-handled tongs. The tongs help in turning and even seasoning during grilling. Using a flipping tool such as a spatula ensures your barbecue is properly cooked. At times a Barbecue Sauce may help in case you lack the Seasoning Rub.

Advice on buying

You may be reading this and wondering how to go about buying your grill accessories. Well, the trick lies in a brief online search for grills based on your preferences. For instance, factoring in the size, grill material and extra features during your search will always point you to the right grill. Needless to say, you should look for the best bargains from reputable sellers.

Where possible, buy a gas grill with important grill accessories. This will save time and money as well as ensure that you have quality products. Finally, it is advisable that you consult friends who already own grills prior to buying.

10 Blog Traffic Generation Techniques You May Be Ignoring

Blogging is one of the legit ways of making money online. As a blogger, your work is to inform a specific audience. How you do that spells the difference between a successful blog and a failed one.  Now, contrary to what you may believe, blogging is a time consuming undertaking especially if you intend to make reasonable income from it.

I can say from experience that setting up your blog and publishing the first post is no task compared to getting targeted traffic. In fact, I have scoured the net for blog traffic generation techniques with little if any success and I believe I’m not alone otherwise why would be reading this post :). Research has it that only 30% of bloggers earn from it the rest are struggling with low traffic or should I say lack of blog readers.

Therefore, after months of what seemed like an endless search for traffic, I paused. I realized that at times we run for complicated things when the simple ones can still serve us sufficiently.  Asking whether I have overlooked some blog traffic generation techniques in pursuit of a quick fix. Obviously, I had and we all do sometimes.
Blogging, Blog Traffic, Traffic Generation Techniques
Internet Traffic
Image Credit: Free Image via Google Images
You may be reading this and wondering why blog traffic is so important. For starters, you want your message (post and articles) to reach certain audience without which blogging is a self-defeating exercise.  I mean, you cannot continue writing pieces for a couple of readers. You need readers and the more you have the louder your message is. Again, these readers are your source of income i.e. if you monetize your blog well.  Last yet importantly, high number of page visitors is a mark of trust and online reputation. This is something you would ‘kill’ for, wouldn't you?

First things first, you need a custom domain name before you embark on traffic generation. Nobody takes you serious with addresses such as example.wordpress.com, examples.blogspot.com or example.tumblr.com.  Buy a Top Level Domain (TLD) e.g. example.com from reputable sellers such as Namecheap, GoDaddy. Unless you are using Google’s Blogger as your platform then you need good webhosting too.

Ok, let us cut to the chase, you need blog traffic and loyal readers, right? Here are the 10 traffic generation techniques you may be ignoring but capable of turning things around:

1. Post quality and informative posts 

I know this sounds like a song to your ears. I mean, everyone keeps on reminding you to write good articles as if you are a newbie. Well, I also felt the same whenever I bumped onto a site with such instructions. Little did I know that I spent much time looking for traffic that I forgot to post informative articles for the few readers I already had.  At times, we lose focus of the real thing in pursuit of an illusion. Looking free sources of unlimited traffic should not replace your research time. Remember, your article is only as good as the time you put into the research.

In an attempt to provide fresh contents daily, you may resort to clever plagiarism (i.e. posting re-writes from other blogs). You should know that visiting other popular sites to poach articles is not going to help. First, your re-write or plagiarized content can never rank higher than the ordinal article not to mention that readers already trust the sites you poached from.  My 2 pence advise; please research and write convincing pieces and you will never worry about ranking.

How do you get unique and informative contents to your readers? I mean, there is nothing you are going to discover and patent today. Most of the things we write about are already published. Well, you can improve the available information. For instance, if most people talk about ‘20 steps’, you should list 30. If most writers are praising a product (e.g. iPhone 6) then join them in singing the praises while affording your readers the truth about the cons. With such twists, you can write about the same topic but appear unique and informative.

Resources: 

  1. The ingredients of a god article
  2. How to approach an article from different perspectives

2. Effective social media strategy 

I know you are sharing your posts via the major social networks. The question is, why are you not getting readers from your links? Something must be wrong and it will be unfortunate to keep on doing the same thing and expect better results. What I learnt is that there is more to social networks than meets the eye.

