LifeTips Gurus Tips

Read these 20 LifeTips Gurus Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Writing tips and hundreds of other topics.

LifeTips Gurus Tips has been rated 3.3 out of 5 based on 748 ratings and 1 user reviews.

Writer Memo: April 17, 2006

Words For Writers

The Importance of Keywords: It's essential that you use the keywords associated with each category in your tips. Even more essential is that the keyword you use makes sense in the tip. Going forward, payment amounts will be deducted from a category assignment if all the keywords are not properly used.

Keyword Dos/Donts: You must use one keyword in at least one tip.


  • DO NOT stuff all the keywords in one tip.

  • DO NOT reword the keywords. (I realize some of the keyword phrases may be awkward, but we do have a responsibility to our clients. Please read the "About Us" section on LifeTips.com for more information).

  • DO NOT use the keyword just in the title.

  • DO use the keyword in the title AND in the text.

  • DO make sure the keyword you use for a given tip is used a few times in that tip.


For your purposes LifeTips has given you access on this job board to keyword research tools and keyword density tools. I encourage you to use these tools to learn more about the importance of keywords in tips, and find other keywords that will enhance the value of the tips you write.

   

Grading Tips

When writing your tips, please make sure you complete the following:

1. Fill in the question line: What question is your tip answering?

2. Fill in the mobile line: This is a version of your tip - 100 characters - that opt-in subscribers can download to their cellphones.

3. Watch your spelling/grammar. Spell check before you submit.

4. Your tips need to be clear, concise and provide an action for the reader or consumer seeking information. Most importantly, tips need to add value to the readers life.

5. Do not put hyperlinks in the tips.

   

Letter from the Editor

Dear LifeTips Writers and Authors:

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the fastest growing consumer tips site on the World Wide Web. At LifeTips, we strive for quality and excellence. Readers come to LifeTips for information and familiarity on every aspect of their life. From gardening and crafts to divorce and disease, LifeTips is a powerful tool for all knowledge seekers.

As your Editor, I'm here to help and guide you during the tip writing process. Whether it's brainstorming on a tip site, answering user questions, or facing writer's block, you should feel free to contact me.

There are many projects to complete here and I will come to know you all very well, as we'll work closely together during the duration of your assignments. But you're probably wondering, who in the world is this person and who gave her an “Editor” title? Here is a little background on my professional career and knowledge base:

After five years in the mutual fund and investment industry, I checked out for a career in journalism – my first true love. I've been a reporter for almost a decade covering business, economics, politics, community relations, and consumer spending and marketing. After receiving my master's degree in journalism from Boston University, I set out to conquer Washington, DC. After five months as a Capitol Hill correspondent covering everything from FBI trials to Pentagon proceedings, I traded in my press pass for a steady job writing business news for Banker & Tradesman in Boston. After two years with Banker & Tradesman, I moved on to Boston.com and The Boston Globe where I served as online editor for the business section and a contributing writer for the newspaper. Today, I am thrilled to be the Editor for LifeTips, and I look forward to seeing the company, and its writers, soar to great heights.

I look forward to working with you all in the future. Thanks for being an integral part of the LifeTips family.

Best,

Melanie Nayer

p.s. Please take some time to review all the subcategories in this Tip Site. They are designed to help you through the writing process, and also provide insight on how each project works.

   

Separation of Church and State (Tips)

I've received a lot of questions about the new way we're writing tips, and I'm hoping to clarify them in this area. First with a review, then some answers to your quesions.
Here is how it works:
When you log on to your project, you'll see required keywords and suggested keywords in the left side column.
The REQUIRED keywordds are necessary to include in the "Client Related Tip:" callout section in 30 tips. Visit the Nailcare Tips for an example.

*It's up to you to choose which 30 tips you feel are relevant to the client's site and pull from those 30 tips an additional tip that will incorporate the required keyword.

For example from the Nailcare Tip site:

Cuticles Have a Purpose
Ever wonder what your cuticles are actually there for? According to some sources at Valeriia.com, "The cuticle protects the nail root from bacteria." This is why it's important to always take care of your cuticles. Always use a cuticle polish remover instead of cuticle clippers to remove cuticle clippings. If you open or remove a cuticle, bacteria can form straight to the blood stream.
Avenue You Tip: (the client): Having the right nail care products will help keep your nails in good shape. Find the necessary nail care implements for your at-home manicure set, and keep your cuticles and nails healthy and groomed.

