Why You Should Write to Be Scanned

Writing for the printed page and writing for the computer screen bare no resemblance to each other.  The difference is actually a physiological one, paper doesn't flicker unless it's set on fire.  If more light is required when reading, the simple thing is to switch on another light or move closer to the window.  Computer's are vastly different, they flicker all the time, this is commonly called the refresh rate.  Usually the most monitors are set too low by default, by aiming another light at your computer screen will only produce more glare.

Simply put, this makes reader's eyes more tired when they read the screen from a computer monitor.  This makes people more careful and read faster.  Before computer's become common place, people would spend hours reading letters and newspapers.  Thanks to the speedy internet people spend less time looking over articles, unless they're reading something really entertaining.

So what is the best way to write for a computer screen?

Write scannable content - Write for people looking for particular information.  Make the information easy to find.

Write lists - People love lists, theses usually begin with small marks or numbers at the beginning of each line.  If you're a technical piece, consider each step in order and use numbered lists instead of bullet points.

Write shorter content - Make your point quickly using the inverted pyramid style of writing, this is usually used by a reporter.  (See Inverted Pyramid below).

Don't leave your customers hanging with a long winded glowing sales pitch containing your price and how to order.  Instead provide the information immediately within your content, otherwise you risk your potential customer going somewhere else.

What you need to know about the inverted pyramid

This writing style was developed by journalists in the newsroom for reasons totally immaterial today... or not?

The principle of the inverted pyramid is to make your most important points at the top of your article, then followed by your next important point, in dwindling order of appearance.

Still used by newspapers today, historians think it was invented by 19th century wartime reporters, sending their stories by telegraph.  They wanted the most compelling information to get through first, in case their transmission was hindered.

So now more than ever, in our busy world make sure you give your readers their meat quickly, before they get hampered down by impatience, confusion, boredom and interruptions.

Decide what your main point is before you start writing something, tell them what they want to hear!

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


[Blog Images] Create Pictures with Fresh Fonts

Do you want to add energy to your photos?  Make your images more entertaining?  Sharpen your marketing materials?  A fabulous way to do this is by adding some simple text to your images.  You don't need to say much if you have the right kind of image, these days you can use flyers, memes, announcements, invitations etc.,  by adding a few strategically placed words to a photograph to get your message across.

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win
Creating a blog isn't just about writing a good article but combining other elements such as slides, charts, videos and images to make your content more appealing.

How to add text to a picture in PicMonkey
  1. Click edit on the PicMonkey homepage and choose your photo's location from the storage options that display in the gray bar.
  2. Click Text tab (or the "Tt" icon on the left-hand side of the Editing panel) and open the text tool.
  3. Scroll down and choose a font you like.
  4. Then click the Add text button at the top of the tab to add a text box to your photo.
  5. Place the words where you want them to be, then type them out.
  6. Change the colour, size, fade, justification, and style by using the Text Palette.
  7. You can either save to Hub or Export to your PC hard drive, or share right from PicMonkey.
PicMonkeys Font Library

You can choose from PicMonkeys vast selection of fonts, which is being constantly updated.  They can be more easily defined in  six categories:

Sans Serif

Thought to be the most legible fonts that can be seen on a screen, they have a clean, modern look.


They can give validity to your words, so are mostly used in business cases.


Useful for craft projects, giving a more human look, they look more casual and approachable.


Fabulous for special occasions, they can look simple and hand-drawn to fancy and ornate.


If you're looking to making a statement, these fonts can be both eye-catching and bold.


If you're looking for a font with a more tech-y-feel then look no further.

Useful text resources

Discover useful tutorials that will help you in pairing fonts, as well as typographic hierarchy, helping your images look more professional.  You can also find the best fonts to suit your business.  Why not try getting really fancy with these text effects and curved text tools.

Why not use your own fonts

Don't despair if you can't find the font want with PicMonkey, try adding any font that you have on your computer to your photos.  Try out some free front resources to help you explore your next font obsession.

Want access to more of PicMonkeys great fonts and features?  Try Premium membership for free!

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


[Self-Hosting Basics] Simple Steps to Secure Your Blog from Hackers

Once you've created your blog and you've started publishing regular blog posts, there is nothing more terrifying than seeing your work wiped out by a heinous hacker.

In this blog post you'll discover why it's so important to spend some time to protect it with these basic hacking protections.

If you're not already doing so, backing up your files should be a regular part of your life as the owner of a blog or website.  The steps below will show you how to keep your blog safe:

✦Make Sure that Your Directory and File Permissions are Properly Locked Down

I've started with one of the most technical parts - but stay with me, this will get easier...

