Sunday, July 15, 2007

Good times ahead!

I finally got a company to respond to me. Cepia LLC. of Clayton, Missouri called me up for an interview, and I went there that very day. I was so nervous, and me traveling in a car with no air conditioning (it does have it, but it will make the car stall) didn't help keep me cool either. I made sure to have as much in my portfolio as possible, scrap notes and sketches included.

As far as the interview went, I was REALLY early. I made sure to leave early enough in case traffic was murder, but I got there pretty much 30 minutes before my scheduled time. I think that's a good thing. I always did that with previous interviews. When I finally got to sit down with the recruiters, I feel like I fumbled through my portfolio a bit. Despite my nervous wordiness, they liked a number of my pieces, especially my paintings. I felt the portfolio review of the interview went well, all things considered. Then I went on a tour of their main office. It's really nice. They mostly do toy design, but before that they did lawn care products. They now handle a wide range of product lines, and everyone there helps with a wide range of assignments, from design to modeling for package design, to human resources.

I REALLY want to work for Cepia, and it's not just because I'm desperate for work. I love all of what they offer, and I like that they provide guidance and a friendly environment for the employees. They seem really close to each other, but still professional enough to make sure everyone's doing their best. I want that, and I really hope I get the job.

I haven't stopped looking for work. I've been applying for any job I feel I'm qualified for. St. Louis Community College is now offering a graphic design job. Ironically, this 2-year college institution is looking for an applicant with a 4-year degree. I'm going to apply anyway; surely my recent college would be happy enough to employ one of their own recent graduates. Harrah's Casino is still posting that they need a graphic designer. I've applied twice for that job, and still no response. I've planned to continue bugging them with constant applications until I receive an answer from them. I feel it's unprofessional and very rude that I do not get any response from an employer. At least let me know if I'm not what your company is looking for.

Enough about my job search. I have even cooler news. Picture.com has photo contests going on, with an annual competition with a grand prize of $10,000. Pretty sweet, huh? Well, my photo, which I have dubbed "Focused on The Fountain" has been entered into the Open Amateur Photography Contest for this summer, and I've been chosen as a semi-finalist for this competition. Not only that, but my photo will be published in the upcoming anthology currently named "Endless Journeys". I feel this is a great honor, so I plan to get 2 copies of the book, for myself and one for my family. It feels like a hefty cost, but if I want to be recognized, I have to pay to have my artist profile in the book. And since I'm going to pay for people to read about me, I'm going to buy the book so I can read about me too. :)

More good news: I've been approved for Smorty and Blogvertise, paid-to-blog sites similar to PayPerPost. While PayPerPost actually gets opportunities in everyday, the availability of the opps depend on how popular your blog is and how fast you are at accepting available opportunities. The popularity thing is a HUGE turnoff, but it seems to be a big payoff. The wait to be paid for approved blog posts also depends on the opportunity.

Smorty is a great way to get paid for blogging, and has a week wait on being paid for blog posts. After accepting an opportunity, the wait for your post to be approved or rejected is two days. Once your blog post is approved, you must wait five more days to be paid. Thus, you can get paid every week for each successful sponsored blog post you make. Unlike PayPerPost, you get email notifications when opportunities are available (I had to search the PPP site to even find the RSS feed). You have to log into your account as soon as you see the opp or else you might miss out on it. The opp availability is not based on popularity like PPP, which I like. With the number of companies looking to advertise on blogs, the number of opportunities increase. Very important: make sure your current sponsored blog posts can be seen from your blog's homepage. If they cannot be seen or not somehow linked on your homepage, your posts will be rejected. I don't believe the posts have to be permanently linked on your homepage, but please keep this rule in mind when you submit your blog posts for review.

get paid to blog

Blogvertise has a 30-day wait after blog post approval. Like Smorty, you get email notifications on new opps, and they are not based on popularity. However, if you choose to neither accept or reject an opportunity, it will go to someone else, and the less opps you will receive in the future. If you're not a very active blogger, accept at least one opp to make sure the Blogvertise team doesn't deem your account inactive.

Regardless of what paid-to-blog program you stick with, don't make consecutive sponsored blog posts. The program's moderators will assume your blog is a blog made strictly to get paid from, which they frown upon. So to avoid getting rejected in the future, keep your blog fresh and full of multiple topics. Also it is recommended that you have a blog that is hosted at your own domain. Most opportunities will not accept blog posts from MySpace, Blog*Spot, Vox, or Wordpress blogs. For instance, Smorty will not approve of blogs unless they have their own domain (i.e., www.yoursite.com). There are other excluded domains, so find a place that has reasonable hosting for your blog.

This is a sponsored post.

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