How Writers Can Use Helium To Strengthen Skills And Get Published

Wait!

Don't run off and start inhaling the noble gas that makes you talk funny!

The element I'm talking about is Helium.com where knowledge rules.

This virtual playground for writers is safe and accessible to people of all writing levels.

As Helium's former Arts & Humanities Channel Steward, I've mentored many writers and helped them develop skills that made them more desirable in the writer's marketplace.

Here are my top tips for writers who want to raise the quality of their work using Helium:



~ Use Helium To Expand Your Writing Community

Helium has a strong and vibrant community of new and experienced writers, and professionals who love to share.

In the forums, not only will you find all the tools you need to make you a success from writing workshops to archived interviews with agents and editors... you'll also gain to access to writers from around the globe.

I have personally picked the brains of historians, college professors, and parents of kids with special needs for material because Helium has provided a haunt for every topic from autos to travel in their Passion Forums.

Helium also has a network of volunteers who moderate the forums. These dedicated New Member Guides offer 1:1 mentoring and provide fantastic daily and open critiques of articles you've written on the site.

Writers looking for a foot in the door will not only find the door is open at Helium but there will be someone there to guide you in and help you become a better writer.

New at Helium are Betaville and Zone groups.

You can get in the Zone or join a Beta group to create and promote content about things you love. Right now, there are Zone pages and Beta Groups about gardening, book reviews and more. Check it out.

Need A Lift?

Writer’s Block? Break the cycle with some fresh air, then sit down and type for fun without frustration.
Writer’s Block? Break the cycle with some fresh air, then sit down and type for fun without frustration.

~ Use Helium For Inspiration

Many writers hit a wall at some point and temporarily run out of ideas.

This is known as writer's block. The dangerous thing about writer's block is while you're waiting for new ideas you're getting rusty.

To break the cycle, back away from the computer for 24 hours, get some fresh air outside then reboot with a little Helium.

Helium has hundreds of titles you can flip through where you're bound to think... ‘Hey, I know something about this, and I can do a better job than the last guy!'

Even if you only participate in Helium's ratings system, eventually a topic is going to pop up that makes you want to contribute to it. This is why the creators of the site put a Write to this Topic button right in the ratings box.

Need more inspiration to write?

Helium has a number of publishers who buy Helium articles submitted in the site's marketplace.

Not only can you write to keep your brain lubed, you can earn more than pennies while you do it. Marketplace articles with word counts between 200 and 1,200 words can bring in $10-200. There are also kill fees for certain articles.

Publishers looking for specific fill content are also purchasing existing articles as stock content. These go for around $7 a piece. So if you write to hot topics, you just might wake up and find some extra cash in an email announcement.

Get Glowing!

Get winning results by becoming a more efficient writer.
Get winning results by becoming a more efficient writer.

~ Use Helium To Write Faster

It's important for freelance writers to write not only well but fast and fluently because in order to make money, they have to produce as many high quality articles as their minds can craft and fingers can type.

Each week there's a contest at Helium with a variety of topics in 25 new titles in each category. With the clock ticking it's easy to get into the spirit of things,...but I always keep in mind quality counts.

Since articles remain on the site forever, you'll want it to get top billing with good material because that's where your pennies add up over time.

Yes, you can edit articles, but the edited article will drop in its ratings until it's re-rated.

~ Use Helium To Learn How To Self-Edit

Learning how to self-edit is a must have skill for any writer... and the rating system at Helium is one of the best ways to understand the principals of self-editing.

It doesn't take long to see you can learn a lot from the mistakes of others.

How many times have I seen the words your and you're used incorrectly?... Enough to tell you that I now watch out for the error in my own writing.

Sometimes the mind gets lazy...reviewing someone's work with a critical eye is certainly a wake up call for all writers.

Team Publish

The publishing team can be intimidating, but learn to think like them and you’ll stress less over contacting them.
The publishing team can be intimidating, but learn to think like them and you’ll stress less over contacting them.

