Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So What Should Be Your Niche

Ideally your niche would be something you know, love or see around you everyday. One thing you need to remember is that you should actually know alot about your niche topic to ensure that you have good original content to serve your readers.

It is best if you have first hand experience or expertise of some kind in your niche. In my case, toddler toys would be a great niche as my house is filled with them! And within that niche I could narrow it down to educational toys for toddlers too!

Likewise, take a good look around you, see what grabs your attention, notice what gets you interested or excited...and then work on making that your niche.

Read this great article by my Squidoo friend, Kim wrote about choosing your niche topic

Image Credit: Orange and Lime Choice T-Shirt by Yellowriting

Monday, June 28, 2010

Is there Such a Thing As A Too Tight Niche

Muppets' Kermit the Frog Disney printNow that is food for thoughts. At least it was for me, when Fresh Wonders gave me suggestions to create tighter lenses based on my photography one, I thought I would handle travel locations.Which naturally could be broken down to (well in my case) locations in Irvine California. Parks especially as that was the time when I used to go to a park every weekend (with a 2 yr old who wanted to do nothing but run in the park like a free bird). So I figured this should be tight enough. So I did one on Irvine Parks.

Not only did I think it was tight enough, but I was afraid it was too tight. I thought to myself, "Now who would come searching for information on Irvine Parks?" Is that going too narrow...should I say Irvine tourist spots.. and not just talk about parks? So I ran this query by the forum group at Fresh Wonders.

Not only did they say that this isnt too tight, but they also helped me narrow it down further. 1 lens per park. For starters..That was what they said.. WOAH! 1 article just on 1 PARK. What could I possibly write about? So I gave it some thought. Observed very carefully and then wrote these lenses

Irvine Regional Park
Heritage Park

Now, believe this or not, this could be broken down further to create a whole new set of articles. Whilst I didn't do all of them, I did do one.

From Irvine Regional Park, I went ahead and created one on the Orange County Zoo.

Talk about the perfect cure to the writer's block. Now you would probably just have too much to write about!

Image By Muppets' Kermit the Frog Disney by disney

I suppose on a nice note, I shall end this post with an opportunity to share. In the linky below, feel free to leave any travel articles (from any website) that you have written and wouldn't mind sharing. Please also do remember to check out some links already on the linky while leaving yours behind.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Lesson To Conquer-Nail The Niche

Nailed It! cardAlright when I joined Squidoo, these were the two lenses(each article/page in Squidoo is called a you would see me use this term often) I made

Drive Traffic To Your Website
Tips on Photography- The What and the Why

If you take a look at both these lenses (and feel free to leave a comment or share them with your friends when you do), you would see that within 1 article, I talk about MAny many things.. Which is good, except, that is probably not the best way to get targeted audience into the lens and to let them know your expertise.

The key point to note is, you should NAIL THAT NICHE.

The idea is to go deeper and deeper into the topic at hand and create specific articles that cater to specific sections within the topic.

For instance if you take a look at the Tips on Photography article, these are the topics I cover within that 1 lens
1. Why is photography a good hobby
2. How to make money with photography
3.  How can photography be used to create unique product items
4.  Photography can encourage travel
5. Mountain photography
6. Sunset Photography

Now what if I told you that while this is good, what would make you establish yourself within the niche of photography if you create an article or lens on each of these sections and see how much more you could narrow it. Whilst it may sound overwhelming, it is possible and is certainly a way of destroying any writer's block! Imagine 1 article can now create 6 (and even more) tighter niched articles that would attract readers coming for specific information.

In this accord, I did work on narrowing it down a little
To narrow down to 1 form of photography within an individual lens, I wrote about Waterfall Photography

To touch the topic on photography and travel, I thought it would be nice to write about some travel locations and added some nice pictures. So on that note, these were the lenses I wrote.

Irvine Parks-Great Attractions in Southern California
Heritage Park in Irvine, CA
Irvine Regional Park
Orange County Zoo
There was something I wondered at that time... is there such a thing as too tight a niche.... The answer is coming right up on the next post...

So meanwhile, do share what topics you see yourself writing in and how many potential articles  you think you could create out of it. This isn't necessarily just for Squidoo. You can use this technique anywhere online.

Image: Success Greeting Card, Nailed It! designed by CEHiday.
Click to purchase and congratulate someone on their latest success.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why Fresh Wonders?

I mentioned Fresh Wonders being the best thing that happened to me over at Squidoo.. So now I shall start telling you why that is...

Fresh Wonders is a great community that Michelle Willows at Squidoo introduced me to. Initially it started with a Fresh Squid and Nail that niche contests. Then I started to get to know the people in this lovely group and also find more tips and resources on how to excel in Squidoo.

