One Way to Become a Successful Wizzley Writer

by JoHarrington

You may also call this the Wizzley fifty article challenge. Or how Jo Harrington would have done it, if she was at the beginning again with all she knows now.

I am undoubtedly one of Wizzley's success stories. At the time of writing, I've penned the most articles of anyone here, I hold the most Editor's Choice Awards and - as far as I can ascertain - I was the first author to net $1000 in affiliate commission on Wizzley.

None of which is bad for someone very much making it up as she goes along.

I've learned my craft in writing for money on Wizzley. In nearly 650 articles, I've made some mistakes, but more often had lucky breaks based upon following my heart. All of that experience has held me in good stead, when I approach my bulging message center.

That's frequently full of newcomers lured by my gobby presence into believing that I can offer them advice. Fortunately for all concerned, I usually can. Even if only to direct them to the person who really knows their stuff.

But one question bubbles to the surface quite often. If I was starting out as a new writer on Wizzley, but with all that I know after my years tinkering with tactics here, how would I play it? What do I wish I'd done from the beginning? What strategy would I employ to turn writing on Wizzley into a livelihood without going insane into the bargain?

I can't promise sanity, as I've never learned the knack of it. Nevertheless, here's where I answer the question with a tactic for success as a Wizzley writer.

Note About This Article

What began as a Wizzley article, I've decided to turn into an eBook.  The reason being that it's already rather long, and I've only got to day five!

Therefore what you'll read here is very in-depth until the fifth article, then the remaining 45 in the challenge are listed with brief notes.  I'll update this when the eBook is completed.

Disclaimer: There is no Single Correct Way

Just as in life itself, there are many, many routes through this particular wood. I'm merely picking one with pretty views and nice bluebells growing.

Image: BluebellsI am setting myself up here as a guide on a journey that you could just as easily undertake yourself. I did, and I didn't have a clue what I was doing at the beginning.

In fact, I'm still uncovering said clues on a daily basis, as this is most definitely an on-going quest.

The advice that I'm giving you now, I might retract, refine or applaud as genius in a year's time. The knowledge and experience unfold in unforeseen ways, when you begin the Fool's path of discovery. But the tips I provide and the challenges I lay before you, I promise have been conceived with the best of my current insight.

My target reader/writer/player are those who make their account on Wizzley, then stare wide-eyed and cowed by a blank page. Those without an inkling what to do next. Those so intimidated by the fact that they might 'do it wrong', that they never even start. That's what this is. A start.

You may choose to complete the Fifty Article Wizzley Challenge from beginning to end, thus ending up with a portfolio that looks like mine would have looked, if I was there with the knowledge that I have now.  You may choose to dabble with certain points, then zoom off into your own tactics and ideas. That's fabulous. That's how it should be.

You will note that I've always been careful to state that this is 'one way', 'a strategy for Wizzley success', just one tactic to achieve an income writing on Wizzley. It might not even be the best way through. But it's a springboard, which you may follow or adapt to suit yourself.

What I can promise is that, at the other end, you will have a healthy portfolio here and a strong potential for earning hard cash. Hopefully you will also enjoy yourself along the way. Moreover, and much more importantly, you will have gained some insight and experience for yourself, not to mention hard data to form the basis of your own clues.  Good luck.

Fifty Articles Looks like a Mountain, but it's a Hill

Ask anyone here and they'll tell you that your first fifty articles on Wizzley are the hardest of all to write.

You're learning all about the site. You're seeing what's acceptable here, and what works.

Your earliest articles take the longest of all to write, as you're clicking buttons to see what they all do. You haven't yet achieved that engram, where you unthinkingly move your mouse and your cursor naturally selects the appropriate module.

You haven't yet tatted with all the various styles and designs, in order to find your own default format for a Wizzley article.

We all have. You could probably guess the author at a glance, if you took the time to notice all our grooves. Crafting a Wizzley page speeds up once you have that laid down.

But worst of all, there's what to write. If you're not used to finding topics at the drop of a hat, or seeing the inherent story in all you encounter, then writer's block is the least of your worries. Much more debilitating is the vague feeling that nothing you will ever write will be good enough. The 'real' writers will laugh.

Just write. Even if your article bombs with three readers in a year (and they were all your Mum), then it's practice. You don't have to gain a Pulitzer Prize with every Wizzle. Oft-times it's nice just to waffle on with whatever comes to mind.

Write often enough and you'll cease to notice that you're even writing. It will be as natural as chatting with a close friend at the end of the day.

The first fifty articles are always the worst, which is why this Wizzley challenge leads you step by step through them. The second fifty are much easier. By the time you're at 600 articles, you'll blink and find yourself breezing by 650 without any real notion of how you got there.

But fifty articles sounds like a lot. It seems time-consuming and insurmountable. An Everest in unwritten pages towering above, that you may never achieve in a life-time. Even if the least of them are only 400 words.

No pressure, but I once wrote 56 articles in a month. There's your deadline and/or the bar to beat. Can you give me a month? Come on, let's do this thing.

'Apollinaire Said': Come to the Edge Postcard

'Come to the edge,' he said.
   'We can't, we're afraid!'
'Come to the edge, he said.
   'We can't, we will fall!'
'Come to the edge,' he said.

And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

~ Christopher Logue 'Apollinaire Said'

Article One: Your Wizzography

The beauty of a Wizzography is that there's no pressure. There's no template, no right way of doing it. Half of the rules are relaxed, because the sub-category's pages are automatically set to 'no follow'. That means that you can spam it into infinity with links back to your other blogs, writing sites, stores and social networking accounts.

It might appear counter-productive to bring in all of those people who can't think what to write, then immediately present them with a free-for-all page.

It is, and I'm evil. But your Wizzography genuinely is the easy way into Wizzley. It's the page where you can click buttons and learn what toys are here to play with in this new sandpit. You can do that on any page, but here you're less likely to lose the thread of what you were about to write.

The subject is you. Most Wizzley authors use their Wizzography as an extended profile. They write full biographies, or else invite us to sample snippets of their lives like dipping into a box of chocolates.

If you're really stuck, then imagine that you've really clicked with a brand new friend. The conversation is free-flowing and easy. They're all attentive, as you introduce them to yourself. A crash-course in getting to know you. What things would you tell them?

