Writing Articles For Seniors Only Club

Discussion in 'Self Employment' started by Ken Anderson, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I am going to add a section of articles to this site -- not the forum but a separate part of the same domain -- once I accumulate enough of them so that I don't have empty pages. I'd like some of you to help with it. I can't afford to pay a lot, but I will compensate you for your work.

    There will be ads placed on these pages, but I don't anticipate a large revenue from them. If I do better than I expect, I'll be able to pay more for articles.

    Some of you have been published professionally, while there are others who have not been previously published, but you have ideas worth putting to words and the ability to do so, or would like to give it a try anyhow.

    What I'm not looking for are hard feelings from anyone who feels that I didn't pay them what they were worth, or who may have learned that I paid someone else more for an article. Some articles are worth more than others, and it might be that I can't afford some of you.

    In general, I'd rather have stories from your childhood than facts based on research. I'd rather have your feelings on a topic than a news or informational article on the subject. I'd rather have a story than a research paper. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am looking for something that means something to you as you are writing it, favoring entertainment over education, feelings over facts, and experiences over research. Write what you think, not what you think I want to hear.

    I mention these examples in order to give you an idea of what I'm looking for, not to say that I would reject fact-based articles, particularly if these are facts that are not easily obtainable through online research. Some topics may require another approach.

    Please don't make your article simply an extension of a forum conversation, although it may include topics that have been under discussion here.

    Although there may be exceptions to some of these based on the topic of the article, generally what I am looking for are articles that:
    • Are 100% original, and not taken from anyone else's work, whether in whole or in part.
    • Are based on the author's own experiences, reminiscences, feelings, ideas and thoughts.
    • Are relatable to seniors, baby boomers, or people fifty or older.
    • Are evergreen, whenever possible, which means not dated by current events.
    • Are not dependent on links to other web sites.
    • Are at least 750 words in length, with some exceptions.
    • Are not published elsewhere.
    SENIORSonly Club would have exclusive rights to publish any articles that are accepted for publication here, which simply means that you would agree not to submit the same article elsewhere or give permission to anyone else to publish it. Once we have paid for the article, or published it on the SENIORSonly Club web site, demands to remove it will not be entertained.

    Prior to publication, your article may be edited as deemed necessary for the sake of grammar, proper spelling, or clarity.

    You will retain authorship of the article, however. No one else will claim your work as their own. I would encourage you to include your name as the author, but you may use a pseudonym if you wish.

    This is not content writing, in which I would be paying you to write an article that I would later claim to be my own. What I am paying for is the sole publishing rights to an article that you wrote for this web site. You remain the author of the article, and may use your own name.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    This would be a feature that I'll be adding to over time, so articles will be separated into topic categories that will closely resemble those used in the forum itself, from which you can garner possible topics for articles. Articles of the sort that you might find in Good Old Days or Reminisce would certainly be appropriate, unless of course they are copied from these publications.

    I won't go into detail for each of these categories, but I'll make a few comments on some of them, just to give you an idea of what I'm looking for. Please, don't everyone choose a topic from the few that I suggest here, as they are just to give you an idea of what I'm looking for. Be creative.

    Senior Forums

    I am not interested, at this time, in having a lot of articles in this category, which relates to the Forum Administration & Notices category of the forum, but I would entertain an article on the usefulness or attraction of online forums to people fifty and older, one on why seniors might not be using online forums. Also, if someone wanted to write an article on this forum in particular, that might be nice.

    Education & Entertainment

    There are countless possible topics that would fit into this category. What was school like for you in elementary school or high school? What did you have available to you in the way of gadgets and technology? Expound on these and other topics in this category.

    Getting it Done

    Look through the sub-forums in this category in the forum and you will find several possible topics. I am looking for text articles though, not photo galleries, although I can publish one or two photos along with your articles if they enhance the text. As with the writing, make sure that they are photos that you have the rights to, however. Ask me if you have any questions about it.

    Hot Button Issues

    I am not looking for a recitation of paranormal tales, descriptions of cryptozoological creatures, or conspiracy theories here, but any personal experiences that you may have had are fine, whether real or imagined. Perhaps you grew up with a ghost story that related to your town, or there was a local scare that intrigued you as a child, or yet today. Those stories are fine. I just don't want someone rewording something that they have read in a book or on someone else's web site.

    If you would like to tell us why you believe or don't believe whatever it is that you believe or don't believe in, you may do so without interruption, particularly if you can do so using personal testimonies rather than researched topics. That doesn't mean that you can't look something up if you're uncertain of a fact or a detail. It simply means that I want it to come from your heart and your mind. Any topics in this category can be used.

