Emily Royalty, Author at Helium Network - Page 2 of 19

Helium Publishing shut-down FAQs

Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

NOTICE: The Helium Publishing 360 sites will be available on a read-only basis effective May 21, 2014 and will continue to be available on a read-only basis until December 15, 2014. During this period, if you have an existing Account, you will continue to have access to your Account and accrue potential Minimum Amount Threshold, but you will not be able to add more articles to the Helium Publishing 360 sites or create a new Account. If you have attained the Minimum Payout Threshold, which currently is set at $25.00, we strongly encourage you to withdraw your Minimum Amount Threshold because the Helium Publishing 360 sites will terminate on December 15, 2014 and you will no longer have access to your Account. 

 

Why are the Helium Publishing 360 sites shutting down?

Changing market conditions and the proliferation of competitive publishing outlets and free blogging tools, as well as declining usage and revenue, were all contributing factors. After careful consideration it was determined that the existing business model cannot be sustained.

 

What dates impact me?

 

May 21, 2014

  • the Helium Publishing 360 sites will become “read only” and no article changes or revisions will be possible
  • no new work can be completed or created in the Helium Network dashboard
  • new member registration for Helium Publishing 360 sites will cease

 

December 15, 2014

  • advertising revenue share will cease
  • you will no longer be able to access your Account
  • all 27 of the Helium Publishing 360 sites will shut down and your articles will not be available via the microsites
  • access to the Helium Network dashboard to retrieve your Helium Publishing articles, message others, and request payment will terminate

 

What if I do nothing?

You can choose to do nothing –e.g., not retrieve or remove your articles or request payment. Your articles will remain in read-only mode on the Helium Publishing 360 site(s) until December 15, 2014 and on that date advertising revenue will end.

 

Which Web browser should I use to access the Helium Network dashboard?

You MUST use one of these approved browsers:

  • Firefox (preferred)
  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer (IE7 and IE8 are not supported)
  • Safari or Windows 8 are not supported

 

Who can I contact if I have questions?

You are welcome to address questions and concerns to help@heliumnetwork.com or on Helium’s discussion forums.

Articles

 

What happens to assignments that I accepted or any articles that are still in the workflow?

All in-process work (such as seeding topics, projects, writing, editing, fact checking or plagiarism checking articles) will cease on May 21, 2014. Note: Unfinished or in-process work will not be credited.

 

How long will I be able to log in to the Helium Network dashboard?

Access to the Helium Network dashboard will continue through December 15, 2014. You will only be able to download your own articles and view and request amounts accrued at or above the $25 Minimum Amount Threshold.

 

What will happen to my articles?

Your articles will remain accessible in the Helium Network dashboard through December 15, 2014. After that time your articles will no longer be searchable or viewable on the Helium Publishing 360 sites. We recommend that you make copies of your articles in the coming months.

 

Can I retrieve/download my articles?

Yes. Beginning May 21, you can retrieve any or all of your articles through the Helium Network dashboard by selecting your articles individually (not in bulk) via the Ranks, Rates and Views screen. Step-by-step instructions for downloading your articles can be found in Announcements and in the Helium discussion forum.

 

Are there any costs to retrieve/download my articles?

No.

 

Can I delete articles that I wrote?

Yes. Beginning May 21, you can select and remove your articles, individually (not in bulk) via the Ranks, Rates and Views screen. This action will only remove the article(s) from the public Helium Publishing 360 site(s). You will not accrue ad revenue credits for any removed articles. Step-by-step instructions for removing your articles can be found in Announcements and in the Helium discussion forum.

 

Can I still rate articles?

No. After May 21, 2014 you will no longer be able to rate articles.

 

If I already have rating stars on May 21, 2014 will they count toward my Minimum Amount Threshold?

Yes. Any rating stars you have as of May 21, 2014 will remain.

 

Who owns the copyright to my articles?

You own the copyright to your articles.

 

What about Helium’s exclusivity terms (“Grant of License”)?

Effective May 21, 2014, you are released from exclusivity and can republish your articles elsewhere.

