While writing for Associated Content from Yahoo!, I’ve been able to meet and communicate with many interesting Contributors, such as Catherine Spencer. Catherine is a Featured Contributor in the categories of Travel and Crafts & Hobbies, but has articles on a variety of topics.
Catherine’s craft articles are always unique and easy to follow. A Contributor since August of 2009, Catherine has over 270 pieces of published content. From informative articles, articles regarding her Featured Contributor positions, recipes and sharing articles, I always look forward to an email notification that Catherine has published, as I never know what to expect.
Some of my favorites from Catherine Spencer include her Chatty Cathy Chats series, her personal account of Vocal Cord Dysfunction or Asthma?, and Favorite Apple Crisp Recipe. Catherine writes in such a flowing and personal style, you almost feel like you get to know her after reading just a few of her articles.
This interview has been a long time in the making, as both Catherine and I have other responsibilities outside of Associated Content. I am thrilled to finally be able to complete this interview and let you get to know Associated Content Contributor Catherine Spencer a little better.
Catherine Spencer: Catherine
Jolynne M Hudnell: Jolynne
Jolynne: Thank you for granting me this interview. Let’s start with a basic question. Why did you start writing for AC?
Catherine: Last summer, I read an article in “First for Women” magazine about Associated Content that featured Pam Gaulin. It intrigued me, so I went to check out the site. After a few days of reading AC articles and information for contributors, I decided to give it a try. I drive a school bus, so have summers off and during the school year I have 6 hours between bus runs. I was looking for something to do with my time…other than cleaning house! AC sounded perfect. I became a contributor on August 13, 2009 and I’m so happy that I made that decision.
Jolynne :Have you always wanted to write or is this something you just found you could do well once you started writing online?
Catherine: As a child I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to read and print. Never had a problem with imagination! As an adult, I missed writing. I have always loved sending long letters to family and friends. The highlight of my writing each year was my Christmas newsletter. I never dreamed that I could write to make money! When I decided to start writing online last year I didn’t have a clue to what was involved in this type of writing. I’m still trying to figure it all out. I’d never heard of SEO, lexical density; couldn’t download pictures, make a link,…nothing! I only knew that I loved to write so wanted to give writing online a try.
Jolynne: With the new challenges you faced in your learning experience, what was your first few months like at AC? Did you ever get discouraged or feel like giving up?
Catherine: My first few months at Associated Content were exciting. The AC community was so welcoming. I feel very fortunate to have made many online friends here. In early September of last year, I found the New Subscriber for Subscriber forum. The contributors there were wonderful. They welcomed me with open arms and lots of support. Without their help and encouragement, I’m not sure that I would have kept trying to write online. They answered all of my questions. I know that no question should be considered stupid, but some of mine were very close! They answered those questions with knowledge and kindness that I appreciated so much.
It was also a very confusing time for me as I tried to figure out what type of writing “works” online. I finally decided to concentrate on those things closest to my heart. Family, travel, decorating, cooking, and crafts are my favorite topics. I never felt like giving up, even during my most confused days. I’m way too stubborn to do that! Last November I was given a Rising Star Award which was amazing to me and encouraged me even more. I’m not a writer who is “HOT”, but I keep plugging along, enjoying the ride! Most of all, I enjoy the friendship of my fellow contributors at AC.
Jolynne: You were able to learn very quickly what to do, as you were nominated for and received the Rising Star Award. What was that like for you?
Catherine: I felt very proud to receive the Rising Star Award. I felt honored to have been chosen from so many wonderful contributors. I was so excited about it. My family didn’t understand what all my excitement was about. It was awesome!
Jolynne: I see you are a Featured Contributor in Travel and in Crafts & Hobbies. What do you like most about the Featured Contributor program?
Catherine: Yes, I am a Featured Contributor in Travel and Crafts & Hobbies. Having those assignments every month helps keep me focused on those topics. Since both categories are favorites of mine, it’s easy to come up with articles to write. I have to admit that I really like the FC assignment pay. It feels very rewarding to get $10 for an article!
