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" – anyone who freelances for businesses (vs. writing magazinearticles, short stories, poetry, etc.), typically earns $50-125+ an hour, andis the sole focus of this e-newsletter. 

 

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VOLUME 10,ISSUE 2 – FEBRUARY 2011 – HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!

Publishingthe first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read itOnline at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/feb2011.html

 

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TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! Weigh in on “Might This Guy’s Process Win YouMore – and More Loyal – Clients?”… “What Do You Think of the SaladDressing Rule?” and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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"THEWELL-FED WRITER" (2010 EDITION) HAS WON FOUR AWARDS!

Check outthe Awards Gallery at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/wellfedawards.shtml

To Order(FR.EE Bonus/U.S. Shipping): http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ordertwfw.shtml.

 

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PLEASE! I’MLOW IN ALL E-PUB CATEGORIES. Would love to get your strategies, tips andfeatures. See "Coffee" for more details and word counts. 

 

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THISMONTH'S MENU:

 

I.APPETIZER: A ROAD TRIP – AN ODE TO FREELANCING

Yours TrulyCapitalizes on the “Office-less” Nature of Independent Work

 

II."FIELD" GREENS: SEO. A MOVING TARGET?

WebOptimization Pro Demystifies “SEO” and Reminds How to Do It Effectively

 

III. MAIN“MEAT” COURSE: IS YOUR COMM’L WRITING SITE THE BEST IT CAN BE?

TX FLCW/WebPro’s Top Strategies for Powerful Sites (Plus, Win a F.R.E.E Site/Blog!)    

 

IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

This“Shining” New Freelance Engineering Writer Realizes He’s Not Crazy!

TIP (for achuckle): Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising:

 

V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- 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: A ROAD TRIP – AN ODE TO FREELANCING

Yours TrulyCapitalizes on the “Office-less” Nature of Independent Work

 

DISCLAIMERS:I realize, 1) I’m probably going to make a few of you sick with the followingdescription; and 2) not everyone has the freedom to pick up and hit the road ona whim. But hey, the bennies of freelancing take many forms, virtually all ofwhich beat working for The Man. You know what yours are – even if they’recloser to home.

 

So, a fewweeks back, I was feeling a bit restless, unmotivated, and unproductive. Andwe’d just gone through our “Snowlocaust” in Atlanta, which turned us into acity of shut-ins for 4-5 days (I can hear you Northerners now: “Wah, wah, wah.”Guilty as charged, but it IS all about what you’re used to, and we sure asshootin’ weren’t used to that…).

 

So, whatbetter than a road trip to clear the head, see some of the country, and –assuming I was heading south – with any luck, find some warmer weather?Florida it was. First stop: Gainesville (home of the Florida Gators), to catchup with a fellow writer friend of mine for lunch, then SW on Route 24 to CedarKey – a charming, low-key, laid-back series of sand spits that jut outinto the Gulf. And which, incidentally, is in the running for the “CoolestSmall Town in America” contest from Budget Travel magazine.

 

From there,south to Crystal River, where I got up at 5:30 a.m. (who knew 5:30 came twice aday?) on a frigid 32-degree morning (where IS that warm weather?), donned a wetsuit, slid into 72 degree water (brrrrrr), and swam with the manatees for anhour. Simply amazing experience. If you’ve been, you know; if not, put it onyour life to-do list.

 

Then,crossed the state to Lake Worth (just below West Palm Beach) to visit my father(a true “broke-the-mold” type; I’d need another book to do him and his storyjustice). Reconnecting with Dad is always good for my soul. And weather in the70s – finally!

 

From there,backtracking again across and up the state to the Panhandle. Hit Apalachicola– arguably THE oyster capital of the world – for a lunch of a dozenraw – yum (yeah, yeah, hepatitis B, blah, blah, blah – whatever).And finally ended up in Mexico Beach, just 30 miles east of Panama City Beach,but on an infinitely calmer wavelength than its frantic partying cousin to thewest.      

 

And I’veworked along the way. Not a full workload, but enough to prove, once again,that this gig is definitely mobile. Again, the point of this story isn’t to rubit in (too late, I know), but rather to show you what’s possible as afreelancer. Bottom line, wherever there’s a signal (i.e., everywhere), you canwork. And sometimes, the view’s just more interesting from the road. With thatheady thought, let’s eat!

 

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II."FIELD" GREENS: SEO. A MOVING TARGET?