Write that in your Wizzography.  Who are you?  What can we expect from you?  Are you a jock, a nerd, a superhero or quite an ordinary hero? What topics, realms and wonders light up your face and have you rapt for hours? What stirs your soul?  What drives you up the wall?  What are you doing on Wizzley?  What do you hope to achieve?  What have you already achieved, in other lives and other worlds? What are your dreams and ambitions, great loves and regrets? If you had three wishes, what would they be? What are your desert island discs? What's your favorite dessert? Who are you?

But mostly it's for you to practice putting together a Wizzley page.

Exercise One: Say Hello on the Forum

There's a whole section for newcomers to introduce themselves to the gang here. Don't be afraid. Wizzley has probably the friendliest community in cyberspace.

Plus you have a Wizzography now, so you can say, 'Hi! Here's more about me!' And link them to it.

You do have an ulterior motive by the way. 

A high page rank means more exposure for your articles. They hit the front page of Wizzley and they remain near to the top of their categories. That's great for long term readership and/or profit.

A high page rank requires likes, comments and people coming to read. Fellow Wizzley authors are great at liking, commenting and coming to read.

But first they have to know that you're there. Go and leave your trail of bread-crumbs to lure them back to your profile!

Exercise Two: Comment on Wizzley Articles

The author is bound to return the favor, plus it contributes to the vibrancy of the site as a whole. Plus it's part of making friends here. See exercise one.

Article Two: Indulge your Passion

It doesn't matter what it is - vampires, birds, Formula One, shoes, Lady Gaga, filing systems, world politics, the collected works of Liz Williams, love... just write about it.

I know you're here to make money, and most people would advise writing solely on those subjects which are known to generate income.

I think that's only true to a certain extent. My rationale is thus:

  1. My top earning article is one which specifically elicited a frustrated message from an individual attempting to mentor me at the time. 'You'll never make a livelihood writing about stuff like this!' She digitally wailed, before giving me a list of 'good' subjects, which frankly made my heart sink to the floor in utter boredom at the mere contemplation of writing about them. 
  2. I eventually gave in under harassment and you know, those articles haven't really yielded much in the way of commission. Boredom shines through, no matter how much you gloss over with fancy words and phrases. And the opposite is true of passion.
  3. If you are passionate about a subject, then you can make it interesting for other people too. Any subject. You could well be the one introducing your reader to the wondrous realm. Which means that they won't already own all of the products that you've artistically dotted around your article.  Instant potential customer right there, because you've created an interest. Passion is so very infectious.
  4. And even better if it's not on the 'good' subjects list that everyone else in the online writing world is using to over-saturate the market. Would you rather have one tentative article competing against millions more on a potentially profitable subject?  Or would you prefer to be the only person writing about a lesser known topic, thus attracting all readers to yourself?
  5. You write much better on topics that you enjoy. This is why we all labor over essay assignments at school, but happily write ten times their length in forum posts and e-mails to our friends. It's not work, when you're enjoying yourself, and your enjoyment will communicate to your readers.
  6. And the administration of Wizzley, who are still moderating your articles before they go live at this point. And maybe external clients too, scouting for good writers before they offer freelance work.  If you're serious about making money on Wizzley, then showcase your best work. Which is so much easier to do, when you love the subject.
  7. You're adding to the variety of articles on Wizzley, which will bring in more readers on the site as a whole. As the writing platform grows, then your portfolio of pages is more likely to be randomly found and read. We can sail much further, if you help us to build a bigger ship.
  8. My number one, top earning article was me indulging a passion. Not a 'sales' article, not a mainstream topic, not one on any normal person's list. I'd have never called it in a million years. I wrote it for me. I'm still reaping the fiscal rewards.

So what will it be?  It doesn't matter how specialized a niche subject it may be, nor how 'idiotic' you think the rest of the world will find it. We're not looking for your doctorate, we're here for your enthusiasm, enjoyment and passion.

The inherent favor is in you teaching us to feel passionate about it too.

Written Because I Was Interested

Would you have picked out any of these as 'good' subjects upon which to 'waste' time researching and writing?
When the script called for a large extended family, Brendan O'Carroll cast a real world one - his own! Yet the relationships aren't quite what they are in 'Mrs Brown's Boys'.
12th century poet Chrétien de Troyes has been called the grandfather of the modern novel. But should that be 'grandmother' instead?
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?
Want to know where Starz's Outlander was filmed in Scotland? Looking to walk in the footsteps of Jamie and Claire? Well you've come to the right place!

My nephew asked me if I'd heard that some/all of the cast of Mrs Brown's Boys are related to each other in real life. I looked into it. At the time, there were no products on sale for the show, so I really did write that in the spirit of sharing something I found interesting.

It's my most read Wizzley article of all time. It appears untouchable at the top of my 90 day page views. So far nearly 30,000 people have come to read it. And the show is about to travel to the States, hence I'll be able to monetize it properly.

The other three are in my top twenty most successful Wizzley articles too. That's the long-term look, not what's great this week. And they were all written for the love of it, not the anticipated livelihood. Who would have thought that anyone was that interested in a 12th century French troubadour?

Motivational Postcards for Writers on Wizzley

Exercise Three: Make Something on Zazzle

Was your passionate topic so obscure that there was nothing out there with which to monetize it?


You've got an affiliate account with Zazzle. Zazzle allows you to make products to sell. You can showcase those products on your Wizzley articles. So make a product that matches your beloved topic!

You see the postcards to the left?  Created in about thirty seconds flat, with the minimum of artistic talent, basically default background and font color with some words on a postcard.

I created them to break up great walls of text in one of my Tips and Tricks articles. You wouldn't believe how many I've actually sold - a couple of dozen at the last reckoning.

When people buy your Zazzle products via your Wizzley referral link, you get double the commission. You bank 15% referral as an affiliate, then whatever you set the royalty to as its creator. Worth a punt on making an item or two then?

Do this whenever you're stuck for monetization on a subject you're writing through enjoyment and passion. Soon enough you'll have a second genuine income stream.

