3 Websites That Changed My Life & Writing Career

By Jesse Logister

Sometimes, I stumble upon a true gem of a website. Mostly, such a gem sticks with me for a while, and then its magic slowly diminishes or I move on to another site that is sparkling in my eyes.

However, there are some rare gems that have stayed with me for a long time. They are not just very interesting, beautiful or fun but also life changing.

The following websites have really helped me to make an income online and become my own boss as a freelancer. They have improved my health, boosted my creativity, made me more productive and made me appreciate life more. They also helped me to unclutter and throw away all the ballast. They reshaped me and creeped into my ears and mind.

Therefore, I consider these websites as some of the most rewarding online sources in my life, and I really hope that they can offer some kind of positive effects to you as well.

3. Zenhabits.net

I have to admit that in the beginning I did not read Leo Babauta’s blog posts as often as I actually wanted. However, I was instantly impressed by his way of life and the minimalistic way of how he has designed his website. It inspired me to take a good look at my own blog, and I eventually decided to implement some changes to remove a lot of clutter.

Truth of the matter is, I was never very good at things like designing or making pictures. I am a writer. And Leo’s website made me realize that it should all be about the words. The rest is just a distraction from that.

I want to focus on writing and not on stressful side-tasks. Leo generously lets people use his site template and I decided to use it. It changed my life forever.

I have to admit that it was a big and uncomfortable step. No more comments, lesser pictures, almost no side elements. But the only way forward is the uncomfortable one.

And forward I went. The time that I save now is absolutely huge. I can spend it on more important things like writing blog posts and actually reading Leo’s article about other minimalistic implementations.

Therefore, I find Zenhabits.net a true life changer and I recommend it to everyone who is interested in uncluttering the mind.

2. Writertown.com

I have been a member of Writertown.com for a couple of years, and over those years I have seen it grow into a very friendly and useful platform for writers. Its creator, Elvis De Leon, is a great guy who really cares about his members, and he puts a genuine effort in making his members more successful writers.

The extensive and very useful writing gigs list on his website really changed my writing career. I stroll through it regularly and it has provided me with some amazing clients. Thus Elvis does what he promises, he will give your (online) writing career a real boost.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it was not for this website. I highly encourage people to become a member of Writertown.com. Not only for the writing gig list, but Elvis also offers many other perks on his platform. For example, people can post their own interesting articles and even promote them.

1. MyNoise.net

I only recently discovered this gem but I already consider it as one of the best websites on the internet. There are many reasons why I do so. Let’s start with the most important one: it has noise, and that noise just so happens to be the noise that I was always looking for.

I always want to listen to something while working. I tried YouTube for music, but I got extremely distracted, plus a bit annoyed by the ads and the urge to read comments and check the accompanying video clips.

Therefore, I switched to random 8tracks.com music lists. That tactic was already much better, but it was still not enough. Music still was dominant and it distracted me, especially when it had spoken words in it.

But then came the real sound revolution.

When doing some research on being more productive, I accidentally stumbled upon MyNoise.net. I embarked on a magnificent sound adventure and from that moment on, my life was instantly chanced.

MyNoise offers a truly unique collection of random, free to use noise generators. No money to travel? Put on your headphones and turn on the sound of a railroad, sailboat, spaceship or aircraft cabin. Close your eyes and let the sounds guide you on your journey. Time to relax? Listen to Yakutian and Himalayan voices and feel the tension drifting from your body. Nature lover? Waterfalls, ocean waves, tropical birds and fairy ponds are waiting for you.

Listening to all these noises are not only extremely fun and relaxing, but it also makes the listener appreciate sounds so much more. Many sounds are always with us, but how often do we really pay attention to them or learn to appreciate them fully. Sometimes, we forget our appreciation and then suddenly remember and wonder again, whenever we hear the cherished sounds from our childhood days.

MyNoise taught me that sounds can heal and that they can have meditating and relaxing effects on people. Sounds are extremely powerful and all of them have beauty in their own way. We can hear and feel that beauty when we dedicate ourselves to listen and pay attention to the small wonders around us. These wonders are a part of everyday life, but we so often tend to overlook or forget about them.

One interesting fact is that some of those sounds even distracted or annoyed me in the past. I cringed at the sound of construction sounds while I was working. Now I deliberately play the demolition site generator to work more concentrated. I find that really funny.

I now have something to listen to while I work. Since I do it, I feel more relaxed more concentrated and also very importantly, more creative. My writing skills improved, I save huge chunks of time and I focus much better.

It are those benefits and the fact that the website is neatly designed with captivating pictures and well thought over descriptions of the sounds. You not simply listen to them. The creator of the site, Dr. Ir. Stéphane Pigeon, also teaches you how to listen to them, and what the effects of the sounds are in a scientific and psychological way.

