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Should You Commit to an A-Z Challenge?

The Challenge: To Do or Not To Do

I have just finished the April 2016 AtoZ Challenge with about 1346 other bloggers. I had two blogs in the challenge, Barb’s Garden Observations and Paso Robles in Photos. The challenge was to write a new post every day in April except Sundays. You could choose your own theme for each blog. I chose Plants for the gardening blog and Things You Might See or Experience in Paso Robles for the other. I have now come to the end of that long road and have experienced both the positives and negatives of the challenge. If you are presented with the opportunity, should you commit to an A-Z Challenge?

Should You Commit to an A-Z Challenge?

Are You Ready for a Challenge?

Before you accept the challenge and start to climb that mountain to complete it, evaluate how it might affect your life. Different personalities might be affected differently. This is especially true if you are not able to complete it. Life happens. Will you feel like a failure if you don’t finish something you start, even if there’s a very good reason for it? If so, maybe you aren’t the person who should take the challenge. I see that many of those who started it did not complete it. It’s easy to fall behind. If you’ve got a lot on your plate already, maybe this isn’t the right time.

Are you the sort of person that will complete it or die trying?  That’s the sort of I am. I almost did die trying. There are a couple of times I maybe should have gone to the emergency room for heart symptoms, but that would have thrown me off schedule and since they weren’t really bad, I opted just to take it easier. Trying to complete the challenge on both blogs often kept me up when I should have gone to bed. I didn’t allow time to fix proper meals on some days.

Count the cost before accepting the challenge. Know your limitations. Know what the challenge requires. I did much more than was required in most posts because I did not want to compromise the usual quality of my posts. Had I just done the minimum, I would not have been as stressed. If you tend to be a perfectionist in your blogging who wants to feel a post is the best work you can do, maybe a challenge isn’t for you. You might be better off posting on your regular schedule on topics you think are important and writing them to meet your own goals instead of trying to do a post a day of lesser quality just to meet the challenge.

Should You Commit to an A-Z Challenge?

Pros of Accepting an A-Z Challenge

I learned a lot doing these challenges. It wasn’t a waste of time.

  • I learned to be more disciplined about my writing schedule.
  • I got some new followers who were also doing the challenge, since we were encouraged to visit others on the linky for the challenge.
  • I started getting more traffic on one of the blogs I had not posted much to this year,  because posting was more consistent and there was more content for Google to search.
  • I improved my vocabulary as I read the dictionary trying to find subjects for those odd letters like “X.”
  • I met other bloggers I wanted to follow.

Cons of Doing the A-Z Challenge

  • I put too much pressure on myself and added unnecessary stress to my life.
  • I sometimes found myself posting just to post on subjects out of my comfort zone in order to conform to the alphabet. This often affected the quality of my blog, which I felt didn’t meet my usual standards when the alternative would be cutting back on more sleep than I could afford. This might cost me followers,  but so far it hasn’t.
  • I was neglecting other online work that ultimately  was more important than getting the challenge finished, but my personality is such that I didn’t want to quit until I completed the challenge.

Would I Do Do the A-Z Challenge Again?

I think I’ll probably pass on it next year. I did it this year because some of my friends were going to do it. I didn’t think it through or count the cost. I tend to be impulsive that way. When the unexpected health situations hit both me and my husband, I still wanted to finish. When Google made a change in policy that made it important to redo links in many blogs, I delayed making the changes because of the demands on my time with the challenge. And besides all that, I’ve used all the “X” and “Z” words that apply to my blog topics.

When all is said and done, I’m not sorry I did the challenge.  I feel good about having reached the top of the climb. It was a long journey, and sometimes I did feel like quitting before I reached my goal when the going  got tough. I have a sense of accomplishment instead of the failure I might have felt had I given up.  If I ever say I want to do it again, though, please give me a little kick.

Have you ever taken this official Blogging from A to Z Challenge that happens in April each year? What was your experience with it?

If this post was helpful, please pass it on. There are sharing buttons provided. The image below was designed for pinning on Pinterest.

Should You Commit to an A-Z Challenge?


Is Medium a Useful Publishing Platform for Me?

Is Medium a Useful Publishing Platform for Me?Recently I joined Medium. Medium is a social blogging site that gets its name because it has no problem with people posting content that is only medium length. Evan Williams and Biz Stone co-founded Twitter, and later founded Medium in 2012 as a place for posts longer than those  allowed on Twitter, but not as long as most blog posts.