Wow!! I realized that there was so much more to writing an article than just writing an article.Am I not making sense? Well my point is, an article is worth being written online only if READERS actually get to see them online!

The Internet indeed is a vast "open space" that connects the different parts of the world together, regardless of time and location. But it is also the place where many people have the same type of content as you and in order for anyone to see these articles, they must shine out in the search engine. They must stare into the faces of your target audience and not get lost in the ocean.

Prior to joining and getting seriously involved in Squidoo, I did know about keyword research, search engine friendliness etc. But never did I know it was this crucial and this doable without spending 1000s of dollars on some internet marketing program.

Also Fresh Wonders has very very nice people who always make you feel at home and always offer great suggestions to improve your lenses without making you feel afraid to ask. Their comments are always constructive and certainly help you to improve your lens and get them to higher heights. They never make you feel bad. I have made some dear friends from all around the world. Just sitting on my couch!

Fresh Wonders is also a great resource ground for great tips and resources on how to nail the niche, do proper keyword research and how to make your articles (lenses) more search engine friendly!

I am certainly going to be sharing some of the tips that I learned along the way and you can see how Fresh Wonders has made me the writer that I am today!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What Are Some Other Writing Sites and Why Did I Not Choose Them?

Alice in Wonderland's White Rabbit Running Disney mousepadThere were many other websites that offered services similar to Squidoo, Helium and Bukisa and paid to write online. Here are some of them

Associated Content
Article Alley

There are also many more that were mentioned on this blog ,
The Freelance Home Writer

For the most of them, the reason I didnt choose them are one of these

1. I had no time. I had already signed into too many websites and may not be able to juggle them all.

2. They were not in my topic of expertise. For example, if one was talking ONLY about travel, then I probably didn't take that. I could write a few articles on travel and local but considering that I barely have had a vacation in like three years, I couldnt possibly produce a countless number of travel articles. So I wont take a membership in those.

3. I read bad reviews about them.

Another site that I never wrote for is Content Current. I did try out but after a very very long wait, they declined my application. Well I suppose everything happens for the best as I found Break Studio after that (Which is a great site by the way..)More about them next time.

So essentially, please do your research and see if the topic is right for you and the sites is the right thing for you too before signing in. But still don't be afraid to try out something just to see if the site is right for you. If I didn't try these websites, I wouldnt have expanded as an online writer this much.

Image Credit: Disney at Zazzle

Sunday, June 20, 2010

So What Happened to me in Helium and Bukisa?

Well nothing really... there is only 24 hours in a day- during which I still need to raise a child, manage a household, work on building an online store at Zazzle, do ghostwriting at Textbroker, create fun Squidoo lenses and build a blog (which just became 2)... while all of these are fun...(and they are!) I had to draw the line somewhere to ensure that I do not spread myself too thin and give up on the quality of work that I publish on these sites. So for now, there is a pause and these are my articles over at Helium and Bukisa. I do hope that sometime in the future, I do write in these sites... as they are great sites to write in...

Aysha @ Helium

Aysha @ Bukisa

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Introducing Squidoo

Check out my lensI came to realize that there were many many platforms that we could use to establish ourselves as an online writer. One great avenue, and I can truly say one that changed it for me, for the better ofcourse and one that I almost could credit for making me the writer I am today is Squidoo. Before I talk about how that happened, let me first talk about what attracted me to Squidoo and some other nitty gritty details.

Squidoo was different...why? Because we do not just create articles..we create something that looks like mini-websites or what is called "lenses". These make our articles jump out to life with pictures, videos, musics and many more widgets that Squidoo offers. The pages honestly looked more appealing and more fun not only to read,but also to create.

Squidoo is also great for marketing purposes, business promotions and for those who aren't too apt at creating a full blown website. What makes them different from other articles is that there are more than words and this certainly keeps the audience engaged for a longer time.

To start off at Squidoo, you don't quite need HTML/CSS knowledge..but there are many resources within Squidoo that could get anybody started off.

And yes Squidoo does pay a little, you can earn some ad revenue income here and there and also donate that to charity. But mostly, Squidoo has been an eye opening experience for me.... almost solely because of this group called the Fresh Wonders. More about them in the next post...but before I go...

If at all you are interested in writing at Squidoo, and are truly serious to learn and excel, you should visit the Fresh Squid Headquarters after registering and find out how to join this amazing group and start your Squidoo days on the right foot.

How did they create my turning point? Stay tuned to find out more....

Looking for a good avenue to write? Start at Squidoo
Click on the icon above to take a look at some of my works at Squidoo.

A Great Reference that would help create mindblowing Squidoo Lenses

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Writing At Bukisa

Bukisa is yet another great option for writers who want to write articles for many purposes
1. To start off writing
2. To find another platform to write
3. To market their business, products and services
4. To create a portfolio of their own published works
5. To have fun doing what they love-Write!

