Tips and Tricks After 100 Pages on Wizzley

by JoHarrington

What have I learned over the past seven weeks of Wizzley writing? Read on to find out!

As a relatively new writer, I'm learning my craft on Wizzley. Every fifty pages I pause, record all of the tips and great advice that I've picked up to date.

It serves as a reminder and a journal; but more to the point, it offers a helping hand to those following in my footsteps.

These are the things that I wish I'd known, when I started out. Fellow new writers get to leap-frog ahead, learning from my mistakes and running with my successes. Good luck all!

Time is a factor. Not merely the time to research and write all of those articles, but to wait for them bring readers to you.

It's easy to envy those who have been around for a while. Their names are known and the search results find them.

But a writing career is like planting a tree. The best time to have begun was twenty-five years ago. The second best time is right now!

Get Involved in the Wizzley Forum

This is a relatively new site, with an enthusiastic, beautiful community. Let yourself reap the benefits of that.

It should be noted that the tips and tricks in this Wizzle are probably much more relevant to new on-line writers than those wonderful veterans.

The latter are able to hit Wizzley running and start monetizing their articles immediately. For the rest of us, the first fifty are largely a site and writing genre learning curve; while the second fifty concern the nitty gritty of revenue streams.

The good news here is that those with experience are so very willing to help! Any question in the Wizzley forum is likely to produce a wealth of knowledge and understanding, alongside some very practical advice.

I don't just mean the message board forum, which is always buzzing with such information anyway. I'm an historian, so my mind takes in the original, fuller etymology, which today would be much better rendered as community.

Forum, from the old Roman assembly, primarily meaning 'marketplace'; but also open spaces or public spaces. It's related to the Latin 'foris', which involved going outdoors or outside your own domain.

To get involved in the Wizzley forum is to seek out your fellow authors. Leave comments, likes and all of the other paraphernalia of approval on the articles that you enjoyed. Private message them with constructive criticism or point out typos, if you have anything there to say.

All of this is more than merely being a nice person. It pays dividends in community feeling too. In turn that contributes to Wizzley being a lovely place in which to hang out and write. That has to be a winner, because we're all spending so much time here!

These Wizzley Tips and Tricks Still Hold True

So I'll not be repeating them here!
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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.
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Ask Not What Wizzley Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Wizzley!

On a personal level, so much of the valuable advice given to me over the past fifty articles has been through private messages. Veteran writers giving a hand up into the higher levels of monetary understanding.

With all of their experience, they 'got' it a lot faster than I did. If I'm made great, then Wizzley is made greater. If Wizzley is so wonderful, then more people visit and the knock-on benefits for all authors are increased.

Have you heard of us?
Troops let's tell the internet about us! As it's missing out on a lot.

This was an aspect which was brought home to me while chatting on another forum. A commentator there said, "Why are you writing for Wizzley? I've never heard of it! You should go to Hubpages or somewhere like that instead."

He was reaching for familiarity, as a reader, rather than any real knowledge of the writing sector. I suppressed my shudder, born of reading some of the horror stories, but took a note of the important point in the middle of his comment.

People like brands. People like names that they can trust, which doesn't necessarily mean those with their best interests at heart. It's more likely to refer to labels that are known. Familiarity doesn't really breed contempt. It attracts a lot of traffic instead.

At the same time I was reading that comment on another forum, there was a big push being promoted in the Wizzley forum. This didn't come from the site owners (though they appeared happy enough!), but from those veteran writers.

They were telling us that it was time to get the name of Wizzley out there. Make it familiar and readers will come. Tell your friends; tell your social networking contacts; shout it from the rooftops! Wizzley is wonderful! Wizzley is great! Come and bring your family with you!

With a writing platform as new as ours, the emphasis is not only on pushing your own articles on the world, but promoting your environment too.

Are You the Best Person to be Writing that Wizzle?

If not, then pass it on! Panda swipes sites full of half-understood, fluffy bumpf content.

It's too common to sit inside your own writing empire, keeping the best keywords to yourself and never venturing out to see how everyone else is doing.

It's even more tempting to keep interesting and potentially lucrative topics to yourself, regardless of your ability to write anything half-decent about it.

It seems to me that the sites which suffered worse under Google's infamous Panda algorithm were those stuffed with sub-standard articles. When money considerations over-ride value for your readership, then no-one is a winner. Too much of it can see a website sink under the waves of the SERPs.

Conversely, letting a fellow author write that content raises the bar on the whole of Wizzley. It could inadvertently have side-benefits for yourself.

Let me give you an example from the last few days. As an aforementioned historian, I was looking at the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic with a view to how that slotted into the context of the century. That's what I do. That's what I have bits of paper declaring me qualified to talk about.

