Friday, February 27, 2009

User Verification Launching Next Week

We announced a while ago that Associated Content would soon be introducing an account verification system.

The system, launching next week, is designed to fight fraud and protect the integrity of AC's library and our entire community. This is a way to ensure that your work is surrounded by original content from verified Content Producers, and that fraudulent submissions don’t slow down review time.

The process is simple — all you need is a phone number. Here’s how it will work:

Soon you'll see messages around the site that encourage you to verify your account. When you verify, you’ll enter your phone number, and a few seconds later you’ll receive a four-digit code via phone call or text message (your choice). Enter this code into the site, and your account will be verified. We’ll also offer alternative methods of verifying your account – please contact verify[at] for details. Once your account has been verified, you will never be asked to repeat the process.

Here is a shot of what an unverified account will look like on your Payment page:

And here's a shot of the verified view of the Account page:

Other important notes:
  • If you’ve already filed an IRS W-9 form with AC, you will not need to verify your account.
  • AC will never share your phone number or other personal information with a third party for any purpose other than verification.
  • You will not be able to receive further payments from AC until your account has been verified. After 90 days, all payments to unverified accounts will be forfeited.
  • You can only verify one account per phone number. If you share a household and phone number with another CP, you may contact us for additional verification options.
  • The system will verify non-U.S. phone numbers.
  • Once the system launches, please contact verify[at] if you have questions or concerns.
Thanks so much, everyone! With your help this system is going to make Associated Content an even better place to publish your work and connect with other Content Producers.

Town Hall on Tuesday, March 3: Submitting Audio/Video Content on AC

Mark your calendars, AC audio and video producers (and those interested in becoming A/V producers).

On Tuesday, March 3 at 8:00 pm ET, there is a Town Hall meeting that will show you what makes a great audio or video piece for Associated Content.

AC's Audio/Video Content Manager Ashley Grantham will walk you through the process of submitting A/V content to AC! This session will contain tons of useful information for both experienced and first-time A/V CPs.

Sign up today!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Associated Content Dead Poet's Society

One of Associated Content's poets maintains an excellent blog to highlight his fellow AC bards and their verse.

Called "Dead Poet's Society: An Outlet for Poets on Associated Content," it is maintained by a Content Producer called deadPoet. Updated frequently, the blog highlights individual poems and AC poetry writers. It also links back to conversations about poetry in the AC Forum. You can make some amazing discoveries on Dead Poet's Society.

Writing poetry is incredibly popular at Associated Content. Last year, over 4,000 Content Producers published at least one poem on AC. The poetry contests, like the Valentine's Day contest that recently wrapped up, get hundreds of submissions from people eager to exercise their creativity and have their work read and appreciated by others. You can see the winner of the Valentine's Very Short Love Poem here.

Stop by deadPoet's blog tonight, it'll help you discover a new favorite poet or poem on AC.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Connecting with Associated Content on Facebook

Do you use Facebook? If you are not currently a Facebook user but are curious, consider signing up. More AC Content Producers are joining Facebook and using it as a promotional tool for their content every day.

Facebook is a great way to connect with other Content Producers. You can also find old friends, high school sweethearts, former coworkers, make sure that your kids are behaving, play games...if you let it, it'll take up loads of your time. Why not use some of that time to show some other CPs what great work you've been doing at AC?

Once you've signed up (or if you are already signed up), follow a few of the steps below.
Voila! Instant AC connections on Facebook. Looking forward to getting social with you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Associated Content Producer on "The Rick & Bubba Show"

CP Ben Eubanks wrote an article in November '08 naming the "Best Talk Radio Shows of 2008." His expertise? He's got a desk job and listens to a great deal of talk radio during his workday.

Ben named "The Rick and Bubba Show," out of Birmingham, AL, as the #1 talk radio show of 2008. He took it upon himself to contact the show's producer to let them know that he'd written about them in an article published on Associated Content.

Rick & Bubba were just thrilled. They hadn't recieved a single award in their 14 years of broadcasting the show because, in radio, "they're like the cousins that you act like you're not kin to." Ben gets a great shoutout from the pair. They're especially thrilled that they beat out Dave Ramsey and Glenn Beck for the win.

You can listen to the seriously funny show here.
(Thanks Michy for hosting the audio & linking to it from the Forum)

Ben's outreach to the Rick & Bubba show about his article was a great promotional idea on his part. If you write an article or post an audio or video feature about a local restaurant, business, event, radio show etc. and you think they might be interested to hear that you have to say about them, get in touch with them about it.
Email addresses and phone numbers are easy to find on most websites, and it is a fantastic way to raise awareness of your work. A link to your AC review on a restaurant's website or a mention on a radio program will drive new traffic to your Associated Content page, as Rick & Bubba surely did to Ben's article. If you need help with promotional outreach, send me (ac_laura) a private message and I'll get you started.

