Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Easy Grammar Series - The Comma

It's a pausing separator! That's it. The comma is probably one of the most over used punctuation marks scribed in the existence of language history. When using the comma there are a few rules you can glean from to make sure you do not plethorate this hesitating divider throughout a sentence unnecessarily.

Here are the rules -

1: Use the comma to divide elements in a series. - The quarterback ran to the mark, cocked back his arm, and threw the football like a bullet. She grabbed her coat, gloves, hat, umbrella and cigarettes.

2: Use the comma before quotation marks. Sally asked Roger, "Do these shoes go with this dress?"

3: Use the comma inside quotation marks. "Was that it," as Roger always asks after watching a movie thriller.

4: Use the comma before conjunctions. She was terribly upset, but she recovered after he gave her flowers. So, this is the way things are going to be. ( but, and, nor, yet, for, or, so)

Here is a little resource page with good information on comma use:
Comma Usage

Make sure when you edit to check your comma's usage. If you think, "should a little pause go here," it probably needs a comma. However, you have to be careful because over using comma's can make a sentence unnaturally flow. Believe me, when most people read what you write they are not checking for your structuring comma use. No one really cares if you put an extra comma here or there, but it is important to know when to use a comma properly.

To use, or not use the comma, this is the question!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Easy Grammar Series - Sentence Structure

Since writing involves the use of correct grammar I thought I'd write a series of articles just on grammar related subjects. Originally, I was going to name this "The Grammar Sux Series," but thought better of it because proper grammar really doesn't, "Suck!" Trying to learn and understand proper grammar does. All those rules. How does anybody remember them all? I mean, it's not too difficult if you apply one common sense rule. Is my sentence structure clear?

See, what you must comprehend most about the writing article process is not whether you are always being grammatically correct. On the contrary, your hope is to be an effective writer. Always being grammatically correct is a good goal to have, but it's not a necessary objective in writing. If your writing communication is effective, your grammar is good enough! Why do I get this feeling 7th graders are rejoicing and planning on tossing their English grammar books into huge bond fires after reading that last sentence?

I realize all you proper sentence structure elites out there will have a tizzy reading this, but you're going to have to deal with it because you know all those rules are never followed even by the professional writers. I see hundreds of articles using poor grammar, but effectively getting a message across in unique ways. I will say this, using proper grammar is not a tyrannical dictatorial feat, you should always strive to learn and use descriptive linguistics productively. Grammar is nothing more than a series of suggested rules you should follow so your writing can make sense to the reader. Good grammar takes advantage of editing out nonessential words.

The goal of The Easy Grammar Series is to show how to USE LESS WORDS WHICH MEAN THE SAME THINGS AS MORE WORDS.

Breaking It down.
Sentence structure is what it's all about. Formulating thoughts into a series of words which mean things. To write an effective communication you must have two categories of words present in a sentence for it to work. These two categories, or "parts of speech" are called "Nouns and Verbs."

Here's how simple it gets - Snoopy sat.

Everything else in a sentence other than the Noun (Snoopy) and the Verb (sat) is there for one reason only - Cosmetic Description.

Here's what this means: - Ex: Snoopy sat down.

Using the word "down" does absolutely NOTHING to enhance the meaning of this sentence. Of course Snoopy sat "down." You can automatically infer the "down" part. If you write "down" you are unnecessarily using a word which says the same thing as the previous one, sat.

Snoop sat sideways

Now we are getting more descriptive here and this does mean something different. Describing the verb "sat" with the adverb "sideways" is an integral part of the sentence.

When writing a sentence always ask yourself the question - Do I need to provide this particular word for my reader to understand what's going on? Later in the series I will be discussing how to replace phrases with single words. This exercise gets to exactly what you need to be doing when editing your articles, and is a huge part of the article process.

