vodka 50 comments
In response to my CNET article This trick makes a cheap bottle taste like premium vodka, Tom had this to say: You did quite well on this initial review. Kudos to your tastes buds as well. I’ve been in the spirits business over 26 years (now retired) and can provide some added input to your study. As you know vodka by federal definition must be odorless, tasteless and colorless. So how does one differentiate brands, essentially so similar? Especially  premium brands that have to justify higher pricing?   It starts with the visuals like artisan packaging for one; the livery look […]

Some Thoughts on Vodka and Taste

catching pokemon tips 55 comments
Something I do to level up my Pokemon, hatch eggs and gather items from PokeStops is have a Pokemon Go driving party with your friends. No! I don’t mean Pokemoning and driving. That’s a big no sir. Instead, have someone be the designated driver. This person will hand over their phone to someone else in the car so they won’t be tempted to play while driving. The passenger that gets the phone will play the driver’s game and their own. Then, the driver drives around neighborhoods and areas of town where the speed limit is 20 m (32.18 km) per hour […]

Have Pokemon Party to Level Up Fast

You can wash produce in the dishwasher 1 comment
Typically, when washing large batches of produce, you would fill your sink with water, add cleansing solution, let the produce soak, scrub the produce, rinse the produce and then move it to somewhere it can air dry. Washing batches of fruit in the dishwasher is much easier. It cleans of wax, dirt, dust and pesticides without scrubbing or soaking by blasting the food with jets of water. Surprisingly, though the water jets are strong enough to clean the fruits and vegetables, they come out of the dishwasher damage-free.   How to Wash Produce in the Dishwasher Put delicate fruits and vegetables […]

Can You Wash Your Produce in the Dishwasher?

bracelet craft 46 comments
This is one of the quickest fashion DIYs I’ve ever done. Ready? Let’s do this! First, gather your supplies. All you need is a yarn or upholstery needle, E6000 glue, an old belt and the buckle from the belt. You can also find small buckles at the craft store. Next, cut a length of belt that will fit around your wrist, plus 4 inches. Fold one of the extra inches on the belt in half and poke a hole in the fold with your needle. Push this end of the belt through the buckle and poke the pointy part of the buckle […]

Fashion DIY: Make a Quick Bracelet from an Old Belt

It used to be that you could write anything, put it on a website and people would find your business. These days, Google and other search engines are very picky about what ranks on web searches. Also, more and more people are using social media to find businesses. Both of these things mean business owners need to hire an experienced content specialist that can write content and social media posts that make search engines and readers happy. People often say, “Why would I pay someone to write an article for my site? I can do that myself.” Well, if the […]

Why You Should Hire Someone to Write Your Content

tech writer on cnet 24 comments
I am happy to announce that I am the newest contributor to CNET. I write in the Smart Home section. Check out some of my articles: Flip Your Fridge or Dryer Doors for Easier Access  20 Things You Don’t Actually Need to Keep in Your Fridge Ways to Keep Your Wine from Tasting Like a Musty Basement  Leftovers Aren’t Making Your Fridge Stink, It’s the Fridge Itself New Ways to Use Your Slow Cooker that Don’t Involve Food Foil vs. Parchment vs. Wax Paper: Here’s When to Use Them 20 Unusual Things You Can Clean in the Dishwasher  

New Client: CNET

teacher day 42 comments
October 5th is World Teachers’ Day. I encourage you to find your favorite teacher and send him or her a note about how much they meant to your life. The teacher that made a difference in my life was my journalism professor in college, Sharon Dennehy. She taught me how to find the angle in a story, how to be an ethical journalist and how to search for great story ideas. She was like a second mom to me and I will never forget her. Who is your hero teacher? Infographic provided by Grammarly.

Thank a Teacher this Week

When you write for several different outlets, coming up with a continuous flow of article ideas can be a challenge. When I get stumped, I break out a piece of paper and draw a mind map. Mind maps are a form of brainstorming where you use colors and shapes to stimulate the brain. Here’s how I create article ideas with mind maps: I start by drawing a shape of the thing I want to write about (or just a circle). Right now I need to come up with some art article ideas, so I drew an artist’s palette. I write the […]

Using Mind Maps for Article Ideas

literacy facts 28 comments
This post is in support of one of my favorite charities: Reading Is Fundamental As a writer, I have to support International Literacy Day. If there are no readers there are no writers, right? Just joking. I am a big reader and think that learning to read is one of the most important things a person can learn. For the celebration,  Grammarly recently sent me this infographic about the day that I think you’ll find interesting:

Celebrate International Literacy Day

Problems when posting content 2 comments
Recently, I decided to poll business professionals about their greatest content marketing challenges and I got some surprises. How Often Do You Post Fresh Content to Your Site? My very first question was pretty simple: How often do you post fresh content to your site? You know what was surprising? Out of the 109 business owners polled, most didn’t know that they needed to post fresh content on their site on a regular basis. How often should you post? It is better to post no content than post thin or shabby content that search engines and visitors hate, but if […]

Poll: Biggest Problems Businesses Have When It Comes to Content Marketing and How to Fix Them

google SEO tips 2 comments
There has been a lot of buzz about how social media accounts affect the SEO of a brand’s website. The 2013 Moz Search Ranking Factors study has already concluded that pages with Google+1, Facebook likes, tweets, and comments rank better than sites that don’t. That’s not what I’m out to prove, though. I want to prove that by simply having posts that link to your site on social media search engines will send more traffic your way. In 2014, Matt Cutts said that search engines don’t care about social media, but still, I wondered… Flashback: Posting fresh content isn’t supposed to […]

Does Social Media Affect SEO?

