Tips and Tricks After 350 Pages on Wizzley

by JoHarrington

It's possible to write nearly sixty Wizzley articles in a month. I know because I just did it. Don't expect too much from this latest Tips and Tricks. It came around so quickly!

As a reasonably new online writer, I've been on a steep learning curve. You are seeing it in action.

Advice comes from all angles, from kindly professionals and websites, through feedback from friends, and from readers. It's hard to know which of it is right, which of it is wrong, and what depends upon the writer.

Every fifty Wizzley articles, I pause to take stock. It's part journal, part sharing all I know. Welcome to the 350 page edition!

Writing a Book? Put your Research on Wizzley!

The eBook market is huge and many writers are transferring their time to producing them. This doesn't mean that you can't also contribute here.

Since the beginning of time (well, last January, but it does feel like a long time ago), fellow Wizzley author Sam has been telling me to write a book

She's not alone.  There's a bit of a queue for that, but all of the others are pointing at fan fiction. I kept telling her that I'd think about it.  I did think about it, but not with any actual ideas behind it. Then I finally had one.

Has no-one thought it suspicious that I suddenly appeared fixated on a very narrow moment in Jacobean history?

There are those who would consider it a general interest in history; and they'd be right.  There are others who might note that it all started around Bonfire Night, so was quite topical.  They'd be right, as would the people observing that between Anonymous and the popularity of V for Vendetta, that particular history is always topical.

But there's another word for a close examination of everything to do with a specific thing.  It's called research.

I've had my idea for my eBook.  Sam can stop nagging me.  I've even asked around those looking for less formal fan fiction.  The feedback went along the lines of, 'I would read the &%$& out of that!!'  So yes, I'm writing it.

In the meantime, my research notes are all articles on Wizzley.  I hope that you're enjoying them!

Can You Guess What the Book Will Be About Yet?

It's one of the great 'what ifs' of history. What would Britain have been like if the Gunpowder Plotters had blown up the House of Lords on November 5th 1605?
If the Gunpowder Plot had succeeded in 1605, Princess Elizabeth would have been abducted and made queen. She was only nine years old.
There is a tried and tested way of a nation gaining a permanent foothold in another country with a view to taking over. Northern Ireland was where it was tried and tested.
There is something so wonderfully bad-ass about the Jacobean noblewoman Dame Robert Carey. Particularly how often she put King James in his place!

I'm in the Money! I'm in the Money!

In November 2012, eleven months after joining Wizzley, I made over $100 for the first time.

This is the bit which everyone (new and prospective writers especially) is really interested in.  It's not my 1337 gaming tips.

It's taken me eleven months to get into triple figures in a month here.  The veterans did it much sooner.

Bear in mind that I'm new to writing online overall; and I'm doing it without Google Adsense, which is apparently the internet's cash cow. 

Anyone who's read all of the previous Tips and Tricks will have followed my progress with money-making. From the earliest days of rebellion against 'sales' articles, to learning how to love them, it's been an exercise in working it all out.

The buzz has always been that 'sales' articles do better financially than 'information' articles.  I didn't want to!  Back in the Tips and Tricks for 100 pages, I even resorted to singing West Side Story songs in protest.  The experienced writers maintained that it was the way forward.

Well, I've been there now.  I have data.  I know much better what is going to work for me.  ('It isn't true, not for me! It's true for you, not for me!'  Sorry, West Side Story attacked again...)

As you can probably tell by all of the Halloween and Christmas Wizzles, I've discovered that 'sales' articles can be quite lucrative.  They were all right.  Every single person who kindly repeated the mantra to me when I was young and foolish. 

Up to a point.

Did I sell a lot of Halloween costumes?  Yes, I did.  Not enough to buy a tropical island to retire upon, but there was a smile on my face as I checked Amazon. But they are not where the bulk of my earnings have come from.

The top two articles in my 'module clicks' tabs are both 'information' ones.  The most consistently lucrative Wizzle, in actual sales, is most definitely an 'information' one.  (I really didn't expect to sell a thing off it!  And it's been steady for three months now.)  The biggest single sale that I had from any article at all was an 'information' one. 

