Welcome to THE WELL-FED E-PUB!

 

The companion monthly ezine to “The Well-Fed Writer” (http://www.wellfedwriter.com), the quadruple-award-winning how-to guide. Serving up food for thought and tasty tips for the prospering FLCW*. Come on in, sit anywhere and bring your appetite!

 

*FLCW, peppered throughout the ezine, stands for “Freelance Commercial Writer” – anyone who freelances for businesses (vs. writing magazine articles, short stories, poetry, etc.), typically earns $50-125+ an hour, and is the sole focus of this e-newsletter. 

 

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VOLUME 11, ISSUE 1 – APRIL 2012 – Our 120th Issue!  

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it Online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/april2012.html

 

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2012 NON-FICTION WRITER’S CONFERENCE COMING in MAY (50% OFF NOW)!

I’m speaking on commercial freelancing at this virtual gathering featuring an amazing line-up from the writing and publishing worlds. Grab your ticket (and for 50% off!) at https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1067934&c=ib&aff=56896&cl=104434

 

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“THE WELL-FED SELF-PUBLISHER BLOG” IS NOW LIVE!!

Long overdue, but finally up and running. To weigh on the welcome post and subscribe, visit http://www.wellfedsp.com/blog

 

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SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS SUMMIT 2012 – GRAB YOUR SEAT at 50% OFF!

Michael Stelzner’s events are some of the most recommended in the industry. Check out his latest (+ save BIG) at http://www.whitepapersource.com/cmd.php?Clk=4646054.

 

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PARTNER WITH DESIGNERS FOR A LOW-EFFORT FLOW OF WRITING JOBS!

Details here: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.

 

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NEW 1-ON-1 COACHING PROGRAMS: SAMPLE/SITE REVIEW & “SIDECAR”!

Low-cost peace of mind and guidance: http://wellfedwriter.com/mentoring.shtml.

 

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Check out The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG! Weigh in on “Speak Up and Grow Your Copywriting Business”; “Take a Customer Service Lesson from This Amazing Company,” and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

 

I. WELCOME APPETIZER: REINVENTING THE (MARKETING) WHEEL??

Successful Marketing Firm Reaffirms the Blindingly Obvious Truth About Marketing 

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: ARE YOU LIVING BY THE “1 in 10” INSIGHT?

Marketing Pro Shares Story of Japanese Novelist/Bar Owner’s Approach to Success

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: ARE YOU TAPPING INTO THE POWER OF SEO?

Atlanta FLCW Discovers Small Changes to Copywriting Site Yield BIG Results!

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

New MN FLCW Discovers Writing Competition Isn’t As Stiff As She Thought!

TIP: Low/No-Cost Screen Recording Program Allows Easy How-To Video Creation!

 

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- MORE WORK WITH LESS EFFORT? New Ebook Serves Up the “How-To”!  

- THE WELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

- AWAI Copywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get Bonus CD!

- How Can My Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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I. WELCOME APPETIZER: REINVENTING THE (MARKETING) WHEEL??

Successful Marketing Firm Reaffirms the Blindingly Obvious Truth About Marketing 

 

So, check it out. There’s this successful marketing firm here in Atlanta that’s been around for years. I’m on their emailing list, and a few weeks back, I get an email with the subject line: “Calling All Marketers: STOP SELLING.” I read down and get to this:

 

“[B]uyers are in control of the sales process – so understanding what makes them tick is essential. However, as B2B marketers, it seems we’ve lost sight of this critical point. It’s understandable. In recent years, we’ve been bombarded with the mandate to drive ever more leads through email marketing, overwhelmed by the social media du jour, and enthralled by the promise of marketing automation.

 

“Simply put, we took our eyes off the ball. We know effective marketing starts and ends with the buyer. It’s time to stop selling and start listening to the buyer. It’s time to embrace buyer-driven marketing. STOP SELLING. START LISTENING.”

 

I love that. “Buyer-driven marketing.” An ancient and foundational cornerstone of sales and marketing, and they’ve coined a buzzword for it, like it’s some new concept.

 

Also smiled at the reference to “social media du jour.” How true. It has its place, no question, but many are finally realizing that, gee, y’mean aaaaaaalll the other age-old, time-tested marketing strategies out there aren’t in fact, obsolete? Who knew?  

