Friday, March 20, 2009

How Can You Turn the Web into Money for Your Writing?

How Can You Turn the Web into Money for Your Writing?
By Sandy Penny
I got an email from a fellow writer who is desperate for some money using his writing skills and working from home. This is part of my mission in this New Age, to help people do what they want to do, live where they want to live, and market their skills, services, or products online to a world market.

Since I’m still developing my own online writing business, I wanted to give a short and simple answer. Once I started writing though, I found that I have lots more info than I thought I did on the subject. And, now I have to follow up on all these leads for myself too. Hope this is helpful for your writers out there struggling to cross the prairie in this cyber space frontier.

First, search, search search on the Web looking for the right venue for you. Then…
I try to stay in the positive mind flow and not get caught up in the news events about the economy. That keeps the door open to the Law of Attraction factor. In this new age, the Aquarian Age, there will be few jobs as we used to know them. We will all be returning to the Age of Entrepreneurship. After all, this web stuff is the frontier now. You might enjoy my article on that subject. It's posted on my There are several encouraging and instructive articles there, including one I just wrote on creating your own free website. Check mine out: If you don't have a sample site, you need one. It can be simple, but it needs to have lots of samples, and you can build it yourself. is my favorite free service provider and the one I use.

And, here are some other practical resources, sites that employee writers that I've just learned about because I am looking to expand my income in the writing area.

1. (I have a real estate friend here in Taos who makes a full-time living with them.) You can join for free, but you are limited in your bidding, so bid carefully. Once you make money, you can sign up for the $30 a month or so fee. I think it varies depending on how much you bid.

2. (I just met a woman online who makes some part-time money from this site. I don't know how much yet. We're going to chat about this very thing. Interesting timing, and no accidents.) Here's the link to her blog about the sites she uses: Applying to Demand Sites

3. Email everybody you know in the industry (or any industry) and tell them you need some writing projects. It makes no difference where they are, as long as they will put in a good word for you with a potential client.

4. is a site that's free to sign up for. You have to download their software, learn how to use it and pass a readiness test to work for them. They take a cut on the work you do, but it is added on to what you charge. They have some really low paying projects, but sometimes anything is better than nothing. They have a range though, so check it out.

5. This site has blogging jobs posted. You can hook up where you have expertise. I haven't used them yet, but a good friend sent the link to me. And more:

6. Whatever expertise you have, look up companies online in those industries and send a cover letter and resume and link to your sample site to them telling them the kinds of things you can write for them, like managing their company blog, tweeting for them on twitter (if you don't tweet yet, gotta do it).

7. Sign up on twitter; post a 140-character teaser with your sample site included, every day a new tweet. Keep it business, and hook up with other freelancers, follow them and read their blogs if they give info on how to make a living writing. Julie's info above came from following her on Twitter. Check me out on twitter and see the kind of posts I do... It is starting to get me noticed now.

I use old articles that are easily recycled, and post a link to something different every day. I also post on Spiritual Entrepreneurs and Self Growth and Spiritual Short Stories. I use the same articles whenever possible in many places. If you Google me, Sandy Penny, you'll find lots of them showing up on the search engines. You have to get a reputation for being a good writer, dependable, thorough and creative. If you are, you can parlay that into projects. I also post on Facebook, but it's not as businessy as Linked-In.

My best projects have come from friends that I have helped with their writing projects for free. If you're a writer, I know you've helped those who can't write. Ask them to recommend you to their friends. Ask them to email their list on your behalf, and ask them to envision you getting ongoing projects or to pray for you(more energy out there in the Universe on your behalf is always good).
Hope that's helpful. Now that I've written it, I'm posting it on my writeandmarket blog, tweeting it on twitter and recycling it as I can.

Last, but certainly not least, my inner guidance continually tells me just to keep writing and the pieces will fall into place. That's the best advice I've had over time, and the final piece I have for you is follow the leads when they come your way.

Good luck, joyful writing and happy hunting.

