Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My best earning articles on Helium 2

One of the things I learned over the last couple of years is that when I am really stressed out that doing some of the day-to-day writing chores helps. So instead of screaming about the horrors of student aid in Colorado (exactly how is one supposed to survive on a mere sixteen thousand a year?), let me talk about the articles that are earning the most for me so far this year on Helium.

My top earner so far this year has been Credit scoring: How FICO 08 will change the rules. It is not surprising that it has been my best earner so far this year. After all, most of us have concerns about our credit score, and this change in the FICO scoring system affects this score.

Another article in my top ten earners is How to flip a house, which I find surprising is still so doing so well considering the bad housing market. Though it does make sense if one accounts for those people who are snapping up foreclosed homes.

I am not sure why The importance of teamwork in the company is among my top ten earners. It puzzles me that it earns so much even when earnings (at least for me) seem to be down on Helium---perhaps due to the Reward-a-thon that just ended, or maybe the reformating of the URLs on the Helium site, or perhaps changes in the Google index---it seems to keep on ticking despite all. It is an example of one of those articles that you end up writing that surprises you with its earnings (better this surprise than shock that an article that you thought was going to do well is stalled at the bottom of your earners--but that is a whole another column).

Another puzzler is Everything you need to know about doing paid surveys. It is one of those articles that earns in spasms; it is not a constant earner, or at least I don't think it is (I will have to check my monthly records to be sure). My current theory is that it is doing so well because of the hard economic times.

Rounding out my top ten are three Golden Dawn articles including What is Golden Dawn (though a better title is A Brief History of Golden Dawn) ,two wicca (witchcraft) articles and one lonely mythology article. I don't think that half of my top ten earners are occult articles is a really big surprise. After all, it is my speciality. And besides, it is what I wrote the most--in fact, I plan on writing a few more this summer, provided of course that I don't have to drop out of college due to this student aid problem and go back to flipping burgers (heaven forbid).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Summer plans

Well, it is almost summer. Which means it is about time that I decide what I plan on accomplishing this summer. Every year, I try to come up with a list of goals for summer. Mostly, long-term projects and goals that I would like to accomplish.

Unfortunately, for the last few years, I have been allowing myself to get side-tracked and derailed despite having perfectly good plans for my college breaks. And each time, it is money concerns that get me side-tracked.

The wife tends to set off these derailments. Money concerns--budget problems--general low income, which tends to set off panic attacks in me and make me go look for big scores, rather than focusing on the nickel and dime opportunities that I already know about. At the end of the break, typically, all I have accomplished is frustrating myself because large scores are hard to find.

And the sad part is that I could have made progress on building my writing income if I would have remained focused on my nickel and dime (sometimes pennies per day) outlets. Better to make progress and bring in a few more pennies than bring in no pennies at all.

This year, her concern over the budget is starting early. I understand why; it is getting tight for us. Already, I am having to raid my summer budget to pay for food today.

But we are in the same position as everyone else is. I read a report today that says that food prices have been climbing faster (inflation) than they have in the last seventeen years. I am not sure if it is correct, but I can believe it.

This summer, I am going to try to focus on the opportunities that I already know about. But I can already feel the panic rising already, so wish me luck---I am going to need it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Deadbeat Students

There must be something in the water. Several times in the last couple of weeks, I have attended a class where the professor is upset because many of the students are not doing the work. Plus after coming home, I get to hear about Toni’s bad students (she is substitute teaching in an art position at the moment).

Yesterday, the psychology class started off with the professor saying that it had came to his attention that one of the students might be cheating. He is right; I suspect one of the students of copying some of the take-home test answers from someone else.

This same student is one of my classmates in my literature class. I am not sure if my psychology teacher is upset with her, but I know that my literature teacher is. She chose not to read Voltaire because it was boring--I hope that she gets around to finishing it before the next in-class writing assignment (yes, it is that bad).

Now, I can sympathize with her. I have talked to her about her current job--management at a fast food restaurant. So she is on call 24/7, and has little time to actually work on college homework. She reminds me of why I decided that I could not do both college and management at the same time. Nevertheless, she is one of the students pulling down the quality of my classes this semester.

(Honestly, I like her as a person. If it wasn’t for the fact that the professors were so upset, I might consider being her friend.)

“Deadbeat students” is how my literature professor describes them. I am not sure that I would use such language; I understand the statement, but I am not sure if it is fair to call them that. Then again, I think of them as “dead-weight students,” so I am not much better in my thinking.

But I am not really sure that all of them are doing so badly on purpose. One of the hazards of being a modern college student is the sheer expense of attending college. And here in Colorado, financial aid has become almost nonexistent. Scholarships and decent amounts of Federal Student Loan money is also not in play. So those of us who can find jobs are working full time; college has become a part time thing for many students.

Then there are people like me, who are in college because of the bad economy. The reason I am considering the possibility of voting for Hillary Clinton is that she has mentioned that something has to be done to help college students pay for their educations.

So while I am annoyed that some of my class mates are dragging the whole class(es) down (pop quizzes are being used in the literature class now to make sure that everyone is doing the reading), I am not completely sure that it is something that they are doing because they do not care to do the homework.

And that is my complaint of the week.