Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Started a Piano Blog and another freelance writing job

In another crazy attempt to diversify my internet lot, I have started another blog about free piano stuff. Aptly named, and it is all about finding free piano lessons, music, and anything free that is piano related.

I did enlist a friend who volunteered to help me ad some pictures to each blog post to help the blog look more visually appealing. I should ask her what website she uses to find pictures like a piano with a rose, or the present wrapped in sheet music, and see if it is accessible. I wonder if its just pictures with no descriptions or if the pictures actually have text describing what they look like.

I did monetize that blog, but for some strange reason my piano blog has advertisements that have nothing to do with pianos. I may end up removing those and look for affiliate programs to link to, but I haven't decided as of yet.

I also started freelance writing for which I will describe in more detail once I've been paid.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ways to Handle a Money Chrisis

We all rely on money to pay our bills, provide shelter and food, and to bring us pleasure. But with the continuing economic crunch squeezing out every dime before it has a chance to grow interest in our checking accounts, more and more of us are feeling the pinch in our bodies and minds. It comes out in worry, and stress and in feeling overwhelmed about what the future will hold or not hold. Whatever your finnancial situation, here are some ways to keep it all in perspective and to relieve the strain of worrying about a money chrisis.

Who is in control you or the money? If you are up late at night worrying about money, and you find yourself worrying so much that it becomes hard to function and think about other things, then money is in control of you when it should be the other way around. Find ways to take the control back so that you feel in charge. Start a gratitude journal and chronicle the good things in your life. Take small steps to get your mindset back, so you feel like you are doing something. Start small by clipping out a coupon or choosing to make dinner instead of going out for dinner. Just feeling like you are doing something, even if it is one small step, will help your peace of mind and give you back some measure of control.

Take a break from it all. Turn off the phone, don't read your mail for a day, and focus on something else to help clear your head. Make a picnic lunch and go to the park, watch your favorite commedy, dance to your favorite music, do anything non-money related for one day. It is not hiding from your problems because they will still be there, but it is giving yourself a chance to regroup and recharge your body and mind. Decisions are easier to make and less impulsive, if you can figure out how to calm yourself down physicly and spiritually. Often, if you approach things with a clearer head, you will come up with new strategies and solutions you were to spiritually empty and tired to think of before.

Ask for help! Believe me in that you are not alone in your feelings or your situation. Join a support group to relieve money stress, bring positive people in to your world to help carry you and share the burden, and ask for advice. The internet is filled with advice on frugality, recycling, stretching your budget. Look for message boards and free websites with job information or tips on career changes.

While you are seeking out help offer it as well. That old addage give and you will receive still holds true when you are broke. You may be holding the answer that will help someone else who is struggling as well. By thinking of and giving to someone in need, you free up some of that stress inside yourself. Sometimes, if you help someone else over their own road block it has a healing effect on your own.

Money matters or does it? When the bill wolves are howling at the door, and you worry about how to make your finnancial ends meet, its hard to stay calm and remember that it really isn't the money that matters in your relationship with yourself and others. It is the being together with the ones you love that counts not the trappings and trimmings that come with living. Try to capture that together feeling again without thinking about the peripheral stuff. Remember that your worth as a person is not based on what you have now, what you might loose in the future, or what you had in the past. Money is just the covering that hides the inner shell of who we are and who we can be. It is not the essence of who we are on the inside.

Although the acquisition of money is important for living in today's world, it doesn't have to rule your every thought or be the fear that lies unspoken inside you. It doesn't have to be the worm that eats at your inner peace. Take an active role in dealing with your thoughts and stress so that you can handle any money chrissis in your life.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The importance of networking and finding internet angels

When I started trying to earn money online, I viewed myself as one person out of millions sitting alone on my computer at odd hours of the day or night researching, writing, and promoting my various projects. While this is true in a sense, it is not quite accurate. While I am sitting alone at my desk, there is an actual community of other people out in cyberspace just waiting to network with me, share ideas, and provide advice if needed. These internet angels show up in unexpected places and provide unexpected opportunities.

Last winter, I volunteered to help out a friend who was starting her online business by writing articles and advertisements, and helping to post these on various places on the net. I found myself in forums, article-writing websites, and blogs. Sometimes I was the giver of advice and sometimes I was the taker. People wrote commenting on things I had written and invited me to post on their websites. I invited total strangers that I will never see in person to attend webinars and download free materials.