The site promotes itself as a publishing platform where opinions and stories count more than how many views you get. You can publish content you are passionate about and encourage people to comment on it. Controversy might even invite more interaction.  Posting your words and images is very simple. So what’s not to love? There is no direct monetary reward for your posts.

So why do people publish on Medium? To be read and to interact and, perhaps, to demonstrate their authority on certain subjects so that people may be interested in reading work they publish elsewhere.

Medium has some features other sites do not have. An example is that you can highlight favorite lines of a post to share with others. Your profile page also looks different those on most other sites, which tend to list your own work exclusively. Here’s what my Medium profile looks like. I chose one of my posts (one that used to be on Bubblews long ago) to feature at the top. Other posts are listed in the order in which I posted them on Medium. You will also see that comments I have made on the posts of others are there, as well as posts I have “liked.” Each comment you make on the post of another can becomes a new post for you that you can edit and write more about later. Each post on Medium tells readers at the top how long it should take to read.

Another feature of Medium is that you can import posts from other sites. I  love this feature. It’s especially handy if you know a site you are posting to is about to close. I imported In Quest of the Blooming Almond Trees from Persona Paper. It is still also remains there. I tried several times to delete it and even emailed the site owners asking them to  delete it when it would not delete for me as other posts did. So far it’s still there. Medium doesn’t consider it duplicate content. If Persona Paper does, they might be finally motivated to delete it, since the site is closing anyway. Many people import some of their blogs posts to Medium, but there is still some disagreement about whether Google will penalize it as duplicate content on the site it came from. I’m not willing to risk it.

So why do businesses, bloggers, and freelance writers use Medium when they get no direct income from it? They hope to gain influence and exposure. Some Medium writers have been offered freelance work because someone saw one of their posts on Medium. There are over 725,000 members on Medium who may see your article, and site traffic is in the millions. You may get some new readers or even have a post go viral if some influential Medium members start sharing it. You can link to your blog or website in your post. That will help you try to lure visitors there. You may make connections with others you would not meet on other sites, although it’s also easy to import any Facebook and Twitter friends there as an audience. Medium had approximately 35 million visitors in November, 2015, and that is a lot more eyes than come to most of the other places where I post work.

Have any of my Medium posts picked up significant traffic yet? No. I’m still nosing around, finding a lot of good reading there, and commenting, and hoping to make connections.  I believe if I keep posting I will eventually find what works. I try to post well-written articles there that originally appeared from sites that have closed or are about to close. I’m importing many of my Persona Paper articles in as drafts if I have no plans to use them somewhere else. When I’m ready, or when Persona Paper finally goes offline, I will have those posts saved and ready to go.

One thing that is important if you post on Medium is that you post well-written, grammatically correct articles. People have no incentive to read or share your work if it doesn’t grab their attention or if it’s full of  errors. It may take awhile to discover what people consider interesting enough to share — or even read.

Medium is where you want to post some of your best work as a sort of advertisement of what you are capable of doing. It’s a place to offer people samples of your writing. It is a fishing hole where your posts can act as bait to get people to your own blogs. I would not recommend it as your only place to post your work, since you can’t monetize your posts. Since you don’t own the site, you also run the risk of having it disappear at some time as so many other sites have done recently. It’s always better to own your own real estate on the internet if you don’t want your work to disappear someday without notice.

I hope I’ve given you enough information to  decide whether Medium would be a useful publishing platform for you. As I learn more from my own experience, I will share it by updating this post. Stay tuned.

Try Pajama Affiliates Marketing Course for Free

You can now sample the Pajama Affiliates blogging course I have been raving about since I bought it for free. I have since bought several more of the courses. The video courses are  perfect for someone wanting to learn to make real money blogging without any gimmicks or having to make one’s own products to sell. It’s designed for those who want to be successful affiliate marketers.

Try Pajama Affiliates Marketing Course for Free

Many of my readers have expressed interest in this course before and felt they just could not afford to make the investment it took for even an inexpensive course. Anyone, though, can afford  to sample the best of the courses offered for free. Not only will you get to see several of the videos that have helped so many, but you will also be admitted to the members only Facebook group for help and support. If you then decide after watching the videos and being part of the group that you want to actually buy a course, you will automatically be informed on the list of any course that goes on sale so that you don’t miss any great opportunities for a bargain.