Maybe I'm an anomaly, I don't know.  My experiences have definitely been swimming against the tide of the perceived wisdom passed down by our wise, tribal elders.  Please note that I'm not saying that my 'sales' articles have yielded nothing, they have; but my 'information' articles have monetized much better so far.

Obviously this is an unfolding story, so watch this space.

Christmas Sales Articles

Looking for something nice and warm to gift to your Star Wars geek this Christmas? Come and look at this lovely choice of Star Wars hoodies to gain some present ideas.
Whether it's Nadolig Llawen or Nollaig Shona Duit, there are Christmas cards to match. It's a beautiful way to convey seasonal greetings to all of your Gaels and Celts.
You weren't quite expecting this to be your little one's first Christmas, but your baby had other ideas. Here are preemie Christmas clothes to fit the tiniest newborn.

Halloween Sales Articles

There are some spooky treats out there for your infant this Halloween - from horrifically cute clothing to fun, festive toys. Check this lot out for your little one.
So many masks to choose from, but which is the absolute number one mask for Halloween in each horror genre? I've taken to the stores to find out.
As Halloween beckons, house-holders add yet another piece to the yearly collection. Ghosts, ghouls, vampires and monsters. What is missing here? Ah! Yes! Bigfoot!

Wizzley Sales Article Tips

I'm still learning here. It's all very new to me. But I have picked up a few this month.
  • Wizzley doesn't add the price by default.  I'm experimenting with removing the title too.  You can have that in your module title, which looks much neater.  But by removing all information from the module, you're also encouraging people to click on Amazon, Zazzle or wherever.  Otherwise they only have a picture and your waffle to go on.  Surely that's the name of the game here?
  • Don't just repeat everything that you've read on Amazon, Zazzle etc, then rehash it into an article.  It's boring and you're contributing nothing new to the wealth of knowledge.  Why should a reader come to you for recommendations?  They could just cut out the middle person and search those sites for themselves.   Be original, so that you earn your commission.
  • The bigger the picture, the more enticing it looks.  If the British government think that they can stop cigarette sales by hiding them behind counter shutters, then there's obviously something in seeing = buying.  Extrapolate the marketing information and think big on your product images.  On the other hand, we're all still buying cigarettes...
  • Watch your keywords and phrases, as gathered in the stats page for each article.  They will tell you what people are actually searching to find your Wizzle.  This is good for both 'sales' and 'information' articles, because each keyword or term is a potential title for another Wizzle.

Tips and Tricks After 350 Pages on Wizzley (Gaming Edition)

I have nothing else useful to say this month for non-gamers. So hereon in, consider this me having fun on Wizzley in a gaming context.

Fifty-Six Wizzley Articles in Less Than One Month

It's all part of my gamers' mindset; and the challenge that I set myself to write the equivalent of an article a day on Wizzley. Trust me to choose a leap year.

Back in the summer, I needed motivation.  The prevailing wisdom was that the more you write, the better your chances of making it as an online writer.

Part of that is simply common sense.  Getting your name out there means that more people recognize it.  That's one way to attract readers to keep returning.  The regularity of articles may mean that you become a fixture in someone's daily routine.

One of my proudest moments was when a work colleague admitted that she's bookmarked Wizzley. On her commute each morning, she checks the news, then pops here to see what I and the others have come to tell her about today.  It passes the time until she reaches her bus-stop. 

I also recall reading Problogger Darren Rowse's views on keeping on writing. He said that each article is a chance to find a reader.  Each sales module is one more opportunity for that reader to buy a product.  To my mind, it's like ensuring that you win the lottery by buying as many lottery tickets as you can afford.  Only here, you pay in time and determination; and it's a little more guaranteed than the luck of the draw.

None of which helps, when you're back in front of a computer in the middle of summer, taking great leaps of faith that one more article is worth it.

