Yahoo Contributor Network No More: What to do With Your Articles

 

If you have been writing for Yahoo! Contributor Network (YCN), you have likely heard the bad news by now; they’re shutting down. Yahoo purchased Associated Content several years ago for.. wait for it.. 100 million dollars! CRAZY. But they have decided they no longer have a need for it and are closing their doors forever. Cue sad face.

I wish I could buy something for 100 million dollars and then be like.. oh, just kidding. I’m done.

Not only are they no longer accepting new submissions, but writers have a month to figure out what they want to do with all their hard work, sweat and tears. Actually, if you got sweat and tears from article writing, it’s probably not for you.

Here are some things you should know:

  • All of your articles are going to be removed by YCN in August.
  • You will be getting one more payment for July’s views.
  • You cannot submit any additional articles to the site.
  • They are returning permissions to you when the site shuts down for good.
  • You need to download your work if you want to submit it elsewhere.
  • Your work will no longer be published, which means it cannot be used as online samples for other writing jobs.
  • While you will have permissions in a month, you don’t as of today. So don’t try to submit them elsewhere, otherwise Google will give you a big slap on the hand for plagiarism.
  • You need to wait for the work to no longer show up in search engines before submitting it elsewhere.

So now the big question: what to do with all your work? Some writers have hundreds or thousands of articles on YCN, making this a big headache. At this point, what you do with your articles is entirely up to you, but here are a few suggestions:

Rework them into a blog post.

Submit them to other passive income sites. (links coming soon in a later post)

Turn them into PLR and sell packs of articles.

Hold on to them and use as samples for freelancing projects.

Start a niche blog if you have multiple articles on the same broad topic.

Save them until you have a freelance writing project in the same niche, and rewrite it to fit the new assignment.

If you have time-sensitive articles, you’re shit out of luck.

Delete them, yell “Fuck you, Yahoo!” and never look back.

If you have been writing solely for Yahoo Contributor Network, now is the time to start looking elsewhere. There are some content mills, though they are dwindling fast. All of the recent changes with Google’s algorithms are changing the landscape of content writing. It isn’t going anywhere, but it’s changing. This is the perfect time to start looking for your own clients or start a new website or blog and writing for yourself.

If you’re interested in content mill work, Writers Domain is currently hiring. They pay $20 for standard articles and $40 for premium articles. The application process involves submitting a 400-word article and taking a grammar test. If you want to tell them who referred you: Jennifer Magnesi

Tips for the writing sample:

  • Keep it as close to 400 words as you can.
  • Choose a creative, non-generic article topic about the keyword they provide.
  • Split it up into shorter paragraphs and use headings when applicable.

 

Byeeeeeeeeee

 

April Wrap-Up: Freelance Writing, Spring Crafts, and Panic Attacks

aprilwrapup

 

I can’t believe April is almost over! It feels like I was just putting off putting away Christmas decorations. Here is what happened on It’s a Jenn Thing this month!

I had 5 panic attacks in 1 day.

fa9bda2188fc759a8b756d9cc7e333cf

The So Damn Charming Etsy shop opened.

sdccollage1

I shared a typical day as a freelance writer.

I celebrated National Infertility Awareness Week.

2014-niaw-image-580x259

A new DIY (Tape + Paint Canvas) project went up.

TapePaintCanvasArt2

I shared what I love for Spring.

whatiloveforspring

We learned about the importance of multiple freelance writing clients.

See you in May!

JennSig

 

Freelance Writing: Nothing is Forever and Why Your Basket Should be Full

freelancewriting1

 

Hi Nerds!

I’m finally back with another freelance writing post. This one is important, especially if you are just starting out with freelance writing. I promise you, at least once in your career, you will deal with having so much work you can barely keep up without that third pot of coffee, and then absolutely nothing at all. I mention this briefly on the Pros and Cons of Writing for Content Mills.

Like everything in life, freelance writing and assignments come in waves. Certain times of the year and certain seasons work tends to pick up, and it dies down at other times of the year. I have been doing this for about four years now, and in that time, I have had a lot of work, a lot of clients, and worked for a lot of evil dictators content mills. I have also had days and weeks of nothing, eaten a lot of ramen noodles, and missed a lot of bills. The latter was almost always because of having the “perfect” writing job that was there one day, and gone the next.

Reasons Clients and Mills Cut Back on Work

There are a lot of reasons you might find the unlimited amount of work has suddenly become 50 articles a day and 10 writers fighting tooth and nail for them. Here are the most common ones:

The content mill is changing management.

