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 3 – MARCH 2010

Publishingthe first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read itOnline at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/mar2010.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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GROUPCOACHING APRIL PROGRAM FILLING FAST! (STARTS 4/7/10)

Nine of 12slots already filled! Last series at $149 (price rising to $199 on nextseries), so don’t wait!). Details: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/groupcoaching.shtml. 

 

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I NEED YOURGREAT STORIES FOR THE EPUB! I'm seriously low on ALL courses and would love toget your success stories, strategies, tips and features. See"Coffee." 

 

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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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Check outThe WELL-FED WRITER BLOG! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog 

 

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THISMONTH'S MENU:

 

I.APPETIZER: THE UPSIDE OF THE DOWNTURN!

TWFW BlogHighlights Reasons to Feel Good About Commercial Writing Right Now!

 

II."FIELD" GREENS: IS YOUR “WRITING JOB RADAR” UP?

NY FLCW“Takes the Law into Her Own Hands” and Comes Up Smiling!

 

III.MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: HIRETHE WRITER FIRST! (PART 1 OF 2)

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

 

IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

GroupCoaching Attendee Applies Idea Discussed in Session, Lands New Client!

TIP: SevenHeadline-Writing Approaches (with Examples) from Bob Bly!

 

V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- THEWELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- WELL-FEDGROUP COACHING! Now Filling Final Slots for April Series: 3 Left!   

- 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: THE UPSIDE OF THE DOWNTURN!

TWFW BlogHighlights Reasons to Feel Good About Commercial Writing Right Now!

 

If you wantto know why I’m bullish right about now on commercial freelancing and all theopportunities for folks like us, look no further than the latest post on TheWell-Fed Writer Blog (“Growth in Temps: Bad News for Employees, Good Sign forFreelancers”; http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog).There you’ll find (in addition to a brand new, way cool “look-and-feel” for theblog) a pretty exciting discussion going on.

 

I loved oneof the comments – from NY FLCW Jill Gormley – so much, that I’musing it in the Greens course in this issue (next up). But Jill’s story is justone of several comments on the post showcasing both the upside of the economicdownturn and the actions of some exceptionally smart and resourceful folksadapting to a changing business climate. No one’s saying it’s a cakewalk outthere, but the opportunities absolutely exist.

 

In one ofmy comments, I noted that in a tough market, the next frontier would becompanies who currently don’t even know people like us exist, and once theydiscover us, they’ll suddenly find plenty of ways to put us to work. I’veabsolutely found that to be the case with several of my newer clients.

 

If they’venever used a writer before (or perhaps, worked with a bad one, or one who wasmore journalist than copywriter), once they cross paths with someone who “getsit” – who takes the time to understand their business and theircustomers, and is able to write well to reach that audience – theyliterally become like a kid with a new toy.

 

Suddenly,the stuff they wrestled with (as marketing director or even CEO), only to endup with unsatisfactory results that gobbled up their time, they can pass off topeople like us. They get back to their job, and in the process, get far moredone. That gets a busy executive’s attention in a hurry, while providing someinvaluable peace of mind. And when you find clients like that, they don’t buyprice, but rather, a predictable outcome.                  

 

And don’tforget scenarios like the one showcased in the February issue from IA FLCWDarcy Maulsby (http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/feb2010.html),about her new beefed-up writing workload from a retirement community who’ddumped their pricey ad agency in favor of a far more economical freelancer. Andonce clients like that discover they can get great work at a fraction of the costthey were paying before, think they’ll ever go back? Unlikely. And the wordwill spread. On that happy note, let’s eat!

 

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II."FIELD" GREENS: IS YOUR “WRITING JOB RADAR” UP?

NY FLCW“Takes the Law into Her Own Hands” and Comes Up Smiling!

 

Asdiscussed in the Appetizer, I’m bullish about the opportunities in our fieldthese days. And just one of the many pieces of evidence I mentioned was thisgreat comment on my 2/16/10 blog post (noted above) at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog. This comes from upstate NY FLCWJill Gormley (jill@jillgormley.com, http://www.jillgormley.com). She went where she knew the workwasn’t getting done, but NEEDED to get done, and, happily, though again,unsurprisingly, she got a very warm reception. Jill also offers some greatinsights on the benefits of joining your local Chamber. Enjoy!   

 

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It’s toughout there, no doubt, but it’s tough for everyone, which can mean richopportunities for us. This morning, I heard from a former colleague, now themarketing director at a major law firm. A client of his firm needed a writerfor a small project and he wanted to refer the client to me. Nice, but a verysmall project.