I'm a gamer.  What can I say?  I need levels to attain and boss monsters to pwn. Veteran writers might waffle on about buying opportunities, quality, quantity and SEO, but when I think gold coins, I usually have to be pressing 'B' and knocking a wall down to ping them.

I set myself the challenge of writing 366 articles in one year. It probably owed more to Mario than Darren Rowse, but I'll deny that if you meet me in a professional capacity.

Two friends did the mathematics.  They told me straight what this would entail.  It was impossible, because I'd already messed it up by only writing 20, 19 and 18 articles in April, May and June respectively.  Ok, so not impossible, but it would involve having no life and screeching head first into burn out; plus risking learning how to hate writing.

I took it all on board.  Well, I didn't take any of it on board at all.  Except the word 'impossible', which a wise woman once told me should be believed in multiple figures before breakfast each day. 

Always better at taking advice from Alice than mathematicians, I began writing, and writing, and writing.  You can see the results on the screenshot from my Excel spreadsheet there. Only sixteen left until 366! (And twelve days to go.)

So why am I telling you all of this?  Partially because these Tips and Tricks have always been a journal too; plus the bragging rights.

But mostly because I've just written fifty-six Wizzley articles in a single month.  I've demonstrated that it can be done.  Judging by the likes, comments and other indicators, they weren't shabby either.  I tried hard to maintain the quality all along.

Those beginning their journey on Wizzley often quail under how long it takes to write an article here.  There's making it look pretty, placing modules, conjuring headers and finding images, above and beyond the actual writing. 

Fifty is the magic number.  After fifty articles, your percentage cut of the profits goes up.  In short, I'm mentioning it as it sends out a signal that you potentially could hit that major milestone in less than a month of registering at Wizzley.

Good luck!

Wizzley Gamer Levels

Do you have a gamers' mindset too? Let me help you out with some skill levels to attain!

People think that us gaming types don't pick up any transferable skills from all of those hours spent pwning pixels.  They're wrong. 

In a MMORPG that I've devoted many hours to, there's a distraction and diversion called Achievement Diaries.  Each area has an attendant list of tasks or accomplishments.  Complete them all and you get bonuses, plus an item to wear.  There will be some reward in donning it.

Here on Wizzley, we can have Achievement Diaries too.  The bonuses are implicit.  Unfortunately, we don't get the special item of clothing, unless we can persuade Ragtimelil to work out how to create one.  It's not beyond the realms of possibility.  We talked her into felting a Runescape Canifis hat!

Noob Tasks

  • Write five Wizzley articles.  Your reward is that your Wizzles will hereon be automatically set to 'follow'.  No moderator will look at it before Google, Bing and all of the rest do.  You're certifiably a professional Wizzley author!
  • Get an Editor's Choice Award.  Your reward is zOMG! You have an Editor's Choice Award!  That article has the 'wow' factor, as determined by a member of the Wizzley team. It will gain much more publicity, as it will spend a long time on the front page of the whole site. 
  • Attract over 50 readers every day for a week.  This is all of your articles combined.  Your reward is that people are reading your articles. 
  • Make a sale on Amazon.  It can take anything from days to months for this to happen.  It's cheating if you get your Mum to buy something.  Your reward is the commission.
  • Make a sale on Zazzle.  See above.
  • Make a sale on Vigilink.  See above, this includes anything sold in an eBay module, as that's monetized through Vigilink.
  • Make a sale on All Posters.  See above.  And if you're anything like me, this is the one that you're going to really struggle to cross off your Noob Tasklist!

Intermediate Tasks

  • Write fifty Wizzley articles.  Your reward is that your monetization percentage will go from 50/50 to 55/45 in your favor!  The team behind Wizzley will cry, but you'll be quids in.  Bread on the table, that's what we're aiming for here.
  • Get a second Editor's Choice Award.  Your reward is zOMG! You have TWO Editor's Choice Awards!  This has all of the bonuses of the first one, but in addition, it's moved you one step closer to the elite three ECAs.  That's just boosted your position in the Wizzley author boards.
  • Attract over 100 readers every day for a week.  This is all of your articles combined.  Your reward is that more people are reading your articles.  It's all building from here!
  • Make regular sales on Amazon.  It can take anything from months (maybe years) for this to happen.  But it's the biggest indicator yet that everything is working as it should.  Plus it's a much shorter leap from here to making a proper livelihood, than it was from one or two sales to this point.
  • Make regular sales on Zazzle.  See above.
  • Make regular sales on Vigilink.  See above, this includes anything sold in an eBay module, as that's monetized through Vigilink.
  • Make regular sales on All Posters.  See the note on the Noob Tasks, then sob.