Keyword: Nail care implements

Things to remember:
1. You are writing 100 tips
2. In 30 of those 100, you'll write a related tip that focuses specifically on a required keyword. (So, for each required keyword you write a "related tip".)
3. In the description area of your project, I'll highlight the sponsor so you can write related tips, but I would also expect you use research from competitors and informational sites to create tips.
4. PAYMENT: You get $10 for each tip that includes a "Related Tip," then the additional 70 tips are rated on a scale from $1-$10, as usual.

   
What can I find on the job board?

The Writer's Job Board

The Job Board is available to you for work and resources. It's in your best interest to read the job board on a regular basis, as I'll be posting updates and new projects on the board. Soon we'll be rolling out a new community bulletin board where all writers can connect with one another through the job board. Also, the job board has very valuable resources including keyword density tools, keyword research tools, and links to resources online that will be able to help you complete projects.

   

Writer Memo: May 22, 2006

Words For Writers: FAQ From Writers
Here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions:

* What is the "mobile" field? LifeTips is working with a mobile marketer to supply "Tip of the Day" messages to opt-in cellphone subscribers. The "mobile" field is a smaller version of your tip that will downloaded to cellphone subscribers.

* What do I include in my bio? Your bio for a particular Tip Site is used to introduce you to our clients and our more than 3 million monthly viewers. You should write your bio so that it accentuates your expertise and credentials.

* What is the difference between "required keywords" and "suggested keywords" on the tip projects? Required keywords are keywords that the client of the site wants to optimize for in their Tip Site. Those keywords will be linked in the tip and MUST BE USED. In addition to the client keywords, our team researched other keywords that are popular and heavily searched, and we suggest you use those keywords in the tips, too. Using the suggested keywords in concert with the required keywords only boosts the value of the tip in the search engines.

* How do I know if I've been assigned a Tip Site project? Within one week of your application, you'll get an email from Melanie Nayer with a due date. If you do not get an approval email, keep applying for more jobs!

* Can I apply for more than one project? Absolutely!

Tip of the Week:
From the Diet Tip Site, Authored by Tanya Zilberter
Tip: How to Look Slimmer, Instantly
With the same body weight, the better your posture, the slimmer you are perceived by others.
Here's how: Standing in front of a mirror, lift up your shoulders, rotate them back and press them down. Keep your shoulders as far back and down as you can for the count of 16. Relax your arms. Make your neck long and straight, do not tilt your head. Flatten the lower part of your back and contract your abdominal muscles to flatten your stomach. Take a minute or two to 'memorize' how your body feels while in this position. Remember this feeling every time you want to look slimmer.
Editor's Note: The tip is informational and helpful, and adds value to the reader. Tanya did her research and found one of the most popular asked questions, and focused on the keyword "slimmer" in her answer.

   

Error Messages in Job Board

ATTENTION WRITERS:
This is an example of what your job board tip area should look like now:

If it does not look like this, do not attempt to write tips. Instead, email melanie@lifetips.com and aaron@lifetips.com with a screen shot of what you're seeing in your tip folder.
Thank you!

   
What are the deadlines for LifeTips projects?

Deadines and Due Dates

Each tip project is different and thus every project has a different deadline. When you've been approved on a project, you'll receive an email from me with your deadline date. This date is non-negotiable, except for extreme circumstances. In most cases, a writer will have three weeks to complete an assignment. Before you apply for a job, make sure you're available to see the entire project through.

   

LifeTips writers "Rules of the Road"

So you want to write for LifeTips, the leading online publisher of consumer tips? Have a great idea for a tip site and want to cast your spell on audiences? Before you break out your dictionary and start organizing your categories, take a look at the top rules for LifeTips writers:

1. Know your audience! It's important for writers to know WHO they are writing for in order to connect with the readers. This way, the readers get the most out of the tips.
* Example: If you're writing tips for a tax-sponsored tip site on Lifetips, your tone should be professional and business-like. The readers are likely to be over-21-year-old professionals, business owners and individual tax filers looking for ease and simplicity for filing taxes. Avoid slang terms and abbreviations. Taxes are a complex issue and people want clear and concise definitions.

* Example: If you're writing tips for body jewelry or tattoos, your audience is going to be more relaxed and "hip." Slang words are ok if they are industry-related, and the tone can be fresh and fun.

2. Spellcheck. Most word processing tools have a spellcheck option - USE IT. Even though you can write your tips directly online now, it might be beneficial to write them first in Microsoft Word, WordPad or Works and use the spellcheck option before submitting your tips. Misspelled will cost you - $1 minimum will be taken from each tip that has a misspelled word. And, if the tips are written poorly, the audience won't take them seriously.

