Welcome to THE WELL-FED E-PUB!

 

Serving upfood for thought and tasty tips for the prospering FLCW*. Come on in, sitanywhere and bring your appetite!

 

*FLCW,peppered throughout the ezine, stands for "Freelance CommercialWriter" – the designation for anyone who freelances for businesses(as opposed to writing magazine articles, short stories, poetry, etc.), andtypically earns $50-125+ an hour. 

 

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VOLUME 9,ISSUE 4 – APRIL 2010

Publishingthe first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read itOnline at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/april2010.html

 

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"THEWELL-FED WRITER," 2009 EDITION – NOW AVAILABLE!

FR.EEe-Bonus & U.S. Shipping. http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ordertwfw.shtml.

 

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THISMONTH'S MENU:

 

I.APPETIZER: WHEN BAD WRITING IS JUST BAD WRITING, NOTHING MORE

BlogDiscussion Underscores That Writing Quality Still Matters to Serious WritingBuyers

 

II."FIELD" GREENS: GOT PRESS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION?

PA FLCW& PR Pro Shares Her Top Time-Tested Press Release Distribution Sites

 

III.MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: HIRETHE WRITER FIRST! (PART 2 OF 2)

SEO Pro/WebWriter Shares Strategies for Tapping Demand for Web Writers

 

IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

CA FLCW:How I Landed My First Steady Commercial Writing Client Through Twitter!

TIP:All-in-One Reference Site Aggregates 500+ Resources in One Spot!

 

V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- SOCIALMEDIA SUCCESS SUMMIT 2010: Get Your Social Media Strategy in Place! 

- WELL-FEDGROUP COACHING! June Series (Starting 6/2/10) Now Filling!

- THEWELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

- MISSED MYTELECLASS? Full 38-PAGE e-Transcript – Just $12!

- AWAICopywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get 2 Bonuses (no charge!)

- How CanMy Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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I.APPETIZER: WHEN BAD WRITING IS JUST BAD WRITING, NOTHING MORE

BlogDiscussion Underscores That Writing Quality Still Matters to Serious WritingBuyers  

 

It’s easyto look around these days at the sorry quality of writing one finds on manysites on the web and decide that it signals an overall decline in writingquality. And easy to take that one step further and decide that such a mindsetwill soon infect writing buyers who’ve always expected quality writing fromtheir freelancers, but now will be happy with dreck in return for low rates.And I’d say you’d be wrong.

 

This isjust one of the points being discussed in a 3/3/10 post on The Well-Fed WriterBlog (“Writing This Bad Highlights a Whole Other Writing World”) that’s nowboasting 33+ comments. Check it out at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

Onecommenter was understandably lamenting the egregiously bad writing I cited inthe post (from a blog network), and added her own example. At the same time,however, she said she was booked solid with high-paying work. In response, Iwrote (in part):     

 

“Soundslike your thriving business is proof positive that good clients that indeedappreciate the value of good writing are out there. While it’s easy to seeexamples like mine and yours as evidence of a general decline in writing, andperhaps what’s considered “acceptable,” I don’t buy it. And I don’t buy itbecause the business models of these blog networks and the content mills isworlds apart from the one practiced by respectable businesses doing their bestto stay competitive in their industries.

 

“Arguably,when all you care about is clicks, then, in a relative sense, content reallydoesn’t matter. Sure, you might earn more respect from readers if your contentwere better, but if the content you have, as crummy as it is, gets the jobdone, and keeps you profitable, then why do you need better? And by extension,why would you pay more to get better? You don’t and you won’t.

 

“But abusiness trying to stay profitable selling a product or service simply doesn’thave the luxury of being able to settle for crummy marketing copy, especiallywhen their competitors aren’t going down that road, because, they too, know howimportant good copy is to their overall marketing equation.” On that happynote, let’s eat! 

 

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II."FIELD" GREENS: GOT PRESS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION?

PA FLCW& PR Pro Shares Her Top Time-Tested Press Release Distribution Sites

 

Had aninteresting email exchange recently with Pottstown, PA FLCW Jenn Mattern.Jenn’s a veteran in the field, an authority on copywriting, and exceptionallyknowledgeable and experienced, especially in the PR realm. She’s a pro in thepress release arena (among others). I asked her to frame her comments forFLCW’s interested in cost-effectively publicizing either their copywritingbusinesses or those of their clients. Good, nuts-‘n-bolts info. Check out herblog (http://www.allfreelancewriting.com)and her business site (http://www.probusinesswriter.com).Enjoy.   