~ Use Helium To Empathize With The Publishing Team

I'd like to introduce you to a few people writers often fear.

These guys are agents, editors, and publishers, but from now on we're going to start addressing them as "the team".

The team has one goal: To Make Money.

It's no big secret in business ... time is money ... but it's a rarely spoken fact that many members of the team feel taking on new and unpublished writers is a waste of time.

The biggest mistake a new writer can make is not knowing how the team thinks, and the only way to achieve this is to walk a mile in the team's shoes, so no one's time is wasted.

What is Rating?

Users are presented with two articles side by side. The user then chooses the article that is most appropriate for the title, has a better presentation, grammar, and format. The chosen article rates higher in the title listing.
Users are presented with two articles side by side. The user then chooses the article that is most appropriate for the title, has a better presentation, grammar, and format. The chosen article rates higher in the title listing.

Chew on this ... if the team wants to be successful, they must be quick and competent judges because they only have seconds to decide who stays and who goes to the slush pile.

If you want to impress the team, you must have a deep understanding about why and how they use this kind of pass/fail system when it comes to queries.

By using Helium's rating system, you become the judge, and as you rate, you will start to see patterns of what makes great eye catching material, and what makes you automatically disregard an article.

Once you've internalized the process of judging at Helium, think of things you can change to keep the team's favor and interest long enough for your query letter to stay out of the automatic reject pile.

Social Climbing

“The Elevator To Success Is Closed, so you must take the stairs one step at a time.” unknown
“The Elevator To Success Is Closed, so you must take the stairs one step at a time.” unknown

Use Helium To Build A Writer's Tool Shed

A lot of people are looking to make big bucks by becoming a writer.

I believe it's only possible only if you have time, talent and an exceptional work ethic. However, I also believe any writer with a decent tool shed will at the very least find publication in some medium.

So the two big questions I'm sure will arise from this article will be:

  • Can you make big bucks at Helium?

Anything is possible in the universe.

  • Can you use Helium to build a well-stocked writer's tool shed?

Absolutely!

A writer with a well-stocked tool shed has what it takes to build a writing career on the Internet and in print from the ground up.

Start your writing career with a solid foundation, and you'll have fewer problems when it counts.

New Note: Purchased "Marketplace" articles are considered to be published clips. You can add appropriate clips to your queries.

More by this Author


Comments 13 comments

lauralong profile image

lauralong 8 years ago from East Texas

One of the most informative articles I have read in a long while.

Great Job!!!


Sangay Glass profile image

Sangay Glass 8 years ago Author

Thanks:)


Mark 8 years ago

Great article. Thanks.


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 8 years ago from Sydney

Sangay, Helium should employ you as a PR person.  I don't dispute that Helium is developing a great community of friendly writers, however you know that I have serious reservations about the value of the rating system, and also that I feel it's important Helium's earnings potential isn't overstated.  

According to my research, average earnings on Helium are around 10 cents per article per month. It's true that many other internet writing sites are no better, and some are worse, but we should

not raise false hopes!

It is good to see Marketplace developing as a serious

 venue to sell your work for more "serious money" 

 


Sangay Glass profile image

Sangay Glass 8 years ago Author

Thanks Mark!

And Hey Marisa!

It’s funny you said that because I think missed my true calling in PR and promotions.

When I find something or someone worth my efforts I give it/them my full support. Just like Jeff Herman up there…he’s the bomb in my book!

I often find myself freely assisting writers with the art of self promotion, and I do what little I can to help propel them, and it’s been a treat to watch them grow.

As for Helium ratings and earnings, it would be great if good raters rated more often, however, I’m not too crazy about the numbers and stats system either.

Having that big red 79 next to my Hub title makes me feel like I got a C on my homework. I try not to take it personally, but I do wonder if people unfamiliar with Hubs will view this article as just a poorly graded paper.

Anyway, like I said in the other forum the Helium experience is still not all about the money.

Of all the writers I’ve been in contact with at Helium, every one of them was there to learn more than earn.

