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 10 – OCTOBER 2010

Publishingthe first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read itOnline at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/oct2010.html

 

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBERWELL-FED GROUP COACHING FILLING FAST!

Starts10/26/10; Position yourself for a strong 2011 business launch! All details (andstrong testimonials) at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/groupcoaching.shtml.       

 

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

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THISMONTH'S MENU:

 

I.APPETIZER: A TASTY SAMPLER OF SAVORY BITES

PromisingTrends, Case-Study Boot Camp, Tax Tips & Urgent Call for Features!

 

II."FIELD" GREENS: Don’t Fall for SEO Expert Claims of High-RankProwess!

WebOptimization Pro Reminds: “One High-Ranked Search Term Means Little”

 

III. MAIN“MEAT” COURSE: SUCCESS ACROSS THE POND! (Part 2 of 2)

UK FLCWBuilds Thriving Business, Including “Tone-of-Voice” Writing Specialty

 

IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

MO FLCW Has$10K Month, Is Living (and Loving) the Life!

TIP:No-Charge 10-Day Trial Download of List-Building Software

 

V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- Well-FedGroup Coaching Series #6 (Starting 10/26) Filling Fast! 

- 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 TASTY SAMPLER OF SAVORY BITES

PromisingTrends, Case-Study Boot Camp, Tax Tips & Urgent Call for Features!   

 

“WELL-FED”STORIES: Okay, so the evidence is admittedly anecdotal, but I’m hearing frommore and more FLCW’s of late about business picking up. In this issue’sDessert, you’ll hear about one writer who recently had a really, really goodmonth. Just last week, I heard from a newly established FLCW who’d hitfinancial self-sufficiency in seven months. And a few others let me know theirdance cards are filling up.

 

So, arethings looking up for folks like us? Depends on whom you talk to. It’s onlyhuman, I suppose, to take our own experiences – good or bad – andextrapolate the overall trend from that, and decide How Things Really Are. Ifyour experience is on the down side, remember, that’s YOUR experience. The goodnews I’m hearing (and personally experiencing) tells a different story. Giventhat there’s no obvious “right” answer, we get to choose what’s “true.” Andit’s no mystery which one I’m choosing! 

 

INTENSIVECASE-STUDY TRAINING: Case studies are fun, lucrative and in demand by manycompanies. If you’re serious about learning, 1) HOW to write effective ones;and 2) WHERE the business is, check out Casey Hibbard’s (THE authority on thesubject) six-month “Case Study Copywriter’s Mentoring Course” starting up soon.You’ll make back the entire cost of the program on one mid-priced case study.Check out all the details at: http://www.kickstartcart.com/app/?Clk=3894845

 

THE “WRITE”TAX DEDUCTIONS: Came across this great blog post about tax deductions thatfreelancers should be taking. If you’re not, you’re giving Uncle Sam more thanhe deserves, and why on earth would you want to do that? Check it out at: http://www.graphicdesigndegree.com/taxes-for-freelancers-20-deductions-you-should-be-taking-and-how/

 

REALLY NEEDYOUR FEATURES! (500-600 words): I know you think I’m “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”– ALWAYS saying I need your Features for the EPUB. True, but I usuallyhave a few in the hopper. Right now, I’M OUT. So, if you’ve got a great successstory about a certain strategy, campaign, industry, project type or unusualcircumstance, I’d love to hear it. Send a quick email with your ideas to peter@wellfedwriter.com.

 

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II."FIELD" GREENS: Don’t Fall for SEO Expert Claims of High-RankProwess!

WebOptimization Pro Reminds: “One High-Ranked Search Term Means Little.”

 

A fewmonths back, I ran a two-part article (the March/April 2010 issues archived at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine.shtml) from Internet copywriting and weboptimization pro Katherine Andes (http://www.andesandassociates.com).Sign up for her “Easy Web Tips” at the above link (in left-side nav bar). Sheknows her stuff. Look for more tips from Katherine in the issues ahead –always quick and useful.

 

The onebelow (in addition to being good to know when building your own site) is agreat FYI when dealing with clients who’ve been speaking with an “SEO Expert.”It might just make you look pretty savvy, and that can build clientconfidence. 

 

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AnotherSEO War Story: In Search of High Rankings

 

I got a call this week from yet another SEO company eager tooptimize my website to get high search-engine rankings. As an SEO expertmyself, I'm always interested in what they have to say. Typically, the salesrep never has my website in front of him. I don't get how a sales person canphone prospects regarding their websites and not even bother to pull it up on ascreen before calling.

