Friday, October 31, 2008

5 Ways to Monetize Your Blog or Website

Photo © Chance Agrella
There are various ways to earn a little extra money from your writing. One such method is to monetize your blog or website. You can do this in a number of ways.
1. Google Adsense

One of the most commonly used and popular methods, Google Adsense allows you to place advertising on your blog or website. You get paid every time someone clicks on the ads. Please note they take ‘cheating’ seriously – do not click on your own ads and do not recruit others to give you multiple clicks.

In addition to the traditional ads, Google Adsense also offers videos and search bars for revenue.

2. Affiliate Links

There are multiple sources of affiliate linkage. If you are adding an affiliate link to your blog or website, the most honorable way to do so (which will elicit reader trust and confidence in you – and perhaps garner more clicks for you) is to be honest about the affiliation and to actually have familiarity with the product.

For example, if the affiliate link is for a publisher or book, be sure you know the publisher and have faith in them, or have read the book and find it to be worth the money. Add your own review of the product, book, publisher, etc to add credibility and draw in more viewership.

3. Sell Advertising

There are ways to sell advertising spots on your blog or website. You can directly solicit advertisers, advertise that you have space for sale on your site or blog, and you can use a feature such as Scratchback.

4. Tip Jar/Take Donations

It can be a lot of work to write, maintain, and market a blog or website. Many set up a ‘tip jar’ or ‘donation button’ in order to draw in funding. One easy way to set up a tip jar or donation button is through PayPal. Remember: unless you are a specific type of registered charity, ‘donations’ to your site or blog will not be tax deductible for the donor.

5. Sell Your Blog or Website

With the right topic, name or popularity, your blog or website could sell for big bucks. Though you will no longer own it once sold, this is another way to earn money via your blog or website.

Some great information about how to sell or ‘flip’ blogs and websites is available at

Additional ideas (not written by me) may be found at

Bear in mind that too much advertising can be a turn off, and some people have an ‘ad-block’ feature that will block your ads from their view of your blog or website.

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Perpetual Firefox and Helpful Firefox Add-ons for Writers List

The following is a listing of Firefox and Firefox add-ons that can be very helpful to writers. This list will be updated from time to time. A link to this list is available in the sidebar for easy access and future reference.

* Free Firefox Browser
* Dictionary and Language Packs (Addons)
* Feeds, News, and Blogging (Addons)
* Photos, Music, and Videos
* Search Tools (Addons)
* Toolbars (Addons)
* Webpage Translation Tool (Addon)

If you know of any other great Firefox add-ons for writers, please submit them to me for addition to this list.

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Perpetual Reference and Research Resources List

The following is a listing of various free online reference and research resources. This list will be updated from time to time. A link to this list is available in the sidebar for easy access and future reference.

* Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Thesaurus, Spanish - English, Medical
* Dictionary.Com Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia
* Word Reference.Com Free Translation Dictionary (multiple languages)

If you know of any other free online reference and research resources, please submit them to me for addition to this list.

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Perpetual Style Guides List

The following is a list of free Style Guides (in part or in full). Please note that generally a fee will need to be paid to buy the book or to subscribe to the online version of the complete guide. Partial free sources address the most common questions in relation to the various style guides.

This list will be updated from time to time. A link to this list is available in the sidebar for easy access and future reference.

* AP Style Book (order print or online version)
* Utah State University Guide to AP Style
* Free AP Style Editing Course (Open Enrollment - 2 Hours)

* Chicago Manual of Style (CMS)
* University of Georgia Libraries CMS Style Guide
* Ohio State University Libraries CMS Citation Guide

* MLA Style Website (Official)
* Purdue OWL MLA Style Guide
* Lonestar College - Kingwood Library MLA Style Guide

* APA Style Guide Website (Official)
* Purdue OWL APA Style Guide
* University of Southern Mississippi Libraries APA Style Guide

* The Gregg Reference Manual (Style guide - buy online or in print)

If you know of any other sources of free style guides, please submit them to me for addition to this list.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

NaNoWriMo – Annual November Writing Challenge

National Novel Writing Month is an annual challenge designed to motivate fiction writers to get a book written. The challenge begins on November 1 and ends on November 30. The rules are simple: the book must be written during that time – not before and not after. In thirty days, each participant is challenged to come up with a 50,000 word rough draft of a fictional novel from scratch.

Awards are given to all those who complete the challenge, and some NaNoWriMo novels have actually been published later on. The biggest benefit of the challenge is getting the motivation to just write. The challenge is not about writing a perfect novel or even to upload perfect copy at the end. The point is to write.

There is no fee to participate, though donations to the cause are always appreciated. To find out more, check out the home page for NaNoWriMo, the What is NaNoWriMo page, the How it Works page, and the FAQs page. Please note that in the official word count process, your work is not retained in any way. You just have to temporarily input it in order to register your word count with the site. Instructions for how to ‘scramble’ your temporary input will be forthcoming (from the site – to those who register to participate).

I participated last year, but did not get much done as I found about it after it had begun. This year I have been waiting for the start and will be scheduling in time for the challenge each day. I have a lot of fictional novel ideas floating around in my head, and its high time I put some of them to paper.

For those involved with Michy’s Accentuate Services (free writer site with job leads, tips, and more), Accentuate has begun a fund-raising drive for NaNoWriMo. If you would like to donate via Accentuate’s drive, or if you would like to help spread the word, please check out the information page at Accentuate.

By the way, if 50,000 words sounds overwhelming think of it in these terms:

A typical web writing assignment is 500 words. 100 such articles (a little over 3 a day) equals 50,000 words. When writing your own story with your own words and knowledge, 1,500 – 2,000 words a day flies by.

Earlier this year I was hired to write one chapter of a book. The word count the publisher gave me for one chapter: 10,000 words. 50,000 words is approximately 175 pages or 5 chapters. That is not very long. If you feel overwhelmed, remind yourself that you are not writing War and Peace or one of the Harry Potter books. *grin*

If you use Microsoft Word to write, be sure to turn on the ‘Spell check’ and ‘Grammar Check’ features in order to quickly proofread your work.

To check your own word count more easily in Microsoft Word, check out my How-to for adding a word count button on your MS Word toolbar.

Life happens. For some, setting aside the same amount of time every day, at the same time of day is the way to be most committed and effective for completing the challenge. For others, the most effective and least discouraging way is to just write as much as they can whenever they can. Do what works for you. It is not a competition against anyone but yourself. Undertaking this challenge – whatever the results – will be a rewarding experience in many ways for anyone who dreams of writing a fictional book.

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Copyright © 2008 - 2010 Daniella Nicole. All rights reserved.