WebOptimization Pro Demystifies “SEO” and Reminds How to Do It Effectively

 

Anothergreat piece from Internet copywriting and web optimization pro Katherine Andes.Sign up for her “Easy Web Tips” at http://www.andesandassociates.com).Look for more quick and useful tips from Katherine in the issues ahead. Thisone provides basic how-to for “good” SEO (search engine optimization) and canmake you more knowledgeable when discussing SEO with clients weighing theinvestment.   

 

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SEO. AMOVING TARGET?

 

SUMMARY: Avoidtrying to trick search engines into giving you high rankings. Just do the solidwork of helping them understand what your page is about and why they shouldgive you high rankings.

 

Someonetold me he didn't think it was worth investing in SEO because it appeared to bea moving target, as the search engines are always changing the way theyevaluate web pages for rankings.

 

DOING SEOWITH GIMMICKS AND TRICKS IS A MOVING TARGET. WHEN THE TRICK NO LONGER WORKS ORYOU GET CAUGHT FOR NOT FOLLOWING THE RULES, YOUR SITE COULD DISAPPEAR FROMGOOGLE RESULTS.

 

It couldruin your business. But, if you do SEO with an eye to improving your site andhelping your visitors as well as search engines, then you don't have to worry.

 

SEARCHENGINES JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT A PAGE IS ABOUT, AND IF IT'S TRULY A HELPFULRESOURCE FOR VISITORS.

 

If you havesuch a page, then taking three simple SEO steps is about all you need:

 

1) Insertrelevant keywords in the page copy

2) Insertsame keywords in the title and description tags

3) Securequality inbound links to help search engines recognize the worth of the page

 

Good SEO isas simple as that.

 

WHEN A WEBSITE PAGE IS OPTIMIZED PROPERLY, SEARCH ENGINE ALGORITHM UPDATES ARE MORELIKELY TO HELP RATHER THAN HARM YOUR SEARCH RESULTS.

 

That'sbecause you're not trying to "trick" the search engines into givingyou a high ranking. Rather, you are working toward the same goal as the searchengines: relevant and useful results for your visitors.

 

Copyright2011 Katherine Andes, All Rights Reserved

 

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III. MAIN“MEAT” COURSE: IS YOUR COMM’L WRITING SITE THE BEST IT CAN BE?

TX FLCW/WebPro’s Top Strategies for Powerful Sites (Plus, Win a F.R.E.E Site/Blog!)    

 

Last month,I featured a success story from new Hutto, TX FLCW and designer Shannon Martin(smigim@yahoo.com, http://indie-d.com), who’s carve a nicheas a FLCW combining copywriting, graphic/web design, and SEO/SEM –helping small companies craft a powerful web presence. Here, Shannon sharessome solid how-to detail for FLCW's looking to build their own powerful sites.And Shannon’s made a killer offer: one lucky FLCW will win a complete site/blogdesign at no cost. Even if you don't win, Well-Fed E-PUB readers cantap discount pricing for a site/blog combo. Details below.   

 

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Afterlosing my job last year, and quickly burning through my savings, I re-readTWFW, and made my long-ago-shelved dream of writing my sole professional focus.

 

My skillsets – marketing, design and the web – combined well with commercialwriting, and identified my niche. Market research uncovered an emerging arena:local, independent business owners who are fighting hard for market shareagainst big box providers. I built my niche, and my website, around theirneeds. My site focuses exclusively on the benefits of using copywriting, inconjunction with a killer website, social media and virtual customer educationto form a loyal village of clients.

 

What Makesa Powerful Commercial Writing Site?

 

VISUALSTIMULATION: The look and feel of your site should contribute to your brandidentity. It should complement an existing logo (or if you don’t have a logo,create one that reflects the niche you serve). Keep graphics, animated imagesand flash intros to a minimum; studies have shown flash intros impede searchengine rankings and lead to high abandonment rates. Keep layouts clean, notbusy; you want to stimulate – not overwhelm – the reader.

 

NAVIGATIONALEASE: Critical. Incorporate nav bars into either the header OR sidebar of eachpage (don’t mix them; you’ll frustrate readers). Keep category names simple andself-explanatory; catchy is fine, as long as the reader understands it. Displaycontact information and any email opt-in forms on all pages – ideally,through the use of sidebar widgets. Ideally, a visitor to your site should beable to browse your site without ever hitting the back button.