 

I listened patiently as he tried to explain search engineoptimization (SEO). He was actually very personable…but didn't know what he wastalking about. He gave me particular keywords to type into my Google search boxand gosh-oh-golly, his company was at the top of the search engine results! 

 

This was supposedly a big deal because there were 129,000,000results for that search, and that supposedly showed how many people were tryingto rank for that term. If someone calls you and tells you that, please, don'tfall for it. All that figure shows are which pages Google has determined arerelevant for the search.

 

I quickly looked up the term he had me type in the search boxand sure enough, hardly anyone ever types in that term. Of course, he didn'tget it when I tried to explain: It doesn't matter how many results Google showsfor a given term; WHAT MATTERS IS HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE USING THAT TERM IN ACTUALSEARCHES.

 

Easy Web Tip #64: When someone calls to sell you SEO services toget your website high rankings, don't be impressed just because the rep has youtype in a term that results in a single high search-engine ranking.

 

Copyright2010 – Katherine Andes

 

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III. MAIN“MEAT” COURSE: SUCCESS ACROSS THE POND! (Part 2 of 2)

UK FLCWBuilds Thriving Business, Including “Tone-of-Voice” Writing Specialty

 

Last month,I ran a success story from UK FLCW Pete Cornes (archived at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/sept2010.html).Pete specializes in brand language (http://www.pilcrow.co.uk);really fun site, check it out). I was intrigued with his discussion of“tone-of-voice” writing, asked him to write more about it, and here we go. Thisis an interesting (and apparently growing) writing specialty that gets into thewhole science of managing customer perceptions of your business. Enjoy.

 

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TONE OFVOICE: KEEPING IT CONSISTENT

 

Inconsistency’sa big problem for businesses – and the bigger they get, the bigger theproblem. There’s nowhere it shows up more strongly than in writing.

 

Think aboutthe last time you bought something from your bank. Opened an account, took outa mortgage, whatever. They gave you clear, well-written leaflets and factsheets to start. These customer acquisition documents need to work hard tosucceed, so they will have used a professional commercial writer.

 

So if yourinitial impression of the brand was good enough for you to buy, has it changedsince? How clear are your statements? Terms and conditions documents? Thewebsite? Responses to complaint letters? Signs in the rest rooms telling you towash your hands?

 

For mostcompanies, there are big inconsistencies. And that matters – both to thebrand and to the bottom line. People buy from brands for reliability andconsistency; lose that and customers’ loyalty evaporates.

 

MIND YOURTONE  For a few years now, cannybranding agencies have been offering ‘tone of voice,’ or ‘verbal identity’ tosolve this. These are firm guidelines to help writers keep things consistentwith the brand’s personality. So while Microsoft might choose to soundauthoritative and informed, Google might emphasize their human and engagingside. These guidelines help anyone who’s writing for the company –whether they’re employees, agencies or FLCW’s – to get things spot on.

 

WHAT DOESIT LOOK LIKE?  Guidelines should give writers a step-by-step process tohelp them work out their purpose, audience, content and tone. I want people toturn to these guidelines every day. If they don’t get dog-eared from use, I’vemissed the mark.

 

So I’llstart with a section about the company’s brand, explaining how it ‘feels’ tocustomers and staff, and why the language is important. Then I’ll get to themeat of it: how to get the tone right. For example, I might suggest usingshorter sentences to be energetic, or giving hard-and-fast facts to show yourauthority. It’s different for every brand. Then I’ll finish with a section onhouse style – the hard and fast rules on, say, how to sign off yourletter, or when to write ‘7’ and when to write ‘seven’.

 

And guesswhat? People love it! I’ll often follow up the guidelines with in-houseworkshops to help staff get to grips with their tone of voice, and it’s amazingto see the difference. It’s like you suddenly gave them permission to startenjoying their writing, to start having fun with words. People who’ve beentrotting out the same old letters for years suddenly open their eyes to greatwriting.

 

WHO NEEDSIT?  Larger companies suffer most from inconsistent writing. I’ve workedon tone-of-voice guides for cellphone carriers, insurance companies, utilitycompanies, supermarkets, software developers and more. If they’re big enough toneed brand guidelines, they’ll need a tone of voice.

 

WHAT MAKESA GREAT TONE OF VOICE WRITER?  You need three main skills:

 

1. Youneed to understand language enough to make – and explain –recommendations for different brands. So if a company is fresh and upbeat, youneed to know how writers can strike the right tone: like by using an activevoice, adding a few contractions and shortening the sentences.