The client is switching to a new project.

A new Google algorithm (like Penguin and Panda) has dropped and the client’s rank has dropped.

Clients can no longer afford to pay writers (or they outsource to pay less.. sorry folks).

The content mill has realized they have hired far too many writers, and now don’t have enough work to go around.

Just for fun.

Nothing Lasts Forever

I wish it did. I have had some amazing projects over the last few years, but things change and technology changes and you have to move on. You’re a freelancer, so no matter what you do, you need to accept that you’re taking on projects, not jobs. Projects are temporary.

Keep Finding Those Eggs

No matter how much work I have, no matter how many hours I am sitting in front of the computer probably giving myself a brain tumor, I almost never turn down work. I have been burned too many times before, by both clients and mills. It happens and most of the time, you don’t see it coming. Things come up, work goes dry, mills change directions, clients give up on their current project. Don’t underestimate the power of having a back-up plan.

Get Them to Come to You

If your schedule is like mine, you don’t really have the time to look for more work. When this is the case, try to get clients to come to you instead of actively seeking them out. Have a LinkedIn page, start a Facebook fan page for your writing business, or start a blog or website. The more you get your work out there, the greater the chance is that someone will find you.

If you already have so much work you couldn’t possibly find the time to look for more, then you’re already doing great. Just be careful with depending on anything, because in the end, you’re a freelancer and nothing is guaranteed. Keep communicating with your clients and encourage them to let you know if anything is going to change in the future so you can plan for it.

Have fun!

JennSig

 

 

Things I love for SPRING

whatiloveforspring
It’s SPRING! Okay, it’s been spring for about a month and I’m incredibly behind. Technically, there are two months left, so it’s still relevant!

Succulents

Above all else, I have become obsessed with succulents. I don’t know if it’s because I see them more often, or it is a sign of getting older. I used to hate them and liked other flowers more. But I am definitely planning on some type of succulent craft this season. My favorite idea so far is using brightly colored rocks.

succulentsbrightrocks

Terrariums

Also, terrariums! No big surprise due to my new fascination with succulents. There are three types of terrariums I want to try this spring: in a random object (see teapot), a themed terrarium, and a geometric terrarium.

a6c1bfe8e324459d9a864891de3582f1

white-sand-terrarium

Geometric + Neon

Speaking of geometric shapes.. yeah they’re in! They have been in for a while. But I tend to be about 3 steps behind. Throw in a few neon colors, and you’re set!

3a5a7998c7fe25ca7c74e199a4a7e11a

 

52a2610508d0c9f1265c0123c03ad056

Painted Pots + Typography

There are so many painted pots I am loving, so the following are a few of dozens I have saved. Also planning on at least one with typography.

9d0993e326e705a312e8389d22bf0447

 

funny_flowerpot_herbs_kraeutertopf

Painted Anything

Who else loves the idea of just painting randomly found objects or kitchen utensils?

8592096521_77d703b3f5_c

 

paint-dipped-wooden-spoons

 

7cb7bf4c3c4d3fb035cfedba8e7b822c

Abstract Art

I have never had a favorite style of art; I would just like random things in all different styles. I am definitely leaning more towards abstracts though. All of the below paintings are from Etsy sellers.

il_570xN.209089148

 

il_570xN.507531674_awwp

 

7ddd5214fa7ce9631a263e10a40cdffd

 

JennSig

DIY: Tape + Paint Canvas Art

TapePaintCanvasArt2

 

Yep.. it’s back! This tutorial once lived on a blog no longer around. Isn’t that fun? Anyway, this is my favorite canvas art so far. No, it’s not perfect. In the beginning, when I noticed the little imperfections, I was ready to throw it out and never make another thing ever for the rest of my life. But when I hung it up, I decided I quite liked it, imperfections and all. This is an easy canvas art tutorial if you have a blank canvas, tape and paint lying around. Have fun!

Materials:

  • Canvas (or you can use board or whatever you feel like)
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Tape (choose width based on the style you want)
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic varnish

 

Step1-CanvasArtSupplies

 

Instructions:

1. Figure out a game plan. I made brief sketches in a notebook, but I didn’t do much planning. All I really knew is what colors I wanted to include. The nice thing about tape is that you can keep doing it over and over again until you have it just right!

2. Prepare the canvas. Now is a good time to prep your canvas if you prefer. For this one, I didn’t do any Gesso or painting of my canvas beforehand. If you don’t want a white background, you’re going to need this step.