Each website contains files and folder that are stored on your web hosting account.  The also contain the scripts and data to make your website work, all of which contain scripts and data that is needed to make your blog work.  Each of these files and folders is appointed a set of permissions that controls who reads, writes and executes all files or folders, which are all relative to the user or group to which they belong.

With the Linux operating system, all permissions are viewable in the form of a three-digit code, each digit being an integer between 0-7.  First digit represents permissions for the owner of the file; Second digit serves as permissions for anyone assigned to the group that owns the file; Third digit represents permissions for everyone else.  See assignations below:

  • 0 equals no permissions for that user
  • 1 equals Execute
  • 2 equals Write
  • 4 equals Read

The file that authorises a permission code that gives anyone permission on the internet the power to write and execute is less secure than one which is already locked down.

It's best to set your permissions as follows:

  • Individual files = 644
  • Folders and directories = 755

Double-Check Your Passwords are Secure

Simple enough, but extremely important.

Don't go with an easy password, some ridiculous like 123456.  A very commonly used password, you need to do a lot better than that.

Think of something that's really unique and not personal to you (or use Hostgator's password generator).  Use a mix of special characters, letters and numbers, and make it really long!  Like I said before don't use information like your pets name, your kid's name, or anything that can be easily found from social media accounts by a hacker.

This is the same rule for anyone in your business or close to you that has access to your website.  A weak password in your team can open your blog up to attack, that's why it's important to hold yourself and everyone else in your organisation to the same high standard.

Apply CSP

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a common enemy to all bloggers and website owners alike.  Hackers will discover a weakness and a way to slip malicious JavaScript onto your pages, which then go onto infect all the pages your visitor's go to on your website that are exposed to the particular code.

You need to make sure that any code you use on your website for all functions and fields are as clear cut as possible in what is allowed, so that you're not make yourself wide open for anything to conveniently slip in.

CSP is another handy tool to have to protect your content.  The browser will know not to pay any attention to any malicious script the could infect your visitor's PC.

By simply adding the correct HTTP header to your webpage, this provides a multitude of directives that tells the browser which domains are good.  You can craft your own CSP headers for your blog here through Mozilla.

Use Prepared Statements (Parameterized Queries)

A common blog hack many website owners have sadly fallen victim to.

Other users can use URL parameters that are too open, open enough to hack into your database.  If you're the owner of an online store information such as credit card numbers and contact information can be easily accessed.  This is obviously in your hand's to protect as a business owner.

But don't worry there are numerous things you can do to protect your blog from SQL injection hacks.  An easy way to do this is to implement the use of parameterized queries.  By using parameterized queries you can be assured that specific parameters have been met, so no hacker will mess with them.

Secure Your Site with HTTPS

Most consumers know that the green https in your browser keeps all sensitive information safe on a website.  These short letters are shorthand for safety and security on all blogs and websites, they show it's safe to give out particular sensitive information such as, financial or contact information on a particular webpage.

If you don't already have one for your blog or website you can invest in an SSL certificate here.  Cost is usually small, but the extra level of encryption it offers to your readers and customers is priceless and will go a long way to making your website more secure and trustworthy.

Setup security plugins

If you're using WordPress, free plugins such as iThemes Security and Bulletproof Security will respond to weaknesses within your chosen platform.

If you're running HTML pages or CMS-managed site check-out SiteLock.  Sitelock provides you with daily monitoring for all your hacker worries.  Providing malware detection to vulnerability identification and active virus scanning.

With a Managed WordPress hosting plan SiteLock is already built-in along with much more to keep your website safe.

Make sure all platforms and scripts are current

Keeping all of your platforms and scripts up-to-date is vital, many of the tools created are open-source software programs, which are easily available to website owners with good intentions and virulent hackers.  Security loopholes can be taken advantage of by hackers who will have no problem exploiting a platform or script for weaknesses.

Having the newest version of your platform and scripts installed will reduce of any future attacks you may encounter, and will take very little time to implement.

Hostgator has created a modern set of security rules to assist in the protection of your website.  Sign up here if you're looking for a new hosting provider and a great deal.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.  


Why It's Wise to Write Well

Living in the age of such huge technological developments, no matter what job you might hold. Writing is a key component in today's world.  Being able to read and write still hold great weight are always going to be needed.  Most jobs these days contain a lot of words.