Payments

 

Will I accrue credits for editing, fact checking or topic seeding assignments I accepted but was unable to complete?

No.

 

How can I claim my Minimum Amount Threshold?

You can view and request amounts at or over $25 in the same way you usually do. Your tax ID and a valid PayPal account are required to process and receive payment.

 

Is there a payment request cutoff date?

Yes. The Minimum Threshold Amounts must be requested by December 15, 2014. Note that all advertising revenue share ends on December 15, 2014.

 

I haven’t logged in to Helium in months is my Account gone?

No. You can still request payment if your Account has reached the Minimum Amount Threshold of $25.00.

 

What happens if my final payment is not processed properly?

Contact help@heliumnetwork.com if you have any problems with your final payment. Be sure to reference your email address (or PayPal email address, if appropriate), pen name, full name and amount of the final payment.

 

Community

Will the Helium discussion boards, blog and social media sites close down too?

The blog and discussion boards will remain open and accessible through 2014. Helium’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest sites will close down in mid May 2014.

 

How long will the Help Desk and the help@heliumnetwork.com email be available?

Help will be provided through 2014.

The importance of a good headline by Leigh Goessl

Posted by | AP Style, Guest Blog, Instruction | No Comments

A good headline can make or break your article. Not only does it set the first impression, it’s your opportunity to give readers a good “teaser” to your article, and the way you phrase it can determine whether or not readers are enticed to want to read more. While the words you choose should pique curiosity, you also need to balance interesting with accuracy. There should be no contradictions, and it’s important your headline remain true to facts and tone as to not mislead the reader. It should have enough detail so readers know what they can expect to find. Good headlines are attractive, yet simple and direct in description.

A strong headline uses an active voice with a distinguishable subject and strong verbs, as the passive approach is less alluring to readers. Use humor/cleverness, but avoid groaners and also keep in mind that if the subject is someone’s family member or friend, a level of empathy is recommended (Poynter).Most reputable news sources  follows AP style in headlines; this means only the first word should be capitalized and subsequent words should be lower-cased, with the exception of proper nouns, which should always be capitalized. It is important headlines are uniform in style.

Avoid headlines such as:

Problems with spying

Congress fails again

Children like to read

Facebook buys another company

Better examples:

Privacy advocates cite ‘spying’ concerns with smart TVs

Congress fails to pass budget for 2014

How to encourage children to read

Facebook acquires WhatsApp in $19 billion deal

Other tips:

• No double quotations in headlines for quotes, phrases or movies, etc. where quotations are generally used. Instead, use single quotations in the headline, double quotations in the body of articles

• Always capitalize proper nouns in headlines

• Do not use a period at the end of a headline, but if the headline asks a question, do use a question mark

• Use numerals– i.e. 5 ways to ace a job interview vs. Five ways to ace a job interview

The Poynter website offers some terrific tips in headline writing.

Getting recognition in search results: Leveraging Google+ and authorship

Posted by | Blog Posts, Guest Blog, SEO, Writer Training | 2 Comments

 

 

In today’s online world of search engines, Google has long been reigning king. (You know you’ve made it in the world if your brand name has become recognized as a verb by Merriam-Webster.) As a web writer, this has implications for you — how your articles are ranked by Google affects where they land in search engine results, and ultimately determines how many views your pieces receive.

Some background on Google algorithm updates

One thing to bear in mind as an online writer is that Google is regularly updating their search algorithms to make sure that the most relevant, credible, valuable content appears at the top. You may have heard of Panda, one such algorithm update Google introduced in 2011. This is only one of many updates Google has made that affects your ranking in search results.

However, there are certain things you can do to help improve your own search engine ranking.

Google+ accounts and the authorship feature

You may or may not already have a Google+ account. If you don’t, it is strongly suggested that you register for one. Because Google+ is Google’s very own social media platform, the links shared on Google+ are more highly valued by Google search results. Additionally, the more that your followers +1 a link that you share, the more highly that link is valued in Google’s search engine. Ergo, if you share a link on Google+, Google will reward you by not only having it appear higher in your search results, but having it appear higher in the search results of your followers.

