Wouldn't it be neat if you could land a job because of a leaf you had written on Zujava? It turns out you can! TVJunkie has received freelance writing work because of her Swan River leaf. In addition to her freelance writing, she's also an avid TV watcher (I asked her some recommendations on what shows to watch), blogger, and social media expert. Read what she had to say in the interview below, and feel free to ask further questions in the comments at the bottom of the page.
TVJunkie has received freelance writing work because of a leaf she has published here on Zujava! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your passions, and the topics that you write about?
I’m a professional freelance writer and I make my living working from home. I kind of fell into freelance writing when I was newly single with two young children. I had a job, but it wasn’t enough to pay the bills. I needed a second job but I didn’t want to have to leave the house to do it. I looked at a lot of other options before I realized that I could make money doing what I loved - writing!
I’m totally passionate about social media. My family laugh sometimes because when I get on the topic of Facebook or blogging or making money online I get very excited. Most of the time they don’t know what I’m talking about but it takes me awhile to recognize that clued out look on their faces. I also love television, thus my name on this account. I watch the best reality shows (Big Brother, Biggest Loser, Amazing Race) and I love crime/drama shows like Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Minds. I also love Showcase shows like Weeds, Californication, The Big C, and Breaking Bad. I know - all those shows - how do I have time for anything? But I manage somehow.
You recently have been employed due to a leaf you've written on Zujava. Can you tell us more about how that happened?
I only recently started writing on Zujava, so I was surprised when one of my leaves started getting a lot of local attention. I had written a leaf about my hometown at a suggestion I’d seen on here somewhere. I’d never done that before. It took awhile to write because there was so much I wanted to say. I used videos from YouTube and my own pictures. When I published it I shared it to my social media accounts and a lot of the traffic came from there.
Then, I got a friend request on Facebook from the president of our local Chamber of Commerce. And then comments from local people. It turns out that the president of the Chamber of Commerce has a Google alert for Swan River and found my leaf through that. Apparently, he liked it and emailed it out to his contacts. One of his contacts was the general manager of our local paper. He read it and then read my other leaves, one of which is a self-bio. Since the local paper was short on writers he left me a comment and asked me to contact him. Since then, I’ve had a meeting and several emails with him and we’ve agreed to work together on a freelance basis (which is how I prefer it). Other people hat have contacted me or commented include members of our town council and our tourism board.
You're an avid user of Twitter and other social media. How would you recommend that writers tastefully yet effectively promote their work using these social outlets?
There are three things that I consider absolutely critical in using social media effectively.
1) Consistency. You can’t just throw up a couple of links once a week or so. You have to be on there almost every day. You have to consider it part of your “business” if you’re serious about making money online. Business people invest money in advertising. We invest time in social media. You have to either spend money or time to make your business grow.
2) Provide value. If you’re just writing the shortest articles you can get away with (just hitting that 400 word count) and it is filled with fluff no one is going to bother reading it and they will learn that the links you share aren’t worth clicking on. But if the links that you share (and remember they don’t always have to be yours - in fact they shouldn’t) are interesting, solve a problem, provide useful information, or are just plain entertaining, people will be more likely to click on your links in the future.
3) Connect. Don’t just promote yourself. Share others’ work, too. Ask questions and answer questions. Compliment people. Have mini-conversations. If you connect with people you will make friends and friends share their friend’s work.
Which shows are you watching on TV right now?
Right now the big one that I’m watching is The Big C, which is just finishing up. We’re kind of in the middle of schedules so most shows have ended and we’re waiting for the new ones to start. I’m really looking forward to Big Brother starting in July though. And Weeds and Breaking Bad both start next month, too! There’s a new reality show on ABC that I will likely be checking out, too. It’s called Glass House and it is similar to Big Brother but the audience makes all the big decisions, so I think it will be worth watching.
What do you like best about writing on Zujava?
I love the forum and the support and I love the format. I think that there is a nice selection of modules that you can add to make each leaf interesting and visually appealing. I also love the fact that there is more than one way to earn. You can add your own affiliate links (within reason) and you can earn from Adsense, plus you can earn just by being a prolific talented writer. I always tell people that when they are working on residual earnings that they can’t put all their eggs in one basket. Adsense is a great program but you have to be aware that people have lost their Adsense privileges and no one is immune to that possibility. So choose a variety of sites and a variety of earning options.
If you could give just one tip to other authors publishing on Zujava, what
would it be?
Write from the heart. If you have never used a product, don’t review it. If you can’t get excited about the topic you are writing for it is not for you. People read things that they are interested in and your writing should reflect that you are interested in it, too.
And I briefly mentioned this but don’t write with the focus of using the minimum word count. There’s nothing wrong with a 400 word leaf if it is focused and provides value but a 400 word leaf that is just made up of filler content is boring. No one wants to read that.
Care to share any plans for a future leaf in the making on Zujava?
Since Big Brother is starting in July I definitely have a Big Brother leaf coming with modules that will include the most lovable participants, the most evil participants, and the some of the biggest controversies on the show. Big Brother is going into its 14th season so you know there will be lots to talk about!
What would you like to see next on Zujava?
I’d love to see the option to personalize leaves more. For instance, the use of different fonts for headings, a choice of backgrounds, etc.
Thanks TVJunkie! We appreciate this interview, and think it's incredible that you've received freelance writing work from your Swan River leaf. They're lucky to have you on board.
Be sure to take a look at some of the other leaves TVJunkie has published before you go: