I was recently asked by a fellow blogger if they could interview me, of course I agreed. I don’t see the appeal but I am greatly flattered.
I’ve been plodding along here writing but I haven’t done anything spectacular. I haven’t rescued any children from burning buildings or made any grand donations to medical science. I am just me, April Carvelli, trying to see how well I can survive in the digital world. I am in a totally different field after almost 20 years dealing with field service and water/wastewater treatment.
I filled out his questionnaire and returned it to him, so I guess I will shortly be featured on Homepreneurs, which is very cool. In the meantime go and check out his site as there is some very cool information on there, he finds some of the best sites. Most recently a Free website creator, which he wrote about in his blog.
Filed under networking, work
…since I last posted here. Things are busy, but not busy enough, I could really use some more or better paying work. At least I can round up enough to cover daycare and most of mortgage, the remainder I am currently covering with my savings which will run out eventually.
This work at home thing is tough, it requires a lot of discipline. I have to frequently stop myself from doing the laundry or dishes, or checking my facebook or email accounts. I have a hard time not doing things that I know need to be done.
And it doesn’t help that my husband knows I am home so he calls and asks me to run errands for him. He forgot his wallet the one day, so I wasted an hour driving out and giving it to him, another day he decided he was treating his office to homemade pizzas (which I had to make)…I assumed he would cook them the night before and bring them in the next morning…no…I was home, so couldn’t I just cook them in the morning and bring them up? Four pizzas which take an hour to cook each. I can fit two in the oven..so two hours to cook his pizzas and at least 15 minutes to cool after the last one was done so I could handle it out to my car. Then a one hour commute to get there and back, not to mention the social time I have to spend at his office so I wasted over three hours.
Everytime I think he might be starting to understand that this is a job, he blows it.
I’ve started doing some things a little different this month as I do not have a lot of published article under my name. If an article is published I will put it up under published articles, however most of my work seems to be ghostwriting blogs.
When a customer order blog entries on a particular topic, I will write twice as many as they require. I will then let them pick which articles they want and the remainder will be put under my portfolio. This way I can show my experience in various topics without violating my ghostwriting contracts.
All of my portfolio entries are here http://killerteacup.wordpress.com/category/portfolio/
Categories for the month of August were:
Hopefully this works out for me as too many people are looking for ‘proof’ and references. Unfortunately I cannot provide those
Even though I’m starting to do decent at this writing thing I still find it discouraging when I am turned down for jobs. It’s discouraging when I get comments like “you typo’d the rate? right?”, “too high”, ” you have to be kidding “,” we want to hire you, but we will only pay ….(less than half my quote)”. My favorite return comment was “I will pay the $50, but I want fifty articles for that.”
And the strange thing is that most of those comments are coming from North Americans, a country where everyone whines and complains about outsourcing to foreign countries. If you are only going to pay $1 for a 1000 word researched article then good luck getting it. The ridiculous thing is that these people are asking for North Americans to apply, then they turn us down because we want to make it worth our time. For a few of these job offers I could make more money picking up pennies on the street.
The European customers rarely bargain the price down, or if they do it’s still reasonable. In fact my European customers are my favorites, most of them pay promptly and they lay out exactly what they want.
Several of my American customers direct you to a competitors site to show what they want you do, without plagiarizing it, then complain when you give them something because its missing distinct elements from their competitors site. How many times do you have to tell them that if you did ‘XYZ’ like their competitor, then you are copying them. They just don’t get it.
Oh well, it seems most of my North American jobs have dried up anyhow. I just applied to a few more, lets see how they go.
Things are coming along okay, not enough yet to say I can make a living at this, but its starting look like I have a chance. I now have two steady ghost writing jobs and I have picked up a job as a contributor on a blossoming web site. I really hope this website kicks off to a good start because it’s on one of my favorite topics, cars. If this goes well I have a legitimate excuse to prowl dealerships. If it goes well enough, maybe I can include some of the repair projects for Bernice.
On the home front, it seems that my husband is actually starting to consider this a job. He actually made the comment about me “trying to start my business,” I almost fell over. That is the first time I have heard him admit it might just be feasible.
I admit that if this is going to take off then I need to start making a better system to keep track of the work and my billing or I am going to be giving away more than I make. For the rest of this month I will be working on a spreadsheet design that will go into effect at the beginning of next month. The hard part will be that my clients all want different billing cycles, I will figure something out.
Great spam project
Except my frustration with corporate America and modernization.
My four-month-old LG washer crapped out on Saturday in the middle of the load. It is locked, I cannot open it. I only managed to get water out of it because I hooked the shop vac up to the discharge and pulled out as much as I could. A repairman will be here on Wednesday. In the meantime I have mold forming on wet soapy clothes and a laundry room that smells. I put a copy of my letter to LG on Killerteacup.
