Monday, November 10, 2014

Infobarrel Overview - A New Chapter of My Online Writing Career

I'm just new to Infobarrel, and so my journey there has just begun. After saying goodbye to Squidoo (it was bought by another website called Hubpages), I decided not to transfer my articles to Hubpages, as was suggested by Squidoo, but to go to a different writing platform instead.

Enters Infobarrel. I discovered the site through a fellow online writer (thank you WinterWolf!). Infobarrel sounds like a great choice for people like me who doesn't own a Google Adsense account (Why I don't have an Adsense).

So, I decided to join. I submitted a few articles. Within days, I saw a few traffic. To my surprise, I also saw a few pennies accumulating on my earnings report. Although it was only a few cents, but seeing the numbers increase little by little was motivating enough.

What I found unique in the site is the quality control of the articles. You cannot just submit an article without undergoing a manual review from the site's editorial staff. If they found some grammatical errors, or things that violate their rules, they will notify you and prompt you to edit the article in question. 

To me, quality control is extremely important as having too many rubbish articles can pull the site's ranking down. Also, being part of a quality writing site makes me feel being a member of an exclusive writing club. It may sound difficult for starters. I got denied a few times myself but after some more tries, I started to get the hang of the site.

Monthly contests are another special feature of Infobarrel. Every month, topics are listed and you can submit your new articles under those topics. Points are awarded according to number of words. Those who get the highest points at the end of the month will receive 25-100 USD, which will be added to the earnings report. If you don't win, you still get the chance to have your articles featured.

You get paid by Infobarrel directly, with the exception of Amazon earnings which will be accumulated through your own affiliate account. As I've mentioned, you do not need an Adsense to earn, as you earn there through the site's Ad system. The payout threshold is fifty US Dollars.

If you are interested, here's the sign-up link:

If you are already a writer of Infobarrel, I'll be glad to hear about your experience.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Is This Goodbye for Squidoo?

Although I am not that productive on Squidoo, I do log in to the site almost every day to check how my articles are faring. There is a page called the dashboard were writers can check the ranking of their lenses (or Squidoo articles). I have already written thirty plus lenses. I don't write that often, considering that I have other writing platforms to attend to; besides, online writing is only a side job of mine.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How to Help The Victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan

Right now, I am looking outside the street of Manila. It is raining a little. Quite peaceful if I must say. Four days ago, the downpour was much more intense. But the typhoon Yolanda (also known as Haiyan) did not affect my area directly. It was the city of Tacloban that was hit the hardest. 

I couldn't help but feel very sad upon seeing the aftermath of the super typhoon on the news. A huge part of the city of Tacloban has been destroyed. The place looked as if it was destroyed by a huge tsunami wave.

Many people there haven't eaten for days. Relief goods haven't arrived yet due to blocked roads. Even those with money couldn't do anything because there were no food available. Some people resorted to looting for survival. Some groups were even seen stealing appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. My guess is that those gangs came from outside the city to take advantage of its vulnerable situation. After all, what use would the locals have for those appliances? Their houses were already ruined!

People would come rushing to the cameras whenever they see journalists. They wanted to tell their families that they were alive. The most heartbreaking moment was when they would face the camera, talk to their families on air, telling them they are alive, while some of them didn't make it, and that they're sorry they were unable to protect them.

I pray that they would gather enough strength to rise again. May the arrival of aids be swift. Below is a link for more information of how we could donate to the devastated places of the country. 

God bless Tacloban and the rest of the places ravaged by Yolanda.

Today I learned: An Extra Virgin Olive Oil Label Doesn't Guarantee Quality

Image Credit: artur84 |
I love using olive oil because of it's health benefits. I've been told that all I needed to look for is the "extra virgin" label. It means that the oil comes from the first press of olives, ensuring that the oil contains antioxidants and omega 3 and other health benefits. However, I just learned that it's not the end of story. It takes a closer look at the back of the bottles for us to find out about the product's quality.

First, we need to look for the harvest date. It should be within two years. Olive oils degrade fast so they shouldn't be allowed to age as wines. I always look for thick and dark bottles to make sure that the product inside isn't exposed to light - another variable that will degrade the olive oil. I cringe whenever I see olive oils sold inside clear bottles. Yes, poorly bottled olive oils do exist in the market.

Next, there should be a seal from a third party body that tests for the oil's quality, such as COCC from California. Usually, products bearing a harvest date has a seal in the label as well.

Quite a number of olive oil products undergo several steps of processing before they reach our shelves. If the label indicates that it was made from different countries before eventually getting inside the bottle, chances are, the oil has already degraded in quality during shipment. It's better to have the product manufactured from one country only. 

After buying the brand of your choice, check immediately at home if it smells off. You may also taste it to see if its fresh. If it stings the back of your throat a bit, then it means there are polyphenols present in the oil. You can always return the product if your dissatisfied with it.


Friday, November 08, 2013

Great News

It's been a while since I've posted something in this blog. Today I am very happy. I'm here to announce a major feat I had now as an online writer. It's about a writing online platform - Squidoo - where I also contribute articles aside from Blogger. My status there have just been upgraded to a Giant Squid

If you haven't heard about Squidoo, it's a writing platform where anyone can submit articles of interests for free while earning money. You don't need a Google Adsense account to be able to earn there. Squidoo has its own Google Adsense account to which a portion of its earnings is being distributed to the writers (called Squids) every month. The amount depends on the writers' performance. Since my account was disabled by Google two years ago (for reasons unknown), I signed up for Squidoo for a greener pasture, while tending my blogs at Blogger. For this reason, writing on different platforms has made me a little more busy, not to mention I still have a day job and housework to care for!

Losing my account on Adsense didn't make me lose heart. I write whenever I have time. I write informative articles the most. The earnings are very slow to come, but at least I'm enjoying the process, and despite the little amount, it still made me feel productive while doing what I love. 

After signing up for Squidoo, I didn't participate right away. I just let my profile sit there, with only a couple of articles (called lenses in Squidoo) published under my name. That led on to one year. During that period, I focused my writing on Blogger. After a year, I decided to give more time to Squidoo. I was able to produce twenty five quality lenses (Squidoo has a meter that shows you if the lens your writing has 100% score). My sister, who has been on Squidoo much longer, urged me to apply for a Giant Squid status. Being a Giant Squid has some perks, such as being qualified to join writing contests with prizes. Also, having a Giant Squid seal beside my name is an entitlement, and other writers would revere you for that.

I agreed to apply. Squidoo has an application form for that. The form says that it will take two weeks for Squidoo to review my account before deciding if they would grant me the title. After only a day, I received the good news. Not only that, one of my lenses: My Roller Coaster Experience, was awarded with a Purple Star. The Purple Star is just one of the many ways Squidoo motivates the writers who deserve encouragement.

With the new title tagged along my pen name, I got even more motivated to write there. It's really a great morale booster. I love Squidoo. If you're like me who don't have an Adsense account, or got it disabled for some reason, consider writing on Squidoo. If you work hard enough, the site would surely reward you.

To see a complete list of my Squidoo Lenses, check this profile. You may also sign up through this referral link if you decided to join the community.