If you click the link below you will land on a page that explains exactly what you will get for your dollar. It includes watching some of the actual  course videos watched by those who have bought the course. You will learn some of the most important aspects of affiliate marketing. You will  learn how others are driving traffic to their blogs and converting blog readers to buyers of the recommended affiliate products. I wish I had had this opportunity, but this offer just become available today. You can take advantage of it and actually try out the course before making an investment to  buy it. Don’t miss this chance to get the Pajama Affiliates Fast Pass course for free and get access to the support group for those taking the classes. 

When Will I Get Earnings from My Blog?

When Will I Get Earnings from My Blog?
When Will I Get Earnings from My Blog?

Some people blog to keep a record of their thoughts and activities for their own use or to share with friends and family. Technically, that’s where the word blog came from – weblog — shortened to blog. Originally blogs were online diaries or journals of daily activities. Some blogs still are. Unless you are a celebrity, though, that kind of blog is not likely to make money today.

People who want to make money for the writing they do on their blogs have to attract people who want to read what they say. There are currently over 150 million blogs on the internet. That’s a lot of competition for eyeballs. How will you get those eyeballs to your blog?

After reading dozens of blogs on this subject, most agree a blogger who wants to earn money must present a solution to a problem a reader has. That reader will probably go to Google looking for answers to his or her problem. Goggle will present links that people have paid to have appear at the top, and underneath will be links to the pages Google thinks will best help people find solutions to the problems they are trying to solve.

If your blog post helps people solve a common problem better than other blog posts, or if your post solves a problem not too many other bloggers have dealt with, you are likely to get traffic from people who will actually spend money to solve their problems.

To make money, you first have to know which problems people are trying to solve and then write something that will help them solve those problems. Review products that will help solve the problems. A desperate person whose kitchen counter is full of ants just may  click your affiliate link to buy a product you suggested. A person who can barely  function because he can’t sleep at night just might click on a link to buy one or more of the product solutions you proposed. Of course, people have to find your blog first, or they will read someone else’s and buy the products from them.

I have been reading many blogs written by people who make money from them. Some review one product and do it very well. Others have websites aimed at those looking for gift suggestions with tabs for different categories. Both sorts of blogs are focused on solving people’s shopping problems

Other bloggers who make big bucks make their own digital products like courses and eBooks to help solve people’s problems. Then they sell them to people. They offer free samples in exchange for joining an email list, and then that list is used to directly market more products.

You can, however, be doing one or more of these things and not be making any money yet. Usually this is because

1. No one is finding your blog.

2. You aren’t giving people the solutions they believe will solve their problems.

I’m not yet an expert in either of these areas. I’m still learning. That’s why I signed up for the Pajama Affiliate Blogging courses. I was encouraged to see my first few Amazon sales come in this month shortly after I started the courses. I have only just begun to apply what I’m learning, but those new sales gave me the encouragement I needed to keep blogging. If you are struggling to make your blogs pay you for your efforts, I highly recommend these courses. I know I’m learning from people whose methods work. Read why My Pajama Affiliate Blogging Courses are Worth Every Cent I Paid for Them. Or go explore the Pajama Affiliate courses for yourself now. It costs nothing to look. If you look now you may still be in time for the New Year’s Sale with prices slashed by almost 50%. But hurry!

Just working hard isn’t enough.  I must learn to work smarter than I have been for the past few years. I’m now taking the steps I need to do that.

Bloggers Need Other Bloggers

Bloggers Need Bloggers
Share What Friends Write

One thing I’ve been learning as I’ve been blogging is that bloggers need each other. Rather than thinking of ourselves as competitors, we should be looking out for each other’s interests — not just our own. As many of us have learned, we can’t depend upon Google to send us traffic. It changes too often, and there’s always others competing for placement on our keywords who may have more money than we do to promote their listings. This is why we need to help promote each other in social media and with backlinks. Bloggers need other bloggers to help them succeed.

One of the best bloggers I know, Janice Wald, is also one of the most generous. You can find Janice at Mostly Blogging. You will learn something you don’t know from her, I guarantee it. She also hosts meet and greet blogs that allow you to get some exposure to her vast audience.

I have been seeing visits to my main blog increase since I’ve  been working with others to help them get more social exposure. As I read their blogs, I learn more about what works and what doesn’t and how I can apply it to my own blog. There are many Facebook groups where bloggers can help promote each other’s pins, Google+ posts, and maybe more social sites.  Janice Wald has some sharing set up for Stumble Upon, a site I haven’t used as much as I should. Check her blog I linked to above for more information. I have also found Triberr very helpful in extending my Twitter reach.