 

Here’s the best part (referring to the revolutionary “buyer-driven marketing” idea):

 

“This way of thinking places buyers and their needs at the center of all marketing priorities. Understanding what buyers care about, how they make their decisions, and how they want to receive information, makes marketing about them, not about us.”

 

Excuse me, but did I just stumble into a Marketing 101 class? And this (successful) firm is speaking, presumably, to other successful companies and marketing folk, and has to remind them that it’s important to focus on what’s important to the buyer (benefits), not just what we want to tell (sell) the buyer (features)? Truly amazing. 

 

I keep telling you. Big, happenin’ companies do NOT have it all figured out. Quit putting the mantle of ultimate wisdom, knowledge and marketing savvy on all business entities, just assuming they’re SO much smarter than you. Just not so.

 

Get a good handle on the three cornerstone concepts of sales and marketing (i.e., Audience, Features/Benefits and Unique Selling Proposition) discussed in Chapter 3 of TWFW, and you’ll be ahead of many marketing people. On that happy note, let’s eat!  

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: ARE YOU LIVING BY THE “1 in 10” INSIGHT?

Marketing Pro Shares Story of Japanese Novelist/Bar Owner’s Approach to Success

 

Yet another cool edition (12/7/11) of marketing maven Marcia Yudkin’s Marketing Minute (to subscribe, http://www.yudkin.com/markmin.htm), this one about realizing that you can’t (and don’t WANT to be) all things to all people in your business. Enjoy!

 

“A lot of customers came to the bar. If one out of ten enjoyed the place and said he'd come again, that was enough. If one out of ten was a repeat customer, the business would survive. To put it the other way, it didn't matter if nine out of ten didn’t like my bar. This realization lifted a weight off my shoulders.  

 

“Still, I had to make sure that the one person who did like the place REALLY liked it. In order to make sure he did, I had to make my philosophy and stance clear-cut, and patiently maintain that stance no matter what.”

 

So writes Haruki Murakami, one of my favorite novelists, about what he learned owning a jazz club in Tokyo for ten years. A few things follow from his brilliant insight:

 

1) Don't be bland. Take a stand. Help folks understand what they'll experience differently doing business with you.

 

2) Let the 90 percent drift away. Serve your 10 percent to the best of your ability.

 

3) When you hear criticism about what you’re not, smile.

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: ARE YOU TAPPING INTO THE POWER OF SEO?

Atlanta FLCW Discovers Small Changes to Copywriting Site Yield BIG Results!

 

Had a most enlightening lunch a few months back with fellow Atlanta FLCW Don Sadler (http://www.donsadlerwriter.com). He’d been quite successful optimizing his site for the search engines, given his writing niche. I asked him to share his process, and here it is. Something to seriously consider if you too have a writing specialty. Enjoy!

 

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Many FLCW’s use websites in lieu of resumes or printed brochures, as it makes it easy to share background, experience and samples with clients and prospects. But using your site just as an online brochure just scratches the surface of its potential as a powerhouse marketing tool. I discovered this after my site had been up for nearly two years.

 

I’d been mainly using my site as a place to send prospects I’d cultivated mostly offline (referrals, networking, etc.), rather than using it as a lead generation tool. Then, about this time last year, I started learning more about search engine optimization (SEO).

 

The light bulb went off: Why not try some simple SEO copywriting techniques on my site and see if I could boost my search engine rankings? I spent maybe a day working on this and excitedly posted my new search engine optimized homepage copy.

 

Boom — I started seeing results almost immediately! A steady stream of calls and emails started coming in from prospects within a couple of weeks of "SEOing" my homepage's copy. And it hasn't let up since.

 

I got two great leads IN ONE AFTERNOON a few weeks ago and another two this week. I always ask prospects how they found my website, and they always say they did a search for one of my optimized keyword phrases. My website now consistently ranks in the top 3 organic results for my optimized keyword phrases on Google, Bing and Yahoo.

 

So how did I do it? It was so simple it’s almost embarrassing.

