March 19, 2010

How to Control your Mind during the Writing Process

Writing is an intellectual process that requires a high degree of coordination between your mind and your hands. The mind is the source of everything that you write so it is the controlling factor. Even if you just copy someone else's work, your mind has to still participate in the process. That is why it is very important that you get your mind's cooperation during the writing process. Here are some ideas that could help you gain your mind's full participation in your writing process.

Writing Clarifies Vague Thoughts

Some writers will advise you to start writing even if your mind is unclear about some aspects of what you want to write about. This is because the act of writing tends to clarify vague thoughts. The mind responds well to seeing its thoughts written out. It instinctively adjusts its position as some thoughts are clarified during the writing process.

Such is the nature of temporary writing blocks. In some instances, you might experience a lull in your writing. There could be some issues that your mind has not yet resolved. And yet your mind will find it difficult to resolve those issues without the aid of seeing those thoughts written out. Sometimes, it is useful to go on and writing despite you feeling that what you are writing seems to not have any value in it.

Trust your Mind Completely

This part of the article came out only while I was writing the article. I have not thought about this idea before I went on writing this article. I started out only with two ideas for writing this article. Now, my mind is instinctively supplying me with ideas to make this article complete.

Your mind is a very powerful information processing tool. You computer pales in comparison with what your mind can do. Just imagine these words and these sentences coming out of thin air. It does not need any electricity to run and it's always working even if we are asleep. Your mind will never let you down as long as you put your complete trust in it.

Slow Down your Thinking Process

Our hands are poor performers when compared with our minds which operate faster than the speed of light. We have to slow down our thinking when writing to enable our hands to keep pace with what our minds want to say.

It takes some practice to get used to slowing down your mind. You can only develop it by writing a lot. The more you write, the more you can develop your mind's ability to slow down so as to enable your hands to keep pace with it.

If you find it difficult to slow down your thinking, then make it a habit to type keywords that will help you recall later on about a related idea that your mind has come up with while you're focusing on an idea that you're developing in your write-up. Then come back to the keyword later on after you have completed writing on the current idea that you were working on.

Think in Whole Sentences

When talking with someone or other people, there are a lot of cues that helps the words we use in conveying meaning to those we are talking with. As a result, we tend to omit some words in our communication because we think that what we're referring to are obvious. This situation is not true with writing. When your readers read your work, you are not there to explain to then what you mean.

In the absence of any visual cues that can help us communicate with our readers, we need to be more explicit when writing. We might be talking about several things and we must be explicitly clear to which of those things we are referring to. That is why it is always a good practice to always think in complete sentences when we are writing. Explicitly state those things which we tend to omit when we are talking.

Have the Outline of your Article Fixed in your Mind

Help your mind not to get lost or introduce ideas that do not properly belong in the article you are writing. Maintain a conceptual outline of your article at the back of your mind ready to be referenced when a question as to whether an item is suitable for inclusion in the article you are writing comes up.

Expose your Mind to Interesting and Unique Ideas

Choose to read written works that are original and well-written. A lot of written materials in the Internet are crap. Your mind knows you are a writer and will tell you if what you are writing is crap or not. Don't miss out on traveling to exotic places or going out with someone who can offer a stimulating conversation.

Don't Stop Writing

The act of writing stimulates your mind to come up with more ideas to write about. If you stop writing, then you will miss out on this wonderful opportunity. So never stop writing even if you think that what you're writing is crap. Just don't publish it. Writing craps can sometimes lead you to a wonderful idea that is worth writing on.

As a writer, your mind is your best friend so treat it the way a best friend should be treated. There is only one way to improve your writing and that is to write a lot. Before I wrote this article, I have written a lot of crap that will never get published in the Internet. I never consider them waste of time for they have somehow stimulated my mind and I have had a good typing practice writing them.

What makes writers different from other people is the fact that they have been gifted with the ability to control their minds while they are writing. If you can develop this skill, then you will become good at writing and later on find out that you have not only become a writer but a good writer as well.