To making grammar funner to learn...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Articles Ideas For Making Money

There it is right there in the title! Article Ideas For Making Money. The term making money brings in no less than 2 million plus searches per month on broad search using Google Adwords Tool. On exact search it's around 110,000. Now most of you guru's who do keyword searches and proper SEO would argue that market saturated keywords phrases are not worth it and you will not be making money with these keywords. Are we sure about this? Can you not start making money with the big keywords?

Here's the theory. Because "making money" is such a broad term and the competition is outrageous at 17 million plus, there is no way to rank high enough in google search to get recognized. This may be the case, but you have to question something. If making money or "make money" is so saturated that it's impossible to get noticed, then why are there more the 17 million competitors? Think about this. There isn't that many competitors failing with the making money keyword!

The volume of searches is so high for making money on a consistent basis it's definitely worth trying to use this keyword to make money this exact way. Google adsense compensation alone would be decent if you could get 1/10 of those people visiting your article. Words are words, and people are searching for them all over the internet, not just through Google, yahoo, or various search engines. Casting articles with the right words brings people to your business!

I read a story online about how to make money the other day and it made me question why I'm looking so hard for that particular niche keyword? Well, I know building websites around niche keywords works for making money. That's fine. However, there is a ton of work and frustration which can go into finding the unique keywords to draw people in. Is there another way? If you owned a restaurant what is the first thing you want more of? Food? Fine wines? Improved ambiance? Better employees, etc.... Those would be nice, but what you really need is more HUNGRY customers. People who are starving, standing right outside your business. Here's how to make money consistently on the internet -

*Find a ton of people who need or want something desperately and show them how, and where to get it! The more people who are seeking something you can show them how to get, the more opportunity will present itself for you to make money.

Supply and demand, it's simple, and it works. Doing the niche, seo things are great and work well, but there are other ways to making money online with the big keywords too. No matter what you do online coming up with article ideas for making money is a huge market with almost endless growth. Now if I could get enough people to just reblog this article we would all make money enough to retire!! Yeah, right! Who wants to make money?

To Making Money

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vocabulary - The Article Tools

Words are the gold, the right words are diamonds! Building your vocabulary is the one thing you must do if you want to be an effective writer. Words are the tools you need to be able to communicate well, and you always need to know which tools to use to complete the job thoroughly.

Sometime after schooling most tend to stop learning new words. People figure they are not going to be writers and those vocabulary test were a drag anyway. Everyone has to exchange information and ideas. It's a part of life we all must learn to effectively relay our information, thoughts, and feelings. Words bridge the chasm between interaction.

Building your vocabulary is not some arduous task only meant for writers, teachers, and English professors. Constructing and adding words to your lexicon is actually easier than most think. There are so many words to learn, and ways to enhance your vocabulary. You will have no problem establishing an ever expanding intellectual base. Below is a list of ways to build your vocabulary:

One Note - Every time you chose a word to learn you have to use it. It's no good if you don't learn to use a word properly. So, take the word and use it at least three times that same day in a different sentence each time. It's twice as good if you are actually communicating with someone and are able to use the word as part of your conversation.

Vocabulary Building Resources -

  • Reading - You can certainly learn new words by reading. When you come across a word you don't recognize ALWAYS look it up in a dictionary and learn the definition. Furthermore, move onto a thesaurus and see which words relate. This is key to really learning more words.
  • Word A Day Dictionary - Go to a dictionary and pick out a word every day you don't know and learn it. It's important you write these words down somewhere so you're really interacting with them in every possible way.
  • Wordsmith/A.Word.A.Day - You can get a word a day emailed to you with everything you can think of about the word including "origin"
  • Websites - There are an endless array of websites out there to teach words. Google "Vocabulary Building" and you will find no less than 2 million sites about everything you will ever want to know about building a strong vocabulary. After you have decided which source you should use to study words by, you will need to follow a simple method to get the most complete advantage to building a large solid vocabulary.

