Sorry for the bumpy ride…

Hi folks,

Over the past few hours our servers were intermittently inaccessible.

This was due to a distributed denial of service attack launched against our domain name server provider.

Though they have 5 different servers in different data centres the vast number of computers involved in the attack made it impossible at times to look up the location of Writer’s Residence.

Basically a whole bunch of computers controlled by a bad guy overwhelmed their servers with requests.

We’re sorry. We’ve moved to a new domain name service provider which has solved the problem.

If you have any questions get in touch support@writersresidence.com.

HOWTO: Adding a video clip to a writing sample

We often get queries about adding video clips to Writing Samples.

For this we recommend using a specialist video hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo, they’re specially geared up to host video, both encoding it nicely for the web and they have lots and lots of bandwidth so your videos will load quickly on your reader’s computers.

To add a video into your Writer’s Residence site follow the steps below:

1. Create an account at a video hosting provider

2. Upload your video

3. Find the embed code they supply for putting a video in another site

4. Log in to Writer’s Resisdence and add that embed code into the body of your new writing sample and fill out the rest of the fields

5. Click save and view your writing sample.

Hope this helps and as ever, do get in touch if you have any questions.

Thanks,

-Tim

A sidebar for your Writer’s Residence blog

Lots of blogs have sidebars with blog rolls, Twitter feeds or search bars etc.

I’ve added a blog sidebar feature for WR that you can get to by clicking on the Blog tab in the management screens and the clicking Blog sidebar in the grey submenu.

That is a markdown enabled field that will show up in the right hand side of your blog page.

I’ve added a blog roll, Google Custom search and a Twitter widget to mine:

http://timharding.writersresidence.com/blog

The blog roll is just a markdown list of links to my friend’s websites:

**Blog Roll**

* [Monica](http://monicashaw.com)
* [Tim](http://gatezero.org)
* [Henry](http://dillonworld.com)

Here are some notes on where to find the search and Twitter widgets to add to your sidebar.

Google Custom Search
– click the ‘Create a Custom Search Engine’ at the top right of the page
– enter your Writer’s Residence website address into the ‘Sites to search box’
e.g., http://lauradavis.writersresidence.com/
– click through next to get the script to copy and paste into your sidebar

http://www.google.com/cse

Twitter Widget
– choose Dimensions and then click the auto width check box
– the finish and grab code button gives you the script to copy and paste into your sidebar

http://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets/widget_profile

Please note that you can also add comments to your blog using a service called Disqus. You can find more about that here:

http://writersresidence.com/blog/2010/09/15/updates-to-the-writers-residence-blogging-tool/

Formatting poetry in Writer’s Residence

Formatting poetry isn’t as straight forward as we’d like it to be. The Internet seems to have been created by engineers rather than poets. Designed with prose in mind.

You can format poetry, it just requires a couple of tweaks.

When you want to break a line hit the space bar twice at the end of the line and press enter.

When you want to break a paragraph press enter twice at the end of the line.

So for example:

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose[space][space][enter]
That’s newly sprung in June;[space][space][enter]
O my Luve’s like the melodie[space][space][enter]
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.[enter]
[enter]
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,[space][space][enter]
So deep in luve am I:[space][space][enter]
And I will luve thee still, my dear,[space][space][enter]
Till a’ the seas gang dry:[enter]
[enter]

If you want help with the formatting of a specific poem send it over via email and we can help out.

Updates to the Writer’s Residence blogging tool

We’ve had a blog feature in beta for a couple of months.

I’ve just added a couple of new features:

  1. Pagination: your blogs will now show 10 posts per page and there is are pager links at the bottom of the screen. This is also true in the Writer’s Residence management screens.
  2. Disqus comments: I’ve added an integration with a blog comment service called Disqus. This will let you add comments to your Writer’s Residence blog by signing up for the free Disqus service and then updating your Writer’s Residence settings to let us know what your Disqus “site shortname” is.

Pagination is pretty self explanatory and is a common feature in all blogs but getting Disqus commenting up and running needs a little further explanation.

Setting up Disqus comments for Writer’s Residence is a two step process.

First, Disqus is a third-party service so you need to create an account with them. Sign up at the Disqus registration page and take note of the site shortname you enter when you create your account, you’ll use this to tell Writer’s Residence about your Discus account.

Now, log in to Writer’s Residence, click the “Settings” link at the top right corner and then click the “Blog comments” link. Enter your Disqus “site shortname” in the box and click “Save”.

Your Writer’s Residence blog now has comments!

Writer’s Residence featured in The Writer

Writer's Residence in The Writer MagThe Writer magazine is currently featuring Writer’s Residence in a “Take Note” article by Karen Rider.

The article is short, but very sweet, and focuses on the site’s ease of use and unique writer-specific feature set. It also includes this lovely quote from one of our users, Maureen Corrigan, a corporate writer from Massachusettes:

“Using WR is effortless and intuitive. I finished my site in a few hours. I love that as long as I can access the internet, I can update my portfolio in real-time, any time, any place.”

Click here to read the article in full.

Naturally, we’re very pleased to get such great press about our service, but the best part is hearing from our customers, who are as much a part of Writer’s Residence as the site itself. We rely on user feedback to drive product development (and our own personal motivation). So many thanks to our users for all of the great input – you help us keep making the site better, and so far, it seems to be working.

US residents can pick up a copy of The Writer at your local newsstands, or buy a copy online at WriterMag.com.

Writer’s Residence PayPal Subscriptions

Writer’s Residence uses PayPal to manage monthly subscription payments.