Sandy Penny is a street-smart marketing writer with bootstrap credentials. [That means that I learned many of my skill on the job and at a distance, without a degree.] She specializes in spiritual writing and new age business blog content. 20 years of high-end corporate writing affords you top of the line writing, editing and writing-marketing coaching. Check out her new Web site: (nobody uses the www
anymore, you don't need it).
Email her at

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Should you have a Free Web Site?

By Sandy Penny

I paid for a Web site through Yahoo for seven years. It was only $20/month, but over those years, I spent $1680. At the time I signed up, I was living in Houston, making plenty of money, and that was nothing. It was a bargain.

Since then, my life has changed. I have retired from the corporate world, and I have scaled back of my own accord. I did not lose my job or get forced to make the change, but I felt it would eventually come to that. I was mainly working in the financial industry at the time, and the writing was on the wall.

When I lived in Taos, their economy was shocking after living in Houston. The only jobs available to me were in the hospitality industry. I went to work at front desk of the Quality Inn for $7.50 an hour, moved up to $8.50 at the Taos Inn, and managed an Art Gallery for $10/hour. I was making that much money in 1970 at 20 years old. Fortunately, my little writing studio was cheap, and I no longer had credit card debt, having given it up after my last marriage. Fortunately, I had a few clients from Houston with projects I could do remotely to bolster my income.

The point is, I had to start examining all my purchases and be more frugal where possible.

I started looking at the monthly deduction from my bank account for my Web site, and as a writer, the site was not really performing that well for me. I figured I could just as easily use one of the free sites as continue paying.

My web designer friends talk trash about templated sites, but I find them usually easy to navigate, easy to build, fast to launch and easy to edit.

I Googled free Web sites, and came up with some good ones.

Most free sites have a lot to offer: free web hosting, free template choices, MS word style page editor, photo storage with access to photo editing tools, video features, blogs and forums, events calendar, and lots of widgets to personalize your site, PayPal and other payment options, social networking, traffic tracking, upgrades, and restricted access pages, if desired.

Domain names usually have an annual registration fee from as low as $5 to about $20/year, mostly around $12.95 for a .com these days.

You have to check out what the sites offer for free and what constitutes an upgrade. That’s sometimes difficult because they don’t give you access to the templates or identify upgrade items until you join them. Well, hey, it’s free, and you can always disable your account if you don’t like it. It does take some time to investigate, but to me, it was worth it. From investigation to launching the site, I spent 18 hours of my time. In Taos wages, that’s around $200 from start to finish.

The real test of whether you want a free site or not is whether you have the time to do the background work, the skill to use the site building tools, a visual eye for design, and the ability to define the content that will best serve your business.

I chose Synthasite, now  for my free space. I liked their tools and their templates. There were a couple of things missing that I wished for, and over time, they have added those. After 8 years with them, I am still satisfied with the options they have, and the additions they continue to make.

I would like an automatic “sign up for updates” button, but it’s not offered. After doing the research, I signed up for a free account with, where I can create sign-up forms and automatic mailouts for sites and blogs.

Yola also didn't offer tracking automatically. I had to add that from a third party. Now it does, but I still use my free account with I love the ease of use, and the depth of information it offers.

Check out my site at If you use a subdomain for free, you may have a small ad on the page from the free site. Check out this one of mine. It's a free site: With a paid account, you will get better templates, but if you are creative, you can use a plain template and make it spectacular.

For $12.95/year, I bought my previous domain name, Once you have a personalized domain name, you'll have to buy a hosting plan. I have Yola Silver. I can build up to 25 websites and point new domain names to them for the same price paid per month or per year. Choose your payment plan. You get a discount for the annual payment.

After trying out, formerly Free Webs, it was more difficult to use, has less file space, and large ads on your pages. Although it seems to offer some tools I like, email list building and web rings, Synthasite was easier, more user friendly. Honestly, Free Webs was not intuitive, and I'm pretty savvy. I'm glad now that I went with Synthasite. own site is very well done and sophisticated, but it just didn't work for me. It will also be more crowded because it's being highly promoted, and I’m unsure of its reliability if it gets super busy. Since, as a writer, I don’t have or need millions of hits, I’m good with a smaller server for now. I also tried out 18 other free builders, and there were good and bad things about them all. I'm really happy with the choice I made, and I'm still with them after 8 years (now

Wordpress is big these days, but I don't find it easy to use at all, so I refuse to go that route.