Read my other article on good ideas about writing as a mental process at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/03/good-ideas-about-writing-as-mental.html.

Read my other article on practical ways to improve your writing skills at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/11/practical-ways-to-improve-your-writing.html.

Read my other article on a generalized article writing template for something that you want to write about at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/03/generalized-article-writing-template.html

Read my other article on steps to writing and publishing content in the Internet at; http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/steps-to-writing-ang-publishing-content.html.



March 18, 2010

Things to Consider When Planning to Place AdSense Ads on your Blog

Choose the Right Subject Matter for your Blog

There are no sure way how to gauge how your blog will perform with AdSense ads but there are steps that you can take to ensure that your AdSense-powered blog can gain a good enough number of impressions and clicks to generate a decent income for you.

It is very important that you choose a good subject matter for your blog. The best topic to focus on with your blog is one that you have a deep knowledge of so that your blog will be perceived as an authority blog on the field that you have chosen to write on.

It is essential also that your chosen topic be large enough so you would be able to write a good number of interesting and useful articles about it. A good number of pages containing well-written and original articles will go a long way in drawing a good enough level of traffic to your blog.

You can use a number of Google publishing tools to help you choose the right subject matter that you should blog on. The Google search tool will help you gauge the number of materials already available about the subject matter you are thinking of for your blog.

You can use the Google keyword tool to check on advertiser competition for the keywords that represent your subject matter that you want to focus on in your blog. You can also use this tool to check on the cost per click information for the keywords that you have chosen to target with your blog.

Properly Place AdSense Ads on your Blog Pages

Proper ads placement on your blog pages helps a lot in gaining more clicks from your AdSense ads. Use your best judgement on the best placement of your ads on your blog pages. You can try different ads placement and stick to the placement that generates the most number of clicks.

I have discovered that ads are more likely to be noticed when they are integrated with the text of the articles in my blog. I have also found out that the best color to use for the test of the ads is the default color of the text of the articles. This approach has proven to be effective on my simple web page design that has a left sidebar and the contents on the right side of the blog page.

You can also try using the same color as the links in your blog page for the text of the AdSense ads. This way the ads may not become as obtrusive as it would blend with the rest of the text of the blog pages. Using this technique helps make the ads look more integrated into the contents of the pages of your blog.

Monitor your Blog's AdSense Performance

You can go to Google's AdSense web site to monitor how the AdSense ads on your blog are performing. This tool can show you how much money has been generated by the impressions and clicks that the ads on your blog have generated. The data can be displayed in different time frames like today, yesterday, this week, this month, last month, and all time.

You can also monitor the general performance of your blog using the Google Analytics tool. This tool displays a host of useful data like number of unique visitors, most visited pages, how users reached your pages, and from what locations your readers are coming from.

You can use the Google Webmaster Tools for managing your blog in relation to the Google search engine. Using these tools, you can check for the search keywords used where your blog appeared in Google's search engine results page. You can also check which web sites and how many sites are linking to your blog pages. The Google Webmaster Tools web site is a great place to resolve some issues that your blog may have on how accessible your blog pages are in the Internet.

Know more about AdSense Program Policies

The Google AdSense web site provides a lot of information for site owners of AdSense enabled blogs and web sites. From there, you can learn about the different ads products, rules for displaying the ads on blogs and web sites, and the system for paying site owners for the display of ads on their sites. You can also choose to disallow some ads from being displayed on your blog using the filters that you can use on the AdSense web site.

You should see to it that you follow Google's AdSense policies to ensure that your account remain in good standing with Google. Make sure that you submit all the requirements that Google asks for before you get paid for displaying AdSense ads on your site. Get acquainted with all the policies and procedures for getting the revenues generated by your AdSense ads.

It might interest you to know that Google allows you to get your payment through your local Western Union branch. If you are like me who have no PayPal account, then this is probably the best way to get the money generated from the AdSense ads displayed on your blog.