Unfortunately a number of our customers have been having problems with PayPal when they get a new credit card or bank account.

This is a quick guide to making sure your PayPal account is configured correctly so PayPal can continue to draw monthly subscription payments from your account.

If you need help at any point with this please get hold of us: support@writersresidence.com or UK: +44 (0)220 7193 3255 or USA: +1 (312) 239-0765.

First check that your Credit/Debit cards are up to date. Log in to PayPal. Click “My Account” then “Profile” and then “Credit/Debit Cards”.

Profile Summary - PayPal-2-2

Make sure all your credit/debit cards are up-to-date and remove any cards that are expired.

Credit cards - PayPal-2

Now that you’re sure all your cards are current check your subscription settings. Click My Account, then Profile and My pre-approved payments.

Profile Summary - PayPal-3-2

Next click the subscription from The Freedom Partnership:

Recurring payments dashboard - PayPal-2

In this screen make sure the credit card or bank account selected as the funding source is up-to-date and valid.

Subscription Details - PayPal-4

Now that you’ve confirmed your PayPal account is set up correctly and that there are no expired cards the next time PayPal attempts to take payment things should work fine.

If your payment fails again please contact PayPal and ask them why the transaction is failing. They should be able to help you reconfigure your account so that the next payment is successful. Unfortunately PayPal will not talk to us about your account, for security and privacy reasons.

Some customers have experienced their subscriptions being cancelled while configuring their accounts at PayPal, in the case that this occurs please log in to Writer’s Residence and subscribe again. Your website will be reinstated and none of your work will have been lost.

f you have further problems get in touch with us again and we’ll make sure your account doesn’t expire while we’re trying to sort this out. support@writersresidence.com.

Thanks,

Tim and Monica

Writer’s Residence

Writer’s Residence on Freelance-Zone.com

Freelance-Zone.com » Blog Archive » Writer’s Residence.jpg

Writer’s Residence grew out of my own career as a freelance writer and so I feel a special connection with all the other freelance writers out there who are trying to succeed in this very competitive business and make a living through writing. Freelance-Zone.com has a similar mission, and this week they’ve been so kind as to feature an interview with me on their blog.

Click here to read the interview, and while you’re there, have a poke around the rest of their website – they have loads of useful articles and business advice for freelance writers.

Writer’s Residence [Freelance-Zone.com]

My Interview on Novelists, Inc.

Freelance writer and Web designer Monica Shaw.jpg

A few months ago, marketing expert Penny Sansevieri told us how important it is that authors have a website as part of their marketing machine. This goes for new authors, as well as authors who have already been published. In fact, it’s crucial that multi-published authors have websites so that they can present their catalogue of work in one unified place. So naturally, I was really excited when Novelists, Inc., the international organisation for multi-published authors, contacted me for an interview about websites and online portfolios for authors.

They just published the interview on their blog today and I encourage you to take a look. In addition to advice about writing and websites, I also had the chance to talk about health, fitness and even mathematics. It’s an eclectic interview, that’s for sure, but all the more enjoyable for it.

So thanks Novelists, Inc. for the opportunity. It’s a thrill to be featured on your website.

Read the interview: Freelance writer and Web designer Monica Shaw

How I Got Started: Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

In this new series for Writer’s Residence, established writers tell us about how they got started and continue to succeed as a professional writer.

RuthEThalerCarter.pngToday we talk to the “queen of networking,” Ruth E. Thaler-Carter. Ruth has been writing for pay since high school, and became a fulltime freelance writer and editor in 1985.

There’s no question that Ruth epitomizes “freelance success”. She runs a thriving international writing and editing business out of Rochester, New York, and has numerous awards to her credit, including Communicator of the Year for her contributions to the International Association of Business Communicators.

In addition to writing, Ruth is also an exceptional public speaker and has run seminars on a variety of topics, primarily newsletters and freelancing, but also starting a nonprofit organization and general organizational communications.

Ruth was kind enough to share some of her wisdom about how to succeed as a freelance writer. Read on for Ruth’s thoughts on getting started, staying in business and the importance of networking.

How did you get started as a freelance writer?

I sold my first freelance work while in high school, which was a great lesson in life’s possibilities, and found that freelance work was a lifesaver when I was in one of those “I quit/You’re fired” situations at a full-time job, which was an even better lesson in survival. Freelancing gave me ways to use all my interests and skills while working full-time in jobs that focused only on one topic.

What do you think has been the key to your success?

Topnotch writing skills and a lively interest in the world around me.

What do you like most about being a freelance writer?

The variety in topics I get to write about and people I get to “meet” through my work. And the freedom to work as, when, how much and on what I please!

How do you use your website to promote your writing?

My website serves as both a way to be found for those who haven’t met me or heard of me yet, and an online portfolio for prospective clients, especially those outside my geographic area. I get inquiries from prospective clients thanks to being present on the Internet through my site, and I can point people to it when they want examples of my work – I don’t have to rely on in-person meetings to show clients what kinds of work I’ve done, or that I’m really published as I claim to be.

You are the “queen of networking” – what is the first step writers should take to network with others in their field?

Learn from your colleagues and give back to, as well as get from, them. Networking is a two-way process. People can tell when someone is just trying to use them for personal advancement; don’t be that person! Be visible and active in any organization you join – contribute to its publications, join a committee, participate in a discussion list, etc.

What is your top tip for people who want to get started as a freelance writer?

Never give up!

Thanks to Ruth for this encouraging interview. She is a bounty of advice. If you’re an aspiring freelance writer and would like to learn more, check out Ruth’s nifty guide: Get Paid to Write! Getting Started as a Freelance Writer.