Advanced Tasks

  • Write one hundred Wizzley articles.  Your reward is that your Wizzles will firstly and rightly be the bragging rights.  This is huge!  Well done!  Then it'll be that your monetization percentage just leapt to 60/40 in your favor.  ChefKeem will need a stiff drink, but it's happy days for you.
  • Get a third Editor's Choice Award.  Congratulations!  You now have a rosette next to your name on your profile.  Every fellow author and reader will know that you're a quality writer and that your work is worth reading.  You'll be on the first or second page of the Wizzley authors, and you have the potential to be at the very top of the list!  Very well done again.
  • Attract over 500 readers every day for a week.  This is all of your articles combined.  Your reward is that your articles are patently maturing very nicely.  They are being read long after you've written them (unless you've got one going viral!).  This is precisely what this game is all about.  You're doing brilliantly. 
  • Make a livelihood on Amazon.  It will take years for this to happen.  Your reward is that technically you can retire now.
  • Make a livelihood on Zazzle.  See above.
  • Make a livelihood on Vigilink.  See above, this includes anything sold in an eBay module, as that's monetized through Vigilink.
  • Make a livelihood on All Posters.  See above.  See the previous notes.  Remember that it's better to laugh than cry.  Good luck!

Elite Tasks

  • Write one thousand Wizzley articles.  Your reward is that no-one has ever done it before.  Currently the most prolific Wizzley author is Ryank.  You would own the hiscores, if Wizzley had any.  Plus all of those articles would be bringing in readers and potential shoppers too.
  • Get ten Editor's Choice Awards. No-one will ever be able to knock you off the front page of the Wizzley authors.  Plus it's only ever been done once before.  *takes a bow*
  • Attract over 1000 readers every day for a week.  This is all of your articles combined.  Your reward is that your articles are seriously doing their job. You have the authority to attract readers; you have made your name.  Now you just need to be patient and keep going.  Very well done!
  • Get stinking rich through Amazon.  This might never happen.  If it does, then you don't need me to tell you what your reward is here!
  • Get stinking rich through Zazzle.  See above.
  • Get stinking rich through Vigilink.  See above, this includes anything sold in an eBay module, as that's monetized through Vigilink.
  • Get stinking rich through All Posters.  See above.  See all of the previous notes.  Enjoy a wry smile.

Did I Correctly Allocate the Wizzley Achievement Diary Tasks?

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You need to change...
FrancesSpiegel on 02/20/2013

This is so very helpful - thanks

You need to add...
HollieT on 12/04/2012

That every goal that you've set here is absolutely valid and good advice, but each writer will get there in their own time- some are faster than others, and some will only appreciate the lesson you have offered once they have experienced it themselves. :) But the goals and challenges you've laid out, are what we hsould all aspire to. :)

Enough of this tomfoolery!  Onto the statistics section, so you can all see if I'm worth paying attention to on these things.

Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Stats December 4th 2012.
Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Stats December 4th 2012.
Image:  Zoomed in Jo Harrington's Wizzley Stats from 300-350 pages.
Image: Zoomed in Jo Harrington's Wizzley Stats from 300-350 pages.

I've been so proud of myself!   Back in the earliest days of my deciding to be an online writer, I heard that you've made it if you have 1000 readers a day on your profile.  I've since heard that it was a throwaway comment, not to be heeded.

But it stuck in my mind.  It was the first level up that I ever strove to reach.  Now I'm finally there. 