 

However, myfriend mentioned that the crummy economy had attorneys at his firm scramblingto market their individual practices to bring in new clients to the firm. Mosthave little marketing experience (traditionally, it’s the rare lawyer willingto get out and sell his or her services, and that’s especially true ofattorneys at big firms). So, my friend is swamped trying to train the attorneysto market effectively and support their efforts.

 

I figuredother law firm marketing directors may be having similar experiences, and thatproducing written materials might get “back-burnered” while they deal withurgent requests for help from their firms’ lawyers. So, I spent the rest of themorning cold-calling about twenty of them. The reaction was so positive it’salmost frightening: one project in hand, two follow-up calls scheduled todiscuss other potential projects, and enthusiastic responses from severalothers who don’t have anything right now but are thrilled to know I’m outthere. I would never have had this kind of response two years ago.

 

Also,living in a small community, I’ve found joining the Chamber of Commerce to behelpful. Most of my clients are in big cities, but through the Chamber, I’vedeveloped a nice network of local contacts that provide me with a steady streamof small jobs. While less lucrative, the small local clients seem to pay morepromptly. My biggest challenge during this recession has been managing cashflow, as many of my larger clients are delaying paying invoices. A regular flowof small checks keeps the edge off.

 

One of thenice things my Chamber does is a quarterly business card exchange. They limitattendance to about 25 businesses, and each gets two minutes to explain theirbusiness. Everyone gets everyone else’s card. This sort of thing is great forpeople like us, because so many small businesses don’t even realize that theycan hire a writer to produce web copy or a brochure or ghost write a speech forthem; they think they need an agency for that. Check your Chamber for similarevents.

 

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III.MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: HIRETHE WRITER FIRST! (PART 1 OF 2)

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

 

Katherine Andes is a top-notch SEO pro, who specializes inweb content 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, she outlines how pervasive the OPPOSITE mentalityis in the business world (in case you thought you were the only one runninginto it!) and how crucial it is to NOT be intimidated by design/programmingfolk who cluelessly give short shrift to the copywriter. Sign up forKatherine’s weekly “Easy Web Tips,” billed as “super short, sweet, and smart.”(http://andesandassociates.com/NEWSLETTER_LHPX.html). I’m subscribed and I assure youit’s ALL that, and more.

 

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HIRE THE WRITER FIRST!

Typical scenario in my day: I’m talking with a hot prospectabout how my web writing and web content development services work. I carefullydescribe my “F-C-C” process:

 

1) FIND: Write the pages so more prospects FIND them onsearch-results pages.

2) CLICK: Write the title and description tags soconvincingly that more prospects will CLICK on the link and go to the companysite.

3) CONVERT: Write key pages so well that more people willCONVERT (i.e., buying, subscribing, making a phone call – whatever thegoal of the page is).

 

My prospect then says, “Sounds great. But I need to hire aweb designer first. I’ll get back to you.” Sigh. He doesn’t get it. And he’sabout to shoot himself in the foot.

 

Can you imagine an advertiser doing a direct sales letterand planning the layout of the letter first? Of course not! They’d plan thecontent: the lead, the pitch, the offer, and they’d get a writer involved. Thedesign would flow from the content.

 

So, why do so many companies fixate on hiring webdesigners/developers without a thought to the content? I say business ownersget intimidated by the technology, AND by web designers/developers who claim tounderstand the “whole enchilada” (p.s. they don’t). But since they THINK theyknow it all, they don’t recommend hiring writers for content. OR they actuallybelieve great content can be had for $5.

 

Too many writers (myself included) were initiallyintimidated as well by the glitz and geekiness of the Web, thinking, “With allthose great revolving images and flash, they don’t even need a writer.” Or“I’ll never understand search engine optimization (SEO).”

 

So we surrendered what should have been prime real estatefor us, to others. And that’s bad for BOTH the businesses who got websites thatsimply don’t deliver leads and customers, AND for the web designers anddevelopers as well. After all, their efforts would look better – and moreimportantly, perform better – with great web writing.

 

Having paid big bucks for websites that just sit andunder-deliver, businesses are now waking up to the need for unique freshcontent for their websites. Hence, there’s a huge need for good web writers.First steps to become one?

 

1. REFUSE TO BE INTIMIDATED: When a web geek starts babblingabout code and other technical matters, stay cool. Generally, they don’t have aclue about good writing that sells (or even what makes good SEO copywriting!).

 

2. INCREASE YOUR CONFIDENCE: Keep reminding yourself thatwriters bring real value to the table. Because writing comes easily to us, wesometimes think anyone can do it (they can’t!), so we undervalue our writingtalent.