Article Three: Write a Seasonal Article for a Holiday

If you can buy a card to celebrate it, then the chances are that you should be penning articles about it on Wizzley.

Come Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day and you won't be able to move around here for articles about them. We're all wrong. We should have been writing them in May, June and July.

Articles take time to mature. Wizzley pages get picked up by search engines very quickly (my personal record is nine minutes), but that's only putting them in the shop window. You need weeks, months, possibly years before a critical mass of people have found and linked to them. Then more readers can find them and slowly your traffic builds.

With internet traffic comes potential customers for your carefully placed monetization avenues.

A wise Wizzley author once told me that you're always ever writing for this time next year, and any interest sooner is a bonus or a fluke. He's been proved right so far in my experience here. I've had articles languish barely read for two years, only to suddenly spark into life and become lodged at the top of my most read Wizzles.

So yes, go and pick a holiday and write about it. It doesn't necessarily have to be one that's up and coming. It's actually better if it is six months away! (And fabulous if that's more like a year.)

Why Write about Holidays on Wizzley?

Because they're lucrative, evergreen articles and you have a lot of people helping to promote the categories wherein your holiday Wizzle is lodged.

After all that talk of writing about your passions, there's no doubt that holiday articles are lucrative.

Particularly the autumn and winter celebrations, when people are more likely to be huddled in their homes shopping online to avoid venturing out into inclement weather and crowds.

That's why everyone and their dog has at least one Christmas Wizzle in their gallery.

It's easy to see why. This is the 21st century. The entire of the 20th century was spent training us to be good little consumers every holiday. Some festivities were even invented so that we'd spend money!

That's why I rushed into town last weekend, in order to pick up a card and gift for my Dad, as a Hallmark calendar told me that it was Father's Day. I duly complied. All intellect told me that such a celebration stemmed from corporations emotionally blackmailing me into it, and exploiting my filial sentiments. Nevertheless, I love my Dad. He got a card and gift.

Therefore holiday articles are targeting people duty bound to spend money. Hence their attraction for writers wishing to channel that spending through their affiliation streams.

Despite the previously mentioned sense in writing niche articles with passion - thus being the biggest fish in a tiny pool - there is something to be said for running with the herd too.  If half of Wizzley is writing Christmas articles, then half of Wizzley is aiding and abetting their promotion too. I may attract a reader to my Celtic ornaments, who then bounces off my scribblings into your page on themed lily-pond tinsel with added frog-spawn. You get the sale.

Oooh! Look! Celtic Christmas decorations, which I made! Double income for me if no-one poaches my interested party away with frog spawn tinsel.

Holiday and celebration articles may be seasonal, but they're also evergreen. What you wrote for last Valentine's Day is still good for next year's too, and the year after that, so on and so forth. You can gradually build up quite a collection in there.

So why are YOU writing a holiday piece for your third Wizzley article?  Because you're part of this culture. You know the subject matter. Even an informative or subjective memory article will end up being a sales one in disguise, simply because our culture has turned all celebrations into blatant consumerism.

In short, it's a good way to ease you into 'sales' articles - i.e. those written with the express intention of flogging stuff to willing buyers. As opposed to the 'information' ones, which are there to bring in readers and maybe earn you commission, if your passion for the subject has inadvertently tipped over into evangelism.

What Holiday Articles Could you Write?

Another great aspect about this category is that the scope is wide open.

  • You could go on a voyage of discovery, looking into why we hold the traditions that we do, as I did with the St Patrick's Day corned beef and cabbage. It's still in the category. It's still festooned with Things To Buy for the Festival, even if it's not overtly concerned with sales.
  • You could indulge a passion, as I did when Christmas and a fleeting obsession with all things Bigfoot played out concurrently.
  • Hate the holiday in question? Then approach it from that angle instead. No-one said that you had to endorse these celebrations. Hence my Anti-Valentine offerings during February.
  • Or it could be a subjective memory of the day, telling a tale of the celebration, as you've experienced it. Like me one Glyndwr Day.
  • There's always being informative, explaining to those outside your culture why we celebrate this holiday and how we do so. As I did with all of the Wiccan Sabbats.
  • And finally, probably foremost, you could write sales articles to sell stuff to people beholden by the entire weight of societal expectation and tradition to buy it. Just look at my Halloween article collection some time.

Be creative. Holiday articles don't have to be in the Holiday and Celebrations category.

If you go for topics which feed into a holiday celebration without being seasonal, then you've got the best of both worlds. For example, ghost stories work well for Halloween, while reviewing romantic movies ties in beautifully with Valentine's Day.

And remember that you can move articles between categories any time you choose.

I have two romantic gift ones, which spend most of the year in Weddings, then migrate to Valentine's Day every January through to late February.

In short, the field is wide open and worth pursuing. So what will you be writing for your third Wizzley article?

Holiday Articles by Jo Harrington

On March 17th, Irish-Americans sit down to enjoy a special 'Irish' meal of corned beef and cabbage. But it's not a dish from Ireland.
Deck the halls with boughs and Bigfoot, tra-la-la-la-laaaa! A beautiful carol for those looking for festive Sasquatch treats this Christmas. They do exist and I have them here!
Not into all the romantic, profiteering twaddle that permeates society on February 14th? Then you should throw a party! And here are the reasons why.
It had all of the hallmarks of a real life quest; and I was shocked when I finally tracked the place down. Two things overwhelmed me - its beauty and its utter neglect.
The height of summer - the longest day - is a time of great celebration, but it also means that the dark days are coming again.
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.
It's all well and good visiting a haunted location, but for evidence you're going to need more than a story. Check out what you can take to capture proof of ghosts.
Originating from Galway, in Ireland, Claddagh rings were historically worn by men. They were clues towards love and friendship (and politics).

Need Inspiration for your Wizzley Holiday Articles?

The more you think out of the box, the less likely it is that you're replicating a hundred thousand other articles, thus cashing in while standing out.

Exercise Four: Check out Wizzley Success Stories

Raise your standard! You're going on a raid! But don't feel bad about it. Cross-fertilization of winning tips is good for us all and brilliant for the website as a whole.

Image: Shooting StarAfter three articles on Wizzley, you should be feeling a little more confident with the whole 'creating a page' thing.