What I have no knowledge about whatsoever is art. So when I looked at the most promising keywords and saw that Frank Davis Millet had gone down with the ship, I wavered slightly. The man was a famous artist, could I do justice to an article about him?  No, but Mladen could.

One private message later, he had the tip-off and duly produced the Wizzle. The site now had an historian writing about history and an art enthusiast writing about art, both about the same broad, highly relevant topic.

That was undoubtedly great for Wizzley, but the inadvertent benefit for myself very quickly became apparent too. Mladen didn't bother too much about the history of the Titanic, as that wasn't his focus. Instead, he linked to my article. Hurrah! A back-link!

But his Wizzle ranked faster than mine, due to all of the wonderful comments that he received. (Remember that this is a man who knows his stuff!) While my history is bubbling away, steadily climbing, his is already attracting a lot of early attention - along with a back-link back to mine.

Incidentally, that does go both ways. My Titanic history includes a back-link to Mladen's art appraisal of Frank Davis Millet. Our articles will continue to support each other's into, well, infinity?

That's just one example amongst several. It happens a lot back-stage at Wizzley. Watching each other's backs leads to a much greater website for all involved; and that certainly places our readers right at the top of our priorities. Is that a Panda that I can see smiling fondly back at us?

On April 15th 1912, RMS Titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean. The story has fascinated generations ever since. But why?
Francis Davis Millet was an American artist, journalist and war correspondant. Millet died 100 years ago in Titanic tragedy.

You've found a promising keyword or phrase outside your expertize. Do you pass it on?

In a parallel universe, I wrote a sub-standard article about Frank Davis Millet and posted it on Wizzley.
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Yes, because...
JoHarrington on 03/31/2012

I have to take this side, as I've already passed on promising keywords or phrases to better qualified Wizzley writers. I'm not keeping count, but off the top of my head, there have been at least three occasions when it happened.

katiem2 on 03/31/2012

I believe in the community all of us are better stronger and more diversely talented than one of us, I'd pass it on to the better writer suited for the task at hand.

terrilorah on 03/29/2012

Helping each other is what it's all about. I've been on here a few weeks and the positive energy here and the fun and easy way to write is awesome.

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Taking the Time to Implement Good Advice

But do it sensibly. Trying to take on everything at once is a route detouring into burn out.

I was exhausted. This much was apparent in the fact that I burst out crying, when my game wouldn't load.

My friends listening over Skype were naturally a little perturbed about this.

They were used to me getting a little emotional over the important things in life (like failing in Runescape boss fights), but generally I'm quite calm and laid-back about other quibbles (like battling genocide, mass pollution of land and water and dictatorships). I'm certainly not usually in tears over my writing career!

"Go and get a cup of tea," advised the ever pragmatic Tabt. "Calm down, then come and tell us all about it." 

The fact is that with so much excellent advice on Wizzley, the temptation is to apply it all at once. When this involves things which can be retrospectively applied, then that can turn into a big job.

I had just emerged from eight hours worth of systematically going through every one of my previous articles and changing their language. This followed feedback from the ever helpful Terri Rexson, who had pointed out that my adverts all sold merchandise in American stores, while my articles were all in British English.

In short, those buying were looking at an article  which appeared littered with spelling mistakes. Those reading perfect English were met with sales that they couldn't make. Who precisely was I serving here?

I doubt Terri actually meant that I should then spend the rest of my day in a frenzied fit of spell-check fueled up-dating. It's what I did anyway; and I had over eighty articles at the time.

Unfortunately, this was the second such incident in a month. The earlier one came after great advice from always supportive Humagaia. He'd reviewed my sales techniques (non-existent, relying upon politely unassuming adverts quietly placed, more in hope than expectation that someone would investigate them). He'd then given me some beginner's advice.

He had the measure of me. He actually started his message with the statement that he wasn't going to overwhelm me with tips. He'd start with the most important: Invite people to buy! Actually put it into the affiliate module - buy this! Though also include the reasons why.  It all felt way too in your face for my British sensibilities, but he assured me that it was the way forward.

Once I'd assimilated the formula, I set about up-dating the affiliate modules in all previous Wizzles. It took around two days to do and left me exhausted before I even encountered Terri's advice.

So here is some of my own - listen indeed to those wiser minds around you, and implement their good advice. But do it slowly. Burning out will help no-one in the long run, least of all yourself. It will only lead to tears, when your game won't load later on.

And talking about gaming...

Buy Chaotic Good T-Shirts

Might write some sales Wizzles. Might fill the entire human rights section practically single-handedly.

A Little Bit of Chaos in the Heart of Ol' Wizzley

There's me thinking that I'm such a paragon of order and planning...