The result is absolutely fabulous. I cannot stress enough how much I love Mynoise.net and I feel blessed that I found it. I hope to use it for many years to come and I encourage everyone to visit it and support the creator, so that he can keep this fantastic website online.

Websites Made With Love

These three websites are created by people who really love what they are doing and who are genuinely want to help others to feel that same love as well. It is more than just earning money with a website. It is creating positive changes in people’s lives and building communities.

I love to hear which websites changed your life? Send me an email or contact me on Twitter or Facebook.

How To Become A Successful Writer

 

How to become a successful writer.7 tips on how to become a successful writer

Do you want to become a successful writer? Keep in mind that writing is like any other job. You need to practice a lot to see results. As a writer, you spend one boring part of the day on writing words, and the other boring part on erasing them again.

Your writing career will not come of the ground before you start bleeding on the paper. However, don’t let that fact turn you off. Writing can be a lot of fun if you approach it correctly, and when you see positive results. Use these tips to become a successful writer.

1. Get out of your cave

Writing can be done alone, but you need others to become successful. So, at some point you need to get out of your writers cave. Cut off your beard, take a shower, dust off your clothes, and start networking with publishers, proofreaders, editors etc. You will need them eventually.

2. Join writing contests

At many writing contests, your work will be reviewed by experts. They often provide feedback, and If your are lucky they will recognize your talent. This can result in a nice price, a free publication or a new work connection with the experts.

3. Volunteer to gain credentials

I have done some interesting volunteer writing assignments. Similar paid jobs where difficult to find. Think digital signage and newspaper articles. Although unpaid, these jobs can help to gain writing credentials. Become a well known writer in your region, while supporting your community.

4. Constant practice

Like every job, if you want to become an expert, you need to practice a lot. Do not aspect that talent alone will take you to the top. It will make things easier, but what really makes a difference is your willingness to write and write and write.

5. Write with passion

For the sake of your sanity and career. Whatever topic you choose, make sure that you write about it with passion. If you don’t enjoy writing it, then your readers will not enjoy reading it. Lack of passion will lower your motivation, and then writing becomes a very boring job.

6. Attack your creation

A good writer spends more time on deleting then on creating. You have to be ruthless when it comes to erasing. It is important that you separate the indispensable sentences from the disposable ones. You will never become a successful writer if you are unable to do this.

7. To read or not to read?

To read or not to read? Opinions differ. I advice that you only read when you are not writing. During the writing process you need to depend on your own creativity. Read books when you are free. Learn about writing styles, word choices, character building and other writing related subjects.

You can do it!

Keep writing and do your best. Even if the odds are against you. Don’t get scared by the lack of talent. The world is full of untalented people who became successful by not giving up. With the right connections and the right mentality, you too can become a successful writer.

What kind of methods and tips do you use to become a successful writer? Do you read a lot of books or do you prefer to avoid them during the writing process? Which writer inspires you the most? 

Useful links

  • Tips from Stephen King: I am earning money with my writings but I am no Stephen King (not yet..). Read this informative post to learn 20 writing tricks from the master himself. Jon Morrow, the writer of this post, also explains how you can apply these tips as a blogger.
  • On Writing – A Memoir Of The Craft: Are you a big fan of Stephen King and his writings, or did the blog post from Jon Morrow inspire you. Stephen Kings reveals many useful writing tips in this book. Definitely a must read for every (aspiring) writer.
  • Writer Help Wanted: Alice Seba and Ron Douglas teach you how you can avoid critical writing mistakes and earn more money as a writer.
  • Bad writing for beginners: When you want to succeed as a writer you need learn how to write bad. This is one of my previous writing related posts. It is a good read for if you want to learn how to become successful in bad writing.
  • Back to the Home Page

 

Benefits Of Travel Writing

 

Rooftop terrace Penang - my travel writing office.5 reasons why travel writing is awesome

There are many reasons why travel writing is a great job. I listed some of them in this article. If you are an aspiring travel writer then hopefully these benefits will motivate you to achieve your goal, or you might recognize some of them, if you already out there on the road.

1. Being location independent

Being location independent is one of the reasons why travel writing is so great. Over the years I have had many offices. Imagine the difference in feeling when you are sitting behind a desk in a boring cubicle, or you sit in a tropical bar while being surrounded by mountains and a lush green jungle.

Imagine sitting on the beach under a coconut tree. The waves roll quietly against the sand, a gentle sea breeze is playing with your hair, a gradually fading sun paints red and orange colors on the white clouds, its colorful creation reflected on the infinite ocean. Do I have to motivated you more? This is the main reason why I like travel writing. I still need to work but man the view in my office.

2. Being you own boss


There is nobody who is going to tell me what I need to do. I only need to close down my laptop when I want to to quit working, and then I often have to walk just a few steps till I reach my bed. I choose the time and duration of my breaks and I choose when I want to work. If I don’t want to work, then that is fine as well.