One last thing. Thanks to TechBrief for their post about AC!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's Craft Ideas on Associated Content

Monday's blog entry covered Valentine's Day recipe ideas on Associated Content. Today, in the lead up to February 14th, are a few of the many craft ideas that have been recently published on AC.

Emma S. guides "guys" through the steps to make an easy, heart-shaped planter. All you'll need is a trip to the craft store, a glue gun and a nudge to your creative side with some paint.

A beaded Valentine's Day heart is a simple craft that is especially appealing for children. They can be used as keychains or bookmarks after they're finished.

For more crafting with children, here are Sandra Petersen's "Valentine Crafts for Young Children." A teacher or grandparent will melt when they are handed one of these paper and ribbon confections by a little one. Making something especially for Dad? Read this.

Like flowers? Want them to last longer than a bouquet of cut flowers? Try a silk flower arrangement as a Valentine's day decoration idea. For more of a homemade touch, watch this video of how to make a fabric flower.

Finally, for digitally-minded Valentine's Day creators, a video guide for How to Create a Valentine in Photoshop.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Day Recipes on Associated Content

Valentine's Day is fast approaching. An interesting holiday, with possible historical origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalis, it was later decreed by the Catholic church that February 14th was Saint Valentine's Day. The holiday really took on its current romantic connotations in the 19th century.

Second only to Christmas for in the number of greeting cards sent on a single day, Valentine's Day is hard to avoid but does not have to stressful on the wallet. This year, many people may be considering skipping an expensive dinner date and a babysitter in favor of a more economical and intimate meal at home. With that in mind, Associated Content has some excellent recipe suggestions for at-home Valentine's chefs.

To get into a romantic mood, consult this list of aphrodisiacs by Traci Freeman. Chocolate, champagne and even bananas are on there in addition to the usual raw oysters and pomegranate suggestions.

Plenty of red and pink food is suggested in this meal planner from Amanda Roddy. Pasta for two, Valentine's salad and even pink mashed potatoes will really add something special to your evening.

If the cook is feeling pressed for time (or unenthusiastic about dishes), check out Skye Danzer's "How to Prepare Dinner for Your Valentine Without Cooking."

Finally, what would a romantic dinner be without indulgent desserts? Sabah Karimi shares tempting recipes for Dark Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce, Cappuccino Truffles, Chocolate Lava Cakes and more.

Any suggestions or recommendations of other AC recipes for V Day? Tomorrow--crafts!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Best of AC & Best New CP Awards--January Winners

Associated Content announced the January winners in the Best new CP and Best of AC Awards today.

These three new Content Producers received raves and nominations from AC staff and other CPs. They've been very busy during their first couple of weeks on Associated Content.

January 2009's Best New CP winners are:
  • Brooke Lorren. We have linked to Brooke from the blog before when she discussed AC as a newbie. Brooke lives in AZ and has been publishing about everything from television to health since joining AC in December.
  • B.A. Rogers joined AC on December 26 and got cracking on excellent health and arts content.
  • Washington state resident Coral Levang ads an inspiring personal touch to her articles on fitness, the economy and maintaining a work-life balance.
Be sure to stop by the winners' CP pages and welcome them to AC!

Best of AC is our monthly contest that rewards CPs publishing extraordinary content in a wide range of topics across the site.

The winners of our January Best of AC are:
Be sure to stop by the winners' CP profiles to congratulate them!

The categories for the February 2009 Best of AC Awards are Beauty, Black History and Romance & Relationships. If you'd like to draw attention to content in any of these fields, or if you know of any other worthy CPs you'd like to nominate for these awards, please do so in the Forum here.

And if you think that you've been writing great content in any of those places don't be shy--nominate yourself!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Associated Content Writer Earns Ten Million Page Views

An amazing new milestone was reached on Associated Content at the beginning of February.

R.S. became our first Content Producer to reach (and surpass) ten million page views.


10,010,165, to be exact. It's a huge accomplishment, and one that we hope many more CPs will have the opportunity to experience.

R.S. started contributing to Associated Content in May 2005, just months after we launched the site. Since then, she has published an astounding 4,073 pieces of content covering a diverse array of topics. Her experience provides an excellent example of how good content continues to perform for you over time. She produced an enormous volume of search-optimized, search-friendly content in her early years on AC, and it is that solid foundation that has driven her astounding page view numbers. By creating "evergreen" content that continues to attract visitors, R.S. has established a solid body of income-generating work that earns considerable Performance Pay month after month.

There are several other Content Producers who have reached impressive page view milestones recently. Visit their profiles to see what they're doing to drive such incredible numbers and ensure continual earnings from AC.

Hot on R.S.'s heels is Crystal Ray with over eight million page views.

Kassidy Emerson sailed passed six million and is well on her way to seven.

Emma S. is rapidly closing in on six million page views.

Multiple-PMA winner Pam Gaulin recently passed five million page views and will undoubtedly have many more by the end of 2009.

We're honored to have such successful Content Producers on our site and we're proud that we've been able to provide a platform with such huge earning and exposure potential for them—and anyone—with talent and determination.