(Check out this article for great information on becoming a Google authority and attracting more Google+ followers.)

So network on Google+; gather followers, post and share regularly. Get your followers to +1 your content. Your Google+ profile is the foundation of Google’s authorship feature, which Helium Publishing platforms are now set up for. It will increase your visibility, credibility, and help your online reputation tremendously. Google favors authority of the author as well as, of course, quality of content, so you may find that you’ll need to accrue enough of a track record before you start seeing authorship results in Google. And for added traction, consider spending some time optimizing your Google+ to your best advantage. Also, check out Google+ Ripples to track how your content is being shared!

(A note to Helium Network writers: Once you’ve created your Google+ profile, be sure to enter your Google+ profile URL in the appropriate field on the professional tab of Member Profile section in Helium Network. Click on the question mark icon to the right of the field where the URL is entered to see the exact format needed. This will be used for the authorship feature so that Google+ will recognize your published articles.)

Becoming a subject matter authority

Although on Helium Network you can write to any subject matter, we strongly recommend that you stick to a certain subject area where you’re comfortable and knowledgeable. There are strong SEO benefits to choosing a niche and sticking with it. When you write a lot about one particular subject, Google will begin to recognize you as an authority on that subject. Your articles about that topic then become more valuable in Google’s eyes.

Think about it this way: When you’re buying groceries, would you rather pick up a head of lettuce at the corner convenient store that also sells gasoline and hacky sacks? Or would you prefer to purchase from a produce vendor? Google looks at it the same way. The quality stuff comes from the people who specialize in that area. Become an authority on your subject and Google will rank those articles more highly.

This isn’t just true for Helium Network; your Google rank is yours to own. It travels with you in your pocket to every platform with your name on it.

In other words, if you want Google as your ally, find your passion and focus on it – not just with Helium Network, but across the web.

And don’t forget: Since more views equals more revenue, keep writing engaging, quality content. In case you haven’t seen these, you might check out the video tutorials for tips on making articles web-friendly and search-friendly.

We’re here to help. If you have any questions, feel free to be in touch by emailing us at help@heliumnetwork.com.

Guest post: Break your writer’s block with creative writing prompts by Andre Cruz

Posted by | Guest Blog, Writing | No Comments

I have always had an active imagination. When I was a kid, I used to see my stuffed animals wander around the house at nighttime. As a teenager, I couldn’t go to sleep sometimes because when I would close my eyes I would hear a monster’s voice. Now, when I try to fall asleep during a thunderstorm, I see apparitions in the corner of my eye.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t just imagination here. The point is no matter what the cause, bad genetics or a bad sense of humor, I have a very creative personality and I still get writer’s block.

I have found that when I am experiencing writer’s block, the best method to break it is using creative writing prompts. For those of you that do not know, creative writing prompts can be a word or phrase that a writer puts down on paper to get them thinking about a story idea by simply trying to create a story from that word or phrase.

So, if you are stuck on what to write, get out a pad and pen and write down some creative writing prompts. Here is an example list:

1. He drove away from the city and when he saw the UFO slowly growing smaller in his rear view mirror, he smiled.

2. After reading the text message on her boyfriend’s phone, she made sure he was asleep on the couch before going to the kitchen.

3. Explosion.

4. The cowboy kept a six-shooter on his left hip that was too rusted from the blood of his dead brother to work again, but it worked fine with reminding him why he had rode into town.

5. She ran.

The beauty of creative writing prompts is how easy they are to create and how effective they are with sparking the imagination. It takes less than 10 minutes to think of five and as soon as you write them down you can feel your creative writing muse stirring awake.

All five examples of the list above can easily be used to create a vast number of stories. Number one may be strictly scifi, but two through five can all be used for any genre of fiction. You may think number four may be a western, but think again and it could be something else. Who says the cowboy has to be human or the setting has to be in the American west?

I know you may feel you need to write descriptive prose much longer than a sentence or two, but sometimes the less the better. Less allows more imagination if you think about it. After performing the exercise, you will quickly find if shorter or longer phrases work for you.