 

3. ALWAYS BE LEARNING: Knowledge is power – especiallyin this arena.

 

4. DON’T BE OVERWHELMED: Yes, we all have more to learn.But, to help your clients you just need to know enough to help them progress.In fact, just helping clients write decent web pages is great. When you add SEOto those pages (which isn’t hard to learn), you will have helped themenormously.

 

5. PRACTICE ON YOUR WEBSITE: Try out your new-foundknowledge on your own site. When you see your efforts resulting in highersearch rankings, you’ll get a big boost in confidence. AND attract moreclients. But don’t slack off. Keep it up.

 

6. FAVORITE RESOURCES: http://www.highrankings.com, http://www.wilsonweb.com,http://www.excessvoice.com,http://www.mattcutts.com.In addition to checkingout these sites regularly, I participate in LinkedIn forums and follow severalSEO pros on Twitter. This has yielded some interesting networking opportunitiesand job leads. Just this morning, I received a query from South Africa!

 

In Part II, we’ll talk about what you need to discuss withprospective clients, so that they’ll hire you BEFORE the web designer, or atleast at the same time!

 

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IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

GroupCoaching Attendee Applies Idea Discussed in Session, Lands New Client!

TIP: SevenHeadline-Writing Approaches (with Examples) from Bob Bly!

 

BuddingBend, OR FLCW Michelle Perez is one of the participants in my current groupcoaching series (michelle@vervecore.com,www.vervecore.com). After the firstsession, she sent me the following email, sharing her success in landing a newclient after applying one of the ideas we discussed in the first session. Lovenotes like these!

 

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Peter:Just wanted to share a quick success story about how the coaching session isALREADY helping. Last week I sent a proposal to a small business for somecopywriting and marketing pieces I could provide. She balked at the price andsaid she was thinking about skipping it altogether.

 

YesterdayI followed up with a short and courteous email saying I’d love to help, butwhether she hired someone or decided to do it herself, she should capitalize onthe momentum of her new store location by getting the word out. Then I offeredsome suggestions about how she could do that, along with some upcomingopportunities.

 

Shecalled me today to offer me work! She said that she agreed about the momentum,and didn’t want to lose time by shopping around for a cheaper service.

 

The pointyou and others made in the coaching call about emphasizing the value/benefityou offer, instead of just a “service,” was perfect. I found a way toillustrate the value of working with me by offering a few simple suggestions.

 

(PB Note:We were talking about focusing on “benefits,” the things that are important toa client, NOT “features” – all about you and writing services. Bydemonstrating her expertise, Michelle showcased to her prospect the benefit ofworking with her).

 

Thank youfor the “Aha” moment! I need to continue working on what I say to prospects,but I know it’ll get easier with time; this gives me the confidence to forgeahead.

Can’twait ‘til next week!

 

PB Note:The April Well-Fed Group Coaching program is now enrolling, and nine of the 12slots are already filled. Details at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/groupcoaching.shtml.

 

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Got thesegreat tips on writing effective headlines recently from none other than Bob Bly(www.bly.com). There really is an art to writing a good headline,and here are seven proven approaches from the master. Enjoy!

 

1. TELL ASTORY: “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano, But When I Started

toPlay..."

2. MAKE ARECOMMENDATION: “The 5 Tech Stocks You Must Own NOW.”

3. STATE ABENEFIT: “Managing UNIX Data Centers - Once Difficult, Now Easy.”

4. MAKE ACOMPARISON: “How to Solve Your Emissions Problems – at Half the EnergyCost of Conventional Venturi Scrubbers.”

5. USEWORDS THAT HELP THE READER VISUALIZE: “Why Some Foods ‘Explode’ In YourStomach.”

6. USE ATESTIMONIAL: “After Over Half a Million Miles in the Air Using AVBLEND, We’veHad No Premature Camshaft Failures.”

7. OFFER AFREE SPECIAL REPORT, CATALOG, OR BOOKLET: “New FREE Special Report RevealsLittle-Known Strategy Millionaires Use to Keep Wealth in Their Hands –and Out of Uncle Sam’s.”

 

And forsome of the best-kept copywriting secrets from the pros, check out this prettycool program from Bob: http://www.ctcpublishing.net/cmd.php?Clk=3571227

 

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V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- THEWELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- GROUPCOACHING! Now Filling Final Slots for April Series (Just 3 Left!)   

- 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 CD Bonus!

- How CanMy Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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I'M SERIOUSLYLOW 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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GROUPCOACHING! NOW FILLING FINAL SLOTS FOR FEBRUARY PROGRAM!   

In thestart-up stage of your commercial freelancing business? Looking for someguidance, confidence and camaraderie? Check out Group Coaching! Series #3begins on February 10, 2010 and I’ve filled 10 of 12 slots already, so don’twait. For full details and to register, visit: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/groupcoaching.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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