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...