Know how you can promote your Blog and Web Pages

There are many ways by which you can promote your blog or web pages. You can submit your blog's feeds to feed submission sites in the Internet. A feed is a summary snapshot of your blog that can be used to promote your blog. You should make it easy for your readers to get your feed by putting a link to your feed on all the pages of your blog.

You can also submit your blog's URL to related portals and local directories in the Internet. Aside from promoting your blog, this technique can gain valuable links from sites that have high page ranks in Google. Sometimes, these sites may ask for a reciprocal link which you should oblige especially if the site has a high page rank that can boost the page rank of your blog.

You can also submit promotional articles to article submission sites with a link to your blog in the author's signature. You can also promote particular pages in your blog by submitting a document to a document submission site with links to the pages of your blog that you want to promote.

Importance of Good Planning

Good planning can jumpstart your blog to become a well-performing AdSense web site. Make sure that you choose the right subject matter for your blog, place your ads in the most productive positions and use your blog's color scheme for the text of the ads, monitor the performance of your ads, know more about AdSense program policies, and know how you can promote your blog and your blog's web pages.



March 17, 2010

Lessons Learned on Using AdSense on Blogs and Web Sites

I never thought that the language learning web site I created would do well with AdSense ads. I have always thought that there can only be limited ads that can be displayed considering that the language being taught is not a major international language.

However, I think that there were two major factors that made the AdSense ads perform well on the web site. The first one is that I chose a subject matter that I have a deep and extensive knowledge about and the second is that I placed the AdSense ads on the different parts of the text of the article itself and I used the same color as the text for the AdSense ads.

My best-performing web site in terms of AdSense is a language learning web site where I provide language lessons using text and audio. Being a native speaker of that particular language, I obviously have a deep knowledge of the subject matter as it is being used by its native speakers like me. While I am not a language teacher by profession, I can still be considered an authority on the subject matter because I know how to speak and write in that language having learned it since childhood.

Because of my deep understanding of the subject matter, I was able to create lessons that I think would be most helpful to those who are in the process of learning the language. Learning a language is a sufficiently large subject matter that there is an endless topic that can be generated out of it. A language is a complex system that includes grammatical rules and a large number of vocabulary words to learn.

Since almost all lessons deal with a related subject matter, the site achieved a deep focus on the keywords that are used in the pages of the web site. There is a natural optimization for the keywords for the site and there is no need to optimize the pages for those keywords. As a result, the pages receive great prominence on searches focusing on learning the language by search engines.

When the number of lessons reached more than 30, I stopped adding more lessons so you can say that my content is not fresh. Yet there is a continuous stream of people who are visiting the site everyday. I think that readers are attracted by the quality of the lessons I have created and the uniqueness of my pedagogical approach.

I have carefully thought about and selected really interesting and useful lessons for this language learning web site. I have also adopted a natural learning approach that is sentence-based. The meanings of the words are taught almost always using a sentence example using the word being taught. This approach is based on the view that the meaning of the word is so much dependent on the context of the sentence.

I have always advocated for learning a language as a child learns it. The child is not taught like it is in the school. He hears sentences which are the natural way by which a language is used. The context of the sentence gives meaning to all the words used in that particular sentence. Hence, you cannot talk about learning words without the use of the sentence where the word is used.

In this well-performing web site, my AdSense ads are integrated into the body of the articles and the text of the ads is of the same color as the text of the article. Maybe readers are more pre-disposed to pay attention to ads when they are embedded with the text of the article. You cannot skip reading about them since they are positioned in various places within the text of the page.

I think that this is a very effective positioning strategy for AdSense ads. Readers will surely never miss looking at the ads in the process of reading the article. This positioning technique is an effective antidote against ad blindness among readers.

I used the same color as that of the text in my AdSense ads on this web site. This made the ads not so much intrusive to the readers making them more predisposed to read the ads and probably click on the ads that may interest them.

Using the same color for ads as the text of the article reduces the distraction that ads may impose upon the readers making for a smoother reading of the article. This reduction in the annoyance brought about by the ads could lead to a more favorable disposition toward the ads among readers.