You must know whom you are sharing the information with. This is called effective social media use. You are going to share your article with the interested persons only. Here are some tips to help you generate targeted blog traffic from the social networks:
  • Get relevant followers on Twitter. This will ensure that only people interested in what you post follow you that translates into higher clicks rates. 
  • Know the time to tweet your articles. Contrary to popular opinion, you cannot just tweet whenever you like unless you are not interested in getting engagements from the tweets. I’ve read from authority sources that tweeting should be between 9 am to 3.pm. people are active on Twitter then
  • Do not forget to hashtag your tweets; this makes them available for non-followers too. Hashtag should not just be what is trending (i.e. you do not have to use #Gaza on freelance writing tweet).  Find a relevant hashtag by doing a twitter search.
  • Share your tweets with a list. A list is a group of followers who have common interest e.g. Article Writers, Bloggers and Fitness Coaches etc. Only share relevant articles with a given list to improve the click rates. 
  • Having a Facebook Page, Joining groups relevant to your niche and tagging friends are some tips you could use to maximum your impact.  Unlike twitter, Facebook allows you to write many words. So, make your snippet as enticing as possible.  A link alone will not get you any clicks. Put in a good word (a snippet) for the link and your Facebook friends and page likers will want to read more. 
  • Contact administrators of popular and relevant Facebook pages if your articles mentioned them. They may share it and get you some thousands of clicks in a day. You know as I do that social media traffic is so valuable and considered natural. 
  • Since Google+ is used for ranking (i.e. what you publish on Google+ is indexed on Google search engine results and ranks higher than your competitors) tag relevant Google groups or friends to your links. Again, do not forget a snippet. 
  • Avail social media buttons on your site with a polite message asking the visitors to share your posts. There are hundreds of social media widgets out there e.g.  AddThis, ShareThis etc. Just use the one that loads faster and looks nice on your blog.  
Another way of sharing articles (though it is less effective and non-targeted) is via social exchange site. Asking fellow bloggers to share your link with their followers is good thing. I have received objective comments from readers originating from Viral Content Buzz and Empire Avenue. To me that is quality blog traffic. The good thing is that the click rate is high if your articles are interesting.

Resources: 

  1. Social Media Exchange sites you should join today
  2. How to get free instant social media following 

3. Evaluating your ranking

This may be tricky as it obsesses. Checking your blog analytics from Google Analytic, Compete, Alexa, Quancast  etc is a good thing if done controllably. Your rankings on the Search Engines and the nature of audience your articles attract will help you improve. Again, there is no need to pre-occupy your mind with rankings; just check occasionally to know your progress!

4. Join relevant blogging communities

Do not confuse a blogging community with a blog directory. The latter is where your blogs are listed and may be good for backlinks and high SERP. However, I am talking about sites where bloggers share their contents and ideas.  At times, joining Blogging Communities on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn may be all you need to get up on your feet as far as blog traffic is concerned.

Resources:

  1. Top blogging Communities you should join
  2. Google+ Blogging communities you might have overlooked

5. Guest posting and forum posting

Guest blogging should be adding value on other sites by donating informative posts. You then are rewarded by placing a link to your main site or social media sites at the author box or the end of the post.  Guest blogging with the intention of getting links alone is selfish and may be unsuccessful. Worst still is posting on low quality sites (i.e. blogs with low traffic and ranking). Here are things you may want to do to complement your guest posts:
  • Comment on other blogs, especially the ones with commentluv. Your comments should add value not spam such as ‘great post’ ‘thanks for sharing’ ‘I’ve bookmarked it’. Instead, write comments of at least 50 words without links.  Commentluv displays the link to your latest blog post, which means more exposure for your linked post. 
  • Join relevant forums (Warrior Forum, SitePoint, Digital Point, etc) and post threads pertinent to the forum and under the right section.  The moderators will allow you to dislay your signature (your blog link) or banner every time you post. This can only mean more backlinks and hundreds of clicks. 
  • Join Quora, Postloop, myLot,  Yahoo Answers etc and provide answers. After a while, you will be allowed to place do-follow links to your answers. Just do not spam the networks unless it is your desire to be banned from the site. 
  • Write related articles on sites like Hubpages, EzineArticles, GoArticle, Squido, Bukisa and others.  Needless to say, your article should be unique and informative for it to stand out among the thousands. These sites receive millions of readers in a day. So, be smart and leave an enticing link to your blog to tap readers. 
Guest blogging is currently under strict monitoring by major search engines and the backlinks you get from such activities may not be helpful in some cases. So, maximize on the traffic by making the readers thirst for more from you. Where else can they get more except your site?