    As far as news goes, I am not so interested in current or recent news stories, although you can surely make reference to them. Mostly though, I'm looking for something along the lines of what were you doing when the first man went into space, or landed on the moon? Did this effect your life in any way? Or any other major topic, particularly from your childhood, since you don't have to be a senior to relate to the World Trade Towers attack.

    For example, when John F. Kennedy was shot, I was in the seventh grade. Our teacher was called out of the room. She came back in crying, and announced that the president had been shot. It meant nothing to me. The president was no more of a real person than anyone else who I saw on television once in a while. He was not a human being to me. Later, when the principal announced that we would be getting out of school early because the president had been shot, I joked that I hoped they shot him again next week. For me to write a story about that day, feigning deep remorse for the loss of a great man, that wouldn't be a real story for me. I didn't feel that. What it meant to me was that we were getting out of school early on a Friday. I might write an article about that day, but I wouldn't rewrite my personal history in order to pretend that I had felt the appropriate emotions. No, the story would be that I had not.

    I Remember When

    This should be an easy category for anyone. Tell us your stories.

    On the Lighter Side

    This might be a tougher one, since I'm looking for longer articles than most of the topics in this category might suggest, but I would like to have something here. You could probably do something with the happy talk sub-section, and tall tales a fabrications is wide open.

    Ourselves & Others

    There is no end to potential topics for this category, as well. Tell us the stories of your family members. You can change their names, if you'd like. No one is going to fact-check you, but I'd like something that is real to you.

    Other Topics

    This category will be used much as it is in the forum. I would like you to be creative in choosing a topic. As much as possible, I would like it to relate to people our age, but it doesn't necessarily have to relate to a specific topic currently included in the forum.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    If you are interested in writing an article or articles for this section of SENIORSonly Club, please contact me by private conversation in the forum.

    I have a number that I think I can afford to pay per article but some articles are going to be worth less, others more, based on the length and quality of the article.

    Let me know what you have in mind, and what you would like to get for it. It is quite possible that I can't afford it, and that should not be interpreted as implying that I didn't think your work was worth it.

    I'd like to deal with any interested members individually. We can agree on a base rate, which I will pay upon acceptance of the article. Please clear your topics and the amount of money that you expect to be paid with me before beginning.

    If what you send me turns out to be something that I can't use, then I won't buy it or publish it. I don't anticipate that happening. Unless I get the feeling that very little thought or time was put into it, or there are copyright issues, I will more likely pay you the amount that we had agreed upon even if I have to rewrite portions of your article in order to make it usable, but in that case I probably wouldn't ask you to write additional articles.

    If I am impressed with the quality and content of your article, I may also pay you more than what we agreed upon, especially if we had agreed on an amount that was less than I am paying other comparable authors, and I will probably ask you to write additional articles.

    This is important. Please do not discuss the amounts that we have agreed upon with anyone else. If this leads to hard feelings and bickering, I'll simply close the project down and look outside of the forum for writers.

    Although I would much rather have articles on a wide range of topics, I have no objection to publishing two articles on the same general topic as long as they differ from one another in content and composition. I will also be writing articles, so I will be helping to fill it out as well.

    There is no rush, either to choose a topic or to complete an article. I probably can't afford to buy more than one or two of them in any given week, anyhow. Please keep in mind when you submit your article that I may not be able to pay you for it immediately, but I will not publish it until it has been paid for. Please let me know if you're interested though, so that I know what to expect.

    General questions may be asked here, but any specific questions should be addressed privately.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    By the way, the above applies for the beginning phase of this project. Once I receive a first article from someone, then I will decide whether I want a second or a third. Once I have several articles in the hopper, I'll have a better idea as to what is reasonable, and maybe be able to come up with a set rate, but always with the possibility of bonuses.
     
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  5. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    This sounds like a lovely idea, @Ken Anderson . If you're offering "All Rights" and not "First North American Serial Rights" it's good that you mentioned that right from the start. I usually sell All Rights if the contract is nice.. otherwise the First North American Serial because that gives me the option to do Second Rights in the future (reprint rights.)

    Anyhow, for what it's worth, I've always thought that with the dynamics of the Internet, only All Rights made sense for online content unless you want to see the same thing all over creation. Some places pay for the reprints, but more just steal it, sadly, with or without a proper copyright notice attached.