Take a look a some of the things you might write during a typical work day:
  • Content for your company's website
  • Notes from a meeting
  • A Power Point Presentation
  • Instructions for a junior member of staff
  • Memos and reports for colleagues
  • Emails
The list goes on and on, the simple fact is that text is currency on the internet.  Even though many businesses and blogger's are turning to video and audio content, text still has so many advantages; such as being easy to produce, scan and download.

Why is that every time you put pen to paper or fingers on a keyboard, do you need to write well?

First Impressions Count in Writing

In many cases, your first contact with a customer or client may be through email or reading your blog.  For example if you're:
  • Sending a CV or cover letter for a job
  • Replying to an email from a customer
  • A customer has come across your website
  • A work colleague has given you an email address for you to contact
This can also apply in more casual situations outside of work:

  • When you write a letter of complaint
  • Creating a dating profile
  • Writing content for a blog as a hobby
This shows you how people can form a strong impression of the writer based on the quality of the writing, as expressed in anhy blog or website.  You want the reader to come away with a good feeling!

People Prefer Quality Blog Posts!

Have you ever found yourself skipping poorly presented articles on the internet, with pages of poor lingo with bewildering headlines?

We live in a time that's immersed in information.  Writing ambiguous and grammatically incorrect blog posts, long-winded emails or a website full of language no one understands, won't be read.

You can be Googled Easily!

It doesn't matter how small your Facebook account, Twitter stream or blog is, you can still be found online.

Try typing in your own full name, in quotes, watch what pop's up.  When you find your results, ask yourself if a future client or employer would be impressed.  Most people have a footprint online these days, whatever you put out there needs to be well-written, even if its just a small biography on Google+.

What do you do if writing isn't your strong point?

Practice, Practice, Practice!

As a regular writer on the internet, honing my writing skills is never far away.  Whatever you do in life, doing extra to improve on that particular skill is never a bad thing.  If you want to go back to basics on grammar read essential grammar and punctuation.

If you're not comfortable putting pen to paper, try writing about something that interests you, do this for about five or ten minutes a day.  Try using different words from an online thesaurus.

Listen to yourself read out loud

Reading out loud is an important way to hear all of your flaws.  If you're a good speaker and lousy writer, you can really find this beneficial.  Often when you read in your head and skim down a page, you can miss things

Any long complicated sentences will become more noticeable - you'll discover them quickly when you find you're running out of breath as you read.

Ask for feedback

Ask your blog readers to comment on your posts, get colleagues and friends to read things over for you.  Get their thoughts on your own writing style, if they find it confusing at all?

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


[Self-Hosting Basics] Everything You Needed to Know About Page Speed

Your blog page speed can naturally be seen as a reflection of the Internet Service Provider, and not really seen as an internal issue.  Yes, Internet packages and download speed play a big part how fast your website downloads, there are numerous factors that decide how fast your content will appear in someones browser.

Google determined in 2010 that a websites page speed was an important factor to how people experienced a website, it started to be used in their website ranking factor, and how your blog appears in SERP.  Almost half of all customers on the internet anticipate a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.  Experts at Google think an optimized website top ranked should load in under half a second.

Innumerable studies have shown that page speed can lead to loss of business from the extra time taken for a page to load, leaving consumers frustrated and leaving many online shopping carts abandoned.

In this blog post we've decided to look at how page speed can affect not only small businesses but also bloggers, giving you the ability to see where your website could see some improvements

Factors that Determine Page Speed

It can seem almost an impossibility to know why your blog is acting so slow, and why the pages are loading efficiently.  See below some other contributing factors that provide your overall page speed:

Web Host

Having a great customer service can pay dividends when it comes to your web host.  Going cheaper isn't always the best option, often this comes with slow page speeds.  You can easily avoid this blunder by hosting your website with Hostgator!

Big Images

The necessary resolution for print and screen based imagery differs greatly.  For all purposes 1000 pixels at 72 dpi should suit your current blogging needs, if necessary larger images can be compressed to thin down unnecessary data.

Outside Media

Videos from YouTube and other such content is a brilliant idea, just make sure it's frame size is only as large is you require it to be.

Make Your Blog Browser Friendly

Every search engine will make your website behave differently, if your website isn't behaving properly on Safari but works fine on Chrome, you'll take a penalty.

Don't Fill Your Website Full of Advertising

Too much advertising can drag down the speed of your blog, so go with "less is more" just to be safe.

Website Theme

If your running a site builder or WordPress theme that's fairly complex, this will add to your blog loading time.