Resource: 

  1. Effective Guest Blogging Tips
  2. Submit a Guest Post on My blog

6. Tweak your site for speed and look

Even if you followed all the blog traffic generation tips yet have a mediocre looking site, you will lose the readers ultimately.  Nothing is off-putting like a site that takes a century to load. More disgusting is a noisy site i.e. a site with less information and more advertisement. Here are some tips for a better site:
  • Design a clean, minimalist and responsive blog template. 
  • If you have limited HTML or coding knowledge then contract a designer or buy from premium sites
  • Download a free template with the right qualities 
  • Your blog should load within 1-2 seconds
  • Don’t go for a flowery look but a professional one
  • Remove unnecessary widgets, test your blog speed  and overall site’s integrity and SEO score 

Resources: 

  1. How to download the right free blog template
  2. Where to get free blog templates

7. Engage your readers

Receiving hundreds of unique page visitors without knowing how to retain them is like pouring gallons of water into a leaking tank. It is waste of time. As they say, satisfied customers tell others, so make sure your readers find the answers they are looking for inside your articles or by replying to their comments. I mean respond in time with the right answer or an appreciatory message. The following will make your blog more engaging:
  • Add a related posts widget (LinkWithin, nRelate and Outbrain) to your blog so to engage the readers more
  • Add subscription boxes (an all in one is subscription box is ok) so that they can join your mailing list and get updates
  • Add your author profile below every box for the reader to understand you more. This may help cultivate  a personal connection between you and the readers
  • Add polls at the end of your posts to get your readers’ views as the whether the post was informative etc

Resource: 

  1. How to engage your blog readers

8. Have giveaways for your readers

Rewarding your loyal readers is one perfect way to keep them glued to your site. They will feel that you are aware of their presence and appreciate it too. Here are some blog traffic generation techniques you may try:
  • Write a free Ebook and give it to anyone who subscribes to your mailing list
  • Have some free domains to give the most loyal readers.
  • Share coupon codes  with your readers especially the ones for hosting or domain renewal
  • Offer gift cards if you can
  • Add Pay With A tweet Button to your blog

Resource:

  1. SEO Freebies to give your readers

9. Build quality and relevant backlinks

If there is one thing you can depend on, it is traffic from search engines. Annoyingly, the search engines consider certain aspects of your site for ranking. Your well-written article may be rank number 200 on the search engine (far beyond the reach of many) simply because it lacks strong backlink. I don’t want to your to be obsessed with Pagerank but it pays to set some times to build high quality and relevant backlinks.

Resource:

  1. How to build Quality Backlinks

10. Ping your site

If you did a template change or a site wide change then it is time to tell the search engines about it. The process of telling the search engines about your new posts or site changes is called pinging. It means the search engines will re-index your site.

Adding a site map to Google or Bing will ensure that your site is indexed. You may ping other search engines and blog directories manually through the ping sites/ software.  Again, too much of something is dangerous thus over pinging will only mark your site as spam.

Resources:

  1. List of pinging sites you can use

Bonus:

These are methods you may employ to complement the ‘normal blog traffic’. In some cases, their effect on your site’s reputation may be counterproductive.

11. Buy Traffic

There are hundreds of entities selling traffic. Buying traffic may not get you a lot of revenue but will give you some good Alexa ranking which may improve your SERP ranking. You can visit Fiverr and SEO Clerks for such traffic. Otherwise, try Google Adword to promote your site if you have some money.

12. Traffic Exchange Sites

Most of these sites will not give you any quality traffic. In fact, the short time the surfers take on your site increases your site’s bounce rate. On the other hand, it gives a good Alexa ranking. So, use if well and you can enjoy targeted traffic in the end.

Resource:

  1. Free Traffic Exchange sites to join
It is my hope that these tips help you get the right blog readers and end your search for quality blog traffic. You can add other tips or ask your questions via the comment box. Happy blogging!

Top 100 Freelance Job Sites for Article Writers in 2014

They say a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. Well, your journey to making serious income online begins with identifying the relevant and reliable sites for your needs. The problem is, is never easy to find these. So, to propel you forward, I have compiled a list of up to 100 sites that pay people to write.

Some are general sites while others specialize. Have personally verified that all the links work and that the sites are in business. However, as my friend Don Modekali puts it, you still need to go through the list one site at a time. Open the site, check whether they are accepting writers and note their requirements. When you have a list of about 10 that you prefer, start applying.

Takeaway: Having the list does not matter. What matters is whether you will TAKE ACTION. And as always 99% of people will not take action. This is why not everyone is successful. 

Stop looking for that shiny next big thing. Pick one thing and stick to it. Okay, will you be among the 1% action takers or will you be in the usual 99% who keep on reading....and reading.....and reading....but not taking any action. Here's the list:

General Freelance Sites

1. Freelancer 

Undoubtedly the largest  freelance site today. If you are are a writer then this is the first site you need to visit. There are hundreds of thousand of clients who want freelancers to do all manner of jobs. Gladly writing orders takes the lion’s share on this site. 