As I read the posts of others, even if I can’t think of a comment to make or don’t have time, it’s not much effort to give a blogger a G+ or a pin on a post, and it will do  them worlds of good in being more visible online. We all want to be successful. But we should also be thinking in terms of what we can easily do to help make our blogging buddies successful. If you read a good post, share it on one or two social media channels.It only takes a minute, and it’s a precious gift.  Be sure to also install sharing buttons on your blog to make it easy for others to share your posts. Every now and then look up your friends on Google + or Pinterest and give their pins and posts some love by commenting, liking, and / or giving a +1 or repinning. Let’s help each other become more successful.

My Pajama Affiliate Courses Are Worth Every Penny I Paid for Them

What is a Pajama Affiliate?

My Pajama Affiliate Courses Are Worth Every Penny I Paid for Them
Bloggers Can’t Stop Raving about Pajama Associates

Two weeks ago I had never heard of the Pajama Affiliates. Then suddenly all my old Squidoo friends were chatting on Facebook about this great new course they were taking to help them make more money as Amazon affiliates. Now these folks were not new to blogging or affiliate marketing. Most of them have always made more a year than the dismal $13.04 I made in 2015 as an Amazon affiliate. Lesley Stevens, teacher of the Amazon Mastermind Course I’m taking now, made over $50,000 just in December, 2015. When I saw that proof that she knew her stuff I was convinced enough of the value of the course to buy it. After all, a lot of people have learned how to make a sales pitch for a course, but not everyone is offering value.  A Pajama Affiliate is one who is taking a Pajama Blogging course to increase the amount of affiliate income she can make in her pajamas at home.  My Pajama Affiliate Courses are worth every penny I paid for them.

Why I Became a Pajama Affiliate

Last year I purchased a different course on making money blogging and I paid much more for it. Then when I got into the course, again a video course, I discovered that the two teachers made most of their money selling courses and eBooks they had made rather than through the affiliate marketing programs of sites like Amazon. They made most of their money by getting email addresses and marketing their own courses and programs by email . They were teaching their students to make their money the same way. I haven’t finished that course yet. I’m not eager to start writing courses and newsletters. I don’t think I know enough to offer value yet. I saw proof that Leslie has made a lot of her money in Amazon commissions, the same way I’d like to make it. She is a genius at affiliate marketing.

As I pondered whether to purchase the course, my friends continued to rave about it. They claimed they were already starting to make more sales than they ever had before after watching just the first few videos. Although I don’t prefer learning by video, once I signed up for the course I saw that the main points in the video are reviewed in writing under the videos.

That is very helpful for people like me who don’t like to watch things over and over. If course members have questions or want to get feedback, they have access to two private Facebook groups for members only. There is no time limit for accessing the course videos or the Facebook groups. If you can’t afford to buy a course, you can rent access for a limited time at a lower price.  This course often goes on sale, but sales come and go so fast it’s best to just click the image to check the current price. The details are on the page describing the Step by Step Home Blogging Course for Beginners. Just click the image below.


My Pajama Affiliate Courses Are Worth Every Penny I Paid for Them


I’m Getting Value

One thing I’ve learned so far is that if I want to make money, I am going to have to learn to do keyword research. I have always ignored this before because I found it confusing. That is one of the first things the Amazon Mastermind Course covers. Today, since I have already learned so much I can apply immediately, I signed up for Bonus Buyer Keywords. and Free Advertising with Social Media course. These courses have taught me a lot it would have taken me hours of research to learn on my own. The Affiliate Masterclass advertised above is often on sale for a limited time. It has just been updated and improved. If you click the link above you can see the current prices of all courses. Usually one or more is one sale. That includes the brand new Affiliate Marketing Classes Business Bundle that now includes the Affiliate Masterclass and the best of all the other courses. It’s the very best value for your money. Get the Affiliate Marketing Classes Business Bundle now if you have not yet purchased any of the other courses. If you already have a course, you may be able to upgrade at a reduced price. You can even sample the best of the courses for free. 