If you have a number of densely coded widgets on your website this might require a lot of processing power.

Website Code

If you're blog is carrying HTML or CSS that is too heavy, this will make your blog really slow!

How to Check Your Website Loading Time

There are a number of authorized website tools that will help you discover your blogs weak points.

My personal favourite is PageSpeed Insights from Google.  If you're making Google happy then knowing what they recommend for a better ranking page is pretty critical.  You can also checkout Google Webmaster Tools.

Best Practices for SEO Page Speed

To comply with Google's Best Practises, try executing the following:
  1. Optimize Images
  2. Adopt A Content Distribution Network
  3. Boost Server Response Time
  4. Influence Browser Caching
  5. Trim down Redirects
  6. Cut back CSS, Javascript and HTML
  7. Implement Compression
This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


How to Use PicMonkey to Create Amazing Images for Your Blog

Why you need images in content marketing

Images were not that necessary a few years ago, this meant you could get away with not using them and instead concentrate on text only content.  These days all of that has changed and visual content is a "must have" on the internet, if you really want to stay relevant.

10 great reasons to include images in your content:
  1. Easy, cheap and free to create really eye popping images for your readers (images used in this post were created using PicMonkey).
  2. Show off your product without going to over the top.
  3. Share images on almost every social networking site.
  4. People process images much faster than text based content.
  5. Conveying a message is much easier with an image.
  6. Readers are immediately drawn to an attractive image in a busy news feed.
  7. Written content appears shorter and easier to consume when images are there to break up the text.
  8. Skimming is the way most people look through content online, providing suitable images makes your article easier to understand.
  9. Blog posts with images are more likely to get read than those without.
  10. Emotions are affected through images.
Graphic Designer

You wear many hats when you're a blogger, whether it be writer, editor and even graphic designer.  Don't worry you don't need to know everything, just enough to size images and make them look good.  You need to know how to make buttons and widgets for your blog as well as how to add text to an image.  I use PicMonkey all of the time for my blogs images.  It's one of my favourite blogging tools.  I'm no designer but I use it for free because its easier and cheaper than a program such Photoshop.  PicMonkey also provide two premium services:

PicMonkey Premium:

  • Store 50 images per month in their Hub
  • Sort Hub images
  • Use advanced touch up tools
  • Use their primo effects, overlays and fonts
  • Re-edittable images in Hub
  • Use top-shelf templates
  • No ads

PicMonkey Supremium:
  • Unlimited Hub storage
  • Organize Hub with Collections
  • Use advanced touch up tools
  • Primo effects, overlays and fonts
  • Re-editable images in Hub
  • Use top-shelf templates
  • No ads
This is How I Use PicMonkey For My Blog

Fonts Aplenty!

There are so many fonts in PicMonkey to choose from!  You can either start from scratch and create your own canvas or you can use an image you already have to add text to.  You can choose whichever font to suite your mood.

Having these in your blog graphics would kick your blog graphics up a notch or two. By simply adding a catchy phrase or with an image, you could take your blog to a whole other level!

Effects and Textures

With a big selection of textures and effects you make any picture look magical.  I have very little experience with arty stuff but find PicMonkey a life saver when it comes to creating images for my blog.

If help is required they offer easy-to-follow tutorials, a really fab blog to help you make your way around and drop them a line for any extra help you might require.

PicMonkey's features

Create Your Own Canvas

Want a funky border or style? Want to create shape, add speech or arrows?

The features and functions provided by PicMonkey is something you can play around with for hours.  Here's something I created within 5 minutes, an image deserving of any Facebook or Twitter page.

With the tools and filters PicMonkey offers you can create a professional image that really catches the eyes.

Once you've created your own custom graphics you can post them on social media and around the web, no matter your blog size you brand really does matter.

Why not create a quote, they're really popular these days.  You could create one for your niche or industry, use a quote that is suited to your industry.

Quick Note: If you want to take your photo editing and creation to another level you can purchase "Royale" for $2.75, the cost of a coffee, per month (or 9 cents a day).
So there it is, images you can produce easily and quickly, and have a whole lot of fun with!  Get Started with PicMonkey

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


Appropriate Word Usage

Do you like reading? Do you find yourself browsing through newspapers, magazines, novels and non-fiction books?  If you appreciate the "written word" you probably write really well, you've taken notice of writer's put sentences together.   You've seen how words are spelled and discovered that there is a common pattern to writing.  You've observed the complexity and beauty of words whether it be spoken or communicated, you want to use those words to the best of your ability.

