To write or not to write?

It has been a few days since I have posted a blog. Monday, I received a phone call about one of my bulk mailers. It was from an organization called AudioOut, at http://www.audioout.org.

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The owner Jeff Grubich contacted me about updating his website. I have know Jeff for about 7 years. We worked together at a warehouse, before we both left to pursue separate dreams of working for ourselves. Him as a music producer, me as a writer.

My mailers went out to some local business, and I must admit, Jeff’s was not one of them. I hadn’t even realized he was as far along with his business as he was.

I asked him how he had heard about what I was doing. He told me he was at his gym, speaking with the owner and asked him about his marketing. The owner told him he had just received something in the mail and asked Jeff if he wanted to see it.

(Gotta love word of mouth marketing.)

Jeff thanked the owner and informed him, he knew how to contact me. A few hours later, he called.

We spoke for a couple of hours. I asked the usually questions to a possible prospect and Jeff asking for the mailer.

My mailer consists of 3 things, an 8 GB zip drive, a pen, and a list of 12 marketing ideas for any company. I put in 12, because there is one for each month. Most have something to do with needing a writer. Me.

Since then, I have looked at his website.

A year ago, I would not have noticed the things I did. Not so much about the layout, but about the content. I have spent hours looking at other copywriter’s websites, and eventually, I will roll out my own.

After looking at the website, I realized, I hadn’t ask Jeff enough questions. This is what happens when you are ill prepared. So I called him and asked a few follow up questions. I am now ready to tackle his problems.

It is still early in the day, so I do not know how many people will respond to my mailers. I do know, not having my website is hurting me. I have been told, just get your website out there. It does not matter if its finished or not.

I have to disagree. To me a half finished website reflects your work. If your site is sloppy and incomplete, potential clients are going to think it reflects the work you will do for them.

I have a contact on Facebook and G+ who is helping me with my branding and logo. She is an acquaintance from the Copywriter Cafe, http://www.copywritercafe.com, Katherine Tattersfield. We’ve only had conversations over social media, but it seems like we have known each other for years. She has a good read on people.

We have a phone conversation tomorrow, where she will interview me to finish up my queries. I hope to have my website up by next month. I have my about, home, pricing, and portfolio pages ready to go.

The about and home pages are the pages from AudioOut I am going to work on. I have already rewritten one of his ads, and he has already seen an increase in responses from it.

My biggest fear is, I will create incredible pieces for my clients and fail to do so for myself. Helping my clients is my biggest priority, because I will fail if I do not help them first. Word of mouth advertising is more powerful than a website.

Happy writing everyone.

To write or not to write?

Surprise, I keep a journal, because men don’t call it a diary.

I read a post about writing 1000 words a day. Ha, I find this funny. 1000 words a day. I wish that was all I wrote a day. The journal entry alone is probably 1000. Than there are papers for school, blog posts, and rewrites. I say rewrites because in order to improve in my craft, I will read something and if I don’t like it, I will rewrite it. It could be an article, an ad, a flyer for a furniture store. I also write by hand. I use to hate writing by hand, but after years of practicing my cursive, I have come to enjoy it. It is therapeutic and studies have shown, people who write are more intelligent. 

Even though the studies say cursive writers are more intelligent, a few days back, I went through the dreaded “writer’s block”. I have a few techniques I employee when this happens, and they usually work. This time, they didn’t. When I mentioned this in my groups, everyone was very helpful in trying to help me out. I tried to do some of the exercises they recommended, all to no avail. Most I had already heard before and had tried them before I made the comment. I wasn’t sure why, but the block went on for a whole 3 days. I was just glad, that I had all my homework finished before it started. I take online classes, so all of my homework is writing. 

So what worked.

Doing Nothing. 