    You thinking E-zine with masthead, etc. or a regular website? And will you be getting the word out to freelancers as well as members here? If so, I'll say that an Honorarium payment doesn't need to be nearly as high as some may think. :D

    Well... that be my two cents. Feel free to give change!
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I haven't decided on format yet, but it will probably be more like a regular website, only connected to this domain. I don't want a format where new stuff will push the old stuff down to the bottom, so that it will never be seen again. As for the rest, no it won't be a huge production but simply a supplement to this site, so I'd rather keep it in-house and I'd rather have stuff from people who would enjoy writing something for this site.
     
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  7. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    I always liked the way The Irascible Professor was set up. Very simple and always a list of articles on the main page, newest at top. Dr. Shapiro was paying 5x more than I would have expected (or advised :)) and it's ceased publication now, but always an interesting read. ***Edited thought here to add that I just checked out his writer guidelines, and let's make that 7x more... either my memory fails, or he started paying more later.)

    I think your idea will be very well received by a lot of people. "The Past" becomes more and more precious as time goes on and the world changes in frightening ways. @Ken Anderson
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    This would be set up differently, by category. I might highlight a few of the newer articles on the front but I specifically want to get away from the blog or magazine format, where articles are dated and the only relevant content is the most recent content. Therefore, it will be more of a website design. No, I won't be paying nearly that much as it's really more of an addition to this forum than a moneymaking venture.

    Article sites were very popular years ago, and a large reason why they are not doing so well today is because the same articles were submitted, either in whole or in spun format, to several other sites. Search engines handle duplicate content negatively. When the same content appears on more than one page, the way that the search engines handle it is that the first site that the content is indexed on will usually be the only one that remains in the search engine index. However, if a later site to publish the article is considered more authoritative by the search engine, the first site to publish it might get bumped as far as search engine results go. Sites that routinely publish articles that are duplicated elsewhere are penalized by the search engines, particularly Google.

    The search engines don't know or care who paid for the article, so the person who has paid for the articles might find his own site penalized for publishing them. For example, some authors have a practice of publishing articles that they are especially proud of on their own site so that they can point other clients to them as samples of their work. Well, Google is very good at figuring out who owns what. In fact, it's uncanny in its abilities. I have had sites on separate hosting accounts, using separate contacts, without my name, and which did not link one to the other, yet Google knows which of them are mine.

    Here's the problem. Let's say I buy an article from an author named John G. Brunner. I pay John to write an article specifically for my site. He does, I pay him, and I publish the article on my site. John later adds the article to his own site as an example of his work. That sounds on the up and up. However, Google is likely to view it as if I had stolen the content from John G. Brunner because he has it published on his own site, and I could be penalized for something that I had paid for. Since risking penalization is the opposite of what I want to do with this addition to the site, that's not something I'm interested in.

    When someone steals content, they probably make a practice of doing that, and the search engines are likely to be aware of that, so it wouldn't be as likely to cause harm to the sites they are stolen from. Although I would still make an effort to have them removed, I am not likely to have my own site penalized because someone stole some of my content. It's still annoying, and it may pose some risks, but it's not likely to be devastating.

    That depends on who is doing the stealing though. My wife was one of the first people to do search engine optimization professionally but she didn't publish professionally, and she had someone who later became very well known in the field steal an article from her site and publish it almost verbatim as his own. Since he was, by then, well known to the search engines as a writer in that field, the article would come up in the search engines pointing to his site, and no longer to hers. I guess everything works that way. If you're rich or well connected, you can get away with stealing whatever you want.

    If I should ever decide to shut the SENIORSonly.Club site down, then the authors may do whatever they wish with the articles.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
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  9. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    I see you're putting a lot of thought into this venture, and that's what will make it a success!

    I've never heard of a way around these copyright issues you mentioned. I had something on a very well-known website a few years ago with my copyright *and* their legal protection. (Luckily that time!) There was a teacher using my article (didn't even bother changing the words) in his school's curriculum for class work. I did what I was advised to do and contacted him, saying that I see he's using my copyrighted material for his curriculum, and although I was thrilled, he'd have to give me his address so that I could invoice him or the university for reprint rights payment. :eek:

    It took him ONE day to remove it from the website. I'm not naive enough to think he stopped using it, though... just didn't advertise the fact, I assume.

    The biggest problem, I think, is that there are content mills that outsource to ESL countries to "rewrite" things they find on the net, and think it's perfectly fine to "change a few words" and assume it's legal. :mad: And it's a terrible mess because the people they pay to do it are in countries where they can buy their whole family a lot of food for the pennies they're paid for this cheating, so it makes writers feel like ogres to try to fix it and it just keeps getting worse.