 

NO-SWEATMAINTENANCE: Today’s powerful sites are built on user-friendly CMS (contentmanagement systems). The largest and best supported are Joomla, Drupal, Magentaand WordPress (WP). I use WP for every site I build; it’s stable, consistent,has fewer bugs than the others, and is also the most user-friendly fornon-techy users. Plus, WordPress offers effortless social media integration.With the appropriate settings, any changes to your site will be automaticallysent to all your social media accounts.

 

COMPELLINGCONTENT: Keep the info about you and your business brief. Focus onniche-specific articles, case studies and success stories, educating your targetmarket on the benefits of your writing. Keep articles to 500 words, casestudies and success stories to 700. A great way to showcase your samples is inthe form of blog posts and the use of a gallery feature. A well-organizedgallery allows you to compose a synopsis of the project and have fast-loadingimages of your work in one location.

 

NICHEAUTHORITY: When you regularly publish niche-specific articles/posts, over time,and with appropriate backlinks, you’ll achieve “niche authority.” Say your nicheis writing for the construction industry. Your niche-authority-building tasklist might look something like this: article series on highlighting thebenefits of power tools rather than the specs of those tools; article on theimportance of benefit-rich promo materials to get in the hands of distributors;guest blogging on heavily trafficked construction forums. The focus of building“niche authority “is consistently creating material that links back to yoursite.

 

SPECIALOFFER FOR WELL-FED E-PUB READERS

In 10 wordsor less (sent to smigim@yahoo.com by2/14/11), tell me why you should win your own customized commercial writingsite. The winner will receive the following:

 

1) Customlogo/graphics for site and for print materials (business cards, brochures,etc.).

2)WordPress site/blog (up to 10 pages and 10 blog categories; you providecontent)

3)Integrated social media, email opt-in forms and choice of up to three otherwidgets

4)Portfolio gallery (you provide synopsis and images)

5) Built-inCMS (content management system) for easy site updating

6) Trainingon maintaining your new site

 

Winner willbe responsible for domain name registration and hosting fees.

 

Even if youdon’t win, I’m offering Well-Fed E-Pub Readers customized commercial writingsite/blog packages (i.e., all the above) for $450-550 (depending oncomplexity). Contact me at smigim@yahoo.comby 2/28/11 to secure your spot.

 

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IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

This“Shining” New Freelance Engineering Writer Realizes He’s Not Crazy!

TIP (for achuckle): Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising:

 

Got thisgreat early success story from new Beaver Dam, WI-based FLCW Clayton Grow (clayton@thewritingengineer.com, www.TheWritingEngineer.com). Just another example of how you can leverage virtuallyany career experience into a writing career. After that is a tip for getting agood chuckle: a link to a great piece that reminds us not to take what we dotoo terribly seriously – and to always keep in mind the realistic impactof what we do on consumers (which is usually far from what many imagine).

 

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I just quitmy salaried job as an engineer. My wife stays at home to raise our twokids. On my last day of salaried work, my mind was a whirlwind, to say theleast.

 

Myfreelance writing career has been a long time in the making. I made journalentries when I was in high school about how I’d like to write for a living, butI was convinced I could never pay the bills as a writer. I envisioned myself asa character in a Stephen King novel, secluded in a remote Colorado mountainlodge, clattering “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” on a typewriter,but then I woke up right before the axe hit the door and decided to become anengineer instead.

 

I’ve alwayswanted to peek my head through the axe-shattered door, but I was sure thateveryone (including my family) would think I’m crazy. TWFW not only told mewhat’s behind the door, but it showed me where to find a key to open it withoutobliterating it and scaring the bejesus out of my family.  

 

While stilla full-time employee, I introduced myself to quite a few exhibitors at anengineering products conference and expo and developed an extensive (500+)potential client list using the directory from it. It’s my first official weekas a freelancer, and I’ve got one project done (with a meeting scheduled forrepeat work for this client), a few former employers are genuinely interestedin my services, and, as I’m typing this, I just got an “I’m interested” emailthe day after I mailed out my first round of brochures.

 

It’s easyto be confident when you’re prepared. Thanks, Peter, for helping me prepare fora “shining” new career.

 

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TIP (for achuckle): Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising: http://tpdsaa.tumblr.com

 

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V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- 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'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 (500-600 words; query first). ALSO, sendyour "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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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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