So, free site or not? It’s up to you, but well worth exploring. And, there is no reason not to launch a business with a free site, because if you make money, you can always upgrade later. If you don't, you've only spent your time, not your cash.

Contact me at my email address: for more information, price quotes, project discussion or writing, editing, or marketing/writing coaching assistance. Read my web samples at Check out my sample websites at Let me know how I can help you.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What Creates Success?

What Creates Success in the Aquarian Age?

By Sandy Penny

In this time of shifts, changes and re-creation, it’s no longer time to go it alone. One of the requirements for success in the Aquarian Age is the establishment of community. I notice it happening all around me now. People are creating groups for all kinds of endeavors. We’ve always known that networking helps build success, but now, more than ever, it’s absolutely necessary.

In the spirit of community, I placed an ad in the upcoming issue of the Horse Fly ButerFly section that I write to invite healers and spiritual practitioners to unite with me to provide a monthly gathering to demonstrate their skills and talents to the public. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and now’s the time to launch it. Taos has so many of these wonderful helpers, but it’s a little on the QT here. Now it needs to come to the forefront. The energy is supporting all kinds of mutually beneficial endeavors.

A New Way to Look at the Challenges

Every time you see an old paradigm business struggling or failing, energy and money is being released to be reinvested in businesses and systems that better serve the greater good, the people who support them. Systems that no longer serve the public but expect the public to serve them cannot remain in this new age energy. They have to either make radical shifts in the direction of the people they serve, or they must go away.

The old ways do not depart quietly though. They hang on by their fingernails and fight for their turf, but we, the people, must not allow them to continue their usury practices. This goes for the financial institutions and the automobile manufacturers. And how does that change occur? The public has to vote with their dollars for what they want to survive. They also have to voice their opinions to the people who represent them to those larger institutions. I am not a politically oriented person, but at this time, if you want your desired changes to occur, you must take the action (even if it is only in the other dimensions) to visualize and create the positive changes you want.

Spirit of Community

In the spirit of community, it’s also a time to remember that you can call on those you love and those who are your supporters to hold the energy for your success at whatever it is that you are trying to create. Do not forget this. Sometimes it’s difficult to ask for help, but the truth is that by just asking others to help your envision your success, even if they do nothing, just the reading of your email or your speaking your request strengthens the response from the universe. Communication is another prime directive from the Aquarian Age energy.

Many people hesitate to do this, as they do not want negative feedback from the people to whom they reveal their goals, and that’s a valid point. Choose wisely those you ask for help. Choose those who understand the power of positive confirmation of your goals. I will always hold the energy for you if you ask me to. I will hold it cleanly and powerfully in the way that you ask for it.

And, if you’re experiencing the sense of being done with whatever you have been doing, now is the time to reinvest your time and energy in something that feels right for you. If you don’t know what that is (but most of us really do, we just may not think we can have it), begin with a confirmation: “I now know exactly what I want to be doing with my life.” Repeat that until it feels like you’re done saying it; then leave it to the universe to bring back the highest and best vision of that reality. And you can ask friends to support you in drawing that to you as well. The more you vibrate with the frequency of the knowing, the faster it comes back to you. This is a time of amazing aha moments.

And, constantly check in with your heart, your feelings, to see if you’re on the right track. Don’t be led down the path of what you “think you ought to do.” Also, redefine success for yoursef. Make it your own vision of success. Don't use someone else's measure for your dreams.

Go for the gold. St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that you are. Onward and upward with ya, now Laddies and Lassies.

Sandy Penny, Writing is My Passion

"Doing what you love opens the doorway to magic in your life,
opening the doorway to magic creates more of what you love."

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