3. Lay down the tape. I mostly left my tape where it landed, but of course you can do it as many times as you need to. Although, I do not recommend using this artist’s tape. I was trying to protect my canvas with the low tack tape, but it was a little bit too low! You want tape that sticks really good for the painting part. That is where a lot of my mistakes happened. I think regular Scotch tape should be fine, though be careful if you’re painting your canvas beforehand. You don’t want it pulling up paint.

 

Step 2-AddTapetoCanvas

 

4. Start painting. Now for the fun part! With the tape on there, it should be fairly easy to paint. I used the sponge brushes for painting the larger triangles, then needed the smaller one for the smaller areas. If you’re painting the sides, I recommend painting that section together, with the top and sides at the same time. Otherwise you end up with a big mess. I did end up re-doing my yellow section because next to the white, it was much too faint. The brighter yellow really popped.

 

Step 3-PaintOverTape

 

5. Wait for it to dry. Acrylic paint dries fast, so don’t be surprised if your first painted section is nearly dry by the time you finish the last. I don’t think I waited more than an hour for the paint to dry.

 

6. Remove the tape (slowly!) and see how it looks. This is where I got frustrated and almost threw the damn thing away. Because I chose basically the worst tape possible, my tape moved and the paint wasn’t even. As long as you don’t use this kind of tape, you should be fine. I had to go in and try to paint the lines best I could. Hey.. it’s art. Doesn’t have to be perfect, right? I appreciate you validating me on this one.

 

Step4-touchups

 

7. Apply a clear Acrylic varnish. Choose a varnish specifically made for acrylic paint. This is optional, but I highly recommend it. It not only gives it a glossy look, but it protects your painting. Acrylic paint can be removed with water – this is great for correcting mistakes, but not so great if you get water on a completed painting and now have to fix it. Varnish can help protect it.

 

TapePaintCanvasArt

 

And.. done! Like I said, I’m choosing to accept the imperfections and appreciate the fact that when it’s hanging up, I’m the only one that notices.

Bye!

JennSig

NIAW: Two Day 50% Off Sale!

50percentoffsale

 

It is the last 2 days of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), so I decided I would have a huge discount in my Etsy shop. Not only does it give me a reason to make pretty things, but it is also part of our fundraiser to raise money for IVF. I was originally going to put only the fertility jewelry and gifts on sale, but then decided to go ahead and put the entire shop on sale! So every single item is 50% off for 48 hours only. The sale is going on now.

I offer FREE SHIPPING for locations in the United States and low-cost shipping for all International orders. Items are sent within 1-2 business days, via USPS First Class. I can also do custom orders.

Go here to get flower hair pins, flower rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and keychains for 50% off! (Many of which end up being less than $5 with free USA shipping)

Go buy things now!

JennSig

 

National Infertility Awareness Week: Why It’s Important

2014-niaw-image-580x259

 

Infertility is one of those diseases not often discussed. Whether that is because of shame, embarrassment, a bad history with reactions, or the fact that it isn’t entirely understood, this is the week when we come together and talk about how important it is to be aware. And that’s the point: not celebrating it, but raising awareness.

Is it really a disease?

YES. Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. It can affect men and women. Approximately 8 million couples and individuals in the United States alone suffer from infertility. I have it, my husband has it, and at least one person you know and talk to on a daily basis has it.

Why is it important?

Many of us suffer in silence. We all have our reasons. Personally, I just live a more private life than most people. I don’t Instagram my breakfast, I don’t vent on Facebook, and I don’t talk about my reproductive issues publicly. I’m not ashamed of infertility, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about what is often considered a sensitive topic. If I can at least help raise awareness for one week a year, I feel like I am contributing to this large community of millions of people suffering the same loss, pain, anger, frustration, bitterness, resentment, and cynicism I feel every day.

Resolve to know more

Every year during National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), Resolve selects a new theme. This year it is “Resolve to Know More.” I haven’t participated in raising awareness quite as much I should have. You know.. life happens. But I do want to “come out” on this blog and admit my husband and my struggle to conceive. It has been a long, 10-year-long road for us. It has been over 9 years since our miscarriage. It will be the 10-year shit-a-versary this November.

How you can help:

25 Ways to Support the Infertility Movement

Follow the Movement on Social Media

25 Things to Say (And Not Say) to Someone with Infertility

 

If you know someone struggling with infertility, be kind and offer your support, but refrain from trying to give them advice. I promise they have heard it all before.