Vocabulary Building Method -

  • Spell The Word - This is a must. Learn to spell the word first. Since your going to be writing it's so important to understand how to spell the words correctly.
  • Pronounce The Word - In order to use the word accurately you must know how to pronounce it properly. Dictionaries have word keys so you can learn how to articulate a word. If you need to hear a word, most computers have speech recognition built in. Go to Control Panel, Speech/Text recognition and just type your new word in and Preview it. If your computer doesn't have this, there are plenty of websites which do!

  • Read And Understand The Definition - Learning the definition of the new word is predominate to learning how and when to use the word. Believe it or not this leads to learning an endless supply of new words.
  • Use A Thesaurus - Once you've studied the definition go find the word in a thesaurus and look at the other words which have similar meanings. This is the secret to building a fabulous vocabulary!
  • Use The Word Three Times A Day - As in the note listed about you have to use words to make them a valid part of your lexicon. Use the word in three sentences that same day you chose the word. This is a huge part of making that word stick in your repertoire.

Learning new words and building your vocabulary can be very pleasing because you can find it much easier to communicate what you really want to say, but more importantly you can readily discover what you really should say....oh yeah, and WRITE!

To The Toolbox...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Making Money With Words

It's pretty apparent by now everybody who has been blogging for a while knows about keywords. Words which bring visitors to your blog. Using niche phrases to drive traffic is one part of the equation in formulating how you can make money with words. Proper keyword research involves working with a keyword suggestion generator like Google's Adwords keyword tool. It's not an exact science, but you can find it very lucrative if you happen to hit on the right keywords for your articles and place them strategically with the correct search engine optimization. It is some heavy work at first, but well worth it.

Making money with words is not even about being able to write well, this is about tweaking articles with the right mix of words. People get on the search engines and look for certain things. If you happen to hit on a word a huge number of people are searching for this can draw some tremendous numbers of people. These people will come to your blog and some will read your article and hopefully make purchases or at least click on some of the advertisements to see what they have to offer. Quantity does not always equal quality however, it does amount to an awful lot of views giving you a better chance to sell a product or gain a referral. Google Adsense can play a huge part in making money once you start getting enough people viewing your blog. Yes, people buy words just so they can put advertisements up on Google search engine pages. It really works well for everyone involved.

One of the things which is readily available in today's blogging environment is "Do Follow Blogs." These basically are networks which allow people to "follow" your blog post each time one is posted. What happens is you end up building a community of loyal followers. These people can bring even more traffic to view your highly informative prose. You in turn need to make sure you return the follow! This is how the community gets built and words just keep getting more valuable. However, never discount a blog because it doesn't have a Do Follow policy. Any blog owner can be a potential follower. Posting on others blogs is one way to get some highly concentrated traffic to your own blog.

Converting Words To Money
There is nothing which can replace the good ole search engine traffic. Writing articles around keywords which have both high searches and low competitiveness is a real factor in trying to make money with words. Research is your best friend in this area. If you can write a decent book report then you can write articles. Writing with a very productive and rich vocabulary is noble and great, but what can make you wealthly is writing with just the right assortment of money making words. It's your call!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Unique Writing Style - Blog Post

*Note - The whole point in bold red. READ at your own risk.* (And another thing! No running around the pool either!!!)

Pictures That Give Pleasure To Your Eye...
Sitting in an eye doctors waiting room one day expecting to get the ole notification that the good Dr. will see me now, I noticed the patients around me were all looking at magazines. I could tell about one or two were actually reading an article, the others were just flipping through, probably looking at the pictures. Most people do not like to read through long articles because it is too much information for them to process quickly. Ohhhh, the long drawn out articles may contain valid, idea sparking, factual content, but on first glance seeing a 4 page, 3 column article is the ultimate eye glazing over moment. fffffftttttth...quickly turn the page. Ah, yes! Another nice picture!

