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 9,ISSUE 7 – JULY 2010 (Issue #99: August will be 100!)

Publishingthe first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read itOnline at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/july2010.html

 

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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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AUGUSTGROUP COACHING HAS ONE SLOT LEFT! DON’T WAIT...

Details andtestimonials at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/groupcoaching.shtml.       

 

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ATTN:BOSTON/Southern NH/ME FLCW’s: BRUNCH WITH THE WELL-FED WRITER?

At the tailend of my Maine vacation, I’d love to catch up with area FLCW’s. Join me inNewburyport, MA for Brunch on Sunday July 18, 11:30 a.m., at Michael’sHarborside. (http://www.michaelsharborside.com).RSVP to peter@wellfedwriter.comfor headcount.

 

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STAYINGBUSY IN A TOUGH ECONOMY? I WANT TO HEAR YOUR STORIES!

I’ll becollecting success stories – from 50 to 500 words – for a specialsection of the ezine. Send them to peter@wellfedwriter.com.

 

AND, I NEEDALL USUAL COURSES. I'm low in ALL departments and would love to get yourstrategies, tips and features. See "Coffee" for more details and wordcounts. 

 

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ONE SALESLETTER, 77 RECIPIENTS, $80K IN NEW COPYWRITING BUSINESS??

All thedetails: http://savagemarketing.com/64000/cmd.php?af=761186

 

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THISMONTH'S MENU:

 

I.APPETIZER: GOT RECESS? REFLECTIONS ON SUMMER VACATION

Yours TrulyReconnects with Power of “Do-Nothing” Time to Reinvigorate Work

 

II."FIELD" GREENS: TOASTMASTERS MORE THAN JUST A SPEAKING GROUP

OntarioFLCW Speaks Her Way to Marketing Confidence (AND More Business!)

 

III. MAIN“MEAT” COURSE: TRADITIONAL WRITING SKILLS DON’T WORK ONLINE Web Usability GuruLays Down the Law on Web Writing That Works (AND Doesn’t!)

 

IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

FL FCLWReads Blog, Delivers Attention-Getting Elevator Speech at Event!

TIP:In-the-Buff Copywriter Offers Fun Way to Stand Out! Other Ideas?  

 

V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- GROUPCOACHING! August Series Filling – Just ONE Slot Left!

- 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: GOT RECESS? REFLECTIONS ON SUMMER VACATION

Yours TrulyReconnects with Power of “Do-Nothing” Time to Reinvigorate Work

 

So, I’m inthe midst of my now-annual summer vacation in Maine (not to rub it in oranything…). Before leaving, friends asked me, “So what’re you going to do upthere in a cabin for two weeks?” Not much, I said. Read. Swim in the lake a fewsteps away. Eat lobster. Pick berries. Nap. Repeat. 

 

How abouthiking, biking, sightseeing, fishing, kayaking? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps writea bit. Working on a book? Probably not. Perhaps noodling a bit on a book I’lleventually work on. But, not interested in filling up my days with non-stopactivity in order to need another vacation when I get back (some are like that;this one isn’t).

 

Andthinking – just thinking. To me, that’s a treat. Pondering. Daydreaming.Envisioning. How often do you give yourself the time (or permission) to dothat? Heck, is that even allowed these days? And yet, from those relaxedunhurried stretches often come great ideas, exciting project A-Ha’s, newdirections.

 

Oh, andsavoring. Lots of savoring and relishing. The cooler weather – arefreshing respite from the brutal too-hot-too-humid-too-early southern summer.Cool breezes. The sound of water lapping against the side of the cabin. Aloon’s cry in the quiet dawn. The absolute stillness at night. A magic carpetof stars overhead, undiminished by city lights.

 

A brisk andbracing 45-minute early morning swim. Fresh picked strawberries andraspberries, sweet and luscious in my breakfast bowl. A nap in the middle ofthe day. Sitting lakeside in an Adirondack chair lost in a good book. Lobsterrolls. By the way, if all this sounds familiar, you’re probably recalling myblog post of last summer, The Joys of Unplugging; (http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog, then July 2009). Can’t help it.This time of year, that’s where I head – in mind, body and spirit.

 

Not havingto be anywhere or do anything for a nice long stretch. And, most importantly,realizing how fortunate I am to be able to do this. Believe me, I get it. Iknow most people can’t just up and take off a few weeks and do nothing. But,even if you can’t get away for two weeks, make space in your life for somedo-nothing time. Recess. No matter how old we get, we all need recess. And Imean NEED.