In the past I have been rotten at affiliate selling. I always felt that some of the people taking the course with me now had had their Squidoo lenses locked for good reason. I thought some of the ones I had seen were spammy, with about three paragraphs of text and rows and rows of product images. That is not what I wanted to write. I don’t like writing catalogs. When I looked at the blogs course teacher Lesley Stevens had written and used as examples to follow, they weren’t spammy at all. They offered real value to readers, and I could immediately see why she got so many sales from them. I would like to blog like that. This informative course is taking the guesswork out of how to do it. I don’t think I’ll be making $50,000 next December like Lesley did this year, but I sure could use $50 a month to start while I’m learning. What a bonus it would be to make even more!

This is your chance to start increasing your blogging income by working smarter instead of harder. Don’t miss this opportunity to take advantage of whatever sales are still in effect as you read this. Now you can sample the best of the courses for free

One Reason Why People May Not Be Sharing Your Blog

Blogs Should Be Written in Standard English

Easy writing makes hard reading...
Created on ShareasImage.com

I belong to a lot of blogging groups and networks where people share links to their blogs with the hopes that other members of the groups will read and comment on the blogs and share them on social media. I do a lot of that. There are many people I really like and would like to help by sharing their work, but I can’t. Most people on my Twitter networks are professional people – teachers, authors, professional bloggers, and others with college degrees.

No matter how clever or interesting I find a blog to be, it would not be appropriate to share something that is full of grammatical errors with that audience. If I were to share that sort of blog, I would lose followers. People will make allowances for the kinds of errors made by those who are writing English as a second language if their native tongues have a much different structure than English. Many foreign students who have graduated from American universities still have not mastered the parts of our language that have nothing comparable in their own.

Example: My husband was born in Serbia and grew up speaking Serbian. After graduating from UCLA and speaking English here for over fifty years, he still cannot always use a, an, and the properly because his native language doesn’t have any comparable words before nouns. Americans just naturally say “The house,” “an apple,” etc., because they grew up hearing it. My husband would say “I bought loaf of bread” or “I ate apple.” That sounds strange to American ears, but it has the same effect on an American native listener as hearing someone speak with an accent.

What doesn’t go over well with those who speak and write standard English is reading blogs and articles that any high school English teacher, and I was one, would have marked with a lot of red ink. There are certain mistakes that high school graduates should not be making, and many bloggers I read from groups I belong to make those errors.

Common Mistakes I See that You Can Fix

Use Irregular Verbs Correctly

One error I see frequently is misusing verb tenses. One of the most common is writing or saying “I seen” instead of “I saw.” “To see” is an irregular verb. Regular verbs form the past tense by adding an ed or a d to the end of the verb. Example: I remember becomes I remembered, I cook becomes I cooked. Some verbs, though, form their past tenses differently, and you just have to memorize the correct forms.

Here is a list of the most frequently used irregular verbs. This resource also explains the forms and how to use them. I suggest you check it out if you make any of these mistakes.

To use to go properly in all three tenses, one would say I go (present tense) or I went (past tense) or I have gone (past participle). It is a mistake to say “I gone to the store.” That is using the past participle form as the past tense. It is the same mistake people make when they say “I seen it” instead of “I saw it” or “I done it” instead of “I did it.”

Most American-born English speakers who make these mistakes make them because they hear verbs used this way at home and among friends and this usage seems normal to them. It is not what they were taught in school, unless their teachers also grew up hearing non-standard English. To be taken seriously as a writer or blogger in English, though, you need to write standard English.

I’m not suggesting that you try to memorize the names of the parts of speech. I am suggesting you look at the chart and practice using the tenses properly. Every day, practice reciting the proper forms out loud several times until they seem normal to you. Here’s a list to practice:

I was. They were.

I came. He came with me. They came later.

I did it. She did it, too. They did it all the time.

I drank a glass of water. She drank milk. They all drank lemonade.

I went to the store. She went alone. They went crazy. We went to the movies.

I rang the bell. He rang the bell. They rang the bell.

I ran away. He ran after me, We ran for twenty minutes. They ran a mile.

I saw the show. She saw the dog run down the street. They saw a bank robbery. We saw the new baby.

My sweater shrank. The clothes shrank.

I swam across the river. She swam behind me. We all swam in the new pool.

If you learn these and use them correctly, you will be taken more seriously when you speak and write than if you use them incorrectly. If the sentences above sound strange to you, you need to practice them until they don’t.

Don’t Make Sentence Errors

Sentence errors definitely will keep people from taking you seriously as a blogger. They indicate you haven’t mastered basic writing skills, since the most basic element in writing is the sentence. Some bloggers who have great content make it unsharable by writing in sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences. Their writing looks something like this.

