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To Enter or Not to Enter Writing Contests (writing contests) If you are a freelance writer, it is because you love to write. Why not put those abilities to use and enter a writing contest? You have nothing to loose and a lot to gain. You can find writing contests by simply searching the Internet. Writing groups and message boards may also have listing for these contests. No matter what you writing genre maybe poetry, fiction, non fiction, there is a contest out there for you. Read about them and choose which ones are right for you. It is not necessarily about winning or loosing but about the experience and knowledge that you gain to get there. Whether you win or not there are still valuable things that can be learned or gained by entering into contests. Entering writing contests will help you hone the skills that you have. Try something new, you may choose to write in a niche that you normally wouldn’t. You get constructive criticism from someone new. Someone that doesn’t have to worry about hurting your feelings and that is unbiased can be a wonderful asset to your career. The feedback you receive can be invaluable to you. It will get your name out there and give you a place to showcase your work. Depending on how good your story, if you make it to the next round your writings could be in front of editors and agents. This feedback and criticism is even more important than the first. Do not your eggs all in one basket. Enter a couple contests to get multiple feedback sources. Not every editor or agent is going to agree. By entering multiple contests and find common points about your writing that need perfecting you will be able to concentrate on a general consensus about your abilities. There are some downsides to entering writing contests, too. Chances are that a simple contest is not going to launch your career into star status. Do your research just as if you were going to write an article about contests. For many contests you give up your rights to your entry whether it wins or not. You need to decide whether or not you are willing to give up all rights to your story. If you win it is not a big deal, but if you loose your giving your work away. Are you willing to do this? Research the contest. You can search the Internet for reports or opinions on contests run by the company. You can find valuable information on if the contest is legitimate, if entering has had any effect of previous entrant’s careers, and if it is really worth it in the long run. The bigger and well-established companies will give credibility to your work if you win. But the bigger and more well know the companies are will also bring in tougher competition with well know authors. Some companies offer contests as a disguise. Yes they will give away prizes and declare winners but their main goal with the contest is advertising. It can be in the form of offering you to buy obscure book featuring your contest submission. Sometimes it is an editing company that offers a discount for its services or a company that will offer you discounts on writing classes. A writing contest is just a possible stepping stone. Whether it helps you or not is the unknown, but it definitely won’t hurt you. It may help you reach the next level of your career. You and only you will be able to make the decision on whether or not writing contests are a good move for your career.

Web Hosting - Look Before You Leap Companies that offer Internet-connected servers that provide space and bandwidth for a domain, for one or more web sites, are called Web Hosts. Large companies have private networks that allow them to host domains on their own equipment and IP address range. But for the majority of those who want an Internet presence, a 'rented' web host is a necessity. There are a wide variety of hosting plans available. Some are free, others charge up to a $100 or more per month. Some provide nothing but a tiny amount of disk space and minimal network bandwidth. The web site owner is on his or her own for any thing else. Others offer a range of services, including server and email administration, backups, web site design assistance, troubleshooting and many others. In the world of web hosting, you may often find yourself sharing a server with anywhere from one to a thousand or more other web sites. That allows the web hosting company to keep equipment and staff expenses lower. Many web sites are simple and low-volume enough that the arrangement works fine. When you or one or more of the others grow, it may be helpful to consider a dedicated server. A dedicated server, as the name suggests, hosts only your domain. You can put one web site on it, or as many as you wish. You control the access. You may also, as an option, take over much of the server administration yourself. That may save you money on support costs, but cost you considerable time. If you don't have the expertise, you can end up costing yourself much more than you save. In order to carry out those administrative functions yourself, even if you hire help, it's desirable to have some technical knowledge under your belt. Some of that knowledge will be useful, even for day-to-day tasks apart from dealing with emergencies. FTP, email administration, backup methods and other technical areas are among the more common areas you'll need to be at least somewhat familiar with. When your web site grows to a certain size and level of complexity, you'll begin to find it worthwhile to look at implementing a database. But that brings with it a still higher level of ability, both technical and logistical or creative. Implementing a database can be relatively simple. Designing one that provides what you want, with decent performance and maintenance that doesn't become a nightmare, will take some careful thought. Not everyone has the temperament for that type of work, especially those who prefer graphical design, content creation or development, and the many other web site tasks that are part of every implementation. There are other, more low level administrative matters. Managing disk space, maintaining domain names, dealing with registration and changes, and a number of other 'utilitarian' tasks are also not everyone's cup of tea. Some understanding of how DNS works, as well as the design of the Internet itself, are helpful. That provides a good context for understanding the role of some of those tasks. When you begin to seek out a web host to implement a web site, consider all these factors and look in the mirror. What kind of web hosting you should pursue is determined by a combination of who you are and what's being offered. Look before you leap.

Tackling those Second and Third Interviews to Land that Job If you make it to a second or third interview, you are a serious candidate for the job. The key now is to narrow down the candidates. This moment is when you will determine if you get called with a job offer or receive a notice of rejection in the mail. Arm yourself with the proper tools and make an even bigger splash on the second and third interviews than you did at the first one. The first thing to remember when you are going into a second or third interview is what you said in the first interview. The interviewer will have notes from the first interview so you need to be ready to follow up on things you said initially. This is why it is important to be honest and realistic in the first interview. If you work hard to impress the interviewer and end up lying, you may not be able to recall they lies you told in the first interview. Eliminate this from being the case by telling the truth the first time around. Be armed with questions about the position and the company in generally. Search through information online about the company and get a feel for day-to-day operations. Type in the name of the company in Wikipedia and see what comes up. Many corporations are listed in this massive Internet encyclopedia and information about the company can be found there. Find out as much as you can about the company you are interviewing with. If you are interviewing with the same person the second or third time around, ask about their experience with the company. Questions like, “What is a typical day for you on the job?” or “How long have you been employed with the company?” can help to build a relationship with the interviewer. It also signals that you are comfortable with the interviewer. Not to mention, who does not like to talk about themselves? This is a great way to keep the interview moving on a positive note. Have plenty of questions about the position. Show that you have researched the job and are very confident that you are going to get it. The more inquiries you have about the position the more serious and interested you will seem. By the second or third interview, you will probably meet a number of different people. Shake hands firmly and look them in the eye when talking to them. If you are given a tour of the facilities, ask questions. Do not just let your tour guide point out areas without you taking an interest in them. Although it may seem like second and third interviews should be easier, do not let your guard down. Stay on your toes and be even more prepared than you were for the first interview. As the interview process moves on you will probably be meeting with the person that will be your direct boss or the director. Interviews with these figures may be much more difficult than the first interview which was probably with a human resource person. Be aware of this fact and have answers for those tough questions like, “What makes you the right candidate for this job?” Also be prepared for hypothetic situations that may take some spur of the moment problem solving. No matter what number interview you are on, there are some standard rules to follow. Take copies of your resume to your second and third interviews. Even though the interviewer may have a copy of your resume, you want to be armed with extras just in case there are other people in the department that would like copies. If you meet with different managers they may all ask for copies of your resume. Yes, they have copies, but they want to see if you are prepared.