Liars

Suckers

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To write or not to write?

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So this website is being a royal pain in my ass. I’m pretty tech savvy, but the scope of this project is pretty daunting.

The layout, the design, the theme. The only thing I am really sure about is the content for my pages. Doh, I’m a writer. 

Widgets, plugins, and customization are enough to drive anyone to drink. 

I’m pretty sure I would have it completed by now, but I live in Illinois. My friends who are all union workers are now laid off. There is probably 14 inches of snow on the ground, and as I type this up, it is again snowing.

Most of my time has been spent shoveling and riding on my snowmobile. Finally a year I can use it more than 7 times. 

The only downfall to all of this, I have not spent much time on the computer or prospecting for clients. 

The time away from the computer does not bother me in the slightest. Not prospecting is killing me though. I am not far enough along in my career to be able to take the time off I have. 

However, I am a firm believer in taking sanity over money any day. Yes, it is nice to have money, but if you are constantly working and not enjoying it, are you really living?

NO!!!!

My days seem so much different from where they were a week ago. I still do my exercise routine, write in my journal, and do my school work, but it seems so much richer now.

Thank you friends.

I am not saying we don’t deserve time off, but I have a nagging sense I am not accomplishing anything. 

I know this in not true, as my journal is filled with ideas I want to try to gather clients. Maybe I have been looking at the situation to long, and this time off is actually recharging my batteries. 

I have mentioned before, since my block, I haven’t felt like writing much. I have, I just don’t put the kind of energy in it I once did. Now its more to refine my craft. 

I know it is working, because classmates have mentioned it in our discussion threads. They are also enjoying the ideas and tips I give. I am in an English class, and being a writer, I have a keener eye than most.

Even the teacher enjoys my suggestions. She will elaborate on something I mentioned to a classmate. Always pointing me out. 

This time around, I don’t think my classmates are upset with me, like in previous classes. I have always encouraged and given tips in my class discussions, but some people in prior terms did not appreciate the help. 

Personally, I love being ripped apart about my writing. If its all praise, I can never expect to improve. But when the red is there, its time to learn. 

I have decided to take a Marketing class. I have gotten advice from A LOT of different people. Now its time to take a class and see where it leads. 

I hope there is some internet marketing involved. The class had better be up to date. Computers and freelance work is the way of the future. 

Happy writing everyone.

To write or not to write?

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Wow, its been awhile since I’ve blogged. I have been really busy lately.

My research papers for school, getting the portfolio ready for the website, and working on the website. http://www.taowriting.com. It is FAR from being ready yet.

I have also had to shovel yet again, and again, and again. We have had some cold windy weather in my area. Just like the rest of the U.S.

I have to laugh at people. A lot of people I know are complaining about winter. They are all complaining they want spring and summer. They are saying how over winter they are. Well guess what? We’re only about half way thru it. Time to strap on the snowsuit and deal with it.

Even with the subzero weather, it still hasn’t stopped me from going about my daily routine. Well not all of it. I haven’t been able to walk or run.

I like the cold, but I am not stupid. -5 with wind chills of -20. Yeah, I’m gonna stay in the house.

There are benefits of being inside more. I get to write more. Get ahead on my homework. And I actually turned on the T.V. and got caught up on some shows in my DVR.

Lately, I have been working on my bait pieces. I never realized how hard it is to lure people in. When I go out, I usually just have to say hello to someone, and a conversation will start.

Now, I have to take in to consideration, I am asking people to hire me.

No one said this was going to be easy. Actually everyone has told me quite the opposite.

Spend hours doing everything. Research, writing, reading, marketing, updating, conversing, and promoting myself.

I am up for the challenge though. I thrive in a chaotic scenario. It gets my blood and creativity flowing. More so than my running.

I have been thinking about my blog lately, even though I have kind of avoided it.

I am using Word Press for my website, as well as my blog. For this blog, I think I am still going to focus on free writing. For the website blog, I think it will be more work focused. I will actually write it up a few days in advance and edit it.

I am still getting resistance from family and friends about my decision to become a writer. It is because lately, I have had to tell them no to extra activities. I am still an apprentice with my career. I am not a professional yet. It still does not stop me from trying though.

I have to watch the amount of money I spend. I have my bills paid until July, but I like to have some reserve just incase something happens. Everyone acts as if its the end of the world.

I shouldn’t be too bad off come the beginning of June. I will receive the first of my payments for the grants I have written which have been approved.

Well, I have 2 research papers, a website, and bait pieces to work on.

Happy writing everyone.

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?

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Musicians have the 12 Days of Christmas, we writers have the 21 Days of Christmas. 

How come writers get to have 21 days?

When a musician achieve rockstar status, they have people to help promote them. Writers are a different breed. We have to continually promote ourselves. Unlike musicians, bad PR for a writer could spell a death sentence.

Steve Roller, founder of The Copywriter Cafe, at http://www.copywritercafe.com, decided to share some advise he has learned over the years to help increase our business. On Dec. 6th, Steve started to give 1 activity a day to help build marketing skills. He keeps the cost low, helps improve our writing skills, and teaches how to make an impression on your prospective clients. He will give his last tip on Dec. 26.

Steve’s plans are to write an ebook, outlining everything he’s covered so far. He will include sample scripts, letter templates, questions to ask, positioning tips, and pricing guidelines. 

He has asked us to try one or two ideas to generate some quick copywriting business and cash flow. Some of these tips are as simple as writing a letter or how many times to make contact to ensure a hot lead. Others require some thought and ingenuity. Most of the tips are designed to push the threshold of our comfort zones. 

I have worked on almost everyone of his tips so far. 

And I am here to tell you, they work. For the potential clients I have reached out to, almost 1/3 have responded. That is a 138% increase in my normal response rate. 

I cannot tell you how many times I have implemented advise from Steve and seen my bottom line go up. 

With as much I have read, listened, and watched of other great copywriters, Steve is my go to man. Not only is Steve my mentor, he is a all around good guy. 

Happy writing everyone and Merry Christmas.

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.

To write or not to write?

This post is earlier than what I am use to, but I had the urge to write more today. I have read a lot lately on what copywriting is about. It seems everyone has a different opinion about it. I read a really good article about it tonight. The woman compared copywriting to journalistic writing. It was very informative and eye opening. Most of what she said I already knew, but I did increase my knowledge a little bit. I have to admit, that is the one thing I really like about copywriting. You get to research any topic you want. I mean ANY topic. The joys of copywriting is you get to use the same format for everything you write. My one true copy was for an accounting firm and to my knowledge they are still using my control. I have done some guest blog posts and have written a few successful grants for the town I live in. 

I really want to write for professional holiday decorating companies. The companies that decorate the city streets or homes, not the inside decorating. I enjoy decorating my own home for the holidays, so I figured it would be nice to help those companies out. In my opinion, that is the true purpose of a copywriter. To help a company grow. If you help them grow, they give you repeat business. If you help them grow, they’ll give you a testimonial and you can use that to get new clients. Then the cycle just continues until you have enough business to keep you in work and money for awhile. 

I am in midst of trying to find these companies. Well, I have already found them, now I need to get them to hire me. I have sent out emails promoting my services, the next step will be to call them. I know for the companies that I am prospecting, it might not be a convenient time for them, but it could also be the perfect time for them. The holidays are among us, and now would be a good time to push their services. I’ll just keep plugging away and calling and emailing them. Everyone in the Cafe tells me, it may be a while before I do get an interested lead, but that I should just keep moving forward. Don’t let the “no” discourage me. Which it doesn’t. If it did, I would have stopped dating a long time ago.

Happy writing everyone.