I remember once sitting, minding my own business, as you do, while all around me people were discussing Dungeons and Dragons. They were fixating themselves upon the alignment charts within it.

I must have been a little too quiet for too long, or they'd run out of things to say, because suddenly one friend was loudly declaring, "Of course Jo is Chaotic Good." 

"She is not!" Countered a second friend, with absolute certainty. "She's definitely Chaotic Neutral. You've never seen her dox!"

"It's not doxing," I mumbled, barely heeded in the on-going fervent debate, "It's called genealogy." But no-one was listening. They were all having too much fun trying to place me in the Dungeons and Dragons alignment system.

This whole discussion went on for a good ten minutes, but one thing was clearly apparent throughout. They were the only two categories on the table. I thought maybe Neutral Good for me, but everyone else laughed en masse.  I guessed not then.

Whether good or neutral, my presence appeared to stir up some measure of chaos. So how is that working out for Wizzley then? After 100 articles posted here, my fellow authors have had the chance to find out.

  • The prolifically talented Humagaia wrote an article about using Twitterfeed to promote your articles.
  • I tried it out. Got mega-hits for a day. Had my Twitter account suspended.
  • Humagaia responded with much backstage sympathy and information collecting. Then wrote a warning article about how not to get banned from Twitter while taking his advice.
  • A month later, Twitter reinstated my account after reviewing it and realizing the suspension had all been a big mistake.

Humagaia must love me to bits!

Then there's generous Sam, who approached me in compassion after realizing how bad I was at monetizing on-line articles. After several hours of helping me, she was suddenly inspired with a side-line business in keyword searches for newcomers!  (Bless her and Humagaia both. Their tips earned me my first two sales!)

So maybe chaos in the heart of Wizzley isn't too much of a bad thing. Even if someone did stop being my 'fan' after I posted an article criticizing executions using the electric chair. I don't know who it was, but in the immortal words of Billy Bragg, "If you've got a blacklist, I want to be on it."

(And incidentally, have you thought of writing a 'pro death penalty' Wizzle?  The Human Rights section really does need a bit of balance, in the midst of all of my 'anti death penalty' articles.)

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Write About Your Passions!

The key thing here is the relationship between yourself and your readers. They aren't stupid; and they will pick up on what moves your heart and soul.

There's a prevailing bit of advice, which I've been given time and time and time (repeat until fade) again.

Yet I still ignore it.

It's not that I think the advice unsound. In fact, it's flashing neon with promise, potential and a long, long precedent. But I can't make it fit me. It's like that scene in West Side Story, when Maria is being told to forget about Tony, as he's no good for her.

She warbles back with an impassioned defense,

I hear your words
And in my head
I know they're smart,
But my heart, Anita,
But my heart!

At least, it's a bit like that. Maybe. Perhaps.

(Did I really just liken articles that I want to write about to Maria getting a dodgy boyfriend in a gangland musical?)

The advice is this - write about things that will sell. More to the point, stop writing about human rights, activism and saving the world. Nobody wants to read about those things over morning coffee nor after a hard day at work!

But my heart, Anita, but my heart!

There are plenty of other topics which are, by all accounts, extremely lucrative for on-line writers. Rule of thumb - if it's on the main display stands of huge shopping mall stores, then write about them. Articles like that sell big time.

I hear your words and in my head I know they're smart...

After several months of this (across several forums, I'm not just talking Wizzley veterans' advice here), I had to face facts. There were two of those: a) human rights issues will never make me rich (but frankly, it would be wrong if they did!); and b) I will not be able to stop writing about them. We're talking about passion versus business acumen; and I never had much of the latter to start with.

But then something quite remarkable started to happen. After months of those articles sitting there and trickling hits, people started clicking on book links to find out more. I was stunned. This wasn't supposed to happen. Those links were there mostly in the capacity of 'for further information' rather than any hope of me getting commission from the sales.

In fact, some of them were a barely disguised back door route into checking out the websites of activist groups fighting the highlighted human rights abuses. If, for example, you didn't notice that my Amnesty International article was one huge AI fund-raising page, then you missed the primary point. (I could just as easily have answered Page's questions via e-mail.)

I bolted like a startled bunny into the Wizzley forum to point back to the situation with a questioning look. The answer soon came back - they're responding to the sheer passion that I put into my words. There was no 'market' here, so I went right ahead and forged one.

What stories do YOU have to share with the world?

My Wizzley Daily Visitor Stats at 100 Pages

Onwards and upwards! I reached the hundred page milestone on March 25th 2012.

Of course what many of you will be looking for is my internet traffic statistics during this period. Let me not keep you waiting any longer.

Please bear in mind that I'm only just starting to grapple with the mechanics of proper article marketing. This is all based mainly on social networking everything as I publish them, then ignoring them for the rest of time.