Irobot has a whopper of a scam going in their warranty department. It seems that despite them telling you to return an item with their return number they will not automatically send your replacement even if the email states that they will do that. You need to call and email them the tracking number, after they have received it. If you don’t do that then you never see a replacement. I figure that they are hoping people will be patient and wait for the replacement they were promised. Then if they wait long enough they will forget they sent it out, or loose their tracking number. After all if you don’t give them the tracking number they won’t process your warranty claim. I have been without my Roomba since March 16th.
The one upside note for the day is that I ‘think’ I might be getting a blogging job with the Martha Stewart Company, I only say ‘think’ because I don’t remember applying for Martha Stewart. I’m waiting for a response so I know which job it was I applied for. The way today is going I would not be surprised if it was a scam too.
In my time as a writer I have learned a few rules that I really NEED to learn to follow;
1. Quit underestimating the time a job will take. I need to start doubling my estimated time, if it takes less I can always bill less
2. Stop giving the customers free work. If the assignment is 300 words then give them 300 words not 700.
3. Stay in the correct tense. If the writing is in the third person stay in the third person.
4. When the husband is home, put my earphones on. I don’t need to listen to every comment he makes to himself.
5. Quit underestimating the time a job will take
6. Ask questions
7. Ask if they want U.K. or American English. Don’t assume that just because they are from Europe that they want U.K. English.
8. Quit under estimating the time a job will take. If husband is home, triple your estimate
9. Actually read all of these e-courses you signed up for
11. Learn new media, no matter how boring it might be.
10. If all else fails lock child and husband in the bathroom and take laptop to some remote wi-fi location where you can work undisturbed.
Writing my own blogs is getting exceedingly difficult, I have a million ideas a day that I sell but when it comes to my own I tend to be a big blank. The few ideas I have I write then I go and hawk them to someone else for money. My portfolio blog at http://killerteacup.wordpress.com/isn’t going to grow too much if I keep doing that, but I keep looking at the money end of things. I don’t want to be on unemployment forever.
I find I have no problem writing for someone else, but then again they normally give me a topic. Today I wrote several blogs on a variety of topics that were vastly different: Tattoos, stages of pregnancy, DogTV, skateboarding, and two excel data sheets. Tomorrow has three articles due on SEO and one on Catastrophic computer failure. All of these, except DogTV and pregnancy are ghostwriting. My big problem with some of these topics is keeping them within the required word limit. Some of these topics I could write on for days, I really need to restrict my writing and stop giving so many of my customers free work.
I guess I have written my limit for the day as I now have a four-year-old and a 120 lb dog laying at my feet begging to go outside and play. That means that my day is over and when I come back in it will be time to clean the kitchen and make dinner. I am off now to see what the neighborhood is doing.
Unfortunately it has been a week since I last posted in here things have been very busy, which is good. I am getting a lot of paid ghostwriting assignments, but I am also dong a fair amount of published work which can be found http://killerteacup.wordpress.com/published-articles/
Just to give a summary of my month in writing so far:
13-year-old Washington State boy saves schoolmates and bus driver (Imperfect Parent)
Owning Art Print Posters (artprints.cc)
How to teach parakeets tricks (Helium)
13-year-old girl missing from Chicago neighborhood (Imperfect Parent)
Chicago couple awarded $8.25 million for the accidental death of their infant son (Imperfect Parent)
Is cheap car insurance worth it? (carscom)
How to care for an Easter chick (helium)
12 years after abduction of daughter, man gets 3-year sentence (Imperfect Parent)
Common songbirds living in both the US and Europe (Helium)
Abducted boy returned to his mother 8 years later (Imperfect Parent)
Two children injured in police chase (Imperfect Parent)
The devil made me do it (Imperfect Parent)
One Australian company hired me to write general product descriptions for their home supply company
My Middle East Engineering firm has me doing extensive research on their competition.
and several small ghost writing articles of random topics.
. . .
Well this week has made half the amount of money as all of last month, so its off to a good start, lets see if it keeps going strong.
I’ve been cutting down on my blog entries, I just don’t have the time for my personal blog, paid work comes first, but I guess that is a good thing. I’m a regular poster at Imperfectparent.com, I’ve got another paid article WWWCARSCOM.COM with my name on it. Looks like I am starting to get somewhere. I would really like it if I managed to pick up some of the local companies I’ve been soliciting, but that’s probably a long shot.
The ironic thing is that I found a little local advertising company that does ads for everyone except themselves, I could not find one online listing for them, so I offered my services. Maybe they’ll hire me.