A well written story can take you on a journey, you feel like one of the character's.  It whisks you off into a new dimension and time, so engrossing you forget and don't notice the world going on around you.  A really good story will make you feel euphoric, lifting you high into the clouds.  You just can't stop reading and want more and more.

Words are similar to music, the more we learn and discover about them the more enjoyable they become.  It matters not if it's music or words, they're both forms of communications, the more we know about each the better off our lives will be.

It's good to get "back to basics" and remind ourselves of how we express ourselves with words.  Communication can be formal or informal depending upon it's setting.  Usually you can find formal writing in fields such as technical and business reports, scientific and scholarly papers, and legal briefs, the list goes on. The aforementioned cases use the current professionally accepted rules of writing.

Informal writing is more appropriate for poetry, scripts, novels, personal letters, notes, e-mail, messages etc.  In these more casual settings we might want to relax the rules a bit and write directly from our hearts and heads.  Things such as spelling and sentence structure still apply.  The way we write and communicate with one another shows us who we are.  The rules don't suddenly disappear with an email.  All emails should be well structured and composed, just like any letter that is written. It's okay to be messy in personal messages.

Tell me your thoughts about how you write.  I'd love to hear them.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


[Self-Hosting Basics] How to Build a Website

If you're at the beginning stages of starting a website, it can seem like a lot of work.  Often people opt for a simpler route and hire a web designer to do the hard work for them.  With so many tools and tutorials available anyone can build a high quality blog from scratch, in less time.

There are a lot of advantages to hiring a professional to do the job for you, but many people can't afford the budget to hire someone from the very beginning.  When your website is becoming more profitable it's an investment to be looked at further down the line.

If you want a blog up and running, fully functioning as soon as possible, continue reading.  Follow me through the process of starting your first website and some of featured tools I recommend.


Setup Hosting and Domain

To begin with make sure your website is purchased and your hosting is all set up.  There are an assortment of places to purchase your domain, including Hostgator.  Similarly with hosting, Hostgator is a good choice for beginners because of it's easy setup.

After your hosting and website are all setup you'll need to start thinking about your basic framework, so you can start forming the structure of your new website.


Pick the Right Framework

With many website frameworks and builders to choose from.  I've highlighted some popular choices below:

✢Using Hostgator's Site Builder

Website builder is provided by Hostgator, that enables you to setup your website in a matter of minutes.  If you choose a shared hosting plan with Hostgator, this service is included for free within your hosting package.

✣Using CMS like WordPress

If you're more tech savvy and prefer to use a fully-developed management system, I recommend you give WordPress a go.  I've used it myself in the past, and it's really good!   If you've already chosen Hostgator hosting, go to your Cpanel and try out the QuickInstall process to install Wordpress for free.

If you have WordPress installed you can choose from a vast variety of paid and free themes.  Simply download the theme, upload it by going to Appearance>Add>New>Upload Theme.

Try customizing your theme by navigating to Appearance>Customize within WordPress.

Create One From Scratch

Starting a website from scratch will take a lot of patience, trial and error and experimentation.  If you have the know-how already it can be a really worthwhile process.  If you like getting your hands dirty, you'll need to know some basic coding.

Resources such as CodeAcademy and W3Schools will help you learn how to code.  You'll discover the languages needed to learn in order to build your website including HTML, CSS, and PHP.  Allowing you to build a website to your own specifications.

There's no harm in learning some basic coding skills, even if you're not building your website from scratch.  Basic coding skills will help you to become more enjoyable knowing that you can customise and maintain your website, no matter the platform.  Try out the HTML cheat sheet for a quick read.

Which Route Should I Take?

Depending upon your overall goals, you might want a blog that acts like a virtual business card, you could choose Weebly website tool supplied by Hostgator.

If you want a full-fledged website suite to grow and build your own online business, then look no further than WordPress, this can grow with your own company.

If you really like the idea of getting your hands dirty and want to know the in's and out's of your website.  Knowing that it will take a lot of time before a basic version of your website is live.

My personal choice is to use Hostgator's hosting, along with QuickInstall of WordPress.  You can read up on coding knowledge and customize your WordPress to your own liking.

There many ways to build a website.  The above three are just some of the most common ways Hostgator users build their websites.  So why not give it a go!  Click the button below to get your new website started!

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


How to Effectively Monetize Your Blog

Once you've started you're own blog you can start looking into ways to generate money online.  Most people give up before they've got past the first hurdle and don't make any money at all.  But never give up!  You won't make money over night but you will start to build a readership and customer base over time and the money will start coming.

