Welcome to THE WELL-FED E-PUB!

 

The companion monthly ezine to the quadruple-award-winning how-to guide, “The Well-Fed Writer” (http://www.wellfedwriter.com). 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 – MARCH 2012

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it Online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/mar2012.html

 

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

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

 

And, of course, “The Well-Fed Writer Blog” at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog!

 

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CATCH ME AT “EXPAND YOUR INFLUENCE” VIRTUAL (+F.R.E.E!) CONFERENCE!

March 19-23. More in Appetizer & at http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?af=1437118

 

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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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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

 

I. WELCOME APPETIZER: A SAVORY SPRING SAMPLER!

Affirming Our Value; Catch Me in Upcoming Conference; Social Media Summit! 

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: GOT A BLOG? THEN YOU PROBABLY HAVE A BOOK.

WA Designer/Ex-FLCW Builds Cred-Building Book from Blog Content, Boosts Biz 

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: ELANCE AS BUSINESS INSURANCE? (Part 2 of 2)

FLCW Makes Serious $ on Often-UN-Serious Online Site, Suggests It As Biz Insurance

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

Vancouver FLCW Reads TWFW, Boosts Rates, Refuses to Drop Them, Lands Jobs!

TIP: F.R.E.E. Web Site Analysis Tool Serves Up Tons of Stats on Any Site! 

 

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: A SAVORY SPRING SAMPLER!

Affirming Our Value; Catch Me in Upcoming Conference; Social Media Summit! 

 

Good friend, fellow writer, and fellow Atlantan, Hilda Brucker sent me a link to a great (and short) article worth passing on: “Marketing Emergency: Nobody's Making Content Worth Reading” by Francine Hardaway. If this doesn’t underscore, not only that big companies DON’T have it all figured out, but also the vast opportunity that lies before us, in spades, I’m not sure what does. Some highlights:

 

“Have you looked at the number of white papers out there lately? And how they all suck? At the collateral? At the websites? At the press releases and the fatuous corporate blogs? At the 178 social media sites per company—few of which offer much relevance or are of interest to customers, shareholders, suppliers, or even employees.”

 

“Long, long ago, when I was teaching English, I belonged to a group in the National Council of Teachers of English called the Committee on Public Doublespeak. We professors were committed to wiping out jargon, bulls--t, unclear writing, and all the ways people obfuscate rather than clarify. Thirty years later, I look around me and the amount of content has proliferated, but the quality of it has gotten even worse.”

 

http://www.fastcompany.com/1808462/how-to-make-your-marketing-content-better

 

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I’ll be one of the interviewed presenters in an upcoming (and fr.ee!) online conference entitled: “EXPAND YOUR INFLUENCE: A Virtual Conference on Turning Big Ideas into Brand Extensions.” Event runs March 19 – 23, 2012.

 

According to Judi Ketteler (www.judiketteler.com), copy strategist/writer, and the event’s creator, “EYI is an interview series all about brand extensions—larger projects like books, eBooks, videos, and TV shows that help you get your BIG IDEA out there into the world. I created this energetic, multidisciplinary virtual summit to get a chance to interview superbly cool and extremely brilliant people who are doing inspiring, revolutionary, and/or intriguing things with their brand extensions.”

 

Hmmm. Me? Superbly cool? Hey, who am I to argue? ;) Seriously, Judi’s assembled a solid lineup of folks. Check it out at http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?af=1437118.

 

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My good friend Michael Stelzner keeps organizing and executing stellar events considered by many to be the best in the industry, and which ARE some of the most recommended. He’s doing another Social Media Summit this coming May, and tickets are 50% off for a limited time. Check out all the details, the “guru” lineup and the topics covered at http://www.whitepapersource.com/cmd.php?Clk=4646054.   

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: GOT A BLOG? THEN YOU PROBABLY HAVE A BOOK.

WA Designer/Ex-FLCW Builds Cred-Building Book from Blog Content, Boosts Biz 

 

Got this great piece from Ferndale, WA-based former copywriter and now-designer Mike Klassen (http://mikeklassen.com). Always appreciate Mike’s wise words! I DO feel, just as a minor caveat, that you shouldn’t do a blog just because you “think you should do a blog,” but if you have a good strategic reason for doing one (LIKE building content for a book, or because you’re building a specialty in a certain niche, which can ALSO yield content for a book to establish your creds in said niche), then go for it!

 

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I'm big on content recycling, especially my blog content. I hate the thought of great blog articles slowly slipping into the archives, rarely seen again as new articles get top billing.

 

I realized that many of my articles had a common theme. So much so that I took the best of the group and put them into a PDF book that I offer for free as a bait piece on my site.

 

In its third edition, the book is now up to 130 pages and was easy to write. After all, I had unknowingly been writing it bit by bit on my blog over a couple of years.

 

What can a book do for your business? 

 

1) It gives you a great marketing tool for prospects. It's rare someone will bother to read every blog article you've written. Presenting the best material in a book is easier to read through, and has a greater perceived value. 

 

And if you’re into cold calling, offering someone a free, helpful book is a great introduction to what you can do for them.

 

2) A book positions you as an expert in your niche. While anyone can write a book, only a relative few do. If you’re being compared with competitors for future projects, a book helps you stand out in the mind of your prospect.