Through it all, I have learned that there are actually human beings that like me are searching out information and really trying to make a difference in the world and also in their own family lives. It's not just about the bottom line of what I want to accomplish but the greater good for us all. I can take one minute to post a link for a friend and a total stranger can find me and send an email and say your top ten things to do after being rejected,,,, again article made me laugh.

So, no matter how stressed your own internet thermometer may be about earning money online, or if you have ten internet or business goals you've got to get accomplished before the first of the month, take a minute to remember that your not alone in your struggles. There are millions out there just like you and many are willing to help out by offering advice, or provide helpful information to become your own personal internet angels. Find places to ask your questions, give advice that will help someone else, and the rewards will come back to you tenfold. It really works!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

$12.50 in my paypal account this month for Text Broker

For those of you considering a career in freelance writing might be a good place to start.

The hiring process consists of filling out an application form to become an author, provide one unpaid writing sample chosen from the list provided, and checking the boxes of topics you are willing to write about. Your application is evaluated and you are then notified of your writing rank which is on a stars rating system. You can then search on the assignments page for work available in your writing level. The star scale is 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest score. You are only shown articles that fit your star rank.

Article word counts and topics are of a broad range and have specific guidelines to be followed such as deadline date, word count, and detailed instructions from the client. Start by picking a category such as animals or home and family, on the assignments page, and then the available articles subject matters will display. Click on the title usually listed as key words to see specifics about the article content and other guidelines. You can then accept the article or decline it. There is a ten minute time limit so if you choose nothing the article goes back in to the queue. There are no penalties for clicking the I do not want to write this article button at this point.

Once you choose the I want to write this article button, the screen appears on which you write or paste in your content. If you don't finish in one sitting, you can save your text and come back to it later. Don't release your text unless your article is complete and ready to be reviewed by the TB staff and client.

The website is self explanatory and very easy to use with a screen reader. TextBroker also pays twice a month on the 5 and 20 via paypal.

The only downside is the pay is extremely low at about $.75 per 100 words. The average rate is $2 per hundred words. However, you can test out freelance writing as a career and get paid for your efforts. You can also gain confidence because each article is reviewed by the editorial team which provides you feedback and ratings about your articles and the clients themselves can also rate you. Those are two valuable assets along with the real money that will go in to your PayPal account. I've decided to keep my money and save it up for Christmas. We'll see if my good intentions hold out.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Adding A Google Search Bar to a Website

I forgot to mention in my first post that in order to create an Adsense account, you must have some sort of web content already in place. It can be a website, or a blog, but it must have some sort of content that is more than one post or webpage which is a requirement to be approved for an account. One website I researched said it needs to be at least 20 pages long. My website is not that long but I was still approved.

I gave a lot of thought in to what I want to display on my website, and I decided for now to only post the Google search bar. I am still building my content, and I want my visitors to focus on the website content of what I am providing informationally, to get to know the feel of the website, before posting up more advertisements. I think putting up the search bar on my website strikes up a happy medium between giving me a very small chance at revenue and giving my readers a way to search the net.

This will give my website visitors a Google search box from which they can make Google queries and see their results all on my home page. The AdSense account holder only receives a revenue share if someone clicks on one of the AdSense ads, not for conducting searches or visiting search results.

I logged in to my google AdSense account, and chose the AdSense Setup link. Then, I selected the second option link AdSense for Search. A get started button loads the wizzard that walked me through the steps to customize my search box. I had no problems using my screen reader for the first set up section. It has nice options to track the success of the ads, key words you think are relevant to your site can be added in to help your visitors get better search results, and you can implement a family safety feature called search safe.

I got stuck on the Select a branding style for your search box. It doesn't have descriptions that say how each radio button choices will look, so I took my best guess knowing that I can come back and edit it later. I also guessed at the pallates and borders and if I didn't understand a choice, I kept the defaults.

At one point it asked me for two websites, one for which page to have the search bar and which page to display the results. I put in my home page address for both, so someone can do a search off my website home page and there search results will also appear on that same home page when they are finished. I believe if I want to put a search bar on other pages of my site I can add them in as well at a later time. Google then showed me the html code, and I pasted it in to my html text for my home page and saved and uploaded it on to my websites home page.

I don't know if I can copy the code to other pages on my site, or if I need to make new codes for each page, and I need to find someone to ask to determine if the search feature melds well with my page content. But the search bar does display.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Adding Google ads to a Blog

As you can now tell, I figured out how to add the AdSense program to this blog. I am amazed at how simple it was. All I did was to log in to the BlogSpot account and choose the monetize link, select the appropriate radio buttons to choose which types of ads to display, link my AdSense account to this blog, and republish. They appeared pretty much instantly. This is a hopeful sign as I now know how to create a blog and put up ads all for free. At least, here on BlogSpot. If I now want to create other niche blogs now I know how to do it!