There are many techniques that can be used to get you started to earning cash.  But don't be discouraged, if something doesn't work you try something else and start building on that.

Hopefully there'll be something in this list that will help you earn money online.

1. Tip Jar/Donations

This method is often bypassed by a lot of bloggers.  You can ask your readers to donate a small amount to keep your website running.  You can do this with PayPal.Me, by placing a simple button somewhere visible on your main page.

2. Email Marketing

You can build an email list when people register or sign up via email.  You can build a brand and recommend your own products or eBooks, workshops etc which will help people to continue returning to your website.

3. Membership

Many magazines and newspapers are using this method due to low sales figures.  You can offer extra benefits to your readers with a premium membership.

4. Services

Many blogs are started as a service, offering coaching, financial help, secretarial services etc.  You can charge your clients for your professional services through your website.  This is a good steady income stream to have, especially when you're blogging.

5. Teaching Program

Create your own courses and sell them on your blog.  You can do this through companies such as Udemy, you can learn how to create your own online course and find your niche, and start marketing your courses on your website.

6. Write Your Own Ebook

This is one of the most popular ways to make money on your blog.  With the introduction of Apple IPad and Amazon Kindle, or platforms such as Payhip you can sell your ebooks independantly or to a wider audience such as Amazon.

7. Sell Your Own Products

If you already have a hobby, why not use that to start your own website and start selling your products on there.  With a website the world's your oyster!

8. Sell Other People's Stuff

When you're writing blog posts you can place affiliate links within each link and sell other people's products.  One of the best placest to start is Amazon Associates. You have thousands of different products to choose from, and you can use your affiliate links on Twitter to.

9. PPC Advertising (Pay Per Click)

Sign up to Google Adsense and integrate and customise your own advertising within your blog or website.  It's a lot easier than it sounds.  You will need lots of traffic for this one.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


Discover the Websites that Pay Writer's $50+

If you're looking to start a career as a freelance writer here are some tips and websites for you to look into.

In the past few year's Google has helped to improve the content we see online today. "Content is King" is a simple phrase that captures that thought perfectly, it's true to say that no one understands the complexity of the algorithm Google uses (the formula used for ranking a website). Having individual and different content is definitely key. Writing fever has taken over and companies all over the world are crying out for new content to be written by individuals (such as you) on their website. A number of companies are happy to pay those willing writers out there for a really good article that will help boost their company in the search rank online.

Personal Development Category (English)300x250
No Experience Required

The good part about this is that you don't need previous experience in order to take advantage of what projects are on offer, no matter what your writing level is. The main perks to making money writing online are:
  • You can choose the subjects you're most passionate about
  • Work when and where you want
  • Start a passive income through performance payments
You're probably wondering where do I start? I've made a list of 7 different ways you can earn money by working from home.

Crucially there are two different way to get paid online: Upfront payments. You'll be paid an article in advance. It doesn't matter what the search engine ranking is for your article or page views it receives.

Where to start:
  • Infobarrel - An Adsense account is required, you share the advertising revenue with them. You can write about anything you want, and rest easy knowing that InfoBarrel has high traffic levels
  • Hubpages - With a great reputation its another revenue sharing site. You can earn money with Adsense and Amazon,
  • Blogging - You are in charge with this method, you can build up your reputation over time as well as your traffic. Definitely not a get rich quick method. The blogging community is growing every day with people making more money from their blog.
  • Textbroker - If you're looking for article and writing projects this may be the website for you. You can earn between $3-$8 an article. Companies and entrepreneurs post their writing opportunities on here. Have a look and see what suits you. Payment is made twice a week through PayPal.
  • Craigslist - Apparently a popular place to find writing jobs strangely enough. There are a lost of people who post jobs on there looking for writers to do work for them.
  • ProBlogger Job Board - New job postings are put on every day, if you're looking for a little extra work checkout this board as often as you can.
57 Websites that pay writer's more than $50+

Essay Writing


Perfect Tools for Writer's to Use Everyday

The Right Tools for the Write Job

If you're starting a blog, or website and want to be successful, you need to be able to publish blog posts consistently each week.  In other words you need to be able to write.

It doesn't matter how long you've been doing it or whether your new to writing, it never gets any easier.  Writing is a skill that anyone can learn and try out, you need it in so many jobs these days and your daily life.

So how do you become a successful writer and produce blog posts people want to read?  You need the right tools for the right job.