 

Go non-stopand your working time will absolutely become less productive. Ditch it all fora while and you’ll perform more effectively when you return. Am I telling youanything new? Course not. Could you use the reminder? Could be. Though, as agroup, we FLCW’s are probably a bit more attuned to this way of living thatmost. On this relaxed, leisurely note, let’s eat!

 

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II."FIELD" GREENS: TOASTMASTERS MORE THAN JUST A SPEAKING GROUP

OntarioFLCW Speaks Her Way to Marketing Confidence (AND More Business!)

 

Got thisgreat idea from Ontario, Canada FLCW Lou Anne Reddon (info@avenuewordshop.com, www.avenuewordshop.com), for buildingconfidence (along with your business!) AND banishing cold-calling jitters. I’vebeen involved with this esteemed organization several times over the years andit’s always been an exceptionally positive experience and very “safe place.”Consider it.  

 

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Peter: I’minvolved in Toastmasters, which has proven to be a real boon to my business.I’m one of those painfully introverted, wallflower types. I originally joinedToastmasters to do a better job emceeing for an orchestra I was in. But it’snot only improved my confidence in dealing with prospects, making cold calls,networking, etc., it’s given me an opportunity to showcase my writing andpresentation skills to potential prospects outside both their businesses andmine.

 

My writingskills have been a tremendous help in crafting my speeches. Delivering them wasstill tough, but the environment was so supportive, it became much easier. Atthe encouragement of my fellow members, I’ve presented writing workshops to myclub and at local high schools to help both groups craft speeches (forToastmasters meetings and speech competitions, respectively). Teaching othershow to write improves your own speaking and presentation skills. And it’spersonally fulfilling.

 

I would nowfeel quite confident in approaching the local Chamber of Commerce to presentspeeches – with my contact info on a take-away, of course!

 

WhileToastmasters is not a networking group (and the practice is discouraged), itactually provides great indirect networking opportunities my fellow FLCW’s mayhave never considered. I’ve received several leads from people in Toastmasters(at my club level and beyond) who’ve been impressed with my speechwriting orleadership skills. Upon finding out that I’m a freelance writer/translator,they have approached me about helping them with their business needs - annualreports, sell sheets, brochures, etc.

 

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III. MAIN“MEAT” COURSE: TRADITIONAL WRITING SKILLS DON’T WORK ONLINE Web Usability GuruLays Down the Law on Web Writing That Works (AND Doesn’t!)

 

IrishmanGerry McGovern (gerry@gerrymcgovern.com), according to his site, “is widelyregarded as the worldwide authority on increasing web satisfaction by managingcustomer tasks.” He’s spoken, written and consulted extensively on web contentmanagement issues since 1994. Check out his brand new book, “The Stranger'sLong Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online” at this link:(http://www.gerrymcgovern.com/stranger's-long-neck.htm).He is the founder and CEO of Customer Carewords (http://www.gerrymcgovern.com) and “New Thinking” e-mailnewsletter (http://www.gerrymcgovern.com/new_thinking.htm). Gerry’s a rock star in the “webexperience” space, a true no-B.S. guy with invaluable insights for FLCW’swriting web copy. I laughed out loud at his “toilet’ perspective below. Enjoy!

 

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Most Webcontent is overwritten; too much content and not nearly enough focus on theaction. Unfortunately, we're taught to write this way. How often are youpresented with content on the Web that begins something like this:

 

"Exciting,compelling, and effective user experiences result in high levels of customerloyalty, satisfaction, and referral."

 

On thesurface, this seems like an okay sentence. It's how we're taught to write: setthe scene, establish the context. However, it's utterly useless. It's likesaying: "Every business is an end-to-end network of interrelated peopleand processes. The more seamless and flexible the network, the more successfulthe business."

 

Or:"Your people are your most valuable resource. They contribute to thesuccess of your company." Or: "Even during the best of times,companies are always looking for ways to trim costs, optimize processes, driveefficiencies, and create greater value for their clients."

 

Theproblem with the above sentences, other than the fact that they are utterlyuseless, is that they are utterly useless. (Not to mention that they areutterly useless.) They don't tell you anything you don't already know, and theygive you no real sense of what the product or service is actually about.