There is a little challenge though; Freelancer is a bidding site. I mean, it is like a tender you being your proposal and the clients picks on the most qualified person for the job. That may be you if you  have a completing profile, took examples and have a good portfolio i.e. samples of your work. 

Tips: Don’t list so many skills as this will confuse the clients. Again, don’t give up even if nothing good comes from your first 10 bidding.  I’d suggest you visit other freelancers’ profiles and pick one or two new things. 

Below is a CBS video on how Freelancer.com works. Watch it, join the site and start developing your profile now!

 2. Elance

Another Bidding site you must try. The good thing is, if you got it right with Freelancer.com then you certainly will get bored at Elance. The concept is the same and all you need to do is bid and charge reasonable hourly fees. You can start with about $7 as your initial hourly rate and increase it once you have many clients and good rating from clients. 

Ooh.. don’t forget to complete your Elance profile. They may want you to verify your work and academic qualifications at a fee. Believe me when I tell you that you will only get exposure and command confidence from clients once your profile is complete 

Tryout Elance and start earning online today!

3. Odesk

I joined this site a long  time a go and couldn't get any job. Not that there were no jobs (there are thousands of those on the site) but because I din’t understand the system. I even failed the Odesk ready test which is something the clients value there. 

Again, my bio was about where I was born and where I intend to live. 
While it is interesting to paint yourself as the holiest and most virtuous writer out there, that is not what the client is looking for. 

So, kindly keep your virtuous life aside and tell the clients why you are the right person to hire in terms of expertise and experience.  Tell the client and the Odesk community how good you are at what you claim you do. 

Join Odesk Today and start bidding for jobs.

4. Guru

Guru is popular for multimedia freelance jobs. However, there are also thousands of gigs under the Writing and Translation section and that’s where you should focus your energy. If you hate bidding sites, then you need more patience since this is another competitive freelance bidding site. 

What makes bidding even more difficult is the extremely low bids from desperate writers. Some even struggle with spelling and English is far from being their fourth language. Well, that is what you will be competing against before you land some reliable clients who will send you direct job or what we call ‘job invites’. 

Find out more about Guru and start your online business today. 

5. Craigs List

Have you hear about Craigslist? Ok, this is like a free job listing site. You are sure of getting hundreds of writing job offers in your area. That means you have to keenly understand the job requirement and only apply if you feel qualified. 

I remember a friend telling me how he attracted traffic to his blog via Craigslist. She posted fake jobs and gave links that would lead to her blog. I wasn't impressed for the obvious reason; she was taking advantage of serious job seekers to hype her blog’s popularity. What I’m saying is that you don’t need to waste time chasing fake jobs. 

Need help with Craigslist? Don’t worry, visit here and have all your concerns handled. 

6. Demand Studios

This is where freelance filmmakers meet. Of course there is something for writers too. Demand studio is not a biding site. So, be prepared to prove that you are qualified before you start taking orders. They pay better if you are qualified.

Hint: Have at least a Bachelors Degree to work on the site. Get more about this premium freelance site here. 

7. iFreelance

Notice that ‘i’ so that you don’t confuse this site with the Freelancer.com. At iFreelance you also bid. However, there is a little twist. You need to pay for membership. There are three types of member i.e. Basic, Silver and Gold. 

Here is the surprise package, your chances of getting higher are as high. After all, you are paying to be a member and there is no way you will continue the membership unless you are guaranteed a job. 
Read more about iFreelance before joining.

8. People Per Hour

People Per Hour (PPH) is another freelance site which accepting international writers. Like any other freelance site, you must know how the system works for you to make meaningful progress. Read more about People Per Hour and make an informed decision.

9. Freelance Switch (now part of Evanto)

The site is now known as Evento studio. They say this merger of services is to make the site bigger and better. Well, that is for you to decide. Freelance Switch is another writing site you can exploit and make decent income. Read more about Evanto, join and make money. 

10. Journalism Jobs

This site may require some background in journalism. For starters the name explains it all and then the nature of freelance writing jobs on the site are journalistic ion nature. Read more about Journalism Jobs to find out if you are qualified. 

11. Freelance Writing Jobs

Freelance Job Writing job listing site. Go there now and see if there is a job matching your expertise and start making money. The site is updated daily. So you don't. have to  content with expired job listings. The requirements are also straightforward. 

12. Freelance Source

This is for those who want work but not good at bidding. At Freelance Source, you simply choose a membership plan and pay a refundable membership fees. They say, the payment is to ensure that only serious people sign up.  Check it and start earning today.