As a writer, you may have a passion for fiction, or if you're like me you just enjoy writing about writing.  Either way you need various tools for the job.

I want to show you some of the most simplest tools to help you on your writing journey.


With the rise in eBooks starting digitally makes a lot of sense and will save you time.

Here are 4 options for word processing:

Created for Apple PC's and devices.  Allowing you to create beautiful documents in real time

A free to download open office suite, compatible with other office suites.


After you've created your content "Grammarly" is a great tool to show you any typos, punctuation errors, weak construction or difficult sentences.

Microsoft Word

Word is great for writing both eBooks and articles.  I use it for typing out eBooks.  A rough draft to begin with then going through the details over and over again with a fine tooth comb until I'm satisfied with the finished article.  You can add hyperlinks and a contents page with ease.

Research Tools


Apart from reading books and magazines Google is one of the best research tools around.

Finding a credible expert and a primary source is half the fun of researching any eBook or article. Try looking for well know experts and media outlets.

Spell Checkers

Eyes are the Best 

Even though I use a spell checker on Word or Blogger, I always go over everything with my own eyes.

Here are some of the things a spell checker will miss:
  1. Spell check doesn't always offer useful spelling suggestions for badly misspelled words.
  2. Spell check may point out errors which are actually correct.
  3. Spell check won't detect the improper use of homonyms, such as their and there.
Writing Tools

Notebook and Pen

You may think its a bit overused and boring, but not to a writer.  With a notebook and pen you can write anything your imagination allows.  "The pen is mightier than the sword"! I always try and carry both of these writing tools around with me in my bag.  If you want something more old school then you can go no further than a fountain pen for real penmanship.

It doesn't matter  how many notebooks you fill up, you have a permanent record of all of your thoughts and ideas over time.  Even if your ideas really sucks.

Read Novels

If you want to write fictional stories you need to read and read a lot of books.  Read any stories long or short you can get your hands on.  Don't take notes, just read and read.

Use your spare time looking around second hand book stores, charity shops and libraries.  Remember you don't need to spend anything when you borrow a book from your local library.

Study the Art of Writing from the Best

So you've read the fiction you want to write about, you're keeping a journal and notes.

Now study from the best writer's on the subject by reading some non-fiction book's.

On Writing - Stephen King

Immensely helpful to any writer this is part memoir, part master class in fictional writing by the master himself.

On Writing Well - William K Zinsser

Praised for its sound advice, clarity and warmth, this book is for all those writers who want to learn how to write.  Or who write just to get through the day.

On Writing - Charles Bukowski

Sharp and moving reflections on the artistry and craft of writing, from an iconoclastic, riveting and celebrated masters.

It can take a whole lifetime to master the English language so you need to start now if you want to write fiction.

The guides below plus a really good dictionary and thesaurus are also a must have in your toolkit:

Useful Writing Guides
The best advice I can give you is find a software program your comfortable with and stick with it.

So go on pick up your pen and notebook or switch on your desktop.  Write that novel!

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


Writing: Getting Started

At some point in time, everybody writes, even if its an assignment for school or a letter.  For many people it can seem like a thankless task, a chore or a task that's too time consuming.  Not many people stop to think about what it is they're writing, and how to do it more effectively.  There are simple steps that can be done to make writing easier and more enjoyable, especially if you want to turn it into a business.

Finding a good place to start is always a problem.  By following some simple first steps - planning out a manuscript, starting a draft or thinking of good concept - these can feel like a real chore and not very enjoyable sometimes.  Here are some hassle free tips to get you started:


Take notes and start constructing the bare bones of your whatever your planning to write.  Having a notepad with you throughout the day, can really help to get your creative juices flowing.  Use the notepad on your PC or Laptop, anything that comes into your head, write it down.

What are you writing about? Is the piece long? What are the requirements for your writing? Making notes before you write as a perfectly good way to get started.  Especially if your thoughts aren't in order, it will help you to stay focused.

Write About What You're Interested In

Unless you're doing an essay for school or college or a specific piece for work, make sure your interested in what you're writing about.  It will show if you don't find the subject interesting, you need to find something within that particular subject that you find of interest and bring that out.

Make an Outline

If you're writing a five page essay for school, this can seem like a never ending task.  You need structure, decide how long each point will be.  Having a general outline also works for creative writing.

The Draft

Writing a draft from scratch is the hard part, not having a foundation to work from makes things really difficult.  That's why you need silence, no tablet or mobile phone to break your concentration.

You need real time set aside during the day or evening to sit down, without interruptions to get your draft done.

