Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Niche to Help Others - Why I Write About Knifty Knitter Looms

Years ago, while browsing the craft section of my local Wal-Mart, I stumbled on some interesting plastic looms. They came in bright colors that appealed to the kid in me. After looking over the box, I soon discovered they were knitting looms. I'd tried to knit before, but couldn't get the tension right and ended up with a mess of yarn. I bought the looms, which were very inexpensive, and some yarn.

I came home and opened the box, expecting to find instructions. There were none. I began searching the internet to find what I might do with my new looms. There was very little information for these specific looms, but I did finally locate slivers of information on how to use them from the manufacturer's website.

I learned to wrap the loom and I learned different methods of "knitting off." (This is how you create knit on a knitting loom.) Because I had so much trouble finding information about these online, I began to publish my own articles about knitting on them. My first, "Knifty Knitter Knitting Looms," explains the different types of looms you can buy and gives some introductory information on how to use them. My next, "Free Knifty Knitter Patterns,"was a collection of patterns that could easily be made by a beginner.

These first two lenses eventually did so well that I began to consider "Knifty Knitter looms" one of my new niches. I began to drill down and write more specific content, such as patterns for the round loom sets, patterns for the long loom sets, or sock patterns to name a few.

If you aren't into crafts and don't care about knitting, you can still learn a lesson about writing web content from this story. If you are trying to learn about something online and you can't find a lot of relevant resources, consider writing your own! You may just discover a new niche that works for you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Work at Home URL Rating for Leapforce

Have you heard about URL rating as a work at home job? Recently, a friend shared a link with me to apply as an url rater for Her Facebook post stated that url raters earned $13.50 per hour.

I quickly checked into it as it's almost unheard of to find a work at home job that pays an hourly rate and doesn't require you to schedule your hours. Leapforce requires all applicants to submit a resume, which I did. Within minutes, I heard back and was asked to take a qualification exam. This consists of a 125 page handbook which must be printed, read and used to answer 20 open book questions. This is the first test to become an URL rater for Leapforce.

It took me approximately 7 hours to read the handbook and feel comfortable answering the questions on the exam. I was thrilled when I passed. Then, I was invited to take the second test to qualify with Leapforce. When I saw the second test, I suddenly realized there was a good reason that they give you a full week to take and pass both tests. The second test is 145 questions and it is actually URL rating as you will do when you begin working. It is done in a simulator and they score your answers to see if they are accurate enough to begin working.

Now, I don't know about you, but I am beginning to become suspicious because calling this a qualification test is a bit deceiving. Let's be real, it's unpaid training. It took me 13 hours to finish the second test. So all together, I've invested 20 hours into this company before being hired.

Once you have passed both tests, Leapforce invites you to login to their homepage where you can begin URL rating immediately. They offer many other types of rating opportunities. In fact, you will soon discover that they have many other types of assignments that require more training and your chances of finding basic "URL rating" tasks are slim. They make no excuses for requiring extra training and state very forwardly that there is no paid training for the other tasks available.

I realized that if I were going to be able to begin rating, I would need to train on a new project that DID seemed to be available. That's where I'm stuck at this time. I've logged in and rated URLs whenever I saw that basic task available, which was ONCE in two weeks. I rated for 3 hours, so I've earned about $40.

$40 / 23 hours invested = $1.73 per hour

I'm stuck here wondering if I train again, how long will it be before the task I train is swept away and I am left to train again without pay. I read at (a work at home forum) that some people are working here and enjoying it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Do You Zazzle?

Many of my friends who write at Squidoo also make Zazzle products and promote them in their online articles. I have tried Zazzle a few times and sold a few products, but I have never spent a lot of time on it. I read an article at Squidoo recently that made me think I was wrong to have overlooked Zazzle. SmallHandsDesigns published her experience with Zazzle in this lens: "How to Pay Your Rent with Zazzle."

She explains how she creates and promotes Zazzle products consistently. Little by little, she built up her Zazzle earnings until she was earning as much as $3000 a month. It took a few years time, but it had me motivated to take a second look. I created the products below and placed them in my store. Zazzle is a lot of fun! So what if you don't become the next big Zazzle seller, it's more fun than playing computer games in your spare time and can earn some extra cash!

Do you Zazzle?

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