One major factor that may have contributed to more visits for the web site is the fact that the language learning lessons are provided for free to anyone who is interested to learn the language. The site is also very much accessible as long as you have a computer and an Internet connection.

The online audio component for each lesson help the student learn not only how to pronounce the words but also to say the sentence where the word is used. The sentence in the target language is immediately followed by the translation to English making learning more convenient for the user.

The site has great content for a free online language learning lessons. Other commercial language learning sites offers mediocre free components to entice the users to try a few lessons. However, in this site the actual lessons are free, the only drawback being the presence of non-obtrusive AdSense ads.

Because of the good content on the web site, it was able to generate good quality links that have tremendously boosted its page rank. It was able to get a good link from another authoritative web site dealing with the same subject matter. I also was able to get a good quality link for the web site from a reputable local directory with a high page rank.

My other web sites and blogs do not have the same intense focus as this web site and they work less effectively in terms of AdSense performance. The second best performer for user traffic is the one that has a more focused topic more like this particular web site. My AdSense ads on those other sites are also not embedded with the text of the articles, that is, they are positioned mostly on the sidebars.

So the factors that can make a difference on AdSense performance based on what I learned are the quality of content which can only be attained by having an authoritative expertise on the subject matter, the focus of articles on the same subject matter, the placement of the ads on the text of the article and the use of the same color as the text of the article for the text of the ads.



March 16, 2010

How to use the System Keys of your Gateway Laptop

Probably this is the first time that you have ever heard of System keys. Well, these are the keyboard keys which are designed to have an alternate use aside from their normal use of representing digital letters and numbers or performing a programmed function.

Their normal use is represented on the key by the white marking and their alternate use is represented by the blue marking on the key. You need to press the Fn key and then press the system key on your keyboard to make use of the system key's alternate function. The Fn key is located on the leftmost part of the first line of keys of the keyboard of your Gateway laptop.

The system keys include the function keys 1 to 12 except function keys 5 and 7, a few page navigation keys, the up and down arrow keys, and the numeric pad keys. I don't know why F5 and F7 are not used but if you really need to know, you have to ask Gateway about it.

The page navigation keys used for alternate function include the End, Page Up and Page Down keys. The Home page navigation key is not used. The normal keys used alternatively as numeric pad keys include the numbers 7 up to 0, the letters U, I, O, P, J, K, L and M, and the characters semi-colon, period and forward slash.

You normally would not use the numeric pad of your laptop's keyboard. It just might interest you to know that your Gateway laptop offers this facility. To make use of this feature, you need to turn the numeric lock on your keyboard on by pressing Fn and then pressing the Scroll key on the right topmost line of keys on your Gateway laptop's keyboard. You can turn the numeric lock off by pressing the two keys one after another one more time.

Use the F1 system key to toggle the status indicators on your Gateway laptop to on or off position. The status indicators are located below the left and right buttons of your keyboard's touchpad. The indicators tell you if your wireless adapter is on, if you have pressed the Caps Lock key, if you have turned on the numeric lock, if your disc drive is reading or writing, and if your hard disk is in use.

Press the Fn key and then press the F2 key to turn your wireless adapter on or off. Check with the status indicators to find out whether your wireless adapter is turned on or off. Use the F3 key in conjunction with the Fn key to bring your Gateway laptop to Sleep of Hybrid Sleep mode. You can then press the Power button to leave make your laptop leave the Sleep mode.

The F4 key together with the Fn key is used to toggle your display to your laptop's LCD, an external monitor or projector, or both the LCD and the external monitor. The Fn key and the F6 keys are used to turn the optional internal Bluetooth device of your Gateway laptop on or off.

You can press the Fn and the F8 keys once to increase the intensity of your LCD's display. If you press the two keys again, the display will dim and if you press the keys a third time, your LCD's display intensity will return to normal.

The Fn key in conjunction with the F9 to F12 keys are used to control the playing of your CD or DVD disc. The Fn and F9 keys are used to play or pause the CD or DVD. Fn and F10 keys are used to stop the playing of the CD or DVD. Fn and F11 are used to skip back the CD or DVD one track or chapter respectively while the Fn and F12 keys are used to skip them ahead one track or chapter.