I mean, absolutely nothing. I put the pen down, closed the laptop, turned off the desktop, and did nothing. I guess after 14 months of writing, researching, and reading everything I could on many different topics, my mind said, “ENOUGH DUDE. I want a break.” I would start writing whenever I had an idea, at a music festival, hanging out with friends, or on a date. It didn’t matter to me. My idea was gold, and I didn’t want to lose it. Sometimes, you just have to shut it all off. I even have a pad and pen on my night stand for when I wake up, if my dreams are a little bizarre. Those are some golden treats to reread later on. They make no sense, but perfect sense. Plus I have been able to use a few of the lines that I have written in some of my work. 

Anyway, I’ve read 1000 words a day, and I do more than that. I’ve also come across the dreaded block. What have I learned? Shit happens. Everyone I talked with said they’ve also gone through it. Again, I cannot emphasize this, I am not alone. I have a very supportive group of friends and colleagues to help through my down times. What more could you ask for?

Happy writing everyone. 

To write or not to write?

To write or not to write?

I have not watched the news lately, I find it depressing and all together wrong. There in no longer any investigative journalism left in the world before a station airs something. I know that some “breaking” news needs to be covered instantly, but are we really better off with all this news, all the time. I say it is wrong because we do not report on the things needing to be reported on. We are too focused on the negative side of the news, instead of news that warms the heart. Now I know to keep ratings up, some companies think they need to feed into the fear aspect of people to get us to watch. This is a very powerful emotion to get us to tune back in, but it is not the only emotion that they should prey on. I say prey, because that is exactly what they are doing. They are preying on our base emotion of fear to misinform us. There is always two sides to a story, and when you are instantly reporting something, you only have one side, so they are not getting the correct information to us.

I have also noticed the news is like a broken record or the directions on a bottle of shampoo; repeat and rinse, repeat and rinse. I mentioned earlier I hadn’t watched the news in awhile, truthfully, it has been since the beginning of November. They were talking about how the Republican party was holding up Congress and not allowing for bipartisanship, the failure of the website for the Affordable Care Act, and President Obama’s poll numbers. That was almost a month ago. With the holiday season well under way, I thought I would tune in today to see if there were segments about the wonderful people who help donate their time to the needy this time of year, and what do I see? Republican’s strangle hold on Congress, the failure of the website, and Obama’s numbers. Really America? This is what we think is important news. Has anyone told these companies most of us get our news online these days?

Now you are probably thinking, what does this have to do with writing?

Everything.

Content is everything when it comes to writing. You have to know when your audience will stop reading, or in the case of the news channels, turn it off. I did not have the news on for more than 5 minutes, before I chose to listen to music and start writing about it. I realize that not many people read my blog, and it maybe because of the content, but I am trying to find my voice and see what actually reaches the readers. Give something personal of yourself, make sure your content is enjoyable, informative, and appealing, and add pictures. I have heard all of these things when it comes to gathering a following. I can see the merit in all of these attributes, and I will admit, that is scarier than marketing. How can I tell if what I write is enjoyable, informative or appealing? I am my hardest critic, nothing I write is ever good enough for me.

I am going to start something new in my blogs, I am going to be asking for comments to see if anyone will help me improve myself. Not just my writing, but the personal Troy. Feel free to ask anything, and I will incorporate it into my blog.

Happy writing everyone.

To write or not to write?

I guess we’ll jump back into marketing today. It is what is on my mind a lot lately. I have the writing part down, its the selling of myself that I am have problems with. As I have said before, it is the hardest part of doing this job, getting clients. I have had a LinkedIn account for some time, but I have never really used it. In the last week I have changed that. I have joined groups that pertain to my profession. Many people that I speak with say they get many jobs through LinkedIn. LinkedIn reminds me of a professional Facebook. People post stuff related to their chosen career. 

My main focus right now is getting my portfolio together and my website up and running. I am having trouble choosing which pieces of work to put in my portfolio. My website is the same. Its not that I am having a problem on the wording of the site, its the appearance that I am more concerned about. I think the design of the site is just as, if not, more important as the content. 

All of these things really matter to a potential client. If your website looks sloppy, than they’ll assume that your content is just as sloppy. I also have to take that in to consideration with my appearance. I am not one to put much in stock to the way I look, but being that I am my own boss, and I own my own company, I will have to change that. 

Happy writing everyone.