Which means it's time to experiment with formatting ways and means that are known to work in general terms, to see if they also work for you. In which case, you can nick those ideas.

The trick is to peruse Wizzley as a reader, because you are that too. If you feel your attention being directed, or your emotion piqued, or your interest snagged, then someone somewhere is doing something right. If you find yourself desperate to buy whatever they're promoting, then scrutinize their methods with a forensic regard to detail. Especially if it was something that you didn't even know you wanted until you fell under their literary spell.

With all of them, you need to work out what they did to trigger your reaction. Those are the insights that lead to highly profitable articles. But you're only one person. The truly wonderful Wizzley pages work on multitudes too. So how do you find them?

On your top toolbar, next to the Wizzley icon, you'll find a pull-down menu headed 'Pages'. That's your key to gleaning what constitutes a successful article on Wizzley.

  • Popular - These articles have achieved 100% page rank recently, hence they're now on the front page of the website.  Have a skim through the titles and click on a few to glance over the pages. Any patterns forming? Anything that everyone there does, which you can also do? Any contributing factors that you can discern to account for their popularity?  After all, anything there has attracted enough likes, comments and views to hit the top tier.  Make notes, particularly on those which distract you into reading them, instead of sticking with the quest to find out why they're so popular.
  • Buzzing - These are currently attracting the most comments on Wizzley. Here is where all of the conversations are occurring.  Why?  Is it something to do with the subject?  Or are those authors doing something clever to spark discussions? Are those commenting people from Wizzley (their names are hyperlinks to their profiles) or external people? If the latter, then seriously take notes. Those articles are bringing in readers for everyone!
  • Editor's Choice - These articles have been deemed the best that Wizzley has to offer, albeit that's a judgement call made by the administration. You can glean from them what the team behind Wizzley is looking for.  That may or may not be as important as the opinion of the general public, but it's worth noting that Wizzley's team were all veteran writers themselves before founding this site. They know their stuff.  So what was so fabulous about these articles? Anything you can adapt or outright steal?  Any inspiration to be had?
  • Authors - On a related note, those authors with a rosette next to their names have been in receipt of three or more Editor's Choice awards. It might be worth a quick look at their profiles to see why they're getting it right.
  • Knock Your Socks Off Articles - Of course, the site team don't have the monopoly on highlighting great Wizzley articles. Writers can do that too - including you - on the forum. You'll not only get individuals calling out greatness, but also comments from others in the thread. It's a great way to find Wizzles that have stirred fellow authors into gushing, despite us collectively knowing every writing trick in the book. (Pun intended.)  It's also a place where you could let us know about truly brilliant articles that you've uncovered on your fact-finding mission. At the very least you'll make the day of the author thus honored, who'll probably become your new best friend on Wizzley. Moreover, it increases your presence on the forum, affording more people the opportunity to check out your profile and hopefully give you likes and comments. See exercise one.

Hopefully your cyber-trek through Wizzley will have now furnished you with a plethora of ideas about how to best arrange your pages. Take each insight in turn, test it out. If you like it, keep it. If you don't, chuck it out. Eventually you'll find a mix that will form the foundation of your own default style. Then you've really settled in.

Keep on looking. None of us are ever too veteran nor set in our ways to tinker with our formats. The fine-tuning will be an on-going process, changing with the fashion or as a reaction to external factors.

I always started with a huge advert, until Wizzley's owners changed their policy (enforced with HTML code) to stop me.  In turn, they were responding to Google... how do I put it nicely?... applying pressure. Now I start with text instead. Other authors head their pages with a picture. What will you end up doing?

Gwion Bach Finds his Awen in the Song of Taliesin

I could make some spurious link between box of tricks, awen (inspiration) and Wizzley, but really I just wanted to show off my pretty boxes.
Created on Zazzle due to not having much to monetize this article. I've come up in the world since those stark postcards with which I began.
A beautiful singing baby and the wrath of a shape-shifting Goddess are just two of the wonders that turn up in the childhood(s) of this legendary Welsh bard.

Article Four: Write about Something You Know

In theory, you should know about everything you've penned so far. But this goes deeper than that. This is insider knowledge cranked up to maximum.

We've already touched upon the heightened quality produced when you're passionate about your subject material. But enthusiasm doesn't always equate expertize.

Your next article does. It will be a properly insightful and informative Wizzle, genuinely useful to your readers or else giving them a glimpse into a world that you understand intimately.

No-one needs a doctorate to be an expert. We are all experts in something, not always through choice. The sum of our knowledge and experience is second nature, leading us to forget that we once had to learn it too.

I've written several articles on Wizzley about single-sided deafness. Not because I'm particularly passionate about the subject, but because I'm deaf in one ear. I know things about that which those with other kinds of hearing abilities really do not.

I can tell you it as it is, not based on some half-hearted internet searches culminating in rewriting a Wikipedia entry. That's not an insightful Something I Know article. I can tell you because I live it, in all its joys, frustrations, adaptations and good bits. I can provide tidbits of pure truth, which even the professors in the field might miss, because they're not deaf on one side. (Unless they are.)

My deaf articles on Wizzley are perhaps the most meaningful of all my writing here. Subjective and one-sided absolutely, but valuable as primary source glimpses into the topic at hand.

All the rest can be learned and/or experienced by the majority, if they just read the same books, watch the same movies or attend the same classes. You can study single-sided deafness all you like, but unless you're actually SSD, then the best you can get to grasping the reality is to read the articles of someone like me.

Unilateral hearing affects a significant percentage of the population. How would you welcome a client or guest with this kind of deafness?
Unilateral hearing can result in some excruciatingly awkward social situations. A heart-breaking search query has led to this article.

In short, I've added value. This should be a keystone of everything that you'll ever write.

Asking yourself what is the worth of your article to a potential reader will ensure that you write worthy articles. Those are the ones which get passed around through social networking, recommended via word of mouth and end up hyper-linked from other people's websites.

In terms of forging a livelihood from your writing, that's the golden path to riches. More exposure equals more internet traffic; an increased volume of readers heightens the likelihood that you will earn commission via your monetization.

There are those who would disdain Something I Know type articles as not being worth the time and patience to write. On the surface they don't hold up, as potential sources of profit, next to say an advert strewn, filler text paeon to the latest fashion shoes.

