Friday, November 30, 2007
This is just freaking awesome--and so true!
Monday, November 26, 2007
I was reading my writing pal Lindsey Pollak
's blog and she noted the new Yahoo social networking service
another social networking site? Really? Geez, how many do we need. I have to say that I'm a fan of Facebook because it's fun. MySpace is childlike and takes forever to load. LinkedIn is another popular one but I've had no luck getting work from it. But I hear
Sunday, November 25, 2007
My cool writer friend Deb posted this on her blog and I wanted to share it with you:
I know, it’s only November, but time goes by quick. As we approach the end of the year, there are a few things I like to do to start the new year fresh and hassle-free. Though I don’t necessarily send in my taxes at the very beginning of January, I like to have all of my accounts in order so I can close out the old year and get on with the new. I also like to file away old clients to make room for new,and assess my current financial situation. Here are a few things I do before the end of the year. Perhaps they’ll help you in making a positive start to 2008.
- Go over your books – Make sure all your invoices are paid up before December 31st.
- Gather all of your receipts – Organize all of your receipts, especially those considered business expenses.
- Compare your income vs. hours worked – Are you making a profit? Does the end justify the means? If not, adjust your rate and announce new rates beginning in January.
- Go over your client list – If business is keeping you too busy determine whether or not you need to drop any of your lower paying or more difficult clients.
- Donate old office equipment – If you have computers, cell phones, and other office equipment gathering dust because they’ve been replaced, donate them as a tax write-off to your favorite charity.
Read more at Deb's blog!What's the most important thing you do at the end of the year for your business?
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
CATCHING THE BLOG BUZZ
The Top 50 Marketing Blogs to Watch in 2008
November 14, 2007 – Marketing is nothing new, and these days, neither is blogging. But the combination of the two is proving to be a powerful force that is taking the Internet by storm.
Entrepreneurship expert Evan Carmichael has just released his list of the Top 50 Marketing Blogs to Watch in 2008. A mix of industry heavyweights and fresh up-and-comers, all of the bloggers are changing the way the blogosphere is doing business.
There are the names you might know, like John Jantsch, whose Duct Tape Marketing Blog has grown to become one of the most popular online destinations for practical small business marketing tips. How can you use eBay as a marketing tool? What can the iPod teach you about marketing? Jantsch has the answers.
But then there are the bloggers who are not so well known, “yet,” says Carmichael. “Marketers are like anyone else, turning to blogs to increase their own credibility. And some of them are doing one heck of a good job.”
The Top 50 Marketing Blogs to Watch in 2008 is divided into ten different categories covering all things marketing. From building a brand, to utilizing technology in marketing, to search engine marketing, Carmichael highlights the Top 50 from across the board.
“These guys aren’t just the occasional bloggers,” he says. “These guys live and breathe their blogs. If they’re not already the best at what they do, it won’t be long.”
From Andy Beard, a blogger who promises to tell you everything he knows about niche marketing, and with “loads of attitude,” to John Moore, who will help you conduct a brand autopsy, Carmichael’s list of bloggers covers all the bases.
“I wanted to bring attention to some of the current and rising stars in the online marketing world,” says Carmichael. “They’re making waves for a reason, and they just might be able to help other entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.”
How did Carmichael decide who made the cut and who didn’t? “It was easy,” he says. “These bloggers are being talked about because they’re getting people talking. They’re well-written, to the point, practical, and sometimes even pretty funny.”
The number of marketing blogs has exploded in recent times, which is both a good and a bad thing, says Carmichael. “It’s great that people are trying to make a name for themselves online and offer resources to others, but it’s dangerous when entrepreneurs start to take serious advice from just anyone.”
That is why he created his list, he says, to point people in the right direction. “I know how valuable time is to entrepreneurs. I wanted to help them save some of that time by gathering all the best marketing advice in one place.”
Best of all, says Carmichael, the sites are free. “These bloggers aren’t asking you to buy a membership or pay any kind of fees. They’re laying out their knowledge for all to read, so why not take advantage?”