My youngest daughter making a visit to my office. 31 comments
Instead of the usual What to Read this Week, I thought I’d go off-topic. I’m pretty sure that most of you who follow my blog have a desk and spend most of your weekdays there. Me too. Over the past couple of decades, I’ve found ways to make my desk and office a happy place to work. Here is a tour of my office to give you some inspiration. Me too. Over the past couple of decades, I’ve found ways to make my desk and office a happy place to work. Here is a tour of my office to give […]

A Tour of My Office: How to Keep Your Desk and Office a Happy Place

Every Monday I let you take a peek at what I’m reading. Here’s another installment of What to Read this Week. This week I’m loving me some free stuff and I’m sharing some great articles on increasing your site traffic, using video and some reasons to rethink ads. Free Stock Photos Okay, so you really don’t read stock photos, but I thought I would share with you some freebies that were offered this past week. Hubspot is giving away 750 free stock photos that are perfect for blog posts and websites. All you need to do is fill out their form. Why […]

What to Read this Week: March 16-22, Free Stuff, Increasing your Site Traffic and More

If you have read this blog at all, you know that I like trolling scam artists, then posting their emails here. I know that there are freelance writers out there looking for side income, so that is why I post scams here. Today, we have one for wrap advertising for RedRain Energy Drink. Here are the emails that were sent to me. No, I made sure not to send him my bank information. lol Hello,Wrap advertising is the marketing practice of completely or partially covering (wrapping) a vehicle in an advertisement or livery, thus turning it into a mobile billboard. […]

Glen Hovey RedRain Energy Drink Scam

Are you giving your visitors bad customer service by posting fluff to your site? Let me tell you a little story. The other day I was on Facebook and I saw a post by a popular women’s magazine. I liked the title and preview linked in the post, so I clicked and read the article. IT. WAS. BAD. The article was supposed to be about laundry secrets you just must learn ASAP. The article, though, gave washed up (no pun intended), old advice that anyone within their target audience would already know. I was curious to see what others thought […]

Bad Content is Bad Customer Service

Are you a freelance writer that wants to give your career a boost? Want to make more money? Join my Master Class for Freelance Writers.  On my work site, I recently set up content creation classes for those who want to learn how to write interesting articles and blogs for their brand’s website. It occurred to me that freelancers may be interested in signing up, too, so I am announcing a master class for freelance writers. This week-long class will feature: -How to hook a client without selling out -Make your call to action sizzle so your readers can’t wait […]

Make More Money: Master Classes for Freelance Writers

If you are thinking about applying at RantLifestyle, you may want to hold off. This is an email I just received about their pay: Hello, thank you for contacting me. My name is Chris Gamble and I am the Hiring Manager for RantLifestyle. RantLifestyle is one of the fastest growing websites on the internet with over nine million unique visitors over the last 30 days and over 200 million page views during that same span. To start, all writers must start as unpaid contributors. There is no quota to meet but writers are working to improve their writer’s score to join […]

Does RantLifestyle Pay its Writers?

I must admit.  I’m a speedy writer. Not to say I don’t work hard to get stories in by their deadline, research new markets and craft queries. I just don’t like wasting time. I want to get it done and move onto the part I love, the actual writing. Here are some ways I get to the fun part. Reference at Your Fingertips Everyone knows that you need a good dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, and, of course, The Writer’s Market. But thumbing through these can waste huge masses of time. Besides, why buy these reference books when you can easily access […]

Tips to Make Writing Easier

content theif
If you’ve posted content on the web for very long, you’ve probably had your articles stolen and posted on another site. Often, the thief will claim that he wrote the brilliant article you paid for. Well, here’s one way to thwart the lazier thieves: the No Copy Code. It keeps people from being able to copy and paste your articles or blogs. Simply copy this code into your site’s HTML and you’re golden: <script language=”JavaScript1.2″> //Disable select-text script (IE4+, NS6+)- By Andy Scott //Exclusive permission granted to Dynamic Drive to feature script //Visit http://www.dynamicdrive.com for this script function disableselect(e){ return false } function reEnable(){ return true […]

Stop Thiefs from Stealing Your Content

Right now, as I’m writing this, I’m watching alerts pop up on my screen. They are telling me that a potential client is actually opening and clicking on links in the email I just sent her. I love not needing to wonder if my emails get opened and if my clip links get clicked on. How am I spying on my clients…or anyone else I send an email to? I installed the free app Sidekick by Hubspot into my browser. It sends me alerts when people open my emails, tells me how many times they open the email and what […]

How Sidekick by Hubspot Can Help You Find Work

I’ve been really busy with clients lately. I love helping clients, but nothing gets me more steamed than potential clients wasting my time. This week I dealt with the all time, number one time waster. First, he refused to look at my site to see what type of services I offer and wanted me to type it all out in an IM for him. Then, he told me that he had a budget of around $3,000. When I quoted him a price of $1,000 for my services, he changed his mind and told me that his budget was actually $400, but […]

Crappy Potential Freelance Clients

Today, I’m going to talk a little about marketing. I figure with the holidays coming up in a few months, this is a great time. Okay, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend. Toy companies are coming out with “boy toys” painted pink and are branding them as “girl toys.” Not only that, but they are claiming that this is an amazing step towards gender equality and they are happy to lead the way. Umm, huh? For example, have you seen the Nurf Rebelle toys? They are basically the same foam shooting toy guns Nurf has always had, but now they’re […]

Why I Hate Female Equality Toy Marketing

I guess I should check in and let my readers know what I have been up to lately since I haven’t written much. I’ve been working on my three websites: AlinaBradford.com ArtQuestionsAnswered.com HomebodyStyle.com I decided I have too much on my plate so I’ve been whittling things down. I’ve raised my rates to weed out projects and I have also deleted all but one of my Blogger blogs.Yup, this is the last one. I’ll still be writing here, just not as often.

Hi Again, Stranger!