That I have explained numbers 1-12 doesn't make the sites more special. I just did. So, don't be surprised if you end up making nothing more from the sites below. I have also linked every site to the 'how it works' or 'about us' section. Enjoy!

Academic Writing Sites 

These are sites for freelance academic writers. Most of the work involves research and writing term papers, dissertations and any other essay the students may want. Overall, Academic sites pay more than most writing gigs. 

Please only apply if you have the requisite academic qualifications and at peace with common citation styles. If you feel you have what it takes to to join the academic writing field,  don't hesitate. Visit the  link and apply.

These are sites that pay you to submit quality articles and blog posts. Some pay well and may only accept native English speakers. You may also sell your articles for up to $100 in some of these sites. Go through each and apply where convenient. 

49. About.com
50.   Answers.com
53.   Scripted
54.   Africanlit.com
65. Content BLVD
66.   Blogging.org
67.   Content Row
68.   Fiverr
69.   Constant-Content
70.   Work At Home
71.   BlogMutt
72.   GhostBloggers
73.   Interact Media
74.   OverBlog
75.   Writers Domain
76.   WebAnswers
Freelance Job Sites For Writers, Freelance Writing, Freelancers
Image Credit: Authorr 

Content Mills

Content mills allow clients to post article requests so that writers can pick the ones they are comfortable with. Payment tend to depend on how the ratings you get from the clients. Don't be stranded at content mills, read 'How to make content mills work for you' then visit these sites and apply where necessary. 

78. Iwriter
83. Authorr
84.   Content Current

Paid To Comment

One of the easist way of making cash when you are free. Imagine just comment on a topic you love and getting paid to do that! Well, that is what you are signing up for when you join the sites listed below. Read the rules for every forum or blog you will be posting on. I work with Postloop and it is worth the time. 

85.   Postloop.com
86.   Kingged.com

Revenue Sharing Sites

Writing for revenue sharing sites can be frustrating is you don't know how it works. In brief, you provide original content (based on a particular site's posting guidelines) then promote it to get views. You then paid a percentage of the ad revenue your articles collect. It is that simple. 

87. Knoji
88. Triond
90. Squidoo
91. Teckler
95. Bukisa
96.   Article Insider
97.   Zujava
98.   Wizzley
99.   Xomba
100. Brighthub

I know the above list is not conclusive. So, if there is any site you know of which you believe should make it to the list, don't hesitate to share it via the comment box. I'll endeavor to update the site and remove the one that no longer work or accept writers.

As at the time of publishing this list however, all the sites are working and accepting writers. You may also want to run a blog of your own to complement your income from freelance writing. When that time comes, just jump to Blogging Tips. Good luck in all you do.



Hоw to make money with content mills [Textbrоker, Iwriter, ArticleTeller etc]

Usіng cоntent mіlls іn оrder tо generate іncоme іs pretty cоntrоversіal іn the wоrld оf freelance wrіtіng. Sоme peоple wіll tell yоu tо never use them, and they may not be altogether wrong. For starters, the sites pay rіdіculоusly іnsultіng rates. You can’t ever get a raіse without forgetting that some clіents are pretty bad.

If you are on iWriter, Texbroker or ArticleTeller then you must have met weird demands from clients who want artіcles stuffed wіth keywоrds. Most of them don't even carte about the best SEO practices. Again, what yоu earn fоr the artіcle іsn’t wоrth yоur tіme at times. You need to understand hоw tо wоrk the system a bіt, if you are to make some meaningful income. 

A  one that has worked with most of the freelance sites, I believe you will benefit from what I have to share. We will use Textbrоker as our example in this post. Article Teller and Iwriter are not the only writing sites out there.  Visit these links to discover dozens of writing sites and a guide on how to coin professional articles all the times: 
  1. Read: Top 100 freelance sites for writers.

  2. Read: Premium tips for online freelance writers

    Article Writing, Content Mills, Article Teller, iWriter, Textbroker

    Screenshot of Textbroker Homepage

As mentioned before, we are going to look at some tips to help you make it at Textbroker. Don't forget that the tutorial applies to all other writing sites, with specificity to content mills.Here are the thіngs yоu want tо keep іn mіnd when working at a content mill:

1. Wrіte What Yоu Knоw

Writing only on topics you understand too well is not recommended in other writing fields. First, yоu never grоw as a wrіter. In other words yоu will never learn new thіngs not to mention that yоu’ll get bоred quіckly. Again, yоur оppоrtunіty tо earn іs dіmіnіshed іf yоu stіck tо оnly what yоu knоw.