I love my dog he is so loyal. His giant appetite makes it impossible. To give him enough food to keep him satisfied. He’s always wanting to go for a walk. By the lake next to the park. When it rains and it’s muddy out. He tracks mud back into the house. Yesterday we went for a long walk, we got very muddy.

I think you get the idea. That paragraph contained all three kinds of sentence errors. Did you spot them? Learn more about sentence errors and how to fix them from this video. If you haven’t the patience to watch the video, the content is written out below it. If you want a simpler video, try this one, which is a bit more fun.

If you still have questions or need more information, this is more complete.


It’s Worth the Effort to Clean Up These Mistakes

If you want people to share your blog posts with their social networks, you need to make sure you have mastered writing standard English. Proofread your work carefully to make sure your sentences are complete and are not run-on sentences or comma splices. Get yourself a good reference book on writing and English usage and grammar. I personally use Writers Inc, an English Handbook that is very user friendly. It tells you everything you need to know about how to write in standard English.

Only you can decide to improve your skills. You can continue to be read only by your blogging friends who are more interested in what you say than in how you say it, or you can polish your skills and expand your audience. The choice is yours.

How to Promote Your Blog on Triberr

Why Join Triberr?

Giraffes: Join a Triberr Tribe
Join a Tribe at Triberr.

For years now I’ve seen references to Triberr as a blog promotion tool, and three days ago I decided to join. It does two things for me right now. First, I have more people  who promote my blog on Twitter, and I have more blog readers and views. Second, my Twitter followers have increased. This is all done without buying followers or joining some sort of exchange

Triberr can help you get your blog promoted on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I have chosen to only promote mine on Twitter, since I don’t consider my blogs appropriate for sharing on my Facebook pages. It would duplicate what I already post on my Facebook business page. As you join tribes on Triberr, other tribe members see the feed for your blog and there are tools that make it easy for them to share it on social media. This results in more people visiting your blog and more people promoting it on Twitter.

How Do I Get Started on Triberr?

When I first joined the site I was quite lost. I had to understand how to find my way around. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Sign up for a Triberr account. You can use a Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn account to log in, but be sure you use the one it’s easiest to use. Example: I connected a Twitter account that I don’t usually have in Chrome one one computer, so I opened my account using that Twitter address on a different computer where I will also use Triberr in the same browser. If you only have one Twitter or Facebook acccount, it doesn’t matter. I haven’t connected my other social networks because I only want to share my connected blogs on Twitter.
  2. Get information on how Triberr works. Once your account is active, some pop-ups will appear to help you find your way around. I suggest you read them. Read documentation in the support center to learn about streams and tribes. Learn how to join a tribe here. Learn about what you see under your stream tab at the top of your pages here.
  3. Join a tribe. This is tricky. If you click your Tribes tab at the top of your page, you can scroll down to the section that says Explore Tribes. To the right of the suggestions you see, there is a heading Finding an Awesome Tribe and there is a drop down menu where you can choose categories to explore so you can find some close to your interests. Don’t be hasty in choosing a tribe. Explore several, including their members and their streams. I will write more about joining tribes in a future post. You want to choose a tribe with a subject related to the blog you want to connect to your account. With a free account, you can only connect two blogs. They should be the best blogs and the ones you post to all the time.
  4. Connect your blogs  in the blog settings. To do this you go to your account dropdown menu at the top of the page and select settings. It will look like this. You decide which blog you  want to attach to each  tribe. Decide carefully, since you  can only  change that blog assignment once every thirty days. Click the Add Blog button. Your will want to get the Triberr plugin for your WordPress blog. There is no plugin for Blogger blogs. Once you install your plugin on your blog, you will come back to this settings page and click Show Blog Token to get the number to put in your settings on your Triberr blog plugin.  It sounds more complicated than it really is. Triberr Blog Setting Screen Shot
  5. Assign one blog to each  tribe. To do that, click the Assign Tribes button and follow the instructions.
  6. Start interacting and sharing posts of others in your tribes.







Getting Started in Your Tribe

After you have set up your blog, it is ready to feed into the stream of your tribe. But it won’t do that until your chief makes you a full member. Everyone begins as a follower.