3. Use present tense. These tips are meant to be used at any time so keep the tense present unless you're specifically writing about something that takes place in the past. Do not change verb tense within a single paragraph.

4. Re-read your tips! Be careful - it's easy to misuse and misspell words. Double-check the following words before submitting your tips:

* Your and you're

* Their, there, and they're

* "A lot" is two words

* Its and it's

* Internet, World Wide Web, Web, and Net - anything referring to the use of or in reference to the Internet is capitalized.

* A good idea is to bookmark: www.dictionary.com - if you're unsure of the correct spelling or use of a word, double-check.

5. You can use acronyms, but make sure you define the acronym for the reader. For example, if you're writing a tip about workplace safety and you site OSHA regulations, make sure you define OSHA: Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
** If you're referencing something multiple times in various tips, it might be a good idea to make a category out of that acronym, instead of spelling out the definition in every tip.

6. When writing numerical information, keep the following rules in mind:

* Numbers one through nine are in written form and anything above 10 is numerical. Easy rule: single-digit numbers are written, anything with two or more digits is numerical.

* Always use numerical form when writing about dollars and cents. For example: $100, or 50 cents.

* When starting off a sentence with a number, it is always in written form. For example: Eighty years ago the great inventor John Doe created something.

7. Bullet points and numbered items make tips simple. For example: if you're writing for the mortgage tips site and your tip offers five suggestions for finding an agent, use lists instead of one big paragraph.

8. Re-read your tips out loud. This will help you identify any grammatical or spelling mistakes.

   

Answering User Questions

The point to answering user questions is to create more tips for LifeTips. Our theory is that if a user is asking the question, it's probably on the minds of others. So let's make the answer available to everyone.

If you're assigned to answer user questions, you'll be prompted every time a user submits a question to your "site" to log on to the writer's admin and answer the question.

The goal is to turn the answer into a Tip that can be used on the specific tip site you're answering for. Each tip you reproduce is worth up to $3.

When you've finished answering the question and writing the tip, submit it to me for approval. It's that simple!

TIP FOR WRITERS: You can answer as many as you like before submitting.

PLEASE REMEMBER: ONLY SUBMIT YOUR ANSWERS. IF A QUESTION IS IRRELEVANT OR A DUPLICATE, JUST IGNORE THE QUESTION.

   

Deadines and due dates for writers

Every task has a deadline, and as professional writers, you're expected to meet those deadlines.

* For assignments that ask for 30-50 tips, you will have one week from the day you are assigned the task to complete the assignment.

* For assignments calling for 100 new tips, you will have up to two weeks from the day you are assigned the task to complete all the tips.

* For site clean-up projects, you will have up two weeks from the time you are assigned the task to complete the tip clean-up project.

   

How to Maneuver Your Way Through the Writer's Admin Tool

All assignments can be done online and filed online. There are multiple steps to take, so here are some helpful hints:

1) Log on every day to view new assignments.

2) If you are qualified to write the tips for a particular assignment, hit the "apply" button to submit your name for the task.

3) Once you are approved for a task, all writing assigments will be done online. (Note: If you are approved, you will receive an email and a deadline date).

4) View the task projects from your writer's admin tool - you'll see the category, keywords, and the number of tips needed for each category. Start writing!

5) When you're done with a category, and there are no more changes, send the tips to me for review. You do this by hitting the "DONE" button at the bottom of each category page. (Note: If you hit "SAVE" this will allow you to come back later and make changes).

6) If the tips are rejected, you will get the entire category back - this does not mean all the tips in the category have been rejected. The rejected tips will have notes from me asking a question, or providing some editorial comments to enhance the tip. Make the changes, and send the tip back to me.

It's that simple! Please remember to spellcheck - misspelled words are an automatic deduction from your tip payment amount.

   

Make My Payday!

Freelancing is not an easy gig, and I emphathize with your need for immediate cash. Lifetips writers get paid at the beginning of every month without exception. Here is how it works:

* On the first of every month, our accounting department will pull the prior months task list and payment report. They will write a check and include an invoice and breakdown of the amount paid. For example: If you submit a completed task on Jan. 5, you will not receive a check until the first or second week of February. If you submit a completed on Jan. 30, you will most likely get paid the following week as the task list will be pulled on Feb. 1 for the month of January.

   

New Gigs

You'll create 100 new expert tips if approved, paying up to $10 per tip. Payment per tip varies according to the quality and value of the tip in making life better for your readers. If you have proven experience and proficiency in the topic, you are encouraged to apply.

