Monday, May 30, 2011

You Amuse Me Now on Blogger

Not much to mention today, except for the fact that I've switched You Amuse Me over to a Blogger platform.

I was hosting it with Weebly before the switch. I really like Weebly, and I'm still hosting my personal website there. However, I wanted the main part of You Amuse me to be a blog that I'd update on a regular basis, and Blogger is just a better platform for blogging (not surprisingly).

If you haven't checked it out yet, give it a look. Tons of fun and entertaining stuff to see and do. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You Amuse Me: New Humor Writing Site

It's amazing how fast things can happen online when you've had a little bit of practice!

Yesterday, I had the brilliant idea to set up a niche for my funny and weird writing. I've written a bunch of articles for Weird Worm, and I'm getting back into pitching for Cracked now that I have more experience understanding the kinds of things they're looking for.

Why did I decide to set up a new site specifically for my humorous writing? Well, when it comes to doing well on the Internet (driving traffic, getting followers and views, etc.), the more "niche" you are, the better. I love the focus that having a new site and blog brings. I know exactly the kinds of things I am going to write and promote there, and other people know what they can expect by visiting.

And so, I present You Amuse Me, a site meant to enlighten and entertain. I was so thrilled to get the "youamuseme" domain name, and I think that's what really spurred me to set up the website, associated You Amuse Me Facebook page, and a You Amuse Me Twitter account. And, late last night, to draw a fun little doodle to use as a logo, then bring it into Photoshop and clean it up a little.

In short, if you want to learn more about my funny articles, check out You Amuse Me!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Exploring Niche Markets In Online Business: Best Kinect Games

In my post about my May goals, I mentioned that one of my goals was to explore online niche markets such as the niche of the best kinect games.

To do this, I'm creating a bunch of mini-websites on a couple of different publishing platforms, then linking them together to form a network of related sites. For example, here are some of the Squidoo sites (aka "lenses") that I've created:

Games Compatible With Kinect
Best Kinect Fitness Games
Best Kinect Dancing Games

And here are some of the HubPages sites (aka "hubs") that I've created:

Should I Get a Kinect?
Xbox Motion Sensor Controller
Xbox Kinect Requirements

The two sites are slightly different, so I use them to target slightly different types of keyword phrases. For example, HubPages is more article-based, so I use it to create sites that require mostly text. Squidoo is more module-based, so I use it to create sites in which I want to spotlight various items.

Going forward, I will continue to create sites on both Squidoo and HubPages, and perhaps branch out to other platforms. And I hope to see a return on my investment of time!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 2011 Goals

May is here, so it's time for a new crop of goals!
  1. Write at least 17 Weird Worm articles. My goal last month was to write twenty, and I managed to write thirteen. I figure seventeen articles should be a good goal this month.
  2. Continue to exercise. Last month I did about twelve miles per week. I'm going to try and stick with that this month. And also, get better running shoes and stretch so I avoid IT band problems.
  3. Work on writing four hours per day. This was my goal towards the end of last month, and it went okay. I'm finding that increasing things slowly over time works better than trying to take huge leaps.
  4. Fully explore niche online markets. I've been working on the Best Kinect Games niche market using Squidoo and HubPages. This isn't exactly freelance writing, although it does use a lot of the same skills. Ideally, I'd fully realize a niche market with a blog that I can keyword optimize. The tricky part about this is finding a niche that's both a.) profitable and b.) something I'm interested enough in to keep up with.
  5. Explore new article markets? I've been toying with this goal on and off for a while. Again, this involves finding new markets that I really want to write for; After all, I'm supposedly doing this job because I enjoy it, and if I'm going to do things I don't enjoy there are plenty of more stable and better paying opportunities out there. I'm learning that, as a freelance writer, I don't need a ton of different markets; I just need a few that I really enjoy writing for, that pay enough money to make them worth my while. I'm interested in writing for health, cooking, fitness, and travel markets: I'm also worried that the competition in these market might be fierce. I guess I just need to keep chipping away!
  6. Move. My lease is up this month, so I'll be moving to a temporary location while I figure out where my next step will take me. So I'll be spending time packing, getting rid of junk, hiring a moving truck, and all of that fun stuff.
That should be enough to keep me busy for the month. If not, I'll add to the list!

Monday, May 2, 2011

April 2011 Goals Recap

April has just come to an end. Time to see how I did on those goals!
  1. Decide on where I want to go with writing fiction. Well... so far I've taken a break from fiction this month. I need to make sure that the passion is there before I throw myself into another project, or spend more time working on my old ones.
  2. Write Weird Worm articles. I want to get at least 20 13 7 done this month. I managed to do a total of 13, which isn't too bad.
  3. Plan for travel. I haven't made too much progress on this. My mom is trying to drum up support from the relatives.
  4. Keep up with exercising. I want to average 10 miles per week by the end of April. I did great with this goal! 51 miles of running/walking/biking, a personal best.
  5. Start a cooking blog? This has fallen by the wayside as I realize that at this point, it will be hard for me to optimize keywords for this type of blog, and there probably won't be a lot of potential for income. I've noticed that people who look up recipes usually aren't looking to buy things. As long as I'm trying to increase my income, I need to focus on moneymakers. 
  6. Keep improving traffic to my online articles. My Squidoo traffic is increasing slowly but surely. Still looking for the best niche markets to explore, which will help this.
One thing I did this month that I hadn't planned was to submit my first travel writing article. Still waiting for a response, but it's a pretty cool step no matter what happens!