 

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Do youwant to distribute news for your freelance writing business, or your clients,for free or on the cheap? You CAN with press release distribution sites. Duringmy years running a small PR firm, I've tested a lot of press releasedistribution models. Here are two online distribution methods that worked wellfor my business and my clients: 

 

Let'sstart with free press release distribution sites like http://www.PR.com. These are good if you just wantto shoot some quick news out online, and potentially reach smaller sites andniche bloggers. PR.com releases, for example, might get picked up in GoogleNews where they can be found in news searches tied to your target keywords.But, don’t waste too much time submitting to a bunch of free distributionsites. The majority of resulting links are low quality, and the same is true ofthe traffic directly through the release. Also note that you won't receive anylive links with most free distribution options.

 

If you'rewilling to invest a bit more money, try http://www.WebWire.com.For $19, you'll get your release published online, including live full links inthe release body and a few anchor text links below. This option won't likelyland you any major media coverage, but it WILL usually give you better reachwith niche bloggers and websites. You'll also pass along the link juice to yourown website, which can help your search engine rankings (although having realnews should still be your priority).

 

Theseoptions are great if you're looking for a quick and easy way to distribute your(or your clients') news online. Remember though: manual distribution is stillyour best bet. It might be more time consuming to track down editors' names andcontact information, but as a writer you might already have some of this (thinkof it as another use for your copy of the Writer's Market). Besides, it's free!

 

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III.MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: HIRETHE WRITER FIRST! (PART 2 OF 2)

SEO Pro/Web Writer Shares Strategies for Tapping Demand forWeb Writers

 

Katherine Andes is a top-notch SEO pro specializing in webcontent development and Internet copywriting (http://andesandassociates.com/). I corralled her to write atwo-part article about impressing upon our clients the importance, whenundertaking a new web site project, of hiring the writer first! As this pieceunderscores, writing is king. Nothing happens until something is written(well!).

 

In Part 1 (archived at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/mar2010.html),she outlined how pervasive the OPPOSITE mentality is out there in the businessworld (in case you thought you were the only one running into it!) and howcrucial it is to NOT be intimidated by design folks who cluelessly give shortshrift to the copywriter.

 

In Part 2, she shares what to discuss with prospectiveclients, so they’ll hire you BEFORE the web designer, or at least at the sametime! Sign up for “Easy Web Tips”, her weekly newsletter – in her words,“super short, sweet, and smart.” I’m subscribed, and it’s ALL that. (http://andesandassociates.com/NEWSLETTER_LHPX.html)

 

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In Part 1, I ranted a bit about why writers are oftenthought of last when building web sites. If anything, they should be brought onboard first BEFORE the designer and technical developer! Here’s why …

 

The writer of a web site’s content is of criticalimportance. Web sites designed to sell products and services are word-driven.Even if the site uses videos, a writer writes the scripts. The web technicaldeveloper can’t possibly know how to effectively build the architecture of hisclient’s site if he doesn’t know its content.

 

Consider the following:

 

1) Who does the Creative Brief and decides how to organizethe material gathered?

2) Who decides the unique value or selling proposition?

3) Who decides the product benefits list?

4) Who decides how a page is going to be developed withappealing words to keep the visitor interested and moving onto other pages ofthe site?

5) Who decides what side bars will be needed?

6) Who helps the advertiser choose offers, enticements,premiums?

7) Who decides on the call to action(s)?

 

A technical developer won’t have a clue about any of theabove. The web designer might have some ideas, but he tends to be more concernedabout the look of the page. The writer/web specialist has to keep both of thesefolks on track to ensure the page does the job it’s supposed to do —whether or not it looks good.

 

All too often, I meet with prospective clients who havespent a ton of money on their sites, which have essentially been loaded up withprint-style materials. Unsurprising. After all, when most webdesigners/developers need content, they simply go to the client who hands themtheir printed marketing materials, and on to the web site it goes!

 

Although print materials are great aids to the onlinecopywriter, they simply cannot be effective when thrown onto web pages. Printcopy (brochure, magazine, etc.) is designed for more leisurely reads, but Website visitors are on a mission. They want to scan and find exactly what theyare looking for quickly. If they can’t, they’re gone.

 

Good web copywriters will save their clients loads of cash.Why?

 

1) They’ll prevent them from making mistakes that willresult in lost sales.

2) They’ll ensure every page is useful and geared towardselling and reputation-building.

3) They’ll ensure every page ends with action items for thevisitor.

4) They’ll ensure pages aren’t over-designed. Anover-designed page may look great, but it may also be impossible to read anddistract from your sales message. Remember, search engines don’t  “search” for design or even images.

5) They’ll do keyword research for every page.

6) They’ll ensure your web site copy is written with keywordphrases that will attract customers to your site, while still sounding naturaland appealing. Text with keywords artificially included will numb the mind ofthe reader and might even get you punished by the search engines, resulting inlower rankings.