    From what I've seen of the members here, I don't think you'll have any problem getting some quality material!
     
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  10. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    I think that would be wonderful Ken. Many of us in here are looking for ways to make extra money, and do some writing for cash already. I think those of us that choose to do it, though need to be mature enough to accept what comes down the pike. I am not generally a "whiner" unless I really get kicked in the teeth, so I would just look at it as an opportunity, que sera sera. Thanks for thinking of us!!:):)
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    That's what I had in mind. This is simply a way to promote the forum. Although I'll include some Amazon.com and Google ads, I have no intention of making a profit of it, but simply recouping some of the expenses. I'm hoping that this will be something that some of you, and myself, will be able to have fun with, hone our writing skills, and maybe create something that others will be interested in reading.
     
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  12. Amie Ar

    Amie Ar Active Member
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    Why not add up a blog section to the site Ken? The blog section will accommodate the seniors who wanted to create their writings and articles. The member/user will be responsible in maintaining it with just a general guideline that the contributions will primarily circle around the lives of the seniors.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I could add blogs through the forum software itself but I don't want blogs. I've done that before, and I would simply end up with several dead blogs. Blogs are dated, so if they are not regularly added to, they are considered dead and would have a negative effect.
     
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  14. Amie Ar

    Amie Ar Active Member
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    Yes, I agree Ken and can see your point. Unless, the member was a prolific blogger who maintain fresh contents every time, the blogs will just become a nil space in the website.
     
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  15. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    This sounds like an interesting idea that I think will appeal to many here. I enjoy reading the Good Old Days type of articles, and it seems like a good fit for this site or a related site. I've done a little writing, but nothing professionally, and might be interested in the future, when my life slows down. I like that you're always looking for ways to enhance and improve the forum.
     
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  16. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    So far, only a couple of people have expressed interest, though.
     
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  17. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Ken, my interests do not go in this direction, but I wish you Good Luck!
     
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  18. Diana Kristof

    Diana Kristof Active Member
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    This might be something I'd be interested in. I have done some professional writing in the past. Have any of you submitted articles yet? I am just curious as to if this section has started up now? I will be in touch if/when I am ready to know more. Thank you for the opportunity.
     
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  19. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Not yet. So far, you're only the third person to express an interest, and there are no articles so far. I don't want to start this new section if there isn't much interest because I don't want it to include only stuff that I write myself.
     
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  20. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    How would you want us to submit them to you? What would the approximate payment be for a 750 word article? Were you planning to just create a section here for the articles? I didn't know you were ready to start accepting them. I will start one tomorrow if you want it. I think it would be fun.
     
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  21. Diana Kristof

    Diana Kristof Active Member
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    I would also like to know what an approximate price would be. I appreciate that you said it could differ, and I wouldn't hold you to whatever average you said here, but it would be nice to know a ballpark figure.
     
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  22. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Read my first three posts, which is where I cover that stuff, specifically in the third post but the first two are important also.
     
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  23. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Since I have never written anything for publication, most of the questions that are being asked here, and being discussed by the knowledgeable people on the forum, are things that I do not know anything about.
    Copyrights, and such as that.
    I realize that the writing of these articles is something that you would want to have done by the members of the forum (like @Mari North or @Krissttina Isobe ) who are published writers, and have experience writing articles, but it kind of sounded like just some of our old-time stories might be welcome also.
    Some of the stories I have written about earlier times on my life are also on my little family blog; so i don't know if those would be acceptable or not ? The blog is just my way of putting down some of the family history in stories, and it is not monetized in any way.
    Are you also looking for stories like some of us write here in the forum, or just for articles from the published and experienced writers, for this new feature ?
     
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  24. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I am absolutely not just looking for published authors or professional writers and, although I may have some specific topics in mind, my hope was that those who choose to participate would go beyond that and suggest topics that they have an interest in writing. Old-time stories are definitely within the realm of things that I am looking for,

    There is no reason why several people from this forum wouldn't be capable of writing articles that would be suitable.

    Topics that you discuss in your blog may certainly be used, but the article would have to differ significantly from anything that you have published elsewhere or it will be seen as duplicate content by the search engines. That would mean more than a simple rewording of something you have published in your blog. Several stories can erupt from any significant event in out lives so as long as you're telling a different story, that would be fine.

    I have seen stories here that could have been the theme of an article but, of course, I wouldn't want to duplicate anything that's already in the forum. Again, topics and events can be reused, as long as the story itself isn't duplicated.
     
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  25. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    This might work. I have heard from a few others and am looking forward to receiving the first article soon. There is still room for more though.
     
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