Just The Facts Please...
This got me thinking about blogs, blogging, and blog posts. It further stretched my inquisitive notions into the realm of self-help books which some are written as long as a bleeding heart Harlequin novel! Why? It's my earnest feeling any self-respecting self-help book should not be longer than 20 pages, and that's pushing it. Give me the self-help now, don't waste my time with your silly boring back story to fill space! < /Super Rant!>

Abundant Information
When readers come to blogs to peruse them they are usually looking for certain information quickly. No one wants to have to trudge through words like mud in a Louisiana swamp to get to the fabulous canjun cookin'! It's so obvious information is very abundant in today's computer age. This makes many people redirect their attention in their quests to deem what is important to them. Everybody wants to be up on the times, and to get ahead, to get on top, people are being convinced quicker is better. This is complete hogwash, but it's the way it is today in our techno-gadgeted society.

Writing Blog Post Uniquely
Finally! The information you're looking for! Writing is more about style than preciseness. Granted being concise, and grammatically correct is highly valued, however it is not what makes a writer good. Furthermore it does not necessarily make for good writing. Unique style will take you and your reader to places they have never been and this is what is passionately important. To write unique blog post you need to tap into your own singular style which you can develop with practice. Sure, there are methods you can use, but first discover your voice! Whether it be technical, humorous, serious, flighty, flaky, elite, professional, preposterous, or just Plain Jane, discovering your writing style is what this writing thing is all about.

Everyone has their own style to be developed. If you take the time, and have a little patience you will discover your distinctive quality!

To more pictures...fffffftttttth!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Learning To Write Better

In the scheme of things, conveying an idea to a reader is much different than verbal one on one communication. Writing concisely is not an easy task. Strengthening your skill takes practice. Learning to write better involves determining how to use words in a way which convey ideas precisely. Effective written communication uses less, not more words.

One way to practice better writing is to write a sentence, then edit the words using the least amount as possible. This is the first phrase of the exercise. Next, go back and find single words which describe your thoughts best. This is very tricky to do because it involves a process of what I like to call "Ultra-Editing." It's nothing more than a treasure hunt for the right words. This is why building a solid vocabulary is so important for aspiring writers.

The 5 minute ULTRA EDITING exercise steps are -
  1. Write a sentence.
  2. Edit the sentence using the least amount of words as possible
  3. Ultra-Edit the sentence by replacing phrases and words with better words.
Here's an example of editing this sentence:

The gnarly, snarling dog bit the very nervous man on the buttocks!

Edited Sentence - The vicious dog bit the anxious man's tooshie.

Ultra-Edited Sentence - The mean dog bit the geek's ass!

5 minutes

I always put a time limit on the exercise. Too much of this can have your head swimming in seconds. The more you do this type of editing the more you realize how even one word can convey a whole phrase or sentence. Writing is about imagery. Readers have to be able to imagine, paint the picture for them. They need to clearly see a vivid impression.

A Degree Of Difference
One version of a sentence is not better than the other, it's different than other. Do not be afraid to use words which convey the meaning with even the slightest of difference. This is part of imagery projecting. Words mean things. The faint divergence in one word can change the whole complexion of a sentence. This is such a crucial aspect of expression. Getting across a thought with the right syntax of creativeness will enlighten your readers imaginations. Go for it!

To Precise Pivots...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Personality Writing

Writing is such an important part of every day life it's too often taken for granted. There are a million things to write about, but every once and while all of us get stuck developing inspiration for what subjects and topics will give readers the a-ha moment! Go to any forum on the internet and see if you can't automatically find something to comment on. There is no question everyone can devise an opinion on something. So, if you can opine on it, you can write about it!

On the flip side, this process of creating inspiration to adhere to your ego should flat out be dropped into the black hole of non existence. If you write to impress yourself you will never really share valuable ideas, and your personality will never manifest in it's purest form. Philosophy 101 on writing should be, "Just Write!" Yes, some writers are better than others, some writing flat out stinks, some writing is genius, some writing is monumentally depressing.
However, that's what makes life and reading exciting. I love to read a piece which has been written extremely well, but I would always rather read something which has inspired me or given me an idea I haven't ever read or thought of. Personality in writing is much more important than any holier-than-thou perfectly written article. Although, let me caution it is still important to strive for correct form. In order for people to easily read what you write, they need understanding and clarity.