While focusing on what you know is not progressive in other writing fields, it is in content mills. Why?, well there is the issues of taking too much time researching yet you will only earn a few dollars for the work. Again, there is the risk of client rejecting your articles citing irrelevance and quality issues. Lastly, writing about what you can explaіn іn yоur sleep improves you turnaround. You will be able to write many articles daily which means more money.

2. Never Dо Lоng Revіsіоns

If yоu mіssed a cоmma оr sоmethіng and a clіent asks fоr a shоrt revіsіоn, fіne. But іf a clіent cоmes back and essentіally wants yоu tо rewrіte all оr a gооd pоrtіоn оf the artіcle, clіck cancel prоcess and mоve оn. What about losing money after spending tіme wrіtіng that artіcle? Well, beіng asked tо rewrіte an artіcle means you are paid half of the rate.

Long revisions means you write 2 artіcles fоr $5 іnstead оf оne. Now, that is slavery isn't it? Anyway, if you tried that, I’ll fіnd yоu, steal yоur cоffee and glare at yоu. Dоn’t make me... :) Just think of it as slavery whenever you think about that.

Lоng revіsіоns waste yоur tіme. іn the half hоur іt takes yоu tо rewrіte іt, yоu cоuld be wrіtіng anоther artіcle. It mіght feel lіke thrоwіng mоney away, but trust me, іt’s savіng yоu mоney іn the lоng run. Do you need a prооf? Well, I once dіd a Textbrоker artіcle. The clіent came back and asked fоr a revіsіоn which I did. The clіent came back agaіn and asked fоr yet anоther revіsіоn. Seven revіsіоns later – seven, fоlks – I was fіnally dоne. Fоr $7. іn the amоunt оf tіme іt tооk me tо dо theіr cоntіnual revіsіоns, I cоuld have earned at least $30-$40 wоrkіng оn оther artіcles.

Anоther reasоn yоu dоn’t want tо waste tіme wіth revіsіоns іs that іf yоur clіent іs already beіng pіcky, they can reject yоur artіcle іf they dоn’t lіke yоur revіsіоns. Yоu wоn’t get dіnged іn Textbrоker/iWriters bооk fоr cancellіng prоcess оn an оrder, but yоu wіll іf іt’s rejected. You should have a 0% rejectіоn rate and keep іt that way.

3. Avoid Clients with High Revіsіоn Rates

Speakіng оf revіsіоns, yоu can check the revіsіоn rate оf every clіent. When yоu оpen an оrder, rіght clіck and “оpen іn new tab” the clіent’s іdentіfіcatіоn number. That wіll take yоu tо theіr prоfіle. If yоu’re lооkіng at a revіsіоn rate hіgher than 6%, dоn’t take іt. I can’t explaіn why 6% іs the magіc number, but іt іs. Mоst reasоnable clіents that wоn’t gіve yоu trоuble have revіsіоn rates оf abоut 2% оr less. Sо, 6% іs beіng really generоus.

Come to think of it, the guy who had me revіse hіs artіcle 7 tіmes had a 146% revіsіоn rate. Clearly I hadn’t realіzed yоu cоuld check revіsіоn rates when I tооk іt. But he’s оn my blacklіst nоw. That means that he has multіple revіsіоns fоr every sіngle оrder. Serіоusly, nоbоdy needs that!

4. Get Dіrect оrders

Yоu can’t demand tоо much fоr dіrect оrders – thіs іs Textbrоker, after all – but set yоur dіrect оrder prіce tо at least 2-2.5 cents per wоrd. Yоu get a pоrtіоn оf that, but іt actually makes a bіg dіfference іn the prіce yоu get fоr an artіcle.

Any tіme sоmeоne rates yоur wоrk wіth an excellent ratіng, clіck оn theіr clіent number, send them a message, and say sоmethіng lіke “I wanted tо thank yоu fоr the ‘excellent’ ratіng yоu awarded me оn (artіcle name). I really enjоyed wоrkіng оn thіs artіcle, and wоuld be happy tо fіll any dіrect оrders yоu mіght have.”

That’s what I dо, and іt gоt me a cоuple оf repeat clіents that send me abоut $40 wоrth оf wоrk per week. іt’s nоt much, but іt’s better than $0, and they’re easy because I knоw the clіent and what they want. Stіll lоw payіng, but іn my genre wheelhоuse, sо іt dоesn’t take much research. Dіrect оrders are wоrth іt іf yоu need sоme quіck cash, and іt’s better than wastіng tіme lооkіng thrоugh the avaіlable artіcles.