But that is quite a short-sighted view. Shoes go out of fashion. Deafness does not. Though granted that single season of high fashion shoes may well have generated more direct income than my SSD pages will throughout their entire duration.

However, those brought to Wizzley in the promise of a valuable insight into deafness are still here at that final full stop. Who's to say that they didn't then wander into my profile and buy a Taliesin jewelry box?  Or, if not them, then what about the dozen or so people who followed their recommendation for a good read, thus finding Wizzley for the first time?

Something I Know articles aren't about sales. They're about raising the profile of yourself AND the site as a whole. It's about providing a mix, so that you never fall into the trap of thinking that the rest of the world exists solely to generate affiliate commission for you. Value your readers, and give them value too, because without them, you're just someone waffling words unread, then lost in a dark corner of cyberspace.

Besides a little creative thinking, sparked and enriched by the depth of comments left on articles such as these (and the search terms which lead readers to them), can easily highlight a niche market ripe for Zazzle products.

My first Angry Deaf button was inspired by a reader's story, left in the comment section of one of those articles. It sold surprisingly well. I added more, as a way to monetize further SSD articles (as what existed out there was very limited and soon exhausted). Angry Deaf is now not only a whole range, but my best-selling one on Zazzle.

All because of Wizzley. All because I wrote Something I Know articles to maintain an element of genuinely useful, valuable and insightful material here.

Well, What Do You Know?

The only being I'll accept may know nothing is Jon Snow. You must know something, even if you don't say nuthin'. (Ol' Man River GOT it.)

Image: Apple on a deskWhen we're put on the spot, it's difficult to imagine that any of us have knowledge not shared by the mass of humanity. But dig a little further and you'd be amazed.

Do you know how to load a washing machine? Sorting the lights from the dark and discerning the difference between detergent and softener? 

There are students who have just left home, and spouses recently bereft after having been cared for their whole married life, who would like to kiss you for an article telling them how to do it.

They'd probably buy whatever powder, pegs and laundry liquids you recommended therein, out of sheer gratitude. You see, they were never taught how, and it's a bit embarrassing having to admit such ineptitude as a grown adult.

Do you remember where you were when JFK was shot? How that felt and what went through your mind?  Well I don't. I wasn't born.  How come I've never read your take on that moment in history?

Do you know the secret places and short-cuts through the town where you were raised?  How about the local legends that have never made it into any tourist book? All assuming there was ever a book like that actually written. Do you recall how it looked down that main street before the mall was built?

Excellent!  I see three articles right there!  One for travel and tourism, another for history and the final one in the legends and folklore category.

Do you still recall how to style your hair and/or make-up in the fashions of your youth?  Great!  Do tell us! Because if none of your generation ever write it down, that information will be lost within the next century. Preserve it. Tell us those daft little tales, which never make it into the documentaries.

Like that story that my Mum's friend tells of her tresses lacquered into a statuesque beehive during the 1960s, immobile and untouched, except to tuck in stray wisps and spray more lacquer. Right up until the day when she felt movement on her scalp and had her own mother peer inside to discover the spider's nest with all those hatching babies within.

These strands of reality will get lost to the sanitized gloss of nostalgia, unless you record them.

Do you know how to live in your country and culture? Good, because I don't, if I'm not from there, along with most of the rest of the world. Do you know how to celebrate your festivals? Honor your traditions? Go shopping? Feed yourself? Do you know how to do every job that you've ever been employed doing? Social insights; life skills; career advice.

See I knew you knew something. Now choose one and let us glimpse your reality.

These Wizzley Authors Know about Health

APOS therapy saved my life. I was on a fast downhill spin into disability, seeing only surgery on the horizon and then these shoes came along and got me back on my feet.
A loved one's struggle with dementia can be heartbreaking and stressful. Here are a few things I've learned that's helped me cope with caring for my mother.

These Sought to Take Us Somewhere Pretty

For my 70th birthday and Mother’s Day combined, my three kind children took me to Paris for the day. The Eurostar train from London was effortless.
Take the whole family on a day trip to Ruggles Mine in New Hampshire. The kids can climb on rocks and explore while searching for rocks and minerals to take home.

These Lived Through Lost or Unusual Times

In 1965 the Supremes were a sensation. I was only eleven years old but here's my personal encounter with the three stars.
King Arthur Pendragon is not just a Celtic character of myth and legend but is a druid leader, eco-warrior and activist currently protesting at Stonehenge.

They were THERE!

A personal memory of the University of Texas Shooting in 1966.
Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) brought greate damage to the Philippines and other neighboring countries. Here's an article that refreshes these memories.

And These Passed on Practical Know-How

Organic principles allow and encourage various ways of adding to your soil's fertility, such as manure and mulch of various kinds.
Baby proofing home checklist includes baby proofing stairs, kitchen, bathroom etc by installing baby gates for stairs, baby fence, cabinet locks, furniture strap etc for safety

Exercise Five: Proofread Your Wizzles so Far

Hundreds of articles down the line, I've confirmed over and over again that you can't proofread your own work. I used to proofread things for a living. I have a certificate as evidence that I once went on a three day course in the arts thereof. I've still got a blind-spot when it comes to my own writing.

The trouble is that we know what it should say, so our brains tell us that it does indeed read as planned.

But it is easier to spot the errors if you go back a few days later, when the precise wording has faded a little from your mind. Assuming that you're on day four now, then your Wizzography should be ready to reveal its typos.

Seeing as everyone on Wizzley is in the same boat (except me, as I have a fantastic friend willing to check all that I write and I'll remain ever in her debt for that), maybe you could arrange an exchange with someone writing at the same pace. You proofread one another's work and privately message any corrections.

Everyone's a winner then.

Write Good or Die - Free Kindle eBook

Edit Yourself - Used Paperback Copy for 1c

Tip: Promoting Free or Cheap Stuff Too

It may appear counter-productive to seize upon the bargain basement prices, when I could have inserted two guides at normal price and made myself a profit. After all, we are in this game to make a living writing.

But there is method in my madness. That Write Good or Die book is such good value that I paused after placing it there, in order to go and get a copy for myself. Yep, I managed to sell myself a product on my own page. Well done me.