Write the best you can. Commit to accuracy and grammatically correct writing, but never let these things outweigh the attribute of YOU in your writing. You can edit til cows come home, but trying to relay ideas and slight twist is something with which there is no precise science. Want to give yourself something to write about immediately? Here is a very gauche little tactic people use without realizing they are taking advantage of their mind's naturally ability.

Pick any word and associate it to another word. Cracker->Peanut butter->Peter Pan->Disney Movie ->Cartoon-> Drawing->Still Life->Portrait, etc...

It easily natural to do this because we create this process all day long without even realizing we're doing it . If I wanted to write an article at this site which is a blog about writing, a simple association has instantly conjured in my mind.

How adding "pictures" adds value to articles.

How did I think of this? I looked at the words "Still Life and "Portrait" and immediately "Picture" was associated. I would not consider this rocket science in any way. Association is a greatly effective technique to find topics to write about.

To just writing....and getting better at it!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Residual Income

Writing for sites which share their ad revenue is just one of the many ways to make a decent income from the internet. Residual income revenue sharing sites like ehow, associtated content, and are just a few of these sites which will let amateur writers create articles. These sites will then place ads for products and services around your writing. People come from the search engines and links you might create on other sites to your page. People who are members of these article sites will also read your what you've written. It's a good idea to make friends with as many people as you can as a strategy to have more members read your articles. If anyone clicks on the ads which have been placed around your page the site shares the revenue they make with their member. That's YOU!

Writing for residual income is a way people can consistently make money on a regular basis and if writers are really ambitious can even replace a full time income. These sites usually are made specifically so people can write about anything they a familiar with or have an adequate knowledge.

Anyone can write what they know about and many can even do tolerable research enough to write full articles. You do not have to be a professional writer to get in on this ever expanding revenue sharing game. However, the better you write and more interesting you can make things appear. the better your chance of people reading what you write about!

Out of all the revenue sharing sites the one many people praise more than all the others is ehow. Creating 150 word articles is very easy to do once you understand the simple structure involved. Because ehow does not let you know exactly how they pay you residual income, it turns into an educated guessing game. It seems as though the more you write the more chance you have to get paid on your articles. There is no magic number, however key wording articles may have some impact to creating views. Subsequently, you must understand a large number of views does not necessarily mean ad revenue clicks. And even beyond the advertisement clicks, you can be paid other ways too. It is well worth investigating.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Niche And Blog!

Happy New Year!! As we start this wondrous time off it's important to see some value in both the past and the future. With every new year starts a new begining and speaking of new beginnings if you are new to writing and blogging you might need a little direction on where to start.

I have come across a neat little membership site that shows you how to put all this writing and blogging together so you can get the most value out of your hard work. At The Niche Blogger you will learn how to setup, write, and produce your blogs for maximum exposure. Amy, the owner of the The Niche Blogger shows you step by step, day by day how make money blogging. Amy is there to answer your questions and show you how to setup and monetized your blogs to their fullest extent! There is a forum and a whole bunch of people ready to help you through the process while you learn how to become a professional blogger.

Writing on the internet can be a very lucrative business. Good writers are sought after to provide solid information. The more valuable information you provide which relates to what people are searching for, the better chance there is they will come and check out your writing thorough their searches.

Try the The Niche Blogger out and see what you think. It is one on the best blogging information sites out there on the internet. Run by a debt strapped mother of 4 who put in the time and hard work to figure out how to do it right and pay off her bills! Let Amy share what she knows about blogging with you. You will be very a happy blogger if you do!!

Free Niche Blogger Report - How Amy Bass earns $5,000 a Month Niche Blogging and How You Can Do It Too!