Once you begin to create stories from your creative writing prompts, there is no need to stick to any of them. It is only an exercise to get the creative writing flowing. So if you write 10 pages from the word “explosion” and then you feel inspired to write a different story, the exercise still worked. Just keep it going until you feel comfortable with the story that is unfolding before you and if you don’t then stop and write something else.

If five creative writing prompts don’t work for you, then create 10. Again, since they are easy to create just keep making them until one catches your eye. For example, my favorite prompt is number four. When did I know this? As soon as I started to write it, I felt a flood of ideas rush to me about what the story could be. When you have that feeling about an idea, then it is time to expand on it until you can’t any longer. The finished project may be a short story, novella, novelette, novel or a path to another story that you didn’t even know you had in you.

Let me know how creative writing prompts work for you.

Follow Andre Cruz on his blog The Word.

Easy New Year’s resolutions to keep if you’re a writer

Posted by | Fun, Guest Blog | No Comments

Fireworks_in_monterrey

Keeping a New Year’s resolution is no easy feat. Often times, we set expectations for ourselves a little too high. It’s admirable in theory, but if you set yourself unreachable goals, you’ll only feel discouraged when life gets in the way. Remember: You have other priorities too—you know, eating, sleeping, feeding your dog, all that sort of stuff. So instead of telling yourself that this is the year you’re finally going to write a 1,000-page novel/get your manuscript published/make it on the New York Times’ bestseller’s list, cut yourself a little slack and try taking on one small task to make yourself feel better as a writer. The rest will come soon enough.

Give yourself a gift

Sometimes all you need to motivate yourself to write more is a little added incentive. Been eyeballing a new book by your favorite author? Or perhaps a new fountain pen and journal set? Spoil yourself with small things like this. It will make you feel more connected to your writing roots and could inspire you to pen something new.

Put yourself out there more

It goes without saying that writers write for the love of writing. But if you’re looking to earn a little extra cash or expand your audience, then you have to take a few extra steps. Do something simple, like start a blog and post something once a week, whether it’s a haiku, a new recipe, or your thoughts on a particular issue. Send out some writing samples to a literary magazine or join a writing workshop. It’s gratifying to see your name in print and it will allow you to improve your writing skills. As an added benefit, writing workshops often come with great connections or tips on how to get published.

Write something you haven’t tried before

Many writers often find themselves getting comfortable in a certain genre – whether it’s poetry, essays, knowledge articles or novels, it’s easy to fall into a niche. But this year, try expanding your writing horizons by experimenting with a new format or a new topic. Who knows? Maybe you’ll realize you’ve been missing out on something you end up loving.

Revisit something old

Every writer has one: a collection of old pieces that never really took off. Maybe you became preoccupied with new responsibilities at home or work; maybe you wrote yourself into a corner; maybe you put it away in a drawer to revisit in a month and forgot about it. This year, go through those files and see what you find. There could be a hidden gem somewhere in there. And if nothing else comes of it, you’ll get a kick out of seeing how much you’re grown as a writer.

Give yourself more credit

Because “being a writer” is a bit of an abstract concept and means many different thing to many different people, too often writers will find themselves telling other people “I’m trying to be a writer.” Well quit “trying.” Do you write? Then you are a writer. Be proud of it and tell the world! You don’t need to be published; you don’t need to have a novel or even a wide pool of readers. You just need to write. Don’t wait for the world to validate you. Validate yourself. All it takes is three simple words.

Write something that is meaningful to you

Okay, yes, you need to pay the bills. But if you only write to earn income, writing stops being a pleasure and starts being a chore. It’s great when you write something you love and it earns you some extra cash, but let’s be honest: You’re probably not looking with starry-eyed affection at that technical manual you just passed in to your boss for publication. So even if it’s just five minutes a day on your coffee break, take a little time off from the practical and do some “me” writing. Regardless of if you show it to anyone, you can still rest proud that night knowing that you’ve created something that speaks to you and truly represents the writer that you are.

Happy New Year! What are your resolutions this year?