Yes sometimes I have deadlines for my articles, but that is only because I took the tasks. I really don’t have to if I don’t want to. I can choose my own work, and therefore I don’t need to do useless or frustrating tasks. I can not get fired and I also don’t have to dress appropriately. I can just work in my green monkey printed pajama while loudly singing Lady Gaga songs.

3. Great experiences

My most important assets are my experiences. The more exiting my travel experiences are, the more likely I will entertain my readers. Therefore I often go out looking for adventures, and because of my willingness to step into something crazy I usually succeed. I get to see beautiful places or meet extraordinary people. All amazing experiences, and it is great that I am able to document all those moments while travel writing.

4. documenting your live

I am able to document large parts of my live because I often write about my own experiences. Visiting my blog often makes me realize how much memorable things I already did, when I see that large number of posts. Of course without documenting I would have memories as well, but on my blog they become more touchable and visible, in great detail and in large numbers.

Reading my own blog makes me feel more satisfied about my live. Time flies and seemingly unimportant experiences can often been forgotten. Being able to document them is satisfying and gives my live more meaning. Time seems to slow down when I pay attention to details. Being able to remember the details, and not only the large chunks, is important for me. It is one of the reasons why I like to write .

5. Uncomplicated

I will not lie. Travel writing can be difficult. But it also has many benefits. I only need are a laptop and internet. I don’t need an office or expensive machines, and therefore I have a limited amount of taxes to do. I don’t like complicated work. However, as a writer, my main task is getting words onto a screen or a paper. It is not rocket science. Not at all.

What do you like about being a travel writer, or why do you want to become one? 

 

Quick targeted traffic to your website

In this article I want to discuss a method
of getting targeted traffic to your website. This method is relatively unknown as far as I know. The traffic source that I am going to discuss is coming from guild members in online games. I am going to describe the benefits of creating such guilds

World of Warcraft

For those of you who do not know what a guild or World of Warcraft  (WoW) is, here is a brief explanation.
WoW is a big  multi player PC game. When you join the game you can create a character and enter a huge fantasy world where you can do quests, fight monsters and interact and game together with other players. As a player you can join a group of gamers or start building up your own group. Such organized groups are called guilds.

These guilds, especially if they grow bigger in members, need a solid organization. Managing the guild can be done in the game but when you want to become big and successful then you also need a website and or forum. This will give the guild a more professional look and provides you with more opportunities to manage it properly.

When it comes to making money then this is the point that I find really interesting. Once the guild and website are set up and running your going to receive a lot of returning targeted traffic to your website, coming from members in the guild or people who would like to join. I have seen guilds with more then 900 members. That is a huge amount of people and they probably have a lot to talk about and to organize. That means they will visit the forum and/or the website on a regular basis.

Building a community

Don’t get me wrong by no means it is easy to get a big guild with so many members, or even to manage it but is has its advantages compared to just starting a website / blog. In the game you can simply look at who is online, check if they are in a guild and if not you can ask them to join your guild (don’t spam it just ask them once). You can do this all day long if you want and if your dedicated then it is guaranteed that you attract a lot of people to you community in no time. For example my guild is about 3 weeks old. At the moment I have 40 active members. My blog is 6 months old and I can not even speak about a community yet, despite all my hard efforts to start one.

I am not saying that it is impossible to get quick traffic to your blog but with forming the guild and a related website I achieve quicker results when it comes to building an online community. You bond much quicker because you have adventures and fun together and when you approach players in the game then you know for sure that they are in the same interest group as you.

When the guild is growing you have to start offering guild members benefits in order for them to feel happy in the guild. For example you can start organizing in-game events. So then the next step is to direct them to you website to find out more information about those events and other guild related topics.

Another thing that makes it a lot more easy is the fact that you can make people happy with in-game rewards. The game has a system where you can gather items and in-game gold. These items can be collected by players when doing quests and killing monsters. People want those items and gold. Instead of having to buy stuff that you can give away on your website to attract people you can now make them happy with items from the game. You can also use items and gold as a reward for people that help you.

Keep it legal

There are other ways of making money with World of Warcraft. This is the result of the in game currency and because it takes a lot of time to build up your character. There are company’s, mainly in China, that make money by letting employees game all day gathering gold or building up characters. So called gold farming or power level company’s. They sell the gold or the characters to lazy gamers that want instant heroism. Blizzard (the creator of WoW) does not allow this and you can get your account banned if you get involved in those activities.

The beauty of the system I just explained is that you don’t make money with the game directly but with you website. You don’t have to worry of doing bad stuff that gives you problems later on. Keep it that way.