If you want to do this, the one thing I recommend is you link your Google accounts together to create less confusion for yourself. I already had a Gmail account for Google mail, and when I signed up for both this blog and the AdSense account, I was prompted to link them all to one of my email addresses on file which I did. This way when I want to access any of these items, there is only one user name and password I need to remember. With three different accounts, and all the myriad user names and passwords I already had in my brain, this makes it easier to keep track of my information.

Also, because I used one of the BlogSpot already-formatted templates to create the colors and the appearance of this page, Google AdSense automatically formats the ad to look streamlined. A sure frustration saver for someone with a visual impairment.

Just as a side to those using screen readers, it is easier to write out my blog post in Word, so I can edit or spell check before posting it live. I have so far found it difficult to edit my posts once published. I'm not sure if its the Jaws version I have, or if it is my computer skills, but its hard to get the cursor in the right spots for edits on the BlogSpot page.

Also, for those that read braille, there is a blogging book available from the National Braille Press called Blog On! Reading and Writing Blogs with a Screen Reader. I forgot it existed and I should probably buy it myself and save myself some learning curve. But my goal was to do this without spending a dime. The link if you want to check out the book is at:

I really will blog on the types of Adsense products that can go up on a website next post.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Approved for Advertising

I have been approved by Google AdSense. I was very surprised, relieved and excited when I received the email.
I went to the set up page to look around and it gives me some interesting options. Before I go in to those, let me stop and talk about what AdSense is and my extremely limited knowledge of how it works. Have you ever wondered why for example, if you are visiting a website about hair care , you scroll down the page and you see something like Google Ads with ads about hair accessories, or hair businesses. Or, your reading about a news item about Michael Jackson and on the same page it says Google Ads with links to mortuaries in your town, and grief counselors. The reason these types of content-related ads pop up is because the website you are visiting has agreed to let Google put up relevant ads on their website. Advertisers pay Google each time someone either clicks on the ad, or buys something from the ad, or visits the ads website and signs up for something depending on what package the advertiser purchases. Google, in turn gives a portion of that money back to the website owner who signs up for and displays the ads. So, if I click on or buy something from the local grief counselor ad, then the news website gets compensated for my action. In my ignorant days, I could never quite figure out how the computer matched up ads with content so well. In a nutshell, that is how it works.
There are rules webmasters need to follow to stay in good standing with Google to earn the revenues and to keep up the accounts. Like not openly encouraging people to click on the ad links or being dishonest about it. These ads can appear in Blogs and on article selling websites, although I don't know much about that yet. The whole system is quite clever because advertisers ads appear on multiple websites with related content, and website owners get compensated for actions taken by displaying the ads. It is also free to the website owner so the webmaster has nothing to loose by putting them up and they can still sell other advertising or withdraw from the program at any time.
I will review the ad options in my next post.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Who I am and What I'm Doing Here

Ok, my name is Lisaeb1 and I've worked from home for the last 10 years as a telemarketer, customer service rep, psychic, relationship coach, recruiter, and lately as a freelance writer. My biggest challenge is finding opportunities that work with my screen reader. I am totally blind and use Jaws for Windows for those that might not know about me. I decided to create a blog to share my experiences and try out a few experiments to see if I can really earn money at home without selling something on the phone. Please understand I am not nocking phone sales and if I can't earn money I will gladly go back to it, but I would rather find a different way.

My intention is to help others who use screen readers, but the information I will share can help anyone looking to work from home.

I've been busy tonight starting up this blog and opening an account on Google Adsense. Adsense was easy to set up with my screen reader as it didn't even have a hidden code or picture for verification. I've read through my many internet marathon searching sessions that Google's adsense is the way to go for earning a little extra money and I am taking the plunge to find out if it can be done. I am waiting for approval and hope I get it.

Then, I created this blog to detail my journey. It did have one of those hidden codes called capcia's but it also had an audio voice scramble read which it spoke out loud so I figured it out. Picking the template was interesting as it did give me some sample pages which opened in a new window but it did not give much information about color, space, things like that. I will ask someone tomorrow who can see it to tell me if it looks right.

Forgive me if I am rambling, it is almost midnight and I should go to bed.
Happy work from home business or job hunting!