7) They’ll write the title and description tags in a naturaland compelling manner to match their respective pages.

 

Ideally, the web content developer (writer), the webdesigner, and technical developer should all work together. But smart clients– ones who want to maximize the power and potential of their investmentin a web site – hire the writer first.

 

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IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

CA FLCW:How I Landed My First Steady Commercial Writing Client Through Twitter!

TIP:All-in-One Reference Site Aggregates 500+ Resources in One Spot!

 

Got this cool story from Encinitas, CA FLCW Louise Julig (www.louisejulig.com, ljulig@me.com) about how she landed her firstregular commercial writing client through a Twitter contact. And after that, agreat tip from Jack Landham in Roswell, GA (tjack@aol.com)about a killer all-in-one-spot reference web site. One of those“If-we-don’t-have-it-you-don’t-need-it” kinds of sites. Enjoy!  

 

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Peter: As a Twitter newbie in February '09, I startedfollowing a profile with my town's name in it, written by a local businessbooster. I thanked the person for some tips provided on things to do aroundtown, and we conversed a little. Then I noticed that the link in the profilebio went to a Facebook group of the same name, so I joined the group and posteda description of my writing and editing business there.

 

I noticed that the photo of the group moderator was a womanI had also seen with her own personal profile on Twitter, so I followed thatprofile too. A few weeks later she contacted me and said she had a friend inthe marketing department of a local business that needed editing work. She wasimpressed with the way I connected the dots and reached out, and when we talkedon the phone we hit it off right away.

 

Well, that “bit of editing work” turned into a regular gigwriting monthly marketing letters for a local mid-sized company. It was myfirst steady commercial writing client and I love telling people how I got thejob from Twitter.

 

PB NOTE: Need a Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn strategy for yourbusiness, but are a bit freaked out by the whole social media thing? Getserious about maximizing your social media “reach” with some serious pros atSocial Media Success Summit 2010: http://www.whitepapersource.com/cmd.php?Clk=3602348

 

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Peter: Check out www.refdesk.com.It’s a wonderful site with all kinds of good stuff. Any-year calendars, stockquotes, newspapers/news networks/news services from around the globe, allsearch engines, online dictionary/thesaurus, phone book look-up, weather,language translation (by the word or paragraph), gas prices in your area,shipment tracking (USPS, FedEx, UPS), and about a zillion other things.

 

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V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- SOCIALMEDIA SUCCESS SUMMIT 2010: Get Your Social Media Strategy in Place! 

- WELL-FEDGROUP COACHING! June Series (Starting 6/2/10) Now Filling!

- THEWELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

- MISSED MYTELECLASS? Full 38-PAGE e-Transcript – Just $12!

- AWAICopywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get 2 Bonuses (no charge!)

- How CanMy Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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SOCIALMEDIA SUCCESS SUMMIT 2010 – The Fast Track to Social Media Success!

Limited-Time50% Discount + $700+ Worth of No-Fluff Bonuses. Accurately billed as “The Web'sLargest Online Social Media Conference,” Social Media Success Summit 2010brings the best minds in the social media arena together in one place. 18sessions of original content; 24 experts; all sessions recorded anddownloadable. For all details (and complimentary gift), visit http://www.whitepapersource.com/cmd.php?Clk=3602348.

 

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JUNE GROUPCOACHING NOW FILLING!

In thestart-up stage of your commercial freelancing business? Looking for someguidance, confidence and camaraderie? Check out Group Coaching! The Aprilseries (starting 4/7) is filled, but I’m now accepting enrollments for the Juneseries beginning June 2, 2010. For all the details and a pile of glowingtestimonials from past series participants, visit http://www.wellfedwriter.com/groupcoaching.shtml.

 

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I'MSERIOUSLY LOW ON ALL WELL-FED E-PUB COURSES!

Got a greatstrategy, approach or specific expertise you're willing to share? Turn it intoa Feature (MAIN COURSE) for the EPUB (400-500 words; query first). ALSO, sendyour "GREENS" (200-300 words), TIPS (150-200) and SUCCESS STORIES(200-300) to peter@wellfedwriter.com.Archived issues at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine.shtml. 

 

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TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog 

 

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MISSED MYTELECLASS? "Thriving as a Freelance Commercial Writer"

 38-PAGE e-Transcript! $12: www.wellfedwriter.com/jan07tstranscript.shtml.

 

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AWAICOPYWRITING (& OTHER) COURSES: Register Here, Get Your Choice of Bonus CDProgram! Six-Figure Copywriting, Graphic Design, Internet Writing, Fundraising,Health Market and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/awai.shtml.

 

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HOW CAN MYMENTORING SERVICE SERVE YOU?

For detailsand testimonials, visit http://www.wellfedwriter.com/mentoring.shtml.

 

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