On November 21st 2012, I managed a whole week with over 1000 hits on Wizzley.  On the 28th, that made it a fortnight.  If I can keep that up today and tomorrow, then it'll be three weeks.  I think I've made it.   LEVEL UP!

That little spike, on November 11th, came when a reader posted the below article onto Reddit. They appeared to like it.

Less divorced from death than we are today, the Victorians took keepsakes that modern sensibilities would find too shocking to contemplate.

My Wizzley Stats in Context

Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Progress December 4th 2012.
Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Progress December 4th 2012.

There are lots of people coming to read Wizzley authors!  If you're not one of us yet, please do consider registering.  It's hours of fun (and games)!

A Year's Worth of Wizzley Tips and Tricks!

Well, give or take twelve days. But this is the story of my first year at Wizzley. I haven't done too badly.
The first fifty articles on any site are hard work. Yet that crash course provides insights that soon become second nature.
My articles are consistently amongst the most popular on Wizzley. But I'm new to this writing game. This is how I'm doing it.
Every fifty pages, I pause and share all I've learned. This time there's been an emphasis on money-making; and an article that went viral.
Ten months after registering to write at Wizzley, I'm starting to see some return on my hard work. Come and join me on my learning curve.

Learn How to Write Successfully on Wizzley

All that I learned at Wizzley, from registration to attracting a huge readership, has been included in my comprehensive guide.
A Writer's Guide to Wizzley

Wizzley is one of the youngest and brightest writing platforms on the internet today. Online livelihoods are made in writing articles there. Jo Harrington is one of its foremost...

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Updated: 03/01/2013, JoHarrington
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JoHarrington on 01/17/2013

The sentiment is mutual. I love reading your articles here. :) Thank you for your kind words. None of that determination is waning any time soon.

WiseFool on 01/17/2013

Congrats on all your successes, Jo. You've had such a determination to crack it, and that's really beginning to pay off now! I always find your 'tips and tricks' articles so motivational, too. Thanks for sharing your experience.

JoHarrington on 01/10/2013

Thank you very much for that. Nice lenses and I look forward to reading your Wizzley article too.

supermom_in_ny on 01/09/2013

Exactly! It can be time consuming. So, I just check out the lenses that are available and check their keywords. I am going to share all the info on a future Wizzley page. However, I will share some lensmasters I purchase lenses from in case you want to buy a few. Here are two and

JoHarrington on 01/09/2013

Where do you find the people to write them for you? And I see what you're about with outsourcing now. You can get a lot up quickly, if you don't have to take the time to write them for yourself. It takes me longer to research the articles, than it does to write them.

supermom_in_ny on 01/09/2013

I actually buy them, but I do the keyword research to make sure they will be profitable. I pay $5 - $7 dollars for a lens. I usually get my money back plus double it in a week or two. That's just the initial sales. Remember, they will earn money for you as long as they are up. The tier payments take time, so I try to get them to make sales asap (using SEO if necessary). Even those payouts take two months. My daughter is in college and it's expensive. My goal is to have 1000 lenses before the fall. I have over 250 now. Started out with about 60 something in September.

JoHarrington on 01/09/2013

So you pay someone else to write it, after you've done the keyword searches? I'm just interested, as I've not really encountered this method before. Why not simply write them yourself? It would save on the initial outlay.

supermom_in_ny on 01/09/2013

I outsource some of my Squidoo lenses. I know how well they are going to do because I use a keyword research tool. Hasn't failed me yet. I use it when I make lenses, hubs and blog posts. It tells me how many other websites are competing for the same keyword and how much SEO is needed to rank on the first page. This tool is why my lenses/ hubs make money. I would never write content without it. For me doing so would feel like throwing a dart at a target while wearing a blindfold.

JoHarrington on 01/09/2013

I've never got my head around outsourcing. Yes, you can get more up, but you'll never know precisely what will work or not.

supermom_in_ny on 01/09/2013

Well, outsourcing works but not for every site. One can outsource content, but you surely can't outsource anything for a Zazzle store. Plus, outsourcing takes money and I wouldn't recommend it unless you know you will make a profit.

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