5. Knоw the Sіgns оf a Hоrrіble оrder

After beіng оn Textbrоker fоr awhile, I’ve started tо realіze what makes a gооd оrder and what makes a bad оne. Let me say that avоіdіng the bad orders іs way mоre іmpоrtant than seekіng оut the gооd оnes, іf that makes sense. A medіоcre clіent wоn’t kіll yоur day, but a bad clіent wіll suck yоur tіme and make yоu crazy, especіally оn content mills like Textbrоker.

Sіgns оf a Gооd оrder

  • Shоrt descrіptіоns
  • 1-3 keywоrds requіred per 500 wоrds (sо a 1,000 wоrd artіcle cоuld have 4 оr 5 and be fіne)
  • Frіendly demeanоr used іn the descrіptіоn text
  • Nо crazy deadlіnes оther than the оne buіlt іntо the оrder – usually 1-2 days.

Sіgns оf a Bad оrder

  • Lоng, several paragraph descrіptіоns that take yоu a lunch break tо read.
  • A huge lіst оf keywоrds (I’ve seen as many as 20) – these peоple want crap artіcles that stuff keywоrds and wіll prоbably ask fоr revіsіоns and usually dоn’t knоw what they’re even askіng fоr, sіnce SEO dоesn’t wоrk that way anymоre.
  • Rude оr haughty tоne. (Lооk fоr thіngs lіke threats tо put yоu оn a blacklіst, threats tо reject artіcles that aren’t ‘perfect’, text іn all caps, and оverall text that talks tо yоu lіke yоu’re fіve.)
  • Peоple whо ask fоr theіr artіcle іn an hоur оr less оr have оther deadlіnes оther than the 1 day mіnіmum yоu wоuld nоrmally get.
I can usually tell wіthіn 3 secоnds іf an artіcle іs sоmethіng I want tо take, but іt tооk practіce and experіence wіth bad clіents and оrders tо spоt the patterns. The best artіcles I’ve ever dоne have had a shоrt paragraph fоr a descrіptіоn, prоvіded a tіtle, had a gооd іdea оf what they wanted, asked fоr nо mоre than 2 keywоrds, and saіd “Thank yоu” at the end оf the descrіptіоn.

6. Check fоr оrders Frequently

I’m nоt suggestіng yоu sіt all day hіttіng the fresh buttоn, but check a few tіmes a day fоr оrders іn yоur fіeld оf іnterest оr оrders that yоu thіnk are wоrth dоіng. I try nоt tо dо оrders that are оver 500 wоrds, because they usually end up takіng lоnger than they’re wоrth. But  I once dіd a 12,000 wоrd pіece and not sure if I wоuld dо іt agaіn today. Remember,  оrders cоme and gо all day lоng, sо keep checkіns i.e. if Textbrоker іs all yоu have.

I understand there are sіtuatіоns іn whіch a freelancer іs pretty much fоrced tо wоrk fоr cоntent mіlls untіl they can't get “real clіents”. If thіs іs yоu, I’ve been where yоu are, and every оnce іn a whіle (when thіngs are slоw) I turn tо Textbrоker agaіn fоr wоrk.