Bukisa is also an ad revenue site, where the more people view your article, the more you can earn. It is also a great chance to gain some exposure in the writing arena. Not only are you publicizing and letting the world know you exist, you also get to meet many friends with the same interests. You also get to see the works of other writers-newbies and veterans and get some insights on how to improve and become a better writer.

Bukisa requires only a minimum of 250 words per articles. At Bukisa, you can also showcase audio files, videos and presentations. They offer a wide range of topics-you can certainly find something appealing.

So why wait? Click on the icon above and be on your way to discovering a great writing website, Bukisa.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Writing at Helium

There are indeed many great writing sites for beginners to start their writing career, publish their work to the public, create a portfolio, and even earn some money through it. These sites are easy to use, and would show you how easy it is to start writing online and pursue a career in writing.

What I really liked about it is the fact that others could read my articles and and let me know where it stands. It also gives you the opportunity to read the articles from writers all over the world, learn more and also gain an insight on many writing styles and learn which is more suitable than others.

One such site is Helium. Helium is a article submission directory that gives people the chance to write articles on a wide range of topics. Each article is expected to be 400 words or above. Another great feature on Helium is their rating segment. Writers are not only encouraged to submit articles but also to anonymously rate the articles written by fellow Helium members. This way, not only did I learn alot about many other topics, I also got to see what are the different qualities expected in a good article.

So how do we get paid on Helium? Well part of the income comes from adshare revenue when visitors view your article. They follow the rating star system to determine how much you earn. The more active you are in the rating section, the more stars you get, the more your views earn.

For the written article, the amount you earn is determined by the number of writing stars you have earned. Helium is a community that wants to encourage good writing. Thus the ratings on your article earn you stars. When you get one-star or more, it shows that your article stand in high ranking. This would be an excellent assessment on where your article stands.

If you are looking for another avenue to write, or would like to explore this to start writing, click on this icon and check out

Friday, June 11, 2010

Me?? Writing??

Shocked Classic Mickey shirt
Now writing was an option that I used to consider and hesitate. I mean me?? write?? Why did I reconsider
1. I am no English scholarly writer. I mean my English was fairly good..but I am no Shakespeare or any famous novelist.
2. I won't even write my own personal diary

But then I liked the idea of exploring topics, finding out more, learning new things in the name of research. And it can be done online! So I did some search and came across hiring websites like Demand Studios and asked myself "Why would they hire me?"

I am yet to build a portfolio. I do not have a degree in the English language or Journalism ( I do have a degree though). Then why?

So then I started thinkin "How do I get hired as a writer eventually?" Answer: Create a portfolio!
But it didnt make sense for me to write random articles and file them at home. I needed to be out there. In the World Wide Web.. So I did some searches.

And lo and behold, I was amazed to find that there were websites that would let you publish your articles, and some even paid you a little for them. The money was almost close to nothing. But, I just found the perfect platform to build a portfolio.

So then I started trying out these websites.

Associated Content

There were a whole bunch of others I tried, but didn't quite like. Some were too spammy and others just didn't work...

So how did these sites help me build the portfolio and what happened next?.....

Join Associated Content

Image Credit: Shocked Classic Mickey by Disney @ Zazzle

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Vintage Maroon Typewriter buttonWelcome to all my readers!
Firstly, thanks for visiting this blog. As it says, the sole purpose is to describe my journey into online writing and to see my insights on the wonderful opportunities and eye opening experiences I gained thus far. So before the flashback begins, let me talk a bit about who I am.

I am a mum who wanted to move from being a SAHM to a WAHM. For months, I was on a quest for the right work at home job/opportunity that would satisfy these criteria
1. It must be exciting and fun
2. I need to interact with sensible adults.
3. The timings must be flexible.
4. I must be able to control when and what I work on.

Now I believe that if I commit to something, I must see it through. I mean that is how I grew up. But nonetheless, I am a mother and a wife too! And certainly my family takes precedence..(which is why I was on a hunt for a work from home job). I looked at some possible fields and saw what I thought was the answer to all my requirements-Online Writing....

Like I said, it has been a eye opening experience so far. So how to summarize what I do..(in terms of writing). Well you can find my online published articles at these profile pages

Aishu19 at Squidoo

I also have articles at Helium and Bukisa.
I have also done some ghostwriting articles and rewrites.

Along with this blog I also have a gifts idea blog called Wonderful Gifts for Wonderful People

So how did this all begin? Stay tuned for the flashback to begin......

Signup to Bukisa, Get Paid For Publishing your Knowledge!

Image: Vintage Maroon Typewriter by JuJuGarden
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