Don't Aim for Perfection

Setting high standards unfortunately results in writer's block.  Don't aim for perfection, write as much as you can.  You'll discover your flow and won't be able to stop until you've finished.

Remember you're going to come back to it later and edit and proofread what you've written.  Your draft is your groundwork, it'll always be a bit messy.

Take a Break

Before you revise your document, take a time out, a real break.  You'll discover fresh eyes when you need to start making those revisions.  You can stare at a screen for hours looking over the same things, and not seeing your mistakes.  Take your time, there's no rush.  You'll produce a good quality document at the end.
This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


[Blogging for Beginners] To Host or Not to Self Host?

Everyone has their own take on this one.  The point of this blog post is to lay out the pros and cons and leave the rest you the reader.

I've had experience of both, free hosted and self hosted blogs.  I would say that it all depends on your circumstances and whether your blog is a personal or business blog.

Make up your own mind with the information below:

Self Hosted Blogs
  • You need to purchase your domain name and hosting service, in doing so you'll have the advantage of freedom over your website you can do this with Bluehost for as little as $3.95 per month.  Search here for a domain today with the handy tool below:
  • You can customise your site to your liking.  Making it look more professional, attracting more visitor's.
  • You have the freedom to place banners/advertising on your site.  Some free hosted sites will limit your advertising, or not allow any advertising to feature on your website or blog with Dreamhost for $9.95 per month.
  • I used Hostgator to self host a website I had for a business a couple of year's ago, they offered a great service with hosting packages starting at as little as $3.95/month.
  • Domain names can cost around $1.20 per month.  For a business that's a cheap overhead.  My choice was Fasthosts, again I received a great service and would highly recommend them.   Hostgator, I can't say enough about them, they offered a great service and were always on hand when I needed them.
6 Great Reasons to Go Self-Hosted

Different people choose different platforms for various reasons.  If you're in a situation at the moment where you feel like you want to take the plunge and start your own blog, and have the money to do so, I'd recommend the self hosted route.

Even though my current situation is with Blogger, there are many advantages to having your own self-hosted website.  Check out those reasons below:

1. Custom Domain Name

Having a catchy name for your blog is great but when its tied up with blogspot.com or wordpress.com it takes a bit more remembering.  Having a .com name makes your blog name short and sweet and easy to remember.  Having a short catchy name goes a long way when someone is trying to remember a post from your blog.  Grab your own domain name here:

2. Site Customisation

You have a larger choice of templates when you buy a self-hosted blog.  There are thousands of themes and plugins to create the blog you want.  Wordpress has become one of the most popular platforms to use.

3. More Features through a Self-Hosted Blog

Free blogging platforms can be pretty limiting, but with self-hosting you get things like one-click installs, access to analytical data, site back ups and FTP access.

4. Multiple Blogs Under One Roof

If you're interested in starting more than blog you can purchase one self-hosting package with unlimited websites at your fingertips.

5. More Space

Many self-hosting packages come with unmetered website space, so you don't need to worry if you're website is too big and have to start paying for extra space.

6. Tailored Email Address

You can create your own email address to match your website.  Giving you an edge with your competitors.

Free Hosted Blogs
  • There are plenty of choices out there but the top two are Blogger and Wordpress.com.
  • A lot of people use a free blog host to share their family photo's and video's. I use Blogger because it's a great platform for my writing.  Some say free hosted blogs are under the 'amateur' category, I would disagree with that one, and leave that for you to decide.
  • You have restriction's placed on you, but again that will depend on what you're using it for.
  • You're given an URL that will include the blog hosting name.  In my case it includes .blogspot.co.uk.  I haven't had any problems with that, but if you're setting up a business and have products or a service to sell, then purchasing your your blog name is a good idea and will look more professional.
  • Customisation is limited if you have an idea about how you want your website to look.  Using a free hosted blog you may struggle with this.
  • If you're planning a business website and have product's to sell, some people may not take you seriously if your using a free website.
  • I like Blogger and use it because it suit's my needs.  Don't let anyone sway you into using something you're not comfortable with.
2 Really Good Reasons to Use a Free Hosted Blog

1. No start up cost involved.  Anyone can start a blog, you don't need money to start a blog.  Especially if you've never blogged before.  It's the best way to start!  You can experiment with your blog layout, get a readership.  Read more from my book Powered By Blogger:  Start a Blogger Blog and Make Money Online.

2. You can start a blog with little to no website knowledge in a short period of time.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.