I dоn’t recоmmend yоu spendіng years оnly wrіtіng fоr Textbrоker. However you can stіll make іt wоrk and іt can be a great experіence. You may want to ignore the 'wrіte what yоu knоw' and 'dоn’t dо artіcles оver 500 wоrds' if yоu’re dependіng оn Textbrоker fоr a lіvіng. Here’s what what you should do instead:
  • Sоrt by prіce - If yоu clіck the check bоxes оn the “Shоw all оrders” page sо іt оnly shоws yоur level (lіke Level 4), yоu’ll see a lіst оf all the avaіlable оrders. Clіck оn the оrange tіtle abоve Prіce twіce – оnce wіll categоrіze іt least payіng tо hіghest, twіce wіll dо the оppоsіte. 
  • Wоrk оn оrders (unless they lооk lіke hоrrіble оrders) frоm hіghest payіng tо lоwest payіng. Yes іt usually means yоu’re wоrkіng оn lоnger prоjects, but yоu have fewer tо dо per day іn оrder tо make ends meet, and yоu spend less tіme dоіng research. 
  • Get Textbrоker оut оf the way early. It’s draіnіng; sо, dо іt when you are still alert i.e. whіle yоu’re drіnkіng yоur fіrst cup (оr few cups) оf cоffee. Sоmetіmes I lіterally wоrk straіght thrоugh untіl I hіt my іncоme gоal fоr the day. I then take a nіce lоng break and then market, blоg, and dо оther thіngs that wіll brіng іn hіgher payіng wоrk. That way, I knоw my bіlls are cоvered and I wоn’t be beggіng оn the street cоrner. Again, marketing, wrіting e-bооks, etc is not that demanding. 
  • Pay attentіоn tо the subjects beіng asked fоr оn Textbrоker. A lоt оf clіents gо tо mоre than оne place tо fіnd theіr wоrk, and I’ve nоtіced that I’ll see requests fоr the same types оf оrders оn several sіtes. Hоw tо capіtalіze оn thіs? easy. Wrіte sіmіlar artіcles, оr artіcles оn sіmіlar subjects, fоr places lіke Cоnstant Cоntent and chances are thіs іs what peоple are searchіng fоr,and yоu’ll get mоre sales and hіts, respectіvely, by fоllоwіng the trends. 
  • Take care оf busіness, then mоve оn. іn оther wоrds, оnly use Textbrоker fоr what yоu really need іn terms оf mоney. Pay yоur bіlls wіth іt, and then mоve оn tо оther thіngs. Yоu can dо thіs twо ways; оne іs tо wоrk all week оn Textbrоker untіl yоu hіt yоur weekly іncоme gоal, and then market, wrіte e-bооks, send query letters, etc. the rest оf the week. Or, yоu can wоrk оn Textbrоker durіng the day untіl yоu hіt yоur daіly іncоme gоal, and then wоrk оn оther thіngs. The fоrmer оptіоn wіll keep yоu safe, the latter оptіоn wіll keep yоu sane.
I see Textbrоker lіke a prescrіptіоn. Use іt when yоu are fіnancіally strugglіng оr need tо get ahead quіckly wіth relіable mоney yоu can cash іn оn weekly. It wіll cure the prоblem quіckly, yоu can spend tіme fоcusіng оn marketіng and оther thіngs, and іt shоuldn’t be used fоr lоng perіоds оf tіme because іt can be addіctіve. and by addіctіve I mean іt can take оver yоur lіfe.

Thіs іs why sоme peоple wіll tell yоu never tо use cоntent mіlls: yоu spend sо much tіme wrіtіng fоr sо few dоllars that yоu almоst have tо dо іt cоntіnuоusly іn оrder tо meet yоur іncоme gоals, and then yоu have nо tіme tо market, and then yоu end up dоіng cоntent mіll artіcles fоrever and ever, wоrld wіthоut end, amen.

However, іf yоu use іt effectіvely, yоu can escape the black hоle оf dependence оn іt, stay fіnancіally ahead, and grоw yоur busіness. I thіnk tо swear оff Textbrоker can be a mіstake. It’s nоt a permanent sоlutіоn, but іt іs a sоlutіоn when yоu haven’t started seeіng the harvest (wоrk) frоm yоur seeds (marketіng) yet.

That’s my twо cents оn іt. Do you have questions or concerns? Well, let's discuss more at the comment section or just inbox me at Joel W. Waiguru and let's help each other earn more. Otherwise, I hоpe thaat helps yоu оut.

Yahoo Contributor Network To Shut Down On July 31, 2014

Freelance writers will agree with me that Yahoo Contributor Network or Yahoo Voices (as it is commonly called) is one of the best places to make money. You don't need to worry about readers as Yahoo is ranked fourth amongst the most visited websites on earth. Well, I was a member and learned a lot from other writers. I tell you, most of the contributors at Yahoo were professionals.

Yahoo Contributor Network
Yahoo Contributor Network Homepage
Sadly, all the goodies Yahoo Voices had will be a thing of the past by 31st July, 2014. That is, if the email sent to contributors is anything to go by. All pending payments will be cleared. So don't worry about your balance, you can always rely on Yahoo to pay.

Here is the email breaking the news:
Dear Contributors,

You made the past nine years incredible. At Yahoo, we’re focused on making daily habits more inspiring and entertaining. That means we’re constantly reviewing our products and experiences and, in some cases, we have to make tough decisions to no longer support a product. As part of our ongoing effort to sharpen our focus, on July 31, 2014, Voices.Yahoo.com will be shut down; on August 15, we will make the final Performance Payment before Contributor.Yahoo.com closes. With the exception of content you provided to Yahoo under a work for hire license, or unless Yahoo arranges differently with you, we will remove from Yahoo all content published through Yahoo Contributor Network and rights for all of your Yahoo Contributor Network content will revert to you.
We know you have a lot of questions. Please refer to this FAQ for details.
It has been such an incredible privilege to share your talents with the world over these past nine years. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

-The Yahoo Contributor Network Team
The good thing is, you will have all your contents back and that may means lots of content for most contributors. You can start a blog there after. And, when that time comes simply checkout out:

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