So who else is thinking exactly the same thing right now?  Hopefully sixty-five of you, as that is the volume of Amazon items to sell before my commission this month leaps into the next payment band. Which means that the 46 products already on my tally will suddenly enrich me by 7% instead of 6.5%.

That's an even more likely proposition, when you're beginning in the lower bands. Then only seven people need to grab their free eBook before my commission is propelled from 4% to 4.5%. That will probably happen. It's 65 that's pushing it!

Occasional great Amazon deals like this are worth sprinkling across your Wizzley articles, as an aid to keeping your affiliate percentage higher than would otherwise have been the case. Plus it's a nice little thank you for your loyal readers.

Full-Priced Proofreading Handbooks

See how less attractive these suddenly appear alongside the free one above? Think like your readers and you'll be able to unravel how to present products to them.

Article Five: Raise Awareness of an Issue

Consider this one as you collecting karma points. It's your good deed for the week, with some extremely surprising side benefits to later fuel your guilt.

Image: AnonymousI can practically hear the veteran writers face-palming over my inclusion of this category, especially so early on in proceedings. I know they will be, because I've had several quite vocally try to steer me away from indulging in such tomfoolery.

But they shouldn't even be in here. They're not the target readership and they already have their own strategies for success perfectly mapped out, with spreadsheets for data, and no time to waste on frivolities, like trying to save the world.

They will be trying to draw my attention back to the fact that my emphasis is supposed to be on Wizzley as a source of online writing income. In their utter exasperation with me, they'll have forgotten that I can't hear them through a computer monitor, and anyway I'm deaf.

As I clearly stated at the beginning, there are many routes and tactics for writing success on sites such as Wizzley, and this is mine. 

But it might be yours too, if you continue through with the challenge, so in fairness to those wiser minds abounding, I'll spell out their arguments as well.

The primary one is that issue awareness raising articles aren't there to make money. While you're fighting the good fight, you could have been more usefully employed checking out this season's hottest line in footwear. Shoes sell. Torture, gore, Disappeared people, the mass destruction of land and water, unions being crushed, elderly being culled and seals being clubbed to death does not.

Well, not to the sort of people you'd want to do business with anyway. Such endeavors are ridiculously lucrative for low-life scum, like terrorists, the Mafia and most governments. But that's by the by. They're not supposed to make money for us, the little people, the humble Wizzley writers.

And really that's as it should be.

Moreover, the argument goes that penning hard-hitting articles like these may even be detrimental to your online writing career.  The assumption is that consumer minded readers - who are most likely to fund your livelihood - are put off by the presence of morbid reality in your gallery. They might accidentally read it, while looking for your articles about shoes.

My Article about Shoes

Their name means 'cry from the heart'. Their Eco-friendly fashion shoes have been featured in the pages of Marie Claire and Vogue. Check them out!

Lethal Injection Article

Examining the murky history and gruesome use of death by needle as a method of execution. Not an article for the faint-hearted.

Guess which of these two articles has generated the most affiliate commission income for me...

Then you have to be quite careful about precisely how hard-hitting you are in the fine detail. Most Wizzley writers, including the team running the place, monetize with Google Adsense. And Google won't allow their adverts on any site which steers too closely into unsavory truths.

In their ideal world, the entire internet would look a little like a Disney cartoon, with animated tweetie-birds and shiny princesses prettily waltzing with rugged princes. Boosting merchandise sales of plastic delights and velvet costumes for those who wish their lives had flowers with faces and tweetie-birds too.

Though, of course, no-one will be buying them, because haven't we ALL boycotted Disney over the fact that said merchandise is made in sweat shops, often by Third World children the same age as the pretty toys' target demographic in the West?

Google will allow Adsense on sites promoting sweated Disney merchandise, but not on those highlighting why we shouldn't do that. At least not if we describe in detail what manacles do to the ankles of five year old slaves indentured laborers.  And Wizzley is not a charity, it's a business. Hence the rules here are largely designed to keep Google sweet.

Raising too much awareness on certain issues can result in your article being pulled subject to toning down amendments, or disallowed entirely, or - I'm guessing, as I've not known this to happen and I'm probably the one who pushes the boundaries most of all - a potential loss of your account.

No gore. No graphic violence. No narratives outlining the exact brutality inherent in a botched execution. No depictions of torture. No pornography. Beyond that you're fine. Trust me on that. My human rights articles are aligned precisely along the edge never to be crossed.

So those are the cons.  See why the older, more experienced writers might want to head you away from the pass?  See why I may want to lure you over to the dark side?  If it's any consolation, I am an Amnesty International activist. I do have a candle lit in the darkness by default.

And I haven't even mentioned the pros yet.

Raising Awareness Partially Deaf Kids' Shirt

Nobody said that there HAD to be gore in raising awareness. It all depends with what you're seeking to illuminate the Wizzley readership.

Why You Should Write Awareness Raising Wizzles

Well, for a start, it raises awareness on issues close to your heart. Passing on information is the main role of the ancient bards, in whose tradition we now pen.

Image: Light in the darknessIn the midst of that great sarcastic rant above, I asked you to guess which article has contributed more to my Wizzley income, the shoes or the lethal injection one.

For the majority of those ever to attempt to nag sense into me, it's a no brainer. The presumption is that the shoes Wizzle has to have won. But reality rarely lives up to expectation.

I've not sold a single item of footwear through that article.

It's a highly unsettling fact - from my point of view anyway - that my anti-death penalty series on methods of execution in the world today has proven to be an unforeseen source of income. Books mostly, with sales prompted by my 'further reading' modules, abetted by Amazon's automatic 'people who liked that book, also bought these' listings.

I had sold quite a few copies of a true story movie about a lady being stoned to death, before Google's whining caused Wizzley to crack down and I was asked to remove it.  I still regularly find a less graphic movie, related to the electric chair, in my Amazon affiliate list.

In fact, for most of last year, my human rights articles were my second highest source of regular income from Wizzley. Which was a pain, because I'd then have to carefully add up those amounts, included in the total tally, and donate the sum to Amnesty International. Which knocked a demotivating hole in my Wizzley revenue each time.