I'm working on that strategy.

My Wizzley Stats at 100 Pages
My Wizzley Stats at 100 Pages
Jo Harrington/Wizzley

There's a weird sudden dip on February 15th. Just ignore that. Simon and the Wizzley tech team were doing some work on the statistics counter, so it paused for much of the day. You can see when it rectified itself.

And just for comparison, here's how it all looked on February 6th 2012, when I'd just posted 50 articles.

My Wizzley Stats at 50 Pages
My Wizzley Stats at 50 Pages
Jo Harrington/Wizzley

So what does this mean in terms of sheer mathematics?  I haven't got a clue, as I'm really bad with numbers. But I have a friend who does.

Liam Dodd is a Physicist based at Swansea University. He's used to messing around with figures and statistics all day long.  He took my visitor and page traffic, then created a nice graph using the OriginPro 8.8 software, to demonstrate what was happening.

Wizzley is most certainly getting traffic. Write often, write well, and some of those visitors will be coming to you.

Jo Harrington's Wizzley Statistics From 0 - 100 Articles
Jo Harrington's Wizzley Statistics From 0 - 100 Articles
Liam Dodd

Editor's Choice Awards

These are my most recent personal accolades on Wizzley.
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The Final Word on Waiting

Time is a factor, of course it is, but we have all of the time in the world. As long as Wizzley exists, then our articles will be out there making us money long after we're all dead.

The trick is to be patient in the beginning. Sam told me that it can take over three months for your page rank to settle in the SERPs. Countless people have told me that it can take far longer for you to see any return on your hard work.

Any on-line writing platform promises jam tomorrow, which is why we munch on our plain bread today. But the future for Wizzley is looking very good. At the time of writing, I have been here a mere three months, just at the minimum for Sam's observation to kick in for reality.

My readership is steadily growing and the earliest indications of revenue are just being sounded. Two purchases in the past fortnight, after weeks of nothing at all. Wish me luck, as I wish it for us all.

A Writer's Guide to Wizzley

These Tips and Tricks were way stations along a journey into making a living via Wizzley. They ultimately led to a book about the same.
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...

View on Amazon

Updated: 12/30/2013, JoHarrington
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JoHarrington on 07/15/2012

Great! I'm intending these to be read as a series. It saves me having to keep repeating myself, the further than I go.

Thank you for reading them.

AngelaJohnson on 07/15/2012

Another good article. I read this article after 'Tips and Tricks After 50 Pages on Wizzley. "

JoHarrington on 06/08/2012

HI Lobobrandon, Good luck on your first article! Yes, one of the things which has kept me at Wizzley is the goodwill of its community. It's only a young site, but the ethos has already been set. Looking out for each other has got to be worth it in the long run.

I'm thrilled that you found this to be inspirational; and I'm happy to have you with us.

lobobrandon on 06/05/2012

Hi Jo, this was surely an inspirational article, all the talks about Wizzley being a great site and stuff didn't surprise me as I've read plenty of other articles by authors on Wizzley itself. But, the part about the Titanic and letting the other author know about the painter (I forgot the name oops) was what made me realize that this community seems to be way better than the other sites - and yes, I did find those to be cool too. So, you can imagine the thrill I feel to have finally returned back to Wizzley - Got my first draft under way, will publish it after my finals.

JoHarrington on 05/28/2012

It's lovely to see you here. I do think that Wizzley is a welcoming and friendly site for which to write, but I have no experience with either Hubpages nor Squidoo.

I think that you should just write what you're passionate about. That passion will come through. Ok, it might not be as lucrative as the next big shallow thing, but it will be good for you to write it and great for your readers to read it. Surely that's got to count in the long term too?

BarbRad on 05/28/2012

I'm just beginning to invest more time in Wizzley after building up a body of work on HubPages and Squidoo. So I still feel like a newbie here. Monetizing has always been a problem for me, since I do tend to go with my heart, not by trend. I'm an odd duck when it comes to popular culture. It seems I get most of my ideas from the local art community and their activities lately. I'm trying to figure out how to make my reviews of various events more general for a wider audience. I'm experimenting with that on the article I have in process now, which I hope to get published by tonight. I thought I'd kick around the community tips to find answers to questions on Amazon. So far I haven't found them, but this was a beginning of my search, not the end.

JoHarrington on 04/18/2012

Thank you very much. :)

tribute_to_erasmus on 04/17/2012

Jo, you have a lovely voice! I look forward to reading more!

JoHarrington on 04/14/2012

Aww! That's really lovely of you. Thanks! Blessed be.

QuantumLouie on 04/14/2012

Jo you are an inspiration for many of us, keep up the good work! Blessed Be!

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