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Saturday, March 14, 2009

PLR 101: The Basics

PLR stands for Private Label Rights. What this means is that any document labeled PLR can be used over and over again by hundreds, or even thousands, of people without falling into the category of plagiarism. Anyone can put their “John Hancock” on a PLR document and claim it as his own work. You can buy and resell PLR content. You can edit it, chop it up or expand on it, you can twist it and spin it and remake it into something new as often as you want. Private label means that once you purchase the content, you are free to make it fit your own specific needs.

Every online business needs content. Without content, potential customers never even find the website! They never know what you have to offer, and certainly, they will never buy your product! Without content, an online business simply can’t exist.

On average, an online business needs at least 20 articles just to get started. It takes at least 50 articles to make an ebook, and to stay in business, new articles have to be added all the time. The average online business adds 20-25 articles to its site every month.

Custom ordering articles is very expensive. Hiring a copy-writer is even more costly. The online businessman’s solution to this dilemma is PLR content.

PLR content is fast, cheap, and effective. It is a win-win situation for writer and businessman alike because writers can resell their work as often as they want, getting more dollar per piece than they can ever get for even the best paid assignments. When business owners find writers of PLR that they like and trust, providing content to their websites becomes automatic, freeing them up to focus on other areas of their business.

PLR products have become very popular as the number of online businesses has grown to astronomical proportions. Online shopping has also become more common in our society. All these online business encounters require content by the bulk. Therefore, the market for PLR is growing every day! Writing PLR is one of the fastest ways to expand your own portfolio, jump-start your writing career, and make money! For the online business person, PLR is the best deal on the web!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Writing Process - organized

I’ve never been diagnosed with ADD, but I definitely don’t have a long attention span. I know this about myself and so I have learned to focus my concentration for the duration of its limit and then welcome a productive break. The trick is to be able to get back to the work after the break!

For years I suffered with the clutter of unfinished projects until I finally figured out how to utilize the stops to my advantage and restart in a timely manner. The first step (after lovingly recognizing my own personal limitations) is to see projects as geometrically shaped pieces that when fit together, make my completed project.

I know that I can work really well for about an hour and fifteen minutes to two hours. After that I’m just dilly-dallying around and wasting time. I find that what gets done in each hour or so of quality time is a big enough chunk of material to qualify as one of the shapes in the end product.

The second step is to have all my materials organized, easily accessible, and easily transportable. What works for me is to have what I call a “portable office” or my “office in a bag”. I have a simple bag that is big enough to hold manila folders and my hard-backed journal, but not so big that things get swallowed up inside it. The bag opens out completely – this is an important feature), and has individual pockets for the following: 1) pens/pencils; 2) reading glasses; 3) postit notes; 4) paper clips; 5) thumb drives. These items need to be separated for me so that I don’t waste time or mental energy digging through one big generic pocket to find what I need. A cluttered bag leads to a cluttered mind and this is way more distracting than most of us will admit.
And distraction is defeating.
I usually work on several projects at a time, so I keep everything related to one project is a separate manila folder. Inside each folder the papers are grouped and paper-clipped together in the following manner: a) the original assignment and notes from the client; b) the original draft; c) research, resources and references. Note: in order to keep from cluttering my mind, I never keep more than 5 project manila folders at a time in my “portable office”.
For each chunk of concentrated time, I aim to work on only one project. Which project gets my attention is determined first by deadline, and second by inspiration. Inspiration always takes precedence however, whenever it gets a whirlwind of energy, and just between you and me, this is the real gem of a writer’s life – the exhilarating high is magnified by it spontaneous and unexpected arrival. You absolutely must honor inspiration!
So back to organization: I believe that because of the power of inspiration, and because of its unpredictability, you’ve got to be highly organized so you can work under the shelter of discipline in a steady manner. This way, when inspiration sweeps down and takes you on a flight, you are free to go without missing any important deadlines.
One more note about the manila folders: I mentioned that I never keep more than 5 project folders in my bag at a time. The word “project” is underlined to differentiate it from the other 3 folders that go everywhere with me: 1) Planning; 2) Inspiration; and 3) scrap paper.
The Planning Folder is where I keep my lists. I list what I have to do each day; I list what I intend to do; I list what I hope to do eventually; and I list all the things I simply want to remember, at least for awhile. For all you perfectionists out there, I have to warn you, as soon as you start doing something on your list, you will realized there are many more steps involved in that one task than you originally thought, so your lists will grow, often in sloppy, eclectic ways: that’s OK!
The Inspiration Folder is full of words, phrases, images, paragraphs and snippets of stuff that have no particular beginning, middle or end. There is no pressure attached to the things in the Inspiration Folder. These are like pretty shells you pick up on the beach – maybe I’ll do something with them and maybe I won’t, but they are my treasures.
The scrap paper folder is, well, I think this is self explanatory. A writer would rather be caught dead without her underwear on before being caught anywhere in the world without some paper!
So think about this stuff when you are doing other things this week. Give yourself about an hour at a time over the duration of several days and get your writing bag in order. Believe me, its well worth your time!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Use of Quotation Marks

Say "WHAT"?

Quotation marks are the punctuation symbols used to identify what someone says; they are used in writing to mark the speech of a character. They help us to understand, when reading, the difference between narration and speech.

They are also used to suggest doubt or skepticism, and while this is in fact, grammatically correct, it drives me nuts!

When used to mark direct speech, they work really well. I take issue with the over use of quotation marks, especially when people use them to show that they really didn’t mean what was written at all. I know, in this way they are being used to “suggest doubt or skepticism” (I’m quoting myself here). But here’s my point: if you really have that much doubt in what you are writing, I say you need to go back to the drawing board and figure out just what it is you are confident about and write about that instead! Be direct; be clear; say it like it is and get your fingers off the quotation mark key!

Here are some examples:

1. We are going to have a “surprise” party for Mary. With the quotation marks around the word surprise, the reader is left with a flood of questions: Is this a surprise or isn’t it? Was it originally intended to be a surprise, but Mary somehow found out about it? Who spilled the beans? So if it’s not really going to be a “surprise”, then what is it?!

2. It’s a “lunch” meeting. If I got a memo like this, it would cause me major distress! What does “lunch” mean to the writer of this statement? Is there some collective understanding of the word lunch and so we are to assume that something else will be at the meeting? What is “lunch” anyway? The quotation marks leave me to wonder not only what the word means, but also adds stress to an upcoming meeting that may cause me the discomfort of feeling terribly hungry! Should I slip a snack bar into my bag? Am I supposed to bring a lunch box for myself? Or maybe I’m supposed to bring a dish to share with everyone else at the meeting. Suggesting doubt around the word lunch makes me wonder if I should even go to the “meeting”.

3. He’s going to do it “tomorrow”. Excuse me? Either “tomorrow” means tomorrow or it doesn’t; and if it doesn’t, then when will he do it!? Is he a procrastinator and so I’m just supposed to know that “tomorrow” isn’t ever likely to come? Is the author expressing her own doubt or trying to protect the reader from getting false hopes?

Oh sure, we are all full of doubt, but I think we should be more conscious of just how much doubt we have and do something to clarify the circumstances of our lives. Communication is way too fragile – way too prone to confusion as it is. I vote for simplicity; speak with “clarity”!