Upon approval, you'll work directly with our editor, Melanie Nayer. You'll review a category map for tip content development and a summary of keyword research for rich words and phrases to be featured in the Tips you create for the project. You'll also create a custom BIO with optional picture which will be featured on the contributing writer page of the Tip Site. Upon completion of the project, we'll pitch your talent to the clients for additional projects.

   

Answering User Questions: Tip Value

Since we've opened up the user questions for all to answer, I recommend that you re-read the tips I posted at writing.lifetips.com for style and consistency. Here are some quick pointers for answering user questions:
1) The tip should be in LifeTips Tip Form: action-oriented! Each question is unique, and the answer should be as well.
2) You must rewrite the question so that it is spelled correctly, is easy to read and is in proper English. Remember: this question/answer will be live on the LifeTips site.
3) Sources are required for questions that ask for advice on relationships, abuse, therapy, etc.
4) Do not write in first-person. A tip is written for everyone!
5) Please submit tips with no more than 10 in a bunch.

Here is an example of a great tip that came from a user's question:
Question: What are the characteristics of children with dyscalculia?

Title: Dyscalculia in Children
Tip: Children with Dyscalculia often struggle with math problems.
This specific type of learning disability often presents itself early in the child's educational career. A child with Dyscalculia often has problems in the following areas:

-Has trouble with spatial problems and lining up problems correctly for solving.
-Has trouble sequencing problems and often write numbers backwards or out of place.
-Often confuses numbers that are similar.
-Has trouble using a calculator.
-Often has trouble telling time.
-Struggles with money and budgeting.
-At times seems to know basic math facts, at other times may not remember them.
-Has trouble mastering concepts.
-Has trouble remembering locations of states, cities, countries, etc. on a map.
-Gets lost easily.
-Has trouble keeping score when playing games.
-Has trouble with number recall. Often omits numbers or adds extra numbers when doing mathematical problems.

If you think your child may have Dyscalculia, please consult with your school's counselor for further advice.

Keywords: Dyscalculia, math, child, children, learning
Mobile: Children with Dyscalculia often struggle in various mathematical areas. Things such as sequencing, writing numbers and using a calculator are a struggle.
Teaching Special Education, http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/dyscalcula.html

Special Notes: The source of this tip is worth pointing out. The writer is a special ed teacher, and that's a valid source. But she also added another site that can back up her analysis and advice to the reader.

   
How do I answer user questions?

Answering User Questions

Answering user questions is an essential part of the LifeTips platform and addition to your portfolio. You are welcome to answer any user question that you are qualified to answer. By qualified, you must have real-life experience in the subject matter either personally or professionally. If you are answering a user's question from personal experience, you are required to provide a source for your information so that the user can find more details, if needed.

You are not paid for answering user questions. These are here to build your credibility in the network and provide you with an opportunity to connect with your audience.

   

Example: Not-So Good Tip

Payroll accounting software

Payroll accounting software is important for small businesses because you reduce the amount of time you or your business manager has to spend maintaining employee payrolls. Using payroll software, like the kind XYZCompany.com offers, you can determine that payments are made automatically into employee accounts, and you can easily refer to payroll history to analyse your payroll accounts for taxation purposes.

* This tip was graded at a lesser level for the following reasons:
> Spelling errors
> Run on sentences/grammatical errors
> Pushing client products/services
> Doesn't give the user any value. The tip says using this software will help analyze your accounts for tax season, but it doesn't tell the user why this is important or value-driven.

   

Public Service Gigs

Public service gigs are Tip Sites at LifeTips that are approved for volunteer creation and development.

You will not be paid up front for the tips you create. We appreciate your contribution however, and will feature your BIO with optional picture on the contributing writer page of the Tip Site.

In addition, if our sales staff ever identifies a potential sponsor for the Tip Site, you will receive compensation of up to $10 per tip for all the tips you create. Payment per tip varies according to the quality and value of the tip in making life better for your readers.

   

Guru Gigs

What does it mean to be a Guru? A LifeTips Guru is an expert in a particular niche or topic, and has a proven track record of success in that field. Guru's bring industry knowledge to the topic, clear and insightful value to the tips, and provide an outlet for knowledge seekers to ask questions and get advice.

Upon approval, you'll create a custom BIO with an optional picture so we can pitch your experience and savvy to the client for paid writing assignment. The assignment can include creating new tips, clean up existing tips, adding fresh news tips and converting users questions into tips throughout the year and more.