 

2. Youneed to ‘get’ what makes a brand. You need to understand how a business’vision, values and ambitions inform everything that company does. And then youneed to be able to explain it in a compelling way – a way that everyonein the organization can understand and believe in.

 

3. Youneed to understand corporate politics. You need to know who’s on board, whoisn’t and whom you need to persuade. Get the right people and departments tobuy in and you’ll see really great writing spreading like wildfire throughoutthe business.

 

HOW CAN YOUGET INTO IT?  The opportunity’s there – and businesses are more thanwilling to pay for it. Companies tend to buy this sort of guidance throughbranding agencies who sell in your services alongside theirs.

 

The otherway in, though, is by landing a writing job in one of the departments. Writesomething good enough to knock their socks off and they’ll wonder how theirinternal writers can compete. ‘Well,’ you reply, ‘with a bit of guidance andthe right training, you can definitely move them in the right direction!’

  

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IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

MO FLCWMakes $10K in a Month, Is Living (and Loving) the Life!

TIP:No-Charge 10-Day Trial Download of List-Building Software

 

MO FLCW Has$10K Month, IS Living (and Loving) the Life!

 

Got thiseyebrow-raising note from St. Louis FLCW Stephen Lennartz (stephenlennartz@charter.net)about a pretty great month he had recently. And in a tough economy, to boot!And while he gives my book credit, my response is always the same: maybe I gaveyou a few ideas, but YOU did it. What more to say? Read on! 

 

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Peter: Justa quick note to say thank you. August was a record month for me: $10,000+. Mysuccess is due in large part to your book, which is a quenching tonic ofinformation and inspiration. I reread it often, like this morning when I wasgetting my oil changed as traffic rolled by with commuters traveling to theircube worlds. Lucky us. I am loving the FLCW lifestyle! Perhaps yourreaders would be interested in a few strategies I’m using:

 

WORKING“THE FRINGE”: There are scads of ‘underserved’ businesses—small &large—in small towns surrounding St. Louis. First I rewrote the copy fora winery website (their current webmaster had not responded in several weeks.)They were so pleased; I landed their restaurant website in St. Louis. Aneighboring spa brought me in for their site, a brochure & e-newsletter.Now the City of Augusta—wine capital of Missouri— has hired me forseveral projects. There is gold in them hills!

 

EXPANDINGMY OFFERING: The winery wanted to add a page on Facebook. While I usually tapmy 16- and 20-year old sons for anything having to do with social media, it wastime for me to take the plunge. So I did the research. Built the page. Linkedit from their website and co-branded on their St. Louis restaurant website.Funny thing. Their fans grew from 0 to 260+ in just a few weeks. Prettypowerful stuff. Very happy client.

 

TALKING THETALK: Presented to a neighboring chamber of commerce on the power of searchengine optimization. I partnered with an SEO guru for the hour-longpresentation. We focused on how copy and layout impact rankings. Landed contentfor two websites and a video for the chamber. Not a bad day. My best to fellowFLCW’s!

 

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If you’rein process of assembling calling/contact lists to build (or grow) yourcopywriting business, check out a program called LIST GRABBER. Description(from the site): “ListGrabber is popularly known as a yellow-pages crawler andyellow-pages grabber which allows business professionals to buildtelemarketing/prospect lists from any Internet source. It’s ideal for new andgrowing businesses.”

 

It’s priceyas a purchase (a good sign of its quality), but they offer a f.r.e.e. 10-daytrial download (though if it delivers as billed, it’d be worth purchasing.After all, how much time would it take you to build your lists manually, andwhat is your time worth?) Check it out at: http://www.rocketdownload.com/program/listgrabber-standard-22932.html

 

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V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- Well-FedGroup Coaching Series #6 (Starting 10/26) Filling Fast! 

- 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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WELL-FEDGROUP COACHING SERIES #6 (STARTING 10/26) FILLING FAST! 

You’ve beenthinking about starting a commercial freelancing business. But you’ve got a lotof questions, concerns, doubts, fears, “what-if’s,” and “what-about’s.” We’veall been there – including just about every attendee of my first fiveprograms (and I invite you to check out what THEY’VE said about their groupcoaching experience). If you’re ready to get clear – psychologically andlogistically – so you can hit the ground running in the New Year, checkout the program filling up now. For all the details and testimonials, visit

http://www.wellfedwriter.com/groupcoaching.shtml.

 

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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 (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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