And yes…there are a few who find their way to the forum after writing one article, looking for money because they didn’t read the user agreement or the user guide were everything is laid out beautifully in English.

As a lesson to all…doing research and reading the user agreement should be a standard practice when joining any site simply because you will get more out of the site when you do so.

Finally, I agree that the Marketplace and Pulitzer Center programs are great for showcasing work, and earning more than spare change, still you gotta outshine the competition just like in the real world:)


khmohsin profile image

khmohsin 7 years ago from London,UK

If you are speaking from Writers perspective then I can agree but from SEO and Internet Marketing Perspective, Helium has much less to offer.


Sangay Glass profile image

Sangay Glass 7 years ago Author

Actually there have been a lot of changes. The Steward program has cleaned up tons of bad titles. And when I find a writer who's good but is needs to incorporate SEO savvy into articles, I will help them along. With the content and quality rising, there will be greater marketability.

Personally for me it's always a nice little bonus to see an old title get picked up as stock content. I've sold some titles multiple times because they are hot topics right now.

Betaville zones are new and have all kinds of possibilities. I like them because I have control of the content on them, and I handpick quality book reviews from Helium.

Book and Product Review Zone that I edit: http://www.helium.com/zone/1967-gift-books-great-r...

Plus it makes a nice showcase for writer’s works because publishers have asked for specific content fron writers with certain expertise.

Writer: Profiles: Sangay Glass : http://www.helium.com/zone/2206-profiles-sangay-gl...


lalalisa 7 years ago

Could someone tell me how MANY times a day the rating system is applied to all the articles? I got lucky and mine was rated #1 for about 1/2 hour (luckily I had the presence of mind to take a computer print screen of it for posterity) now it's at number #2 and the article that was #1 before me is now back to being number #1. Thanks:)


Melody Lagrimas profile image

Melody Lagrimas 7 years ago from Philippines

Hi Sangay,

I joined helium a year ago and only published 13 articles and poems by July of last year when I signed up with AC and Triond as I didn't see my rates and my earnings rising. Then I did not visit helium for a few months after that.

However, last February, I decided to visit it again and was surprised to find I had around $3, a writing star, and a rating star when I was not even promoting nor checking my account. I even had two writing stars for about three weeks before it became 1 again.

Then I received emails on the upfront payments for onesies, and for writers with writing stars. So I started getting active at helium again. I even joined the National Poetry Month Contest and had been included in the highest scorers for several days. I also joined the Nursing contest, and became number 1 for a short while. That made me really hooked to helium now, and my earnings from upfront payments just soared.

Furthermore, one of my earlier articles there is now earning more than half of the earnings of all my Triond articles combined. And I don't even participate much in the forum, and very seldom promote my helium posts.

This is a very inspiring hub, thanks.


Sangay Glass profile image

Sangay Glass 7 years ago Author

Hey Guys,

About rating, first. You will go up and down depending on how many others are contributing at the same time. It steadies after about 2 weeks. Unless someone contributes again. Don't go nuts over it, unless you're falling way back. Then you may need to rethink the article.

Melody- glad you're doing well! There are lots of new things and the marketplace is building, check it out too.


wordsword profile image

wordsword 6 years ago

Your hub is quite inspirational even though i never know about helium, but after going through your hubs its giving me a feel good factor about helium, thank you.


Gladis 20 months ago

Gorgeously done! Just wondering how long these lsaetd? Since you used wallpaper glue, does it harden the lace enough that it'll stand up by itself after the balloon starts to shrink after a week or so? I have seen this concept with doilies and modpodge, where they pop the balloon afterward and use the shell as a hanging lamp covering, for example, but I just wondered how this compares. Thanks! Again, beautiful job!


Yusuf 20 months ago

I just wanted to let you know how WONDERFUL our rnecet troop event was. It was something in the Compass, Horsing Around at Lyman Hill Farm in South Berwick. I can't say enough about it the girls LOVED it.Weeks later they are still talking about it. It was a very highly organized, high quality experience for them. If that can be offered to more troops, we strongly recommend it!

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