Before you join a tribe, click the Members tab. See how many people have been promoted to members. The more that have been promoted, the more likely it is that the chief is active and approving people quickly. You can also see under the Conversations tab how quickly the Chief answers questions. I was approved within two days for full membership in five tribes. I’m awaiting approval in some others. At the end of each profile page you can see what tribes the member belongs to in case you want to check out some of those tribes. You will see my current tribes at the very end of my profile after all my blog posts.

If you demonstrate that you plan to be active by sharing the work of others, the chief may promote you to member status. Then your work will start feeding into the stream for other members of your tribe to see. You can speed up this process by making sure your profile looks good. Change the default cover profile cover photo and upload an avatar. Here’s my profile. Then comment in your tribe under the Conversations tab. Explain a bit what your blog is about, your interests, and anything else that might convince the chief you’d be an actively sharing member. What you write should be tailor-made for the tribe you joined. Pasting the same comment in a bunch of tribe pages won’t cut it. Each comment should be unique to that tribe. Here’s an example of what I wrote for my favorite tribe, A Thing of Beauty.

I write daily about photos I take around my local area on the Central Coast of California. My special interests are the vineyards, the river, native plants and trees, gardens, and local art. I look for anything beautiful or unusual. I’d love to be a full member here.

The chief there is very active and helpful. She will also explain why if she doesn’t promote you to member.

I hope I’ve given you an idea of what you need to do to get started at Triberr.  If you have questions, feel free to put them in the comments. If you are a member of Triberr, feel  free to link  to your Triberr profile in the comments. If you aren’t a member and you believe your blog is worthy of a wider audience and just needs to be discovered, join Triberr and see if it does for you what it’s doing for me. If you join a tribe and it isn’t a good fit for you, it’s easy to leave it by clicking leave next to your name on the member list.

Now go have fun  exploring Triberr.

Wikinut Has Changed its Terms

You can't even earn peanuts at Wikinut anymore.
You can’t even earn peanuts at Wikinut anymore.

Wikinut Will No Longer Pay Writers

I have not paid much attention to my three articles (nuts) on Wikinut in some time because Wikinut really wasn’t paying enough to merit my spending time writing there. I had signed up after Bubblews started to go downhill and some of my online friends were writing there and seemed to like it.  I didn’t really like having to have all my articles approved by a moderator before I  could post, and I didn’t like the way  they paid, so I was never enthusiastic enough about the site to post much. I pretty much let my posts sit there and occasionally I promoted them.

Today when I opened my Facebook group The Writer’s Door, the group owner had posted an announcement from the Wikinut site. The meat of it is that after December 10, 2015, they will no longer share revenues with writers. They will only provide a free publishing forum so members can continue to be read. They will pay members who have earned enough to be paid the December 10 payment. One last payment in will be made in January. From today on there will be no more money earned for page views and user activity. New sign-ups will also  be suspended while the site is updated to reflect the changes in the terms.

What You Can Do with Your Wikinut Account

Current members are offered three options. First, they can continue to write without expecting to earn anything for it. Second,  they  can stop writing new content, but leave their content up for people to read. The last option is to delete one’s account and one’s profile and pages. I have chosen the last option.

The owners of Wikinut say they’ve been forced to make this decision because the site was never profitable and because the financial incentive of revenue sharing caused the usual suspects to defraud the site with fraudulent clicks on ads. Too many people were also using ad blockers. You can read the rest of the details in the Wikinut Statement.

This announcement follows one by Seekyt recently that they have changed their payment plan to direct pay to approved writers instead of any kind of revenue sharing. Several other revenue sharing sites have also closed completely in the past few months. It appears this is the direction content writing sites are going. If you have not backed up your work on any sites you publish on, this is the time to do it.

What the Future Holds

If you have depended upon these sites for income, I think you can expect them to produce less in the future. Even those that remain like HubPages are not paying as well as they used to. I think whatever future there is for writing online  for income is in freelancing or in owning and writing on your own sites. I’m not even sure we’ll be able to count on free hosting from Blogger or WordPress.com indefinitely. I don’t think we can depend on any site to be here forever.

What are you doing to prepare for having sites you write on shut down? Wikinut, Zujava, and Squidoo gave notice. Bubblews and some other sites did not. The handwriting is on the wall. How will you get ready for the inevitable? Or do you think I’m  wrong?


The Bubblews Experience in Hindsight

Bubblews is Dead

There is no doubt that Bubblews is now dead. Some are willing to let it rest in peace. Some who feel they have been cheated wish they could find a way to get what they were promised and denied. Some are threatening to sue, but it’s hard to get anything from someone who is broke. Many are complaining that they had no notice of the site’s closing and have lost work they had not backed up. Me? I’m sorry I lost almost $50 (one missing payment and the balance in my bank when the site closed, but my overall feeling is one of relief. The wondering is over. The other shoe has dropped.