But I refuse to make a profit from human rights abuses, which is why you'll never see a Disney product promoted by my articles.

Just yesterday, I was awarded commission from two Gay Pride rings sold via one of my civil rights articles. That feels alright, so I'll keep that!  They were celebrations of gay marriage anyway.

In short, awareness raising articles shouldn't be profitable. I've been told repeatedly that they're not. Yet they continue to be steadfast sources of income nonetheless. THAT, rather than my personal politics, is why I've included it here so early on. I never lost sight of the objective in you completing this Wizzley fifty article challenge. It's to earn a livelihood, and these Wizzles have been forerunners in that goal since the first six months or so after they were published.

Another indirect benefit to myself from those articles is in boosting internet traffic to my Wizzley profile.

I don't recall a time when there wasn't at least one anti-death penalty article in my top twenty most read over a 90 day period. The one on hanging is currently there at number sixteen.

There's also one about Holocaust Memorial Day at number seven, and two about gay rights also in the top twenty.

If I copy my stats into Excel and sort by all time hits, then the George Stinney one is sitting at number seven. The article on stoning is at number twelve. There's one on gay rights at number nine. At fifteen is one of my Wizzles raising awareness of single-sided deafness.

I Support Gay Marriage

There are also three articles in the top twenty which raised awareness of the inherent danger to Runescape, when investment bankers started calling the shots.

So that's nine of my ALL TIME most read Wizzley articles devoted to me raising awareness about various issues. Can you see now why I think it's worth taking the time to pen them?

It should also be obvious by now - through the fluffy deaf bunny and the pastel hued rainbow - that not all Wizzles of this ilk have to be even remotely gory. You can open issues up for debate without lingering upon the particulars, and the majority of social and other issues aren't even graphically violent in nature.

It's the fact that I tend to write about judicial killing and human rights abuses, which sees me sailing so close to the wire. I encounter no problems when the issues I'm discussing don't come anywhere near violations of Wizzley's rules. I received an Editor's Choice Award last month for a gay rights article about Conchita Wurst's success in Eurovision 2014.

Which also highlights the point that awareness raising doesn't have to be negative. You could be cheering on a victory; letting people know about how singing nuns saved an orphanage from closure; analyzing a philosophical facet of a wider debate; assessing the pros and cons on a question about which you're undecided; or promoting a good cause.

No-one's going to quibble about that.

So what big issue are you going to get off your chest?  What heroism will the world discover through you? What grand cause will you champion?  What questions will you ask?  Wizzley challenge fifth article gauntlet thrown!

Awareness Raising Articles on Wizzley

Smithsonian mammalogist Kris Helgen calls ghosts fauna known only to museums. It fits Johnston’s genets since 1907. In 2000 Rice University scientist Amy Dunham found one alive.
If you're not lovin' it, then show the world your disgust for one of the world's largest organizations. Here are just a few Anti-McDonald's T-shirts to choose from.
A festering shop window display in a London street has become a poignant, mould-filled shrine to 1990s menswear.
Cities thrive, out of sight, beneath the streets of New York City and Las Vegas. They have no choice and it's dangerous.


Woot! You're a bona fide member of Wizzley now!

Image: AwardOnce your last article is approved by a Wizzley moderator, then your entire profile will be automatically activated with 'follow' links.  Your Wizzles will go live as soon as you press 'publish' without any checks along the way.

Naturally the Wizzley team will still watch your output, but no more than they do the rest of us. You're now a trusted member of the community.

You must have impressed ChefKeem et al with your openness and willingness to present yourself a real human being (Wizzography); your enthusiasm, enjoyment in writing and quality standard (Passion article); your potential to generate an income (Holiday article); your knowledge and willingness to share valuable insights (Something You Know article); and your ability to write on controversial subjects without breaking any of the rules of Wizzley (Raising Awareness article).

Wizzography aside, as that's a one off, you also have an example of each of the main four kinds of articles that you'll be writing here. You'll be able to judge for yourself over time which work best.

All that happens next will merely be variations on each theme, or will mix and match them all. You have four avenues through which income may eventually stream, or four opportunities to generate affiliation commission. You may also have a fledgling Zazzle store in progress.

Did you notice that 90% of the monetization on this page involved items that I've created? Some were utterly crow-barred in, as regards relevance, but they were all there to demonstrate extra money-making possibilities during your tenure at Wizzley. Including the ability to promote your own products.

Well done. You're now nicely on the way to becoming a successful Wizzley writer!

The Wizzley Fifty Article Challenge

As I mentioned all the way back at the beginning of this marathon article, I will be completing an in-depth analysis of each page as an eBook.  The idea is to have you know precisely why you're writing each one, so you can adapt the information to better suit your own needs.

However, I will list the pages here, so that those wishing to blindly follow the rest may do so without the requirement to buy/read the eBook.  (Which I currently haven't even written...)

Good luck all!

Wizzley Challenge Articles 1-18

1 Wizzography 7 Tell Us a Story 13 Wedding
2 Indulge Your Passion 8 Top Amazon Product 14 Something You Know
3 Holiday 9 Life Changing Movie 15 Raise Awareness
4 Something You Know 10 Wedding 16 Tell Us a Story
5 Raise Awareness 11 Indulge Your Passion 17 Redemption Song(s)
6 Wedding 12 Holiday 18 Belief/Philosophy
Notes on your first 18 Wizzley articles:


This category constitutes my second biggest source of Wizzley income. I only wrote my initial couple of articles to help out NightOwl, when she launched Wizzley Weddings. As soon as I realized how good this was for livelihood generation, you can be sure I was back there quite regularly!

I recommend checking out the Weddings Traditions sub-category. There are only three of those currently populated. If you grab one of the empty ones, you get to colonize it completely.

And gentlemen, this isn't just for the ladies. Unless it's a lesbian wedding, you lot tend to be half of the show.  Let's hear your voices too.

Tell Us a Story

When you think about it, every article on Wizzley is a story. But this is being quite blatant about it.  Tell a life story, ghost story, historical true story; recount a legend or folklore; tell us about a moment in time. This is a very broad sweep, but it's basically a narrative.

And much more lucrative than you may suppose.