Jolynne: I agree. I love the Featured Contributor program. Are you considering applying for another Featured Contributor position?
Catherine: Two categories in Featured Contributor are enough for me right now. I’ve thought about applying for another FC position, but I don’t want to get in over my head. It’s important to me to have time for my family. I spend lots of time with them. My 5 grandsons will only be young once, and my husband and I feel it is important to be with them as much as possible. All of them live close-by, so we see them almost every day. At this point in my life enjoying our little guys and my elderly mom are major priorities. Plus, even though I love writing FC articles, those submission dates always creep up on me way too quickly!
Jolynne: What are a few of your favorite articles you have written?
Catherine: I enjoy writing my “Chatty Cathy Chats” and “Weird and Wacky Holidays” articles. Chatty Cathy Chats gives me a chance to share a bit of my personal life with readers. One of my favorite articles to research was “Gross & Disgusting Children’s Halloween Party Foods” this fall. I couldn’t believe how many creative, disgusting foods are out there! Sharing my favorite craft projects with readers as a Featured Crafts and Hobbies Contributor has been fun.
I also love sharing travel articles about some of my favorite places in Michigan. Two recent articles are “Autumn Visitors’ Guide to Petoskey, Michigan,” and “Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island-A Step Back in Time.”
Jolynne: Have you written any articles that you weren’t sure would do well, but then they surprised you either by means of a higher upfront or more page views than you expected?
Catherine: An article that surprised me is “Eliminating Fruit Flies” from last fall. I wrote it because I was so exasperated with the fruit flies in my home, never dreaming that it would get lots of page views. It’s amazing how many people are looking for ways to get rid of those little pests! As a newbie last September, I wrote “The Dr. Oz Show on Television Today.” I didn’t realize how misleading the title would be to readers. That article gets 1000’s of page views every month!
My “How To Do Locker Hooking” and “DIY Christmas Gifts with Fabric YoYos” are two craft articles that have surprised me with their popularity.
Jolynne: I love reading your craft articles. You have so many great ideas! So your craft articles are all projects you’ve already made?
Catherine: I’m happy to know that you enjoy my craft articles. Some of the craft projects that I have shared with readers are things that I’ve made in the past, but most of them are new crafts.
Jolynne: The dreaded random question…if you ended up alone on a deserted island, what 3 things would you wish to have?
Catherine: Oh, that’s a tough question! My first choice would be my family, but since they aren’t ‘things’ I would like pictures of them with me. Second, a toiletry bag full of soap, shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste would be wonderful! The third item would be a Bible. I’ve always wanted to read it from cover to cover, but never taken the time. Alone on an island, it would be a good read, and comforting.
Jolynne: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
Catherine: I’d like readers to know what an amazing bunch of people write for Associated Content. I have found a group of caring, supportive, intelligent people who I feel blessed to call my friends. It is wonderful to be able to get to know people from all corners of the world! Jolynne, I’d like to thank you for being so supportive and helpful to me right from the start. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. It means a lot to me! You are definitely one of the most special people at AC.
Jolynne: Thank you for your kind words, Catherine, and thank you for the interview!
I enjoyed interviewing Catherine and continue to enjoy reading her work. With such a variety of content, I’m sure you’ll find something you enjoy as well. Wishing Catherine continued success here at Associated Content from Yahoo!
Catherine Spencer; Associated Content from Yahoo!
Chatty Cathy Chats Article Feed
Vocal Cord Dysfunction or Asthma?
Favorite Apple Crisp Recipe
Weird and Wacky Holidays Article Feed
Gross & Disgusting Children’s Halloween Party Foods
Autumn Visitors’ Guide to Petoskey, Michigan
Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island-A Step Back in Time
Eliminating Fruit Flies
The Dr. Oz Show on Television Today
How To Do Locker Hooking
DIY Christmas Gifts with Fabric YoYos
Pam Gaulin; Associated Content Profile