 

3) A book positions you as an expert with other potential business partners. Last year, I traveled to Australia to speak at a business-building conference. I met the organizer through my book (he’d found it on my site). He liked what I had to say, saw me as an expert, and invited me to speak, not unsurprisingly, on content marketing and recycling.

 

Look at your blog content and see if you have articles that can be packaged into a simple book or at least short reports. If you don’t have a blog, my advice is to start one today and begin leveraging that content.

 

(If your readers want to see how I put together the book or the short reports, they're all here: http://mikeklassen.com/resources/)

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: ELANCE AS BUSINESS INSURANCE? (Part 2 of 2)

FLCW Makes Serious $ on Often-UN-Serious Online Site, Suggests It As Biz Insurance

 

FLCW Trish Lambert sent me this great two-parter about Elance. Trish first hit my radar some years back as someone making $75-$100+ an hour on Elance, a site notorious for criminally low-paying writing projects. As a rule, I consider the online job sites a waste of time, but Trish’s accomplishment impressed me enough to include her in the updated edition of TWFW as a notable exception to the rule.

 

Her message here is sound: get set up on Elance for those times when things get slow or when established clients drop you. In last month’s issue (archived at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/feb2012.html), she laid the groundwork, and here she serves up some juicy how-to detail. Enjoy!    

 

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In last month’s issue, I discussed the wisdom of getting set up on Elance as business insurance for slow times, or when you lost a big client. But, there’s a caveat: to use Elance as your “always-on” marketing channel, you must be firmly established on the site. This means:

 

1) You have a complete and compelling profile on the site.

2) You have a good portfolio of samples you can attach to your bids.

3) You already have a track record on Elance with feedback posted from clients.

4) You have a bidding process that allows you to post the most bids for the right jobs in the least amount of time without sacrificing quality of bid.

 

Note the key word in that last bullet: RIGHT job. The vast majority of projects posted on Elance aren’t a fit for professional FLCW’s. There are ton of “bottom-feeding” buyers expecting top-quality output for costs approaching zero. Picture Elance as a flea market: you go there knowing that most of what you’ll find is junk, but there are some gems hidden in the rubbish. And there really are gems.  

 

Elance is like hiring a sales rep, and the terms of your agreement are:

 

1) Elance will uncover leads from all over the world, and bring them to you 24/7/365.

2) Elance won’t qualify those leads in any way; you will handle that.

3) You will pay Elance a base monthly fee for this service (i.e., your subscription fee).

4) You’ll also pay Elance 8.75% commission for any leads that convert to paying work, upon payment by the client.

 

If you look at the relationships this way, it’s a pretty good deal. You get an unending stream of potential projects for less than the going rate for sales rep assistance. It’s your job to sort the wheat from the chaff and sell your services.

 

Elance helped me quickly pull out of my revenue nosedive and get things back on track. But you can’t wait until emergency hits to race to Elance in search of work.  If you are not already established there, the next time you hit a valley in your project load, get set up on Elance. Then:

 

1) Create a “search and bid” routine that works for you.

2) Tweak your approach until you find the approach that wins work.

3) Deliver on the projects you win.

4) Make your bidding routine part of your daily business activity.

 

Based on my own experience, I highly recommend you cultivate Elance as a revenue source for lean times, even if it isn’t your source of choice. Consider it business insurance to cover unexpected income disasters.

 

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Trish Lambert is a commercial freelance writer, marketing consultant, and business coach to solo business owners. She started her current business in October of 2004 and, due in large part to Elance, hit the 6-figure revenue mark in less than two years.  Trish teaches Freelance Express, a one-on-one coaching course that gets participants up, running, and winning bids on Elance and other freelance boards, in a very short time (and for competitive commercial writing rates). Learn more about Freelance Express at

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=229389&c=ib&aff=56896&cl=55825

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

Vancouver, BC FLCW Reads TWFW, Boosts Rates, Won’t Drop Them, Lands Jobs!

TIP: F.R.E.E. Web Site Analysis Tool Serves Up Tons of Stats on Any Site! 

 

Love getting notes like the one below from Vancouver, BC FLCW and SEO pro Holly Klaassen (hollyklaassen@me.com). It’s great when people wake up to the reality that they really CAN be making a lot more money then they think, act on it, stand firm and get their new rate. Think that didn’t change her thinking for future bids? Following that, a great tip about a nifty (and fr.ee!) web site analysis tool. Enjoy! 

 

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I’ve been a freelance web-content writer for several years, and while I had a feeling I was selling myself short, in terms of my rates, I kept them the same. The night I read “The Well-Fed Writer,” I had a classic case of entrepreneurial insomnia. I knew I needed to raise my rates, and be prepared to start turning down jobs that paid less. 

 

The next day, I bid on a small project (with the potential to turn into multiple projects), and gave them a quote much higher than my typical rate (still low by industry standards, but a decent rate in this niche). 

 

I heard back from the CEO the next day, and she said, “You’re among the highest in terms of rates. Would you be willing to come down?” It took everything in me not to cave, but I simply replied, “No,” offering no explanation. The next day she told me I got the project, and I’ve already done another project for them since. 

 

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Peter: I wanted to share a very useful site: http://www.statmyweb.com. It provides detailed stats about websites (i.e., when it was created, where is it hosted, how much is it worth, where it ranks on the web, and a lot more).

 

These detailed stats are displayed in both graphical and text formats. Plus, there are 15+ tools to help in specific analysis of any given site. And all provided at no charge, and in a clean and professional layout.

 

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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. 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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