Top Amazon Product

Go into your Amazon affiliate account. Search by category.  Look at the most popular item being sold, then write a pure sales Wizzle promoting said item.

Movie That Changed your Life

You could switch this for book or game or piece of art or any other cultural thing instead. But always stick to that category, whenever you see this on the grid.  I've positioned the order quite precisely.

You're writing a review or an editorial on a cultural piece that really moved your world. Hence you're passionate about it.  I've sold several movies prompted by my gushing about them.

Redemption Song(s)

I've named this after the Bob Marley song, but the meaning is this: we all have songs or albums that saved our lives and/or sanity.  Time for you to wax lyrical about that for you.  Or, if you'd prefer, call this the start of your Desert Island Discs. 

And think around the subject too.  It's not ALL about the music itself, particularly if you're looking at stage-show musicals.


Wizzley doesn't allow 'preachy' articles. Therefore don't come in here with a 'my God is bigger than your God and you're all doomed' scenario. Think much more informatively and reflectively than that. Educate us. Muse upon aspects. Be deep.

This isn't necessarily about religion either. Tell us why Nietzsche got it right, or Karl Marx, or Keynes. Or why you'll always support the Republicans, Anonymous, no political party ever. In short, this article is about ideas and intangible things, instinct, faith and the framework of your world.

Redemption Songs

On August 29th 2014, we will be marking twenty years of The Holy Bible. This is probably the most important album of my lifetime. You'll either love it or hate it.

The Smiths - Rubber Ring

Wizzley Challenge Articles 19-36

19 Indulge Your Passion 25 Anniversary Tie-In 31 Wedding
20 Tutorial 26 Top Amazon Product 32 Tell Us a Story
21 Holiday 27 Redemption Song(s) 33 Indulge Your Passion
22 Hero/Heroine 28 Wedding 34 Raise Awareness
23 Top Zazzle Product 29 Tutorial 35 Belief/Philosophy
24 Life Changing Movie 30 Forthcoming Feature 36 Holiday
Notes on your second 18 Wizzley articles:


Like Something You Know, but much more of a step by step guide. The best of these include lots of pictures, so we can see everything at each stage in the process.


Like Tell a Story, but this is focusing upon an individual. You can make it a full biography, or recount a single event, or simply say why they're so heroic.

Top Zazzle Product

Like the Top Amazon Product, but Zazzle.

Anniversary Tie-In

Look up the date and write about something that happened on that date. The great thing about anniversaries is that they're annual events, so this will be very topical this time next year too.

Forthcoming Feature

This is getting you to think about Thematic Blogging. Anticipate what's going to be huge this time next year, because that's around the time that your article will be starting to mature. 

Wizzley Challenge Articles 37-50

37 Something You Know 43 Indulge Your Passion 49 Wedding
38 Top Zazzle Product 44 Life Changing Movie 50 Achievement
39 Forthcoming Feature 45 Wedding
40 Best Book Ever 46 Holiday
41 Top Amazon Product 47 Indulge Your Passion
42 Redemption Song(s) 48 Tutorial
Notes on the 50 article challenge home stretch:

Best Book Ever

Exactly what it says on the packet.  Review it, or analyze it, or focus on a character, or be inspired by something that happens in it.

If you used 'book' instead of movie before, then make this one a film, art or something else instead.


This is solely here to mark the moment when you achieved your goal and hit 50 articles on Wizzley.  It's a topic prompt rather than anything particularly clever.

There's something quite magical about hitting the fifty article mark on any website. Something changes in a very subtle way.  It's a strong portfolio and now requires time for all of those articles to be noticed.  Plus, on Wizzley, you move up a commission bracket. Your cut of the adverts is now 55%. 

Well done.

Tools for Completing the Wizzley 50 Article Challenge

More Wizzley Articles

I've been a Wizzley author for just over two years. You might say that I've picked up a thing or two along the way. Here are the lessons from my past fifty pages.
Authorizing Wizzley for Rich Pins on Pinterest is as uncomplicated as it gets. It only takes seconds to do. What are you waiting for?!
Updated: 11/22/2014, JoHarrington
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MBC on 12/14/2015

I just got notice that I've reached 50! Yeah!

JoHarrington on 12/27/2014

Good luck! I'll be cheerleading you all the way. Let me know if you want to be added to each of the Pinterest boards for it.

CountrySunshine on 12/17/2014

This is quite a challenge! I've already written quite a few of these types of articles... but weddings? Oh me! Not much into that type of stuff! Looking forward to at least attempting to go in the order you listed. It might take me the rest of my life, tho!

JoHarrington on 09/13/2014

Yes, you did. I got 18 alerts, which matches the 18 boards. I'm frankly amazed I didn't miss one, as I paused halfway through to tat with stuff.

RuthCox on 09/13/2014

I think I accepted all of the invitations, lost count! I am pretty busy but hopefully this will speed up my Wizzley portfolio.

JoHarrington on 09/13/2014

Woot! I know it's a biggie, but I do have faith in it. I'm doing the Challenge myself. Just not very fast, as I'm also doing other things. I'm up to article 24 though. In fact, I might try to get that one done tonight.

Pinterest invitations all sent. Good luck with the Challenge and shout up if you have any questions. But mostly, have fun with it. <3

RuthCox on 09/13/2014

Doggone it, Jo! Your challenge has been haunting my thoughts, so you got me! Well, once I figure out the commitment process, ha! Headed to re-read and get hooked up with you on Pinterest, and then it's wizzography creation time!

JoHarrington on 09/12/2014

I'm glad that it'll be useful. :) It's obviously up to you which order you do things and/or omission/additions. But I will say that the order isn't random.

I've arranged it so it takes into account waves of articles, and also places the articles in your portfolio in such a way that they should complement each other and always provide a good mix of types.

In other words, the order in which they are listed is part of maximizing earnings too.

RuthCox on 09/11/2014

This will definitely serve as a great reference for me starting out here this month. I'm not sure I'll commit to doing them in your order and may omit a few, replacing with topics of my own. But yes, a terrific guide for a Wizzley newbie, thank you.

JoHarrington on 08/24/2014

I see an article there. You sell yourself short, my love. :D

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