Monday, December 28, 2009

How to Keep the Momentum Going?

I had a fantastic run with my Christmas stories on Suite101. I'd really only just figured out the SEO 'stuff' and it sure made a difference! Now that Christmas is over, page views have bottomed out. I'm not worried because I believe that's an established pattern but I do feel a bit flat and wondering how to keep the momentum going. The last few stories I wrote before Christmas were very intense as I tried to hone the keywords.

As a feature writer, I'm committed to posting a story a week in my topic which is NZ travel. A lovely visit to Paradise Valley Springs made a recent story. I went with my daughter and grandsons for their Parents-as-First-Teachers end-of-year Christmas picnic. I love all animals but the big cats are especially wonderful. The lion enclosure at Paradise Valley lets you get quite close to these fabulous creatures - we 'oooh' and 'aaah' but they are splendidly indifferent to us!

Another recent story is about the Ngongotaha Trout Hatchery - an interesting place to visit. There's no entry fee to the grounds of the trout hatchery, so for families on holiday it's a great place to stretch the legs, have a picnic and learn something about hatching and releasing trout which is the core business of the hatchery.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CV Writing and Job Searching

Over the past 18 years or so I must have prepared 100s of CVs. The CV (or resume) and cover letter are the tools that will secure an interview. It's a waste of time sending away anything that looks sloppy - but it's amazing how lightly many people take these so-important documents.

As a general rule I think it's useful to get the CV prepared by someone who has experience in CV writing - you need someone who understands what information needs to be collected and recorded in order to best match the job description. People often want to include everything when what recruitment specialists are looking for is brevity and relevance. Although I'm mostly transitioning away from CV writing, here are a couple of links to Suite101 articles about CV preparation and job searching.

Monday, December 14, 2009

This is a fun card I made for my son's birthday. Made a collage first (hours spent searching through old magazines and cutting out scraps) then had it photocopied onto card. I love the original so much I'm having it framed. Adam loved it too. He's been away living on the other side of the world now for 10 years - such a long time with only a few visits in between. I made his crown with a scrap of wallpaper from his grandmother's bathroom. The fantail was photocopied from one of my own paintings to remind him of home.

All the images are copyright so this is just for my own amusement - not in any way for sale. Acknowledging NZ Resene Habitat magazine, Australian Home & Garden, NZ Home & Garden, Australian Country Looks, Air New Zealand Kia Ora magazine, NZ Her Magazine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Busily writing for Suite 101

I started writing for Suite101 online magazine a year ago. Through the year I only managed to do the minimum number of articles required (10-12 over three months) but with a bit more time in October and November I posted a few more stories and learnt a lot about search engine optimisation. The Suite101 work has a lot of potential to build a tidy passive income over the next few years.

With Christmas coming, I've posted a few Christmas-related stories and they're doing well. I like the idea of donating a goat to a charity for Christmas. It's easy to get sucked into the Christmas-marketing whirlpool at this time of year, charging off to to buy mass-produced articles because the advertising's been imprinted on our psyche. But buying unique one-off gifts of original art is a cool and special thing to do for someone.


All material on Art and Writing is owned by Lyn Rasmussen. Permission to republish in print or online must be granted by Lyn Rasmussen in writing.