 

First, I tried to think of keywords and phrases a prospect might use to find a freelance writer in my niche. I made a list of potential keywords and phrases, went to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, plugged them in, and saw how frequently these actual words and phrases are used in real Google searches.

 

I settled on two keyword search phrases, then went back and rewrote my homepage copy using these phrases as early and as often as possible, without going overboard. 

 

That's it. Nothing complicated or time-consuming, and it didn't require any technical sophistication. Virtually all of my leads now come from prospects who found my website via a keyword search. And best of all, it doesn't cost me a dime.

 

This technique will work best if you specialize in a certain type of writing—in my case, business and finance. My optimized keyword phrases use these words, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out how many clients search the web specifically for this kind of writing specialty.

 

Hey, why not give it a try? Optimizing your website’s copy could transform your site from a static online brochure into a powerful lead generator.

 

Don Sadler is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in business and financial topics. He creates targeted content for websites, magazines, newsletters, corporate collateral and more. Learn more and sign up for his monthly e-newsletter at http://www.donsadlerwriter.com.

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

New MN FLCW Discovers Writing Competition Isn’t As Stiff As She Thought!

TIP: Low/No-Cost Screen Recording Program Allows Easy How-To Video Creation!

 

Got this great email about standing out from the competition from budding MN FLCW Carolyn Sampson (http://www.sampsoncommunications.com). As she’s discovering, it really isn’t that hard to separate yourself from the herd. Put another way, while your web site doesn’t have to be a work of art, is it conveying a professional image? After that is a nifty tip about a low-cost, on-screen recording tool from Portland, OR FLCW Mike Russell (http://www.pivotalwriting.com). Enjoy!

 

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Peter: I had to write today to thank you for the wonderful resources you’ve provided. I'd never even be thinking about this without your step-by-step plan.

 

I knew you were probably right that it’s not hard to outshine the competition (I’ve found that to be somewhat true even in the corporate world). But then I saw dozens of people listed on freelance sites and I got worried. Tonight I spent time looking at some of them more closely and, good grief, every one I looked at was terrible!

 

There were links to websites that no longer worked and ones that were horribly designed. One woman, trying to be clever, gave rate information and a sentence about reminder notices showing up in their email if they don't pay. Are these people serious? I can't wait to be one of the success stories in the next edition of The Well-Fed Writer!

 

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Peter: http://screencast-o-matic.com/ is a cheaper alternative for producing “how-to” screencasts (creating video recordings of whatever’s on your computer screen), which is a great way to harness video for SEO. While similar software like Screenflow or Camtasia runs $99+, Screencast-o-matic’s basic version is F.R.E.E. (great for testing it) while their full-featured version is only $12 a year.

 

AND, there's no software to install. Admittedly, you get what you pay for (less powerful, fewer options), but this could be a helpful option for those folks on tighter budgets and with less demanding requirements.

 

I've made one video with it (viewable at http://pivotalwriting.com/how-to-write-a-professional-bio-1/), and would love to get my fellow FLCWs' feedback on it (send to mike@pivotalwriting.com). With minimal editing options, SOM forces you to have your spiel/presentation down pat. However, I've had enough results from that humble video to encourage me to keep 'make more videos' on my to-do list.

 

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- MORE WORK WITH LESS EFFORT? New Ebook Serves Up the “How-To”!  

- THE WELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

- AWAI Copywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get Bonus CD!

- How Can My Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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MORE WORK WITH LESS EFFORT? New Ebook Serves Up the “How-To”!

That’s not hype. It’s how my business has worked for the better part of 18 years, thanks to some juicy partnerships with graphic designers. The result? 1-2 jobs virtually every month with little or no effort on my part. And I put all the how-to details down on paper. Check it out at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.

 

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I’M SERIOUSLY LOW ON ALL WELL-FED E-PUB COURSES!

Got a great strategy, approach or specific expertise you’re willing to share? Turn it into a Feature (MAIN COURSE) for the EPUB (500-600 words; query first). ALSO, send your “GREENS” (200-300 words), TIPS (150-200) and SUCCESS STORIES (100-300) to peter@wellfedwriter.com. Archived issues at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine.shtml. 

 

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The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

 

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

 

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HOW CAN MY MENTORING SERVICE SERVE YOU?

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

 

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