Respect for the game and its players

To avoid misunderstanding I want to make clear that by no means I want to try and make money by using people or by misusing the game. I absolutely love World of Warcraft as a game. It provides the opportunity to live in a fantasy world. Which I find amazing. The world in the game is huge. You can walk around for days and days and see beautiful landscapes, amazing monsters and have so much crazy adventures.

However over the years the game is criticized a lot. Many people forget the real beauty of the things I just described and they play mainly to gather items and gold. Those people often give the game a bad name and create a bad gaming experience for others.

I don’t want to be that kind of person. I created my guild website to earn some money with what I love doing so much. But I created the guild because I wanted to do something with a real meaning in the game. I support players so that they achieve a better game experience. I can influence them in a good way and show them the beautiful parts of the game. I respect my guild members and do everything I can to help them. At the same time I learn so much about organizing, leadership and management.

That was it for now. I will keep writing about my guild adventures. Articles about how to actually make money with a website will follow as well. In the meantime I would like to ask my dear readers some questions: to which (online) community do you belong and what do you think the benefits are of being a member of that community? Leave your interesting responses in the comment section below.

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10 ways to earn money

rsz_moneyI did a lot of brainstorming and research the last couple of days but now I can finally show the projects I want to start earning money with. Here they are.

1. Customers

I have my own online marketing company and I want to keep working for my self. That is why I find it very important to keep looking for new customers and projects. I am mainly looking for online marketing related projects but if something different comes a long and I believe I can do it then I take a shot at it.

2. Salary paid job

I don’t want to work for a boss and it is not a good idea to have a salary job but unfortunately I don’t make enough money yet to say goodbye to that part of life.

3. First Aid Instructor

I invested in the Emergency First Response course and became an instructor. Unfortunately I have not been active as a instructor after that. I want to change that and start teaching people how to help others in need.

4. The 4-hour work week

To important and exiting to be left out of my list. The 4-hour work week is a book written by author Timothy Ferris. He explains how to escape the 9-5 live and join the new rich. I have been studying this book for some time and I believe the methods and idea’s that are explained are great. It is a book that teaches me how to earn a lot of money and spend less time doing it. That is why I decided to list it as one of my money making projects.

5. Acting

I have been acting a lot in the past but it slowly slipped away from my life. Now I regret that and I want to start acting again because I always enjoyed doing it. Who knows maybe I can earn some money with it as well.

6. Websites

The last year I have become very interested in how to make money with a website. I am testing various method’s to achieve this and keep on doing that in the future.

7. eBay and other online auction houses

When I was playing the game World of Warcraft I got inspired by the online auction house that is being used in the game. I managed to raise a lot of fake gold by selling products on that auction house. Now I want to find out if I can achieve the same results with real money on auction sites like eBay.

8. Trade Binary options

Something I did not know about but which I want to try just for the fun of it.

9. Online surveys

If you find the right surveys then this can be a fun job to earn some extra pocket money.

10. World of Warcraft Guild

Another Idea I got from World of Warcraft. I have been playing the game fore a while and I have been a successful guild (group) leader. I started to realize that having a guild is an excellent and quick way to form a community and that can result in income as well.

Work method and planning

This is how I use the list on my daily schedule.
I have giving them priorities where as 1 is the highest priory and 10 the lowest.
Before the day ends I make my planning for the next day. Remember that planning the day ahead is really important. It will keep you on track and prevents you from running around like a headless chicken all day. I look at the above list and think of a task for every subject on the list and write them down till I have 10 tasks on my list. The most important task have priority and end up on the start of my to do list. During the day I work on all the tasks.

Rating the day

I have been reading about the advice that you should only have a limited of priorities and tasks on a day. No more then 2 priority tasks, no more then 5 projects to focus on. I do not completely follow that advice because I have found a work method that I am satisfied with. A system which helps me to be productive and yet prevents me from doing to much on a day.

For my work method I use the old school grading’s. In my country when you managed to get a 6 for you work or test then that was a sufficient grade. So now when I complete 6 items on my list I can be satisfied for the day and stop working.

Of course there are people that think 6 is still very low for a grade. At school this was certainly not the case for me but not any more. I am on a development yourney to success and success does not come with a decent 6. Today I am more satisfied with an 8 or 9 and I strive for that 10.

Over time I have found pleasure in this system. It gives me a way of grading the day. It lets me know if I was productive enough. If you keep track on the numbers than you can really see when you are slacking down or when your going up on the ladder of productivity. If you want to make it even more competitive for yourself then you could also strive to have a average grade at the end of the month for example an 8. Why not, aim high!

That is it for now. The next time I will explain more about my list of income generating ideas so make sure to come back here as I will start putting links to the projects on this page.

In the meantime I am very interested what you guys think about my list and my grading idea. Try it out for a couple of days. I would love to hear about your experiences. I am also interested in your top 10 money making list. Leave all your interesting responses in the comment section below.

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