To check out the Top 50 Marketing Blogs to Watch in 2008, visit http://www.evancarmichael.com/Tools/Top-50-Marketing-Blogs-To-Watch-In-2008.htm
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
A special on 60 Minutes I thought you may like:
Move over Generation X! The "Millennials" are here and they're taking over the American workplace. There are about 80 million of them - born between 1980 and 1995 - and they approach business in revolutionary new ways. They need pampering, some say coddling, and if you don't tell them what they want to hear, they're gone! Come along as Morley Safer walks a mile in their flip-flops. It's funny how they make millenials--which from their description sound like many creatively self-employed people--out to be the bad guys. Plenty of people my age and beyond--I'm 29, not quite a millenial, but close enough--are hardworking and not selfish. More on millenials.
What horrible generalizations!
Shame on you, 60 Minutes!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Looking for freelance job sites?
The Power of the Pre-Write: 5 Things to Do Before You Create Your Freelance Business Website Kristen Fischer
If you’re like most freelancers—especially those starting out—you don’t have the money to hire someone to create content for your website.
Like all the hats you’ll have to wear as a solo agent—accountant, manager, business developer—you’ll need to add writer to the list. While freelance copywriters may have it easier than other self-employed professionals when it comes to writing, anyone can learn how to create content for their business website with a few helpful tips. But before you start typing, here are some things you’ll need to do.
Map Your Work. First, come up with the pages that your website needs. Creative freelancers, for example, will probably want to have a portfolio, where they can refer people to see their work. But most websites have similar pages: a home page, information about your business, a listing of your services and testimonials bout your services. Think about the pages that you need for your particular website. A freelance event coordinator may want case studies of the events, while a freelance designer would want a gallery of his or her work.
Devise a Message. Before you write, think about the concepts you want to convey. Your home page, for example, probably gives an overview of your business. But what do you want it to focus on? My website discusses the importance of hiring a copywriter. I also let the prospective client know that they don’t have to hire a marketing agency to get dynamic copy. I end with my slogan, which emphasizes that my services are affordable.
You can emphasize the same messages on different pages, too. For example, you can go into your corporate history on the “About Me” page, but you can also mention that your company has XX years of experience on the home page, too. In addition, you can mention your services on the home page, and then go into detail about them on the “Services” page. Design can integrate part of your message, too. Instead of listing your services on the home page, you can feature them in a graphic that runs on the page, for example. If you’re creative, you know there are many ways to get your point across!
Know Your Audience. As a copywriter, I know that many of my site visitors already realize that I don’t copyright, as in the “C” with the little circle around it. My audience is looking for someone to write something stunning for them, to help advance their business. In many cases, they aren’t learning about copywriting, they want to know what is in it for them. That’s why it’s vital to show off your benefits—tell them what they’ll get when they use your particular service.
While many clients coming to your site are interested in a one-time service, it’s not a bad idea for you to position yourself as an expert in your field via blogging. The content on your blog may not help prospective clients on an ongoing basis, but it may help secure a sale. So why not?
Know Your Competition. It is not cool to copy–paste text from competitor sites. Repeat: It is not cool to copy–paste text from competitor sites. But it is useful to scope out the competition. By checking out others in your field, you can get ideas for content and design, and so much more.
The goal of checking out competitors is to get an idea of how their copy sounds and what their site is telling prospective clients. Pick out things you like, and others you don’t. In other words, use competitor sites as a reference, but make yours stand out from theirs. Overall, it’s a great idea to see what’s out there. Check out some websites of those in your field. As a writer, I enjoyed the following sites: Kristen King, Bob Bly and Conrad Winter.
Get Noticed. Also before you write, it’s good to integrate some keywords that will get your page some attention. This is my favorite site for finding useful keywords. Once you identify some valuable words, jot them down so you can refer to them when you start to write.
Make sure to inject keywords—but not to overdo it. There are also plenty of tutorials on the Web that can help you find out other ways to get your site picked up by search engines. For a start, try some keyword-rich content. Another tip is to regionalize your keywords. For instance, I use “NJ copywriter” or “New Jersey copywriter” to appeal to local or regional clients looking for a copywriter. So evaluate your keyword strategy first.
Writing comes next. Stay tuned: Next week, I’ll offer up some tips to help you put your business into words on your website!