 

Ifsomeone is at your Web site they already have the context. They have made adeliberate decision. They are in an active, ‘doing’ mode. They want to digdeeper, compare, price, and get detail, detail, detail.

 

Write Webcontent from an elevator pitch perspective. Your customer has walked into theelevator, the doors have closed, they turn to you and say: "Convince mebefore the next stop to buy your product." Design your Web site from the“I badly need to go to the toilet” perspective. Your customer needs to act andact quickly. That's the Web.

 

You'reproud of your Web site but pride comes before the click of the Back button.Anything on your Web site that puffs your ego, makes you smile or you think isreally cool should be removed immediately. The content that you're in lovewith—and so proud of—is nearly always the content that drives yourcustomers away.

 

There isfar too much content written for the English teacher or the English exam youcrammed for. You want to impress. You want to show off all the clever thingsyou know. You want a beginning, middle and end. You want to tell them whatyou're going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you've told them.

 

A normalperson sees a link called "Where's my refund?" and thinks that ifthey click on this link they'll be able to answer that question quickly. But aclassically trained English student who wrote the link thinks that when theperson clicks on the link they should be given this sentence. "You filedyour tax return and you're expecting a refund. You have just one question andyou want the answer now: Where's my refund?"

 

PB Note:OMG, how many web sites have we ALL seen that break all these rules andrepeatedly overstate the grossly obvious? Don’t be one of those offenders! Andafter all, this stuff really isn’t that difficult. In fact, dare I say it, it’scommon sense, isn’ it?

 

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IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

FL FCLWReads Blog, Delivers Attention-Getting Elevator Speech at Event!

TIP:In-the-Buff Copywriter Offers Fun Way to Stand Out! Other Ideas?  

 

Got thisgreat email from Orlando FLCW Sandi Gehring (www.sandragehring.com). Sandi had just read my 6/2/10blog post entitled, “Simon Says: “People Don’t Buy What You Do; They Buy WhyYou Do It…” (http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog), and found it gave her new andfizzy perspective at exactly the moment she need it – at a networkingevent. Check out the post and see if you don’t agree. Provocative stuff. Enjoy!

 

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Hi Peter:Your timing is impeccable! I attended a luncheon today with businesspeople of all types from all over Central Florida. I knew that I’d have 60seconds for an elevator speech, and I was sweating it a bit. I actuallyenjoy public speaking, but wanted to make a positive first impression, so yourSimon Says post came at the exact right moment!

 

Instead ofthe usual “I’m-blah-blah-and-I-do-blah-blah” that everyone else gave, I said“At the risk of overstating it, I think that well-written communication is whatmakes the world go round. If you think about that, it impacts what yousee, what you hear, what you read, where you go, where you stay, what you buy. SoI help people and companies with any writing that is consistent with theirbusiness goals. And I LOVE to write more than anything in theworld. Thanks, I’m Sandi Gehring.”

 

It wentover really well, lots of people asking for my card and it was a good investmentof time, effort & money. Thank you!

 

PB: I LOVEit when someone actually takes an idea and does something with it! You’rewelcome Sandi, but I just gave you the idea. Hats off to you for running withit!

 

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OrlandoFLCW Steve Rainwater (www.treesidecommunications.com) sent me this cool story about aninnovative marketing strategy one professional copywriter used to set himselfapart from the competition. Not necessarily suggesting you adopt his particularapproach, but it was a refreshing way to stand out. How might you distinguishyourself? And remember, just doing consistent marketing and showing up in frontof your target audience on a regular basis can accomplish that (since mostwriters don’t!), but nothing wrong with a little bit of creativity! Check outhis samples – talented guy…

 

Peter:Surfing at lunch time today and came across this interesting tidbit:  http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2010/06/14/Nude-Male-Copywriter-wins-two-Webbys/UPI-98511276527761/.  I Googled him: (http://malecopywriter.com/).  A look at his portfolioshows he certainly gets it done. 

 

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V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- GROUPCOACHING! August Series Filling – Just ONE Slot Left!

- 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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AUGUSTGROUP COACHING (WITH NEW ENHANCEMENTS) NEARLY FILLED!

In thestart-up stage of your commercial freelancing business? Looking for guidance,confidence and camaraderie? Grab the FINAL slot in the August series! For allthe details, new enhancements, and a pile of glowing testimonials from pastparticipants, 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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