Please review the existing Tip Site, and offer your assessment of the tips and Tip Site which we will pitch to the existing client if you are approved.

   

Guru FAQs

Meanwhile, we've taken the time to put together your most frequently asked questions in an effort to try to help you along in the tip writing world. Read on.

LifeTips Content Assignments:
Q: "Do you have any jobs available?"
A: Yes, we always have jobs available. You can find those jobs by logging onto the Guru admin area and looking under "Tip Site Gigs" and "Client Gigs". Please apply for jobs through this area and if we choose you for a project, you'll get a note of approval from one of our editors.

Q: "Are deadlines flexible?"
A: In a word, no. But we do make exceptions. If you choose to ignore a deadline or simply dismiss the deadline you were assigned, you will have forfeited your project and any subsequent cash payout. If you require an extension of your deadline, simply ask us. We're always willing to work with you and come up with agreeable terms for deadline projects.

Q: "Do I have to fill in..."
A: YES, you do. Each and every tip you write must have a question, keyword association, mobile and most importantly, source area filled out. Should you choose not to fill out any of these areas, we will deduct payment from your overall project.

Q: "I'm an expert in a particular area, do I need a source?"
A: If you directly quote someone, use statistics or offer any type of medical, legal or financial information you must source your information.

Q: "How long should tips be?"
A: Tips vary in length, but are usually around 200-300 words, depending on the topic. The general rule: give as much information as you can so the reader leaves the tip with a definite plan of action.

Books:
Q: "Did you receive my book proposal?"
A: If you submitted your book proposal through the Guru Admin area, as required, then yes, we did get your book proposal. Please understand that we get over a dozen book proposals a day, so it takes time for our editor, Melanie, to go through each and every one of them. Once your proposal is accepted, you will hear from us!

Q: "When will my book be published?"
A: The book publishing process is a long and arduous one. The books go through several editorial drafts before the content (inside of the book) is sent to design for layout. The layout process takes the most time, as we need to fit the tips into the allotted spaces, and sometimes add additional pages and design functionality for the books. Once design is finished it comes back to editorial for another proofing. As you can see, this is a back and forth process that requires many proofs and approvals. It can take a few months for your book to be published once your tips have been approved. We are excited, too!! But we take care to review and review and review your tips and the layout to ensure that the book looks its best.

Q: "How do I get paid for my book?"
A: You get paid by live check once a month for any of your books that were sold the previous month through Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com or other retailers. You will be paid $2/book sale.

Q: "How can other people buy my book?"
A: The books are sold on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com and other retailers. You can order directly from those sites. If you have a situation where a client/consumer wants to buy in bulk (more than 100 copies) you can email Melanie Nayer and ask for a bulk rate.

Q: "Where can I find other books that you've published?"
A: All the books in the LifeTips 101 book series are found on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com and other online book sites. You can also find the most recent books published on Melanie's blog, which is updated weekly with new books printed, news on books, and other Guru jobs and information.

General LifeTips Questions:
Q: "Did you get my W9?"
A: Yes, we did. It might take up to 4-6 weeks for it to register online, as your W9 goes through our accounting department for processing, etc. Don't worry! If you sent it over, we're sure it's here!

Q: "What are the keywords/mobile/question areas, and what does it mean?"
A: This is the foundation of tip writing. Please familiarize yourself with the keywords portion first. Keywords are essential for SEO and web content. You must include the keyword(s) you are targeting in your tips. The question is simply that.the question that answers your tip. This "question" will be featured on the FAQ pages of relating tip sites. The "Mobile" field is for opt-in cell phone subscribers to get mobile messaging on their phones. You should write a 140-character (one sentence) summary of your tip for cell phone downloads.

Q: "When do I get paid?"
A: Checks are cut once a month during the first week of every month. If you were due any money, you can safely assume that your check went out the first week of the month after your assignment was approved by our editors. Please allow 10-14 business days for your check to arrive.

Q: "I didn't get paid $10 per tip - why?"
A: We pay UP TO $10/tip, as stated in all the LifeTips documents and terms and conditions. The grading is based on spelling/grammar and overall tip content. Please review the terms and conditions agreement you signed when submitting your application for more details.

Q: "I don't like the Guru Admin area; can I send you my tips in a word document?"
A: We need you to use the Guru Admin area! The Guru admin area talks to our LifeTips tip sites which talks to our book publisher database.it's a lot of technical jargon, but it works! We recommend that you write your tips out in Word, if you feel more comfortable, and then copy them into the Guru Admin project area.

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Guru Spotlight
Heidi Splete