Bubblews is not the first site to close during the last two years. Many were shocked when Squidoo closed in August, 2014. Squidoo did give notice and made arrangements for members to move their work automatically to HubPages. They were warned to make back-up copies of work they wanted to move elsewhere. No one was happy Squidoo closed, but at least they had fair warning.

Zujava closed shortly afterwards. It, too, gave notice so that members could back up  their work to facilitate moving it. Then Seekyt sold out to new owners who made drastic changes in the way they paid and finally stopped any revenue sharing at all, choosing instead to pay up front for work they wanted. I haven’t yet had time to deal with the three posts I still have there. But I have made copies.

I was caught off-guard by what happened on those sites, and others have been adversely affected when sites I had never decided to join closed suddenly, stiffing their writers. The closing of Bubblews, however, should not have caught anyone who was paying attention off-guard. There were plenty of warnings that Bubblews was not going to make it. They say we see best in hindsight, so I’ll share some of the hints I picked up that gave me adequate warning. If you look back, maybe you will see them, too. Maybe we can all learn something  from this.

Cash CowBefore I joined Bubblews, the friend who told me about it said up front that they paid well, but would never be able to keep paying such high rates. His advice was to ‘milk it while you can.” So I never expected it to remain the cash cow it was at the beginning.

It was obvious from the beginning that the owners were not writers and did not know what kind of platform and editor writers needed. Highest on my wish list was a decent editor that would let me use bold and italics and punctuate properly without breaking something in the program. When the promise of the wonderful, awesome update in July 2014 was made, I hoped it was the editor that would be fixed. When instead that update butchered all my photo essays and then the administrators took away the ability to edit them so they would at least make sense again, I knew the programmers either had no idea what they were doing, or that they did not care at all about how the site looked or how their writers would feel  about having their work ruined. I was pretty sure then that the site would not last.

In the background were always the voices of those who were missing payments, claiming they had followed all the rules. At first I thought those people might be rule-breakers who just wouldn’t admit it — until one of my own payments went missing. After that I knew things were not being run well — even if my missing payment did  happen during a time when the site was down. When we redeemed,  there was no way — even with a screen shot of the bank page – that one could prove the date of redemption and the amount. It was a wait and see game as we watched for that confirming email in our mailbox from PayPal. No other site that I know of operated that way. On most other sites, you could check to see when a payment was due, and you knew approximately when the payment would be made.


Another Bubblews policy I saw as a sign of trouble was that of voiding an entire redemption because of a violation in one post. In most cases, the writer didn’t ever learn what the violation was or in which post. I knew that I was gambling with my time and energy to continue to  write there, but the payoff was still  good when I won, and I won most of the time. I did  become more cautious, though. After I had redeemed, I stopped posting until my payment email came. That’s one reason I didn’t lose hundreds of dollars. I made sure I’d never lose more than the amount of one minimum redemption of between $50 and $65.

When we all got the bad news about redemptions that would not be paid and lower rates for the future and all the rest that I can’t remember now, I knew the site was finished. Those of us who  didn’t leave immediately either weren’t there for the money or just enjoyed the communications for their own sake. I wrote what I expected to be my last post to my friends with the reasons I was leaving and to let them know where they could find me. The plan was to leave that up for a month and not post anymore. I did make one more post to respond to one of Arvind’s last announcements, and then I pretty much went silent unless I was responding to a post someone else had linked to and I wanted to help them with my comment.

Bubblews was a wild ride. I enjoyed it while it lasted. By the middle of July 2014 I knew it couldn’t stay alive. By the end of last year I knew it was almost dead. The last throes took longer than I expected, but it’s now dead and pretty well buried. All that remains are the memories, the friends I made there who I see in other places, and the things I bought with my earnings. I am not in mourning.

Would I do it all again? I think I would. The only  thing I would do  differently is to make actual complete web page copies from my browser of all my photo essays so I could see which photos I used and where I put them. I have text copies of all the posts except the last two posts — my Swan Song and my response to Arvind. I figured they would be of no value to repost anywhere else.



Did you ride on the Bubblews train? If so, would you get on  that train again? Is there anything you would have done differently on the ride?


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