Use the Fn and the Up Arrow key to increase the brightness of your laptop's display. Press the Fn and the Down Arrow keys to dim your laptop's display. Use the Fn and PageUp keys to increase the volume of your laptop's speakers. Use the Fn and the PageDown keys to decrease the speakers' volume. To mute the sound on your laptop's speakers, press the Fn key and then the End key.

System keys provide additional functionalities that you might find useful someday. You don't really have to memorize their alternate functions. Just know that they are there and ready to be used whenever they are needed. The information I have presented here are based on the Reference Guide of my Gateway laptop computer.



March 11, 2010

A Generalized Article Writing Template for something that you want to write about

I describe a generalized template for writing an article about anything under the sun. The template would basically consist of three parts; the introduction, the body and the conclusion. The article could be about a person or an object, or it could deal with something more abstract like a truth that you have discovered or how an undertaking should be done.

The three-part article structure is a universal pattern that can be adopted for writing on any topic that you want to write on. An article is a short write-up about a single topic that your readers might be interested in. It should present a complete body of information that will prove useful to people who are experiencing a problem or about to undertake an action on which they want to have information about.

The article template is the imaginary outline that you hold in your head as you write your article. It could be used as a means to fight the writer's block which can prevent you from starting on your writing activity. It also ensures that your written output will be complete and useful for the person for whom you are writing your article.

When writing about someone or something, you should define the person or object that you are writing about in the first paragraph of your write-up. Each of the next few paragraphs should say about a particular aspect of the particular object that you have chosen to write about. If you have chosen to write about a person, you might want to include a paragraph on the origin of the person, his early childhood, his youth, his education, his career and his accomplishments or prizes received and awards given. The last paragraph would contain a summary statement about your topic, leaving your readers with something to remember about your chosen subject matter.

You can write a short article about a conviction that you have or anything that you believe in. The realization could involve something that you have learned as you struggle to survive in this world. It could refer to something that you have learned based on so many instances of something happening that you could almost predict what the outcome would be.

The first paragraph is where you categorically say the statement that embodies your belief or conviction. The next few paragraphs would explain why you believe in the statement that you have put forward in your first paragraph. Each paragraph would explore one reason why you believe the statement that you have introduced in the first paragraph is true. In the last paragraph, you would basically repeat your belief or conviction by saying it in a different way and by providing a list of the summarized reasons why you have come to hold such belief.

Your article topic could also be about how to perform a certain task or activity. In such a case, you would need to define the task or activity on the first paragraph of your article. In the second paragraph, you might need to tell your readers who are the people who must perform such an activity and when such activity needs to be performed.

Your next few paragraphs would discuss one after another the steps required for the task or activity to be completed. On each of these paragraphs, you might need to explain exactly in detail how each of the steps is to be accomplished. Your last paragraph would basically summarize the steps that are needed to be undertaken for the task or activity to be completed.

Whatever your writing assignment is about, the three-part article template is always a good starting point to launch your writing activity. It can also serve as a guide in searching for information that you can include in your write-up. You can immediately start writing and then stop when you don't have the right information to complete your write-up. You can then set aside what you are writing and do a research for the missing information.

The iterative process of writing and researching can be a good strategy for completing your written assignment on time. You can try skipping taking notes and type your ideas directly on your write-up as you find more relevant information from your research. You can exert a good amount of control in your writing process by visualizing your article in your head based on the universal three-part template.

You could use a simple check off list to make sure that you do not fail to include an important element in your write-up. When you have covered all the important points in your check out list, then your article is complete. The universal three-part article template is a useful tool for organizing your ideas and for controlling your article writing process.

Read my other article on practical ways to improve your writing skills at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/11/practical-ways-to-improve-your-writing.html

Read my other article on a few guidelines on writing translation friendly articles at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2012/01/few-guidelines-on-writing-translation.html.